Tuesday, April 30, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 Inspiration's Best

Inspiration’s Best

For 30 days I have written
The poetry bug I’ve been bitten.
Daily prompts I’ve often followed,
Some with self-consciousness swallowed,
That Robert Brewer, and Napowrimo suggested
And Phil Kaye and Sarah Kay requested.
As time now runs out
A final poem I must put out
A word-smithed collection
Of impromptu inspiration.
The clock ticks down
But no words are found
So, I end as I been trained,
In speech it has been ingrained,
To finish with a summation
Of my best lines of inspiration.

  1. Her angelic touch imprinting a memory
  2. A permanent record of a living child, a survivor
  3. Yet petitioning prayers yield heavenly hints
  4. Then with each thrust of the wrist
  5. My heart is still going. I didn’t die during the night.
  6. If I could be me, I would speak.
  7. I give you virtue – to manifest humanity.
  8. Replanted row by row in scratched out soil.
  9. While placing offerings of food and water.
  10. Go skinny dipping with friends.
  11. While prayers echo off the walls
  12. The ridges and edges of a lover’s moistened skin
  13. Another 30 minutes. 30 minutes -30- ###
  14. Her fair cented heir flowing down to teas the heels of her fete.
  15. I fear that if you don’t take care, dear Jab.
  16. She stays up ‘til 2 or 3 – but only when it needs to be.
  17. A sister missionary posted a thesis on our door
  18. But instead, he is really quietly brilliant.
  19. Vaulting under timbers, swaying restfully.
  20. Searching skies for asteroids, astronauts, and airplanes.
  21. Who’s music sheets contain long periods of rest
  22. The clay castles in the concrete jungle have kept me busy.
  23. I love potatoes, but not microwaves.
  24. Horning in on flocks of hornbills at a watering hold.
  25. You are my Parthenon, my Basilica, … I am your Ponte Vecchio, your David.
  26. May I enter your courts with thanksgiving, shouting joy and praises to thy name?
  27. He knew me.
  28. Moments of meditation, mediation by modestly moving our minds.
  29. When little ones give gifts of dandelions or partial bites.
  30. A word-smithed collection of impromptu inspiration.

Monday, April 29, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - L


A big sister’s love plays
When little brother or sister
Want to pounce and jump.

A big sister’s love glows
When reading books together
For the twentieth time.

A big sister’s love endures
When loose lips and fists
Bring harshness and anger.

A big sister’s love inquires
When tears leak out of eyes
And sadness springs forth.

A big sister’s love receives
When little ones give gifts
Of dandelions or partial bites.

A big sister’s love takes
When danger or injury
Might result from carelessness.

A big sister’s love gives
When sharing toys or snacks
Gives joy to the little ones.

A big sister’s love teaches
When little brother and sister
Need to learn what love is.

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Divine Days

Divine Days

Sabbath, rest.
Jumu’ah, prayer.
Uposatha, cleansing.
High Sabbath, judgment.
Tsukinamisai, offerings.
Shmita, fallow.
Jubilee, release.

All people proclaim
The power of personal
And persistent pauses,
Moments of meditation,
Mediation by modestly
Moving our minds
Toward making peace.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Eugene


He knew trees by name.
He knew birds by song.
He knew plants by leaf.
He knew carpentry by father.
He knew plumbing by study.
He knew labor by example.
He knew humility by mother.
He knew courage by experience.
He knew honesty by heritage.
He knew people by observation.
He knew persuasion by practice.
He knew politics by passion.
He knew railcars by business.
He knew religion by reading.
He knew love by living.
He knew me.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - What is wanted?

What is wanted?

