Monday, April 20, 2015

Landays in a Time of War

Your unmanned drones make a living hell
of days and nights in my beautiful besieged country

Women tell each other secret poems
to make sense of the nightmare of oppression we live 

Not enough tents for those war displaces
The horizon is littered with the broken-hearted

photos by Seamus Murphy, from A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan

Landays: the secret poetry of Pashtun women, on the border of Afghanistan, by which they respond with sometimes ribald humor, sometimes love, grief and separation, to the harshness of their lives.

The first line of each couplet is 9 syllables, the second thirteen


Day 20

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Half My Heart

The River by Lisa Barnes

There's a new moon made of glass
hanging over the mountain,
and an alabaster shawl
draped along its slopes.
Nine swans huddle at the river's edge
and my solitary heart
is floating in the mist
along its shore.

I have lived in this valley
for fifteen years,
with only half my heart,
and I am still just a visitor here,
perched, like Raven,
on the topmost branch
of the jagged scrag,
gauging the horizon,
gathering my wings
in readiness
to fly.

for Karin's prompt at Real Toads: halves, by half, halvsies. Day 19.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Roses by Plum Bridge

The Buddha land where once
we dreamed our dreams
by the light of the candles
is abandoned now.
The dreamers have all gone.
A crumbling wall reveals
dead leaves scattered across the floor
where once we ate, and laughed
and believed in a beautiful tomorrow.

War has touched the village
which is now full of ghosts and whispers.
But three roses still bloom by Plum Bridge,
in memory of those days
that will live forever in memory
until my last breath.

I am reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Fragrant Palm Leaves, his memories of a golden time spent in community at Phuong Boi in Vietnam in the 1960's, before war caused him to flee and live forever in exile from the place he so loved.

Day 18

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Terzanelle

My eldest daughter, Lisa

When springtime's heat descends upon the land,
the dust motes swirl, as all is basked in sun,
the trees drink deep, and every leaf is fanned.

Warmth and beauty, bright the river runs;
as if the cold of winter never was,
the dust motes swirl, and all is basked in sun.       

Hummingbirds whirr and sun-dazed bumbles buzz,
blue jays bomb the feeders, flowers bend and sway,
as if the cold of winter never was.     

We waited long grey months for such a day
to escape our winter houses, greet the sky,
as blue jays bomb the feeders, the flowers bend and sway.

Above, a blueness, in our hearts a wondering sigh,
such magic has arrived to paint the land,
lure us from our winter houses, to greet the sky. 
Our spirits stretch their wings, our cramped souls pray,
and warmth and joy is all we understand,    
for magic has arrived to paint the land.
The trees drink deep, and every leaf is fanned.

A Terzanelle, a combination of villanelle and terza rima, as explained at NaPoWriMo. Lines and rhymes are chained throughout the poem, so that the middle line of each triplet is repeated as the last line of the following triplet (or, for the last triplet, in the concluding quatrain). It looked daunting, so I attempted it as an exercise.

Day 17

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Death's Feathery Wing

When death comes and brushes 
your family
with its feathery wing,
let the tree of your being
sink its roots deeply into the earth,
the better to keep your balance
as the winds of grief move 
through your soul.

But allow your leaves and branches
to remain supple and bending,
so they dance in the breezes of
the present moment without breaking.
May their willowy waltz 
brighten the eyes
of your loved one, letting him know
that, even in pain and tears, 
you will be all right,
still living in the love song
that is this life's gift to you.

Be still and listen for the flutter 
of angel wings close by,
as all those you and your departing one 
have ever loved and lost
bend near to gather 
your dear one Home.

Day 16

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

On Sow's Ears and Silk Purses

print available at

"You cant make a silk purse out of a sow's ear,"
my grandma would opine.
So was I a fool for trying?
So many ears, so little time!


"If wishes were horses, 
then beggars would ride,"
when I wished out loud
Grandma would chide.
But life without dreams
I could not abide.
How is it I wound up
always a bridesmaid
and never a bride,
with a '92 Toyota for my ride?


They thought I was an imbecile.
I dare not ask if they think so still,
especially as the years go on,
and more of my brain cells are gone.


google image - photographer unknown

"Look at those old fools," scoffs callow youth, 
his  baggy pants slung below his bum.
"They're ancient. They dont see the truth,
they must not know they look so dumb."

I chide him, "Look through kinder eyes,"
(It will take him decades to grow wise),
impart my lesson, dutiful:
"Love at any age is beautiful."

(and this part isnt foolishness!)

some random  thoughts for  Susan's Mid Week Motif: Foolishness

As it turns out, this might also qualify for Hedgewitch's prompt at Real Toads: Folly

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Traveler, Do You Have a Dream?

do you have
a dream
long for?

Do you have
a dream
you have set aside,
you may have missed your chance,
and it can
never be?

Fly up!
that dream
your heartland.

The bird
no limits
when she's
the sky.

for Mary's prompt : It's Time! at Poetry Jam. This is Poetry Jam's last post. Thank you, to Mary and all who participated at Poetry Jam. It has always been a wonderful site to visit. It will be missed.

Day 14!!