Cricket Cacophony

Clouds cluster, warn of coming storms.   Having been shut in for days, I am anxious to get outside.  Trusty camera carefully secured around my neck,  hands firm on walker’s grip, I begin my slow stroll through the neighbourhood.   A gust of wind disrupts the flight of a bumblebee, and we collide: he striking my cheek.  I step back, startled.  No damage done.

I follow a walkway, built between the houses, leading to our community center. This route takes me past rows of flourishing gardens – a feast of vibrancy.  I slow to watch the bees delightedly dancing from bloom to bloom.  At the edge of my friend’s house, I hear the crickets, loud and raucous, as if they know that she is currently away.  I pause to listen, surprised to hear such unabashed chirping mid-day.

Lingering, I hope to catch a glimpse of one, maybe even a photograph, but the creatures are securely tucked in the shadows of the overgrown foliage, oblivious to my presence.   I capture the flight of a bee, and the elegant profile of a mourning dove, and then turn back. A white winged moth brushes my hand in passing and then stops long enough for me to take a picture.  The crickets keep on singing.

Midday crickets sing –
revel in nature’s bounty,
as storm clouds gather.

(Written for dVerse, hosted tonight by Victoria.)

Reverse Solitudes

Loneliness –
abandoned and rejected,
grieves unrestrained,
then hesitantly,
willingly,
opens to possibility,
discovering hope,
connection,
in solitude –

not alone

in solitude
connection
discovers hope,
opens to possibility,
hesitantly,
then willingly,
grief releases,
abandons and rejects
loneliness.

(Frank Hubeny is the host tonight for the dVerse Pub, and he challenges to write a reverse poem.  I found this one in my archives (2015) and with a little tweaking, I think it work.)

Problematic

“You’re an enigma”
mother would tsk,
ushering me out of the door,
brown bag lunch,
book bag dragging,
to catch a ride across town

a special classroom –
desks pushed together
formed quads, and
walls retracted,
created one large room,
the bustle of activity
a constant

no readers here,
or math sheets,
it was free learning,
cross-curricular,
learned about history
from novels,
math and science
through applications,
wrote poetry,
read Shakespeare,
enacted plays,
and while some went to shop
or home economics,
I tackled Mensa puzzles

we debated
current affairs,
grew a social conscience,
progressed individually

“Men don’t like smart women,”
was all my mother could say,
shaking her head with disgust
at this daughter, who spouted
politics with her father, and
whose career goals,
prepubescent,
aspired beyond the 3 k’s.

(Penned for dVerse, hosted tonight by Amaya Engleking.  I’ve also snuck in Daily Addictions prompt:  enigma.)

Boxed Revelation

Insignificant enough
to go missing –
a single box,
stored away,
one, maybe two,
moves ago –
the absence
of its contents
now called into question.
Seems that redundancy
is not permanent –
what was once inconsequential
now has purpose –
gives me renewed hope.

(Today’s quadrille prompt is box.  Visit dVerse to participate.  Our host this evening is De Jackson.)

Hand Holding

Found my first love
holding hands
walking home
from school –
grade one.

Father’s grip
crushed,
controlled,
warned against
disobedience,
held on until
compliance
was assured.

My sister’s hand –
frail flesh stretched
over aching bones –
clung to mine
until her internal heat
burned the touch
and I had to let go
while she surrendered
her last breath.

A lover’s hand
lacks stillness –
strokes and cajoles,
employs sensuality
to invoke desire.

Held my children’s hands
with my heart –
never wanting to let go,
prideful possession.

My granddaughter’s fist –
still pink from birthing –
wrapped around my finger
gripping the unknown
with the ferocity of
one hungry for life –

My husband’s hand
reaches out for mine
conveys support
for unsteady legs
offers strength
to propel me forward.

Hands convey
what the mind cannot –
a secret language
nuanced for life’s moments,
leave deep impressions.

(Tonight is Open Link night at dVerse, and our host Lillian has invited us to celebrate with her, as August 9th marks many National celebrations, one of which is National Hand Holding Day.  To see the others and join in, visit here.)

 

 

Malevolent

Sensing foulness of mood
they slither out from dark places –
whirling wisps of putrid insinuation

Clever they are, and almost imperceptible
but I am clever also, have succumbed
one too many times to the deceit

will not be played by the mutterings
prodding me to find fault with others
to claim myself unjustly wronged.

With the force of a mountain
I stand fast, repel the daemons,
command uncompromising clarity.

Hissing with disappointment,
the spineless creatures retreat,
disappear to plot their next attack.

(Tonight’s prompt at dVerse comes from Jilly who challenges us to write about the unseen.  I am also including this post in Ragtag Community’s challenge: play.)

The History Lesson

“Why do we have to learn about something that doesn’t effect us?” the small, blonde student asked me. “I mean, it was ages ago, and not even in our country.”

She might as well have run me through the heart with a stake, the pain of her words struck me so deeply.  I considered her:  an average student, indulged, youngest child, modestly dressed, like many of her age. Disinterested.

Because without our awareness, and interference, history repeats itself, I wanted to say.  Because nothing that happens in the world happens in isolation; we are not immune. Because ignorance makes victims of us all.

Instead, I sent the class home with an assignment:  ask questions, call your grandparents, find someone who remembers, and be prepared to share what you have discovered.

***

History foretells –
casts eerie shadows over
disregard’s future.

(dVerse’s Haibun Monday is hosted by Frank J. Tassone, who challenges us to write a piece for Hiroshima Day.)

 

Re-Settling

Front porch –
a balcony view –
retirement’s play.

Novel – this place –
silence stretches,
pauses briefly –

a car creeps by,
or a dog barks –
my heart beats…

inside – commotion –
pounding hammers,
swoosh of legs in motion –

not mine – body bankrupt –
mind impoverished –
no – not that – just struggling.

empty boxes pile up,
others – contents lingering,
unresolved – call my name,

but the front porch
makes promises –
there is time…

(I am a day late for dVerse, but intrigued by the challenge, decided to join in anyway.  Today’s prompts are: commotion (Fandango), novel (Ragtag Community), poverty (Daily Addictions). Photo is front porch view – our first sunset.)

 

Solitudes

Solitude.
I dream
of expansive landscapes,
crave your panoramic
silence, thrill to the ideal
of your boundless sanctity.

Solitude.
You wrap me
in separateness, strip away
my cardboard walls, tear
at the corners of my instability;
no refuge from the stillness.

Solitude.
I am smothered
by your starkness, by my
starkness, cries of madness
reverberating through vast
canyons of aloneness.

(Solitudes first appeared here in May 2017.  From 2014 to 2017, I lived in isolation and silence due to ME/CFS.  I examined the phenomena often through poetic expression. This edition has been altered from the original.  I submit it here for dVerse’s “Sounds of Silence” challenge.  Thank you Dwight Roth for hosting.)

Mom

She dresses for company,
every day –
just in case.

Keeps a puzzle at her side –
a distraction for lonely times,
entertainment for guests.

Body failing,
eyes challenged,
but mind is sharp.

At ninety-one,
how she keeps going
remains a mystery to most.

(Mish is hosting in the dVerse pub tonight.  The challenge is to write a poem in 44 words (quadrille) using the word puzzle.  Thanks Mish!)