What is wanted?
Dearest Father, who art thou
That findest time for me
A sinful and worldly soul?
What is that?
Father, it is I, who am born again
Seeking to do thy will that I might
Be worthy of renaming as Abram and Sarai.
What is that?
Father, it is I, a child of goodly parents
Who taught and raised me to serve others,
That all might be raised to a higher place.
What is that?
Father, it is I, a disciple of your son
Who condescended that we might be live,
That the pure in heart may see thee.
What is that?
Father, it is I, whose health is failing,
Whose strength is fading in old age,
Seeking thy approbation for all eternity.
Blessed art thou, my son.
Father, it is I. May I pass through the gate,
May I enter your courts with thanksgiving
Shouting joy and praises to thy name?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Florence


My heart beats faster when I’m near you.
My legs shake, my body tremors, I can barely walk
Dizzied by the surging wave of your beauty.
I struggle to breathe in your presence,
Feeling faint, my love for you distills.
The ecstasy of your smile disorients me.
Sublime sensations stir hallucinations
As time stands still and flies by.
Your silky hair is the envy of women everywhere.
You are my Uffizi, my Basilica,
You are my Parthenon, my Louvre.
I am your Ponte Vecchio, your David.

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Page 921

Page 921

Could I write a Horatian Ode?
Perhaps with Horatio Alger effort,
Of honesty, hard work, and dedication.
A horde of writers, descending from Horeb
With handfuls of horehound might help.
The words are just beyond the horizon, for me.
Through hormic effort, with hormones balanced
I might gently sail through the Strait of Hormuz,
Around the Horn of Africa, playing my French horn,
While sounding the ship's horn at horned gazelles
Horning in on flocks of hornbills at a watering hole
Inundated by horned vipers.
Instead, however, I sit in Hornell
Watching a hornet buzz around my window sill.
No Horatian Ode today.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - My Identity

My Identity

I am KWH8-T4Z, son of 9VLY-VW8 and LJQM-8QS
Grandson of LZ89-3G7 and LZ89-3Y3, LZBB-1BV and LZB1-M95.
The government called us all 518s or 519s.
We lived in area 208 (and the area is still 208 today).
To reach me you asked for Cedar3-1580.
The mail came to RR3 83201,
My A1c is high, my BP is high, my LDL is low.
My account number and password are …
My recovery code is …
I have five active email addresses.

But alphanumerics are not who I am.

I am a tournament bowling and baseball winner.
I am a championship debater and oral interper.
I am a tabernacle singer and religious believer.
I am a strategic planner and crisis manager.
I am an assessment wizard and accomplished educator.
I am a PowerPoint pro and an early adopter.
I am an anxiety and imposter syndrome fighter.
I am a sexual being stuck in an old man's figure.
I am afraid of Lewy bodies, dentists, and being an airplane flyer.
I am lonely in crowds, and claustrophobia endurer.

I love cats more than dogs.
I love pineapple on pizza, but not chicken.
I love taco salads, but not with rice.
I love student work, but not grading.
I love driving, but not on flatlands.
I love showers, but not swimming.
I love naturist beauty, but not imposters.
I love riding trains, but not sidings.
I love potatoes, but not microwaves.
I love hugs, but not from strangers.

I am a son, a brother, a father, a grandfather, a husband,
I love you.

Monday, April 22, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - For Earth Day

For Earth Day

Mother –
Sorry I haven’t written lately.
The clay castles in
The concrete jungle
Have kept me busy.
I can’t wait
To come back home
To curl my toes
On your kingdoms of granite
And in creeks of cold water.
My kids remember
The conifer smells
From cooking foods you
So kindly provided us
Over campfires.
I can’t wait to see you this summer.
Love, PokyCricket.

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Double Reeds

Double Reeds

No person has greater love
Than the parent
Of a double reed student
Enduring 30 minutes of
Practice every day
From middle school
To high school.

No music student demonstrates
Greater love for an instrument
Than an oboe player
Whose embouchure
Is constricted by dental devices
Or whose reeds are hand trimmed
By a novice with an X-ACTO knife.

