POEM: I Remember

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I Remember

 

Seventeen years ago

the world changed

 

my world changed

 

Seventeen years ago

I held my infant son in my arms

as I watched the buildings burn

across every channel

 

as I watched the planes

hit the towers again

and again

and again

 

as I watched the billowing black smoke

the ash of the fallen

of the thrown

of the incinerated

 

of those who threw

their own lives away

to snatch the lives of innocents

for the crime working in a country they hated

 

I remember watching footage

on tv of people in foreign lands

dancing and cheering at the news of so many lives lost

and wondering why

 

I remember watching the face

of the child in my arms

and wondering

what kind of world he would live in

 

the same wondering I felt

when I had watched the news days after his birth

the news of the newborn babe found in a dumpster

his life thrown away

 

the same wondering I felt

when a gunman shot up kindergartners

looking forward to Christmas parties

and frosted glittery cupcakes

 

the same wondering I felt

when students shot up their high school,

then themselves, shooting

for simultaneous oblivion and notoriety

 

the same wondering I felt

when Batman fans died

crouching on floors and hiding behind seats

for the sin of making it to opening night

 

the same wondering I felt

when a middle schooler one district over

shot himself in his school’s bathroom,

imagining his blood splattered on floors and walls

 

the same wondering I felt

when a couple from my son’s own high school

shot themselves in the woods outside his friend’s home

not ten minutes away

 

the same wondering I felt

when I thought of those other families,

of the victims, heroes, loved ones,

of children growing up without mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers

 

the same wondering I feel

when I think how easily it could be me

 

 

 

*image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons license

**The above poem is dedicated to the families and victims of September 11th, as well as the victims of violence around the world throughout the years. May your loved ones never be forgotten. May you always be safe and free.

 

 

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POEM: Haiking Haikus

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Emergent Tower at Holden Arboretum

“Haiking Haikus”

In the forest, the

illusion of loneliness

is overwhelming.

I lose the Spring in

my step somewhere along the

Emergent Tower.

Towering among

the forest canopy, its

wooden bones reach out.

White smoke rises from

above and beyond the tree-

tops: Nuclear steam.

The world sways beneath

my feet. I know it’s better

to bend than to break.

*image taken during the Haiku Hike on May 6th, 2018 at Holden Arboretum

POEM: Thinking in Poetry

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“Thinking in Poetry”

Narrating my day
as I go about the hours,
silently writing in my mind
that the corn on the cob I examine
is yellow with absorbed sunlight,
its golden white kernels
its own clouds and sun,
huge globes plump with the rain
of so many seasons,
and the taste of spring

the drowsy sun fades
behind the black silhouette
of a springtime tree

the air smells of lilac
or honeysuckle or apple blossoms,
the pungent sweetness
of blooming spring flowers

 

 

 

 

*Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the poem.
*image courtesy of http://publicdomainpictures.net/

POEM: Gathering

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“Gathering”

 

Sitting by the pool

my father and his friends drink

cheap beer from cold silver cans

I fetch for them from

a white igloo cooler.

My small bare feet make wet sounds

on the pale coral-colored patio,

mini splashes for each tiny puddle

in its pock marked surface.

My mother walks back and forth

between the kitchen and through

the sliding glass doors,

getting chips and dips

and anything else the men require

as they watch the game on TV,

drinking their bicentennial cheer

with a mixture of slow sips

and large cool gulps,

regulating their temperatures

from the warm Florida sun

 

 

 

*written last April for National Poetry Month, in memory of my father.

FridayFlash: A Dream Life

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Cat sleeping on the bed by her feet, she dreamt of solitude, and why not?  The man she had given her past, present, and all her future prospects no longer cared for her. Her son would soon leave to start a family of his own, her oldest friend left her long before she died, and her parents were going, going, gone from her life and soon this world.

The background of her mind played soothing melodies as she travelled in empty trains, toured abandoned bookstores throughout the British Isles–wandering their brightly lit halls with noone to hurry her, no schedule nor expectations, just the joy of a world of literature all to herself. She walked with ease, knees and wrists bending readily and without pain; her body no longer betrayed her.

She was surprised she was not lonely, but the books themselves kept her company with the silent voices of those long gone. She hummed to herself as she perused each aisle, composing a little poem in her head:

Invisible or
ghosts…does it matter? This world, 
freedom hers alone.

Finally her journey ended in the far north of the globe. She took her paper pulp treasures with her inside the glass igloo, the Northern lights danced above her as she sat padded in covers within the dome–a miniature cosmos heated just for her from machines hidden deep within the earth’s crust. As long as she had food and shelter, books and a view, she could drink in eternity with her eyes.

Contentment filled her. The thought of being alone no longer hurt the hole in her heart but filled it with hope. Her child, the bright spot of her existence,  was fine and would be a great man despite his current growing pains. Her husband neither needed nor cared for her. Didn’t accepting her solitude grant her freedom?

Her eyes were weighted shut, her muscles stiff and unyielding,  but at last she pulled herself from her lethargy and forced herself to swim upwards, through the depths of her dreams, to open her eyes. The cat, the feline that had shunned her so often, lay curled at her feet. The woman smiled good morning, scratched behind the creature’s ears, then went to walk the puppies in crisp, white snow.

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

Friday Flash: Leia-esque

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Her destination awaits, but yet she can’t bring herself to walk up the escalator. She should, she knows that. She should race up the moving stairs to reach her goal sooner, but it seems undignified somehow. Sure, her Leia buns are mere headphones, and her white satin bathrobe a poor approximation of the space princess’s Senatorial garb, but her persona is the most important part of the costume.

For tonight, she is Leia.

She adjusts the black-rimmed monstrosity that sits upon her nose, clutches her tickets, and steels herself for the trial before her. If only she carried a lightsaber…but no, theater policy forbade that part of her fantasy. Still, Leia has midichlorians enough to fight a Galactic Empire, so surely she can face an overzealous crowd on opening night. After all, she is the child of Vader as well as Amidala, and she’s fully prepared to force-choke the bejesus out of anyone who blocks her seat tonight.

 

*inspired by a photo prompt and published in first draft form at the six minute story site on Thursday, December 10, 2015. The above version has been edited.

**The above story was written in honor of next Friday’s premiere of The Force Awakens.

***Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.