Pool of Transformation

Unsought reflection –
Can the magic pool free her
From unwanted husk?

“Hush your mouth,” her parents say. “Hush your mouth, and let us cut your hair. It’s not good for a boy to have hair like that.” She runs out the door and runs through the woods to where the water glows and the trees grow too straight, where the wind doesn’t blow and the birds sing while they wait for him to arrive. She takes off his clothes, laments, and asks the pool to change the reflection. A crow caws in the distance: “No.”

See reality
Nature gave her the wrong skin,
But not the wrong heart.

This was written for Collen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #203, an ekphrastic challenge based on the picture at the top. I saw the naked person, and there’s always something about naked children that bothers me, so I decided this was a slender young woman with long hair. However, there are no hips or breasts, so I went with the interpretation you see above.

North Carolina has a history of anti-trans legislation that I have written glancingly about before and which also was part of the influence for this haibun. Parental support of a transgender child is very important, and I hope this haibun accurately recognizes the pain of having parents who refuse to listen and force conformity.

Leaf litter – #TankaTuesday

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

Scent of falling leaves
Not quite floral, not quite musk,
Signals change to come

Ah, fall – I dread it because it means winter, my least favorite season, is coming. There’s a reason I live below the Mason Dixon line, and part of it is that I don’t like cold.

This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #198, poet’s choice.

An Anniversary Message

They say marriage is about sparks,
About that someone who in the dark
Sets your mind and loins aflame.
But isn’t that meager? Lame?

I’ve learned in this blissful year
That’s it’s more like cracking a beer
Open and accepting farts
Are made by those with good hearts.

So while I take a hot shower,
You grunt on the throne with power.
It’s the sign of your loving care
That you keep pooping and don’t stare.

Happy Anniversary!*

This was written for Chel Owens’s A Mused Poetry Contest for 2 October 2020. I got my idea from these stupid things online about how “I wish everyone would realize love is about little things like snuggling or getting to the point where you don’t care about each others’ farts!”

Yeah, maybe you’re right, but it’s also just not terribly fun to think about in terms of romance. So here I go, making fun of those things.

*It’s not my actual anniversary.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

The Standing Stones

 

He chased her through
the standing stones,
to catch, seize her
smile and laughter.
He crashed into
megalith‘s bones
to a place of
grass and heather.
Now he’s lost to
a world unknown
unable to tear
at the aether.
She laughs anew,
his pitied groan
feeding banshee’s
lustful anger.

This poem was written for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt,Ā Megalith. Because I didn’t know the word before looking it up, I thought I’d clarify that a megalith is a stone structure like stonehenge. Pretty neat!

Photo by Stephen + Alicia on Pexels.com

The Forbidden Fruit

Note: This is for the A Mused Poetry Contest, so don’t read it, Chel.

At night you’ll see me gently creeping
With mom and dad hard a sleeping
In through laundry room door.
I open the bag of forbidden snacks –
Attractive gummies, laundry packs.

Then you’ll hear my lips a smacking,
My YouTube channel gaining backing
While I eat Tide Pods galore.
My mouth – it foams with Clean Breeze
And a few civilian casualties.

The tags may say “Danger!” “Warning!”
But industry tools are boring.
As a big attention whore
I munch and crunch on banned fare,
On poison beautiful, I’m well aware.

The Chel Owens A Mused Poetry contest (get it? A Mused, amused? Lol) has just now started up – and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m in it to win it! šŸ˜‰ This week the theme was warning labels, and I went with the most necessary warning label of all: that added to Tide Pods after the Tide Pod Challenge.

Into the Redding Clouds – #Gogyohka #TankaTuesday

Sunset

Shimmer of sunlight
O’er twilight clouds.
Darkness in the east,
Hope in the west
Where lies the frontier.

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This gogyohka was written for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday #189, poet’s choice! I decided to participate this week because, as I was driving home yesterday, the sky was very brilliant. I wanted to contrast sunset, frontier, and the idea that west is “death”, the last adventure.

