Looking to Serve

The 8th prompt for the NPM 22 Flex Scavenger Hunt is to write a Kyrielle or write a poem on servitude. The kyrielle is one of my favorite forms having 4 stanzas of 4 lines with a syllable count of 8 syllables per line. The last line of the first stanza becomes the refrain repeating as the last line in all following stanzas. The Rhyme scheme is: aabB, ccbB, ddbB, eebB. Not too difficult and I find them enjoyable to read aloud.

I heard the taunts and whispered threats
I guess at stakes when you place bets
Peer pressure and you play the knave
I’m as always, your willing slave

You ignore me on busy days
And forget me in bonfire blaze
When attention is all I crave
I’m as always, your willing slave

From your table you toss me scraps
I toil so hard my strength it saps
My devotion on heart engrave
I’m as always, your willing slave

Into fierce battle’s heated fray
By your side, I will never stray
Call me companion strong and brave
I’m as always, your willing slave

If you haven’t guessed, this poem is not about an actual slave. Instead it is a commentary on the human-canine dynamic. Well, at least the way some people see their dogs. Working in Veterinary Medicine I’ve seen my share of owners both good and bad. The good owners generally out number the bad ones, because mostly the really bad owners do not bring their dogs to the vet clinic except out of necessity. And even the owners who treat their dogs with little respect or compassion are greeted with a joyful wagging tail when retrieving their pet from the clinic. Dogs seem to eagerly enter a contract of servitude with their owners – even when people ignore, demand obedience, give little or no thought to the well-being of the dog – the dog will remain loyal. But the person who upholds the contract will be rewarded a hundred times over with that which goes beyond loyalty and servitude – love.

Looking at a Hard Frost

Summer fades to Autumn’s leaves gay
Pulled from branches by chill wind’s play
Gusts push and pull leaves heaven tossed
Are pulled to ground by icy frost

Jagged pieces fall from trees high
Swirl in breezes through a blue sky
Painted in patterns ice embossed
Are pulled to ground by icy frost

In brilliant colors trees once clad
With branches naked, brown and sad
Cold days and nights green clothes are lost
Are pulled to ground by icy frost

Warmth gives way to a creeping chill
With northern winds that bear ill will
Oak, elm and pear leaves pay the cost
Are pulled to ground by icy frost

The walnut trees started losing their leaves in August. They started dropping their walnuts in September. All the other trees were hanging onto their leaves. The leaf pickup schedule was announced and yet most of the trees still had most of the leaves. This is becoming the norm. The neighborhood has a high proportion of oak trees and a fair number of Bradford pear trees that don’t drop their leaves until well into November. It isn’t unusual for families to rake leaves on Thanksgiving weekend since the last leaf pick up is scheduled for the Monday after the holiday. The forecast is for a hard frost this weekend and we all have our fingers crossed (for frost and not snow!) and our rakes ready.

The above poem is a kyrielle. This form consists of 4 stanzas of 4 lines with a syllable count of 8 per line and a rhyme scheme of: a/a/b/B, c/c/b/B, d/d/b/B, e/e/b/B where the line designated by a capital B is a repeated refrain.

Looking at True Love

Youthful joy we felt in our hearts
Our new love grew in fits and starts
Our appetite for love was whet
From the moment our lips first met

Your handsome face filled up my mind
Saw you as gentle, sweet and kind
I was yours, don’t ever forget
From the moment our lips first met

Hold fast to my limp icy hand
While life slips away like the sand
Our souls entwined in love’s duet
From the moment our lips first met

As this life fades from white to black
I’ve done nothing that I’d take back
I loved fully without regret
From the moment our lips first met

A love poem to start off NPM2021! This is a Kyrielle. It is composed of 4 stanzas of 4 lines with 8 syllables per line. The last line of the first stanza becomes the refrain in each subsequent stanza. The rhyme scheme is aabB, ccbB, ddbB, eebB.

