This exile –
self-imposed, I confess –
wears thin with age.
Too many winters
braving the cold –
heart’s frozen rebellion
against Father’s tireless raving,
Mother’s queenly submission.
So many moons
engaged in a crusade –
armed with but a hollow sword –
the chill of time lapsed,
Castle lights are waning,
death lingers in the air,
and only now, on this fateful
periphery, do I wonder –
measure the rage against costs –
blame’s righteousness builds
only walls – faults corpses
rotting either side.
Empty-handed, I approach,
cowed by the enormity of task –
bearing no gifts, no legacy –
only a paltry offering
of forgiveness – pray
I am not too late.
(Image provided by Willow Poetry as her weekly challenge: What Do You See? Also linking up with Frank at the dVerse pub, whose theme tonight is blame and forgiveness. Ragtag Community’s prompt is fault.)
Not for the weak of heart, this watery confinement –
with brine-coated tongues and surly dispositions, went
the submarine crew to their depths, braved the absence
of daylight, sold their souls to Poseidon’s entombment.
Some say it was the fumes, sulphurous as Hell’s own funk
that warped the minds of hardy men, robbed them of their spunk –
tales of lily-white maidens, whose melodic tunes wiled,
lured spirits from their nests, lifeless corpses in their bunk.
(This form, inspired by Willow Poetry’s What Do You See? challenge – the image provided – is a Rubayait, written for dVerse pub.)
What’s her name?
from mother to son –
recognizing the love-lifted
joy of his countenance.
I cannot tell, said he,
you’ll ask too many questions.
Do I know her?
No, Mom, she’s Somali.
I felt my whiteness
and all its privilege
slap me, stumbled
Of course she is welcome,
of course it does not matter.
Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how heads
would turn, and vile strangers
attack, and his father shun them.
And how her own mother
would advise her to take his name
when the day of their nuptials came
so that finding work would be easier.
Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how
everyday matters suffer
unfair scrutiny –
hold them in my heart
and pray, knowing my shield
of whiteness holds no sway
to protect them..
(Written for dVerse pub, where Anmol challenges us to address the topic of privilege.)
What ideology is this –
the feminine clothed in conservatism,
carting creatures whose nature is wild –
are we to believe women, too, are tractable,
or that girls should aspire to control
their beastly selves, become pets
for mass consumerism?
Glances say it all –
the inability to face the authors
of this myth – subdued by shame,
powerlessness, or conditioned politeness –
do not be fooled; there is more to this story –
it may be invisible, we may all pretend
it does not exist, or downplay its significance –
but one day, rage will have its say.
(Written for the dVerse pub, hosted tonight by Merril, with the theme: invisible. My poem is a reaction to the featured image, offered up as a prompt by Willow Poetry for her weekly challenge: What Do You See?)
It’s odd, this gift of solitude. Perched beside the canal that runs behind our site, I affirm my connection to the earth, give thanks for this place and moment, and acknowledge that I am a part of all that surrounds me. The late afternoon sun casts a glow on the foliage across the way lighting up the mirror-still water with vibrant reflections.
Two winters ago, I was fighting to breathe as temperatures dropped below zero. Trapped inside my home by impassible walkways, I was desperately trying to stave off depression. It’s hard to be hopeful when isolation is imposed.
“There are no absolutes in life,” a professor once told me, and I think of that now – how just when we think our sentence has been handed down and sealed, an opening appears. I have been most fortunate. I savour each moment this current state of solitude offers.
Heron’s watchful stride
invites reflection, respect –
(Kim is hosting in the dVerse pub tonight with solitude being the prompt for our haibun.)
How can we speak of desire when needs, unmet
ravage our sense of survival – we’ll regret
this wanton display – flames subside but hunger
remains – the body’s priorities reset.
Perhaps it’s the soul that stirs when you are near –
Spirit longing to overcome mundane fear –
as if the intertwining of flesh equates
with mortal release – quick come to me, my dear.
(Written for dVerse poetics, where we are examining poetic forms. This week, hosted by Frank, we are challenged to write a Rubaiyat. To find out more, click on the link.)
Gnarly, these withered limbs,
this vessel more rigidity than flow,
winter upon me, a permanent clouding,
sunnier days passed – oh how vivid
the imagination when blue skies
met green grass, no hindrances
Old dreams hover, tethered to fences –
defences to camouflage vulnerability,
offences to keep my paths cleared
Find balance in isolation –
an old tree, past her prime –
Would cut loose this precarious
hold on all things fantastical,
but fear the act a harbinger –
So, I bide my days in this
frigid limbo, and hold on.
(Today’s poem is inspired by the image from Willow Poetry’s challenge: What Do You See? I am also linking up to dVerse’s pub night, where Sarah is hosting with the prompt: harbinger. Ragtag Community provided balance, and Fandango’s word is tree.)