No Books Allowed (This Time) – dVerse Prosery

Monday was Prosery Monday for dVerse hosted by Ingrid.  Prosery is a 144-word challenge – max – in which we must use chosen lines from a bit of poetry. But get this… we must not write a poem!  This week, Ingrid chose from Wordsworth’s ‘Lines Written at a small distance from my House…‘ The lines we must use are as follows:

And bring no book, for this one day
We’ll give to idleness.

We must use the words in the exact order and cannot insert any others. We can, however change up the punctuation.  How can I resist? It seems this week’s challenges both (that I participated in) involve books in some way.  Or not.

The plan for today is simple: walk and lunch and just hang out, catching up as it’s been forever and a day since our last get-together.  I notice a suspicious object in Kathy’s bag when I pick her up.  Oh no, not this time! She will not disappear to some secluded spot with her romance novel.

“Kathy, I believe I said to bring yourself and bring no book!  For this one day, we’ll give to idleness!

She sheepishly removed the books from her bag.  “A girl can try. Reading is a form of idleness, no?”

“I think not.  Are we so dull, you need to escape us?”

“Of course not!  I always bring a book, just in case–”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. No reason for it today for today, we pfaff.”

“Sounds wickedly sinful.”

“‘Tis.  Shall we join the others?”

“Lead the way!”

 

 

Tuesday Poetics – Food!

On Tuesday, Sarah from Sarah Writes Poems hosted  dVerse Tuesday Poetics – Food being the subject du jour.  Well now. Anyone who knows me, knows I do food. I love food. I love to make food to feed others. I love to share pictures of my food.  I am all over this prompt!

Funny how I knew exactly where I wanted to go and then, started writing and it went here. That muse just took over and ran roughshod over my idea!  She might have had the right idea, we’ll never know because she squashed my original words. Hope she used a quality masher, is all I can say.

My Food is Love

Chatting about food with my cousin one day

She says: What do you mean, you cook for others?

You should cook for your own pleasure

 

I retort:  What is the point to go all out

If it is just for me?

I show my love with my food

 

As did my father with his famous BBQ ribs,

His secret recipe held close to his chest

Or that one special meal made for my birthday, which I’ll never forget

 

And my mother, who can magically

Rummage in her freezer and find the ingredients

To feed a last-minute group of fifteen

 

I like to think I am a mix of both parents

Able to create something with nothing

Or to go all out with a six-course feast

 

My joy of creating fancy meals

Has caused others to fear receiving me for a meal

As if I would ever judge what they serve

 

The purpose of an invite is never to show off

Nor make others feel intimidated

It’s to gather my loved ones and share, even in the prep!

 

So, in my house, do not be surprised if on Tuesday

There is duck breast with raspberry sauce

Because Saturday it might be grilled cheese or frozen pizza

 

Creating food, simple or complex

All has the same goal, in the end

To show my love, sitting around my table

 

So, if I’ve gone through efforts, big or small

And no one comes to join me (kids? where are you?)

I guess my cousin was right, in the end

 

I best cook for my own pleasure, then
I suppose I could even convince myself it is a form of self-love

Yeah well… I’m not buying what I’m trying to sell

 

Subdued Celebration

On Monday, Lisa hosted a dVerse Haibun with the theme “Celebration”.  Like most people, Christmas and New Year’s were not the celebrations we were hoping to have.  for this prompt, I kept it to Christmas mainly because New Year’s was a whole lotta nuthin’.

The plans were set in motion. This year, we were going to retake Christmas, government be damned. It had been cancelled last year, thanks to measures to combat COVID. Not this year!  Christmas Eve at Tracy’s (all dressed up) with game gift exchanges, a potluck feast and scratching of Chinese gambling cards. This would be followed, the next morning, with brunch at my house where we all squeeze in (still pyjama-clad) my kitchen and living room while Iain makes the omelets and the rest of the breakfast goodies.  Don’t forget the “mimosies” as Mick used to call mimosas. After naps, we make our way to Lisa’s (casual) for our turkey dinner that ends with a Texas Hold ‘Em poker game.  We were so excited.

