Poetry Marathon Submission #12

"I am absolutely going to find you."

You left with my bag of books.
I had testing tomorrow, and you ran off.
I took my shower, washed my hair.
I made a snack for both of us.
On the table it was all set for you,
right next to the hot dogs with relish,
I left the book right there.

I'm ruminating about this whole thing.

I had no idea you would leave me.
After all, we were going to study
for tomorrow. You're in the same class.
Now look, I don't know you picked the book up.
Maybe you did it by accident,
but it was the only book there.
You might have been cleaning up the table.
That would have been kind.

I'm ruminating about this whole thing.

So, I'll go out and pick up the ice cream.
My favorite is peppermint creme,
and sometime before I get back, I want 
you to know, that you can put this book back.
I'm not a hysterical roommate.
But I will say this again...

I am absolutely going to find you.
I'll be ruminating about this whole thing.

Poetry Marathon Submission #11


Background on Mars is black.
Stars bound. Gas sings in sibilant color;
Red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange. 
A heaven worth of Skittle's.
Heaven born rainbows, freed from Earth.
Vast and breath catching,
frozen in the shade,
the universe encapsulates the planets.
Comets sling off meteoric tails,
Sending the burning to their death,
Or tailing them along in the distance.
Clouds, quarks, crystals, suns,
X-rays and the decay of atomic
Nuclei, penetrating gamma rays,
Alph waves and beta waves,
Cosmic Rays to destroy,
electromagnetic radiation
must be protected again.
Humans cannot stand before it,
in their most base form.
Someone speaking out about the effects
Of Earth's plant and animal life says"
"So far we are alone, just us."
Perhaps on Mars there were some bacteria,
Perhaps RNA and DNA were born in a puddle 
that dried under the supervision of rays.
A moving, living system of forces,
That smells like raspberry 
and tastes like rum.
I'm told that life is encouraged to live,
here out in the Universe around us.
Containing rays at light speed,
Gravity to move ships, rocket flight,
Shuttles and homes afar,
This is my dream: to live, to see.

Poem Marathon Submission #10

It's Not a Fair Request
Ann WJ White

The song reverberates around the soothing sound of music.
People nod and hum along, 
A song of loss, but acceptance.
I will not accept.
My heart beats with a slide, a murmur,
the wall thickens, the prison fights back.
The stenosis of my heart
bleeds, can't hold the blood,
Must be caught out and removed.
The only way to survey is not
to give into the pain,
but to fight it.
To growl and mask a face like
a wild animal. 
I can't let niceness win.
This is my life.
A open heart surgery.
A chest opened, without the ability
of medication instead.
At the moment that the calcium 
in my valve fixes itself shut like glue,
I am dead. 
I won't celebrate that.

My brain fuddles around, killing itself.
It takes aim at the immune cells
the T and B cells.
There is a riot in my brain.
If a virus or bacteria
scoots in along the white matter, if it 
remembers the formulation in the DNA.
The white blood cells will leapt
forming a battle against 
anything that doesn't belong, even stress.
Stranger danger!
The brain will attack medications
that have similar DNA.
I can't sit and listen 
to a healthy punk tell me
how grateful I must be.
I fight for every day of my life.
I can't be healed with medicines,
they can only try to shut it down until
the next circus that my body brings forward.
It's called Multiple Sclerosis,
with a pandemic, virus, stress or germ
my brain can be shredded. 
A puzzle torn, ripped, unfixable.
No soft delicate feelings making me nice.
I won't die, not by ignorance or 
foolishness. I'll fight for my life.
Then I'll write a song.

Poem Marathon 9th Submission

A Mysterious Party
Ann WJ White

The country cottage,
surrounded by evening light,
is host to the many fireflies,
nightbirds and shadowed creatures. 

The building wears a 
mask of civility under the 
languid heat of summer night.
Strange voices project from the treeline.

Stars hold the brightness 
near lamps down low, seeking
the dancing of the moon and her friends.
They share a strange bottle of time.

For years, those who wore the mask
of mysterious circumstances
came under the stars
to show their longing. 

Insects sang with their viols, 
while they zoomed flirting,
telling fables of treasures
enchanted world long ago.



Poetry Marathon Submission #8

The Storm
Ann WJ White

Shears of wind whinge up and around the ledges of mountains.
Atop, cream-filled clouds pass lazily over meadows, gathering,
waiting for the sultry heat to arrive and blend currents faster effort.
Indeed, bend the currents out of place, heat the cumulous clouds 
until they are black like vulture wings. Fill them with particles
of active humid molecules. Change their molecular structure to more.
Create the nimbus blends that crack with future thunder,
Bring the Gods to sample the storm.

The rain perkily dances in flushing, gushing streams. Enlarging drops,
Proving their prowess as missiles against gardens, metal conveyences.
Shove them downstream, clashing with boulders. Rebounding the storm.
Add the generating of lightning, gesticulating from the clouds as
if ringing profanity from above. Change color schemes to violent life,
to winds like wild griffins screaming. The bully storm starched in enormity. 
Hold your bolt high, then release. Threaten from flooded Skys.
Now the gale climaxes roaring, as they clash against each other,
Building the storm taller, a nimbi-cumulous monstrosity of fear,
seeking to sanitize the air of its dry thirst forever. Force the  
violent expulsions, let your weakness disappear. Bring the cold above.
Hail in summer, thrusting tornados, waterfalls created from the sky
As the weather reaches out for more and more.

Let a rainbow emerge to swiftly calm the madness, with violet
to color the shadows, orange to spotlight fires on the ridge.
Slow the choppy wind and tame it with hot tears falling upon the hills.
Bring cooler water to otters arriving muddy slides amidst the hills.
Terror gone from splashes of play. Breath a moment and separate the clouds.

Oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules sooth between city streets, 
Umbrellas can be opened to provide a cool safety as winds calm.
Rubber macintoshes sleeve the runoff so that children
Can find puddles to splash in like seals, bears, and foxes.

The rain sobs, then becomes a memory, flooding only flower pots.
Sun breaking through the wind, opening the winds to teasing play.
Soon it will vanish into pulses of water running the gutters.

The stores will reopen, markets change again to talk and laughter.
Bridges will calm, provide a bypass of passage for the ceremony of night,

Long since planned against the Summer's reign.


Poetry Marathon Submission #7

Spring Kigo, Haiki Set
Ann WJ White

Nesting birds arrive.
Singing bright lullabies near,
Filling the green trees.

Old frogs leap and call,
Turning spring dances in air,
Waiting for lovers.

Spring's optimism
Decorates blooming plants and
Leaf kaleidoscopes

Storms lash out above,
Elaborate referees
Washing winter away.

Poem Marathon Submission #6

Lost and Redemption of a Life
Ann WJ White

Awakening the morning, waiting for it to rise,
I follow a small tortiseshelled cat to her breakfast,
carefully apportioned puree of chicken
served on a glass dish, glistening.
She is the reason for rising, for dancing,
for singing a song of the past. For when
she has fed, her dreams begin to scatter the
dreams I failed to dream. She chases them,
rounding them up, toying with them, until I 
sigh with frustration and join her.

There are no appointments, not this time.
No eyes to watch, no tasks to be designated to me.
Here the clouds fill the sky with tale strong
clouds, bright blue sky, and the sun at the right 
angle to tease the flowers into bloom. We sit, the two
of us, talking of birds, frogs and small skinks.
The outside walks past us, children riding scooters,
Strollers, bikes, and the others in the neighborhood
who share patience for time to pass.

The phone is silent. The TV ignored. Paints stand
near a canvas, looking coy. Books are everywhere,
Each shouting an advertisement until one is lifted and
the cover opened. Sinking into a soft couch with
Cat sitting on my chest, we read together. She purrs.
Time passes. The paints trip me when I find a need 
to rise. It is their turn, and spill out like the
flowers in my front bed. An orange is peeled and
insanity seeks my attention. A wishy cloud of something
takes form. A woods, a water, a story, it spins around.

It stands upside down on its canvass, shouting
"Try this now, or this, be upside down and see."
And I do see, a conglomeration fantasy. The brushes
move faster and faster until it is lunch. A simple day,
a simple sandwich, hardly a mind set to enjoy it
before it is gone. Wandering upstairs, I pause to nap.
Seeking the dreams from long ago, the memories pass.
Stirring against boredom, Cat bites my eyebrows and
sets me back upon my path. Mysteriously, the laundry
has vanished. Something is standing outside of time.

I take the drugs upon the table, and go out.
A camera hangs from a strap as Cat pushes the door shut.
So I wander, down to the swampy park, there to find 
a pair of beaver, small fish frolicking over bits of 
broken branches, drowned grass, and an old "No Dumping"
sign. The heron pause and watch the water, fishing 
intensively. Crows mock me, small sparrows chirp
and clean their nesting spots. I am alone here.
This is not reality. My life does not move in smooth
lines without contrasts and complications. Never.

