Distraught at his wife’s early passing,
Tony stopped fishing and writing.
He continued minimally at the office
but his home was no longer tidy,
and guest voices were never heard.

Tony had bought an anticipatory double plot,
with names and dates written in anticipation
of spending eternity next to Dorothy.
But one day Tony just stopped working and left town.
His house went up for auction.

A family with children now lives there.
The house is alive once more
and Dorothy’s old garden now has a swing set,
where rumors have it,
Tony can be seen sitting at times.

— by Sabio Lantz 12/2016

Prompt: It is Open Link Night at D’Verse Poets Pub. Last week my dearest friend and I took a walk through our town’s graveyard and decided to challenge ourselves to take a picture of a gravestone and then to write a short fictional story to fit the engraving.  I covered the actual engraving and fictionalize the last name out of respect.  But the rest is accurate. I also put my story in verse form for those who prefer a “this is poetry” signal. I wrote two versions — this is the first. I will wait to put up the playful light-hearted version later perhaps.

I have suggested this as a challenge at the Pub, but no reply, so Open Night seemed a good way to illustrate my suggestion.

Readers: What do you think of this as a challenge?

The Skylight

Prompt: Brian, at d’Verse poets, offers us a very interesting challenge to write a “Cover Poem”. A Cover Poem is a spin on a Cover Song where how bands play popular tunes but adding their own flavor.  We are to take a poet’s poem and add our own flavor.  Below is first my variant and below it is the original poem by Seamus Heaney that I “covered”. I am creating an anthology of poems on my other blog and this is one of them.  Click this link to see the post where I discuss this poem — there, among other things, I discuss the last lines of both poems which allude to Matthew 9.  Without knowing this Bible story, the meaning of this poem would elude the reader.

The Skylight
–by Sabio Lantz

You were the one who wanted skylights.
I opposed ripping out our beautiful slate shingles.
For I loved the rich sound of rain on charcoal stone,
but imagined a plink-plink on the roof’s plastic blotch.

But when the slates came off,
the extravagant sky flooded our kitchen,
and food came alive like never before.
For days, my senses vibrates with new awareness.

I felt I had watched the man crippled with palsy,
after being lowered through the roof
and having his sins forgiven — now healed,
take up his bed and walk away.

— by Sabio Lantz 11/2016
(but, this is a variation on Seamus Heaney’s Poem below)


The Skylight 
— by Seamus Heaney

You were the one for skylights. I opposed
Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove
Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,
Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof
Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling.
Under there, it was all hutch and hatch.
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.
But when the slates came off, extravagant
Sky entered and held surprise wide open.
For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven,
Was healed, took up his bed and walked away.



Prompt: Björn, at d’Verse Poets Pub, asks us to write a poem in the “Futurism” style which can include:

  • aggressive, anger
  • free with syntax and ordering to convey intense emotion
  • varying fonts and styles
  • “a slap in the face of public taste” – to revolt

The style does not seem to demand that we pick up current politically-correct rage.

A Lady in Making

A Lady in Making

My Welsh daughter is a lady in making,
whose feelings have grown larger
than the fields we rode
high in Brecon Beacons.
And whose mind and heart are deeper
than the swaying sea at Swansea.

by Sabio Lantz, Oct 6, 2016


Prompt:  Today in Wales (and the rest of the UK) it is National Poetry Day.
So I wrote this quick morning poem for my lovely fourteen-year-old daughter today.  A few years ago, the two of us couch surfed through southern Wales (the land of my great grandparents) and had a wonderful time.  Since then, my daughter has felt a special connection with Wales — and I with her.

A Cat

A Cat

neither of us are cat fans.
our prejudice is blindly fueled
by our itchy skin and runny noses.
but come on,
their finicky independence doesn’t help.

yet we have met cats that surprise us,
like the grey tigress that followed us
on our sweet evening stroll.

cautiously following, became walking besides us,
became rubbing up against us,
became prancing ahead —
as if she were proudly walking the cute humans.

we took a chance and sat down on the sidewalk:
she purred right up to us
even if only in a cat-like-way.

we were touched,
but after many blocks, just 5 houses from our own,
she stopped cold and did not put
likely it was where her territory ended and another’s began.

adventure and opportunity
can be stifled by the silliest of things.

— by Sabio Lantz, September 2016


Prompt:  Open link night at D’Verse Poets Pub

A Clerihew Hullabaloo

A Clerihew Hullabaloo

Jesus of Nazareth
built quite a labyrinth,
for those with holy ambition,
to get lost on their cloning mission.

Siddhartha the Buddha
scorned “Hallelujah”
promoting navel staring
to pursue a red-herring.

The average person
is well converse in
many ways of self-deceit
to package their own cute tweet

— by Sabio Lantz, September 2016


Prompt: Gayle at d’Verse Poets Pub challenges us to write a “Clerihew”: an aabb rhyming couplet scheme of comic verses addressing biographical topics of the person mentioned in the first line of the verse. And so I wrote this three-part Clerihew which addresses the fact that we all take ourselves and our heroes much too seriously.

Missionary Kids (MKs)

Missionary Kids (MKs)

My college world was rocked
when I met MKs who shared
languages, sights, smells and tastes
that my midwest suburb knew nothing of.

But it was the geography of their minds
wherein I got lost and fascinated:
They helped me question
things I had long taken for granted.

An MK gal from India
joined me for several cafeteria lunches
until I had the nerve to ask her:
“Do they belch in India during meals?”

“Oh,” she said, chastising herself with a shake of her head
that only Indian women can pull off naturally.
“They told us to be careful,
Westerners feel belching is rude.”

And there was my friend with whom I planned room next quarter.
His Evangelical parents raised him in Taiwan,
where his heart became a mix: Buddhist, Taoist and Christian.
On discovering this, his Baptist girlfriend dumped his tormented soul.

Riding my bike home late, a train was stopped on the tracks.
I waited a long time before just climbing over it.
Only later did I find out, it was the train that my friend,
had calmly laid down in front of to end his confused life.

by Sabio Lantz, September 2016


Prompt: Open Link Night at d’Verse Poets