Oddments

In search of story


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April 7.21: Coping

Until the next pandemic

we’ll pack our masks away;

I’ve no idea when,

but it will be some day.

They’ll go into the drawer

inscribed The Fibber McGee,

where souvenirs and remnants

await next century.

When comes that barefaced day

we hug with glad impunity,

when everyone is safe

with ’round-the globe immunity,

I think that I might feel

a twinge of slight regret

and miss that unloved sign

of one-for-all mindset.

I’ll miss the muffled greeting of

“Hey, I like your mask!”

acclaimed by passerby

I didn’t even ask.

And then I must return

to pre-pandemic place

where no one ever hails me

with “Hey, I like your face!”

 

 

 


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April 1.21: Coping

It’s Poetry Month!

Awake, Chanticleer!

It’s a Word Party

for one-twelfth of the year!

Such rarified air —

how best celebrate?

Use words like behoof,

whence, vulpinate?

Will I write my to-do list

in tripping dactylic,

wear diaphanous robes

though I look imbecilic?

What shall I read?

Some Dickinson, Frost?

Maybe an epic

like Paradise Lost?

Yes, I’m name-dropping;

it’s only a ruse

for what I tuck in them:

my friend, Mother Goose.

Does rhyme make a poem?

I think not, but then

I don’t know what does —

it’s out of my ken.

I’ve read and I’ve wondered

if anyone knows

why some works are called poems

and not just fine prose.

What makes a poem?

Can I know beyond doubt?

Will Poetry Month

help me figure it out?

 

 


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March 27.21: Coping

Hope is the thing with feathers,

according to the poet;

this wind-coiffed matted stalwart

is adamant to show it.

Waterlogged, bedraggled,

moroser by the hour,

he watches plashy pond,

indomitable and dour.

But persevering, patient,

resolute in attitude,

it isn’t raining rain, he says,

it’s raining fortitude.

I salute unpretty Hope,

my admiration bestirred:

it may be the thing with feathers,

but it’s surely a tough old bird.

 

With thanks to Emily Dickinson.

And to the purists I make no apologies for “moroser.”

It’s a poem. Ergo, poetic license.

 


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March 19.21: Coping

When metaphor is obvious,

should writer take the bait?

Should she write what all can see,

then self-excoriate?

Such conundrum filled my head

as I marveled at the sky;

two swells of salmon brilliance,

sharp blue widened my eye.

But intruding on the beauty,

unwelcome imposition,

a bar of light reflected

like ghostly apparition.

It came from light behind me,

insubstantial, weightless thing,

reflection like a wall

blocking, interfering.

Herein the metaphor,

the cliché all writers dread:

how often what’s behind us

interferes with what’s ahead.

 

 


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March 16.21: Coping

YESTERDAY

The gods of winter rose

against the fragile spring,

roared and raged in angst,

spat ice on everything.

The lilac buds all shivered,

the ducks could barely quack;

spring appeared forsaken,

winter had come back.

But winter gods, those bullies,

with eyes so cold and shifty,

know their days are numbered:

today it will be 50!