Looking Loopy

Take my heart most raw
Raw emotions untamed
Untamed but not errant
Errant never but loved

Love for you overflow
Overflow and truth verify
Verify the heart’s love everlasting
Everlasting ring signifies you I take

I have now completed the NPM21 scavenger hunt with this effort. It is the last prompt #14 – Write a Loop poem or an acrostic verse. Well, I’m an over achiever so I wrote an acrostic loop poem! And I think I managed to write love (sort of) poems for NPM21 all month. I have to give kudos to all the participants of National Poetry Month. I had some new participants as well as my stalwart scavenger hunters. As always their takes on the prompts thrilled and impressed me! A special thanks to Michelle Navajas for inspiring me to attempt the love poems. She makes it look so much easier than it really is!! Should we do an end of summer scavenger hunt? I’ll take suggestions for a repeat in, maybe August?? Vote now!

Looking Mythical

There are quite a few people who do not believe that true love exists. They are very vocal in saying that a faithful man is a mythological creature akin to a dragon, griffin, mermaid or a phoenix. Perhaps they have lost the capacity to dream into existence those things that the heart aches for. Yet they pursue the equally unobtainable in the form of a recording contract, making it in professional sports, Olympic dreams, finding the cure for cancer, winning a Nobel Prize, or learning 5 languages. True these dreams can become reality but there is more involved than talent, more effort than a casual afternoon once a month, and more luck than we want to acknowledge. I’m willing to believe that there is such a thing as true love, a true heart, a true man.

All my friends mock me
You believe in fairy tales
Smiling I agree
I have seen him in my dreams
Love awaits a single kiss

Prince Charming exists
The man more real than a myth
They chase unicorns
While they grasp for fame and wealth
I bait my trap for true love

This fulfills the NPM21 prompt #13 – Write a poem about a mythical creature. In addition the form I used was a pair of Tanka. The Tanka is a 5 line Japanese poem with a syllable count as follows: 5/7/5/7/7. As in most Japanese poems there is no rhyme.

Looking at the Letter D

Delicate daughter
Dream daily
Don’t delay
Drip dawn’s details
Drink death’s dew
Dance drunk
Delirious daffodils
Drive demons down

A note about this poem. I was eating chocolate and nodded off in front of the computer. Sometimes the subconscious is a strange place and other times it seems like a very normal environment. And that’s all I’m going to say.

NPM scavenger hunt prompt #12 – Use the following words in a poem: delicate, daughter, detail, defeated, daily, and dip. The above poem is a Tautogram. A tautogram requires that ALL the words in the poem start with the same letter. So I have to confess that when I selected these words for the prompt I was thinking that there were 6 words that would lend themselves to a sestina and that I could combine them and the sestina prompt and kill two birds with one stone. But that just didn’t happen.

Looking Unbound

What are all these lies we tell ourselves held
Deep and to our hearts and souls pressed so firm
That fester with doubtful actions compelled
To poison the young mind with fatal germ
All these things from the cradle to the grave
Were sown in fertile minds and tender souls
To mold actions, thoughts and make us behave
As puppets that another hand controls
When unbound the spirit’s freedom decree
To see the world with new unclouded eyes
Cut the strings, find out the truth and be free
No longer slaves we slip the chains of lies
We are worthy in thought and word and deed
Live well this life and to heaven’s gates speed

Lies and truth. There are plenty of both in this world. We generally look to our parents for truth. Any parent knows that you must be very careful about what you tell a toddler for they will take your words as unchallengeable truth, everything you say whether in jest or anger. For example: When my sons were young my husband told them that Little Debbie snack cakes were made with dog spit. He said this because he wanted them to stop asking for them at the grocery. Several years later they were shouting at me to “Stop that man! He’s going to buy those snacks! He doesn’t KNOW!!” As I tried to shush them they increased the volume and insistence as we neared him. Then they blurted out “Yuck he’s going to eat those and they are made with dog SPIT!” This is what happens. Young children believe without question. How many have ever said, “I’ll kill you!” in anger? I can honestly say that I have never said it. Sadly, many children have been yelled at using threats of death. Sadder still, some parents have meant it. A woman I worked with had been told repeatedly by her father that she was ugly, stupid, worthless, a mistake… you get the idea. Because he was the parent, she believed him. She still struggles to pull these lies from her heart and mind.

