Mystery Eco-challenge


Mystery Eco-challenge

We arrived at the cabin
on the peninsula
at Lake of the woods
the water level had dropped
3 feet since last time

The dock had to be lowered
pulled out to reach the boats
the duck boats hauled
closer to the edge of shore

It’s an Eco challenge
every time I come up here
Steve said, breathing heavy

A mystery eco-challenge, I added
because you never know
what the challenge will be

I looked over the bay
at the glistening shimmer
of the sun on the slowly rolling waves of clear and healing water
breathed in the solitude
and untethered the fraying rope
tied to the rest of the world

And I said to myself

I’ll take it.


I am participating in Poetry Friday this week being hosted by Tabatha Yeates at The opposite of indifference. Stop over to enjoy some poems or add one of your own!

An Apology to The steady arm

Do you want them both
in the same arm? or not?
the nurse politely asked
in the dispensing of two shots
one for the flu and the other
covid

I did not know the answer
and became perplexed
Did I want a shot in each arm
to even out the pain?
or just one to carry
the burden?

One arm, I replied
make it the left
save my writing arm
at least I'd have 
one good arm
so I thought

Afterwards,
I felt bad and apologized
to my left arm
for giving the right arm
more privilege
when later upon 
my writing time
I realized

It was the left that 
held the notebook steady
so the right 
could do her dance
across the pages.

draft sd 2022

Writing and sharing a poem a day ~ 
"The writing is inhaling and the sharing is exhaling.
They don't have to be good, they just have to be true."
~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

when i die, let them write about my mistakes~

When I die, let them write about
all the mistakes I've made.
Let them mention how I failed 
at keeping the house clean, 
or finishing things
that I could not make a garden
grow nice vegetables like my sister.
Or spell.
Tell them I loved to write 
but those words and their spelling. . .

Tell them I sometimes paid a bill late
and had late fees,
and overdue library books
and that I did not always answer
the phone when it rang
so I put it on silent to not hear it ring

Let them mention that I've damaged
cars by filling them up with oil
and let black smoke trail behind me
and couldn't run a TV remote
or the VCR, or pretty much anything with buttons.

They can note how my teenage children
snuck out of the house at night
and I never knew - some mother I am
to not have a clue

Let them say I was tired, or lazy, or daydreamed a lot,
or whatever it looked like to you. 
I don't care.

Tell them whatever you want
But do let them know that I cared
and I loved the best and
that messing up was part of the plan.


This poem was inspired by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer's poem:
AFTER MY FRIEND PHYLLIS SHOWS ME THE NEW YORK TIMES
OBITUARY HEADLINE: 'LOU MICHAELS, ALL-PURPOSEM PLAYER, 
DIES AT 80, MISSED KICKS IN '69 SUPER BOWL'.

Writing and sharing a poem a day ~ 
"The writing is inhaling and the sharing is exhaling.
They don't have to be good, they just have to be true."
~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

A nudge from My Poet Guide, Rosemerry

Rosemerry ~ my September Poetry Spirit Guide of my writing notebook

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer has done quite a number on me this month, my 57th Birthday Month. I chose Rosemerry as my Poet Guide for the month of September. As the last week of my Birthday Month draws nearer, she has been nudging me to come out from behind my notebook and share the poems that lay hidden between my pages.

Rosemerry does not just write poems, she writes them every day, and shares them every day. Every day, a new poem goes out into the world, an offering to some soul who is waiting for the balm Rosemerry’s words are.

I started writing a poem a day at the beginning of 2022, from the smallest of moments. They provided a documentation of who I was that day – what I paid attention to, and each poem gifted me a discovery in the making. It became an obsession. However, most of them are not very good. In fact, many of them make me shudder at the childlike sweeping words of my pen. But, maybe this is the point. To share these poetry beginnings with the world to overcome our fear of perfection. We are working those bravery muscles and quieting that critic every time we hit SUBMIT.

Rosemerry’s words echo with each poem scribed:

They do not have to be good. They just have to be true.”

William Stafford, my poet guide from April, and his son, Kim Stafford, my guide from May, each also wrote/write a poem a day and have adopted this same way of writing and sharing poems. Both poets also urge us to write bad poems, but make them be true.

So, at the Poet Guides’ urging, I begin. Along with many other poets who fling their words out into the world, in hopes they just might land on some thirsty soul. But that really does not matter to me. The words are there to remind myself – to live my life wide awake to each miniscule moment of my day. I do not know when the last day will arrive, but I whisper to myself each morning, “What if this were the last day?” and I choose to live it as such.

POETRY INVITATIONS

Some poems arrive on their own
spoken words from someone you love
 a passer-by, or a stranger
their words - a doorway to inside.

Or perhaps the conversation
between two crows soaring in the sky
beg for documentation,
the oaks, the acorns, and the rocks
we carry in our suitcases,
all yeast for the bread of a poem.

But, somedays, a nudge
from a poetry friend is is the remedy-
Rosemerry or Padraig,
Naomi or Natalie,
They whisper, Shari - see this poem?
Feel it? Here's what they did!

You try it! Trade out words of your own!

Well, Padraig adds, you don't have to
if you don't want to, you can do what
you want.

Rosemerry looks at Padraig and then me
and adds:

But, it's FUN!

Writing and sharing a poem a day ~ 
"The writing is inhaling and the sharing is exhaling.
They don't have to be good, they just have to be true."
~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

A Poem A Day: Birthday Gifts To Me

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There is something about a poem that reaches into your soul and grabs you there.  A poem can speak loudly in so few words  causing you to pause for a moment to say the words over in a hope that they might land in your memory for you to retrieve at a later time.

Maybe that’s why I love them so much.

When life moves into auto pilot, I neglect poetry.  But, somehow, it always seems to find it’s way back to me.  We are like old friends – so grateful to have crossed paths again and we reminisce for a spell.

September is my birthday month.  I enjoy giving myself small birthday gifts during the entire month of September.  These gifts do not usually cost anything; a walk along the river, a drive to the library or finding a small space amongst the trees in my backyard to write.  The best gifts are free.

This month, I’m giving myself the gift of poems.  A poem a day.

Some poems are from my poetry books, some I write.

Today’s poem found me.

Garrison Keillor, at his website, The Writer’s Almanac, posts a poem a day, along with other literary and historical notes about the current day in history.  It’s a lovely site.

Today’s featured poem was written by Kate Barnes.  Kate’s words could be my own words as I reflect on my birthday, time and getting older.  I’m only 51 years old, but I appreciate poetry that celebrates getting older.  We need to look forward to what many are not able to.

Here is her poem.

And my gift to myself today.

Future Plans

by Kate Barnes

When I am an old, old woman I may very well be
living all alone like many another before me
and I rather look forward to the day when I shall have
a tumbledown house on a hill top and behave
just as I wish to. No more need to be proud—
at the tag end of life one is at last allowed
to be answerable to no one. Then I shall wear
a shapeless felt hat clapped on over my white hair,
sneakers with holes for the toes, and a ragged dress.
My house shall be always in a deep-drifted mess,
my overgrown garden a jungle. I shall keep a crew
of cats and dogs, with perhaps a goat or two
for my agate-eyed familiars. And what delight
I shall take in the vagaries of day and night,
in the wind in the branches, in the rain on the roof!
I shall toss like an old leaf, weather-mad, without reproof.
I’ll wake when I please, and when I please I shall doze;
whatever I think, I shall say; and I suppose
that with such a habit of speech I’ll be let well alone
to mumble plain truth like an old dog with a bare bone.

“Future Plans” by Kate Barnes from Where the Deer Were. © David R. Godine, 1994. Reprinted with permission.