December 30, 2009

Prayer for the New Year (RWP #107)

(Shotgun Blast by Shane Gorski)
This Photo Prompt had such a spiritual quality to it, I thought it apropos to do a prayerful poem in hopes for the New Year. As a very lapsed Catholic, I still could not help but add part of the prayers of mass. "God bless us, everyone."


within the cathedral of hopelessness
each light of heaven valiantly strives
to wash away the sins of the world...

have mercy on us.


amongst broken spirits and battered souls
sanctity consecrates humankind
to wash away the sins of the world...

bring us peace.


through the futility of existence
divine grace comforts the simple heart
to wash away the sins of the world...

hear our prayer.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 23, 2009

LIKE WATER (RWP #106)

(photo courtesy of Photobucket)
For this prompt idea, we were supposed to use repetition - of theme, idea, sound -(well, you get the idea). I have had snippets of this poem rattling around for a while but this finally gave me the impetus to finish it. (PS, it's really NOT about water...)

drip drip drip
so inconsequential - no rhyme, reason
tiny gentle droplets here, there
brushed away mindlessly and forgotten.

drip drip drip
building momentum - a steady tempo
a bit sharper now, much colder
constant aimed focus, hitting each sure spot.

drip drip drip
each splat hits cruelly - jabbing, stabbing
relentless ping, hard, sharp, icy
leaving jangling nerves and raw, bruised flesh.

drip drip drip
inevitable deep craters appear
large dark hollows leaving nothing
but echos of spirit, extinguished by

drip drip drip

December 11, 2009

ho - ho - ho


(photo courtesy of Photobucket)


I’m dreaming of a tropical vacation,
A trip to some exotic sunny shore.
To relax upon warm sand
would be so very grand.
No, I don’t believe in Christmas anymore.

It’s nothing but a crass commercial frenzy,
Of buy and wrap and cook and entertain.
That garish Christmas tree
doesn't mean a thing to me,
And those carols are just driving me insane!

Jingle Bells and Rudolf and Old Frosty,
Plus Santa with his bloody silly sleigh.
Piles of trashy plastic toys
made to brainwash girls and boys,
Oh how I wish that I could run away.

But I am stuck within this tinsel prison,
as I complete each stupid endless chore.
Instead I want a holiday
where the palm trees gently sway.
No, I don’t believe in Christmas anymore.

December 09, 2009

Scenes from a Marriage (RWP#104)

(Photo above of Eve just trying to put food on the table and Adam just trying to cop a feel...)

Over at Read, Write, Poem this week, we were given a prompt to write a poem about SEX! As I have been married to the same man for 34 years, and have NEVER been a dewy-eyed romantic, I just had to go with what I know....

SCENE I

Come gimme a kiss
...
I’m washing dishes.

Just sit down, they’ll keep
...
But it’s so late!

But you're so sexy...
I haven't even combed my hair today!

That's good cuz I'm gonna mess it up...
You ARE relentless.
Just look what you do to me...

I’ve seen that thing a million times.

You know you want it...
Honey, I’m tired
.
You won’t have to do a thing
...
Huh?

Just lay back and enjoy it
...
That’s gross.

Don’t be such a party pooper
...
Oh... all right
.
Mmmm, You taste good
...
Your whiskers are scratchy.

God, I love your tits...

Honey, wait!

Wait for what?
Not yet...
Come on, you know you want to...
Ohhhh, No....
Does this feel good?
...
Ohhhh, Yes!

How ‘bout this?
...
Let’s go in the bedroom.

Nah, it's better on the couch
...
But the kids might wake up
.
I’ll be quiet
...
But I won’t!


SCENE II

What's for dinner?
Wouldn't you like a drink first?...
Silly question.
There now, isn't this nice...
What are you all made-up for?
Can't a girl try to look pretty once in a while?...
You don't have to do that for me.
I know.(This might be harder than I thought...)
Damn, I'm exhausted.
Poor baby...
Where are the kids?

At my mom's...
What for?
Thought we could use some alone time...
You're kidding, right?
I wouldn't kid about that...
I wanted to watch the game!
Wouldn't you rather look at this instead...
Turn that back on!
Oh, I'll turn something on...
Well, aren't you just a nasty little thing?
I thought that's why you married me...
You're right about that, get over here!

December 02, 2009

Granada (RWP #103)

(pomegranate by Nasos3)
This week for the poetry prompt from RWP we were to write something on pomegranates! After much head scratching, this is what I came up with.

Beneath gnarled branches
lies Eden’s temptation,
heavy sanguine globes, dusty
crowned, leathery wombs
encasing balaustine ovaries.

Wresting apart, rending wetly,
tangy bright nectar
stains greedy mouths
and drips sticky syrup
onto the earth.

November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving (RWP #102)

(photo courtesy of Photobucket)
This poem only loosely follows the prompt idea, but is part of my "Native American" series. Thursday November 26th is "Thanksgiving"- the American holiday where we celebrate hoodwinking the Indians, so this poem seems somehow appropriate.

From Buffalo Soldiers to
the Trail of Tears,
we came to conquer-
to steal away everything.
Trading their noble lives for
sugar, whiskey and our one God.
Forcing it down through clenched teeth,
a poisonous drug -making them crave it.
Instead of maize, pinon and venison,
they eat potato chips, twinkies and bologna.
Their reverence of nature replaced with
the arrogance of church spires.
Killing them with our ways, our insidious gifts,
in a centuries long “Final Solution“.

November 22, 2009

Angry

(photo courtesy of Photobucket)


My brain’s become a spinning disc.
Cracked old vinyl, black and broken,
continuous stupid song repeating,
skipping, screeching chaos.

Nerves vibrate to this broken record.
Shards of tangled wild emotions,
shattering, splintering,
cut deeply into flesh and heart.

I must escape the manic screeching.
Hit and jar the stylus back to
smooth, melodious grooves-
Back to calm and normalcy.

Ragged breath- thick dark clots.
No music there, no soothing melody,
just frustrating, alienating,
trapped, choking words.

