VERBS!

So … when you write upon your blog you generally want to write something good or at least something that you perceive to be good. Don’t you? This has been a very busy day for me. I have no time to write, none at all. Victoria Slotto has a great prompt today for her fourth Wednesday prompt at The Bardo. Her delicious prompt is about using fabulous (my word) verbs instead of lazy (again, my word) ones. Kind of like, you do not want to say: “John went to the store.” Why say that when you could instead say: “John charged through the underbrush as he proceeded into town to the store.” Well, OK that is a bit over the top. And that might be the problem with my poem! I had time for great verbs, but no time to write a good poem. So here is to verbs! This is linked back to Victoria’s article “God Is A Verb” at The Bardo.

Good Verbs, Bad Poem

This guy was
phishing!
He had
perpetrated
quite a hoax!
He had
attempted
to
coerce me
into backing
him.
Never!
I was angered!
I chastised
him!
I trashed his
organization
in my next
speech.
I would
trample upon
him.
At the polls
he would be
sliced and
diced!
I would
forge ahead
and conquer.
I would batter him.
I
would fashion
and model
my campaign to
hammer and
to flatten
him.
I would
formulate
my next speech
to defeat him.
I would
utter words
to establish
myself as
the
front-runner.
I’d shellac him.
No one
would believe
the words
he uttered.
I was pulsating
with excitemnent.
Invigorated,
I knew that
I would
win.

I
would get
out of the kitchen.
absconding
with all of
the
dinner fixings
I would remove
myself up
to the attic.
Here I could
put together
the salad.
Then I could
dwell in peace,
luxuriate even.
I could forget
for a bit
that I needed
to avenge the
phisher.

Later upon
opening my computer
I would excoriate
the phisher online.

Oh my this is so bad! But! Good verbs!

Even Today I Imagine

I imagine Mummy
She is listening for Doodle Bugs
Running past St James Square
They make a swooshing noise before
Hitting their targets
Windows are darkening now

As she scurries by them
Like a mouse
Shades being pulled down
All light receding till gone
She is heading towards St Paul’s
She is meeting with a friend

At the statue of St Ann
Dinner was soon to follow
Constant gray clouds of dust
Engulfed her in dirt
London was under
Aerial bombardment

The Luftwaffe would spend
Fifty-seven nights
Bombing the city and St Pauls
Wishing to eradicate it
From the face of the earth
This symbol of London and God

But London endured
St Paul’s remained standing
A symbol of British
endurance
Mummy lived to return home
To the USA

But I still imagine
Still I wonder
Was it the war that
Shaped her personna
Making her so harsh
She once said to me

During a phone call
Not long before her death
She said that
The war was the most
Thrilling period
of her life

I understand that feeling
I know what she was saying
She is gone
St Paul’s is standing
London thrives
Yet still I imagine

We all must come to terms with our upbringing. For some there is more pain to work through than for others. I had what one might call a proper upbringing. Yet still, one filled with my share of pain. My mother was not in London during the 57 nights of the Blitz. This was of course poetic license on my part. She was however living in London during 1943 and 1944 during WWII. She became a lifelong Anglophile. This fact set up some difficult goals for her children to attain for they were not living in Great Britain. They could not become British.

Sometimes due to her scrapbooks I feel as though I was there, in London during the war.

There was a time that I knew nothing about war. An experience that I had in 2005, dictated that I learn about war. Mummy never spoke of her work in London during WWII. She worked for the US propaganda office or the OWI – Office of War Information. I really never knew until I found two scrapbooks while cleaning out the family home. Finding these scrapbooks made me realize what a brave woman she had been. Instead of harboring resentment towards her (resentment that she earned) I came to have significant admiration for her.

I wish to redo these books as they are in a state of disintegration. However, it is exceptionally difficult for me to do so. I am very emotional about the subject. Politicians never give thought to the consequences of wars into which they enter. They have no clue as to the gravity of the collateral damage that accompanies their warring ways. The United States of course had to enter WWII. But, Hitler did not have to begin The War To End All Wars. That war like so many have touched people down through the ages, ages long past the end of the war in question. War shapes people for ages to come.

The following paragraph is taken word for word out from Wikipedia:

“On 31 December, the Daily Mail took the unusual step of publishing the photographer’s account of how he took the picture:
“I focused at intervals as the great dome loomed up through the smoke. Glares of many fires and sweeping clouds of smoke kept hiding the shape. Then a wind sprang up. Suddenly, the shining cross, dome and towers stood out like a symbol in the inferno. The scene was unbelievable. In that moment or two I released my shutter.” – Herbert Mason

The photograph was taken in the early hours of Monday morning and was cleared for publication by the censors to appear in the issue of Tuesday 31 December 1940.

Stpaulsblitz

His photo above in the Wiki article is one of the most famous of London of the period. For Londoners it was proof that London was still standing. For the Germans it was proof that she had fallen. Click on the Wiki photo below to enlarge and see St James Square today.

3200px-St_James's_Square,_London_-_April_2009

This poem is for the prompt by Victoria Slotto at dVerse instructing us to “Banish boredom thru verb use. Thank you Victoria – you sent me back a bit! I am grateful. You can find her poetry here.

