Thursday, April 27, 2017

Garden of Peace - a Poem for Day Twenty-Seven of PAD

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day; so carry around a poem in your pocket today. Or roll like me and carry a poem in your pocket every day.
For today’s prompt, use at least 3 of the following 6 words in your poem (using a word or two in your title is fine); for extra credit, try using all 6:
  • pest
  • crack
  • ramble
  • hiccup
  • wince
  • festoon
Photo of Jesus by Linda G. Hatton
I Really Did Find Him in My Garden

Garden of Peace

I scarfed down my last supper
to numb restlessness
bubbling up inside. But,
I winced. My stomach ached,
and there was no food left.
Then I found Jesus
in my garden, embedded
among the scraggly grass and pests.
He was face down, given up,
mud smeared on his back.
He seemed not to mind—his face,
although cracked, full of serenity.
I rescued him (or was it
the other way around?)—
thought I heard him ramble on
something about how
he’d sent me angel
tears and a bucketful
of hope. Said to plant seeds,
feed others, build a shrine of treasures
delivered on my daily hikes.
I said nuh-uh, I’d need a box of magic
the size of the great sea,
and my energy is better
spent festooning trinkets
     and treasures
to my bedside lamp
than on making up
for events of my past.
Still, I did what he said—sowed
my garden. And creatures big
and small came around
to nibble. Those angel tears
brought relief, watered my garden,
gave me hope 

that I’ve finally removed
my former seed coat,
and germinated
a new me. 


***



My Great (R)egrets - a Poem for Day Twenty-Six of PAD

Here is the prompt for day 26 of the AprilPAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a regret poem. Most people regret some action they’ve taken over the years, whether it’s saying the wrong thing, making the wrong choice, or putting off something for a tomorrow that never comes. Write about your own regrets, or the regrets of others (this is a great opportunity to write a persona poem).


Photo of Sea Gull by Linda G. Hatton
My (R)egrets Have Become Sea Gulls


My Great (R)egrets
     after Great Egret

Mine are not dazzling.
In fact, I’d rather not
give them a place
     in my head.
Mine have impressive
wingspans, but they never
learned
     how to fly.
While mine hunt in classic heron
fashion, the only thing
they long to catch
     is my pride.
My self-
confidence has been jabbed
by their yellow bills—
warning fliers
     for all to see.
You can’t miss ‘em—
my (r)egrets suffer
     from aggression.
You’d better not mess
with them. They’d fly
slowly and powerfully
if only they’d get the nerve
     to leave the nest.
My (r)egrets are not beautiful
     anymore.
They compete
for nesting space
     inside my mind.
They threaten and attack
those who try
     to interfere.
So leave my (r)egrets
alone. Let them be
in their natural
habitat
until nature
takes
over and they ascend
to someplace far
     above themselves.


(Facts about egrets were taken from the article at the following page: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/great_egret/lifehistory)

***


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Left Behind - a Poem for Day Twenty-Five of PAD

Here is the prompt for day twenty-five of the PAD Challenge:

It’s time for that final two-for-Tuesday prompt of April. Regulars probably already know what the prompt is.

Here are the two prompts for today:
  • Write a love poem. The poem could be about lovers, but also the love of family, love between friends, or even loving your job, chocolate, or music. Or…
  • Write an anti-love poem. Maybe you’re a hater; that’s fine. We’ve got the anti-love poem prompt for you.

You're Transparent to Me Now


Left Behind

You speak
     to animals,
     but you don’t tell me
     what they say.
You are
     as dangerous
as dry ice.
You scrape
     away
my childlike hide,
     and go seek

     dilly-dallying
alone
     inside a yurt
     with dirt
for your bed.
     You’re a shipwreck
waiting to happen
     on the imaginary 
     riversides 
of Cathedral City.
You’ve set
     twelve thousand
goals,
     but never attained
     one.
You are
the moaning
reverberations
     of a brass gong
and
     the cry
          of a sitar
all rolled into one.
You gallop
     like the beats
     of a tongue
drum.
You said
     you would always
     be my
sleep doctor.
You held
     my hand,
     shared
the sunrise on the crest
of Mount Batur. 
Then,
you jumped
     off a cliff,
     left me alone,
said you had
better things
     to see,
     had to do it
on your own.
So now,
you sit
     on my shelf,
a thematic dictionary,
defining
the ensuing
     death
     and after-
     life
of my heart. 