Suddenly the switch is flipped.
Anger dissipates to soft white buzz
as the needle reaches it’s quiet end,
leaving only helpless inevitability.

November 19, 2009

Silly Sonnet (RWP #101)

The "P" words for this prompt made me feel a bit more stupid than usual and I had a terrible time coming up with anything. then I thought, "Use your stupidity!" So, this is what I came up with...
(After reading this , if you are interested, I have posted another in my series about Native Americans directly under this post. It is a "scene" poem of the same type we did a few weeks ago for prompt.)

T'would be much better to procrastinate,
believes this poet of pernicious prose.
As I’ve tendencies to prevaricate,
while much loftier bards turn up their nose.

My pea-sized brain is but a porous mess
laced thickly with a plethora of cheese.
And the talent inside is so much less
than fortunates who have advanced degrees.

Whilst kneeling here in my confessional
I will admit to hopes of accolades.
But my posthumous processional
will only stop the critic's sharpened blades.

So thanks to You for each kind platitude,
as I extend my heartfelt gratitude.

(told you it was silly!)

November 17, 2009

4 Corners

(photo courtesy of Photobucket)
This is another piece in the series I am writing about Native Americans. The title refers to the area of the US where 4 states come together and where resides the largest reservation in America.

Under a convex roof
of azurite blue,
drifts of lace cirrus
race through mazes of currents
blown by mirages.

Vultures wheel slowly,
spiraling downward,
raptor eyes keen on the
rust covered earth, flecked with
sorry sad sheep, deflated and dusty.

The rough crackle ground
of impossible colors like
spilled paint box shades
splotched and meandering.
Cadmium, ochre, alizarin crimson.

Chaparral, sagebrush and
damned Russian thistle,
their stubborn roots grabbing-
an attempt to gain purchase of
the dry, dusty valley.

A rusted old single-wide
squats dumbly on cinderblocks
replacing the tumbledown hogan,
beside a Satellite dish
and new Chevy pickup.

November 15, 2009

Politics as Usual

I know I should NEVER watch the news or read the paper. When I do, this is what happens!


They think I believe
their outrageous bullshit.
They think I’m na├»ve, or
some silly optimist.
What choice did we have?
Professional geezer
with “rogue” idiot in tow
Or TV preacher, hawking snake oil
to the gullible masses.
A chorus of yammering,
what they think can be sold,
“Just keep the rube’s pacified.”
as they play three card monte,
odds stacked toward their house.
Am I the only wanting
to scrap the whole damn shebang
and start over completely?

November 11, 2009

Dreamworld (RWP #100)


For this prompt, we were supposed to use our dreams to help create poetry. I must admit that the instructions went a bit over my head, so I simply thought that since I have always been plagued with strange and vivid dreams, I would just write one down in poetry form. This is a pretty common dream for me...

Lost within hallways,
a maze of strange corridors
Careening off aimlessly.
Cold industrial grays with
Inky black corners.
Door after door,
too many to number,
I must open them all,
must find what I’m searching for.
I must, I must…

Each door that is opened,
a blank wall behind it.
More appear magically,
all life depending
on finding the right one.
Ears thrumming loudly,
buzzing white noise,
engorged with pure panic,
I must save - must rescue.
I must, I must…

Completely exhausted,
each movement impossible.
Maneuvering heavily through
thick gelatinous ooze.
Terror rising in shuddering
layers, horrible waves.
Breath shallow and strangled,
I must find the opening,
or Everything’s over.
I must, I must…

Attempting to speak,
To scream out for guidance.
Dry gluey lips and
Thick useless tongue only
allows unintelligible garbling.
As the hallway dissolves to
kaleidoscope prisms
Doors are now hidden,
But I still must continue.
I must, I must…

I now feel THEM behind me,
long fingers scrabbling.
Reaching out, plucking
my hair, arms, ankles,
Holding me fast.
Unseen enemies
halting my quest,
pulling me backwards
Into the abyss.
Too late, Too late…

November 05, 2009

Vignette (RWP #99)

For this week's poetry prompt we were to describe a scene without actually telling what has happened, just allowing the "props" to tell the story. This is what I came up with. (I'll warn you, it's kind of dark...)

Thick candle stubs smolder, dripping
waxy tears onto a scarred dresser top.

Two glasses wait forlornly, gathering dust
alongside an uncorked bottle of cheap merlot.

An inane treacle of music oozes it's
mocking reminder of unrealized dreams.

Satin and lace tossed haphazardly in anticipation
of a wanting ache for attachment.

Damp tangled sheets and smeared pillowslips
cannot explain the lack of connection.

The odor of sweat and disappointment infuse
dim corners with cloying sadness.

Beating down like cleansing rain, the shower
cannot drown the choking heave of bitter tears.


(If you are interested, please leave a comment below telling me what YOU think has happened...)

November 03, 2009

Ted the Bear



I've spent lots of time making up stories on the spot for my kids and grand kids. Here is one I turned into a poem...


Young Ted was a boy who always was mad,
Mumblin', grumblin', and so often sad.

He thought that the world was a terrible place,
And went everywhere with a frown on his face.

He fought every rule, and hated each chore,
Thought school was a dud, and homework a bore.

He longed to be out with the wind in his hair,
With his home the great forest, and live as a bear!

Why if he was a bear, then he’d be the boss,
Nobody could tell him to brush and to floss,

To scrub behind ears or wipe off his feet,
And no one could tell him what he had to eat!

Each day he would wish and each night he would pray,
To wake up the next morning in the bright light of day

And be covered with fur, have feet with sharp claws,
And long pointy teeth in big bear-like jaws.

He’d break out of this place to live off the land,
Be on his own and just wild, oh life would be grand!

Well one morning Ted woke, and scratching his head,
Found that he wasn’t asleep in his very own bed!

But out in the woods, ‘neath a tall redwood tree.
He now was a bear and why, NOW HE WAS FREE!

But he was only a cub, with Momma Bear by his side,
Who was rough and was tough and would not be defied!

She made him stay close, would not let him stray,
Always searching for food, there was no time for play.