Then December 23rd happened.  COVID hit and we had to cancel.  A scramble to buy a turkey, hope it thawed out in time. Iain made us three our brunch and, later that day, while the delicious scent of Christmas permeated the house, Iain went to get my mom and we shared a perfectly roasted (if I say so myself) thirteen-pound bird with mashed potatoes, canned peas (don’t ask, traditions are what they are) and homemade gravy. I even found jars of my cranberry sauce and pickled beets, preserved previously. All was not lost.

Parties are cancelled

Celebrations now subdued

Love remains present

Tinsel

Quadrille Monday for dVerse and I’m actually posting on the same day?  Will wonders never cease.  It must be because we had to use the word Tinsel…

 

 

Silent Night plays while
tears stream down her face
like tinsel cascading from the branches
of a Christmas tree

 

Where the silver strands hang on
hers roll off her chin
disappearing into her shirt
over her heart

 

It is but her yearly ritual
Remembering

 

 

 

 

Giving Thanks… and Pie?

I do this to myself all. the. time.  I get a prompt in my inbox and I think, “Oh yeah, baby, I know what I’m gonna write”. And then some annoying person comes and asks me for a stupid pen or lead for their pencil or whatever. And so I have to put it aside.  And then two days pass by, nothing written, and a new prompt shows up and I think, “Oh yeah, baby. I know exactly what I’m gonna write…” And then. I gotta send out a box… Well, you get the idea. I have come to realise that work is getting in the way of me doing what I really want to do. And it is NOT fetching office supplies (supplies, by the way, that they could get all by their own damn selves if they just walked into the supply room room which is not ten paces from where I sit).  But I digress with my impromptu mini-rant.

So Last Monday, dVerse was Haibun Monday – Giving Thanks.  I know where I’m going with that one.

And then on the Thursday that followed, dVerse was Pie Poetry – didn’t have to be related to Thanksgiving, though it was the ‘Murican Thanksgiving, of course.  I gots me pie stories to tell…

So here I am the following week, having written three (four?) other posts with this one still hanging out in drafts.  I almost left it in drafts to die a slow death but then decided, nope. Let’s go crazy and actually finish it!  So I decided to mush the two prompts together, somehow.

Giving Thanks With My Family Pie

My family means the world to me.  And I’m talking the whole gang:  from my grandmother, to my parents, to my aunts and uncles, to my sisters, my cousins, down to nieces and nephews, and my children.

Many are sadly gone now but they left their mark and they deserve a place at this table, in this peculiar pie.

No matter the situation, either one of us is a phone call and a drive-past-the speeding-limit drive away, urgency dependent, of course.

The birth of a baby, the death of one.  An injury sustained by a saw or a skull-cracking fall takes but one phone call, and the invisible director has called “Action!”.

It’s not only in moments of distress that we come together.  We join in celebrations: shopping for prom/wedding dresses, attending each other’s children’s recitals and games. And yes, we can even travel together!

They’ll call me on my shit, tell me I look like shit, give me shit, tell me my decision was shit.  But here’s the thing; so will I when they merit it.

They’ll celebrate my victories, tell me I look fabulous and let the world know they are proud of me.  Just like I will for them.

My family is a complex pie (it’s not even round) made up of varying slices (they’re not even, even) that you might think shouldn’t work together, but do.  Maybe they don’t all belong on the same plate, (some are savoury, some are sweet, some are spicy; all of them tart and not a few of them nutty) but they definitely belong in the same meal.

Holidays are fine

To give thanks to those we love

But every day’s best

 

 

 

Living in the Now

I so wanted to do this one last night but Yellowstone won over on my time!  Lillian has chosen to honour Björn Rudberg, one of the facilitators/keepers of the Pub of dVerse, who happens to be of Swedish descent and when you think of Sweden, what music comes to mind?  ABBA, of course!  So we are to take one line and one line only – word for word – from the song Dancing Queen and build our poem around it.  How cool is that?

