My father caught the plastics wave,
when synthetics were a cool science
and well before they filled the Pacific.

He hired poor East Cleveland locals
each quickly learning the factory skills
and soon becoming a troop of craftsmen.

Leroy perfected furnace times,
and placed the racks with exact care
leaving a smooth finish on each hanging tool.

Jackson could measure coating thicknesses
with his fingers better than a micrometer,
tossing rejects to assure high quality.

John knew how to keep feeders open
and thus consistent extrusions
for excellent medical tubing.

Charlie mixed plastisol
with colors to envy Da Vinci
and texture to shame greek statues.

My father is gone now,
the factory is a toxic site,
but I will never forget those men who raised me.

— by Sabio Lantz, Jan 2017


Prompt:  Kim, at d’Verse Poets, challenge us to “write a poem about an artisan or wright, for example a weaver, thatcher, wheelwright or carpenter, or any other craftsman you can think of.”  Kim offered us two Seamus Heaney poems about craftsman to inspire.  One of Heaney’s poems begins: “My father worked with a horse-plough,…”.

My dear love’s mother passed this last weekend (and therefore I wrote this poem), and the grieving has me thinking thankfully of my deceased parents too. Thus these waves of influence brought forth this poem tonight.

B. Burgdorferi

burgdorferiB. Burgdorferi

You are no girl
but with that curl
you surpass many a hurdle.

Dorfi my dear
you are quite queer
and your name instills us with fear.

You are a cheat
my spirochete
hitching a ride on small deer feet.

Rhyme befits you Lyme.

— by Sabio Lantz, January 2016


Prompt: Mr. Rudberg, at d’Verse Poets, challenges us to write a poem with exactly 42 words (a Quadrille) which includes the word “curl”. I added further rhyme and syllable constraints to this biology poem and a banal playful tone inspired by Longfellow’s poem “There was a little girl”. For those who don’t understand the poem, click here for a clue.

Mom is Moving Out

Mom is Moving Out

Mom loves geology and still shares stories,
but her rock collection is missing
with only a bare spot remaining
on her dusty table.

Bright squares of wall paper
shine on her faded walls where pictures once hung.
And even though she usually forgets,
occasionally she smiles at their mention.

Mom is more than her losses.
Hell, she lost her hearing at 50
but her laughter is still a song
which resonates on her now, unused piano.

Mom is happily moving out.
Her CAT scan today made that clear:
with brain atrophy and old infarcts
and today’s hematoma just taking a bit more.

Mom has been ready to move out for a few years now.
We are more sad than she,
But we have all left things behind
still happy for the times we have had.

— Sabio Lantz, December 2016


Prompt:  For Open-Mike on D’Verse Poets Pub.  Today or tomorrow, my sweetheart’s mother will be peacefully passing.  I wrote this poem about three weeks ago when the signs were clear.  My dearest is with her fine mother just now, in another city – so I post this loving thoughts of them both.



A song starts as wind
a shiver in the soul,
until our fingers move
or our voices shake
and our ears delight.

Yet that same wind
can flare into rays of light
teasing our spirits
to paint patterns
that dance on canvas.

— by Sabio Lantz 12/2016


Prompt: Victoria, at D’Verse Poets Pub, asks us to write a poem that incorporates elements of music. My sixteen-year-old son had an art assignment where he was to take another student’s art and transform it into his own art. His fellow student did a song which my son ran through a computer program to generate this video. The still picture here is a snapshot of that video.




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.