Prompt: De, at D’Verse Poets Pub, ask us to do enjambment — with which I find little resonance. But here is a piece with no respect for orthodox lines, not to mention scripts.
Daring to steal one-last-piece of roadkill
a crow flew off laughing
barely missing my windshield —
waking me from my highway slumber.
With eight hours to go
I decided to cap the death drama
with a cup of coffee at the next exit.
It was one week before Halloween
and this remote country exit had a parking lot filled with cars
of parents dropping off kids for a hayride.
The clamor of happy children and the highway traffic
contrasted with the deserted church next door
where an old rusted gate guarded nothing.
And there, that very same crow was now perched,
staring at the full moon.
His beak moved without cawing — he seemed to be talking.
Or maybe his caws were hidden behind the laughs of the children
piling into the wagons of hay, or the tractors’ diesel engines.
Or maybe this was just my hopeful imagination.
But then a mouse ran out of a bale of hay,
over to the church and scurried up the gate.
He sat in front of the talkative crow with rapt attention
and I thought, “How brave! Surely the crow will eat him”
But instead the crow continued his tale.
and now a spider also climbed up the gate to listen.
I strained to hear the feathery minstrel but was distracted
when a child starting crying as the hay-wagons pulled away
and her mother explained that she was too young to go
and that her brother would be back shortly.
When I looked back for the crow and his audience
they were all gone.
And I wondered what fantastic story I had missed.
— by Sabio Lantz, October 2015
Prompt: I discovered this napkin playfully tucked in my lunchbox and used it to relax into this silly fantasy during quiet minutes at the clinic. So for a few minutes my mind took a break from medical analysis and the life-dramas filling my hours. Happy Halloween! And lo and behold d’Verse Poets put up a Halloween prompt the day after I put up this “poem”.
Taming the Flames
frivolous, piled high and boastful,
protected my care-free Kayak:
sinuously weaving aromatic waves
through the vibrant Ohio River:
teflon-smooth but oddly flirtatious.
arrogant with shaded shamelessness
tried to rip through the tender sky,
but was hidden like the Fire in my belly:
raging with ridiculous rapacity.
I covet cloudy skies and a playful mind
that tames the furious flames
that stoke my ludicrous life.
— by Sabio Lantz, August 2015
Prompt: Bjorn, at d’Verse Poets, challenges us to write a poem with the following conditions: “(1) For most of your verbs and nouns try to use at least one modifier.
(2) Try to choose unlikely combinations that create something new.”
Monster on the Bus
“Look, look, I am a headless monster”
with his jacket pulled over his wild hair
and zipped as tight as his father’s hand on a bottle
the future class clown wove his arms, growled
and chased the gleeful girls around the bus stop:
a colorful start for our first day of school.
Awkwardly eager to also befriend screaming girls
and impress the other strange boys
I tried the spooky prank too:
up over my head
It worked like a charm.
“Yay, here’s the bus!”
But, oh boy, my zipper was stuck.
I panicked, and still a monster
I went up the bus steps.
Yet this cranky bus driver
would tolerate no monsters.
“No foolery on my bus”
and kicked me off the bus.
I ran home a crying monster
— well until I figured out
how to slip of out my constrictive costume.
My mother was righteously furious, but not at me.
She drove me to the school and scolded the principal
who then scolded the monster-squashing bus driver.
Fifteen years later, when he was her boss,
the principle and my mother laughed over this story
My Mom loved teaching, and was a student advocate.
She never squashed my inner monster
nor that of any child blessed in her care.
— by Sabio Lantz, August 2015
Prompt: Yes, true story. Gabrielle, at d’Verse Poets, challenges us to: “Think about what the first day of school evokes for you.” For anyone interested in another cool experience I had seeing children getting on their school bus, see this post on my other blog. Oh yeah, the pic by taken of me by my son today — thanks pal.
… brought us in play [unmei]
… yet kept us pristine [sekinin]
… then caused our undo [miryoku]
… finally made deepest friends [en]
by Sabio Lantz, August 2015
Japanese Echo Vocabulary:
- unmei 運命: fate
- sekinin 責任: responsibility
- miryoku 魅力: attraction
- en 縁: deep resonant karmic connection (see my explanation)
Prompt: Mary, at d’Verse poets, challenges to write “Echo Verse”. I did not enjoy the examples forms we were shown because they were too repetitive, so I put my echo in brackets. Many of you, like me, think in more than one language, and so I put such thinking in this poem: the echo uses the part of my brain which often chirps with deeply rich Japanese abstractions. Sorry to make readers labor through the languages, but in exchange, I kept the poem short.
The Audio Poem:
Björn hosts Open Link Night at d’Verse Poets Pub where he encouraged us to post audio versions of our poems. So above is my first attempt. The written poem can be seen below. Oh, and by the way, this poem is not really about kayaking or radios.
As my sticker to the right states — questions, doubts and criticisms are welcome!! Please make me a better writer and thinker — tell me what you think (uncensored). And though compliments are fine, they are not what I covet. I love questions and doubts.
Today my car radio crackled:
familiar songs were muffled
and the voices unfamiliar.
That’s because yesterday I kayaked:
a strenuous, delightful escape
over smooth, hypnotic waters.
But loading my kayak for the journey
required retracting my car antenna.
Now returning to my familiar world
I must put my things back in order.
So I reached out my window,
pulled the antenna back up,
and the songs were once again
—by Sabio Lantz, August 2015
when driven by our Fears
to actions not our best,
we hurt ourSelves not them
— our inner self confessed.
an unrepentant Heart.
our blindness block our minds
— again we fall apart.
’til Freedom is our goal
and Happiness our aim
our fears will rule our soul
and blame will maim and shame.
—Sabio Lantz, July 2015
Prompt: Today is a Blue Moon, the second full Moon of the month, and Victoria, at d’Verse Poets, has asked us to write a poem in common meter, taking care to add texture by using one or more of the tools chosen by Emily Dickinson to spice up the ordinary. (see Victoria’s post for a list of those tools)
I added these techniques of Dickenson to my common-meter poem: (1) capitals (2) an emotional topic (3) dashes. And by using the seriousness in the words, I hopefully mitigated the sing-song effect. But unlike Dickinson, I am not fond of ambiguity, though I love raising questions. So perhaps I did not subvert the common meter enough to reach Victoria’s calling. Let me know what you think.