And if he was lazy or gave her some flack,
She’d take her big paw and give him a smack!

They went to the river; he thought just to swim,
But she caught a salmon and gave it to him.

She told him to eat it, but that just wasn’t right,
He didn’t like sushi, but was not gonna fight.

He pretended to nibble, then tossed it down in the dirt,
And what happened next, GOSH it really did hurt!

Momma Bear wasn’t kidding or messing around,
But got very angry and knocked him flat on the ground!

She told him “ NOW EAT IT”, so that’s what he did,
But right then started remembering his life as a kid.

He thought back on his Mother, so gentle and sweet,
Who never would whack him or force him to eat.

He thought of his Dad who never got mad,
Even when Ted acted all bratty and bad.

Ted the bear just sat down and rubbed at his eye
he sure wouldn’t let Momma Bear see him cry.

No, this life as a bear was not easy or fun,
And he longed to wake up, the dream over and done.

But each day went on just the same as the last,
With poor ol’ Ted thinking of his happier past.

Soon it was winter, and it started to snow,
So Mama Bear said it was now time to go

Down into the cave, to sleep until spring.
Why Ted never had heard of any such thing!

He hated to sleep, he thought it was wrong,
One night was a lot, but months, THAT WAS LONG!

But Mama Bear grabbed him and settled him down,
With a smack and a growl and a big toothy frown.

So they huddled together in one furry heap,
And slowly poor Ted drifted off into sleep.

Well, he slept like forever, which wasn’t much fun,
Except for dreams of his family and days in the sun.

Then winter was over, it was time to awake,
To brush off the cobwebs, to stretch and to shake.

But when Ted looked around, he was happy to see
He was back in his bedroom - now he was free!

So the first thing he did was to say a quick prayer,
Happy to be just a boy, and not some stinkin’ old bear!

October 29, 2009

A Halloween Tale

This is a spooky little story poem I wrote in honor of Halloween. I hope you enjoy it!

I wandered lost upon some road,
A weary traveler far from home.
To come upon at daylights end,
A welcome sight to tired eyes.
A country inn, with windows bright.

“A fine place here to spend the night.”

I entered through the rough oak door,
But no one seemed to be about.
Just fire well laid, and on a plank
Fresh bread and cheese, with wine uncorked.
A note left in a spidery hand,

“Will return soon, please help yourself.”

“How strange?” I thought, but knowing not
The customs of this foreign place,
Sat down to rest, and to partake,
Near starved by my long trek abroad.
Yet, such quiet seemed an eerie thing.

"So odd to be here all alone."

No other travelers rested here,
But I soon was lost within my glass,
And nodded off with no more thought.
Then suddenly waking, oh so cold!
Rising up, I gazed about.

"What! Who's there? Be known to me!"

The fire out, the lantern dimmed,
And something not as it had been.
The table that had once been laid
With fine libations now lay bare,
And covered with a thin fine dust.

“I must be deep within my cups!”

Stumbling through the unlit rooms,
I found a bed to rest upon.
To lay my head, and gather thoughts,
And wait for morning’s saner light.
I barely closed my eyes when - there,

“That sound must mean the keeper’s back.”

The smallest footsteps, lightest rap,
A rustling movement overhead.
Slight scrabbling of small fingernails,
And then, much quieter came this plea,
A sigh so soft as whispering,

“Oh, please sir, won’t you let me in…”

My eyes flew open, and trembling,
Felt icy waves upon my back.
“Who’s there!” I begged, but no reply.
My heart beat wildly, then again,
That voice that brought on shivering.

“Come closer now and let me in…"

The rusted latch upon the door
Began to rattle, the wood to creak.
The curtain, caught by some faint wind,
Blew gossamer drifts in pale moonbeams.
And then much louder than before,

“You truly should have let me in!”

I felt quite faint, and stuck as stone,
Then patting pockets in wild array,
I scrambled for a match, to light
My mind, to reason on this night,
And bring some sense to what I felt.

“Where was this voice arising from?”

Finding but a candle stub,
A life vest to a drowning man,
I lit the wick and staring thus,
The bed that I had slept upon.
This room much different than before.

"This could only be a waking dream..."

In such disuse for many a year,
Cobwebs littered every spot.
With broken panes that now allowed
Dry brittle leaves upon the floor,
And droppings from some furry thing.

"This can't be true, I've gone insane!"


Shaking off my disbelief,
I knew I need make my escape
From something that was far from good.
An evil presence beguiling me, and
darkest happenings on this night.

“I must reach safety or surely die!”

I rushed headlong to reach the door,
Where once the latch had rattled so,
To find it gone, and in it’s stead
Rough nails to lock the door in place,
And every window boarded up!

"Lord, save me from this demon's grasp!"

I now reside within these walls.
No visitor here, but left to stay.
The “keeper” of sorts of some sad thing.
So, should you stumble by at night
Be sure to listen for my cry,

“Won’t someone please to LET ME OUT!”

October 20, 2009

Waterworld (RWP #97)


This experiment in "cut up technique" found poetry was interesting, but gave me a VERY rough draft. I do feel it was worthwhile as it allowed me to write something I may never have put on paper. Here is the finished product. At the end of the piece you will find a link that will show you where I "found" my muse. PS, I know it is a bit strange...

Dive overboard, this ship is not your friend,
the lighthouse but a dim reminder of the past.
Just relax, learn the waves.
Become one with the ocean,
as rain on shore falls gently, softly,
becoming one within the foam.
Float away, let down your guard.
Don’t envy solid ground,
with broken thoughts like jetsam,
reach out quickly -
away from all desire but the now.
Sink downward, let go,
towards the protection of the bottom.
-Yes, you’ll fight -
-hold your breath -
-break the surface-
Scream to flotsam and to space,
to midnight’s spinning stars.
Fight the absurd desire for life.
Give in to loss, then finally you can be free.
Dive, swim downward from all needs,
To the cold call of whales
and the squid's tentacled caress.
Allow your arms and legs
to take you to the end. Stop.

Click here to hear the song that inspired my piece.