Looking at Inaction

My dreams take substance and seem real
Your hands and touch are all I feel
Satin sheets slide upon my bed
It is a vision in my head

The echo of your voice remains
Your haunting words my mind retains
The prophecy of what you said
It is a vision in my head

Fighting to breathe I bit my tongue
I pulled the trigger, shot the gun
My freedom won in crimson red
It is a vision in my head

The taste of metal on the tongue
Returns the memory of one
No longer here he is long dead
It is a vision in my head

I was reading an opinion piece about abusive relationships. There was an undercurrent that hummed – if it was so bad, just leave. It really came off as victim shaming. It is very easy to say that someone should “just leave” but when there is no where to go it becomes very problematic. Add the controlling aspect of many abusive situations – no access to money, transportation, or even communication with family – it makes leaving nearly impossible. If that weren’t enough there are children and pets to consider as well. The victim may not be willing to leave them behind. The victim believes that they are the buffer between the abuser and the children. Then there is the hope, desperate and often unrealistic, that with time and patience and love, that they can change the abuser into a kind and loving person.

The poem is a kyrielle which is a 4 stanza poem with a strict syllable count of 8 per line. The rhyme is aabB, ccbB, ddbB, eebB where the last line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the following stanzas. It is written in rhyming couplets… And no, I am not in an abusive relationship. Unless you consider moving the soap dispenser from the left to the right of the bathroom sink randomly as abuse.

Looking for Quantum Entanglements

Once again Kim Hawke’s MMPP has truly kicked me in the pants. The first prompt I considered was: Explore the quantum, in whichever version appeals to you. After mulling that over for 2 weeks I stared to compose only to have another prompt: Investigate mothers sneak into my mental gymnastics. I present a Kyrielle.

A mother’s love creates a bond
Within the womb and far beyond
Love two souls entwine and cement
A strong quantum entanglement

A daughter knows her mother’s voice
With hugs and kisses will rejoice
Know near or far the heart’s intent
A strong quantum entanglement

We know not how or why its so
Through time and space all mothers know
If the babe is ill or content
A strong quantum entanglement

Death comes knocking upon our door
Parts the embrace for evermore
The soul in joy will not lament
A strong quantum entanglement

Looking Chilled

Last night we walked beneath the stars
Comets passed by ascending Mars
We trod in silence up a hill
Our hearts aflame against the chill

Snowflakes clung to branches of pine
I didn’t care, your hand in mine
The milky way our eyes did fill
Our hearts aflame against the chill

As we stood the moon lit the sky
In the quiet an owl soared by
Cheeks and noses cold we stood still
Our hearts aflame against the chill

Faces pointed into the wind
We watched the owl to feast descend
Then turned our feet toward home down hill
Our hearts aflame against the chill

The above is today’s offering for the Super Poetry Challenge in honor of NPM. I used prompt #7 – Write a poem using the words – stars, pine, sky, wind, chill. I decided to write a Kyrielle. A Kyrielle is a poem of 4 stanzas with 4 lines per stanza. Each line has 8 syllables and the last line of the first stanza becomes the refrain and is repeated as the last line of subsequent stanzas. The stanzas consist of rhyming couplets. This results in a rhyme scheme of aaxX – bbxX – ccxX – ddxX where the X is the refrain. It sounds much more confusing than it really is.

With the prospect of Spring supposedly upon us, I’m still skeptical. I can recall snow in May so until we hit consistent temperatures at night of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, I will not mothball my winter coat!

Looking Brittle

If I fall down and break my crown
And bruise my knees and rip my gown
I wonder if you will hear my groans
Will you carry my brittle bones

As age advances to my door
With wrinkled skin and hair turned hoar
Beauty faded like cheap rhinestones
Will you carry my brittle bones

As my parents get old and die
I ponder death and often cry
Great tears and stifle muffled moans
Will you carry my brittle bones

In sleep and waking dreams I dwell
I long for heaven and fear hell
Through death’s door and on paths unknown
Will you carry my brittle bones

