Saturday, September 25, 2010

Writer's Island: Whimsy


My friend, Dorothy, has moved into
her father's old house
and has chosen

the word “whimsy” to describe
the back sun porch

with pink and green quilts and stones
and chimes and plants. But,
really, it describes

The whole house. The hallway
is turquoise and has
a phone niche

in which rests a turquoise phone.
The living room rug is
orange with

matching grout between the stones
of the fireplace. The kitchen
is bright pink.

Upstairs, next to the master bedroom
is a tiny room filled
with magic.

From floor to ceiling are drawers
containing treasures
collected from

around the world by her father. This
is where Dorothy now sits
in the morning

with a cup of coffee to contemplate
her life and write in
her journal

and let the whimsies that surround
her keep her young
and playful.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Big Tent Poetry: Travel Haibun

Haibun=prose followed by haiku.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Second-block students saunter haphazardly into class. Books are piled on desks. Conversations begin. I head out to the hallway, do the normal teacher duties, for the last time. This thirty-year trip will be over in June. I watch the teenage parade, each marcher so different. There's Joe with his three-inch platform boots, white cargo pants, and black make up. There's Felicia in her skinny jeans. (I'd kill for a body like hers.) Here comes Anthony with his baggy jeans half way down his butt and the crotch somewhere around his knees. And look at Tonya's new golden hair and secret smile. She has her first boyfriend. They are all on their own trips, traveling in separate bubbles, bouncing along the locker-lined corridors.

Cranberry, melon,
apricot: autumn-dressed leaves.
One drifts to the ground.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

3WW: Gait, Nudge, Ripen

Carol and I took a stroll
through her garden.

The tomatoes were ripening
in front of us

in the warm September
sun. In the house

her mother-in-law,
my father-in-law's wife,

was balking at going
into an assisted-living

facility. We'd been trying
to reason with her

for hours, to gently nudge
her into acceptance.

My husband, her husband,
and her son were with her

and even from outside
we could see her throwing

daggers at them with her eyes.
I took some pictures

of Carol's flowers as she
told me their names

but soon we had to return
to the house. Our gait

was slow and reluctant
as we walked across

the lawn. We opened
the door and stress

puffed itself up
and blew into our faces.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

One Single Impression: Joie de vivre

Joie de Vivre

Move curtain aside,
peek out bedroom window,
see waves of clouds

cresting slowly
over mountains. Notice
hillsides getting rusty.

Put on flannel pajamas,
the navy blue ones with stars
and moons.

Descend stairs in quiet
house, turn heat to 70,
settle into recliner,

power up computer,
make sunshine
word after word.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday Scribblings: Wait

My father-in-law
is staying with us
while waiting
for a spot
in an assisted-living

He had a mild stroke
earlier in the summer
that affected
his short-term

His wife,
suffering from her own
is in Connecticut
with her son
also waiting.

“When is Elli arriving?”
he asks several times
a day. “She's not coming here;
we're going to drive
you down
in a few days.”

“Oh, okay.” A few minutes
later he says, “Elli's not here;
she had to leave
to go to work. I hope
she's not having
an affair
with Roger.”

No, dad, Roger
is her son. He's taking
good care of her.”
“Oh, okay.” A few minutes
later, “When's Elli going
to get here?”

We're all waiting.
Linda's Poems