#VerseLove April 24 with Susie Morice

Today is Day 24 of #VerseLove at http://www.ethicalela.com, and Susie Morice is our host. She inspires us to write poems using a junk drawer to determine things about who we are. You can read her full prompt and the poems of others here. I chose to write about the treasure I found in someone else’s junk dogs.

These Three Kings

I found three castoffs
betrayed, neglected, abused
I crowned these three kings 
Boo Radley
Ollie, “the baby” who is always ready to play

#VerseLove April 23 – with Alexis Ennis

Alexis Ennis is our host today for #VerseLove, inspring us to write poems about historical figures. You can read her full prompt here. I chose Teddy Roosevelt’s firstborn child as my figure.

TR’s diary entry Valentine’s Day when both his mother and wife died, one upstairs, one downstairs.
 As a preacher's kid (we seem to have a reputation to live down to, and I've always done my best to keep the trouble going), I was a reader drawn to the troublemakers like Queenie Peavy by Robert Burch in children's literature and Alice Roosevelt in biographies.  So that favorite interview question about whom I'd bring back if I could go to lunch with anyone?  Yeah, mine was always Alice Roosevelt, with footnotes about how she and I would have surely landed in jail together, cellmates somewhere for some crazy idea we hatched.  She had her own eye color named for her (and the US Navy uses this color named for her on its insignia).  So much more to tell about her, but here's the seed-starter packet:  

Eyes of Alice Blue

not under MY roof

her father TR told her

of smoking her cigs

she puffed on the roof

her snake Emily Spinach

there too, in her purse

no Taft supporter~

a murrain on him! she raged

blue eyes her namesake

what a character!

completely out of control

she fascinates me!

come sit by me if

you don’t have something nice to

say about someone!

born two days before

mom died upstairs, grandma down

under the same roof

death clouded her birth,

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

lived in those shadows

For Alice Roosevelt Longworth 


#VerseLove April 21 – with Darius Phelps

Darius Phelps of New York is our host today for Day 21 of #VerseLove at http://www.ethicalela.com, inspiring us to write poems of grief or disillusionment. You can read more about Darius and read his full prompt here. He mentions that the ancient Chinese believed that by burning the house down when relatives died, it would send the house to the place where they were so they could have their homes beyond this life. I reflected for a while on that idea this morning, even chuckling about the Calgon laundry whitener that I remember commercials for as a child – – an Asian actor would come into the frame holding a box, saying, “Ancient Chinese Secret” when someone wondered about how the clothes got so clean. I think the ancient Chinese had a lot of things right. Come join us and read today’s poems.

Up in Flames ^ Choose One: House or Legacy? ^

those ancient Chinese

had it right: burn the house down!

strike up the torch flame!

better the house go 

up in smoke than the siblings

killing each other

who gets the dwelling?

who gets the crystal timepiece?

who "gets" anything?

executor’s call:

who gets to make decisions?

who denies morphine?

which one plans all meals?

oh, but NO SUGAR, stage 4

cancer patient fat?!?

what is this fresh hell??

give Mom a damn M&M!

stop controlling LIFE!

inheritance sucks

some get fortunes, some get F(ORK$#)

who "gets" anything??!

those ancient Chinese

had it right: strike the match and

walk in peace from fire

#VerseLove April 19 – with Stefani Boutelier

Our host today at http://www.ethicalela.com for Day 19 of #VerseLove is Dr. Stefani Boutelier of Michigan, who invites us to write a poem without a title and invite others to give the poem a title. You can read her full prompt, along with the poems of others, here.

Today, I've written a riddle-type poem (Haiku two lines short of a Haiku sonnet), open-ended, to invite readers to title this poem AND to add two seven-syllable lines to the end to make it a true Haiku sonnet if you wish.  I'll add my title after the photo at the bottom so you can see what my initial title was.  It's subject to change :). 

never have I met

anyone who on first taste 

liked its bitterness

sipping piping hot

aromatic wakefulness

swallowing its truth

ah, but sip by sip

its addiction is for real~

can’t live without it!
A lavender latte from my local coffee shop, where I’ll be reading poetry tonight – YAAAY!
A book of poetry

The title I initially landed on was Coffee and Poetry – original, I know! Perhaps you can figure out a better title for this poem! Leave ideas in the comments, please.

#VerseLove April 16 – with Susan Ahlbrand

Susan Ahlbrand is our host today for Day 16 of #VerseLove. She inspires us to write poems about friendships that didn’t work out for whatever reason, whether there was a move or a disagreement or a divorce or another form of distancing. You can read her full prompt here. I wrote about a time I left a church because the views became too radical to accept.

