Two Sides

All day and night
I want of you – I
Want so deeply that “want”
Is too trite a word – this
To me, my very breath – is to
Be in this love – to be
Yours and yours only
Forever and a day

What you ask of me, I ignore it all
Yes, I submit easily, but I
Don’t want what you want
This moment is all there is
This is all I want – to
Have you now – to be
Yours and only yours
But only for tonight


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dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics: For the love of puzzles . . .

Lillian is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse Poets Pub where she shares her love of how one word leads to another in crossword puzzles and their cousins in style: Acrostic Poetry.

In Word Acrostic poetry the first word or the last word of each line in a single stanza poem spells out a message.

Lillian has created an Acrostic Plus where the first letter of each line in the first stanza spells out one or more words, while the last letter of each line in the next stanza spells out something different, and so on, but together there is one message.

We’re challenged to either write a poem that in some way relates to a puzzle, includes the word “puzzle”; or try our hand at an Acrostic poem. I combine a Word Acrostic with Lillian’s Acrostic Plus to tell a familiar tale of Mars and Venus,

Whispers From Erato

Muse whispering warriors ear

Take me now; I have need
Lexis to which I must heed

Ethereal whisper in my ear
Diaphanous sight before my eyes
Gossamer touch against my skin

The first preface to our prologue
Vellum void of phrase and prose

Let me bathe you in ballad
Let me shower you in sestina
Let my sweet imagery of nothing
Become your metaphor of everything

Let your periphrasis wrap me in symbolisms
Let your euphemisms surround me in similes
Let our soul be one for the discourse of rhythm
for the dialogue of reason, for the diction of rhyme

Let us fall down in the shadow of the valley of meter
Let us rise up on the rock of ages and iambs
Let us bask in the most of incremental repetition
Until only the onomatopoeia of our couplet is left

Diamante drops on parchment and papyrus
The final edict to our epilogue

Gossamer touch against my skin
Diaphanous sight before my eyes
Ethereal whisper in my ear

Lexis to which I must heed
Take me now; I have need


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dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Who’s your Muse?

Today Ingrid tends bar and invites us to choose our muse. I choose Erato, muse of love poetry and lyric poetry to let her sweet whispers scream everything. For when she  has need to speak I take heed to listen, and write… 

My Words

I’m stripped soul-naked standing bare
To a universe made of blank paper
Its mocking nakedness haunts me
Seductively taunts me with its vapor

I see my words as pieces of my deepest soul
Shattered apart in my passions throes
Then brought together in a multi-hued mosaic
A stained glass window, if you will, of prose

My words reaching through time with voices of one from long ago
My words reaching for the vernacular of the street griot, ya kno’

Words lose me in the folds of its scripts
And lets me discover myself yet again
Words listen to me when no one else wants to
Words speaks to me in a way no one else can

Sometimes my words scroll across my monitor
To let me say what I want to say
Sometimes I resort to pen and paper,
To express my words in some other way

It sometimes scares me to the core, being so beholden to such
I’m scared of being pushed away, I care for my words so much

Yes, I cater to word’s selfish lusts
It’s a call I’ll always heed
Words give off a satisfaction
That’s almost carnal in need

But lately my words are not happy
With the scratch of the mighty pen
There’s this new desire to be heard
And it’s a most frightening yen

Paper no longer holds them, my words have something to say
But in the excitement to be heard, my words get in their own way

I risk the bleat of my vocals failing
Changing the meanings I devise
Yes, my words on paper are lovely
My words from my voice are otherwise

But words have trusted me all this time
In the handling of its care
Spoken word is the natural evolution
If only I take up the dare

So, I put my trust in my words, as it puts in me alike
I take a prayer and a breath and step up to this mic


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dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Take a risk!

Tricia at dVerse challenges us to explore the theme of risk. Whether it is tackling difficult subjects or laying bare a personal struggle in vivid detail, exploring a new writing form that you may find “risky” or unconventional; perhaps the risk we take falling in love.