No music student demonstrates
More dedication to an instrument
Than a bassoon player
Who’s music sheets
Contain long periods of rest
Followed by fingerings that stretch
Hands to unnatural positions.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Star Search

Star Search

Laying on top of a sleeping bag with a soft plaid interior,
No tent between the stars and the freshly mowed lawn,
With no street lights down the gravel avenue,
Off the side of a side street off Johnny Creek Road,
The dark stained redwood sided house blocked city lights.
The gentle slope of the hillside and the dew-damp grass
Would make the synthetic-filled bag, pulled by gravity,
Slowly creep down to the pungent purple lilac bushes below.
An overweight cat circled around the boy and bag
Leaning his black and white head aside,
Brushing his cheeks on the edges and arms
With a loud purr that vibrated his entire head
And a swish of the tail starting at the base
And snapping like a whip to its very end.
Insects that had been loudly proclaiming
Their reproductive interests now sit silent.
Birds who were sharing stories of flights and fancies,
Now curled up in the tall tree nests for the evening,
A distant owl hoot slips through the cedar trees
Accompanied by a cool breeze
Floating down from the mountain above.
The stars’ brilliance flickering through the darkness
Revealing constellations of archers, horses, and bears.
The boy searched the skies above for falling stars,
Imagining the near miss landing in faraway oceans.
Occasionally he’d see lights crossing above
He guessed were helicopters, airplanes, or maybe
Apollo astronauts preparing to go to the moon.
Until one night, the lights swept low and stopped,
Then suddenly shifted in another direction, paused,
Then flew away across the southern mountain range.
Night after night all summer long he rolled out his bag
Searching skies for asteroids, astronauts and airplanes,
Hoping, but never again seeing, the unidentified lights.
When the dark was finally shattered by sunlight,
He tightly rolled up the bag just as his father taught.

Friday, April 19, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Aero Space

Aero Space

Zephyrs, yawing xystus workouts,
Vaulting under timbers, swaying restfully,
Quietly presiding over neophytes making lively kicks,
Jumps inside hyssop gates, finally
Embarking down colonnade bordered arches.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - W


"#Destructo" they say.
But instead, he is really
Quietly brilliant.

A senryu poem

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Redemption


On the edge of giving up,
Preparing to go home,
Crushed by the weight
Of repentance and deception
Tearing out my soul.
Cross-dressing prostitutes
Working the streets outside
While inside showers,
Only two minutes hot,
In a cold, dirty tiled pensione
With windows left open to
Assure we don’t die in our sleep
From a gas-powered oven,
Leaking in diesel and smog,
While exhaustion seeps out.
Knocking on infernal doors
With a mission companion I hated.
My fiancé touring by train
Just meters away – but
Denied permission to visit.

In this, my personal Gethsemane
A sister missionary posted a thesis,
On our door, written on the back
Of an A&W restaurant card,
To me declaring:

“I love the church
And I love all my brothers and sisters in it 
And I love you too.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - A


She curls up in closed closets – but not when eating brussels sprouts.
She eats olives on each digit – but not if they still have seeds.
She wraps herself up in tight cloth balls – but not when going out.
She goes outside to trampoline – but not in thunderstorms.
She reads books of every genre – but not in iambic penta-meters.
She speaks with theatrical voices – but not on Broadway (yet).
She loves to play games with words – but not words that end mt.
She plays French horns – but not in fields of corn.
She plays in honor bands – but not on ocean sands.
She dunks and dives in pools of water – but not with alligators.
She laughs and giggles contagiously – but not in early mornings.
She has a mischievous grin – but not when she is sleepy.
She stays up late doing who knows what – but not on school nights, right?
She stays up late on school nights too – but not ‘til 2 or 3.
She stays up ‘til 2 or 3 – but only when it needs to be.
She likes to sleep in hammocks too – but not when it’s on her bed.
She is a master of escaping crowds – but not while anyone sees.
She is fearless with her fashion sense – but not at a nudist camp.
She is, some say, GGs mini-me – but not in size of feet.
She was a Holmes Hedgehog – but not past grade five.
She became a Lefler Lion – but not for very long.
She is a Knight in training – but not yet on a steed.
She has been to Maine and back – but not on a sailing ship.
She is graceful when dancing – but not with nieces under foot.
She tires quickly when being photographed – but not if you’re quick.
She gives the bestest hugs – but not if she is climbing trees.
She is a kind and beautiful and loving child – no exceptions.

Monday, April 15, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Are you okay, Jab?

Are you okay, Jab?