 

Living in the Now

 

Gone the crunch of newly fallen snow beneath my running feet

Gone the rustle of the marcescent leaves holding on to the oak trees

Gone the scrape of shovels on sidewalks, the screech of snow ploughs

 

For now, we are baking in the Mexican sun, discovering pyramids

We are snorkeling in Roatan, discovering brightly-coloured fish

We are drinking Champagne cocktails and eating like royalty

We are dressed to the nines, far away from the office grind

 

We are at the back of the boat (the stern for the purists)

Where they play the right music

And the wind dries our sweat as we dance with a frenzy

That only happens when you are away from the real

 

Because for this one week of the year

The surreal is our real

And we want to live it at its fullest

 

Not the Crown I Want

It’s Quadrille Monday on dVerse – which just so happens to be one of my favourite of the prompts.  A 44-word poem? Count me in! De Jackson aka WhimsyGizmo is hosting and she wants us to use the word Crown.  While walking around Old Montreal yesterday, I snapped this bicycle, thinking it would make for an interesting fun subject one day.  Who knew I would use it so soon? It can be part of the fun project of using one photo with a short text or this.  Or both!

They say I’m next in line
That it is meant to be
I fear I must decline
There’ll be no crown for me

With a bicycle of gold
I shall set myself free
For the ruling days of old
Were never meant for me

November Tristesse

In Thursday’s dVerse,  we are asked to write a Wayra (a Quechua (indigenous word for wind) and a popular form in Bolivia and Peru.  What is it?  It is:

  1. a pentastich, a poem in 5 lines.
  2. syllabic, 5-7-7-6-8
  3. unrhymed.

As if that is not enough, Grace, the hostess, has asked us to include an onomatopoeia (word representing sounds: bang, thwack, etc.)  How could I resist?  Well, I could, but it’s funny. It just so happens on my second walk while waiting for my car on Wednesday, I recorded phrases, planning on turning them into a poem.  For the second time, I end up writing a shorter version of what I had planned.  I’m thinking the Universe knows my penchant for short and to the point.

 

I feel November

In-between time, that saddens

Tears hover, threaten to spill

Trees speak to me ~ swish

of leaves:  Let it go. Let it go.

 

 

 

Standing Tall

It seems I might have a penchant for participating when Merril is hosting Prosery Monday on dVerse.  Hmmm… Wonder why that is? Maybe because the phrases she chooses speak to me. It is not impossible.  For this 144 text of prose – no poetry allowed, we must use the following:

“I am bombarded yet I stand.”
From Adrienne Rich, “Planetarium”

Some go through a large chunk of their life with nary a scrape.  They haven’t lost a single loved one and hardship is a foreign word to them.  The day they do experience loss will be a tough one as they won’t know how to handle it.

Then there are others that you swear were born under a broken star or dark cloud.  They are magnets to misery.  You cannot help but wonder why this seems to be.  What foul past life are they paying for?  And they fall to pieces each time, never learning.

As for me?  They say I am bombarded, yet I stand.  They say I had more than my share and call me resilient.  I just see life, no better, no worse.  I move forward, do what needs to be done and I keep going. I know no other way.


Spooky Is As Spooky Does

On Monday, Frank J. Tassone hosted dVerse’s Haibun Monday.  He said:  “Let’s feel the spooky sensation of this coming Halloween/Samhain! Let’s celebrate that emotion of dread. Let’s write our haibun that states or references fear.”

Looking for a particular photo and some inspiration I went through my pictures.  I found a couple (though not the one I really wanted) and settled on this one.  Shall we?

Nicole was practically skipping as she made her way home, still feeling warm and fuzzy from the lovely evening she had had with her besties. Getting together for dinner and a movie was always so much fun.  In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, they had gone to see Halloween #27. (Seriously? When were they going to give it up already?)  She giggled as she thought of how ludicrous the whole thing was until she noticed how dark and quiet the woods seemed suddenly.  Where was the birdsong? The buzzing of insects?  She tripped over the roots of a tree, just managing to stay upright.  The willies crept in and she imagined the tree branches reaching towards her to grab her.  She stumbled forward, fear overtaking her reasoning as she hurried to get out of the now-scary woods and out into the clearing. What the hell was wrong with her anyway?

Fear courses through veins

Causing heart palpitations

None of it is real