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

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POEM: Apple Blossom Lament

Apple Blossom Lament

Springtime snow of
apple blossoms
poupouri-ing the ground,
the sidewalks, the parking lots,
with pristine white petals
fragrant and sweet
in the cool breeze
of a warm sunny day

wind sweeps away
Gaia’s aromatic debris,
an unseen janitor
with an invisible broom,
whistling while he works.

*image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.Net

POEM: License, Insurance, and Registration

police-car

“License, Insurance, and Registration”

 

Please.

 

Shiny black cop cars

compact fuel economying

across city streets and

highways, two counties

wide. An assault of vehicles

by sheer numbers on an

otherwise uneventful day

–no holiday traffic,

no special events,

no reason apparent

for the barrage of Blue

all burnished and new.

 

Bright blue lights

spiral drivers to

the edge. Must be the day

the new patrol cars arrive

begging to be driven,

needing validation

by way of speeding tickets

and arrests, my taxpayer

dollars paying for each

glitzy new vehicle

to slow traffic,

raise my insurance,

and justify the expense

of shiny black cop cars.

 

I hand over my papers,

look the cop in the eye and tell her,

 

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

Upcoming events:

April 27th

Akron Nervous Dog Poetry Night from 6pm-9pm. I will be reading for about twenty minutes, so I hope to see you there!

April 28th

Western Reserve Writers’ Conference(9am-430pm) If you get a chance to attend, it’s definitely worth the trip!

 

*This poem was inspired by the day 18 prompt for National Poetry Month, courtesy of Cuyahoga Library combined with an oddly high number of police vehicles in my area the previous day.
*image courtesy of http://publicdomainpictures.net/

 

Current Events: April 2018

Every April is National Poetry Month, as decreed by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. One of the things I love most about living in northern Ohio is the writing community. Cuyahoga and Cleveland have two of the best public library systems in the entire country–for very good reason: both support their writing communities with literary events and outreach programs, public readings, open mics, and free workshops and classes.

During the month of April, for several years now, Cuyahoga County Public Library has celebrated National Poetry Month each April by giving the community a month of daily poetry. If you sign up for their email reminders, each morning you will wake up to a new poem, a poetry recommendation, and–my favorite part–a writing prompt for the day! I can’t recommend this enough; it’s one of my favorite things about this time of year!

As if that isn’t enough, there are tons of poetry events throughout both Summit and Stark County. I’m going to share a few with you, and I’m really excited to be reading at some of them!

Saturday, April 14th, 1030am-1230pm: (free) Literary Cleveland Poetry Workshop
@ Cleveland Main Library
–bring 10-15 copies of a poem you would like to workshop

Saturday, April 14th, 11am-2pm: (free) Local Author Fair
@ Massillon Library This will be my second appearance at this Local Author Fair. I hope you will stop by and discover some great local talent!

Sunday, April 15th, 2pm-4pm: Foolin’ Around with Poetry
@ South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of Cuyahoga Library
Meeting Room 162 (20)

Saturday, April 21st, 1pm-230pm: (free) Open Mic Poetry Featuring CSA Student Poets
@ Cleveland Main Library
Literature Dept
2nd floor

Friday, April 27th, 6pm-9pm: Nervous Dog Akron Poetry Night
@ Nervous Dog Coffee Bar
I am thrilled to be reading some of my poetry at this event!

Saturday, April 28th, 9am-430pm: (free) Western Reserve Writers’ Conference
@ South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of Cuyahoga Library
If you are not lucky enough to live in Ohio, you can still check out your local libraries to see what events they host during the month of April. And email knows no state boundaries, so you can still sign up for the Read Write Poetry emails from Cuyahoga library. No matter what you choose to do, I wish you a happy April!

POEM: The Dead Celebrity Cocktail Lounge

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“The Dead Celebrity Cocktail Lounge”

 
In a netherworld of eternal nights,

The Dead Celebrity Cocktail Lounge sets

within its murky depths, the stage for yet

another act beneath its neon lights.

 

Nina Simone’s piano they replace

with guitars and mics; her solo ended.

It’s hard to run a lounge that’s attended

by those who nightly drink and also grace

 

that same stage–yet it works. Jimi and Jan

tend bar; there are drinks passed round. Martinis

and shots-they disappear like Houdinis,

as Hendrix holds the mob’s attention span

 

with variations on his famous tricks,

Joplin adjusts her maladjusted bun

of stringy brown hair, not to be outdone

by his performance–she chews swizzle sticks

 

as his feet perform feats unhygienic;

they mix drinks, change place settings, and break through

a new status quo. A bar so strange. Who

thinks it’s sanitary? Cacophonic

 

sounds echo meanwhile from the abandoned

stage. Audio being tested, Janice

eyes the mic just like a Praying Mantis

eyes its prey. Soulful melody unplanned

 

erupts as she leaps across the bar, not

waiting for the test to be done, and she

shakes her hair loose, and runs onstage–a bee

to honey. Jimi knows tonight’s her spot

 

anyway. Tomorrow is his solo

with his guitar. They will do a duo

afterwards, no hard feelings. Their pseudo-

rivalry lost to time, tunes, and tempo.