Dear Jaberwock – may I call you Jab?
My father says you’re pretty scary,
That you wiffle well through tulgey wood.
I wonder, though, if you’re doing well.
Have you seen an ophthalmologist
About the burning in your eyes?
Have you tried a gastroenterologist
For that burble that I hear so loud?
You should see an orthodontist 
To help relax your catchy jaw,
And a manicurist can fix your claws.
I fear that if you don’t take care, dear Jab,
A vorpal sword may cut you down
Before you reach your prime.
The borogoves and I will wait for you,
Sitting beside this Tumtum tree,
While medicologists you seek.

#NaPoWriMo2019 - The Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps

In the deep of the knight she saled on her chili arc through the braking see waves,
Her fare cented heir flowing down to teas the heels of her fete, 
As she would right a lessen for her descendence of correctness and faith.

Headed back to Roam, her grate vessal preyed at St. Peter’s peer, 
Then she took her soared up the piazza stares to the bass of the thrown
And knelt at the feat of the hie Monti alter.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - 30


We need a wheelchair in ER
Have you taken any aspirin?
Get the leads on now.
Is the doctor on his way?
We need to get these clothes off.
No, this isn't heartburn.
I'm going to need to shave down here,
We’ll enter in the groin then move up.
Yes, this is real; it’s called a “widowmaker”
Another 30 minutes and you’d be dead
Another 30 minutes
30 minutes

Friday, April 12, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Joyful Senses

Joyful Senses

Yeast bread baking its final 10 minutes
The crackle of a campground fire
The ridges and edges of a lover’s moistened skin 
Smiles emerging from within an innocent child
A spritz cookie melting on the tongue

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Bedtime


Alone, in the darkness of my brain,
I pass through waning light of day.
As seeds of sleep gently rain
O’er the day’s restless replays.

From three screens visions alight
On glowing diodes of news and sports 
Like the neon gods that split the night,
Keeping silence from finding port.

Within the darkness, griefs arising,
Yet none is there to hear their cries
My voice calls out without speaking,
Drifting words away to starlit skies.

One by one the screens go dark
As the silence, like cancer, grows
My teardrops crush dying sparks
Fading away on a dampened pillow.

While prayers echo off the walls
That silence ends, and life renews
But no one’s there to hear the calls
And the brain’s darkness grows anew.

The seeds of sleep still rain down
While foolish dreams drown away
The body’s battle, tossing around
‘Til silence overwhelms the day.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Kicking the Bucket

Kicking the Bucket

Thinks I would not like to do:
Jump out of a perfectly good airplane for any reason,
Live in Causton, Midsomer County,
Jump off a perfectly solid mountain in a wingsuit,
Ride the Dalton Highway with Alex Debogorski,
Jump off of Gilligan’s Island at Lake Arrowhead,
Hang out at Alex Honnold’s workplace.
Eat sushi.

Thinks I would like to do:
Reach the top of Wild Mountain,
Float in a swimming pool,
Cruise a California Highway 1 road trip,
Return to Paradise Hot Springs,
Go skinny dipping with friends.
Find John Handley’s family,
Hold my great-grandchildren.

An homage to Sei Shōnagon

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Rama


From his perch on vaulted beam
A pretender to the house of Mahidol
Watches his kingdom below, 
And the court of domestics
Fearfully avoiding his talons
While placing offerings of food and water
In bowls carefully placed at his padded feet.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - The Garden

The Garden

Beside a dusty gravel path, 
Just 30 yards from an old school road
With barrow pits and squirreltail patches,
Rests a garden of souls from Nordic climes
Replanted row by row in scratched out soil.
Their grass frame markers reveal a variety of species
Like Esther and Edith, Mansel and Marilee, Oliver and Orlando.

Seeds of Söderholm and Björkman, Lundstrom and Adolfson
Now scatter wide, blown by the wind to far away counties.
Yet their forgotten roots run deep 
Beside the banks of the Kalix and Snake Rivers,
And in the shadow of tall pine trees 
Beside a dusty gravel path
In a humble garden plot.

