Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Location! Location! Location!

Location! Location! Location!

Are you buying a house?

From shacks to mansions
and everything in-between,
this poem will help you figure out 
what those "House for Sale" ads really mean.

"Cute and cozy" means postage-stamp size.
A "fixer-upper" means it's a sight for sore eyes.
"Waiting for your own decorating style"
means making it livable is going to take a while.

"Newly painted" means purple and orange from ceiling to floor.
"Inviting" means there are no locks on the front door.
"Quiet neighbors" means it is next to a cemetery.
"A backyard garden" means lots of weeding will be necessary.

"Quaint" means shag carpeting from 1972.
"A river view" means buying flood insurance
is something you'll have to do.
"Spacious" means high ceilings and high heating bills.
"Historic" means old plumbing, no air conditioning, 
and windows painted shut to their window sills.

So, before you sign on the dotted line.
Take my advice and inspect that house well.
You might be surprised by a thing or two,
because there's a lot more to a house
than what those real estate ads will tell.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Swimming Evolution

Swimming Evolution

As a child I swam 
with my brother and sister 
at the city pool.
It was our
summer vacation way
to keep cool.
At one o'clock
the gate would open.
The kids would file in.
Towels were spread out
on a patch of grass,
and the fun would begin.

We splashed, 
we swam, we played tag,
and we raced for plastic rings.
We dove 
for marbles, pennies,
and other shiny things.

At the top of the hour
the lifeguards 
would all blow their whistles loud.
We scrambled out of the water 
and to the snack bar,
trying to beat the crowd.

During the break, we dined like kings
on frozen candy bars
and potato chips.
We never once worried
that what crossed our lips
would pad our hips.

Now, when I swim,
it's in the pool
in my own back yard. 
I can swim any time I want.
I don't need a lifeguard
or a membership card.

But I dog paddle like an old lady--
partly floating on a pool noodle
to keep my head high,
because I want to leave my glasses on
so I can see,
and I want to keep my hair dry.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Callie's Sunny Day

This is a children's story poem that I wrote based on memories I have of kittens we had as pets when I was a little girl. It was also inspired by the beautiful, sunny weather we have been enjoying the past few days. Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone!

Callie's Sunny Day

Nosing through the grass
with kitten whiskers tinged in dew,
Callie the calico stepped lightly
where the dandelions grew.

The fluffy, white seeds tickled her nose
causing her to blink and sneeze.
The seeds floated away in the air
drifting on a warm, summer's breeze.

Callie saw Missus in the garden
picking lima pods into her basket of beans.
Callie purred and climbed into the basket.
Missus carried her along to pick some salad greens.

A beetle crawling through the dirt
caught Callie's curious eye.
She wiggled her backside ready to pounce,
until she saw a butterfly!

Callie jumped out of the basket
in excited pursuit of the butterfly.
It fluttered higher just out of her reach
and away and above into the summer sky.

The sun was warm on Callie's fur.
She settled beneath the pea vines for a nap.
There she purred and slept peacefully...
until her brother George, a ginger cat, tumbled into her lap.

She chased George a short way up a tree trunk
and then she bounded away.
She had too little time and too much to do
to be bothered with George on this sunny, summer's day.

A bird chirped at Callie
scolding her from high up in a tree.
Mighty Callie switched her tail and chattered,
"I see you bird. You better watch out for ME!"

Callie spent the day as kittens do:
chasing leaves and dodging little people feet.
She listened to the buzz of a bumblebee
and snuggled up to Mama Cat, warm and sweet.

She daintily stepped around a puddle.
She hid behind the tall grass--ready to stalk
a wee green and brown grasshopper
who was out for his daily walk.

The grasshopper got away,
but Callie didn't seem to mind.
For a calico kitten on a sunny, summer's day,
there is always another adventure to find.

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!