 

Smoke clouds drift, generated throughout the

room by the exhalations of humans

from every era. Through the haze, fuming,

each cigarette, each pipe, each cigar a

 

glowing red eye in the dimness. No one

seems to mind as long as the speaker works.

Janice dances with twirls and whirls and jerks;

she’s heedless, unworried that it’s been done

 

before. What’s more, when they hold Poetry

Slams, the Shelleys hold hands, recite their planned

rhymed words without one cough; a promised land

found within their eyes. Ingenuity

 

not confined to poems alone, but drinks

as well. Alcohol and opium mixed

–laudanum–preached to each free love amidst

the hungry, thirsting crowd. And Mary winks

 

to her freethinking spouse. It’s rather sweet

that after all their years together, they

still have magic. A marital display

when tending bar, moving to the quick beat

 

of words and sound, orders filled, they’re thrilled to

be around each other. Mistakes have been

put behind. Other times, the darkened den

silences them into wild watching who

 

next mounts the stage. A young man, blonde D.A.

haircut pulled smoothly back from his high cheek-

bones and blazing eyes may begin to speak

on The Method and acting in a play.

 

A full-lipped platinum blonde beauty with lips

the color of rose, may rise singing, her

voice ringing loud and long. A performer

in a billowing white dress onstage, hips

 

swaying softly as she exits to read

Shakespeare by the flickering candlelight

at her table. There, her companion’s white

hair seems to fly from his scalp at full speed,

 

the shimmering lights caught in each stray hair.

Each wrinkle he wears deeply cut within

his paper skin, yet a great youthful grin

begins, while watching her his old eyes flare.

 

As Jan finishes her set, the quiet

descends upon the crowded room. Silence

falls like a heavy curtain. The giant’s

midnight mane, baby blues, and a riot

 

of rhinestones adorning his sparkling

outfit–outshine shining spotlight. The King

has arrived. Rhythm rings, he starts to sing

Hound Dog. He sways his wide hips, hearkening

 

to the voices of his fans. He shakes and

quakes, his own voice quivers as he croons Love

Me Tender. Smiles and tears. He stands above

his audience as a man, proud and grand.

 

So many more mount the stage, work the bar,

so far beyond our home world. The artist

once known as Prince, and Bowie, guitarists

and comedians taken past our star,

 

its yellow glow- dim memory in this

land filled with neon twilight, ignited

by dreams–the only starlight provided

by its denizens. Replicators hiss,

 

create doppelgangers complete in each

detail–except for the spark of new life–

Explain their unexplained removals rife

with Why. Their originals forced to reach

 

a darkened sphere light-years away. No day

everyday, just night, they perform before

an unnoticed audience evermore

of little green men, -women too, who pay

 

to view the highlights of our alien

culture. An extraterrestrial zoo

to educate and entertain them too,

no politics, just delights mammalian.

 

They are cast into a forever lime-

light, each one a cultural icon of

their generation. Their sublime fans love

to mourn their loss on Earth, but they’re in prime

 

up there, these famous homo sapiens.

For all this artificial world’s a stage,

its eternal players forever share

spotlight within this enclosed stadium,

a neverending audience to rage

before, away, and with those stars up there.

 

 

 

*Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed my scifi stretched sonnet!

*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.

POEM: Moans

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“Moans”

 
The long low rumble

of never-ending hunger

for flesh

for blood

for life

              stolen too soon

 

The cry from deep within

made without tears

just tears in the flesh

tears flesh from bone

                                          with outstretched arms

 

This voiceless voice

the only thing still mine

without words

without control

over a body no longer my own

                                                          I reach out

 

You hear the approach of a monster

You hear the sound of my hunger

You hear my shuffling lament

You hear my deathless prayer

                                                        raise your arm

                                                        and grant me sweet oblivion

 

***Thank you to my followers for your patience. I know it’s been three weeks instead of my usual two, but I’ve had some technical problems and other things crop up. I’ve also been writing and editing and submitting to different markets. I hope you enjoyed this bit of dark poetry. Keep following the blog, and have a lovely week!

***image courtesy of BigFoto.com