For this and more, I give thanks.

This year, I’ve discovered poetry. Yes, of course I knew of its existence previously. I had even rhymed and waxed on about a few words. But now, I delight in it.  I often participate in the biweekly Quadrille prompts over at d’Verse Poets Pub.  It’s a lovely way to shake up my thinking and staid, stale writing habits.

I’ve settled down. I know I’m slower but I tell myself it is because I’m more deliberate in my actions. No flitting, no flouncing, no sudden movements.This includes my thinking. No flitting or sudden movements of thought either. What a relief. Maturity has settled in and I’ve made it my friend.

I’ve realized the beauty in engaging others help. This actually began a couple of years ago when I called in 1-800-got-junk to take away the inherited broken patio furniture on my balcony. Three eager young people arrived, took it away, swept the balcony thoroughly. They insisted I just sit (playing to my strengths there) and point out what needed doing. Here’s the thing. I’d worried about that ‘stuff’ for a long time. It was a burden. When they took it away, I realized just how much it had bothered me. I pledged to myself to take the kinder, gentler way from then on: ask for help when I need it.

Quiet. It’s been months since I turned on the television. While I have always enjoyed listening to the news, and watching old movies, the noise of tv stresses me. When I get home from work, I like calm quiet (as much of it as a city neighbourhood can provide). I keep up to date through online sources, and at low volume.

Vegetarianism. I don’t think I can label myself truly vegetarian as I still eat seafood. But, the label isn’t as important as taking the action. It was a gradual change but one I felt called towards. I’m not an exciting vegetarian, I’m a mundane one. No fancy recipes, no moves to become vegan. Just me. Me and my carrots.

For all this, I give thanks.  In celebration, here’s Yo-Yo Ma, with Kathryn Stott, playing one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. The Swan encompasses the seasons in the arc of a life. At least that’s what I think. Perfect for autumn and Thanksgiving.

 

Leapt

Itching to know the cool breeze upon her back, urging her.
To herself be a verse of possibilities rather than the chorus on repeat,
She answered yes to questions she’d dared not say aloud.

Then as they slept, she crept,
Leapt.
And walked away.

d’Verse Poets celebrate 7 years online with this quadrille prompt: itch

Constant

Let the breeze billow the curtains,
Let the light and warmth favour us,
Let the joy tickle our bare skin.

We may doubt this glorious constant,
But nature’s life cycle, renewing possibilities, revisiting brief serenity,
Repeats until we are no more. Then repeats again.

Crumbling

Many’s the night you’ve walked these same miles, without ever lifting from your chair.
Dreams like loosed cobblestones, a path crumbling underneath your worn, hobo shoes.
Brief solace sometimes sought, diversions for your wearied soul.
Slippery side streets and names you no longer remember.

This week, dVerse Poets provided the Quadrille (44 words) prompt word: cobble.

Rut

You find it a bore most days. Fifteen years in an indelible ink rut. You keep your head down and get on with it: tramp-stamping nineteen year olds, piercing the folds of chubby bodies, asking drunken longshoremen if they want it spelled M-o-m or M-u-m. You grind your teeth every time one of the morbidly tattooed requests another skull.

You’re thinking of that and you’re thinking of nothing as you clean the machines in the back, when the bell clangs purposefully against the shop’s front door. You step through the strings of beads to check out who’s come in.

You see him waiting by the poster of Janis Joplin. A waifish sort. Pale with red flushed cheeks. Black hair that makes him look paler. You’re about to tell him you don’t tat minors, when he reads your mind and produces photo identification. He wants a tattoo before he enlists. Not only has he got i.d. but he’s also got cash.

You walk him to the client room and ask him if he knows what he wants. He pauses, then pulls a piece of notepaper from his pocket. It’s folded into precise eighths and he takes his time revealing the image he’s drawn. At first you think he’s kidding. It’s hardly an appropriate brand for an army recruit. But he’s not kidding and he won’t be deterred, even after you tell him it will be three hours and five hundred bucks.

By the time you’ve finished, you’re perspiring and feeling light-headed. You pretend it’s from the ink fumes. You take his money and say goodbye.

As he heads out the door, you thank him for lifting you up out of your rut today. Then a cry catches in your throat. And as you watch him disappear down the street, you silently plead to whoever is listening that if that boy gets stuck in a rut, in whatever land he’s bound for, those full-size angel wings now so delicately inscribed on his pale freckled back will lift him up and bring him home.

***********

This piece was written about 5 years ago. The only time I’ve tried second person point of view. A shout out to my friend Edward Lorn for reminding me about the power of second person and how darn difficult it is to get right. Edward is doing a series on his Youtube channel called ‘From the Desk‘ that provides extremely valuable insights for fledgling writers like me, you, us.

 

Submerge

He didn’t glance back before falling forward
Into the still unknown of shocking cobalt.
Crystalline blue.

No one there to fuss or hold him
No one to cry out at just the right moment
Into the midnight afternoon breeze –
Please stay.

For those he’d loved always, eventually
Let go of his hand.
Left him stranded.
Cast away.

And when he realized this, his fate
He’d grieved. Hardened.
Become impenetrable stone.
Then (against even the quirkiest laws of nature)
Frozen to fragile ice, cracked, shattered.

If not submerged within this serene, sharp sapphire
Where else was he meant to be?

Written for dVerse, an ekphrastic poem responding to a work of art. Here that work is a beautifully complex, yet simple, evocative painting by Fay Collins

Zip-line

Zippo snaps, sparks the flame,
Essential for this daily tinder routine.

Zig zags contain dusty, seedy remains of
His birthday stash from Lex and Jean.

Dad’s lighter, used over years
Engraving’s worn off and disappeared.

What a crazy old ride from cigar to spliff.

Photo by Evan Phillip on Unsplash

Written for this week’s quadrille prompt on d’Verse: use some form of the word ‘zip’.