I was fortunate that I never had that burden. My parents nurtured my self-esteem and were ones to build up instead of tear down. Yet still there were lies that we were all told – Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and the boogeyman were all lies told to coerce and convince us to behave well. How earnestly we tried. And then we discovered the truth. For some it is just a fun part of growing up but for others it planted a seed of doubt about everything they had ever been told.

The poem above is a sonnet. The sonnet is generally 14 lines long written in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ababcdcdefefgg. Traditionally the first half (first 7 lines) present a problem and the second half (last 7 lines) present a solution. This is for NPM21 scavenger hunt #11 – Write a poem that explores a lie you were told.

Looking Betrayed

Love abandoned I am alone
All your fault none of my own
Mistakes you made you should atone
And harsh words I cannot condone
Tears splash but your heart’s a stone
You close your ears to my moan

From my heart escapes a moan
Know that I loved you alone
It feels as if I’ve swallowed a stone
You want to divide what we own
Your heartless actions I won’t condone
For this betrayal you must atone

Penance and reparations to atone
You refuse and bitch and moan
Bad behavior expects I’ll condone
The way you left me all alone
Hateful words are your own
My wounded heart is turned to stone

You were the first to cast a stone
You can never hope to atone
Unfaithfulness to me you must own
My anger rises and I release a moan
You want space to be alone
Your adultery I won’t condone

The judge is strict and won’t condone
He sinks your plans like a stone
The creditors are your problem alone
They require payment for debts atone
I hear your wallet emit a moan
I take half of what you own

Your destruction I smugly own
The ruin of my heart condone
Mutual hurt a stereo moan
I rebuild stacking stone on stone
With divorce decree you’ll atone
And I’ll soldier on peacefully alone

My own happiness a precious stone
Self respect won’t condone or atone
The last moan spent I’ll remain alone

This sestina is to fulfill the NPM21 prompt #10 – write a sestina. I really do not like the sestina. I always have trouble deciding on the six words that I’m going to use. Then there is the whole mathematical matrix to remember the order in which the words are used… Anyway I decided to throw another level of complexity on the fire by making it a monorhyme. And to pour some fuel on this fire, I wrote it as a love betrayed poem. There are lots of divorces going on. There have always been divorces but they were the dirty little secrets that people kept. Now it is out in the open and has become common enough that no one bats an eye. I believe in “until death do us part” kind of marriage. However I have limits. Physical abuse and I’d be gone in a heartbeat. A cheating spouse would be kicked to the curb with sonic speed. I know that there are some women who go into divorce proceedings feeling generous and trusting their soon to be former spouse. There are others who want nothing more than to induce pain and suffering in direct proportion to the pain they have felt. An unfaithful spouse would probably make me crazy vindictive.

Looking Free

The prompt for NPM21 scavenger hunt is to write a Magic 9 poem on the topic of slavery, freedom, or manumission. So a Magic 9 poem is a 9 line poem with the rhyme scheme of abacadaba. There is no required meter and no line length requirements. As for the topic, manumission is the act of freeing a slave. The word manu comes from the Latin for hand and mittere means to send from. So it is basically releasing from your hand something held tightly. This one can be interpreted in several ways but there is such a thing as a divorce decree as well as an emancipation decree….

