I see white stallions
pulling puffs of clouds across
the powdery blue vastness,
a performance guided
by gentle winds
instrumentally in sync
with a relaxing summer day.
For my birthday this year,
I would like an upcycle;
You know, like when old furniture
Gets a new coat of paint for
An updated look on the outside,
Or like a well-loved stuffed animal
That gets totally new insides,
And its outside is refreshed.
Or like the recently emptied fruit jar,
Cleansed both inside and out,
And filled with sparkly lights.
I would be better than before,
Ready for a few years more.
I rattled on, explaining every detail,
rewording and rephrasing the message,
thinking it was so she understood, but
When I was done, I realized it
was what I needed: to talk it through;
to see the truth for what it was.
The sun blushed as it rose today,
Realizing it had not seen me this way before;
Risen yet half awake, in the throes of dressing,
I covered my naked face with makeup.
We are casual friends, sharing pieces of each day,
Yet today one of us crossed the line
And rose before our time. I doubt either of us
Will forget and I vow not to rise early again.
Coat hoods draping their heads,
the sleeves flow loosely behind
while arms swing freely beside
and feet ziggy zag them ahead.
Weaving to find every puddle,
stomping and splashing along;
tongues stuck out for raindrops as
they slosh and splatter toward home.
Sometimes I wish I were still young,
Carefree as children in rain;
Whatever changed my focus
as I grew into older skin?
Is it dictated, written in stone
that work replace childish play?
Or are we merely paying today
for the freedoms of yesterday?
I thought I knew compassion,
but when I looked into his eyes,
I knew I’d never felt that way.
The tenderness he offered a lost dog,
the inner need he had to help,
to makes things better for her
brought warmth to my heart.
Then I watched his seven-year-old eyes swell with tears
as they walked the streets and found her owner.
The dog of his dreams was gone,
returned to her scared and punitive owner,
and his heart was breaking.
As I watched this young boy walk away,
head hanging, brown eyes saddened by the struggle,
I knew he was learning doing the right thing
can feel wrong sometimes,
but I could also see that he can’t help but be who he is,
and that he’d do it again.
Some vans play rock or rap,
others a country fiddle,
But the van that travels my street
meets halfway in the middle.
Its sound is like a harpsichord
broadcast for ALL to hear;
The now familiar melody
says ice cream is very near.
Nostalgic to us oldsters,
Now common to young alike;
We all clutch our dimes and quarters
in search of cool delights.
The mail-order bride catalog
said my wait was nearly over;
my station in life could be found
just around the corner. Which,
of course, I took literally and believed.
I thought it meant I was
to wait for you by the train station,
the one near my house. But…..
I’ve stood, waiting endlessly, for you to come.
I won’t vacate my post; I don’t want to miss you.
I hold my head high, hat perched slightly askew, and
watch as my threads are scorched by the sun and
dehydration turns my bones inside out.
Should I give up on you?
Prideful, I know I can’t have been wrong;
You just took a wrong turn. You’ll be here soon.
With fortitude of steel, I straighten my back,
and wait some more.
Lafayette, CO has impressive Cultural Arts and annually displays sculptures throughout town. This particular one was begging for this poem!
Artist: Victoria Ross Patti
Location: 211 N. Public Road; Mojo Coffee
I’m excited to share that I now have a book of poetry, Power of a Raindrop, published and available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through the publisher. If you order from the publisher, the first 10 to order will receive 15% off the retail price. http://shop.ravenbooks.net.
Quick-thinking brain of my long lost youth
left me without a goodbye, how uncouth!
Jeopardy champions in our own way;
you had the answers while I had the say.
Shadows inhabit my brain now at times
shifting from fog to a cold, icy rime.
When it is clear, we are back, you and me;
winning the game for the whole world to see.
This challenge definitely had me lamenting my thinking cap of yesteryear! Trying to portray lament, praise, and solace in dactyl was a nice stretch of the brain.
A child holds your hand, and
before she knows it, she’s
caught up in the steps and
doesn’t realize you’ve let go, so
easily she goes forward on her own.
And before you know it, she’s on a
bicycle, swaying, weaving,
caught up in the forward motion,
determined to ride without training wheels,
evidently unaware when you let go.
And it seems only too quickly, she gives up
bicycling, her third or fourth by now,
caring only to get behind the wheel,
driving with you as her instructor,
each lesson a little easier than the last.
From day one, you were there with her,
growing closer day by day,
her trust of you so complete.
It only seems natural,
judging by her successes, that you
know you’ve been there for her, and that you
love and trust her enough to let her go.
This is an acrostic variation about trust. The first three stanzas begin in succession, a-e; the last stanza’s format is f-l. The assignment also suggested internal rhymes. I played some with full rhyme, slant rhyme, assonance, and alliteration. What a fun challenge.
In the gondola in Venice,
you flattered me so, “Sei bella.”
On the streets of Seville,
you charmed me, “Te adoro.”
Along the French Riviera,
you declared your love for me, “Je taime.”
But it wouldn’t matter if it were said in English or Chinese,
on the Hawaiian islands or in Timbuktu.
I see it in your eyes and in your caring ways,
and those, among many other blessings,
are why I say:
“I love you more than I did yesterday and less than I will tomorrow.”
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Sei bella: You are beautiful
Te adoro: I adore you.
Je taime.: I love you.
I never envisioned
a sunset without oranges and reds and yellows.
