About iidorun

I Do running, writing, raising (kids!), reading, loving, listening, eating, sleeping, working - not always in that order and usually not all at the same time.

Curiosity Two – Another Haiku

Curiosity

An opening of the mind

To the depth of life

Image credit: Evan Clark@ Unsplash
For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a person precariously balanced, standing on a fallen tree trunk hanging over a body of water.

As I was writing the title for this poem, I realized that I had another poem with the same title, also inspired by Sadje’s What Do You See. The picture above is from Sadje’s What Do You See #55 and also incorporates Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #252 – Opening. I’m curious as to why I’ve had curiosity on my mind recently….

This is been an exhausting week for no particular reason. Maybe it’s the weather or maybe it’s the drop in adrenalin after the election or maybe it’s the dreaded “pandemic fatigue” (dun, dun, duuuunnnn). Or maybe it’s the fact that the holidays are coming and there isn’t that general sense of holiday cheer or “peace on earth and goodwill to all” that usually comes this time of year.

Whatever it is, maybe curiosity – as in wondering, observing and reflecting – is the answer to opening our hearts again to the depth of beauty and love that resides in our world, including the people around us.

©️ 2020 iido

As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

It is my honor and pleasure to announce that three of my poems have been selected to appear in the anthology, As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad. This collection focuses on the unprecedented happenings in 2020 including reflections about the COVID-19 Pandemic and it’s repercussions and the Black Lives Matter movement. This is an international gathering of poets and artists from ten countries including 30 states from the USA.

This is the 2nd time I have been published through Indie Blu(e) Publishing. The 1st time, they accepted two of my poems in their anthology, We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art (you can read my post about this here).

I am most grateful to the team of inspirational editors and writers at Indie Blu(e) for the opportunity to share my work with a wider audience. The book is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

©️ 2020 iido

Two Hundred Fifty-three – A Poem

Two hundred fifty-three

A yellow light I see

To yield or slow

At this point,

I don’t know

.

Two hundred fifty-three

It’s a conspiracy

You believe it’s fake

Based on nothing

But the Q-mmunity’s take

.

Two hundred fifty-three

I’ve been waiting patiently

Still so many vote for hate

Guns and chants

Used to manipulate

.

Two hundred fifty-three

Let’s think logically

Mathematics comes through

Because one plus one

Always equals two

.

Two hundred fifty-three

PA’s votes add twenty

Finally…

.

Two hundred SEVENTY-three

Our country ‘tis of thee and me

The voters have spoken

Americans must now unite

And fix what’s been broken

A late submission for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #251 – Mathematics. This was a hard word to wax poetic about, especially as I was quite distracted by the presidential election last week. The electoral votes were stuck on 253 for five whole days! I have to admit, I was glued to CNN, waiting to see if a breakthrough would come at 3 AM. It was all for naught as the votes from Pennsylvania were announced in Joe Biden’s favor relatively early on Saturday night. This poem captures some of my thoughts during this waiting period.

*NOTE: Serendipitously, I did find a news article about how “Math is the ‘Other Winner’ of the Election” so maybe Patrick’s prompt choice was not totally random…..

Grace at dVerse’s Setting the Bar offered a prompt to use Grapheme Color Synesthesia which inspired the 2nd line in the poem, however, I don’t think I truly incorporated it. I will have to go back to this prompt at a later time since the concept does fascinate me.

Despite the announcement from all major news outlets that Joe Biden is the president-elect of the United States of America and Kamala Harris is the first biracial woman vice-president-elect (but not the last as she said in her victory speech), the results won’t be official until the electoral college cast their votes on Dec 14, 2020 and Congress counts the votes and announces the winner on Jan 6, 2021 (did you know this process? I don’t think I ever paid it much attention until this year). So, we can’t fully celebrate yet since this transition period is already looking like it will be fraught with drama – just add it to the numerous stories of why the current White House occupant does not befit the office of the presidency.

I remain hopeful, but still very much sleep deprived. The democratic soul of the United States of America hangs in the balance.

Oh, and the pandemic is still going on ….

©️ 2020 iido

Curiosity – A Haiku

Curiosity

Sees beyond the black and white

The key to freedom

Image credit: Billow 926@ Unsplash
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a baby panda standing in a mosses basket. Next to it is a wicker basket it is leaning into)

This adorable picture is courtesy of Sadje’s What Do You See #54 photo prompt. I am biased to baby pandas. My older son is obsessed with pandas so we have a plethora of stuffed pandas in our house.

Baby pandas are born small, weak. They are pink and blind. If there is more than one born (and often times there are) the mother panda must chose one to care for since she doesn’t have the resources to support both. Pandas are the opposite of rabbits – they do not mate often, have long gestation periods, and can only care for one baby at a time. They rely on one food source (bamboo) and are not known as the most aggressive animals (no matter what the movie “Kung Fu Panda” might have you believe).

Yet they have become a symbol of hope, a symbol of what humans can accomplish if they work to bring nature back into balance instead of continuing to destroy for the sake of “progress”.

As the pandemic progressed, it makes me wonder where are the “pandas” in my life? Where else do I have to put in work to keep that part of my life alive? What about in yours?