October 19, 2009

Transformation

This is a recent autobiographical work...a lot of my poetry dwells on the past and being able to overcome...

Held captive as a
trapped small mouse
Shivering, panicked,
Heart beating wildly,
searching vainly for escape.
Toyed with, tortured
by a hungry tiger,
Forced to give
emotional nourishment
While starved for sustenance.
learning to feed on detritus and bile
To absorb the ugliness,
swallowing in thick sharp clots,
a dry, chalky barium that spreads inside
illuminating each hollow,
every unfilled corner,
Hardening to a brittle chrysalis,
Where transformation can occur.
Now healed and breaking free,
clawing outward, to
spread fluttering wings,
not those of a fragile butterfly,
But an armored warrior,
Tough, leathery pinions,
Steely scales and razor claws.
strong and invincible.
I will never be broken.

October 13, 2009

Terminal Illness 1 & 2 (RWP #96)

For this week’s “Wordle” prompt I decided to cheat a bit and not even attempt to use all those offered words. Instead, picking just one word that spoke to me, (Chelation) and using it as a jumping off point. I wrote this piece first, then thought, “Why not take this same idea and write it as a sonnet?” The sonnet version is directly under this first bit.


In violent spasms the poison enters,
consuming completely each innocent cell,
settling deeply, darkly within the heart.
First euphoria trickling slowly, methodically
down familiar pathways, ending in
gut-wrenching pain, praying for death.
The only cure - complete chelation.
Searching out and destroying
each minute pathogen,
Cleansing the marrow, the soul, to return
life’s blood to a pure, whole self.
But the healing never lasts,
this illness too addictive, a drug
that feels so good, but dooms so quickly.
There is always
one more germ, one more virus,
To ruin the health and addle the mind.
Ah, love…..
___________________________________________________

SONNET #2

In violent spasms that overtake,
A poisonous ailment we know so well.
It’s desire the mind and heart to break,
to thrust each victim into darkest hell.

Seeping within to our deepest marrow,
This deadliest germ of gut-wrenching pain
Leaving only tears, damp tracks of sorrow,
and craving addiction, left quite insane.

Thus the only hope for a healing cure,
Is cleansing the blood through strong chelation,
To leave each sufferer in his weakness, pure
finally free, in euphoric elation.

And yet to feel cast from heaven above,
Without this beast, the affliction called love.

October 08, 2009

A Double Dip of "Mash-Up" (RWP prompt #95)

I actually made two separate tries on this prompt, and am afraid neither one is a good example of what we were supposed to accomplish... In this first piece the un-italicized poem was written months ago, just added the other point of view to create a type of “mash-up”.

The Gift / I Thought

Long ago I gave you myself,
I thought it wasn’t serious.
Right off the showroom floor,
I thought I was ready.
The latest model with new car smell,
I thought I knew what I was getting into.
Shining and untouched.
I thought I was grown up.
Something you coveted, had to possess.
I thought I could handle responsibility.
Now, through rough and careless handling,
I thought everything would work out fine.
I’m worn out, scratched and dented,
I thought I wouldn’t have to be a man.
You began looking to trade me in.
I thought I could still be free.
To you I meant nothing,
I thought I could do what I wanted.
A cheap, used domestic model,
I thought you would forgive me.
A dead battery that just won’t turn over.
I thought you’d love me no matter what…
________________________________________________________
In this next piece (won’t really call it a poem) I took the prompt suggestion to a whole new level… The poem part is the beginning of every other line & the lines in BOLD are actual headlines.

I’ll Have Fries With That
Childhood Obesity at Highest level in US History

-Poisoned and bloated-
kool aid, skittles /high fructose corn syrup/ Ritalin Use Doubles in Last 10 Years coca-cola, yoohoo -Force-fed garbage and- “YOU DESERVE A BREAK TODAY” twinkies /sodium benzoate/ pop tarts, cup-a-noodles, twizzlers
-Mind-numbing lethargy-
Dietary Guidelines Allow Ketchup as Vegetable in School Lunches.”LEGO MY EGGO!“ cheetos

-An embarrassment of riches-
/partially hydrogenated vegetable oil/ popsicles "THE CHEESE THAT GOES GRUNCH"

-Hidden behind stupid choices-
/lucky charms, happy meals/artificial colors &flavorings/ "FINGER-LICKIN’ GOOD!“

-A nation of gluttons
- Type II Diabetes Epidemic Among Americans big mac /monosodium glutamate/ whopper,
pringles
-With little intelligence-
“MELT’S IN YOUR MOUTH, NOT IN YOUR HAND!“ spaghettios, deep fried gordita /sodium nitrite/

-Are killing the future-
Schools Cutting PE Across the Board stuffed crust, big gulp “CUCKOO FOR COCOA PUFFS”

October 06, 2009

Sonnet #1

(For the "New Formalism" group on RWP)

Last night in dreams I once again was free,
Afloat in heaven’s realm above man’s grasp.
The earth was naught but meaningless to me,
Unto my soul, abandon did I clasp.

To soar amongst the stars in darkest space,
To glide within cool oceans as a fish,
To run with stallions wild and give them chase,
To fly aloft on clouds would be my wish.

In sleep I break the bonds that hold me fast,
From everything belonging to the day.
The cloying rules and duties of the past,
I shrug off mighty chains and bound away.

At morning’s servitude and blazing light,
I lie and wait for magic in the night.

October 05, 2009

Escape

This is part of my "Regression Series" that I have been writing about my experience with regression therapy. Even if you think past-life experience is all hogwash, I hope you enjoy the poem just on it's own merit. This piece describes a woman from the 19th century in Ireland.

There is no peat, the stove is cold
and so the water will be like ice.
A sliver of soap is all that’s left, to scrub
the dirt from each small face.
Cold potatoes for some bare meal,
and each child fights for his own piece.
I’ve tried to teach them how to share,
and oh so many other things,
like God, their letters and ciphering.
But when I look into their eyes,
I see my husband’s dull, dark gaze.
He, who through his cloying ways
drew me into this ugly life of
Hopeless, endless, deprivation.