***


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lose and Find Yourself - a Poem for Day Twenty-Four of PAD


For today’s prompt, write a faith poem. For some people, faith means religion. For others, faith means trusting in science and mathematics. Still others, think George Michael’s “Faith” just as some immediately conjure up Faith Hill. Regardless of where you put your faith (or don’t), today’s poem gives you an opportunity to express yourself.


Photo of Birch Trees by Linda G. Hatton
We Are All Part of Nature


Lose and Find Yourself

Have faith,
she said,
in every fresh cloud-
          burst, and in the wind’s
     knack
for consoling
     your distress
with its temper-
          a-mental
flurries.

Have faith,
she said,
when the common
nightingale sings—
observe
how its aria
     flutters
     your heart
like wings.

Have faith,
she said,
in your childhood
birch tree,
(b)looming
in your mind,
     over
     every
regret.

And when you can,
have faith,
she said,
in your reflection,
captured by sky
and sea, staring
back at your human-
          ity,
          whispering,
          you are
consoling cloudburst,
fluttering common
     nightingale song,
(b)looming birch tree—
     all separate
and all one. 

***


Monday, April 24, 2017

Last Step - a Poem for Day Twenty-Three of PAD

Here is the prompt for day twenty-three of the PAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Last (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Last Starfighter,” “Last Unicorn,” “Last Day of Summer,” “Last Cookie in the Cookie Jar,” and so on.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
Sometimes It's More Fun to Drive

Last Step

Sometimes it’s hard
knowing you aren’t
where you want to be
just yet. You have
so many more steps

ahead that you can’t quite
make out success. Each day
is a struggle, won-
          dering when it will be
“your turn,” but still you

keep your chin up,
keep placing heel to toe
on the path before you,
sprinting against those
imaginary competitors,

hoping to reach that last
step, rather than being grateful
that you’re in the running—
forgetting the last step
means the end.

So instead of anticipating
your destination, groove
over each hurdle, send
love and peace
to your competition,

breathe out your struggle,
embrace your muscles, pumping,
growing. Give thanks, take pleasure,
remember, it’s an obstacle race—
and there is no beeline.

***



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Wolf and Mouse Learn Lessons from Each Other - a Poem for Day Twenty-Two of PAD


For today’s prompt, write a fable poem. A fable is a story that conveys a moral, usually told with animal characters.

Artwork by Linda G. Hatton
This Mouse Got Away


Wolf and Mouse Learn Lessons from Each Other

A wolf barreling
through forest dark,
felt his shape
shifting into pine
trunk and leaves
and bark,
and river stones
along dense dirt path
when he came upon 
a skittering mouse 
whose life force
he could not trespass. 

The mousepuffed up 
in the task
of cracking open
an acorn shell
 
refused to give him
the time of day.

Although the mouse felt 

hot breath on his neck, 
he tapped, 
he chewed,
he cursed 
in squeaks 
and chitters 
(the usual language
of such critters).

Just as the wolf said, You’ll never
break through
, the acorn
snapped apart under
those insistent chews. 


Mouse swallowed
the nut meat 

and awarded wolf
the empty shell
to prove persistence
brings about rewards.

When wolf reached down
towards the vacant 

husk, he snuck a stroke
of the rodent’s pelt,
then spun around 

and stole
that vermin’s form.

As wolf stared 

at his brand-new 
shadow,
he gurgled up 

a little grumble.

Well, you’re right, 

I didn’t give in, 
so I finally broke through. 
And now I see how 
perseverance 
wins.

***



Friday, April 21, 2017

Origami Bowl - a Poem for Day Twenty-One of PAD


For today’s prompt, pick an object (any object), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Toothbrush,” “Rake,” “Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller Pen,” or any number of other objective titles. Have fun with it.


Photo of Origami Bowl by Linda G. Hatton
A Gift from My Son


Origami Bowl

Paper edges like boat sails,
red as the tips of bottle-
brush, paints my soul 
on the desk from where stories 
grow. Its contents, 
the ocean 
in roughened form—

a shard of green soda bottle, 
edges smoothed by uncounted
licks of the sea,

a droplet of orphaned turquoise,

the start of a savings for my next
summer vacation
plunked down in coins, big
and small,

a broken seashell that fits 
in the bend of my fingers,

a charm mirrored after
a swimming creature, blue
on one side, 
my dreams on the other, 
rub it 
like a worry stone. 

I thank my son 
for his creation,
holding memories 
while he grows tall,
and further away 
from where he started,
a perfect piece 
of unfolded paper, 
floating out to sea
leaving me behind 
on the hillside
with my garden.

***

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