Council, Mark, Store

Freepik St Nicholas

The Living Poetry prompt was Council, Mark, Store. Since it came out on the September 19th, I was fully prepared to write something about Queen Elizabeth the Second. Until Bart Bartholemew’s poem hijacked by thoughts. Plus the Wordle for the day was Saint. Anyway, my thoughts went in a completely different direction. Apologies for using counsel, not council. It’s a homophone anyway

Saints take their counsel
from celibate men in cassocks
they store their treasure in heaven
no expiration dates
accessible only after death

The rest of us
prideful, wrathful, envious, lustful, gluttonous, and slothful
hope to avoid the Mark of the Beast
tiptoe into heaven
behind Mary’s skirt

The Park Bench – a Wordle story

I’ve been playing around with flash fiction that I craft from successive Wordle words over the week. The Park Bench is my first try, but it’s cute, so sharing it here

Joan walked in the park every afternoon when the weather was clear. She always stuck to the main paths, close to the entrance that was near her apartment for peace of mind. The quiet time cleared her head. She usually saw the same people walking dogs or taking afternoon exercise. It made her feel connected to life in the city. She headed toward her favorite bench and sat down.

A man with a small dog headed her way from the other direction. She had not seen him before. He slowed as he came to the bench and asked, “May I sit here, madam?” The dog sniffed around the bench, looking for a place to pee.

The old-fashioned greeting made Joan laugh. “Of course,” she replied. She regarded him for a moment and said, “You’re new here, aren’t you? I walk most days at this time and have not seen you before.”

“I am.”, he replied. “Moved here from Wichita. I started a new job and I’m trying to get acclimated to the city. My dog here has never been anywhere with such a lot of cars and noise.”

“I’m from Kansas too,” she said. “It’s hard to make connections in a new city. Have you met many people already?”

“No, it’s my first week. I’m still trying to figure out where to get groceries,” he said with a laugh.

“Yeah, that is hard. Delivery works. Well, I’m here every day around this time so long as it is not pouring buckets. My name is Joan. Now you know me.”

“I’m Rob and this is Rose of Sharon, Sharon for short,” he said, motioning to the dog who had jumped up on his lap.

Joan deliberated for a moment. She was lonely. Her walks gave her a feeling of belonging, but she didn’t have personal connections. She had not met many Kansans in New York and wanted to talk more about home, which she did miss terribly. She decided to take a chance.

“Rob, there is a good diner right by my apartment. It’s a few blocks away. And they are dog friendly. Would you like to grab a bite of dinner with me?” She held her breath

Rob looked at her and considered the offer. “Yes, let’s go.”

They exchanged pleasantries as they walked and seated themselves when they arrived at the diner. Joan had a Cobb salad. Rob ordered the liver and onions. They shared a wedge of cherry pie with coffee for dessert.

Rob retold that story every year on their wedding anniversary to anyone who was at the table. “Park benches are magical places, full of possibilities,” he always said.

POV – Uvalde

We learn more about the failure of dozens of heavily armed police to confront the shooter in Uvalde. My heart breaks when I remember how truly wonderful 10- and 11-year-old children are. I submitted Uvalde, to Whispers and Echos, an online blog for writers of short fiction and poetry, to share some of my sadness, never thinking it would be published. So excited to see my name in print and grateful for the opportunity to share my Point of View with a wider readership.

Rosicrucian musings

Gnossienne
Hidden in plain sight
Root – gnostic
Keats, Debussy, Satie, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington

Devotees of Rosicrucian thought
Belief in mystical knowledge held by a privileged few
Penned our Constitution

That quasi-religious treatise
written for self-government
by the sacred Founders
was really intended just for them

but I have the audacity
to believe that those words
were written for all humanity

Written in response to June Musical Poetry Prompt on Living Poetry blog

too much to bear

In the weeks since the Buffalo shooting at the Tops Friendly supermarket on May 14, 2022, there have been more shooting than I can bear. Two sonnets for Buffalo and Uvalde follow

Buffalo

Tops Friendly market, Buffalo

A grocery store
A place to meet
A place to see and be seen
A place to assemble the ingredients of life’s pleasures

Ten lives
Ten elders
Ten pillars of their families, communities
Mourn for their loss

Buffalo, you joined the litany of hate crime scenes
Charleston, 2015, Mother Emmanuel church
Pittsburgh, 2018, Tree of Life synagogue
El Paso, 2019, Walmart

How do we unwind the Gordian knot
of White men’s rage?

Uvalde

nine to eleven
the wonder years
children bound to parents
in trust

shoots in the garden
reaching towards
yet unrealized selves
at the end of 4th grade

ready to move
ready for more
just shy of pimples and crushes
a sliver of time too precious to waste

cut short by a reaper’s scythe
he grew from the same soil

Add, Kind, Maple

Written in response to the Living Poetry prompt

Hope

She added something blue
To her maple chest
Thinking about the kind man
She was about to marry
And hoping for a happy life

Rituals

That cranky farmer of the
“Good fences make good neighbors” philosopy
Did not add to the general welfare
Or become a kind presence in his community

He could have tapped the maple trees
With his neighbors in the late spring
In a communal ritual
Going back generations

Debossy

Poem written in response to the Musical Monday Poetry Prompt on Living Poetry

At risk of sounding Unrefined
I don’t like Debussy’s Clair de Lune
Notes run on
Into dreamland I nod

Give me a good symphony
With percussion and timpani
Better yet, give me Gershwin or jazz
Or a good big band

The French claim world cultural prowess
But I prefer the music
Forged by the creative friction of the
Huge and diverse American experience