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.

***

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Edelweiss for My Father - a Poem for Day Twenty of PAD

Here is the prompt for day twenty of the April PAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a task poem. The task can be some glorious duty, or it can be a seemingly small and insignificant job. Or the poem can take someone to task. It’s your task to figure it out and write it.


Photo of Mt. Shasta by Linda G. Hatton
You Live on the Mountainside Now


Edelweiss for My Father

As a child I believed you
embodied life everlasting.
But, it wasn’t true.
Your death left me
stranded, so now my task
is to unearth you,
bask in your presence
just once more. Yet,
how can I? You survive now
only on remote mountainsides
where lovers die
to get a glimpse
of your double-star formation.
Last I saw you
was the wee hours
of early September
when I snuck away
from base camp—discovered
your blooms near the end,
disinterred you, stole away
with your white, woolly petals
that I later placed inside
my bedside table alongside angel
cards and the fragile pages
of an antique bible.
Your grin has become
2-D, but the way you lifted
one side of your lip
still thrives
in my memory,
and the smell of edelweiss
envelops me in a sadness
that is life everlasting. 

***


Hiding Out in the Open - a Poem for Day Nineteen of PAD

Here is the prompt for day nineteen of the PAD challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a memory poem. Pick a memory, any memory. It can be a significant event, but sometimes there are beautiful insignificant moments (that ironically are very significant–quite the paradox). Mine your memories to come up with something good today.

Photo of Doorway by Linda G. Hatton
I'm Watching You through the Doorway


Hiding Out in the Open

She hoofed it up the front steps,
but I must have appeared
as a statue to her, immobile
in the burgundy chair,
staring her direction
out the picture window.
She cradled an iPad,
peered into the window
above me, then glanced
around for a sign of life,
finding none.
She rang the bell,
but I’d been instructed
not to open the door
to strangers. When
she got no answer,
she investigated the space
a little more—and then
pulled her hair clip off,
shook her tresses down
around her shoulders,
fluffed some tufts,
admired her reflection.
Then she headed
on her way
to another attempt
at human contact—
hers or someone else’s—
at the next stop.

***


Saved by Stardust - a Poem for Day Eighteen of PAD

Here is the prompt for day eighteen of the April PAD Challenge:


Here are the two prompts for today:
  • Write a life poem. The poem could be about the miracle of life, the complexity of life, the game of Life, or anything else that means life for you. Or…
  • Write a death poem. For most organisms, life leads to death. So this should be as full of possibility as the life poem.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
It Once Hung Near the Moon


Saved by Stardust

Life has been shooting
tests my way, threatening
my mobility,
emotional stability.
This morning I arose
to a fallen star
and a deceased
bee on my living
room floor. I reached
down to rescue
his carcass, give him
a proper burial,
but he crumbled under
my touch, turned
to dust. I couldn’t help
but wonder, did he fly
upwards to the sky
with such force
that he knocked
down that luminous
ball of gas for me
to catch, save
myself? Only,
I missed it—
lost in-
         stead
in my every-
day
distractions
and
dissatisfaction.

***


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

No Rest at the Rest Home - a Poem for Day Seventeen of PAD


For today’s prompt, write a dance poem. The poem can be about the process of dancing or just somehow incorporate or reference dancing in the poem. There are so many styles of dance out there and even more occasions for dancing: school dances, daddy-daughter dances, wedding dances, people who dance when they are happy, people who dance when they are sad, people who dance in large groups, and those who dance alone. And, of course, there are so who just won’t dance for anything.


Photo of Boy in Sand by Linda G. Hatton
Dance Everywhere


No Rest at the Rest Home

For eighty-five years,
he showed his contempt
at those on dance floors,
until, confined to his couch,

he devoured
hour after hour of
So You Think
You Can Dance
.

The series came to a close,
leaving him inspired
to do the pony
and the pogo,
but everyone else
reflected he was near
his own end, so he’d lost
his chance
to boogie and bop.

To prove them all wrong,
he strained, he stretched,
he swayed side to side
in his de-
              composing sofa bed.
He then took my hand,
begged me to dance,
do the hitch hike
and the hornpipe,
and then
to
perform
dances
of universal 

peace
by his side,
until he
was
dead.

***


Provisions for a Disorganized System - a Poem for Day Sixteen of PAD


For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) System,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Weather System,” “Solar System,” “Writing System,” “Ecological System,” or any number of other takes on systems.


Photo by Linda G. Hatton
Ah, Let's Just Get Takeout


Provisions for a Disorganized System

In my pantry where cans 
of green beans dated
1989 have been kicked
     into place
underneath dried lentils
and other leg-
                       umes,
and held prisoner
by some vile,
separated
salad dressing, and questionable
soda crackers
in a box with one torn corner,
you’d agree that I never
managed to become
self-organizing.
Therefore, I am not
part of the living
system.

***


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