Sonnet Challenge #21

It’s almost flip-flop weather here.  Well, it was, and then it got cold again, but it’s not quite back to being socks and shoes weather so I’m just letting the toes go cold and staying inside in the morning.

Flip flops
Flip flops are such a comfy thing to wear,

the shoe with a relaxing attitude.

Slip on vacation hooves and then you’re there –

Flip from a boss into a cool dude.

Your toes feel freedom, something that’s so right.

No more stuffy socks inside the thong!

They’ll fit feet that are narrow, deep or wide,

and waterproof!  You really can’t go wrong.

If it’s too cold for flip flops, stay inside

and flip around the house until it warms,

then hit the beach and dip them in the tide,

the sand won’t chafe your heels, you won’t get corns.

And when you crave a lazy day that’s tops,

kick off the pumps and slip into flip flops.

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Sonnet Challenge #20

I thought that I would put this one out there today because of all the political huffing and puffing going on presently.  Whatever the rest of the world sees at the international level, I’ve seen (and almost been tangled up in) at the city and county level. <sigh>  One disclaimer – my other half thought in the last two lines that I was advocating such activity.  Seriously, I was just thinking more JFK.  It was a tragedy, but nevertheless didn’t reduce the entire country to rubble.

 

 

Political Machine

A government is such a vast machine
with so many departments interlaced,
it little matters who is on the team –
they are all parts so easily replaced.
It’s easier to just go with the grain
than try to stop this vast unyielding load.
A combine harvester works just the same
and everything before it will be mowed
back into dirt.  Recycled into earth,
ignored, delayed, transgressions found and fined
until the machine has taken all our worth
and then, with welfare, drags us on behind.
And if you blow the president’s head off –
the machine will still continue, with a cough.

Sonnet Challenge #19

chalking on curb

Lost and found!

At the chalking festival, I had a lot of spare time on Sunday, sitting next to my creation and talking to people.  Across the street from me a couple of youngsters drew the above in the gutter and against the curb.  Inspiration indeed!

Draw your lost things.

Draw your lost things, there upon the street:

Your heart, your head, your homework, or the key.

A part of life suddenly incomplete.

Oh things! you think, oh please come back to me!

You rack your brain for where they’re left behind,

the cafe or the office or the car.

You look and look and still you cannot find

but that they’re not the same place that you are.

You turn over a glass, a wish to make,

but still your precious things eludes your grasp.

Were they stolen?  Did they evaporate?

You cannot think of who else you could ask.

Your lost things’ minds might try to draw you too,

thus wishing might just draw them back to you.

 

Sonnet Challenge #18

A good friend is currently in a place that is unenviable, having been diagnosed with a brain tumor and then a lung tumor.  It seems that the lung tumor is, and the brain tumor might be treatable.  Yesterday she had to give a speech to her Toastmaster group about Uncertainty.  We were talking on the weekend about this and the fact that she had just received the copy of Busting the Bard that I sent, and I said I was always open to subjects for inspiration for sonnets.  So she challenged me with her subject ‘Uncertainty’, and when a sonnet promptly fell out of the end of the pen, she found inspiration to include it in her speech.

Uncertainty
We stagger on uncertainty’s straight path,

a hodge-podge mix of dust and stepping stones

that zigzag through our lives and cut a swath

of chaos, for we know not where it goes.

Between the forest of many different trees

that hang low branches that might offer fruit,

succulent nutrition or poison’s tease,

and grow so thick that we cannot see through

to surety.  This path, these trees are set

and we must follow, gamble right and left

at forks, and clueless how to place the bet –

our lives – to flourish or to be bereft.

So flip the coin of vague uncertainty

the other side is possibility.

Poetry about my paintings.

Although I write poetry for my own paintings and have written poetry for the artwork of others, I had a first last month when one of the attendees at the reception at my joint show in the Glass Outhouse Gallery wrote a poem for one of my paintings.  George Howell wrote the following poem for my painting ‘Dark Mist Arising‘:

Smoke Tree

For Jeni Bate

Our eyes align

Along the horizon,

Prisoners of our feet,

Firmly anchored to the earth.

 

And the sky is a sigh

Of promise and release,

The free range of cloud

And soul.

 

You cut the skyscape

Into a stack of cards,

And rearranged the clouds

Mixed media skyscape painting

“Dark Mist Arising”. Mixed Media on panel 48×24″.

Sonnet Challenge #17

I seem to have spent so much time recently on travelling and teaching, there’s been little time to paint (except commissions) or write, though the most recent trip to the Phoenix area produced another eight sonnets which I have yet to even type up.  Nevertheless, even without prompting from something or someone, occasionally a poem will fall out of the end of the pen.

Happiness is a gray stick
A thick, gray, gnarly four-foot stick to hold

and lean on, when you have Atlas’s day;

warm wood to grip, not metal, when you’re cold;

a friend to prod dark paths and find your way

between elations clouds, chasm’s dark eyes.

Such is the stick of happiness, who prods

you on from gray dawn to a bright sunrise

with steadiness solider than carrot gods

that promise futures.  Happiness is now,

it takes tomorrow when it becomes today;

yesterday’s a less, not a furrowed brow –

or just a tale that we can laugh a way.

When you walk with the stick of happiness

you’ll go through life with more, and never less.

Sonnet Challenge #16

Quiver of Quotes came up with some interesting little used words, that piqued my interest for continuing the stream of sonnets.  The flow had taken a break after having finally surpassed (in numbers at least) Shakespeare’s collection.  Here was the one that came to fruition from The Quote’s list.  And thank you as ever to wikipedia.org for giving me enough material!

Armillary Sphere

The mystery of an armillary sphere!

How does it work?  How does it turn around?

Rings built to represent what hangs in air,

or how it is positioned from the ground.

I wonder at the workings of the mind

that dreamed up such an engineering feat;

Ptolemaic turns on earth defined,

Copernican with sun at center seat.

Mankind has realized since he looked up

that stars revolve across the deep blue night

and puzzled at the turnings of this cup

and with the armil, tried to show it right.

Stargazers wonder at the skies so clear,

then track it with an armillary sphere.