Staying Alive

Licking the batter bowl

mother didn’t know that it could kill us

sweet sugar egg flour

on our tongues

now verboten

she didn’t know those little pet turtles

(the ones in their plastic island paradise)

with salmonella all over their tiny prickly feet

could kill us

now verboten

mother didn’t know that our cotton pajamas

could kill us

when we fell into the fire

now verboten

———————-

Dutch word verboten has such a nice sound to it. Verboten is German, verbose Afrikaans

Staying Alive

Into the Night

Into the night bat troops fly

Most of the time against a dark sky

Into the night two cougars prowl

Most of the time they scream and growl

Into the night an owl hoots

Most of the time knowing its attributes

Into the night the sirens call

Most of the time to someone’s downfall

Into the night a dinosaur roams

Most of the time looking for homes

Into the night the children sleep

Most of the time not hearing a peep

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NaPoWriMo prompt to double down in the fashion of this nursery rhyme—“There was a man of double deed”.

Into the Night

Peanut Butter Cookies

Mother made cookies. Peanut butter cookies. She would roll some dough in her hand, make a ball, and place each ball on the cookie sheet. With a fork she would crisscross each one flat. When out of the oven we ate them warm or dipped in cold milk. Every time I bake peanut butter cookies I do the same. I add more peanut butter but I roll the dough in my hand, press the fork and think of mother who loved baking peanut butter cookies for my sisters and me.

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NaPoWriMo prompt to write about a habit I got from my mom. I love making peanut butter cookies (and chocolate chip).

Peanut Butter Cookies

Fantasia

Fantasia is Portuguese for costumes. When we put on a costume we enter a fantasy world. Before Halloween, I would bring out the sewing machine and make costumes for my children. One year they were unicorns, a shark and a penguin, Spider-Man, a green dragon (that won a best costume prize), a wizard and an alien. The dog wore a tutu.

Now my children are grownups. I find myself wanting to wear a costume, wanting to enter a fantasy. As soon as I finish writing, I will bring out the sewing machine and go make my fantasia.

let go of myself

find a place where I can dream

a different world

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dVerse haibun prompt on Halloween

Fantasia

Wings

It was the first death I could remember—-my father’s father, my grandfather. It came as a surprise, an aneurysm, as the family sped on the highway trying to get to the hospital. We were too late. I never saw the body.

How could I make sense of death at such a young age?

When we returned home, I picked the butterflies off of the grill of the car. These were dead, their soft bodies smashed, the wings intact. I took those colorful wings to the garden across the street. I sat under the overgrown asparagus in the corner of Laird’s garden and buried the butterflies one by one.

life is a flicker

mind what is most beautiful

pathway to the rest

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dVerse prompt on how nature plays into our lives. This is a haibun about a death and how nature played a role in how I dealt with that death. I was six years old and loved butterflies.

Wings

Birth Days

Some birthdays are easy to remember like when the family got together and my favorite aunt bought a cake that set the bar for all cakes proceeding it. A January birthday meant I could wear the dress my gramma made for Christmas. Uncle Clifford snapped a Kodachrome memory.

On birthday number five, all my friends set at the extended dining room table. I remember the balloons. I remember blowing into a red balloon and it expanded out and away and I swear it grew nearly as long as the table.

celebrate the day

when no one wants to destroy

and a new birth comes

Birth Days

When I Think About Rooms

When I think about rooms

the one that encompassed me

front door corridor

entryway

dark hardwood door

no windows

rarely used

darker in its none use

where no one went in or out

(always the side door)

but this room

with its front door

that held a way in and out

held me as a three year old

who sat on the bench

with hinged top for boot or shoe

other side was closet

a closet rarely opened

such a small room

for my small person

remembered now

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NaPoWriMo prompt on describing a room remembered

When I Think About Rooms

I Poet

I

I came out of the canal listening

for my own voice

with my first breath

I heard it as a cry

I found darkness in my eyes

til opened to the light

I was that baby you wanted to be boy

I was made girl

all parts of me to receive touch

to open

to flower

 

II

Listening for my own voice

it navigated out of my thoughts

my mind spoke a product of time

of culture of possibilities

of bouquets gathered in spring

it was good to be who I am

 

III

Now the voice knows its own cry

weeps into the light and dark

listens with belladonna ears

what hallucinations will arise

I Poet

My Voice

“My high school speech teacher, critical of my voice, never taught me how to speech just told me what was wrong. I believed him,” said the weak monotonous voice of myself.

“How can that be”, said the strong willed teen, “teach me then, so I can deliver a message of power like there is no other.”

“I sat in that class yearning to speak the sound of my own voice,” said the weak voice.

“Forget it,” said the strong lost voice, “your chance is now.”

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NaPoWriMo prompt day 7

My Voice