He Survived

He survived
“What greater gift than the love of a cat?” Charles Dickens

He survived after being thrown away by his person’s heirs
roaming the neighborhood living off stale popcorn and bread thrown out for the birds.
Feral dogs, snow, thirst he fought to live.

I saw him and brought him in and he loved me instantly.
unconditionally through my days of darkness and cancer.
he guarded me and forgave me.

Who would have thought so great a heart would ever stop beating.

Sleeting

For Marian’s prompt over at Real Toads – one word:  sensation

Sleeting
the creek is still and reflects the bare winter trees.
the weather is bitter cold and sleet is falling –
circles over circles over circles
spreading about on the surface of the creek.
I wonder if the creek feels the sleet falling into it
the same way I feel sleet falling and hitting against my skin.
bits of cold fire sear my skin.
bits of ice making circles over circles
on my cheeks – the ice tapdancing against the fallen leaves.
bitter cold today.
spring-like Thursday.
The frogs are silent now.
I wonder where they are hiding
and if they feel the same sensation of ice falling
the same way I do.

Walkin’ in This Moment

Karin at Real Toads prompts us to write about this moment in time.  Everyday in all weathers, I walk,  I usually hum or sing while I walk.  I am glad no one is around to hear!

Walkin’ in This Moment
“And I sang with all my might
And she said
“Tell me are you a Christian child?”
And I said “Ma’am I am tonight”    Marc Cohen Walkin’ in Memphis

warm day in February
and drizzling rain.
Wearing my cowboy hat
with the silver band.
Down to the culdesac,
back up to the top of the hill.
Past the woods where my best friend lives
and down to the gurgling creek.
Hands in my pockets
and singing aloud with all my voice.
Walkin’ in Memphis…
But do you really feel the way I feel?

Sweet Peach

For Real Toads Tuesday Platform. Something light.

Summer Love
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde

hot summer night – room full
of locals dancing to a local country band
and now they are playing a waltz.
Sweet peach of a man/boy
you glided across the floor and asked me,
Want to dance?
Oh yes!
Your arm around my waist
guiding me around
and in and out of other dancers,
swaying, sliding, feet making that
swooshswoosh sound against the
rough boards.
You, sweet peach of a man/boy,
my head on your shoulder
breathing in the smell of you –
sundried cotton shirt and Ivory soap
and the faint newly budding man-smell.
Even after all these years
these smells make my hips sway
and my lips curve into a lazy smile.
Oh yes! Sweet peach of a man/boy.

Communion

For Kerry’s Prompt Art Flash over at Real Toads.  Jamuary 27 was World Holocaust day.  I began writing this poem before that and finally finished it for this prompt.  The thinness of the man and his bald head put me in mind of many of the pictures of those liberated from the Nazi imprisonment.  The story of the communion is real, told me years ago by a priest who was liberated.

The Turning Point
David Bülow
Used with Permission

Communion
“The vilest deeds like poison weeds Bloom well in prison air; It is only what is good in man That wastes and withers there.” Oscar Wilde

we were herded together like cattle –
all of us –
cows, pigs, horses –
together and loaded onto a train to be shipped off
to who knows where.
We stood in our feces and urine and endured
the bitter cold. I wasn’t even Jewish.
I was Polish. I was Catholic.
The village priest was loaded along with us.
I remember that last day before we were liberated.
A bunch of skeletons rattling around.
One of the guards had in his kindness
obtained a small vial of wine and a communion wafer.
the priest broke the wafer into bits
and cast them upon the snow.
He splashed the drops of wine upon the snow.
We scooped up the snow with our hands
and took in the body of Christ.
I remember that day.
The ashes falling from the sky like bitter snow.
I rattle around in my closet now.
A skeleton remembering that day
and the bitter snow.

A poem of tribute

For Kerry’s Prompt on Real Toads – Instructions for Living a Life – A tribute to Poets of our Time. Write a poem in tribute.She gives us several names but of course, we are free to choose our own still living poet. I chose Shay Simmons as my contemporary living poet, posting two of her poems as an example of her work and my poem of tribute.

My Poem of Tribute
Imagine finding a jewel in the dust –
a glowing ruby red and rich
or a sapphire – blue as the autumn sky.
Of course you would bend down and pick it up
dust it off, hold it to the sun,
put it in your pocket filled with lint
and pencil stubs.
Take it out of your pocket to
watch it sparkle by starlight –
The inner fire still showing.
Would you leave it in a birds nest
and wait for it hatch?
Would you take it to the ocean with you?
I would. I would hold it in the waves
letting them wash over it again and again.
I would hold it up to a candle
and watch the blue red green lights
decorate my bare white walls.
Yes I would.
In a heartbeat.


What would you do if?

What would you do if the sky gave up its birds
on an afternoon
made of the name you used to use?

Could you go home?
Would you even want to?
Appearing there, could you sing white dust and 8 bar blues in equal measures?

A Love Poem for K
My house is small.
If I buy an orange,
And bring it home in a canvas bag,

I have to decide what to get rid of;
What object it will replace.

If I lose something–
My book of Whitman poems, or
The card from my friend in New York,

It’s bound to be right there,
As close as coffee to the cup.

Should the postman drop me a letter,
I must then send one out.
I dream only once each night, but richly.

There would seem to be no room
For Another
In my life,

And yet,
The sun comes through my window
Each morning,

And seems to belong there.
What about that?

Harbingers

For Sarah’s prompt at dVerse: Harbingers.  During the olden days in Japan and today actually, cherry blossoms are important.  They are signs of beauty in the spring but they are also part of death.  A tree will be full of the blooms and a week later, all the blooms will have fallen to their death – cherry blossom rain.

Harbingers

“As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly; you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life …-leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks–on your body or on your heart–are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” Anthony Bourdain

An owl ghosting through the darkness,
A hawk sailing on the thermals.
A small cat giving birth for the first time
In the freezing rain,
My mother holding up her hand,
Reaching for her long dead mother
That only she can see.
Harbingers of death –
It comes for us all
Sure as the cherry blossoms in spring.

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