Itches We Indulge

Prompt: Grace, at d’verse poets,  asks us to write a 44 word poem (“a quadrille”) about “itch”.


Itches We Indulge

An itch is just this side of pain,
we indulge it so as not to go insane.
And though the doctor says not to scratch,
we all tend to be a little bit brash
when it comes to things like sex, drugs and fame.

— by Sabio Lantz, July 2018


Prompt: Jilly, @d’Verse Poets, kindly asks us to write a haibun around the concept of “unconventional”. A conventional haibun, it is supposed to be only two short paragraphs of prose and end in a classic haiku with three lines of exactly 5, 7, and 5 syllables.  Sabio Lantz, June 2018.


Embracing Uncommon Sense

Common Sense is not common. Conventions change from country to country: How we eat; how we discipline our children; how we dress; how we show intimacy and even how we wipe our asses — all vary from continent to continent.

On returning from India to the USA,
I continued to stoop on my porcelain toilet,
eat all food with my fingers
and walk the streets in my kurta and pyjama.

On landing in Japan from India, it took me months
to shed all my Hindu astrological rings
so as not to seem unconventionally odd
thus making jobs searches more difficult.

On settling back in the US,
my friends said that my Japanese ways of dressing
made me seem gay
which explained how I had so many news compliments
from a whole different half of the population
until I changed my dress
to match the convention of my sexual preference.

Breaking convention helps keep us awake, less robotic, and allows life to be more vibrant when fear of standing-out is left behind. And so I embrace the unconventional gladly.

Doth the clay say to the potter
“What are you making?”
Absolutely !
(Unconventional Isaiah 45:9)

Prompt: Paul, at d’Verse Poets, asks us to write a poem about Medicine.  Having lots of training in various medicines with different perspectives, I thought I jot down a quick sloppy, playful, and partially serious poem.


My Medical “Wisdom”

My medical credentials are diverse,
so let me put their wisdom to verse.
The traditions are not friends,
and will never make amends,
and many can make you much worse.

Let’s give a pause to the poem,
And list the contrary medical forms
of which my bookshelf held their tomes:
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Shiatsu (massage)
Western Allopathic Medicine.

Each thinks their trade the best
and bad mouths most of the rest.

Each offers benefits as wide as a river,
but it is far less than they can deliver.

Each employs placebo skillfully
while hurting our wallets mercilessly.

Each works best when both doctor and patient believe,
which blinds them to what they can actually relieve.

Each knows our hopes and our fears,
will make them rich over the years.

So when is comes to treating your health,
consumer beware of healers and thy selves.

— Sabio Lantz, June 2018


I want to hold you

under a winking crescent moon
preparing for its cradled nap,

in the autumn’s cool wind
relaxing the warm summer trees,

after the birds quiet their songs,
cuing crickets’ soft summer drone,

before your next plane leaves
and my bed is empty again.

–by Sabio Lantz, May 31, 2018


Prompt: It is open link night at d’Verse Poets.  For the love of my life, a few days after her birthday.

Throwing Away Books

Throwing Away Books

My books squirmed to stay alive,
knowing they pain my tired eyes,
they demand too much concentration
and over burden my imagination
while videos easily fill my mind.

So I gathered the ones I will never reread
I tossed out much of my history.

by Sabio Lantz, April, 2018

Prompt: Lillian, at d’Verse Poets, asks us to write a quadrille (44-word poem) using some form of the word “gather”.

My Poetry

Stirring occasionally like a summer breeze
lucky to cool the sweat off the busy day,
my poems give me reprieve
sometimes moving my pen
but usually, are caught in the sail
of the boat down the pier
as it drifts out of sight.

Like an autumn wind
that tickles leaves
to whisper illusions of life in the bushes,
my poems give me voices
that say more
than I intended.

Winter snow piles blindingly white
like the poems I can not write,
while spring rains fall on my verses,
to quicken affinity or to drown in curses.

Other Poetry

A poem has no obligations,
no shoulds nor musts,
no need for rhyme nor style.

A poem demands no audience
and only needs to please
the writer.

But, ahhhh the poem written for the reader:
a poem that actually communicates,
a poem that seeks intentional relationship,
a poem worth remembering.

And woo the poem that is only read by obligation:
Private, patchy, vague and abstruse,
leaving each reader so puzzled
that they have to graciously struggle
for a positive comment.

Prompt: Paul at D’Verse poets ask us to write a poem expresses our aims for our poetry and/or our theories about other poetry.  So I have chosen to write about both. Mind you, this is personal, not general.  And as always, coveted comments are those that are critical, questioning and anything but perfunctory.

Zip Codes

Zip Codes

Savannah, Georgia
is what makes a circle round.
Keansburg, New Jersey
says “hELLO” upside down.

Springfield, Massachusetts
is unlucky in base two.
Carlesbad, California
is when I met you!

This zippity Quadrille
is certainly no more odd
than the city of Kerby
in Oregon.

–Sabio Lantz April 2018


Prompt: De, over at d’Verse, asks us to write a Quadrille using some version of the word “zip”. So I have playfully done so with this rhyming, esoteric math puzzle. In the comments, please join others to tell us any of the Zip Codes you can guess.  BTW, the “you” in the second stanza is for my sweetheart, so that one may be a bit difficult to guess.