He’s now been gone three days, I’m sure
enthroned at the tavern, drunk on his pay.
The Great Man standing all his friends
another pint, while his family waits.
The priests council what they do not know,
to love, forgive, to acquiesce.
To wait for Heaven’s happiness, while
here is Hell on Earth, I know.
Hungry, cold, tired of the fight,
the children sleep in our lousy bed.
So blowing out the one small light,
I change my apron to one that’s clean
and shut the door upon my past.
I can’t save them but I can save myself.

September 30, 2009

Manifest Destiny (RWP # 94)

(My Angel & My Demon by Thomas Hawk)

The above photograph is the "prompt" for this week's poem. Clearly a close up of a foosball machine with the little red and white men. After studying it a bit, I had a “Eureka” moment. Having just traveled throughout the 4 Corners area of the US, land of the Zuni, Hopi, Navajo and Ute, I have been attempting some poetry on what I saw and felt in that region. This photo became a stepping off point for some of my ideas...


Across the horizon
in mist wrapped malignancy
something insidious
slowly comes closer.

"All things before me
are mine for the taking.
It's my God Given right
to conquer the savage."

With intractable whiteness
he travels relentlessly
absorbing all in his wake
and vomiting pestilence.

"Who is this pale demon
that believes he can purchase
a God Given country
with blankets and bloodshed?"

Fixed still as a statue
uncomprehending of danger
the red man continues
to watch his destruction.

September 27, 2009

I Am Someone

This is another of the autobiographical poems I was asked to write by my English teacher friend as an example for her class...

I’m a small scared rabbit,
hiding it’s head,
heart beating wildly,
hoping for salvation.

I’m a bright summer sun,
brightly illuminating
all I shine upon
and healing by my light.

I am a cold north wind,
bitter and unforgiving,
and an innocent smile
on a babies face.

I am gentle laughter,
and joyful banter.
Soft caresses,
and long wet kisses.

I am fresh baked bread,
rising soft and tender,
a warm fire and shelter
from the storm of life.

I am an armored warrior ,
striving to right
every wrong for all
who cannot fight.

I am a lowly ant,
gathering grain for the winter.
A destructive grasshopper,
living just for today.

I am torrential rain,
weeping down from heaven
covering the earth
with my sadness.

There are all these things
and more in me,
in a face well worn,
by a life well lived.

September 23, 2009

Fairytale (RWP Prompt #93)


For the prompt for this weeks poem, we were supposed to make up a story, fib, lie, bamboozle..(you get the drift). Writing this was so much fun! It only took seconds to decide what my poem should be…an old fashioned child’s fairy tale. This is for my three darling grandchildren - Emily, Tristan, and Clementine.


When I was but a child and left much on my own,
I’d roam far and wide, quite far from my home.
Into a cool quiet forest I’d travel to play,
Where I soon became lost there one soft summer day.

Frightened and tired in these woods oh so deep,
I lay down on thick moss near a burbling creek.
To calm panicked thoughts - to stop and to think,
but my poor weary eyes, they closed for a wink.

Too soon I was woken from a light fitful sleep,
By butterfly kisses on my tear -dampened cheek.
Then looking around, so amazing to see,
a large band of Fairies, just staring at me!

Tiny as hummingbirds, just hovering there,
Like a wreath they entwined themselves in my hair.
I stood very still, to show them pure trust,
Whereby they sprinkled me lightly with a shimmering dust.

Upon this anointing I became very small,
and looked to myself like a wee tiny doll!
Then those sprites gathered round and drawing me in,
Told me such secrets with their fey pixie grin.

They taught me their magic, they showed me the way,
Befriending this child on that warm summer day.
Together we flew with red robins and hopped on fat frogs,
Hid among toadstools and long hollow logs.

On squirrel backs we galloped up tall trees and down,
all the while giggling- a pixie can’t frown!
We feasted on berries, sipped nectar from flowers,
flew chase through gold sunbeams for hours and hours.

Sadly, soon it was twilight - I knew I must leave,
But one tiny fairy held fast to my sleeve.
“Come back to see us,” she trilled, as she gave me a gift.
“Use this dust to return here, it will give you a lift.”

Next she pointed me homeward, where I went on my way,
with a hope to return there another fine day.
Any time I was lonely, I’d think of those friends,
Then sprinkle some magic to be with them again!

In time I grew older, as all children will do,
and those magical visits became very few.
Only whenever my world turned to turmoil or strife,
I would escape to the fairies from the sadness of life.

Just a touch of their glitter and I’d be taken away,
to the land of those elfins, where again I could play.
Alas, I am old now, life’s race nearly run,
my days as a pixie are over and done.

But my playmate’s are waiting to make a new friend,
It would be a sin for this enchantment to end.
So if you believe that this story is true…
One day I may pass on this magic to you!

September 17, 2009

Waterfall Hike

(photo by John Short)
John and I rose very early this morning to drive 45 miles to Telluride for our final Colorado hike. It had rained very hard the night before with more in the forecast, so we didn’t want to miss our window of opportunity.
We were told of the 4 mile “Bear Creek” hike by our good friend Colleen, who had been here in July.
When we reached the trail head, the end of Pine Street in Telluride, it was a brisk 41 degrees and the air was wet from the night before. Not giving in to Mother Nature or our own weakness of wanting to stay warm and dry we departed straight up into the mountains.
The trail starts at 8745 feet above sea level and in 2 miles you travel 1055 feet higher, to 9800 ft. My legs were full of lead most of the way up and I made John stop with me several times to catch my breath and consider my sanity. Poor John, he is so patient and he carries the backpack! We plodded on doggedly, wondering like small children, “Are we there yet?” Until-finally 90 minutes later we were, and it was so worth it! A beautiful waterfall marks the end of the trail. We sat, enjoyed apples and cheese, and felt thankful that from there on in it was all downhill!

September 16, 2009

Starlet (RWP prompt #92)

(I felt this nasty little piece fit the prompt's offered words perfectly and I used all but two of them.)

