NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty One

A big front went through which made it rain and snow and hail and wind and then – Sun. A nice end to the day.

Before the trees leaf out in April,
hills are another shade of stubble.
Gold in the sun, violet below.
Pink in first blush of warm
the light slashes through them,
shivering each straight trunk
yearly urge to push upward.
Listen to those twigs whistle,
soon these low woods will be
chattering, all dark green
maple and poplar’s sap yellow.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty One

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty

Today was a day about the day job. Felt strange and in a weird way lonelier than the past month and a half. But we trudge on folks, we trudge on. (And a hat tip to my Mom, Betty Frezon for a line in her chat tonight that ended up in this poem!)

I refilled the coffee grinder today
where it hangs ready to churn my
morning beans into a small jar.
I looked at the bigger jar with
its inch of oatmeal remaining.
I threw away the cheese wrapper
and rinsed the empty milk carton.
Took the trash out, bin rumbling
put some boxes in recycling too
gave coffee grounds to the garden.
The evening light shone out of
daffodils so delightfully happy
whatever time had been measured
was paused and pressed in amber.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty

NaPoWriMo – Day 19

A beautiful April-appropriately warm day after a very cold night. No complaints. Sunday and tomorrow I have work stuff to do so painting it was!

Never kept a gratitude journal
figured my heart knew the truth
Now in these peculiar times
aren’t they? peculiar? scary
afternoons, draining evenings,
nervous nights, tentative mornings
overall mighty peculiar. But,
I was grateful for a sun-warm day
after a plain cold night
Glad for the oatmeal and the
apple I chopped into it and for
the nutmeg and its ancient grater.
For the coffee grinder and press
and the cup and the second cup.
I headed out to paint that welcome light
and pulled off along the road
I studied the landscape and the clouds.
A man stopped to say he’d seen me there
before and wasn’t this a day?
We chatted across the roadway
then he and his dog went on their way.
Another car stopped to check on me
and I held up my painting in progress
THey were excited and happy and
pointed to the hedgerow behind them
which, they told me with equal joy
held a cemetery right up that way.
I was excited for them, sincerely,
to have found such happiness and today.

NaPoWriMo – Day 19

NaPoWriMo – Day Eighteen

A quiet snowy day. We didn’t get the four to seven inches but there was slushing and there higher hills that were still white this afternoon. NaPoWriMo challenged us to “write an ode to life’s small pleasures” but there are so many right now, I’m going with a bigger one. Time.

Thirty days and thirty-one days to pause
Who knew in a lifetime you’d have this chance
From first awakening, to sliding grateful
back into a bed that holds you safely
Day after day of being. Looking and
seeing. Painting or writing or something
you haven’t named yet. Making breakfast. Lunch.
Wondering if it’s too early – guess what –
the answer to that is no. Do it now.
Do something else or more of that – later.
Go out on the porch with a cat in arms –
take a good whiff of the morning waiting.
However many more days and every –
Pick up the daily. Heft it. Wield it.

NaPoWriMo – Day Eighteen

NaPoWriMo – Day Seventeen (hold that thought)

Yes Seventeen… you know what that means? DING DING DING it’s Haiku Day!

We’ll be fine. Mostly.
Yes mid-April snow is fine.
I’m sure we’ll be fine.

Tax day came and went
without much pressure this year
Uh, what is today?

Been eating healthy.
Stocked up on beans and cabbage.
Craving a burger.

My shelves are well-stocked
I have emergency lights
Could you please call me?

Social Distancing
is a must these days for all
Hey, six feet back, bub!

Who is that masked man?
This is not a comic book,
just the grocery store.

Stay at home April
time to write many haiku
and eat some bonbons.

The cats look askance
You fed us, now go to work
please and thank you mom.

Some day we will laugh
at parts of this pandemic
but not all of it.

NaPoWriMo – Day Seventeen (hold that thought)

NaPoWriMo – Day Sixteen

A weird Thursday, woke to snow (and an open window since I totally missed that forecast). Bright and sunny and cold but with wild wind and changing sky. Worms are settling in. Internet finally returns after twenty-four plus hours… it’s been real -real something.

But hey, we’re here for the poems. Sometimes you get a line and just have to go with it, just like days without internet. This seems to be a weird two-parter joined by the idea of “worn”.

Worn

I.
Evening comes holding a handful of tears
something about four thirty or seven
The hill across the way is yellow-lit
in the day’s last slant, somewhere birds’ last song
Night comes by and sits in the eastern sky
we watch the light change down to grey and blue
This morning there was snow, which, just to say
that this world is a wonder of beauty
and yet tears come cold and without warning,
well, each day. If not four-thirty, seven
and not even the relief of crying
So much it seems I cannot understand
How will the world be, reentering
and seen with eyes so worn by tears?

