Next Door

Next door cultivates perfection –
gardens pert with flowery blooms
like vibrant little soldiers heeding
the command of love’s labour,
shimmering with prideful confidence

My garden is overgrown vines,
chaos’ shameful exhibition,
bemoans the futility of planting,
knows there will be no follow through,
betrays the absence of love’s toil.

Life has schooled detachment
lessons in loss counsel defensiveness –
better to guard hope than plant it…

How can next door be so reckless;
do they not know this all for naught?

(This a rewrite of former poem also titled Next Door. Image my own.)


Love Talk

It’s like cycling uphill
in three lanes of traffic
in a snowstorm

trying to communicate with you

I keep peddling –
sending signals –

but you’re like the SUV
spraying slush in your wake

hindering  progress,
ignoring my needs…

Aren’t we soulmates –
in tune, hearts beating as one –
words superfluous between us?

Then why am I about to expire
and you’re just revving up?

No telepathy at work here.

Empathy lacking, too.

(Sammi Cox’s weekend challenge is telepathy in 72 words)

Needs Not Applicable

Needs, you insolent, little
bastards – interfering
with my independence,
gnawing at these walls

Nasty, you are, and heartless –
pathetic, infantile, cowardly
what part of unwanted
do you not understand?

I am making a stand –
choosing to erect barricades –
a stronghold of invincibility –
quit circling the fortress

your endless chatter
annoying me to distraction –
I will have none of it –
will not tolerate vulnerability

I am strong, singular
do not need sympathy,
empathy, understanding,
nor acknowledgment

I am an island –
self-sufficient and proud –
and your insignificance is a blot
on my otherwise perfect landscape.


Freak Show’s In Town

Come one! Come all!
Step right up folks!
See the amazing,

Come see this matron
turned tigress!
Witness how the weaker sex
transforms into a powerhouse
of resourcefulness –
a magnificent multitasker!
You will not believe your eyes!

These are no ordinary
babies, Ladies and Gentleman!
See the menacing three-year-old
who looks like an angel but
has the mind of a devil!
Look upon the smallest child
only months old, but with lungs
that will shatter glass…
be awed by the gigantic
boy baby, youngest of them all
with an insatiable appetite.

Step right up folks!
Watch as this extra-
ordinary woman
breast-feeds two babies
and prepares supplemental formula
all whilst reading to the third!

Behold how she balances
two baby carriers
while strapping
a toddler into
her car seat!

Marvel over how
she shops for groceries –
a magnificent feat,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Tremble as she maneuvers
her two-carted entourage
through people-ridden aisles,
list firmly gripped between
her teeth, while she emits
a constant stream of baby talk
keeping the trying toddler
on a verbal leash.

Sigh with relief
as silence settles
over the household
and our heroine falls
into a deep, exhausted sleep.
Be terrified as she awakens
with a start, suddenly realizing
she has abandoned her boy-child,
in her vehicle, overnight!

You will be amazed!
You will be inspired!
You will be horrified!

Step right up,
Ladies and Gentleman!
This is a one-of-a-kind,
attraction, guaranteed
to entertain!

Catch it here, live!
Twenty-four/ seven,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
No two shows are alike!
Step right up folks!
Admission is free!

Sarcastically Speaking

Every good teacher knows that sarcasm is never a good idea when it comes to building relationships with students.  The same is no doubt true for all interpersonal connections, yet I cannot seem to avoid it at times. Take, for instance, the issue of an unkept kitchen.

Please understand that I am no longer capable of cooking and cleaning to the extent that I used to be, and therefore, rely heavily on my husband, so I have no right to complain.  That didn’t stop my frustration from pouring forth when, for the umpteenth time, I found the sink full of dirty dishes, the counters covered in crumbs and grease, and the stove top still bearing the pans from my husband’s last culinary foray.  I, who subscribes to the clean as you go theory, do not like to start my day (or any part of the day where I need to prepare food) with a dirty kitchen.  For the most part, I dig in and clean up his mess before starting anything new, in this case, to make a cup of tea.

Today, for some reason, it felt overwhelming.  Maybe it was the debris floating in the slimy, cold water in the sink, or the sticky collection of spoons and knives clotting on the counter – whatever it was, I wanted to nag.  Badly.

Nagging, however, is not my m.o.

Sarcasm is.

It suddenly hit me that my husband, the planner, the corporate problem-solver, the go-to man to get a job done (other than housework) is actually a closet scientist, and that what appears to be a disaster is actually an experimental breeding ground for his scientific study.  Arming myself with this sarcasm, I left the mess and retreated to the bedroom, waiting for him to come home.

I must have drifted off, for when I awoke it was to the sound of a loud pop and a cry of alarm.

“I just blew up an egg in the microwave!” he called from the kitchen.  “It was an experiment that went awfully wrong.”

Turns out there is truth in humour, even sarcasm.