Blind Ewe

so you’re holier.
new pastor said NO WOMEN
his blind sheep believed

not one stood with me
not one challenged his iron fist
not one saw the wolf

wife who rarely spoke
children white as untanned lambs
always in the house

I took a firm stand
when I saw the truth. I left
that mutton pasture

one by one others 
did too, down to a dozen
“disciples” who stayed

brainwashed radicals
worshipping legalism
no grace, mercy, love

so you’re holier?
is that what you call yourself?
guess again, girlfriend.

Ewe blind

#VerseLove April 9 – Breaking the Rules with Wendy Everand

Wendy Everand of New York is our host today for Day 9 of the #VerseLove challenge this month as we celebrate National Poetry Month. She invites us to break all the rules or share of a time we broke a rule in her prompt, which you can read here. It’s Easter. I’m breaking every diet rule I can break today, so I’m just going to go ahead and turn myself in. I’m guilty, and the day has barely begun. Happy Easter, everyone!

Homemade lemon ice cream with grated lemon zest ~ like a glorious Easter sunrise! Zoom in!
living with grater purpose

optavia rules
say there’s no eating ice cream
(i sho’ ain’t liss’nin)

i might gain ten pounds
who cares? it’s easter sunday
it’s lemon. homemade. 

special recipe
made with three ingredients ~
sugar, whipping cream

and meyer lemons
fran haley’s shared recipe
from a march blog post

today’s about life~
churn a zesty slice of life!
awaken senses!

glorious easter
calls for celebrating life
with grater purpose

If you’d like the recipe for the grate-est lemon ice cream ever, you can find it on Fran’s blog post here. Warning, though: you will not want store-bought ice cream ever again.

#VerseLove April 7 – with Denise Krebs

Denise Krebs of California is our host today for #VerseLove, inspiring to write poems about death. You can read her full prompt here. I think of the death of Jesus on the cross today, the resurrection, and promise of eternal life for believers. For me.

But in my travels on Wednesday up in North Georgia, I saw the strangest thing. And that is what I share today. I can’t get it out of my mind, can’t unsee and unwonder. And so I write.

Plummeting Chicken Death

three dead chickens lay
on I-75 South
in North Georgia rain

feathers everywhere
chicken carcasses strewn out
like castoff garments

how did this happen?
there were no farmlands nearby
no livestock, no barns

kicked into full gear – these hens
(I presumed) died fast

all the better, really
maybe a poultry truck door 
swung open, flinging

these ladies groundward
to the hard concrete below
…or maybe they jumped 

thought they could still fly
then realized the truth too late
as cars tried to swerve

most not successful
they’re all three dead, either way
these interstate hens 

#Verselove April 1 – with Glenda Funk

Terrific teamwork saved this turtle!

Glenda Funk of Idaho is our host today for the first day of #VerseLove at http://www.ethicalela.com. You can read her full post here. She inspires us to write Haibun poems, which combine prose and Haiku poetry. This one was inspired by my trip to South Carolina yesterday to bring my grandson on a fishing adventure today.



On a birthday fishing trip with my grandson, we were booking it to get to water when we spotted a turtle in the passenger side tire path of my lane not booking it to water at his dawdling speed, so we swerved to avoid hitting it, BRAKED HARD, pulled onto the shoulder, and put it in reverse there on the roadside to rescue this traveler caught between the land and the water world ~ like us


we brake for turtles
caught in the crossroads: roadside
reptile rescuers!

Since we were up early this morning, I asked him to write about the experience too – and here is what he wrote. He said, “I even gave it a title, Nana.” I love his title – – and his last line gives the emotional sigh of high-five satisfaction for terrific turtle teamwork.

Aidan’s writing ~ On Turtle Road

Day 5 Open Write with Barb Edler and Glenda Funk

Yesterday was the last day of five days of January’s Open Write at http://www.ethicalela.com. Each month, this writing group gathers to write and give positive feedback to at least three other writers. I took a break yesterday to pause and give thanks for my daughter Mallory on her birthday.

Yesterday’s prompt was to write a Postcard Poem. Using a postcard or a blank index card, you draw a vertical line to separate the address and the poem on the writing side. Here’s my Haiku poem, prompted by a suspension bridge I crossed in December at Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee:

tracking feet

suspension bridges
crossable risk-taking feat
empowering treks