Looking at Longing

With sun in my eyes
Evade my gaze, look away
Away from what is or was
Wake me
Always from dreams
I attempt still weary
To find a searching heart
Longing for a golden ring
One special companion
Venture into a future
Even as the past follows

A little acrostic for your reading pleasure. How is it that humans are never satisfied? We find the smallest thing and are intent on possessing it. We pin our whole happiness on that one thing. For some it is a car and others a wedding ring. Some desire wealth, fame, education, praise, those intangible things while others want a motorcycle, a computer, the latest iPhone, that one pair of tennis shoes. And when they get what they wanted find it isn’t enough. I have found that true happiness is a sense of gratitude and satisfaction wrapped in connections with others.

Looking Mothered

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Sparky and I are currently among the few in our age group who haven’t lost our mothers. That makes Mother’s Day hard for many of our friends. While many were being inundated with cards and flowers, I was not. I specifically requested no flowers or candy. Its not a big deal if I get a card or if I don’t. What is a big deal is the feeling of being appreciated. To that end it was a day of appreciation with my sons in the morning. I was able to go geocaching with my BFF, saintvi and Sparky too in the afternoon. *edit* Sparky planned to grill out but served us a yummy meal from the local Chinese take-out instead. We wanted to end the day with ice cream with the whole clan but he was not feeling up to it after a full day. We will celebrate with my MIL for Mother’s Day but also her birthday when we take her out later this week!

In celebration of my mother I wrote this little acrostic sonnet – yeah, I am a little bit of an overachiever… I blame it on my mother! hehe!

Many times in darkness I cried for you
Overcome by sickness, terror and fright
That your one loving gentle touch would do
Heal my hurt and my heart and set things right
Every risk or barrier I broke through
Reflected on the strength you gifted me
Learned to stand up tall and straight as I grew
Opened my mind to all that I could be
Versed in manners, science, cooking, and art
Every trick of frugality you taught
Then good judgement you planted in my heart
Respect, assist, treat others as you ought
Until the end of time I will confess
Each moment with you Mother I’ve been blessed

My mother is going to have a fairly serious procedure performed. One that she had almost 10 years ago. It is a necessity to repair again. At the age of 89 there are risks that she didn’t face before. Although I am confident in the skills of the surgeon and the hospital team, and I know my mother is pretty darned tough, I’d still appreciate any prayers and positive thoughts sent her way.

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 Quirky

Question my sanity or decorum
Undo status quo humdrum
I resist conformity I won’t succumb
Release the whimsy I overcome
Kick out mediocrity and the hohum
Yes to flamboyant, fun I become!

I received several gifts at Christmas that made me happy on a cellular level. One was a bunny mask. This sent me into peals of laughter and every time I wear it and look in a reflective surface I giggle. I’ve been wearing it with my bunny hat. I’ve gotten compliments and that is nice but what really sends me are the looks. You know the ones, the side-eye, the pulling the kids closer just in case I’m some deranged monster… I am tickled.

The other gift was a hat. Not just any hat mind you – a FOX hat! Yes, with fox ears! I love the hat. I wear the hat. How cute is it? I entered a store and as I was walking past the checkout there was an ear piercing scream. It stopped me dead in my tracks and I looked around to find where the axe murderer was wailing on a victim (since the screaming continued at a slightly reduced volume). What I encountered made me laugh for several hours (and repeating it here makes me smile again). A woman finishing her transaction had seen me and was so moved that she started shrieking. As she pocketed her change, the screams continued with her waving her arms and pointing to me. I was rooted in wonder and a little fear at her behavior. She rushed up to me and gushed that she LOVED my hat. She offered me money to part with it. I turned her down. For a brief moment I thought she might snatch it from my head.

For those new to my blog I have to confess a proclivity for fun (and funny) hats. I have a bunny, bear, cat, tiger, jester’s cap complete with bells, one with lightning bolts, a Russian hat (not unlike the one Melania wore but I always look happier),

a trapper hat, a Swiss army hat, a blaze orange fleece geocaching hat (with the official logo), a Boonie hat, a fisherman’s hat to keep the rain off my back, a not quite raspberry beret, an Irish flat cap, a bucket hat, and an assortment of sun hats, baseball caps, beanies, and tams.