©️ 2020 iido

November Lament – A Poem

Oh, why have you lead me here?

My Lord, who I have faithfully followed

Enclosed in darkness

The cold seeping into my bones

There is no where to go

I fear you have left me

With nothing but a single light

Who will see this flame?

Who will hear my lament?

Who will shed a tear

For this wretched servant?

In Your hands, I have placed my life

My future is Yours to decide

I stand ready for Your pronouncement

I am waiting

(My Lord, I am fearful)

I am waiting

(My Lord, I am hopeless)

I am waiting

(My Lord, I am alone)

.

The flame flickers

I follow your whisper

And look up

Image credit; Linus Sandvide@ Unsplash
For the visually challenged reader, the image shows the back of a man who is standing in a dark medieval arch holding a flaming torch in his hand.

Coming in under the wire for Sadje’s What Do You See #53. I was writing this poem and going to a deep, dark place when I noticed the little window at the top. Hope is sometimes hard to see…

I was also able to incorporate Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #250 – Fear. Those deep, dark places can bring fear – fear of the unknown, fear of what we can’t control, fear that can paralyze…

And the last prompt that I was able to use was Beth Amanda’s Tuesday Writing Prompt at the Go Dog Go Cafe to write a piece of poetry to prose using the phrase “in your hands.” I’ve spoken before about how my faith has helped me through this pandemic period As we are nearing Election Day, I’m again leaning into that faith, trusting in God’s Divine Plan, praying for acceptance of that plan…

I don’t know what will happen to the United States of America on Nov. 4th. At this point, I am in that deep, dark place, the flame that burns inside me is sputtering. I’ve written postcards, talked to people about why I support these candidates, volunteered time in organizations that support my vision of the USA. I’ve already hand delivered my ballot. Now, I am waiting and searching for that window…

©️ 2020 iido

Making Phở – A Poem

She will rise at 5 AM

Finding the ingredients

Laid out on the kitchen counter

Ready for her attention

The bones are gently placed in the pot

The water covers the bones like a flood engulfing islands

The sachet of spices soaks in the stove top hot tub 

Bobbing in circles as it imparts its essential essence

The ginger sizzles with an aromatic burn 

Quickly extinguished as it splashes next to the star anise and daikon radish

The fire is lowered and the waiting begins.

She will watch the sun rise

Remembering your journey

From little boy to grown man

Imagining your journey

From your house to her home.

She will soak the rice noodles when the sun starts to slide

And cut the meat, paper thin

Wincing when the knife gets too close to her fingertips

Two types of onions, chopped, give her an excuse 

To second guess how she has raised you.

Before the moon rises, she will prepare the table

Chopsticks on white napkins

Large bowls filled with 

Softened rice noodles

Raw beef sliced paper thin 

Onions – two kinds.

And when the doorbell rings

And your deep voice reverberates in her womb

She’ll ladle the broth

Steaming with spices

Warmed with ginger

Hearty with marrow

And serve you a bowl

Of her love.

Image credit:

Pisauikan@ Pixabay 

( For the visually challenged

reader, the image shows an

old woman whose face is

deeply lined. There is a faint

smile on her face)

This is a late entry for Sadje’s What Do You See #52. This prompt marks the one year anniversary of Sadje’s What Do You See. Despite the lateness, I wanted to to acknowledge the inspiration Sadje gifts us with her weekly picture prompt. Her observations of “what she saw” over the course of this year are spot on! Thank you, Sadje for stretching our imaginations and sharing our interpretations!

I was also able to include Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #249 – Rise. I’m sure he has a really good excuse for being MIA for month but all that matters is that I’m still on my streak!!

This poem was inspired by my husband’s mom. No, she doesn’t look like the picture of the old Asian woman from Sadje’s prompt. My mother-in-law actually looks quite younger than her almost 70 years on this earth – her skin is smooth, unblemished and her hair retains its thick curls (natural) and black color (bottled). She does wake up at 5 AM to start cooking phở when she knows we will be visiting. It usually takes us 8-10 hours to get to my husband’s hometown and the broth she makes is the first thing we smell when they open the door. Good phở cannot be rushed (believe me, I’ve tried!) and my mother-in-law’s recipe is the best!

My husband is the first of four boys. His brothers are scattered across the United States – we are the second closest to his parents. I remember the first time I visited my husband’s parents in their home – I was really nervous but my mother-in-law made me feel welcomed and promised to share her recipes with me if I married her son. She served phở to us that winter day and ever since then, anytime we would return to my husband’s childhood home, phở is the first meal we would have.

I have often wondered what she thought of the women who came to take her boys far from home. Does she feel replaced? Does she worry if they are taking care of her sons in the same way that she took care of them? Does she enjoy the quiet of the house? Does she miss cleaning up after them? Does she wish they lived closer and visited more often?

I haven’t asked her these questions, but when I think about my own answers to these questions, and think about my kids who aren’t even dating yet being far away from me, my eyes start behaving like I’m chopping onions and I start to think of how I can serve them love in a bowl.

©️ 2020 iido

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