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 #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.

Sonnet Challenge #15

This suggestion was ‘the frustration of a red light that never seems to change’.  It reminded me of an incident in the high desert when I was driving up to a show there.  I took a ‘short cut’, which turned out to be the shopping strip.  There was a light at every driveway.  I think I must have passed 30 or so lights.  3 of them were actually green.  I think two I got caught at twice, and one particularly badly time light I was behind it red 4 times.  But before that light, here’s a true story…..

 

The Long light.
I wanted to rush orange but didn’t dare,

my mirror shows a cop is right behind.

We’re at the light that’s turned to red and there

we sit.  And sit.  And sit.  And then I find

the light ahead’s red too, and one car waits

for nothing.  Just like us no vehicles cross

the intersection.  Green!  Ha! He still bates

his breath ahead on wheels that gather moss.

It’ll turn by the time I get there, that’s for sure.

Can’t race – the cop in tow – I thus proceed.

He’s green!  He goes….. but quickly red once more!

I feel the hopes of getting home recede.

We stand and burn gas, stress until we’re mean

at lights that take so, so long to turn green.

Sonnet Challenge #13

“Mongolian Archers” is another of the challenges from Eric in Ventura.  I don’t know if Eric also likes bows and arrows (I suppose all guys are sometimes still in touch with that part of their inner 8 year old) but this was another topic that sent me to Wikipedia…

Mongolian Archers

The horn, the wood, the sinew form a curve.

Fit in the feathered stock and then – release!

The arched trajectory that we observe

was not invented as a thing of peace.

But games are where such archery is fun –

at the Nadaam we will compete at ‘sur’.

But short camel-hide baskets never run!

Our bows have been designed for hunting fur-

wrapped food, and shooting from your galloping horse –

distinct advantage over knights with spears

until development had run its course

and guns and bullets made the west our peers.

But if you’re hunted, if you are our prey

And you can hear that draw – away!  Away!

Sonnet Challenge #12

Eric in Ventura is again the challenger for “Peter Rabbit”.  I’d never read the book so I had to do a bit of research.  (If you like my sonnets, please send wikipedia some money.)

Peter Rabbit.
I’m just a boy inside a rabbit skin –

my mother’s words red rag to this young bull –

“The garden’s dangerous, so don’t go in”

the push I needed with the garden’s pull.

The lettuce was delicious, carrots too,

tomatoes, celery, cucumber!  Argh, too much!

To fix this tummy ache, parsley will do.

But here’s the man!  I must escape his touch.

I’ve shed my coat and shoes and slipped away….

The shed to hide in but oh no, I’m found –

I run, sneak past the cat, ahh, there’s the gate!

And now I’ll streak back home on safer ground.

Mom yelled, “The garden’s not the place to be!”

Sent me to bed with sweet chamomile tea.

Sonnet Challenge #11

We’re back to Eric in Ventura for a very interesting challenge, which brought back a memory too. The challenge was: “miniature lead soldiers that even Andrew Wyeth and H. G. Wells played with. ”

My first husband had these metal soldiers that he would play war games with his buddies on a Sunday.  He used to paint them in the colors that were appropriate to the armies they represented.  Seeing as he worked 6 days, I guess I was technically a war widow from the second day I was married.  On our wedding day, he’d disappeared at the reception; he’d discovered the bar had the soccer on the tv.  That day, Liverpool beat Manchester United 5-0 and it was the happiest day of his life, which apparently had little to do with the fact he’d just got married.  It’s ok, it’s so long ago now, I can laugh at this.

But I don’t think my exes soldiers were lead, so I turned to eBay for some inspiration. I found a listing for 11 battered lead soldiers, some missing arms that were made to swing in marching.

Lead soldiers

The 11 lead soldiers in an ebay listing that helped inspire the sonnet.

Lead Soldiers.

Once we were an army on the field

a green baize table all set out for war

(though none of us could figure out what for),

our generals, two boys, would sometimes yield

to calls from mother.  But until that time

we’d all be marched around and fire and drum

amidst their noise of battle, bomb and gun

and yells as some would ‘die’ along our line.

But they grew up and we were boxed for years,

swinging arms were lost, and many men;

our paint was chipped. Now down to just eleven

were rediscovered, sold as mercenaries.

We’re old, disabled.  War is not the same.

We’re just your heroes from a childhood’s game.