II.
This old sweater, I see the wrist is worn
away from use – I wear it every day
almost year round, so no complaints I guess
but what will I do? become one who wears
a sweater missing parts? And what of warmth?
I’ll be sorry to see it unravelled so.
I try to be pragmatic and think of what
I’d like to wear instead. Maybe two
rather than one so I’ll be less that sweater
and more me coming up the steps,
more what I do rather than what I wear?
Perhaps a nice black wool or charcoal grey
I feel like I’m cheating on an old friend.
I’ll pretend it moved away, and may return
with newly knit cuffs and glad elbows.

NaPoWriMo – Day Sixteen

NaPoWriMo – Day Fourteen

Busy day doing not much of anything and I’m trying to work with the NaPoWriMo prompt and now I’ve forgotten what it was really all about…

You’ve taken that quiz: what x number of
people living or dead would you dine with,
if you could choose? Classic conundrum.
The answers are wide-ranging, the reasons
personal and predictable, but for
me — give me a table full of folks who
call New England home. Set a place for them:
Emily, Robert, Norman, HDT,
Mary O, Winslow, and John Sargent too.
Billy Collins, (New York, but close enough)
We’d gladly pass potatoes and the night.
What would we talk about? Weather, of course
and love, death and happiness and all things
under that changeable New England sky.

Why these people, you and others may ask?
I like them for their New England natures
They speak their truth and let it surprise you
without too much fanciness. No big fuss.
I like things conversational, and so
like our dinner, simple and to the point.
Twist optional but appreciated.
I tire of the endless highfaluting.
Speak to me simply – what you saw and why
Show me what it did to you that morning
or how the light passed while you watched it go
how birds flew rising and falling like waves
Tell me in plain language how it changed you
all that light, all that living, all those days.

And I’m pretty sure I could tell these folks all about my re-entry into the world of vermiculture and how today I prepared for that.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. — Winston Churchill

NaPoWriMo – Day Fourteen

NaPoWriMo – Day Thirteen

Well, to say the least, it was raining. And then it rained some more. And then Billy Collins did his live reading at 5:30 – Thank you Billy!

When the rain came down
making circles in circles
of the world already so wet
Out painting, grey isn’t
what I was there to do
so I broke out the tea
thinking this will pass.
It poured and I poured.
On my phone, a poet
reading. How amazing,
to sit in your car and
watch a favorite poet
read and talk about
his words. He was, in fact,
apologetically in Florida.
While he spoke I viewed
the fuzzy world past two
watercolor palettes and
laughed so I painted
them and him and went home.
It was a good day despite
the endless rain and news.
Another day of staying home
or at least alone, painting
and writing and finding
a scrap or two of laughter.

I can’t complain really, this morning it was so wet and windy that I stayed in and painted this.

Art to me, is seeing. I think you have got to use your eyes, as well as your emotion, and one without the other just doesn’t work. That’s my art. — Andrew Wyeth

NaPoWriMo – Day Thirteen

NaPoWriMo – Day Twelve

I think many are experiencing these sudden grabs of emotion.

Every day, a swath of tears
leaps unexpected
a cut of green against weeds
in an April landscape
The rest runs to rules
hills fading to light and blue
above the darker mid-ground
with hints of pinking trees
But nearby the sudden
dailiness of death
and in the moment of fearing
where can I plant my feet
to understand and accept
those insistent buds,
these insistent tears?

NaPoWriMo – Day Twelve

NaPoWriMo – Day 11

The mail brought a postcard and the NaPoWriMo prompt brought a link to a lovely archived version of Kate Greenaway’s Language of Flowers. Lovely indeed and a welcome diversion on this cold April morning.

I looked up the meaning of forsythia
hoping to write a poem for you.
The only things in bloom here
right now are maple, forsythia and
of course daffodils.
But, according to my book,
the bright and bobbing flowers
in the front garden mean “regard”
and the hills of maple now a-blush
stands in for “reserve”
which seem like such a
Brontë-ish bouquet –
much room for misunderstanding
and resulting hilarity or tears.
Forsythia though, didn’t make the list.
Looking up other names
brought me to flowering olive
also not in the translations, and
Easter tree, while fitting in the
calendar, didn’t earn a second look.
So I gave up the old resource and
did what I had to do and googled it
and was told by several sources that
forsythia, being an early flower,
means “anticipation”
Since we are all guilty of looking
every time we pass, hoping for
that tell-tale yellow budding
I’ll accept this. And hope you
will accept my child’s fistful of
sunshiny anticipation and regard
on this chilly April morning.

Daffodils and Mailbox

From the quote box:

He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

NaPoWriMo – Day 11