I never thought blurry vision could be
anything but a view through streaming tears.
And I never dreamed I might not see your smile again
or see the love in your eyes as you look into mine.
However, as we oftentimes do,
I had taken something precious for granted.
I lost sight of things for just a little while,
though I’m sure it was a gift in disguise, for
I learned to cherish my eyesight, each and every day.
Like a sinkhole,
they are swallowed up,
patient upon patient,
settled in sterile rooms,
waiting their turn for
the healer’s words and script.
I watch as people continue entering the portal,
yet those who return are strangers,
definitely not the same as those I saw enter.
Will the inner depths swallow me alike?
Will I return a stranger myself,
passing familiar yet unfamiliar people
as they scan my face?
Scorching beneath the bright sunlight of day,
opaque olive branches seem to vanish,
replaced by dark, elongated stick-like limbs
projecting ever forward, reaching out,
seeking enlightening paths of their own.
Stripped of three-dimensional prejudices,
these two-dimensional silhouettes
criss-cross traditional barriers,
offering friendship and peace along their way.
Occasionally, progress seems to rescind as
clouds drape across the sun,
causing an unsettling interlude;
but hope is afloat as another act begins,
alit with shadowy figures of peace.
Although contorted accordion-style,
he sat proud behind the well-worn steering wheel
of his MG sportster bargain.
“I bought her to restore,” he said, patting the dash.
I cringed as the creaking hinges
of the passenger door allowed me in;
Yet, it was a “little red coupe”, and
I felt so tall and special in my seat.
Revving the engine for effect, then stomping it,
we slung gravel and pealed out the driveway.
Indy 500, here we come; or so we dreamed as
he hammered the accelerator to the floorboard.
I watched the speedometer pass 60, then 70, then…
It didn’t matter we could see the road through the floorboard;
and it didn’t matter we had to shout to be heard above the
roaring bursts of an untuned engine.
We were two against the road.
After a while, I no longer noticed the
vibrations and rumbles of years of neglect,
and I could see his vision as we neared the finish line,
friends and family cheering us on.
Opening, assessing; sorting, resorting.
Each item bringing a fond memory
before eventually returned to its corner.
How many years will I continue this ritual,
shifting the same things back and forth?
But who’s to say what is a treasure?
The antique toys I open once a year to clean,
the knick-knacks and buttons my grandmother gave me;
bedspreads and matching decor I can’t seem to part with,
or luggage that’s seen better miles.
I had it all figured out, I thought. That was until…
I went to give something away and found
a tag tucked inside, a reminder of the thoughtful giver.
Neatly lettered, “To Mom & Dad, With Love, 1992.”
Now how can I possibly part with anything!
“If I mention blue,” the artist asked,
“what word or phrase comes to mind.
How about orange? And green?
Now hold these thoughts as you
work with the inks on your paper.
You’ll be amazed at what happens.”
Focusing, a word and color at a time,
I drizzled and swirled, watching
ink flow together as if self-directed.
Each color changed the painting, and soon
green and orange were blending, creating
evergreen and earth-toned mountains while
orange refracted into an arched sunset
against the now azure sky.
Calmness and warmth filled me, and
I settled into a meditative peace as I laid my painting to dry.
A slight miscalculation by my neighbor, however,
and his dropper full of purple ink hit my paper.
I found myself trying to “fix” my painting,
forgetting that I cannot change anyone’s thoughts or colors
but my own.
We’d sit on stools and spin ’round,
then face the drugstore counter
as we waited for our orders
from the high school fountain girl.
A strawberry shake for Susan,
for the boys, root beer floats;
and I’d take a hot fudge sundae,
with real ice cream scooped beneath.
I shopped the store’s two aisles
for toiletries and trinkets, then
when Tom brought my prescription,
we’d talk family and friends.
Today, the concept’s expanded
to big box, superstores,
giving buyers what they want
is what they’re going for.
You can buy tonight’s supper,
and Billy’s new school shoes;
Why, they’ll even change your tires
while you’re shopping other things.
Now if your order is small, and
you’d rather not stand and wait,
you can check yourself out;
a curt, electronic voice will
prompt you what to do and
announce whatever you scan:
“Red, delicious apples,
Two dollars; fifty cents savings;
Select your form of payment
on the pen pad found below.”
While this fancy automation
may be a quicker way to shop,
it can’t possibly replace
the voice behind the counter,
someone you’d known forever,
someone who truly cared…
some fifty years ago.
I love the season of autumn
where the colors softly change
from greens to autumn hues.
Blessed with warmer days,
refreshed by cooler nights,
these changes are inevitable,
and they’ll happen to me and you
as we softly enter our autumn,
the last season of our life,
may we see golden treasures
both old and new alike.
Some soar toward a target, their
red or black cape catching the wind
as they zoom in to battle.
Some defend with swords
and light sabers, dueling until
their enemy concedes defeat.
For others, it’s more subtle,
like an EMT attending to
a heart attack victim, or
the fabled Robin Hood,
equalizing the haves and have-nots.
But for me, it was when you
rescued me from myself and
offered me a part of your world.
That’s when I knew you were my
Superhero, someone I could
count on for the rest of my life.
Last summer, thickly clustered emerald leaves,
deflected the scorching sun from my face, yet
they have thinned until only a few dangle freely
throughout the open weave of twigs and branches,
sparkling like earrings of ruby and gold
as the cooler autumn sun filters through.