Looking at the Dark Side of Halloween

Welcome to this Special Halloween post. I’m crazy busy today as I’m visiting saintvi for the annual Halloween candy handout followed by the traditional Chili supper with delicious brownies for dessert while we watch one of the best movies for the season – Young Frankenstein. I will be coming home late and probably won’t be able to respond to comments until tomorrow. Have fun!

Chill winds, dead leaves as they dress up pretend
Children running they scamper door to door
Without a thought of how their lives will end
Making merry laughter the dead abhor
The veil is thinning between us and them
Sweet treats, full moon will call the dead to rise
Every child who mocks them hears death’s grim hymn
Played out in pantomime before their eyes
Evaporating souls like steam or fog
Fill the sky and seep past masks into mouth
Into throat becomes the croak of bullfrog
Hoarse they cry and turn to flee to the south
Into the chasm humanity falls
Compass points are pointless when the grave calls

This is for Ingrid’s Halloween Sonnet festival. Please go visit her blog to enjoy some other interesting and spooky Halloween sonnets!

Looking But Not Seeing

How many times have we looked for something and not been able to find it? My mother would usually be able to walk over and pick it up, hand it to me with the comment, “If it had been a snake, it would have bitten you.” I learned to be observant. I met a young girl in the checkout line. She was blind and has been since birth. She lacked a point of reference for color. She couldn’t understand distance, perspective, horizon. Her experience of the world was limited to what she hears, smells, tastes and most importantly, feels immediately under her hands. Her mother spends lots of time giving her the opportunity to experience her world – foods, outdoor walks, visits to the lake and beach. She took her to a florist to smell different flowers. Her mother was telling me all of this as we waited in an extremely long checkout line. She was describing the candy, the way the conveyor belt moved, the number of people and what some of them looked like to the girl holding tightly to the cart. Her mother wished that she could give her daughter sight. She would be willing to give up her own so that her daughter could see. I am currently grateful for my ability to see.
The following is a sonnet (14 lines written in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of a/b/a/b/c/d/c/d/e/f/e/f/g/g).

My child if I could show you what I see
As dawn breaks darkness to scatter the night
Reveals the joy of birds and bees so free
With clouds of angel wings rise up take flight
I would display the many wondrous beasts
The ocean fish that jump through sparkling waves
Hooved that wander through grass and flower feasts
For you a pink hued sky for vision saves
If in my power I would grant you eyes
Every word for color you cannot grasp
You could see the day and not think it lies
Creation’s wonder would make your soul gasp
Instead I paint with words this world so fine
Describe what’s seen holding your hand in mine

Looking for Daddy

Sunday was Father’s Day and I was just reminiscing… When I was in college my roommate was having a hard time with her father. He had made the pronouncement that she would NOT major in elementary education. Instead she toyed with art, which met with disapproval. She tried history which also was not acceptable. She ended up in the school of business as a labor relations major. She was miserable. My dad had driven me to campus to drop me off after a break. After he left she looked at me with tears in her eyes. Her words made a lasting impression, “I wish I had a Daddy, instead I have a Father.” I always called my father Daddy, that was his name. I never thought about it until that moment in college. Then it was clear that almost all of my friends called their fathers “Father”. A very few, and mostly the guys, called their fathers “Dad”. I was the lone hold out still using “Daddy”.

I then looked at the relationships they had with their parents, and fathers in particular. Almost all of them were distant. Most had very authoritarian fathers and mine was no less than theirs. Mine often responded with phrases like, “Because I said so.” His word was law. And yet there was never any doubt that he loved us beyond measure. He baked cookies for us. He would join us for Saturday morning cartoons and laugh hard. He would tell jokes (and yes they were dad jokes) and we would all laugh. We would join him in watching Laurel and Hardy, Jerry Lewis, The Three Stooges, and a variety of others that contained slapstick humor. He would laugh. We would laugh. He would laugh at us laughing at him laughing and finally we’d all be crying and holding our sides. Every so often he’d come home from work with a bag of candy – Chuckles, Circus Peanuts, Jelly Beans or if we were lucky Gumdrops or perhaps Orange Slices. Although I spent a fair amount of time at the homes of my friends, they seemed to spend more time at my house.

My father had a very stern demeanor. He looked ferocious. But soon my friends realized that he was not a Grizzly Bear but closer to the Teddy Bear. I remember the first time my friend Anita saw my father laugh. We had gone to the theater to see the movie Peter Pan. As Captain Hook was dangling and the croc was snapping at his posterior my Daddy started roaring with laughter. Yes, out loud in the theater! Her eyes got really big and she turned to me not knowing what to think. We were all laughing and she had to laugh too. That was the turning point. All of a sudden she was no longer afraid of him. Her own father on the other hand was a very sour man. I never saw him laugh or smile for that matter. He basically ignored her which might have been part of the issue causing her to pull out her eyelashes…

My friends all had fathers but I did not
Their fathers worked from sunup to sundown
‘Twas never jealous of what they had got
Their fathers’ faces wore always a frown
To my house they’d come each and ev’ry day
To escape their fathers’ short temper fuse
I welcomed their presence to join my play
Wondered why my house was the one they’d choose
As I grew up it became crystal clear
Cookies baking, giggles, and jokes galore
All the laughter and fun times drew them near
My house welcomed all with an open door
I had two parents so don’t be too sad
I lacked a father but had the best dad

This is a sonnet but I really don’t like iambic pentameter so this is as good as it gets… Sonnets by the way are 14 lines with a rhyme scheme of: a/b/a/b/c/d/c/d/e/f/e/f/g/g written is iambic pentameter (10 syllables – 5 feet of 2 syllables where the 2nd syllable has the stress)

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 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.