From your hand set me free
I’ve worked hard and paid my debt
I served you well you will agree
Discharged my duties without complaint
Release me at once not by degree
Your promise keep I beg you do
Sign the paper make the decree
No more waiting to make me sweat
Put an end to my slavery

I’ve noticed that there are more people who enter into agreements that make them indentured servants (which is a fancy term for voluntary enslavement). I see it daily. Every time someone starts to smoke or vape or chew tobacco they are entering into a relationship which enslaves them. They are now at the beck and call of nicotine. Soon they will be unable to walk away and their new master will control their every movement. They will avoid restaurants, leave grocery stores before completing their shopping, have to excuse themselves from church, even leave the dinner table to get another dose of nicotine. Others enter slavery to drugs or alcohol. They will abandon friends, family, jobs, even their homes on the orders of their master. Of course this is an extreme. There are lesser masters and easier slave drivers – the slavery to fashion, peer pressure, work demands, dieting and debt. But the easiest enslavement? Love. Hands down. Why else would you be compelled to change a diaper? Help maintain a household? Cook? Love makes those chores much less onerous. I suppose my cleaning and clearing of closets is my feeble effort to throw off the shackles of consumerism. What are you a slave to?

Looking at the Madness

March Madness inflames minds
Finds us cheering on favorite teams
Extremes in dress and fanatic cheers
Beers replace a more subdued drink
Think of nothing but three point shots
Spots the open man in the paint
Feint the pass and scores the point
Anoint the MVP and Tourney winner
Inner pride for school and city swells
Tells the world that they’ve made the cut
Shut the car door and get on the road
Slowed and rolled to an untimely stop
Cop pulls up to our smoking car
Far from the Sweet Sixteen games
Flames creeping from under the hood
Could we use some help he asked
Downcast the car is a total loss
Cross we’ll miss our team’s chance
Perchance a ride to the field house
Douse the flames and we’re on our way
Pray we get there before it starts
Hearts pounding we get there in time
Halftime score is completely tied
Pride goes before the fall
Ball control and basic skills
Kills the chance for easy scores
Roars of the crowd signal the end
Send the team to the shower room
Gloom descends on the super fans
Plans for parties fizzle and fade
Trade fleeting joy for steadfast sorrow
Tomorrow brings jeers from enemies arch.

Indiana basketball has always been a true love of mine. I don’t know about you but this last March lacked that special zing. This makes 2 years in a row that March Madness hasn’t really happened. Sure there were some basketball games but the bleachers were mostly empty. Growing up March Madness was probably a bigger deal than Christmas. I mean, Christmas was a single day. March madness lasted a whole month. Some things have changed since my youth. They now have divisions based on school size. Back in the day a little school could beat a “goliath” and find themselves in the big game. Still, the format for choosing the teams for the state championship is basically the same. First there were the County Sectional Tournaments to dwindle the teams to the best in the county (there are 91 counties in Indiana). Next it was the Regional Contests where the number of teams was pared to 16. The Sweet Sixteen! From there they played for the Elite Eight. The winners of those games became the Final Four. That would determine the big game players for the State Final Tournament! In Indiana growing up every driveway had a basketball hoop all up and down my street. We would play all kinds of games – HORSE, follow the leader, Around the World, and Knock out and a lot of the boys would have 3-on-3 games that got pretty physical. (With no referees the elbows would fly, and the term “scrappy defender” took on a whole other level of meaning.) It was the dream to play for the state title. Last year COVID cancelled the state tournament. This year it was held with strict rules in place to make sure it was safe – for the players and the spectators. It still wasn’t the same.

Anyway, the above poem is a Chain Rhyme poem for NPM21 #9 prompt to write a chain poem. For those unfamiliar with a Chain Rhyme, it consists of a rhyme between the last word of a line and the first word of the next line. The chain is completed by rhyming the last word of the poem with the first word of the first line. I upped the difficulty level by including prompt #7 – write a poem incorporating a favorite beverage, an automotive malfunction, and basketball. And to top it off it really is a love poem about basketball….

