Magnolias

Today the form at dVerse is to write a ghazal – pronounced guzzle, which is fitting because it is a poem about drunkenness and/or romance.  Of course the drunkenness can symbollize the rapture of God.  I prefer my poetry brief, to the point and in the style of the Japanese. I don’t believe in using 500 words when I can use 50. I will do my best with this form and also with the prompt at Toads – Summer’s End.  Celia was the name of my mother and great-grandmother. A guzzle (ghazal) is made up of non-connected couplets using a repeating line or phrase in the last line of each couplet.  Which is actually, a pretty neat poetic device.

Magnolias
“Summer in the deep South is not only a season, a climate, it’s a dimension. Floating in it, one must be either proud or submerged.”  ― Eugene Walter, The Untidy Pilgrim

the southern summer night is like an obscene phone call
lowly whispered in tones of moist hot tones here at the beginning of summer.

the full moon floated on the clouds last night
and magnolias opened their blooms here at the beginning of summer.

magnolias perfumes the air and gifts us with its incense,
and I think this is all the beauty we need here at the beginning of summer.

blooms like fragrant plates at a feast, petals spreading wide
and showing their golden hearts here at the beginning of summer.

but the feast soon ends and petals turn brown and scent fades
as their hearts fall like solid tears here at the beginning of summer.

we had dreams once when we were young and beautiful
and we lived our dreams here at the beginning of summer.

the night closes fast Celia, and fragrance dissipates into dew
at the end of summer, here at the beginning of summer.

 

 

Anniversary

For my Wednesday Muse prompt at Sunday Muse Blogspot. The topic today is “anniversary”. There are all kinds of anniversaries: wedding, enagagement, the death of a loved one, adoption of a child or pet, buying a house…one for every day of the year and to spare.

Anniversary
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom … is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Anthony Bourdain

the days run fast
as a shooting star,
dropping through the blackness
of time.
You put the noose around your neck
and jumped –
falling through the blackness
of time.
I watched my mother dying,
her light dimming as a star
falling in the black ocean.
I remember these times
with tears in my brain.
I remember these times as I remember
the scent of faded gardenias
turning brown in the summer sun.

Haibun: Moon like cream

For Kim’s prompt over at dVerse. It is Quadrille Monday Today she delights us with “rich” and all the meanings of the word. I offer a Haibun in the manner of Basho.  a quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words sans title. A haibun is a true accounting of prose ended with a seasonal haiku.

Haibun: Moon Like Cream
“The stars are brilliant at this time of night
and I wander these streets like a ritual I don’t dare to break
for darling, the times are quite glorious.” Charlotte Ericksson

The overwhelming smell of honeysuckle wrapped around my head. I stared up at the blue flower moon and inhaled deeply. The moon is the colour of rich country cream – double delights on this night.
honeysuckle
dipped in  the rich cream
of the full moon

Wendy

Sunday Muse BlogSpot Shay Simmons, guest

Wendy
“Together, Wendy, we can live with the sadness
I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul” Bruce Springsteen

oh that woman on the Duc –
she makes my straight heart quiver.
So tough
so wild
so sexay –
I remember when she was 20
and I was 10
and I followed her about like a puppy.
Her hand on my shoulder
and I melted.
so when she said to me
Let’s go.
Bet your bottom dollar –
I climbed on behind.

Breakfast of Champions

For Magaly’s prompt on Real Toads – Poetic Irony.  I don’t do irony well.  I’ve seen too much.


Remember when we used to drink coffee with the paper?

 

Breakfast of Champions
“Left of west and coming in a hurry with the Furies breathing down your neck” R.E.M. It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).

We used to drink coffee while we
read the paper at breakfast.
Times became more dire.
Then we graduated to coffee cups of bourbon
and shot glasses of coffee.
Now we just skip it all
and pour Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve
over our Cheerios.
We stopped reading the news –
It never changed for the better,
It just got worse.
Hey! If Pappy’s is good enough
for world class chefs,
it is good enough for me.
I stood outside on the back steps
listening to the birds this morning.
They don’t know that the world is ending.
I take the last bite of my Cheerios and drain the bowl.


“A few of us are going out after work to pretend it’s not the end of the world,
if you want to join us.”

Haibun: Travel Food

For my prompt at Real Toads – Picnic.

 

Travel Food
“The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.” Anthony Bourdain

When I was a kid, I remember our trips up north to see our cousins in Montclair New Jersey. We always started out before the sun rose, in the cool dark of a summer’s day. My grandmother would have packed for us ham and sausage biscuits, fried chicken, and cole slaw. After a couple of hours of driving, we’d be ready to pull into a rest stop. The biscuits would be unpacked along with a thermos of coffee and several pint jars of iced water. Later in the day, we would stop at another rest stop and eat lunch. I remember those days of sitting around a cement table and benches, the family digging into cold fried chicken. There would always be a treat of a coke. I can still taste that friend chicken. Under the trees with people walking past, walking their dogs, other kids playing around. It would always consist of my mother and father, grandmother, and my mother’s two younger sisters – my aunts. It was always more casual and lighter than eating formally at the table in the dining room. Sliced tomatoes from the garden would be in their own container, exuding juice. I liked to dip the piece of chicken into the juice. I still do. At last we would arrive in Montclair, journey’s end.
riding up the highway
stopping along the way for lunch –
cold fried chicken is nectar

Haibun: Beans and Bricks

A haibun for my prompt at Wednesday Muse.  Also posted at dVerse Poets Pub OLN. This is not in the style of anyone.  It is a haibun, plain and simple.

Beans and Bricks
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” Khalil Gibran

This summer, I am taking a hiatus from my cooking at the local food bank/soup kitchen. Instead I am volunteering with a local group that plants gardens on vacant lots in the inner city, nestled among food deserts. We spent a few Saturdays ago clearing off one of those lots of bricks, beer cans, broken glass, cigarette butts. Then we broke up the land and hoed it, preparing it for planting. Last Saturday we planted plants and seeds along with a few flowers. We erected a sign, “Community Garden” every day, some of us are there hoeing, weeding cajoling the hard city ground. We have attracted attention of children, older adults, and young people – all of them looking forward to the fresh veggies we will be harvesting throughout the season. I and another person will be teaching people how to make good food from the veggies – food to eke out their carbohydrates and canned veggies. I gave up my garden this year for this project. I count it time well spent.
seeds and plants grow –
tomatoes corn potatoes –
feeding families one at a time.

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