Sailing

For Kerry’s Prompt at Real Toads, Art Flash, an American Sentence.  An American Sentence is exactly 17 syllables and is a complete sentence. It is not necessary to rhyme it as it is Allen Ginsberg’s version of a haiku.

Sailing
“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, Smell the sea, and feel the sky, Let your soul and spirit fly, into the mystic.” –  – Into the Mystic   Van Morrison

The moon sails on an ebony ink lake like an argent Lucifer.

Roll On

For Carrie’s Sunday Muse #74

Roll On
“Time is like a river…” – Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot

the gull knows.
the gull knows the river flows on forever
from the drops of rain to the mighty ocean.
the old man plays his organ
connected by a long heavy duty electrical cord
and he plays for himself.
he sings,
roll on mighty river, roll on.
the gull flaps its wings
and gives a raucous caw.
it likes to sing along.
roll on mighty river,
roll on.

For John Wick

For Sanaa’s Wild Friday Prompt – finish a Sappho Poem

For John Wick
“You want a war, or you want to just give me a gun?” John Wick to the Bowery King

In my eyes he matches the gods
In my eyes he matches the gods, that man who
sits there facing you–any man whatever–
listening from close by to the sweetness of your
voice as you talk, the

sweetness of your laughter: yes, that–I swear it–
sets the heart to shaking inside my breast, since
once I look at you for a moment, I can’t
speak any longer,

but my tongue breaks down, and then all at once a
subtle fire races inside my skin, my
eyes can’t see a thing and a whirring whistle
thrums at my hearing,

cold sweat covers me and a trembling takes
a hold of me all over: I’m greener than the
grass is and appear to myself to be little
short of dying.

But all must be endured, since even a poor
assassin such as I.
Watching you glide through the Continental Hotel
I envy those who have gone up against you,
especially those that have not survived.
It is glory to die beneath your hand
but even more,
it is glory to be pressed against you,
to be stroked like your dog
whom you love above all.
I load my gun,
I sharpen my sword.
I am ready to die now beneath your glance.

Hoshizora

For my Wednesday Muse Prompt.  Boketto is one of those Japanese words that has an odd meaning.  It can mean to daydream, to go gaze out at the distance with an empty mind, to stare at the landscape or the stars.  I am asking people to write poems in accordance with the word.

Hoshizora
“Not just beautiful, though–the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

lying back on the dew wet grass,
I lay and watch the stars
turning slowly in their courses.
It wasn’t until I was 20 or so
that I realized the stars were gazing back at me.
I watch them.
They watch me.
and stars don’t fall.
not really.
a grain of sand,
a piece of trash from a comet
is set on fire as it enters our atmosphere.
I watch the fire burning burning.
the stars watch me
lying on the dew wet grass
and smile.

hoshizora – Japanese word for stargazing

Little Lion

For Carrie’s prompt over at Sunday Muse BlogSpot.

 

Little Lion
“How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.” – Robert A. Heinlein

I hated dolls when I was a child.
I preferred my stuffed animals,
our cats and dogs.
I dressed the cats and dogs in
the clothes of the dolls,
rode them around in the doll carriage,
had tea parties with them and
read stories to them.
I loved them dearly.
To this day I remember them all.
I remember I wept bitterly when they died.
I know my cat Pugsley who
was euthanized three years ago,
I kissed him before the vet
administered the shot.
I kissed his sweet face and whispered,
sleep well little lion, sleep sweet.

Frozen

For my Sunday Muse blogspot, Wednesday Muse prompt, A non-music music prompt. “Don’t let the sun go down on me”.

Frozen
“When stars collide, like you and I, no shadow blocks the sun” — Elton John“The One”

Frozen here on the ladder of my life
I stand at the gate
watching you board the plane –
back to Japan.
You changed my way of life.
From an awkward woman –
Bookish and shy
To a tiger of a woman
wielding a wakizashi,
Writing seasonal poetry
And respecting self.
You returned to Japan.
You left me drowning in the sunset
colors of a melting sun –
You left me – frozen in time.

Union Blood

cotton mill workers 1902

 

Union Blood
“Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected.” Samuel Gompers

We were a union family – from 1900 to current. My grandmother along with her two older sisters (orphaned when the oldest was 15 and my grandmother was 10) got work in the old Erwin Cotton Mills in Durham, NC. The two sisters went to work with my grandmother looking after them until she went to work in the mill at age 12. They lived in a boarding house. Life was good though. The Erwin Mills community took care of their workers providing medical treatment and a store for the workers. They also provided housing – identical row houses along about a dozen streets, abutting the Duke University East campus. The Boarding House was a tall gothic style house along Carolina Avenue.

My father when he got out of the Army, went to work at Dan River Cotton mills in Danville Virginia. He met my mother and moved to Durham. He had his first major heart attack standing at the weaving machine. Cotton Lung Disease.  The Erwin Mills community, by then Burlington Industries, took care of him and his family. They provided his medical care and nurses and everything, at Duke University Medical Center – one of the premier medical facilities in the world. He died finally after a septupal bypass. As was the custom, the mill closed for the funeral although my father hadn’t worked for several years at the mill.

I escaped that world when I was 18, going to university where I obtained my BA, BS. MS, and PhD degrees. My aunt, another overeducated southern woman, obtained her BS, MS, PhD, and MS in Nursing and MS in Hospital Administration.  Burlington Industries paid for our education until we went into higher than BS or BA. I remember the picnics they had for the employees, the barbecues, the fish fries. At Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter every family was provided with turkeys, hams, fruit baskets, several bags of special holiday groceries. Workers worked hard but they played harder and always ate well.  Growing up in a tight mill, union community was a privilege. I am still a union believer although I haven’t worked in a union shop for many years. I will argue vehemently for the trade and industrial unions.
seasons come and go –
lungs become muddy with cotton lint –
union pays for all

Durham NC aerial view of Erwin Mills, Duke University, surrounding homes ca. 1930

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