Looking to Hold Hands

The laughter trickles to silence
The hand relaxes its grip
The gentle caress turns to violence
Love will eventually slip

The hand relaxes its grip
A cold fish finding its way to the sea
And from my hand yours does slip

The gentle caress turns to violence
A balled fist to the heart
Demanding I take offense

Love will eventually slip
A weary acceptance with tears
After love from my heart you rip

This is a Trimeric poem about hands to fulfill #6 – Write a poem about hands for the NPM21 scavenger hunt. I’ve been trying very hard to make all the poems for this months scavenger hunt about love. I’m just about over it. I’ve never been a mushy romantic and I don’t think I can keep doing love poetry much longer. Just be warned. I may go over to the darker side at any moment!

Looking at Redemption

With long arms I knock on the sky
Planets move and shake down the dust
I see stars and their lights adjust

I want to meet God eye to eye
See my creator face to face
Ask for His blessing and His grace

Get answers to the questions, “Why?”
Why the earthquakes, floods and fire
What from me do You require?

Hear angels sing their praise supply
To all the earth and realms above
Join my voice in a song of love

See all creation glorify
And know my place is at God’s feet
As he reigns from the glory seat

Yet I beg and plea and cry
Declare my heart no longer stone
Yet for my sins I must atone

Know words alone won’t justify
A lighter sentence or abate
The severity of sins’ weight

The mercy waiting when I die
That washes my soul white from black
From Hell’s inferno pulls me back

To fulfill NPM21 scavenger hunt prompt #5, I’ve written a Constanza. This poetry form was created by Connie Marcum Wong. It consists of 5 or more three line stanzas. Each line is 8 syllables long and the first line of each stanza can be read as an independent monorhyme poem. The 2nd and 3rd line of the stanza is a rhyming couplet woven in to express deeper meaning.

Easter was a week ago. As a Christian, Easter is the most important event for me. Some people are Christmas Christians but I’m an Easter Christian.  Easter is God’s love for His creation made manifest! Without Easter the promise would have been broken…

Looking at Playing House

We portion out love in equal bits little
Weigh powder of affection when winds fly
Spring turns my umbrella inside out and thy
Coat is rain soaked in Summer’s
Sudden storm as we pretend and play
At what we imagine love could be, my
Love, we are not tidy in youth but thoughtless.
A grasping at happiness I hold your hand
We laugh but you pull away, a waning has
Begun as I am pushed and brushed
And Love flees watching you run away.

This is a Golden Shovel poem. It is a form created by Terrance Hayes where you take a line or lines from a favorite poem. You use each word as an end word in a new poem. You must use them in order and give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line(s). The new poem is not required to have the same subject as the original. This poem also fulfills the requirements for NPM21 prompt #4 – Use the words equal, umbrella, tidy, and weight in a poem. This poem utilizes the first stanza of one of my favorite poems – The Fly by William Blake.

I am attempting to expand my horizons and write poetry forms that are either new or challenging for me for National Poetry Month. As an added penance I’m attempting to write love poems or at least poems about love. How often did you “play house”? I remember this game with my sisters, neighborhood friends, and anyone we could rope into the game. We would take on the roles – mother, father, children, the baby, and even pets! Being the mother was the most difficult role by far. The mother had to keep house, tend the baby (who was constantly crying and needing to be fed), keep the children from wandering off, and deal with naughty pets. The easiest role was that of the father. The dad would bid the family farewell and go to work, that is disappear for the rest of the game! In our minds and experience that was the order of things. Of course the inequality of the situation was very apparent even to our young minds. I’m pretty sure that those imaginary games were part of the reason I decided that I wanted a life partner – someone invested in the everyday function of a family. I had a marriage proposal that I turned down because I stated that I wanted a 50-50 partnership for making decisions, raising children, etc. His response was to try to negotiate a 30-70 which he amended to 35-65 and finally 40-60. It wasn’t good enough for me. Though we remained friends I’m very glad I turned him down… Especially when he changed jobs and his 8 month pregnant wife was left to sell the house and move their 2 yr old across country (Ohio to California). I think I’d have been a single mother wanted for murder….