Shelter in Place Haiku

Alone, together

We play at isolation

Without a game plan

The ground rules have changed

Practice social distancing

For the greater good

In this brave new world,

Every minute a bell tolls

We listen alone

A Facebook friend said she needed sheltering-in- place haikus. I was happy to oblige.

Love Poetry

Several of my blogging friends write beautiful poetry. I give it a go now and then, but I really don’t know what I’m doing. It seems there’s more to composing a poem than merely slapping some words down on paper and trying to get the last word in every other line to rhyme. Go figure. Although,

Roses are red

Violets are Blue

Sugar is sweet

And so are you

Always makes me smile.

I want to share a favorite love poem by Pablo Neruda.

Translated from Spanish by W. S. Merwin

I cannot explain why I love this so much. Is it the melancholy? The imagery?

Is there a poem about love that makes you sigh? One that makes you want to stare longingly out the window while watching sunset’s fiesta? Tell me about it.

Peace and love, people.

Loves Me; Loves Me Not

Petals plucked in time

He loves me; he loves me not

Anticipating

Seek daisy’s wisdom

But choose your flower wisely

Odd numbers suffice

A garden’s bounty

Yields answers; questions results

How dare blossoms lie?

(After I published this I looked back in my archives and discovered another poem I’d written with the same title. The original is better, I think, but it made me laugh. It was bound to happen sooner or later.)

The Dust

I know a thing or two about dust

A Texas panhandle childhood taught me its sting on the playground

Grit-filled eyes and sandblasted legs

Days of dust

And tumbling weeds

When gray choked skies obscured and

Scouring winds grew teeth

I thought that was how the whole world worked

Nature’s castigation

For our sins.

(I do not miss those days.)

The Right Word

I wonder

Is there a better word than dappled

For the way the sunlight plays through the trees, speckling the road?

Variegated is all wrong; unless one is speaking of yarn,

And motley only makes me think of clowns or crews.

Discolored doesn’t work, suggesting there’s been a mistake, and make no mistake–

Dappling is perfection; poetry in shadowy motion.

Flecked? Checkered? Parti-colored? No!

Stippled? Perhaps. I could work with stippled.

Still, dappled comes to mind first, when I crest a hill and see the canopy of trees

Filtering the light on a sun-kissed day, painting abstract patterns on the pavement

And peace in my soul.

Peace, people.

The Write Stuff

Almost every day for more than four years I’ve written something and posted it on WordPress. In the beginning, just pressing the “publish” button was enough to make my blood pressure rise and my palms perspire. Would my words be good enough? Did I have the “write” stuff? What if someone publicly laughed at my incompetence, told me to go back to knitting potholders?*

I used to worry about stats. There were awful days in the beginning when only two or three people, mostly relatives, took the time to read my blog. Then, slowly I gained a few followers, and I began reading others’ blogs and becoming part of a community of writers, until finally I forgot about the nerves and the stats and just wrote. Nowadays I’m liable to hit publish before I’m even finished with a piece. Yeah, I’m laidback like that.

Over the holidays, I took a big step (for me) and submitted a few poems to be considered for inclusion in an anthology about vultures. Yes. Vultures. When I saw the theme I laughed out loud and commented to a blogging friend that I practically live in Vulture Land.

“Then you should write that!” he replied.

I felt as nervous submitting those vulture poems as I did my first few days of blogging. I’m terrible at following instructions–and wasn’t sure I was doing everything as prescribed. Had I successfully removed all identifying information? Were my margins correct? Would my cover letter be too angst-ridden or needy sounding? After walking the floor for a good half hour, I finally clicked the send button.

And now I wait.

*In the first month of blogging a reader told me to cut the bullshit and stop being so cute. In reply I said, I’m sorry, but this is my bullshit, and I can’t help being cute.

Peace, people.

Hung Out to Dry

Yesterday I posted a link to my friend, Julie’s blog post that featured her photo (below). Just in case my readers didn’t click on the link, here’s the poem I wrote to accompany the photo.

“Hung Out to Dry”

Passion had its way with her

Swept her up

Cast her about

Until she was

Strung out,

Wrung out,

Hung out to dry,

Swinging from tenterhooks

For all the world to see.

A lesser woman might’ve

Given up,

Shriveled up,

Dried on the vine,

Not she, no for

She claimed her place,

Staked her bets and

Stood on her own two feet.

Unbound.

Inspiration and Collaboration

The work of my photographer friend, Julie Powell, whose blog can be found at juliepowell2014@wordpress.com, inspires me. Her work is often playful, sometimes edgy, and always beautiful.

Occasionally my mind runs along similar paths as Julie’s, and I’m moved to write a piece in response to her art.

I hope you’ll click on the link to Julie’s post and my poem.

https://juliepowell2014.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/hung-out-to-dry-by-leslie-noyes/