Looking for the Meaning of Love

What is this thing that twists the mind
Handsome are considered ugly
And the ugly become handsome
The strong become weak and the weak strong
It makes the smart ones stupid and
Stupid ones smart
Loquacious tongues turn silent and
Of course the silent ones become loquacious
Very cowardly souls find bravery and
Even the brave turn into cowards
This thing steals sight from the eye
Or makes the blind see
Youth withers from it’s lack
Older hearts become young again
Under the influence of love

We are in the run up to St. Valentine’s Day and the love sick are still sick and the lovelorn continue to pine. There are the jaded and those who have been jilted still sneering at those who celebrate their love. Yes, even the people who have forsworn love or steadfastly deny that love exists are sneaking a delicious chocolate heart. We idealize the “perfect” mate and often turn away from others who would give us true love to chase after the unobtainable. Love certainly makes people do strange things. And the lack of love makes us even stranger! We are a species that loves to love. Most people love the concept but not the messy reality. The first time your love burps or worse, farts, can break the spell for some folks. What about the love that snores to wake the dead? Or drools on the pillow? What about your “soul mate” who chews loudly, smacks their lips, or licks the plate?? If those were the only vices would you toss them out on their ear? We all know about the battle of toilet seat up or down, the toothpaste squeezed from the middle versus the end, toilet paper under or over, and leaving lights on and cabinet doors open… And yet we keep looking for love. What is love to you?

Looking for Karen

I feel sorry for all my friends named Karen. I’ve always liked the name and even considered (briefly) naming child#2 Karen except he ended up being son#2 so that name was out. But back to Karen. When I first heard Karen used as a descriptor it was, according to the Urban Dictionary, specifically: a pejorative term used in the United States and other English-speaking countries for a woman perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is appropriate or necessary. A common stereotype is that of a white woman who uses her privilege to demand her own way at the expense of others. Karen was generally portrayed as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands, and being an anti-vaxx , Generation X soccer mom.

Then it started to change and was soon applied to all white women engaging in what was considered racist acts. And now? Now anytime a woman asserts herself, whether appropriately or not, she is labeled a Karen. In fact it is now applied to any woman for any reason as an insult! Why am I even bringing this up? Because I was called a “Karen”. I was paying for my purchase at Goodwill. I was using “Goody Bucks” which are in store credit. A manager is required to enter a code. The cashier paged the manager and the transaction was completed. It took all of a few more seconds. However the young man behind me was very impatient. When the girl called the manager on the intercom he muttered “Karen” just loud enough to be heard by me and several others in line. I pretended not to hear him. I had a pleasant exchange with the young lady at the cash register and left smiling. Surely this was an anomaly. Nope. I went to the grocery and the cashier rang up my pears as grapes (pears were $0.88 a pound and grapes were $1.19). I pointed out the error and she corrected it… The couple behind me were giving me the stink eye and when I looked their direction they glared at me. As I was moving away, they commented to the cashier that “It must be so hard dealing with all the Karens”! Really? I’m a Karen?! I suspect that it is much easier to label all women who pose an inconvenience to you personally as Karen than to take responsibility for holding yourself in check.

Keep your attitude and tongue in check
Airing grievances or slights perceived
Remember we are all human
Equal in the eyes of God if not man
Never forget “There but for the grace of God go I”

A little Acrostic poem to remind us to be nice and have a little compassion for our fellow humans – both man and woman!

Looking at Cowardice

Prompt #11 for NPM Super Poetry Challenge is to write an acrostic poem using a word to describe your worst enemy. I decided to up the difficulty factor and wrote this as a monorhyme as well. My worst enemy used to be myself, at least that was what I thought. Having lived a charmed life, I didn’t experience serious bullying until I was an adult. That’s when I started believing in the existence of true, unadulterated evil. Like many bullies, my bully had several glaring personality flaws – insecurity, self-centeredness, over arching ambition, and cowardice. All these resulted in petty and manipulative behaviors. There were times when the bullying consisted of belittling comments to others and to my face, undermining my authority, spreading rumors, and even withholding information in an attempt to make me appear incompetent. I learned to deflect, circumvent, and fly under the radar. Finally I decided to roar. It was a good day. It didn’t stop the bullying for good but it did make an impression and set some boundaries. It has been a few years since I had to interact with my bully. I have forgiven but it is very hard to forget.

Caught and pushed around
Overwhelmed and nearly drowned
When in a revelation profound
A mouse rose up and stood her ground
Reaction from the bully astound
Defeated and retreated the mouse victor crowned

Looking at Life Coming at Me

This last run up to Christmas Day has been very busy. Not to negate the fun bits of which there are many but it has been a bit rough in other spots. It all started with the Christmas cookie hilarity. I baked cookies with saintvi. At one point we were laughing so hard I was crying. I don’t know if she was crying because it was hard to see through the tears. We had dinner and then packed up some cookies and traveled an hour to present them to friends to spread the Christmas cheer (which is in short supply when recovering from back surgery and caring for an active toddler). All went well. It was a late night and I had to work the next day.

That was when things took a turn for the worst. I was still coughing from the remnants of the cold. According to the doctor I was all better – except for the cough. Seems this bug tends to hit you hard and then linger. The day went without a hitch until lunch. I had a lunch date with a former coworker. She had a lot on her mind. We went to the Indian Gardens to eat and talk. We had finished eating and all was well until I had a coughing fit. It was one of those coughing jags that doesn’t end well. A couple sips of water and a nose blow and I thought it was over until it wasn’t. Yes, I tossed my cookies. Well not all my cookies – mostly just some mucus. I was able to contain it in a napkin and a tissue and my friend’s napkin and 2 more tissues. I was very embarrassed. A few sips of water and we left. Walking to the car I had another coughing fit and expelled a little more mucus and lunch in the parking lot. My friend was very concerned but I really was fine. And after getting rid of all the mucus I’d swallowed I felt much better.

