Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sounds of Summer

Sounds of Summer 

Do you hear the ice cream truck's rinky-tink jingle,

the electric fans whirring up a breeze,

and the splash from a backyard pool?

Looking up, the sun's so bright, it makes me sneeze.

The "ffft, ffft, ffft" of the yard sprinkler

is keeping the grass green.

A lazy fly buzzes in the window,

bumping up against the screen.

A motorcycle roars by and, for a moment,

drowns out the robin's song.

It's another reminder to take delight in the day.

Summer is fleeting. It won't be staying long.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ovillejo Poetry: The Answer, Father's Day, My Flowers

For this post, I attempted to write some poems in the poetic form known as Ovillejo. I was reading about this form, and it was new to me, so I decided to give it a try. I found it to be much more challenging than I expected, but I did finally come up with the following three poems. They felt forced to me when I wrote them, but I think I followed the rules, and it was interesting to try something new. For more examples of this type of poem, read this post and the comments that follow it. Their examples are much better than mine.

Ovillejo poetry is written in the following form:
Line 1: an a rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 2: an a rhyme in 3-4 syllables

Line 3: a b rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 4: a b rhyme in 3-4 syllables

Line 5: a c rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 6: a c rhyme in 3-4 syllables

Line 7: a c rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 8: a d rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 9: a d rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 10: (Line 2) (Line 4) (Line 6)

In other words, it is a ten-line poem that is comprised of three rhyming couplets and a quatrain. Lines two, four, and six are repeated to create line ten.

This first poem is somewhat of a response to all the sadness that has been in the news lately.

The Answer

Best route to peace? Both hers and his?
Kindness is.

What will end hate, dissolve anger?
The answer?

Having compassion is our call.
Above all!

Build a new bridge. Tear down the wall.
Communicate. Have empathy.
Look through their eyes. See what they see.
Kindness is. The answer. Above all!

        *     *     *     *     *

This next one is a small nod to Father's Day this weekend. Happy Father's Day to any Dads who might be reading this.

Father’s Day

Who’s there for you when times are bad?
Dear old Dad.

Head and shoulders above the rest?
He’s the best.

What’s the right thing for you to do?
Say thank you!

On Father’s Day, if you’ve no clue,
give Dad some love straight from your heart.
He has been there right from the start.
Dear old Dad. He’s the best. Say thank you!

     *     *     *     *      *

This last one is about the flowers growing in my yard of late, just because they bring me so much joy.

My Flowers

What brings me joy in every hue?
My flowers do.

What do they do all in a row?
Nothing but grow.

Why do they bloom triumphantly?
To please me.

For the butterflies, bees, and me.
They show off in color and style.
They stay for a day or a while.
My flowers do. Nothing but grow. To please me.

     *     *     *     *      *

So that you can enjoy my flowers too, here are a few photos of what is in bloom lately.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Summer's here!
Time to take a trip.
Pile all the family in the car.
"Are we there yet?"
"Don't start asking that already!
We haven't even gone very far!"

"Mom, he's looking at me!"
"He looked at me first!"

"Would you two please try to get along?"
"We're bored! What can we do?"
"Play the alphabet game or twenty questions,
or maybe you can sing a song."

I'm not sure who first thought 
that family vacations were a good idea.
"Hey, let's drive for hours together in a cramped space."
It doesn't take long 
until we get on each other's nerves,
and  in each other's face.

I guess it never occurred to us
that contempt 
is bred by familiarity.
After this vacation,
maybe next summer, 
we'll plan to get away together...separately!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pink Clouds Over Kmart

Pink Clouds Over Kmart

Peaceful pink clouds float along
in the bright blue sky over Kmart.
Inside, frazzled shoppers toss clothes 
 from clearance racks into a cart.

Blue collar workers, struggling to make ends meet,
clutch their coupons and look for a great buy.
When they came in, they didn't even notice 
those wispy, pink clouds drifting above the store 
in that blue, blue sky.

Their faces are pinched and distracted.
As they leave, they are lost in thought.
Already they are worrying
about the money they just spent
on all the things that they bought.

They're searching for happiness 
through retail therapy, 
but they have yet to realize
that true joy isn't found in a shopping cart.
If only they knew, they might find delight
in the soft pink clouds drifting by 
in the blue, blue skies over Kmart.

*   *   *   *   *

I snapped the photo above with the camera in my phone while riding by in the car. I thought the pink clouds were pretty, and I liked the way they stood out against the blue of the sky. I took the shot below just a few seconds later. I was quite surprised to see how differently the second shot came out in comparison to the first. In reality, the sky was blue not pink, but this is how the picture came out. I did not, to my knowledge, change any settings on the phone to make the photo look this way. I also did not edit it to make it look this way. I don't know why this photo turned out like this, but I liked it, so I decided to share it with you. To me it almost has an eerie retro or lost-in-time kind of feel to it.  Maybe the imaginary shoppers in my poem above would have noticed the sky if it had been pink!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Time Out

Time Out

It’s been a long day.
Junior has broken every rule.
Mommy has put him in time out.
He’s sitting in the corner on a stool.
She steps back to survey the mess. 
Crayon marks are on the wall 
in red, green, and blue.
Toys are thrown 
in every corner of the room.
Mommy whimpers a little. 
She needs a time out too.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone! 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Whipped Cream Trees

Whipped Cream Trees

White-blossomed trees 
line the street
appearing overnight 
like a dream.

They look as if 
they've been festooned
with cotton lace, popcorn, 
or maybe...whipped cream.

Branches make canopies over the walk:
fragrant, delicate, and sweet.
A slight breeze stirs up a few white petals 
that float down like wishes,
drifting across the path at our feet.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On the Defensive, That's Just Silly, and Last Cookie

I'm continuing with poems written from prompts. The prompts for today's post were: write a "defensive" poem,  write a "silly" poem, and write a poem with the title "Last ____ (fill in the blank)." Truth be told, I think all three of these poems ended up fitting into the "silly" category, but here goes. 

On the Defensive

You can’t blame me, Ms. Mosquito.
You gave me no other choice.
You, with your dive-bombing needle nose,
and your annoying, whiny voice.

You attacked and put me on the defensive.
I’ll tolerate no more bites from you.
You’re an itchy nuisance.
Farewell, Ms. Mosquito. I bid you, adieu!

*   *   *   *   *

That’s Just Silly!

Have you ever seen a giraffe wearing a scarf?
Imagine how long that scarf would be.
Have you ever heard a toad play a saxophone?
Now that would be something to see!
What if pigs carried parasols
to protect them from the sun?
What if cows could dance a jig?
Wouldn’t that be fun?
Chase those cobwebs out of your brain.
Let your imagination run free.
Don’t be afraid that someone will complain,
“Oh!  That’s just silly!”

 *   *   *   *   *

Last Cookie

You took the last cookie?
How could you? I was saving that for me!
I was going to enjoy it
with a nice cup of tea.
Oh well, never mind.
You won’t hear drama from me.
I won’t make a fuss.
I won’t whine and cuss.
I’ll just have an apple instead.
No chocolate chips, no crunchy nuts,
just healthy fruit...
grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter, munch.