Stargazing – A Double Nonet

Mama, is there time to watch the stars?

The sleeping bag is by the door

 We can snuggle to stay warm

And count the stars all night

We can tell stories

And share secrets

Me and you

Under

Stars

.

Yes

My child

Let’s count stars

On this clear night

We have all the time

Let’s snuggle close, you’re safe

I’ll always have time for you

I’ll share my favorite story

Of the star who fell into my heart

Image credit: Adrien King @ Unsplash 
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows an hour glass sitting on a small table. The sand has run through the glass. Two hand are reaching for it from opposite ends )

Here is my second response to Sadje’s What Do You See #51 photo prompt. This double nonet focused on the stars in the background and depicts another aspect of parenting during a pandemic. This one is has a “happier” tone. (Yes, I am making an effort to not be so doom and gloom on my blog. Cue rainbow farting unicorns…or not…)

I’ve been trying to make sure that each of my kids are getting some one-on-one time and that we are doing some special things to break up the monotony. I think everyone can agree that the feelings of anxiety, helplessness and isolation have increased during the past six months since pandemic safety measures have been in place here in the USA. And it doesn’t look like these precautions are going away any time soon – numbers of coronavirus cases are again increasing all over the country.

This pandemic – this entire year of 2020 – has been anything but normal. But, I have this crazy idea that, for my family, I want it to be special for positive reasons as well as negative. I want my kids to look back on this year and say, “Yes, we missed a whole year of ‘real’ school, we missed being with friends and family, we missed out on family trips and extracurricular activities, but….we got to stay up late and watch movies, we made some really yummy meals together, I learned a new skill, I started a new hobby, my siblings and I made up cool games, I realized I loved doing laundry…” OK – maybe not that last one, but I can hope…

And that’s the other thing I want my kids to remember from the year 2020 – that there is always hope, that they are resilient, and that together, we can still make the world a better place.

©️ 2020 iido

The Gift of Time – A Poem

The screen lights my face

Reflecting the curated world

Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling

.

Your hand on my sleeve, then on my face 

Your voice reflecting a child’s request

Tugging, tugging, tugging

.

I turn away, pulling the screen to my chest

My peace broken, I add to the disturbance 

Yelling, yelling, yelling

.

You turn away and drop your creation

Broken bits of pride scattering on the floor

Falling, falling, falling

.

The sound of escape pings

The sound of reality heavily sighs with slumped shoulders and sits in front of the TV, turning on a show it’s seen before

The feel of escape vibrates

The feel of reality punches the gut with the realization that time should be given to a small hand and not a small hand held device

.

I am all thumbs, fumbling, 

dropping the screen

dropping down next to you

Putting my face in front of your face

Seeing, listening, loving

.

Living

Image credit: Adrien King @ Unsplash 
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows an hour glass sitting on a small table. The sand has run through the glass. Two hand are reaching for it from opposite ends )

An “early” post (at least for me!) for Sadje’s What Do You See #51 picture prompt. The picture above sent my mind in two directions. This is probably the first time I worked on two poems at the same time! I’ll post my second poem after this one.

This picture intrigued me because of the hands. The one on the table seemed desperate, as if reaching the hour glass was a final act. As someone who is chronically late, I can say that time and I are not friends. I thought that being at home and not having outside obligations due to the pandemic would gift me a lot of time to write and run and do all the other things that I told myself I would do if “I had more time.”

That hasn’t been the case.

Time seems to be going faster despite the fact that all the days are blending together. From the time I wake up to when I go to bed (which is pretty late), I’m on the “go” while staying at home. And since all the kids are at home with me, I am acutely aware of how much time I am spending on activities that I would have usually gotten done while they are in school, versus the time and attention I am giving to them during the day. Some times it’s more or less even, some days it’s weighted to one side.

I am that hand on the table, grasping for more time yet knowing it will be taken away from me and never returned.

©️ 2020 iido

At the Intersection of Glasshouse St. and Regent St. – A Poem

We met at a party

My intent was clear 

For just one night 

I would you hold you dear

.

But we met again

Our lives, driven and peculiar

What should have been parallel

Fate made perpendicular

.

Now on this island getaway

My compass points in your direction

Who knew that long ago, one night

Would lead us to this destination?

From http://www.what3words.com. This is the

I was three seconds late to add this poem to Mr. Linky for Sarah at dVerse’s Tuesday Poetics. Thank goodness for Open Link Night tonight! I had never heard of the website what3words, but it is absolutely brilliant what the developers did! They gave each 3 meter square in the world a unique 3 word identifier. Sarah gave us a list of 3 word identifiers to chose from to be our prompt for this poem.

I chose the first set, “party.intent.points” and found myself on a traffic island in London, at the corner of Glasshouse St. and Regent St. near Picadilly. After zooming out, I discovered that Glasshouse St actually intersects Regent St at it’s other end. And a poem was born!

I really liked this prompt and might go back to this website for more inspiration. Of course, nothing beats the inspiration of my fellow bloggers here on WordPress! While London isn’t exactly an “island getaway,” this prompt and the “armchair trip” I went on was a welcome reprieve.