This picture was taken last year just before Hurricane Dorian came by. It’s not the same as what I saw last night, but a hurricane sky isn’t like anything else and I thought I’d share.

Adoption – #TankaTuesday #Haibun

getrudes-nose

The medicine man draws the marks of the chosen one on her forehead, her cheeks, with a muddle of red clay and pure springwater. The gourd bowl he draws from is stained red by years, decades, and generations of uses before. It is a holy day, and a gift must be flown to the gods. He places a bearskin cape on the chosen one’s back, the horns of a deer on her head, and precious shells in her hands. He commands her,

Stretch your holy wings –
the gods’ gift on sacred days.
Brave the daunting jump!

And so she leaps, the cape flapping in the wind, feathered wings of the gods sprouting from her back. She becomes the bird, the bear, the deer, and radiance as the child soars to her new, adopted parents.

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This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #184, a picture and form prompt! We were to write a haibun inspired by Frank J. Tassone’s picture of a New York natural area. I went a fantasy route.

Gondola Dreams

venitian-garden

Row me on your gondola,
‘Neath the royal bridge.
Marble, carved and hewn,
And rocks – just a smidge!

Row me on your gondola,
By the palace grounds.
Perhaps I’ll catch a prince,
Get yearly a thousand pounds!

Child, there’s no gondola –
We’re not in sunken Venice!
Now wash those dirty hands
Or you’ll be a public menace!

 

Then buy me a gondola,
And row me all around.
We’ll go see Nan in Manchester –
Daddy, how’s that sound?

We’ll paddle the waters:
Over the sea to Skye,
Across the pond to India,
To London for a pie!

How ’bout we cross this bridge
And see the other side?
Perhaps it’s the grocery shop,
Perhaps we’ll play seek and hide!

Sounds great, Daddy!

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Hokay, so, this is a wee bit late – but the story in the poem came right to my little brain-o when I saw the prompt picture on Crimson’s Creative Challenge #81.

Birds Aren’t Real – A Poem

nature bird red wildlife

What are those creatures flying in the winds?
No other feathers bear, none else do dive.
They’re strange for a reason: The Man – he sends
These drones out to monitor our dull lives.

Yes – those eyes are cameras, watching you vent
While you eat, walk, play your video games,
Or plan to overthrow the government.
The birds, battery-powered bots, take aim.

Have you ever examined their “feathers”?
Clearly, they are just recycled plastic.
Feel them – are they scales, skin or leather?
They’re neither natural nor fantastic!

So while we wait indoors for Covid’s end,
Remember – their lithium batteries
Are charging now, then our lives they’ll attend
And tattle on our overdue book fees.

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This was written for Chelsea Owens’s first ever Weekly Hilarity Contest! This week, the theme wasĀ birds, and I was astonished becauseĀ birds aren’t real.

The citation says:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
But we all know it’s just a government-issued photo.Ā 

An Ode to Giant Turds

the end text on tissue paper

This was written for the final Terrible Poetry Contest, a morbid lament about something long gone. I had to pull out something truly terrible that rhymed, and this – this is my final chance at victory!

Those who are faint of heart may turn away, but there is nothingĀ truly offensive below. Just quite foul.

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Look how ye curl
Above the water’s surface
You big, sassy turd, source of my pride.

Rare is the whorl
Which rises enough to lance
Through soft, golden expanse, brave height.

But now, brown pearl,
I must take the flushing stance
And send you away, unforgotten but affright.

Thou doth swirl
In a porcelain water-dance
Amidst ribbons and twills of white.

Gone! Flushed, hurled!
My mind is blown, in a trance,
That I couldn’t share your largess and might.

The joy of my innards
When you escaped by chance
During a bowel movement after midnight!

I’ll never unfurl
Our secret toilet stance
That created you, the biggest turd of my life.

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Yes, this was about the sadness one feels when flushing a turd so big you kind of feel proud.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com