Wednesday, October 28, 2020

OctPoWriMo 27: One more week left and right .. .

One week left.
We are poised right
before the election.
Millions have cast their ballots.
Millions more ready to stand in line. 
Wearing masks. Or not.
One week from tonight,
we millions will watch returns,
hoping to avoid chaos,
complaints of voter fraud,
gun toting poll watchers.

I am truly grateful to live 
in a state with 100% mail-in ballots.
Election night one week away.
Meanwhile a friend's mother dies of covid;
cases on the rise.
We wait and watch in quarantine
and hope and pray
this democracy will survive.

Some of us are uncertain.
Others are absolutely certain.
And after the election,
what will transpire on those days
between election and inauguration?
How many Executive Orders will transform
what once was built slowly?

I'd rather sit by a pond
to watch a white egret  
find a quiet place to stretch his wings.
But we are not allowed to look away
from this election, 
this democracy. 
Even I, older than average,
am ready to hit the streets,
if needed.

Image by sscheema on Pixabay

This last week of OctPoWriMo, anticipating election returns (or dreading them), adds another layer of distraction. So, I'm remembering all the times I have voted and hoped for a good outcome. The same is true this year. Morgan Dragonwillow invited us today to reflect on choices. I'm not so sure I can write poetry the rest of this week.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

OctPoWriMo 26: In the dark . . .

When the witch
sits above the window,
is it time to hide
under the bed?

If the pumpkin's ready
for carving,
are the knives

As the final hours
of the beast draw near,
when the moon
spins to darkness,
is it safer outside
or in?

Image by Alexas Photos on Pixabay


Monday, October 26, 2020

OctPoWriMo 25: In the mud . . .

A poet friend of mine, Annis, also writing a poem a day for OctPoWriMo, created a new poetic form called Saba x Tatu (saba in Swahili stands for 7 and tatu for 3). The poetic form has seven lines, and each line decreases one syllable until the last line, which returns to 7 syllables. Her delightful poem is called "Stretch" and can be read HERE

Mayhap I'll never see a
creature earthy as thee,
sitting in the mud
imbued with crud,
yet tranquil,
at peace.
Oh warthog, I could be thee.

Warthog near the Norongoro Crater, Tanzania (Camp 2012)

We traveled to Tanzania on a once-in-a-lifetime excursion to see such animals we'd only read about. This warthog didn't even wiggle as our jeep passed by, quite content to relax in the mud. I learned the poor things suffer from certain ailments that the mud eases. Now, with quarantine, such travels seem even closer to a dream. At least, we have memories. And photos.

OctPoWriMo 24: Perfect Quiet

Perhaps a chime
rings out over the walled garden
as the poet sits
by the reflecting pool,
a blank page before him.
The hour passes.
He raises his brush,
as unexpected as a melody,
the letters splash out,
black on white,
a controlled meaning:
All in the moment,
the now.

"32 Persons of Different Occupations Poetry Competition", 1494 (Wikipedia)

After the end of World War II, my aunt went to Tokyo as part of the American occupation there. She came back with a love of Japanese poetry and culture, which inspired today's effort. Read more about Japanese poetry at Wikipedia.

Today's poem is part of OctPoWriMo, that challenge to write a poem a day throughout October. Check out that link to see what others have written! Sadly, I'm falling a little behind. Blame the early October snow or a cold that made me sleepy for a day.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

OctPoWriMo 23: Unexpected snow . . .

No one expected snow to turn
our days upside down.
Pandemic doesn't stop us
from delighting in each flake,
the transformation of our small landscape
to pure white, and now,
dazzling sun, each towering pine
snow-kissed, wind-swept,
a morning of hope.

Image by Peggy Chocair on Pixabay

Snow at the end of October? Truly unexpected. About five inches fell last night. The sun is out, but I don't expect that snow to go anywhere with a high of 33 F today (and a low of 11 F tonight). Brrrr! But the Pandemic has trained us well. We don't go anywhere. The fridge is full, electricity's still working, and that sun is shining. 

With only 10 days to the election, have you voted?

Today's little poem is part of OctPoWriMo, that challenge to write a poem a day throughout October. Check out that link to see what others have written! And celebrate with me: I'm almost finally caught up!

Friday, October 23, 2020

OctPoWriMo 22: I'll have me a . . .

I'll have me a biscuit.
Pass 'em right over.
Don't remember the last time
I sunk my teeth into somethin' so fine.
Don't dally, lover,
I'll give you a dime
afore I go back out on the line.
Too many years I been a drover,
my hands an' my heart filled with grime,
but fer these biscuits, I'll pine,
an' I'll have just one more.

Friday morning biscuits (2020)

My grandfather was a cowboy. I grew up eating these biscuits, the best my gramie made. Just simple flour, salt, butter, milk, and a little baking powder. Grandad used to tell tales of how out on the range, the cattle lulled to sleep, the cook used to bake these biscuits in an iron pot over the fire, right next to another pot filled with beans. So, once in a while, I think of those old days and make a batch. Today, snow's coming, so I filled the morning with the smell of bacon and biscuits.

Today's poem is part of OctPoWriMo, that challenge to write a poem a day throughout October. Check out that link to see what others have written!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

OctPoWriMo 21: If we were elephants . . .

If we were traveling
into the future, wouldn't it be
easier to walk in a line,
even with eyes closed, to know
someone is ahead of us,
someone is behind us?
Perhaps if we were elephants,
we'd travel in the middle of a line,
their tails swishing,
an occasional huff of warm breath,
reassuring, even after the sun went down.
Like children, we could hold hands,
not knowing what was ahead,
but somehow, not worrying,
not weeping, not waking in anguish
in the middle of the night,
instead leaning into those great beasts,
warm and safe, secure, unafraid.

Image by blende12 on Pixabay

OctPoWriMo 20: A Sun's Promise

For each day that begins
with sun and blue sky,
I remember days of rain.
Only bright colors could vanquish
that unrelenting gray.
Here, close to mountains,
once a volcanic belly, 
a city spreads out under the sun.
Even when it rains, 
the sun appears at least once a day,
keeping a promise,
even when the snow falls too early,
even when it rains,
even if I feel gray.

Lincoln Park, August 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

OctPoWriMo 19: Florida Vacation

From north to south, we drove
leaving hills of snow to warm cove,
seeking respite from city strife
to discover birds unexpected,
wood stork, so ugly, yet resurrected,
out of the swamp, ungainly and alive,
a sharp contrast to sleek blue heron,
hunters both, their relentless quiet blaring
through what peace we could contrive.

Wood Stork (Florida, 2003)

Great Blue Heron (Florida, 2003)

With special thanks to those poets at OctPoWriMo 2020 and Morgan Dragonwillow for inspiring us all.  Today's poetic form is Nove Otto, with rhyme scheme of aacbbcddc. Enjoy this glance back to an unforgettable trip from Philadelphia in the winter to a month in Florida, where I nearly stepped on a crocodile!