©️ 2020 iido

Artificial Man – A Limerick

There once was an artificial man

With genteel behaviors, used to scam

The many hearts that he stole

Could never fill his own gaping hole

A scoundrel with a hat in his hand

Image credit; Sean Lee @ Unsplash
For the visually challenged reader, this image shows a young man lounging against a door jamb with a hat held against his chest. The young man is quite a looker!

This limerick responds to Sadje’s “What do you see” prompt #50. This is milestone! Congratulations, Sadje! I was also able to incorporate Kate’s Friday Fun prompt – artificial. Poetic magic happens with a great word and photo prompt!

Most limericks are funny or irreverent I always think of the one about the the man from the island off Cape Cod, MA. This one is more of a cautionary tale. While I enjoy looking – I’ve learned that some people are just good to look at.

©️ 2020 iido

Country Road Running – a Haiku and Runfession #14, September 2020

trees, corn, silos, barns

running thorough paved history

my presence denied

I am so late for the September runfession! But I committed to documenting my monthly running achievements so here it is. Thanks again for to Marcia for this forum. I’ve read the other runfessions and definitely feel like a bump on a log this month.

Forgive me Nike for I have sinned…

I runfess…I definitely did not “just do it” this past month. Only thirty-seven miles! I remember when I used to do that in a week! Maybe 100 miles was a reach for September considering I had to get the kids started with school. My goal this month: 50 miles.

I runfess…I actually have two injuries – one running related – that has halted my ability to do strength training. The running related one is tennis elbow. You may be wondering how I hurt my elbow running – well, it’s a repeated use injury which started at last year’s Hershey Half Marathon where I carried a water bottle in my right hand in the pouring rain. Since that day, my elbow has been stiff and locks up and my forearm has weakness. This past spring, I had to take a steroid shot to alleviate some the pain but it’s returned. My other injury is a shoulder injury from doing too many mountain climbers (also from last summer when I was working with a personal trainer). Needless to say, I cannot do curls or overhead raises or anything involving any range of motion with my arms at this time.

I runfess…despite these setbacks, I am loving this fall weather and reading about how much running all the other women in my SRTT running group are doing. While we still haven’t done any official group runs, there have been some women who have gotten together for socially distant running. I miss running with my BRF and all the other awesome mother runners in our group! Spending time with other strong women was really something that motivated me and “filled my bucket.” My goal this month is to reconnect with my running tribe – whether it’s virtually or with some socially distant runs.

Whew…OK, that wasn’t too bad! I am always aware about not posting running related things on my blog. I feel my brain space has been taking up with pandemic parenting, issues of social/racial justice and now, getting people to vote in the upcoming USA elections.

I realize my lens has shifted – as evidenced by my haiku, even a beautiful walk in the country is colored by the history of racism and sexism in this country.

I would love to refocus on my running and health, but there just seems to be too many other important things happening that grabs my attention right now. I’m trying for balance as the scales tip all the way in one direction and then the other.

On November 3rd, 2020, I hope the universe realigns itself and gets back on course so I can get back on track.

©️ 2020 iido

Free Bird? – A Reverse Nonet

Stuck

Despite

The option

To fly away

Caught in a snapshot

Indecision showing

Trust as fragile as the song

I used to sing at your window

Will you raise your hand to set me free?

Image credit- Evan Clark @ Unsplash 
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a hand extended out with a little bird sitting on it. In the background one can see a lake and it’s shore in distance)

Another busy week, but I didn’t want to miss out on Sadje’s “What do you see?” #49 this week. Birds have often been used as metaphors for life – there is the “canary in the coal mine,” the “bird in a gilded cage,” the “early bird,” and “birds of a feather.” Birds have been featured in songs, like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” and books, such as Maya Angelou’s autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

As the election in the USA gets closer and issues of racial and social justice remain unresolved, I feel even more committed to doing small acts to help preserve this democracy and uphold it’s promise of equality and equity. I’m raising my hand in solidarity.

So between homeschooling/virtual learning, being involved the local election, and keeping up with usual household needs, I’m trying to continue to find the time to write and read and run. Some days, I have to chose what to do. Some days, sleep wins. Some days, I feel like I am doing the right thing for my family and for myself. Some days, I feel like I have accomplished nothing. Some days, I feel like I could be doing more.

Some days, just raising my hand and saying, “Present,” is enough.

©️ 2020 iido

Watercolor Recipes: Ruby Rosette – A Poem

Ruby Rosette and a splash of water

Swirl together

Use for

……….Rhythmic writhing with your soulmate

……….Machines beeping in the hospital

……….Shouting matches (and silent treatments)

Ruby Rosette and two splashes of water

Swirl together

Use for

……….Aromas of newborn babies

……….Skin after being waxed

……….Sunset walks in bare feet

Ruby Rosette and three splashes of water

Swirl together

Use for

……….Slipping on the sidewalk

……….Chores that you don’t like

……….Hard candy

Ruby Rosette and four splashes of water

Swirl together

Use for

……….Deep breaths before trying something new

……….Writhing alone

……….I’m sorries

I really enjoyed thinking about colors and situations for my last poem so I couldn’t resist doing it again for this one. Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #248 – Rosette provided the inspiration for this one. His rosette was from a church in Valencia, Spain. My favorite rosette is the one at the Sacre Couer Cathedral in Paris, however I couldn’t find the picture of it from my last trip there.

