Flavors of Heartache

Prompt: Frank, @ dVerse Poets, tasks us to write a poem “vaguely inspired by the thought of frustration or heartbreak”.

Flavors of Heartache

Your heart may squeezes
when you lose something:
a dream, a person, an object.

Your heart may tremble
when another is hurt,
in whom you have poured your yourself.

Your heart may break
when these overpower
the hope that preserves us.

— by Sabio Lantz, September 2018



City Music

Prompt: Kim is hosting at Open Link Night at d’Verse poets.

City Music

Twilight —
and the musicians brighten the bar.
Coasters shift, ears are bent
and substance settles into cords
sliding out the evening door.

— Sabio Lantz, July 2018


Prompt: Lillian, @ dVerse Poets, asks for a Haibun made from true prose about a room in our youth and ending in a traditional season Haiku.  I hope I kept within the welcomed strict guidelines.


Christmas Eve Clear Memory

My childhood room was bigger than I needed, while my little brothers shared a bunk bed in a smaller snug safe room. Atop my room’s outside wall was a one long narrow safe window which could not be opened or entered. But I was not totally safe ever since camp counselors scared me with ghost stories the summer before; the space under my large wooden bed that my Dad had used as a child and the narrow closet constantly harbored potential danger from monsters.

But it was Christmas eve, and monsters were not on my mind. Hours after we’d all gone anxiously to bed, and I woke in the wee hours to see the bright moon pouring in the long window. I heard my bothers stir in their room. I looked up at my window and there I saw Santa Clause’s reindeer’s feet fly past. Just then my brother burst into the room, “Did you hear Santa’s bells?” “No, but I saw his reindeer,” I said. And when we ran out into the living room we found his presents and a half-eaten cookie.

Wind chased memories,
flighty flakes of certainty
splashed in Santa’s laugh.

by Sabio Lantz, July 2018

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.