Kohl rimmed eyes and plummy lips,
bottled blond mane and lacquered talons,
a counterfeit confection of delight.
Gossamer wrappings, flimsy nothings,
yet pushing, squeezing, torturing,
barely covering her only assets.

To own the stage, bask in limelight.
Hip-shot stance with arms extended
toss airy kisses and deep dropped bows.
Pretend humility and beg applause.
“Encore, Encore“ - a shower of roses-
Tearful admirers envious and awe-struck.

It’s but a slight remedy, a balm to soothe
the sleepless nights - keep out the banshees.
Small pittance of what she really craves,
compete and utter adoration.
To be the worshiped Venus,
the axis on which existence turns.

She is but an empty shell, a brittle husk,
art and artifice alone, no substance, no soul.
Dependent on conforming to
whims of fickle multitudes.
To quench an insatiable thirst, a junky’s fix,
the fleeting approval for
her meaningless existence.

September 15, 2009

The View From the Top

(photo by John Short)
After being given directions to a “nice little 3 mile hike with great views” from fellow vacationers we decided this morning would be the perfect time.
Well, it had great views, (breathtaking, actually) 360 degrees in every direction at the top of a mountain.
The trail we took is part of the “Colorado Trail” that loops for more miles than I know or could ever live to hike throughout the mountain ranges of the state. John and I started at the Grindstone trail head at 11,800 feet above sea level and then basically climbed straight up for nearly 1 ½ miles ending at 12, 300 ft. It wouldn't have been too bad, except for two things, the weather ( we were fighting sleety rain nearly the whole way up and the mud that went with it) and as we are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, we got off on the wrong trail which took us over 1 ½ miles out of our way!
At the summit, we were treated to a break in the weather and wonderful sunshine where we took pictures of the magnificent vistas surrounding us.
The photos of John look great, I look like 9 miles of bad road!
We didn’t see another soul during the entire hike, and in fact on the way back were discussing that in all that lonely wilderness we hadn’t come across any creature other than wild turkeys and grouse -- when we walked around a bend and standing right in front of us was a sleek and fat young deer. A two point buck with his antlers still in velvet. He didn’t seem afraid, and looked us over quite carefully before just sauntering away. That alone made the trip worthwhile…

September 14, 2009

Westward

As I am on vacation right now and have little time to finish any of the thoughts I have been pursuing, I thought I would re-run a piece I wrote a while back about the wagon trains and quest for westward expansion.

They rolled along relentlessly
All brave, some foolish,
optimists following dreams
across the far horizon.
In waves of grass and seas of sand,
piloting their prairie schooners
With gunpowder, hardtack
And barrels of whiskey.
Onward and westward
Canvas sails tying their hopes inside.

They came from the cities
And far distant lands
Dragging unwitting families,
And mountains of baggage.
Looking for prosperity,
And a cure for their wanderlust.
Little could stop them,
Not cholera, hailstorms or Indian wars.
Dropping their dead along the way in
Unmarked graves to litter the trail.

But if their livestock died,
that was catastrophe.
The dream stopped there.
Some gave up, sold off, turned back
To the life they knew before.
Broken and battered, but wiser by far.
Stubborn ones stayed, making the
Best of the broken wagon,
building cities from vanquished dreams.
Abilene, Chimney Rock, Laramie.

September 13, 2009

Colorado Hiking

Beginning of Priest Gulch Trailhead - Photo by Tom Harris

I know until now I have only been posting poetry on my blog, but thought some of you may be interested to read of our little adventure...


Our first full day in beautiful Colorado John and I woke before dawn after a giant thunderstorm with much rain. We wanted to get an early start to our hike. We took an over 5 mile loop trail called “Priest’s Gulch” in the San Juan National Forest. Starting at over 8000 ft. above sea level, in the first half of the hike, we climbed over 3000 feet in elevation through a series of switchbacks, ending up at a beautiful alpine meadow - the midpoint. We walked through a forest of Ponderosa Pine, Blue Spruce, and Quaking Aspen, whose leaves were just beginning their autumn turning. Lovely and delicate fall flowers were everywhere, from Queen Anne’s Lace and Rocky Mountain Daisy, to the delicate little lupine we call “Fairycaps” in a deep purple and red with pink spots. Woodpeckers, Blue Jay and Magpies kept us company, and until we were within the last mile we had the trail to ourselves.
Heading out, John let me lead, saying that he wanted me to not feel rushed and to go at my own pace. As we climbed higher and higher into the forest I came to realize that he wanted me in the lead so if we happened upon a bear, I would be closer and it could eat me first!
On the second leg of the hike we crossed two creeks, balancing precariously on rocks above the rushing water, and steep downhill legs that were quite muddy. Here I let John take the lead as I figured if I fell, I would roll into him and he could catch me!
Three hours later we made it back to our campground, nestled against the lovely Dolores River, (Spanish for “Mother of Sorrows“) safe and sound and very tired, where our pups waited patiently in our camp trailer. We congratulated each other on still being able (in our 50’s) to complete this trail without medical intervention. All in all a very satisfying first day. For dinner, grass fed beef rib-eyes and local Olathe sweet corn…..

September 09, 2009

2 for 1 Special - (RWP Prompt #91)

This week's Read Write Poem prompt was a tricky one for me... quite complex and involved some soul searching. I composed two separate pieces, the first was to describe something I never wanted to forget and was to encompass smell...!

Birthday


Disinfectant cannot contain
the slaughterhouse odor of blood,
sweat and amniotic fluid.
How can this death scent translate
into fresh beginnings?

I’m grabbing at hands,
my tearful husband to hold me,
awaken me from this nightmare
of never ending pain, that
rends me trembling and nauseous.

Bay rum assaults my nose
as the doctor hovers over
cajoling me, "One more push".
How can he smile, breath so fresh,
when all hell is breaking loose?

Somehow I muster from deep inside
a last bit of strength,
a last bit of desire
to finish this, and finally see what
this world of trouble is about.

Rapidly materializing, a gush of
sudden slippery releasing.
Exhaustion finds me full of
achievement and extreme relief
as I hear crying not my own.