Monday, April 08, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - C


Beloved, I gave you a mother,
In our names, you find a family,
But our earthly rotations are limited, and
My days are nearing completion, while
Your days of independence are just beginning, so
I bring you heartfelt gifts I wish upon you:

I give you faith – in a higher cause,
That your life transcends generations.
I give you hope – in a brighter future,
That your joy might be unlimited.
I give you courage – to stand for yourself,
That your sacrifices have meaning.
I give you strength – to endure life’s struggles,
That your weakness can be overcome.
I give you peace – to conquer the drive for perfection,
That you find comfort in who you are.
I give you charity – to have compassion on others,
That you embrace the weakest among us.
I give you virtue – to manifest humanity,
That you recognize the value of others.
I give you knowledge – to understand and explain,
That your service can be productive.
I give you patience – to empower family and friends,
That you may be found among the disadvantaged.
I give you my love – a love without bounds,
That you comprehend faith, hope, courage
Strength, peace, charity,
Virtue, knowledge, and patience.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - IF


If I could speak with no fear of reprisal
Religious leaders would hear of exclusion, and
Political leaders would hear of inclusion.
If I could force people to listen
Employers would concede the violence of greed, and
Congregations would honor the divinity of equality.
If I could speak honestly
Misogynists would learn that we disagree, and
Racists would learn they’re not welcome here.
If I could openly share what’s in my heart
Ministers would see hidden suffering, and
Relatives would share in tears of distress.
If I could be me, I would speak.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Waking Up

Waking up

The pain is still there.
Keep your eyes closed.
What time is it?
Is she still here?
What day is it?
Keep your eyes closed.
What was I dreaming?
Something about a passion pit.
We were watching a movie.
Who was that with me?
Keep your eyes closed.
I’m still breathing.
My heart is still going.
I didn’t die during the night.
The pain is still there.
Keep your eyes closed.
Thank you, God, for another day.
No, not now bladder.
Keep your eyes closed.

Friday, April 05, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Darkroom


In the pitch-black room
Gently grasp the entire surface,
Allowing it to roll between your fingers,
Seeking out that central spot, the springy edge
Between grasping for air and hanging on as the pressure builds.
Pressing gently, softly insert the tip of your finger in the vacant space.
Then, while one hand caresses the ribbed sides,
One finger slides, seeking each millimeter for the middle
Rolling around slowly, firmly feel for the nub
Making sure to be perfectly positioned.
Then with each thrust of the wrist.
The rotating touches spreads wider
Building edge upon edge bigger
Until the climactic moment
When the physical release
Absorbing all the energy
Confirms your goal
Is done.

*Or how to roll film onto a reel for tank developing.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Revelation


A church controlled by divine direction
Is inherently a flawed fixture
Of human hubris in policy proclamations,
Yet petitioning prayers yield heavenly hints
For faithful followers who seek synchrony
Between patriarchal pronouncements that inflict injustice
On minorities, women, and the queer
And the majestic wonders of Heaven's sphere.

#NaPoWriMo2019 - Orlando


From within the familial vaults of trivial tales,
Buried among fading clips of newspaper ink
Safely stored in plastic pockets,
Beside the names of mostly forgotten relatives
Inscribed on the back in permanent marker,
I sit.
My collodion chemical creation
Embedded on a solid metal plate
Preserved by poisonous potassium cyanide
A permanent record of a living child, a survivor
In a family where most died in their youth.

#NaPoWriMo2019 - 1120 Orlin

1120 Orlin

Next door to a cousin’s home
A neighbor girl’s massage
Lifted my puber soul
From earthly constraints,
Her angelic touch
Imprinting a mem’ry
Eternally sought since
But never duplicated.

2019 National Poetry Writing Month

Six years ago I challenged myself to write 30 poems in 30 days. It was difficult and most of the poetry was probably really bad. But the exercise was helpful for me as there are so many ways in which my life lacks creative energy. So this year, 2019, I have accepted the self-imposed challenge again. I may not post every day for a variety of reasons, but I will write every day. If you, dear reader, don't find joy in the poetry I create ... at least find encouragement in taking risks.

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge some sources of my imagination and inspiration: