XIV. After Me

I have two daughters.

Yes, I do.

And with this prompt,

You could too.

 

But yours would never be perfect like mine,

Who always listen,

every time,

And perfectly do as I wish them do.

No, yours would have a flaw or two.

 

And yours, unlike mine,

might disagree,

were you to ask them do chores for me—

while mine do their chores without being asked,

–even the most egregious task.

 

Their rooms are spotless,

Their beds are made—

You’d never guess that’s where they laid,

when they went to bed at an early bedtime;

No playing games ‘til half-past nine.

 

Yours, I suppose, are on their cell too much,

Through breakfast, bath-time, school and lunch,

Glued to their messages, games and such.

I’m just sayin’; it’s just a hunch.

 

Are they kind and thoughtful, polite and a joy;

Speak when spoken to, hard to annoy;

Anticipate what their mother might need,

Generous givers, not given to greed,

Prayers, thinkers, and doers, too?

Love to learn most anything new?

 

I stand, again, before the mirror and preach,

To myself about what is out of their reach;

And remind myself that no matter the flaw,

They are my children, after all.

 

And years from now, when they’ve grown

And have a family of their own,

My grandchildren will behave perfectly,

Because, of course, they take after me.

XIII.

Christ’s life spilled silently,

Whip-scourged, nailed violently,

Drop by precious drop,

Breath by sweet breath,

Sword-thrust, and alone.

 

The earth shuddered.

Heaven folded inward.

Death closed the tomb.

 

Until morning broke, three days beyond,

 

And the earth shuddered

Heaven opened.

Away rolled the stone.

 

Death, that feeble foul of fable,

Died quietly as Jesus rose.

Drop by precious drop,

Breath by sweet breath,

He conquered death,

To claim the Crown and Robe!

Nonet of June

You race through the last month of High School,

Packed with banquets, proms, and exams,

Future in sight; Hope in hand,

On the cusp of great things.

Breathe in the moment

Before it is gone.

One. Last. Time…

 

On your mark.

Get set.

Go!

 

Stop!

I blinked.

You were three.

 

And now eighteen!

I can hardly breathe–

Where is my little girl?

Future of hope and promise,

Walking tall in your cap and gown.

So proud of the woman you’ve become!

Across the Pond

In the storefront, the wellies reigned supreme,

Periwinkle, orange, and Monet green,

All sprouted with Macs, to celebrate spring—

At the apex of summer.

 

Every size and color (rain apparel galore),

Besides the bumbershoots strewn on the floor,

That spilled out of a rowboat propped near the door—

Which, in July, seemed a very odd thing.

Bit of a stumper—

 

In plaid, Firth-blazoned, Cumberbatch-printed,

For brave puddle-jumpers, who downpour-sprinted.

Union Jack, Beatles, Churchill—

An extended range.

 

Maybe in winter, but not in July.

And many a bloke asked himself why.

And why here, did the thunderous clouds first appear?

Bloody strange.

 

Perhaps in the Highlands or Cumbrian Mountains,

In winter, of course, it dumped buckets—no, fountains.

And no one would wonder or make a flap—

Over quite-dampish ventures.

 

But Clacton-on-Sea, in deluge, was no lark—

Someone should ring up for Noah-and-Ark!

Weatherman, kindly turn off the tap—

Dry up the drenchers!

 

 

They gave us a list of words–and I struggled for more than two hours to make this work, make it fun. Please let it not offend anyone. Have you ever tried to research accurately for the customs, vocabulary, and authenticity of a country where you do not live? Someday, maybe, I can visit these places, but for now, I can only love it from afar.

X. Amid the Winter

Amid the Winter

 

It is likely that the winter wind,

wending ‘round the windows again,

will whine and whistle, with a moose-like moan,

all spike and thistle, with spiny groan.

 

And then in haste, will whistle away,

dust dairy and dinghy on a snowy day.

frost, and frigid, brittle with bite,

especially on a starlit night,

when the worst of weather howls like wolves,

stampedes through the pass, on thunderous hooves,

 

tells lies to the spruce, the juniper, pine,

huddled like old men, bent in decline,

whose green-wooly overcoats shudder with snow,

sun-warmth forgotten amid the blow.

 

As over the hill, in the valley below,

Jingle bells ring and Yule logs glow.

Tidewater Wisdom

Look before you leap,

If the tide’s in, the water is deep.

But if the tide is out, there leaves little doubt,

Muddy and mucky, you might not come out.