Roses are one of my favorite flowers. It’s always a treat when Hubby brings me a “just because” bouquet. My first dozen red roses were from my parents for a musical I was in 8th grade. My other favorite flower are pansies. Both these flowers come in different colors that have various meanings. Rubies only come in one color (obviously) but it can have different shades – from deep red to a more pinkish hue.

Red is life – the color of blood, of passionate anger and passionate love, of store-bought valentine hearts, of dying suns and dying sons. With this pandemic, I’ve had numerous moments where I “saw red.” Bad news coming one right after the other, the constant frustrations of life being not like what it was before, FOMO, weariness and sadness about politics, the climate, wildfires, social injustice, police brutality, racism, and the coronavirus ….AAAARRRRRGGHHHHHH!

Red is life – it comes with soft, velvet petals and sharp, stabbing thorns; it comes with a scent that jogs your memory and requires a response from your head and your heart. Unlike bulls, we can see red. And unlike bulls, we have some control over what we do when we see it.

©️ 2020 iido

Watercolor Recipes: Sapphire Stardust – A Poem

Sapphire stardust and one drop of water

Use for

……….Deep ocean souls

………..Waterfall daredevils

……….Getting lost on purpose

Sapphire stardust and two drops of water

Use for

……….The scent of early morning air

……….Skin after a run

……….Stretching after an afternoon nap

Sapphire stardust and three drops of water

Use for

……….Clouds resting on soft grass

……….Campfires on summer nights

……….Listening to the song from your first dance

Sapphire stardust and four drops of water

Use for

……….Prayers whispered into tissues

……….Crying babies

……….Dying breaths

Image credit- Elena Mozhvilo- Unsplash 
( For the visually challenged readers, the image shows an incomplete watercolor on open pages of a notebook. There are tubes of colors next to it and some painting paraphernalia )

Another beautiful picture for Sadje’s “What do you see?” prompt #47. I love the colors in the picture and all the details (the skull filled with mysterious amber liquid can be a whole story all by itself) certainly brought to mind many different ideas. In the end, it was Beth Amanda’s from the Go Dog Go Cafe that brought this poem together. She posted the Tuesday Writing Prompt to use the phrase, “sapphire stardust”.

My birthday is in September so sapphires, which is the birthstone for the month, has always had special meaning for me. Blue is my favorite color, especially deep blue with a touch of black it. I don’t know the artistic name of that blue, but “sapphire stardust with one drop of water” would work!

Like everything else this year, birthdays seem like they shouldn’t be celebrated. This year, I’m thinking about giving on my birthday instead of receiving. I usually love having a day (or two) just for myself, but sharing seems to be a more appropriate way of marking another turn around the sun. Maybe next September will be a “sapphire dust with two drops of water” type of year….

©️ 2020 iido

The Power of Sand – A Haiku Sonnet

Vast expanse looming 

Single disconnected grains 

Hour glass ticking 

.

The tiniest rock

Carries the heaviest weight

Strength alone ebbing

.

Frustrated steps sink

Grains claw in supplication

Prayer time ending

.

One is annoyance

Millions demand attention

A sand storm brewing

.

Vast problems challenge

Connecting into action

Image credit: Dan Grinwis- Unsplash 
(For visually challenged reader, the image shows a person walking in a desert, dwarfed by huge sand dunes. A long line of their footsteps can be seen behind them)

Squeaking in under the wire of Sadje’s What do you see? #46. The picture above might seem hopeless, scary to some – a figure alone in the desert. But to me, I felt envious of the time to be alone, to walk and think, to feel the heat on my skin and the notice the individual grains of sand beneath my feet.

I know this feeling is because of all the “family time” we have been having. I never realized how much I enjoyed having time to myself until those opportunities were curtailed with this pandemic. I grew up in a family where we were together all the time so I actually don’t mind all the togetherness, but since having a taste of time alone when all the kids were in school last year…being able to sit in a silent house is definitely a luxury I enjoy!

But this poem had another inspiration with Kate’s Friday Fun Prompt – Vastness and Donna Matthew’s Poetry Form Challenge on the Go Dog Go Cafe to try a Haiku Sonnet. I love form challenges. I used the traditional American syllable form for my haikus. It’s still brief enough for me (LOL – if you haven’t noticed I do tend to be wordy so the use of forms is definitely a challenge)!

The idea of vastness though, like being alone, can be hopeless and scary sometimes. But Kate writes:

spaciousness or vastness often opens our minds
especially if we are feeling tightness or fear

Writing this poem made me think of all the things I am afraid to do alone, but that are easier to do with others. As the old adage states: there is strength in numbers, strength in being together – whether with friends or family.

Creating vastness also means creating space for others to join you. If we are closed in – physically, mentally, emotionally – we won’t have the space for others – other people, other ideas, other experiences.

With all the discord in our world today, creating space for togetherness seems to be one solution.

©️ 2020 iido