At My Window

Looking out my window and seeing what I see. Shanyn asks us to do just that for a poetry prompt. After doing so, I could not help but be reminded of of a time several years ago when I looked out my window to be blessed with an owl.

Haibun

Owls keep their distance from mankind being ever vigilant of all around them. This day was different. This Eastern Screech Owl provided one of the loveliest sites ever seen through a window. Belying his natural instincts he lands upon a window sill with just a pain of glass between him and humanity. He remained there for some time allowing numerous photos to be taken before flying off for a new perch.

nestling amongst the leaves – offers protection to many

Owl in TreeOne EyeHead On
Looking DownEastern Screech Side-2

Shanyn at dVerse thank you for a thoughtful post that after looking out my window, reminded me of looking out my window and capturing this little guy.

Posted too at Poets United’s Sunday Poetry Pantry and dVerse

More American Sentences

That the words of this sentence are capitalized is a formatting issue with Word Press.

I really enjoyed last years challenge from dVerse of writing one line poems. It is a bit like writing haiku without most of the rules. You wish to say more with less. You wish to catch the eye of the reader. You ask: “If it has meaning for me will it for the reader?” Then again does it really matter? After all for whom do we write ourselves or others? So on to American Sentences!

1) Doing a double take last evening while sitting in this very chair I realized that President Kennedy was sitting across from me as real as night or day.

2) As annoying as it might be to eat American persimmons, to do so with any degree of ease one must use a grapefruit spoon.

3) I prefer Japanese persimmons that are always juicy and succulent as opposed to the American variety that are flat, hard and dry.

4) While downstairs cooking, many sentences came to me only to be lost once back in the library (below) in front of my computer.

Library 2

5) I was making ratatouille when I poured in a whole lot of sweet vermouth (a whole lot) is it still ratatouille?

6) Well, I put that sentence to sleep – one cannot introduce and carry on an entire conversation in one sentence.

7) What the hell does “convo me” mean?

8) Yeah, I am going do bears I am definitely doing bears!

IMG_0996

Remi & Sancho

9) Sure I know what you are thinking, teddy bears, a 67 year old woman?

IMG_0998

Abernathy & Piquot

10) I discovered that teddy bears serve a very real purpose in this world something about which I shall write later.

IMG_1001

Totu and no those are not his WWII medals.

And the rest of the folks:

IMG_1005

Sasquute

IMG_1006

Jurry (a Steiff)

Thank you Tony Maude at dVerse for your wonderful prompt.

Remi

I have neither blogged nor written poetry for good bit now. And I cannot tell you why. I hope that everyone has a splendid 2014. Remi came into my life a couple of weeks ago. This was a choice, I asked Remi to join me. For some reason when my father died in 2003 I found and purchased several, beautiful, handmade Teddy Bears. Why did I capitalize those two words? Perhaps it is a sign of their importance to me. This past December I purchased two more, I simply love what they represent to me, all of which can be found in the tags.

The holidays have come and gone
Our visitors have left
Loneliness has settled in

I knew that loneliness was unfounded
And sorrow just wasn’t real
But I longed for someone

Then I saw his face online
He was beautiful
It love at first sight

Now he has come to live with me
Filling my heart with joy
We play together having teddy bear teas

He arrived from Holland
His mother is an artist
Remi is my sweetness

Rasa his mother has asked me to write
Write about her teddys
Give them a voice

I am excited about that
Remi has many stories of his mother
I think that is where we shall start

Remi

Remi – sitting upon my desk.

Published at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads Open Link Monday, yes, I am a day late!

Published at dVerse Open Link Night! Yeah, they are open!

Bear Shop Artist’s Credit: Rasa’s Cozy Corner

Anger

It is January second here in the midwestern USA. I truly hope that for those whom I have come to know through blogging, those whom I call friend have a wonderful 2014. May it be peaceful and bountiful. That said, let me state that I am not a peaceful person. I suspect that those words will come as a disappointment and a bit of a shock to those who have come to know me here on the Internet. My husband calls me his little warrior or combatant. He says that I am at war with everyone. I will have to state here in my own defense – that is a bit of an exaggeration. But there is also a good bit of truth to what he says. Some of that is a good thing for it is what has often propelled me to stand up to injustices committed upon others. It has also served me when needing to make my way in the world at a time that women did not stand upon the same ground as men. Of course it does not always make for a peaceful marriage (do not worry – we have firmly rooted marriage). It also at times makes me look at things from a skewed perspective, one that is not necessarily correct. Oh, I know precisely where this comes from and have worked over the years on many of those childhood issues as we all do. The anger is an off shoot or a product of a) the fear of being taken advantage of, b) not feeling good enough because I was raised to believe that I wasn’t and c) understanding that there are not just 2 places in life: first and last. I was made to do competitive sports when young, both on horseback and upon the ski slope. And it was always with the understanding that if I did not come in first I was garbage. Hell I used to race against Susie Chaffee our own 1968 Olympic Ski Champion. However, I did this at about 11 years of age. As soon as I was sent to prep school all that unpleasant competition gratefully ended. Funny, I spoke with my sister about 10 years ago about this issue. I discovered that she was angry about having to end competitive skiing and riding when she was sent away to school. I needless to say had never viewed those things from her perspective. I have pretty much dealt with all of those childhood issues. Anger, like anything else can become just a habit. Unhelpful or unhealthy habits simply need to be changed. If the things that made us angry in the first place have been resolved, then getting rid of the anger is much easier. So, in this New Year I am going to do several things to eliminate any unfounded anger. I have placed here within the text two photos that represent serene peacefulness to me.