 

It is always just another day, ringed ‘round in the coming and going of the tide: When to fish. When to crab. When to pull in the nets and head for home. The usual build-and-dump of thunderheads litters the sky more fully in the heat, less so in the hemmed-fog, tilting every sail-filled, bobbing island.

 

They call them boats. Or ships. More like Bobs and Shifts—wherein, no anchor has the power to make stable the flimsy flat and billowing blast. And gulls laugh heartily at the efforts.

 

As if that isn’t enough—nature, slapping whips, and brandishing hoops through which the launch must venture–the Moon and Tide, in a love-match immemorial, betimes fight so passionately as to draw up grandly, leaving currents and mudflats where none have been, where no seasoned sailor dare chance drift.

Can you read the wind? The stars? The clouds seven hours ahead?

The tide? The heat? Sea Monsters and their dread?

How far from shore is the illusive shimmer of fish?

How far from shore can they lure you if they wish?

Are you the catcher—or have you been caught—with a bit of bait and your crew, now lost?

Every Year, Another

Christopher Robin, that fine young lad,

had quite a creative and whimsical Dad,

who wrote about creatures who lived in the nursery,

making adventures for Chris, all in versery.

 

Pooh was a pudge, and quite a bit plump,

a glutton for honey, and dumb as a stump;

With little brain to “Think, think, think…

Oh, bother, where was I?” he’d say in a blink.

 

While piglet was little, afraid and befretted,

a tiny pink friend Pooh never regretted,

defended from Woozles and Heffalumps too—

Exactly the way a friend ought to do.

 

And for that matter, all Pooh’s friends were a mess—

Eeyore depressed,

Owl, who digressed,

Rabbit, the know-it-all, always a test.

 

And finally, Tigger, ADHD, and sproingy,

hyper-as-heck, all a-bounce, oingy boingy!

Just a bit off, yet loved and adored.

With all of these oddballs, Chris couldn’t be bored.

 

Not all of Pooh’s friends were as looped as a llama;

There was Kanga and Roo; little joey and Mama—

Milne sketched out their foibles, and CR was Roo—

Do you think Christopher Robin knew, Pooh?

 

A hundred woods acres to ramble about—

Owl’s Tree, and Trespasser Will’s house,

Rabbit’s Garden, Eeyore’s hut made of sticks—All at five.

Next book: Now We are Six.

 

*Pooh Corner; The Annual Poetic Edition 2021

The Remainder

No one even knew it wasn’t an

Ordinary day.

Rearranging all familiar objects;

Making common melt away.

And now we only have the rubble

Left once the twister flew away.

March on the Meadow

Step, two, three, four.

Across the floor, out the door,

Where the soft breeze blows

and birds fly free.

 

Flap, flutter, flitter, fly.

Birds go winging, swooping by,

Where sweet grass grows

in the meadow, green.

 

Putter, patter, pattern-step.

Past where the silver fox has crept,

Where birches sprinkle dappled shade

and the eagles hide their nest.

 

Marking, marching, making tracks.

Swans slide by grayed fishing shacks,

Where the water spills through the spring-green glade

and I stop here to take a rest.

 

Tracing back the way I came.

Rolling clouds spill a spring-time rain.

Where a wandering song fills my heart with light,

and I stroll back through the meadow, bright.

 

I am golden sun, though I cannot fly.

I am bursting clouds that fill the sky.

My heart spills over and I start to cry…

and ever more the meadow-creatures will talk,

how they tamed me with their nature walk.

Starving Worms

Graveyards are not what they used to be—

Back in 2073.

There are no more stones.

No longer bones.

They are visiting rooms you access with phones.

 

Great-great-great Grannny who died in ’02

Wasn’t cremated or interred, it’s true.

Instead, a recycle, post-DNA store;

She’s still around to love and adore!

 

Just scan a print of your finger or eye—

Even your blood will bring her ‘to life’—

All that was her, in her encapsule box,

Better, by far, than dates chiseled on rocks.

 

A holograph rewind of who, when and how,

All that once was, brought forward to now.

Good, bad and ugly, all tucked away.

Continuous viewing, instead of decay!

 

You can raise the whole graveyard–if you’re of a mind—

For a family reunion, the quite ghoulish kind.

A hundred-year span. A dead-relative Rave!

Where the specters and ghosts dance on each other’s grave.

 

And when YOU are re-ceased, they won’t wail or mourn,

But recycle your bits to someone newformed,

Who will grow with your traits, be they redundant or bland,

With eyes and hair like your three-headed Grand.