We headed back to the campus to drop her off. A white van sped past us. As the van cut in front of me, the Christmas tree strapped to the roof took flight and landed in the road. I was able to apply my brakes in time to avoid completely running over the tree. As I put on my hazard lights, my friend jumped out of the car and dragged the tree onto the grass between the curb and the sidewalk. The van never stopped! We continued on to campus. It was a harrowing lunch experience in multiple ways. As soon as I got home son#1 arrived to go on our shopping trek. As a precaution I took an expectorant, decongestant and antihistamine tablet in hope of avoiding any more coughing jags. It worked and the shopping was successful. We arrived home minutes before Sparky. Sparky and I then jumped into the car to go to a Christmas dinner party. That was just one day!!

And every day since has been just as busy with fun and disasters in equal portions. There was the exuberant lab holiday lunch resulting in me having to consume a bottle of Propel, 3 Jarritos sodas (2 mango and 1 pineapple), and a glass of tap water to attempt to quell the fire from the aji panca aioli and chimichurri sauce that was slathered on the yucca fries and the Jamaican jerk chicken. I had even asked if the sauce was spicy and was assured that it was not. The waiter lied. Perhaps for the others seated at the table it was bland but to my sensitive tongue it was fiery! I ended up with such heart burn that I had to spend the night propped up in bed sipping water and chewing on Tums!!

Then there was the shopping experience with son#2. We had a productive purchasing experience and leisurely stroll through the mall and got our steps in. As we were walking back to the car a very impatient and angry couple nearly ran over us. I noticed that the car was coming up behind us and had moved to the side. As they passed us (it was a very full mall parking lot and the cars in front of us were crawling in hopes of finding a parking spot), the passenger window went down and the woman yelled that she would “beat the !!*^# out of you and your #*@%# mother”. My son takes after his father and shouted back, “Merry Christmas!” The woman was hanging out of the window cursing and waving her hands in an obscene gesture as the driver hit the gas and sped away. Son#2 commented that it wasn’t his fault that some people are in a bad mood because they procrastinated to the last minute to do their shopping (he was just getting a few last minute items and had completed all the major shopping).

And I could go on but you get the idea. In that vein, I’ll leave you with a little acrostic poem:
People hurry to spend
Every dime on the gifts they will send
All wasted in the end
Cash can’t buy love for a friend
Even if that’s what we intend

Looking Emotional

Stay quiet while the microaggressions bounce
Ego bruised, feelings hurt, soul aggrieved
No tears shed lest it provokes additional attacks
Stay strong and grim faced, be a man
Introverts don’t survive unless they develop
Thick skins and calloused psyches
In private they can shed the snake skin becoming
Vulnerable and soft and emotionally available
Enjoying chick flicks, cartoons and poetry

This is my NPM challenge #9 – Write an acrostic poem using an emotion. I had a conversation with a friend at work. She was distraught. There were a couple situations she found herself in that were uncomfortable. She was feeling attacked and disrespected. We talked about it and I suggested that possibly the other parties were not aware that they had made her feel that way. We talked about women in positions of power. She is just young enough to not have seen the first wave of women who broke the glass ceiling. Those pioneers had to be more manly than men. They had to play the game better than the men to get half the respect and half the pay and half the authority. They were able to do so by developing tough exteriors and denying their emotions. They couldn’t show any signs of weakness. I suggested that perhaps there was a little of that going on. And also that having a little thicker skin might be beneficial as she moves into a leadership role. It took me awhile to realize that approval from my superiors didn’t (or shouldn’t) define my worth as a human being. I told her that. The happy ending is she got 2 sincere apologies and had conversations that have changed the dynamic between her and these other women. I’m a big proponent of the separation of work life and social life. What I do for a living does not define me. Granted it has impacted who I am but it hasn’t taken over my core, changed my moral compass, or damaged my soul…

Looking Down

Willow Poetry, a site by Hélène Vaillant posts a weekly photo challenge whereby the readers are challenged to write about the posted photo. This week the photo was provided by Jordis Fasheh.

Peer into the darkness long hidden
Ask why decoration in the interior
Never mind the iron jail grate
Down deep there is a sound, rising
Open to the light they rush
Rail thin from confinement
Angry and vengeful they escape
Screaming at God and man
Fainting you fall back, fall down
As they fill the air mocking life
Utter an oath, a prayer, a plea
Loosed on the world all pestilence
Too late curiosity’s regret

This is my acrostic poem for this prompt…