Write on any topic as long the word “risk” is used,

The Castle Keep

My steed rides roughly through the loam
We’ve traveled very wide and far
Battle weary but still on par
For all the road I’ve yet to roam
The longest road the first step home

The portion to right unjust wrong
The cost to our men’s lives was steep
The pride we sow we humbly reap
The battle fought was hard and long
Tales that become folklore and song

Glad it’s all done should truth be told
I contemplate my latest scar
Hopeful my queen forgives the mar
Small price to pay her gentle scold
To see the face I long to hold

A winter’s storm slows our advance
All far travels have their own cost
As we lose more men to the frost
My men look to me for guidance
I cannot waver in my stance

Though my own mood be very drear
It’s I alone who holds their hope
It’s by my lead I know they cope
The last goal twixt what we hold dear
My men let loose a hearty cheer

I may yet enter in a tome
The sight of the valley’s green sweep
And just ahead the Castle Keep
The wind becomes our wild mane’s comb
The shortest road the last step home


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dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Exploring the Narrative Voice

Ingrid tends the bar at dVerse Poets and challenges us to write a poem in the voice of a fictional character. It can be any character. One can introduce the character in one’s own voice, but the main body of the poem must be in the voice of the character. It can be a dramatic monologue, or create a spirit voice through whom the poem speaks. The challenge is to experiment with fictional storytelling in the poem.

I’ve gone all medieval king returning home at the end of a battle.

Doorbell

Doorbell ~ Raivenne

She greets me with each new dawn
Much like my doorbell loud to sing
We pick a cardinal point to walk
See the morn – for noon will bring
reminders that in this masked new world
the year passes in its usual swing
I sit until dusk – no points met
For a silenced doorbell cannot ring

Flood ~ T’ao  Chien

The lingering clouds, rolling, rolling,
And the settled rain, dripping, dripping,
In the Eight Directions—the same dusk.
The level lands—one great river.
Wine I have, wine I have:
Idly I drink at the eastern window.
Longingly—I think of my friends,
But neither boat nor carriage comes.


Tonight, at dVerse Poets Laura tends bar and reminds us that today, April 20th, is UN Chinese Language Day. Thus, we are challenged to re-interpret an original Chinese (translated) poem in our own style and try not to use too much of the original poem’s wording. I chose “Flood” by Tao Chien, whose ending lines of longing for friends brought to mind those missing friends and family lost this past year due to the pandemic.

In addition, I chose to re-interpret the poem in the Chinese LUSHI style:

  • eight lines long of couplets – The first couplet should set-up the poem; the middle two couplets develop the theme, the final couple is conclusion
  • each line must have the same number of words, either 5,6, or 7.
  • a mono-rhyme is on every even numbered line
  • Caesura (a pause) should separate clauses.

To Lie Down

You call me to lie in the fragrance *
Of the scent of those who only care
To lay odious privilege in the ways
That their pale puffs of new smoke
Ignore the long burning dark fumes
Of those who barely dreamed to dare
The dreams never given a chance

To lay odious claim in the ways
The scent of those who care
For traditions of their halcyon centuries
When their words were held as the only
Voices that ever had the means to say
What was yours to keep, not ours to share

That their pale puffs of new smoke
Ignore the long burning dark fumes
Of the peaceful conflagrations of the tired
Who’ve long held the raisining to explode**
Against those that desire their sweet past resumes
In a future in whose vile stench we’re again choked

For those who barely dreamed to dare
The dreams never given a chance
For we citizens who like you, are born here or immigrated
Still find ourselves the ones on the side alienated
Don’t be surprised upon return to where you’ve called me to lie
Quietly with nose wrinkled and looks askance
That I’m brave enough to be, to see, to rise from there ***

* Line was inspired from the last line of Season of Lilac by D. Margoshes
** Line inspired by the poem, Harlem by Langston Hughes
*** Line inspired by the last line of The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

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Tonight at dVerse Laura Bloomsbury wants us Beginning at the End. We are offered several ending lines from select poems to be our muse for a new work of our own. We are asked to preferably not use the offered lines verbatim as the title or within the writing itself but either cite the reference at the end or place the quote as distinct Epigraph at the top. Naturally, Muse goes a little above and beyond and reference three poems.

dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Beginning at the End

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Quinta Essentia

Painting by Lynne Baur

Painting by Lynne Baur

From ashen body starts the tale
In life’s water
I, a virgin rabbit of yin
In mercurial Kanya – become
From cradle to cane I breathe
In summer breeze, winter gale
Until I am naught to El Sol
But dusty memory of soil itself
When all is said and done

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For dVerse Poets Pub – Gospel Isosceles asks us to be “In My Element” and do a little homework and discover what some of these cosmologies say about me.

