Monday, May 1, 2017

The Pleasure Garden - a Poem for Day Thirty of PAD

I skipped day twenty-nine. If I wind up writing something, I will post it later. For now, here is the prompt for day thirty of the PAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The (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 could include: “The Poets,” “The Good Guys,” “The Bad Guys,” “The Last Thing She Said,” and so on.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
Even the Garden Statues Come to Life


The Pleasure Garden

Undetected fairy wings 
     twitch
under my footsteps
and an itty-bitty
cracked crystal ball
     reads
my future,
but I’m too busy
     getting by
to notice.

Mossy dreadlocks
     swing
in the trees above me
while flying ants
     police
the grounds,
     handcuff
me in lotus pose,
hold me captive
for rainbow
shield bugs
     to cleanse
my chakras.

Somewhere
off in the distance,
a brownish-grey
mourning dove
     coos
my name,
begs me
to stay, set
an example,
gather debris,
plant seeds, help
     heal
the thicket,
teach all futures
to love and hold
it in 
     high
esteem.

***


Saturday, April 29, 2017

You Smell Like Bubble Gum - a Poem for Day Twenty-Eight of PAD


For today’s prompt, write a poem about a smell. Similar to Day 6’s prompt about writing a poem about a sound, today’s prompt involves thinking about the various good and bad smells that fill the world. Pick one smell (or a variety, I suppose), and write a poem.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
Some Things Remind Me of That Bubble Gum


You Smell Like Bubble Gum

Sometimes
when I try to write,
I smell that bubble gum
I hid in my closet
in the house
where I grew up.
I remember feeling lucky. 
You’d given it to me
for Christmas
when I was sixteen.
I hadn’t seen you in years
when you made
that surprise visit
and handed
me a gift. I carried
that present upstairs
like a newborn, pondering
what lay swaddled
underneath the paper.
I ripped it open
and found gumballs
lined up side by side
like soldiers at rest.
I popped one
into my mouth
and was taken back
to our bowling alley
field trip
where the vending machine
shot out chewing gum
like bullets
from a machine gun.
It took me a year
to chew all that gum.
With each fruity ball I rolled
between my teeth, I wondered
when you’d roll back into my life.
I never got that lucky. 
The next time I saw you,
your casket reminded me
of that bubblegum
box. 

***


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.

***



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