Just before I left on vacation I was helping son#1 clean up his house because finally (after nearly 6 months) the insurance company is starting the repairs on their house. This will result in having the house lifted off the foundation so that they can make the needed repairs to the basement and foundation. They will also gut his bedroom. So I was helping him get organized so that all the furniture in his room would fit into the living room, basement and attic. In the course of carrying an arm load of empty glass bottles (mostly sparkling lemonade and birch beer), I tripped on a cardboard box. I fell hard. I tried to catch myself and to avoid breaking the bottles. I managed to hold onto all but 2 bottles (which didn’t break). In the process I hit my knee on the metal strip that separates the carpet from the laminate flooring. I immediately felt pain in my knee and shoulder. By the time I got home my left shoulder was throbbing, my neck was stiff and my back was having spasms in waves. The next morning I felt like I’d been run over by a truck – twice. With judicious use of water massage, massive doses of Ibuprofen, and comfortable shoes (slip on variety) I managed to make it into work. In my head I don’t feel any older than I did at 30 but my body is starting to feel some effects of age. I don’t bounce back as quickly as I used to and my bones are becoming a little brittle…

This is a Kyrielle which is a poem of 4 stanzas each consisting of 4 lines with 8 syllables. The last line of the first stanza becomes the refrain and is repeated as the last line in the subsequent stanzas. The stanzas are also written as rhyming couplets thus the rhyme scheme is: aaxX bbxX ccxX ddxX.

Looking Above the Clouds

Looking at the top sides of clouds
Soaring above the earthbound crowds
From the window only sky blue
I have an angel’s point of view

Not the first time I have traveled
Airplane nerves become unraveled
This perspective feels fresh and new
I have an angel’s point of view

Ignore the stomach butterflies
I focus on the endless skies
And trust the stratospheric crew
I have an angel’s point of view

Moisture laden clouds admire
Dazzling sunset climbing higher
Celestial sunbeams breaking through
I have an angel’s point of view

Yes, I had a window seat. Although take off is always spectacular and the landing has its own special thrills, it is the cruising above the clouds that makes my heart happy. It never gets old. Seeing clouds from the top is awesome! There was a small patch of stormy weather that we flew over. From the top the sky was a clear blue and the clouds were a dark juxtaposition. The sun made the top of the clouds a bright “bleached white’ but the bottoms were an ominous slate grey! There were a few spots where it appeared the sun had punched holes in the cloud cover releasing powerful beams of light into the rain darkened land below. The poem above is a Kyrielle. A Kyrielle is defined as a French form of rhyming poetry written in quatrains (a stanza consisting of 4 lines), and each quatrain contains a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the poem consists of only eight syllables. I know it sounds daunting but it will flow after you step back to see the overall effect!

Looking for the Bottom of the Ocean

Bath time for a child is happy
Soft towel wrapped with a clean nappy
Deep bubble bath no cause to fret
The end of life can hold no threat

A boy teases ducks at the pond
He tickles turtles with a frond
Chases golden fish with a net
The end of life can hold no threat

At the baptismal font I swim
Saving water wash life and limb
Though tidal waves my world beset
The end of life can hold no threat

Don’t try to save me, let me sink
Stare death down, not afraid to blink
I slip into the vast sea wet
The end of life can hold no threat

This is prompt #5 – water for the Looking Foolish Scavenger Hunt in honor of National Poetry Month. I wrote this as a kyrielle. This form is a poem with 4 stanzas. Each stanza has 4 lines with 8 syllables per line written as rhyming couplets. The last line of the first stanza repeats as the last line of all subsequent stanzas. I know it sounds complicated but it isn’t really.

I’ve been underwater both literally and metaphorically. I am still suffering with a horrible head cold. My sinuses have become mucous generating factories running 3 shifts at full capacity 24/7. I’m miserable. I have been to the doctor. They have ruled out strep saying my sore throat is the result of massive post-nasal drip. (It is NOT a drip! It is a water fall of Niagara proportions!) As for the sinuses I’ve been assured that I do not have a sinus infection. The suggested treatment is very homeopathic – to get rid of all the liquid pouring from my head I’m supposed to use the neti pot and pour an additional cup of water into my sinus cavity!! It seems counter intuitive but I’ve done it. No real change except for the brief moment when the saline drips across my raw nose and burns.

As for the metaphorical drowning, well, work is a little overwhelming right now. But I’ve seen worse. I am an old hand at spinning plates and even if I’m a little out of practice, I haven’t forgotten how. My vacation is approaching.