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Day Ten #OctPoWriMo October 10, 2017

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October 10

Why won’t the warm October breeze
release my grief as easily as it
dispelled last night’s chill?

Why can’t I laugh
as the hummingbird rants
to retain its right to three nectar feeders?

Why only a brief smile
as finches jockey for thistle seed
while pairs of Monarchs spiral ?

Alone on the deck I return
to this day
seven years ago
shattered serenity
hope, hospital
eleven days later
his death by nursing home

Yet still I surrender to October’s power
hold sacred time suspended
before the inevitable grief

Day Nine #OctPoWriMo October 9, 2017

Barb as teen hair up

Sixteenth Summer

Sixteenth summer
Hair petaled high
Long cigarette holder
Daring black dress
My Holly Golightly
His Paul Varjak
My Audrey Hepburn
His George Peppard
Cruising Hollywood Boulevard
Convertible
White Ford hardtop
Top down
Warm summer breeze
Love
Memory’s moment
Love
Warm summer breeze
Top down
White Ford hardtop
Convertible
Cruising Hollywood Boulevard
His George Peppard
My Audrey Hepburn
His Paul Varjak
My Holly Golightly
Daring black dress
Long cigarette holder
Hair petaled high
Sixteenth summer

Day Eight OctPoWriMo: October 8, 2017. #OctPoWriMo

mississippi65-66barbatfreedomhouse

How Could I Know?

Naïve and trusting child,
how could I know
when I took that bus to Mississippi
my mission to fight injustice
would not still my country’s hate?

How could I know
those charged to serve and protect
would be fed on fear
incited to shoot others
based on the color of their skin?

How could I fall asleep?
Pretend the world was different now?
Arrogant do-gooder
convinced my brief battle for justice
would somehow change the world

Smug and insulated
frozen in privilege
only aware of what our moneyed masters
allowed me to see
I lived in a middle class dream
not knowing my own complicity
my subservience to affluent power

Then an old white man spoke up
challenged the masters who
made war for profit,
exploited the earth for their greed,
pitted the poor against one another,
used difference to divide

The millennials heard him, too
penetrated the corporate walls with their technology
posted videos of violence,  dared to acknowledge
truth concealed by politicians and their owners
rallied to destroy the deceivers
were defeated by deceit

When I was a naïve and trusting child
how could I know that in my maturity
my mission would be to fight the same battle,
back a new generation’s bid for justice
beseech them to stay awake?

 

 

Day seven OctPoWriMo: October 7, 2017. #OctPoWriMo

Today the Pomegranates Split

Today the pomegranates split
Not all of them
but the first to offer sweet wine pearls
their taste deepened by dirt from my hand

Today the apples lay red beneath the tree
Not all of them
but a few still firm to my fingers, crunched
and filled my mouth with memories

Did the wind blow last night?
When did the peaches on the tiny tree
decide to fall?
They held tight just yesterday
when I chanced a gentle pinch

Now, warm fruit against my lips
the peaches, too, fill me with longing
for the gentle sun that soon will leave
and the autumn that has already arrived

 

Day six OctPoWriMo: October 6, 2017. #OctPoWriMo

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Perspective

 

Today while I fretted about:

finishing the book
writing the poem
cleaning the refrigerator
feeding the dog
rehoming the books
getting to the meeting on time…

Someone:

died at a concert
starved after a hurricane
learned she had cancer
became a slave
contracted HepA
lost their child
said good-bye for the last time…

Then I fed the dog.

 

 

 

Day five OctPoWriMo: October 5, 2017 #OctPoWriMo

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Once more

Now I understand youth’s rawness
love’s wild joy that made sun’s slanted gold
too bright to bear
rejection, a ragged cut with serrated knife
loss, a frozen tundra, wasteland of despair

Too soon thick scars smother intensity
the foot plods through sodden sand
weighted by life’s sediment
to hear only faint echoes
of heart’s beating drum

In dusk I take knife to branch
pare down to tender core
unbearable beauty, sharp pain
reckless release from life’s incrustations 
to feel youth’s gold,
and the serrated edge once more

Day four OctPoWriMo: October 4, 2017. #OctPoWriMo

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Between Clouds and Water

Between clouds and water
an egret

freedom, grace and beauty
to my grateful eye
evil death and murder
to darting silver fry

Between clouds and water
an egret

sustenance and growth
for predators who wait
soars home again at sunset
to joyful chicks and mate