Thoughts at a Party While Talking to a Hottie – A Quadrille

The flatness of the wall – so interesting 

Compared to your thick hair 

And even thicker lips that smile 

An unknowing temptation 

For me to nibble on their juicy apple redness

Must focus on the bland beige behind you since

We are out of ice. 

Photo by Rafael De Lancer on Pexels.com

This poem was inspired by my Hubby (who is currently away on business) and two prompts: the Sunday RagTag Daily Prompt – Temptation and d’Verse Quadrille #168 – Ice.

My Hubby and I did actually meet at a party in college and his lips were definitely one of his features that I found attractive, along with his deep voice and his leadership skills (and no, that is not a euphemism for something else!!). I have to admit, I didn’t even notice him the whole night at this party. It was only in the wee hours of the morning, when he and I were sitting across from each other at a diner (‘cuz that’s what you do after a night of partying), talking about our fathers (of all things!), that I started to pay attention to his lips as he is speaking and then I have this distinct memory of a voice in my head saying, “I can see this man being next to me while I’m giving birth.” Weird, right? Who has that thought after just meeting a person? But it did make me wonder, “Is this what they mean by ‘when you know, you know?'”

It’s been 21 years now that we’ve been married (plus an additional 6 years of mostly long distance dating). At this point, I’ve known my Hubby longer than I have not known him! And he was there next to me during the births of all our children!

As I was explaining to my teen age daughter who has friends who are starting to date, attraction is sometimes instantaneous and sometimes not; what is attractive to one person, may not be attractive to another; and there are many different aspects of people that we can find attractive (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually). What attracts you to someone may be easy to explain – but there may be times when you can’t explain it, you just know it. And when attraction finds you at a time you least expect, having that bucket of ice, can be helpful!

©️ 2023 iido

Silhouette

I see your silhouette

Outlined in the stillness of a winter afternoon window

The grey sunlight, a filter of contemplative conversation

The quiet, a prayer shawl wrapped around your broad shoulders

I am drawn to this same space

Of whispered wants and hopeful haunts

I wonder what wish leaves your lips

And almost miss the sigh of your Amen.

Your blacked out form leaves

And I am left listening to the shadow of your footsteps in the hall

Reminding me that in this sacred space

God sees what I cannot.

For the visually challenged reader, this image shows a shot of a green field, in the center of which is a flowerbed shaped like an eye and the flowers planted to give an impression the eye is staring directly forward.

One of the “perks” of working in a church is that I can pop in whenever the mood hits. Our church is usually kept dark with only the light from the candles and windows illuminating the sacred space. Sometimes, when I go in for a visit, I notice that someone is already there. Most times, I would leave to allow them some privacy. Other times, I stay and share the space with them. This past week, I even saw our new pastor praying in the quiet of our church as I passed through.

Sadje’s What do you see #169 meshed beautifully with this poem. The picture reminded me if the “all-seeing eye” or “eye of providence,” in reference to how God sees all. There are several scripture verses that talk about God seeing in ways that humans cannot (1 Samuel 16:7) and God watching over everyone (Proverbs 15:3, Psalm 33:18, 2 Chronicles 16:9). Inevitably, this also reminds me of the Police song, “Every Breath You Take.”

Whether you believe in God, Allah, YHWH, Buddha, Gaia or whoever you call your higher power, being “seen” (and not in the stalker sense) seems to be an innate need that we all have. Isn’t that why we blog and post and tweet and snap and TikTok? What matters more though – who sees us or what they see?

©️ iido 2023

The Muse – A Quadrille

I am like you but not

My skin supple, warm-blooded, full of color

My mind boldly calculating what would break

You but not me.

I look down, demure in my plotting

Hidden in my hands, the chisel that will crack

The plaster of patriarchy.

For the visually challenged reader, this image shows a woman sitting between two sculptures.

My first entry for Sadje’s What Do You See #168 is also a quadrille for D’Verse (Q44 #167). I knew immediately when I saw the picture that it would pair well with De Jackson’s “word of the year”.

