ABC: Art. Beauty. Creativity.
Lots of fun, and one solemn thing:
Good ideas, along with silly stuff and nerdy stuff.
Three poems this week, some funny stuff, and some useful information, as well as beauty.
This is the last day of National Poetry Month–and National Poetry-Writing Month. This is my 24th poem for this year’s challenge.
like a bad penny
this time he was gone
for almost two years
he has the sour smell
of someone who’s been
drinking for days
I don’t let him in
don’t be like that
just let me crash here
I’ll leave in the morning
I close the door
and lock it
he pounds on it
Mary Ann Mary Ann
you’re my last hope
I call 9-1-1
there’s a bum on my doorstep
and he won’t go away
they can’t arrest him
if he hasn’t broken any laws
but I don’t want to wait for that
when the cop car pulls up
he runs away
he’ll be back
maybe next year
he always comes back
Selfie with Ralph
Tell Me Your History
What happened to you in
your past life, Ralph?
Why is it that you cringe and
run away when I stoop to
pet you? Why do you refuse
to take a treat from my
hand, but grab it when I
put it on the floor and step back?
Why do you growl at Daddy,
who’s never ever hurt you?
The neighbors laugh when
they see me walking west
with you. They say, “Doesn’t
it defeat the purpose if you
carry your dog on your
walk?” I have to explain
you only walk toward the
house, never away.
You’re so damaged. You
never come when I call you.
I can only touch you when
you are in your safe places,
your little beds throughout the
house. We’ll never know what
happened before you came to
the shelter, a stray. But don’t
worry; you’re safe now.
The summer I was nine
my family visited relatives in Germany.
It was the first time my parents
had returned since emigrating to
the US ten years earlier.
Tante Resi’s house was our base of
operations. My grandmother turned her
bedroom over to me. It contained a
wardrobe, a bed, and a nightstand. A door led to
a balcony from which you could see the
garden, the Bavarian village, and the woods beyond.
But the best thing in the bedroom was the
Federbett, literally “feather bed,” a colorful,
puffy ticking envelope filled with feathers.
Today we might call it a down comforter.
I’d never seen one before.
Even though we visited during the summertime,
the temperature plummeted at night, and the
only heat in the house was the wood stove
in the kitchen downstairs. (Heck,
they didn’t even have a bathroom,
but that’s another story.)
The Federbett was so thick
it weighed several pounds. At bedtime,
Tante Resi covered me, and I remained
toasty warm all night.
applauding the brilliant performance
burping the ABCs
chortling like a baby
drumming your fingers on the table
ear-splitting screams of terror
foghorns warning of danger
giggling at the silliest faces
hiccupping despite holding your breathe
ick! get that away from me
joking with each other
krunching through the snow
laughing all the way ha ha ha
mumbling an apology
ouch! that hurts
quarreling like an old married couple
rumbling like an empty stomach
shots fired in the night
volume turned all the way up
whistling in the graveyard
x-clamations of joy
yelling at your children
zapping the alien with your ray gun
Meanwhile, somewhere in Arizona
seen from a red tile roof:
cactus and palm trees and wildflowers and weeds
discarded furniture and yard debris
rattlesnakes and scorpions
and a unicorn
t-shirt-, shorts-, and flip-flop-wearing walkers
strolling past the inverted pyramid
speaking in Spanish
protected from burning rays by baseball caps, zinc cream, and sunglasses
Trump’s anti-scientific musings have been dangerous
Love You Forever
Lord, I pray for an end to this pandemic
and yet, as the words leave my heart
I wonder if it’s even good to ask for
an end to the dying
an end to the pain
an end to economic chaos
an end to inconvenience
an end to isolation
what if this is Your way
of welcoming people to eternity
with You, an exodus from pain to paradise
or of reconnecting parents with children
and workers with their neighborhoods
what if this disease is accomplishing Your purpose
I still want to hang on to the way things were
when I could go to rehearsals
or out to dinner and a movie
when I could hug my friends
or even be in the same room with them
Your will be done
please strengthen me for what’s to come