I pull from:

  • The Elements Earth (ash-soil), Water (amniotic fluid), Air (breeze/gale, Fire (El Sol- the sun),
  • Astrology (Virgo – Western, a Yin Water born in the year of the Rabbit – Chinese, and Kanya ruled  by Mercury – Vedic), and
  • The Bible (ashes to dust)

I break me down to a quinta essentia* of self.

*According to Merriam-Webster: The word “quintessence,” is the offspring of “quinta essentia,” a word for the purest essence of a thing.

Last Stand

A jumble of foliage comes in time
Start their claim on the season,
No longer native to this clime
She still stays on, only she knows the reason

Sprinkled bulbs and blossoms have burgeoned through the earth
She sits there in defiance, determined to keep her berth

“We all have to go, we can’t remain
That’s all there is to it”
But she hears not a word her friends say in vain
She will be the first to do it

And one by one her friends slowly twinkle away
Even as the last meanders off, she is going to stay

Her impetuous nature leaves her alone
But she has not a single fright
The jeweled dark a keepsake of her own
As she conceded to her last night

Afloat in mawkish memories and alternate outcomes
Even she cannot deny the allure of what she’s to become

A specter of what she once was her fate
Stretching in the cool shadow of night’s indigo
The rays of Sol start to illuminate
And she knows it’s now time for her to go

Facing windward for the last time, feels like a kiss goodbye too
As she the last snowflake falls from the first spring grass as dew

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Today at dVerse Mish asks us to give nature a voice.

dVerse ~Poets Pub | Poetics: From Nature’s Point of View

Home

It’s a small place, but it is our own
Its mandatory comforts aren’t much fuss
Fuss doesn’t hold credence with folks like us
Be it ever so humble, it is our home

The front faces north and east
Its perimeter acres from anyone
The southwest view catches the setting sun
Between sunrise and sunset a visual feast

An aquamarine lake past woods beyond compare
I choose the rooms I live in with care

I’m a simple person with simple needs
“It shows” tease my friends with a smile
Yet they all seem to stay for more than a while
It’s richness they say is my heart and deeds

Our décor to some leaves much to be desired
Erratic colors from when we bought the place
And only a minimum of furnishing fill the space
I confess myself it’s not very inspired

Some say simple, some say austere
The windows are small and the walls almost bare

For us the beauty of this place is past the four walls
Enjoying each dawn of nature’s reception
And dusky colors beyond conception
As nature paints new pictures winter, spring, summer, fall

At home, it seems the stars shine as never before
Full moons deflect the dark echoes of silence of country nights
A most different view to our former noisy city lights
Haley’s comet is nothing to how it makes my heart soar

And at night there’s only one with whom to share
There’s only one bed and there’s only one prayer

Some say I am obsessed and such
It seems this house and you are all I know
The increment of time makes it more so
But I know you love this place just as much

As each day passes, it grows even more warm
Our humble home with its vista so grand
Such good fortune in life, more than I can stand
Each night I sleep soundly, holding your sweet form

And on the rare working night, when I’m holding air
I listen all night for your step on the stair

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(Italicized lines from Leonard Cohen’s “Tonight Will Be Fine”)

Today at dVerse Purple Pen In Portland (Sara McNulty) is tending bar and asks us to imagine that you have been given free rein to design any type of building you wish. As I already have poems of my abode out there, I decided to take this from the view of someone a whose style is little – read very – different from mine.

dVerse | Poetics: Poetics:DIY Building 

Real Toads: The Tuesday Platform

Three Shots

Winter in dirty rounds
Left a sour chaser
In this summer soul
El Sol hears
My shaken last call
And responds
Warm rays fall
A tonic that bides me
Straight up until spring

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The kamikaze ball dive
sent a spritzer of
mud and hair of the dog
across the erstwhile neat landscape
of three sheets to the wind
With shaken resolve
Bro and I
face Mama

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Days of straight
getting hammered, plastered

Now after a paint chaser
all proof of the head shot
soused across the wall is gone

Tipsy with exhaustion
only the bloody memory
has me stirred

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Yesterday, De (aka WhimsyGizmo), invited us to mix our muses up a bit by throwing some pub and drinking terms in the blender. But to use the words in ways that have nothing to do with the bar scene, alcohol, or drinking. Being verbose, I went for the tall drink realizing after the fact she wanted shots of no more that 33 words. Being a lush I offer the “three shots” above.

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dVerse Poetics: Muse Mixology