DSC_1174
1) I am going to look at life and at others from a more peaceful perspective (knowing full well that people are not considering taking advantage of me).

2) Within my state of peacefulness I am going to return to cooking my sweet husband good meals. By the way, I have spoiled him over the years with nothing but fresh, high quality, innovative and superb food. Recently I have said screw this, I am going to eat pre-made, pre-packaged, processed food, something never done here in my home.

3) The third thing that I shall do is become un-angry about being ill, an anger that is surely justified but rather useless. I shall do everything in my power to do volunteer work again. Volunteering has been a lifelong passion for me even when I worked for a living. My job will be to teach English to a group of Nepalese immigrants. This is unlike anything that I have ever done and shall be very challenging. I look forward to this endeavor.

DSCN2703

So … I am interested. How do you look at the new year and what do you wish to do differently? What do you wish to achieve? Please tell me. And … Happy New Year.

Christmas

It will be here before you know it. The Christmas season means so many very different things to so very many people. I will add that much of it is not good. How could it be that the remembrance of the coming of the Christ Child could evoke in so many such bad feelings. I find that reality such a terribly sad thing. There is nothing sad about the Christ, nor about his remembrance, his birthday … the day we humans have decided is his birthday.

Maybe if we were to celebrate Christmas daily, yes, every day of the year then there would be no sadness about it. The whole concept would not hurt so many people. Oh, I know that it does. Yes, it does indeed. It is exclusionary, leaves many out, something often done with distain. Probably meant to hurt others. And yet everything about the “Good News” is just that … good. So why does the birth of Christ bring pain to so many? Oh, right! It is the human element. Yes, it is we humans who make Jesus a sad and miserable entity for so many. But how? How could that be? Are we Christians so incredibly stupid as to believe it is “our way” or the highway? I have seen in my day, seen so many Christians who actually wish to “pummel” Christ into people. My understanding of religions is that they were initially designed by God (before being bastardized by man) as languages given to the different cultures by God so that God and the culture could communicate. So what is there to fight about? Nothing! So if you celebrate this season with Christ … Merry Christmas! And if you celebrate this season as a Wiccan, as many do, blessed be! Let us all celebrate together, sharing the goodness and joy of the season.

Falluja

Sand blows across your boots
sharply raking your cornea
scraping your brain
arid is your heart
dry is your mouth
as voiceless sounds scratch
at your throat
wanting expression
with no escape.

Small dead hands
bleed in your dreams
breaking your innocence
as you weep for loss
into the night sky
with it’s ceaseless fire
it endows your sleeplessness.

One day you
will come home
the fires will wane
with hope
you will mend
where the earth
is not yet parched
your throat
no longer dry
you will walk
among pines
observe birds
standing in water
touch hands of
little ones
skipping stones
across streams
in joyful play.

You will see birds
high on the wing
leaking no jet fuel
but feathered in peace
you will lay down
your dreams change as
little pink fingers
grasp your thumbs in love.

Posted at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads – Open Link Monday.
© Liz Rice-Sosne

A Knock At The Door

I lived off-base in Okinawa with my first husband from 1967-1968. One night living in a secluded area without a phone or car a young soldier on leave from Vietnam decided to harass me. I was not frightened but it really began to annoy me after some time. This poem is a description of the experience.

A Knock At The Door

Pitch black no one around
silence upon the grounds
after ten, all had gone
a knock at the door.

Across from
McToureous Marine Base
in a compound with no phones,
no car, no English.

It was late that night
For a knock at the door
I went to answer but
there was no one there.

Puzzlement nudged me,
I know that I had heard
the hand of someone knocking.
Then again came the knock.

I opened wide and looked
from side to side
just empty space
no fear just curiosity.

Again came your knock.
I went round the house
beyond the light you stood
why knock and hide I said?

Then understanding came,
I went back inside and locked up tight.
You tossed light pebbles
at the glass that night.

Two hours you tossed.
“Remove your clothes,” you said.
“dance for me.” I am
on leave from Vietnam.

I have not seen a
woman for so long.
“Please dance for me. I want to see.”
I shoved a knife through the window.

“You pervert you,” I said.
Fear crawled up my side.
On the floor my baby cried.
When will someone come?

You kept this up for hours, nothing but
Monsoon shutters between us.
I heard a car, it was
the Sarg next door home early.

My being then relaxed
He called my husband at Torii Station.
You were to flee my midnight friend
I wonder today are you OK?

Did you recover from your delirium?
Did you recover from your wounds?
Did you leave Vietnam? Or did you return
To come home in a wooden box?

© Liz Rice-Sosne

Placed at Poets United Poetry Pantry