Walking back, I hear voices calling out for ice cream.
I shrug past them. My heart echoes with empty thoughts,
but no drive. There is banging coming from inside my house.
The parallel emptiness has been invaded with cause.
I turn and walk away, quickly, with agitation.
But stop, when a dear friend sees me. She is alone,
surrounded by time, pandemics, busy children lost to work.
It is her smile that captures me, her love, her open
life as she moves one foot after another. The chat fills
time, and somehow valued by me. I plan a surprise cake.

Turning back to my home, the cat has gotten out on the roof.
She's howling madly, annoyed that I have forgotten my duty,
It is time to feed the cat, again, the same as it all is.
Now it is all different. Sound, industry, purring and yowling.
Entering the house, my son kneels in the hallway, building
a wooden floor as I have always wanted. My daughter is scrubbing
bathrooms. My husband has taken his father out to walk,
A break from my resentment of the old man. And the phone
rings, unmerciful it screams for attention. Stops and begins again.
There is an ethereal sense to it, this hounding.

This is not right, all out of place, purpose confused.
I answer the phone and my life changes. A moment of 
spinning choice and test results. The voice is brisk,
businesslike, full of details. The answers my brain did 
not want to comprehend at my last appoints. The words
burn themselves into my flesh. "We've make a mistake.
Your heart is continuing to fight the stenosis that 
binds you. The surgery will not be needed for another
ten or fifteen years. Your neurologist called me and 
said your Multiple Sclerosis is stable, and well controlled."

When I pause in shock and don't respond, he bides me to ask, 
but my is feeling again with emotions. Tears from, and he bides me
get a cool drink. Sit down. Call him back when the questions arise.
But I am already pushing my way to my children, explaining, hopefully.
Hugs surround me and my husband arrives. "I'm going to live, a good long 
time." All of the horror that sat in my subnormal has left for
others. My husband swings me around and joins the children in
celebration. Plans are made, dinner out at a place where
lingering and talking is imminent, a movie to follow. 
Suddenly the fog and distance are gone. My confusion is gone.
The Cat smiles in her strange cat fashion and warms my soul.

Poetry Marathon Submission #5

Perseid's Shower
Submission #5
Ann WJ White

We laid on our backs. Lake Itasca, the beginning of the Mississippi parkland.
A family waiting for the dusk to transmogrify into night full of stars and silence.
Waiting for meteors to travel at thirty-five seconds per mile above us. 

You joked this was the first time you had laid in a gutter, on purpose, that the stars
would be hammered into place as the kids giggled. The in-between us settled watching for
constellations. The ranger beamed a flashlight and told sky tales,
pointed out stars from above. Glowing, she taught us curiosities, sent clear streaks
of light back and forth, until we froze motionless; fire, red flaring rocks, burning,
streaking past our eyes in clusters of fifty or more, as barred owls called.

The cascade gathered Perseus's streak and tales of fame, dissolving into clouds of matter. 
The Perseids, through black air from a comet Swift Tuttle, flaming along their gaseous tails,
burning within our our atmosphere, never landing. A dance of freedom.

One hundred meteors an hour, two hours on the ground, warm air, soothing night breezes
breathing as small soft snores filled the air, fading into dreams. Hushful waking.
We silently gathered blankets, sleepy eyed children, and found our tent.

Poem Marathon #4

Do you remember, Wayne? 
(an epistolary from long ago) 
Ann WJ White

When your kiss lightly touched my lips,
you fled the room back to your world?
You left me standing, holding my breath.
Suddenly, I was aware you were gone for good,
before you had even arrived.
Leaving me with no past or future to hold, 
leaving the air, taking your only essence.

I tagged along after that. Following others,
seeking that air of mystery and hope.
I found other kisses. I looked everywhere, but for you.
A shadow, but life went on. Distrustful, sharper,
watching in the bright sunshine. But, every once 
I wondered, why did I feel like you 
held my heart in your hands? 

Forty-one years later, I saw you.
You were listed on Amazon, a published
mystery writer, a doctor without an office,
still roaming through life, hiding from something.
I read the book, but your essence wasn't there.
Heard from my sister that you had a band
of rock and roll throwbacks. 

Still in the shadows, but wiser, I'll never look again.
You had your mystery, your breath, a moment.
I'd rather wander the world, looking at other
mysteries, with someone who sees me with joy.
I like the dark lit jazz bars and paper 
umbrellas with the daylight sun. I found a man 
whose heart I hold, with a kiss, and stayed.