My child, my daughter
thrust into this hard, cold life.
Dumped rudely on my breast,
to smell her newness, her
warm, fresh, beautiful existence.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This next piece is from the second part of the prompt - incorporating the photo below to write a "dream" piece about a memory I would like to forget.

(photo by Greg Fraser)

The Dream

Curled round the roots of
an ancient forest, under years of soil
and dry, crisp leaves,
lies the child, silently weeping.
Escaped to hide in this hushed grove,
this peaceful God place.
Damaged and alone,
Safer still than what was left behind.
But there is no cocoon here,
No true haven of security,
as the wildness comes closer,
screaming cruel insanity.

Why must destruction follow me,
nourished and dependent on my
bearing witness to it’s hateful dance?
I must run farther, I must soar free
from all unhappiness.
Through motes of light, the phoenix emerges,
coalescing gold and scarlet beauty,
with knowing eyes and
claws meant only to protect me.
I climb upon his armored back
holding tightly to his massive neck.
We are aloft, born away to safety.

September 08, 2009

New Mother

This poem is a recovered memory from a past-life regression therapy session I had a few years ago.  It is about an indigenous woman from North America at a time long before Europeans explorers came here.  I still dream about this frequently.

The baby lasted but an hour.
So small, so cold; no comfort here.
Too young I was, my womb unripe,
and Winter’s not the time for birth.
I’ll have another when it’s Spring.

The rain beats down, my hide is soaked,
and chafes upon my thin, sore frame.
So great a distance we have come,
Much more to tread before we rest.

Babies need a warm, soft sun,
with fragrant grasses to lie upon.
And mothers who have much to eat
for strength- and thick sweet milk to drink.
I’ll have another when it’s Spring.

The food is scarce; small leaves and seeds,
my mother, worried, shares with me.
I see far mountains up ahead,
these we must reach to find a home.

A cave, a fire, small game to eat,
a place without the beating wet.
With thick fur hides to rest upon,
to gather strength and mourn my loss.
I’ll have another when it’s Spring.

I stumble, shaking, and fall into
a small mud hollow beneath a rock.
The rain secludes me from our group.
For me there will not be a Spring.

http://cynthiashort.blogspot.com/2009/09/new-mother.html

September 06, 2009

This Can't Be Healthy!

I’m melting…melting…
The Wicked Witch of the West
has nothing on me.
Sweat pours off every inch,
stinging my eyes, rivulets
pooling into every nook and cranny,
soaking my clothes.
What was I thinking?
A desert rat hiking today,
slogging through half-set gelatin,
warm, thick and slimy.
Humidity rising up
in steamy vents from the
damp desert sand.
I plug along grumbling, while
quail, the only other creature
stupid enough to be out in this mess
laughs, calling me “Koo koo”.
The last push uphill to home,
dreaming of a long cool shower
and a tall iced tea.
(I’d rather have stoli straight
from the freezer…)

September 04, 2009

Self- Centered

While coming out of my business yesterday, I noticed this scene being played out in front of Starbucks. It hit a nerve and I had to write it down.

Fake fingernails,
impossible breasts.
A non fat half caff latte
in one hand,
Blackberry in another,
conceitedly tweeting.
Designer jeans,
diamond rings,
expensive weave
lacquered to perfection.
She hurries quickly
to the Beemer.
In a constant rush,
new friends to meet,
new things to buy.
Oblivious to the child-
a pesky fly -
a barnacle-
struggling to keep up
in cheap rubber thongs
Matted hair flying.
Just another accessory
Like her last cell phone,
Out of style,
bored with it.

September 03, 2009

Street Performer (RWP Prompt #90)


My offering for "Read Write Poem's" weekly prompt #90

Glazed eyes streaming- trembling
through plumes of smoke
his offering drifts heavenward.
Burnt flesh a written
declaration of sacrifice.
Praying it will be great enough
to bring forgiveness.

Mesmerized and mystified
onlookers toss offerings of
grimy coins and crumpled notes.
A smattering of applause-
Murmured voices of encouragement,
Such talent, balance and resolve,
a true performer
.”

He doesn’t even notice them.

September 01, 2009

Thoughts on a Pond

We are fortunate to have a koi pond in our backyard. Makes living in this dry place more bearable...These are some recent thoughts that came to me while spending some peaceful time pond-side.

Day

Koi glide through a liquid universe
each a satellite unto themselves.

Sparkling diamonds of sunlight
broadcast secret codes to infinity.

Wasps float upon an invisible skim
splayed legs stuck to the honeylike fluid.

Dragonflies flit and dip downward
dragging heavy tails along a golden surface.

Mourning doves bathe within green shallows
preening dusty feathers, a daily ritual.

Night

Sunset hued tropical blossoms
spew forth a heady, ancient fragrance.

Small desert toads poised on lily pads
trill their harmonious mating call.

Bats aerial maneuvers swoop and dive
vacuuming the air of mosquitoes.

Koi sleep silently among the rocks
submarines resting and recharging.

Swathes of moonlight paint each corner
With a silvery, fluorescent glow.

August 30, 2009

Where I'm From

I wrote this piece as a favor to a friend, a high school English teacher. She gave her students an assignment to write a poem describing themselves and their history, and wanted me to write one as an example of what they could do. I hope it helped her class, it helped me to write it!

I come from humble, accidental beginnings.
A twinkle in my father’s eye and
A mother too tired to save herself.
I come from a place where I was one last thought.
One more mouth around an already
stretched tight table.
But I come from far before that, too.
I come from Native Americans
Assimilated into foreign culture.
From European immigrants, coal-miners, union men.
From southern plantation owners
and keepers of slaves.

I decided early on to choose where I was going.
Not to the life prescribed to me.
The life of -“No girl needs an education”.
To reading and curiosity and educating myself.
The belief of- “You can never get ahead”.
To succeeding admirably from nothing.
The motto of -“Don’t ask for anything and expect less”.
To fighting and striving and getting what my heart desires.
From feeling unsafe and unwanted and in the way,
To being a parent who loved and was always responsible.
When I think of where I come from,
It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is what have I done so far,
And what else I can accomplish.

August 26, 2009

He's a Farmer 'Til the End (RWP Prompt #89)

We were supposed to find a news headline and write a poem about it. I happened upon the headline "He's a Farmer 'Til the End" from page 1 of the Los Angeles Times 08/21/09. I have always admired the hard work ethic and deep abiding love of the land that typifies a farmer so I decided to write from his point of view. I hope you enjoy it.

I'll be a farmer 'til the end
and the end is near upon me.
Too old and stooped from heavy years
of bending to my livelihood.
Can't count what's left in seasons now
Just hope to get this last crop in.
The wife passed on some winters back,
"to her reward" I heard it called.
But what reward could be so sweet
you wouldn't miss that rich, black loam?

This ground has been our family place
since old grandpa was just a lad.
The first bit from the free land grab
and more scraped up through long, hard years.
From countries far across the sea
we all came down from farmer stock.
To till and sow and gather up,
and love the dirt and rain and seed.
But something happened on the way,
now no one's left to carry on.

Our son took off for city life
to keep his wife who hates the farm.
One day he'll realize his mistake,
of picking something pale and small
in place of something green and great.
The girl married out, lives in town,
She brings her kids by now and then.
They sit around and play their games,
when all the fun they'd ever need
is in the barn or by the creek.

Once I'm finished they'll sell this plot,
divvy up and spend it away,
Never remembering where they're from.
I will be gone but the land goes on.
Then some other man, more like kin,
with grit in his nails
and steel in his spine
will take over and work these fields,
understanding the blessing
and the Godlike greatness underfoot.

August 20, 2009

ALL WRONG (RWP Prompt #88)

I had a brain freeze while trying to use any of the 14 words of the prompt. Then, after watching yet another press conference and nightly news broadcast, this little ditty came to me. I managed to squeeze in 11 of the words…

ALL WRONG

Hitched- up behind their podiums,
With perfect elocution.
Politicians fling out frothy platitudes
Spoon-feeding them to the gullible masses.

If you peek behind the curtain
You shall see the Puppet Masters.
Hustling and bustling and pulling the strings.
Ranting and raving and plotting new moves.

Next the Talking Heads regurgitate
With salacious grins affixed,
The now coagulated, rancid nonsense,
Co-conspirators to each coarse joke.

I for one am not amused.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 18, 2009

Johnson Canyon

This has always been a favorite place. Only about a mile from home, part of my late father-in-law's ranch.

The deep canyon opens to a small seeping pool
ringed by cottonwood, filaree,
and wild desert willows.
Their spent purple flowers
Cover the ground like confetti.

It’s considered to be a seasonal spring
and some of those seasons
are years in between. But the
toads come here, hide in the sand, waiting
for water to rise, and places to breed.

Settlers came here when the Indians fled
and built their life
among pottery shards,
They hand dug wells, built rough wood shacks
and stone corrals to hold in or keep out.

Wandering here by those long ago walls,
we treasure found horseshoes
and bits of lavender glass. An old iron shovel
still leans on a ledge, waiting for
a past rancher with fences to mend.

Today people drive in and
dump piles of their garbage.
Old mattresses, couches and washing machines.
In next generations, will those visitors marvel
on treasures now left here to litter the ground?

August 14, 2009

Two more Haiku

I wrote these while sitting up with my sick dog!

7.

japanese beetles
buzz loudly against windows
drunk on warm peaches


8.

thrasher beaks flick rocks
searching for buried treasure
a feast of earthworms

August 11, 2009

Backyard Summer

The buffalo gourd
crawls along the desert floor
offering small blossoms;
deep saffron cups,
unto the noontime sun.
A clutch of bees buzz languidly
among the flowers,
drunk on syrupy nectar.
Meanwhile, the small horned toad
rests patiently in nearby shade,
watching for evening.

6.

hibiscus blossoms
long yellow tongues unfurling
vulgarly taunt bees

5.

arial combat
metallic colors glinting
hummingbird warfare

4.

vegetable stir-fry
a cheeseburger fantasy
accosting my brain

3.

horseradish assaults
smacking my face, nose running
head explodes- more please

2.

cotton underwear
white, full coverage feels safe
no silk thong for me

1.

dung beetle rolls up
mistakes from a former life
too late for regrets

Not Alone

The ants hurry on, oblivious
to what has come before.
Their single-minded attitude
belies their seemed intelligence.

I watch them from the sidelines
looking for a knowing spark.
A glance, a wink, to let me
know that they're with me, I'm not alone.

Rarely when that glint appears,
At Last! a kindred soul that knows.
Someone else, their past revealed.
A soul not blind, but fully whole.

Vulnerable

The bravest thing I’ve ever done
Was show my words to someone else.
From long hard birth upon the page,
Would they understand and know my heart?
Then when praise was not forthcoming,
Grave doubts of who I am crept in.
Are my thoughts just dull and boring tracts,
And show the world my ignorance?
But I should know, there is no need
For confirmation of my work,
The greatest gift to give myself
Is just enjoyment of my craft.

Vampires (RWP Prompt #87)

This poem was written by me (under duress) for the Read Write Poem Prompt #87.
I chose the vowel sound of oo, and used as many of those dang words as I could fit!

Moonlight pools upon an empty tomb
as midnight’s Groom collects his brood.
To choose, to hunt -
wooing from the light some innocent,
a beating heart, alive, and new.
With soothing sounds and shrewd maneuvers,
they seclude into their reclusive gloom,
a tender beauty, with fullness of youth.
Proving cruel dominance
over earthly fools,
who are but food to the ghoulish troupe.

A long sharp tooth harpooning flesh -
a brutal wound. Blood let loose
as spooling ribbons of ruby fluid.
Swooping into their gruesome cocoon,
they feast upon her mortal ruin.
This luminous beauty, left bruised and blue,
drooped and swooning,
until the vampire Groom intrudes.
Looming down upon the doomed, mewling life
and removing her to his marble womb.
The next recruit - a bride - through which to live anew.