I used to be a lot bolder than I am now. My hand would be first one raised high if there was a need for volunteers. I was the friend who would go up to the person you liked and bring them over to talk to you. If I was interested in you, I would be the first to make eye contact. I was confident and had no issues making that known.

While I don’t think I am any less confident now, I don’t have the same need to be bold – I don’t have the same need to prove myself. My hubby knows I love him even if I’m not looking at him. All my friends are in relationships and don’t need me to make connections for them. I still volunteer a lot, but now, I wait and see if someone else will step up first.

Being bold also seems harder as a parent: having to think of consequences and how that would affect, not only me, but my family. Plus, there is less time to be spontaneous which (to me) is an aspect of boldness.

One place that I can still be bold, is in my writing. If you’re reading this, I’m making eye contact with you! 👀

©️ iido 2023

New Year – New What?

Resolution

Revolution

A promise

A wish

An idea

An action

A challenge

A change

A choice

An adaption

One letter

One missed opportunity

Judgmental kitty…©️iido 2023

My WordPress goal this year is to post weekly even if it’s not “perfect”. Yes, I said it – I am aiming low(er) this year! So, you might not read my best work this year, but at least you’ll be reading something from me.

Well – hopefully, you’ll read it!

And give me feedback…and not just the good stuff…suggestions…ideas…what would you do differently?

Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #339 is a great one for the start of the year. The only opportunity one can regret is the opportunity that was missed.

©️ iido 2023

Holding My Breath

The surf lies with its rhythmic sensuality

The ebb and flow gliding smoothly

Hiding gloomy coral and biting rocks

The caress of water on sand

Lazy eddies swirling promises that aren’t kept

The seagull’s macro view asks:

Waiting? For what?

What answers can be found in the soothing sway of liquid lies?

The seagull’s cawing, an alarm clock of mocking laughter, jeers:

There is no friendship in the water

It’s glory lies in the chase, the back and forth of its waves

The seagull warns:

Enjoy the water’s languid limbs wrapped around your body

But don’t breath in.

©️iido 2022

Inspiration finally returned in these last days of 2022. I’ve taken an unwanted hiatus from all types of writing these past few months, a potent combination of pessimism, anhedonia and general life busy-ness. Functional depression is a thing!

So easing in to 2023…much thanks to Patrick at Pix to Words (#330-338 included in this poem)! I had a streak going and plan on getting that back!

Wishing all my WordPress Family a great start to 2023!!

©️ 2022 iido

Song and Dance in the City – A Haibun

Ubers honk as they make their way through crowded city streets. Buses slowly rumble past. Delivery bikes ring bells of warning. But in this corner of the street, only the divine laughter of a fortuitous meeting can be heard. 

It started off as the dance of strangers trying to occupy the same space. It could have become a “West Side Story” type tango, but a smirk of good humor turned the would-be spectacle into a delicious salsa of dialogue. Understanding swayed in the gentle arms of laughter. Commonality cha-cha-chatted with disparity, a note-worthy syncopation that made the conversation a harmony amidst the city’s melody. 

The new friends did not wear Pollyanna’s rose-colored spectacles of previous generations. They knew this relationship must be protected, like amber sealing off a cut in a tree. What insects caught in the resin, could be analyzed later, but for now,  the enjoyment of this opportune meeting – whether through kismet or serendipity –  resounds in the city streets.

Amidst city sounds

The divine dance of friendship

Sways to laughter’s song

Image credit: Jed Villigo @ Unsplash
For the visually challenged reader, this image shows three young men standing on a city street and laughing at a shared joke. Two of men are Black and one, holding scooter handles, is white.

A (late) submission for Sadje’s What Do You see #119. This haibun was also inspired by the picture she chose for WDYS #118. I’ve been experiencing writers’ block the past week or so, so while these images brought many ideas to my mind, I wasn’t able to put them all together until now. Patrick’s Pic and Word Challenge #300 – City, #299 – Amber, #298 – Divine and #297 – Spectacle also served as inspiration, tying all my thoughts into this haibun.

The past few weeks have definitely been roller-coaster of happenings, bringing with it the ups and downs of emotions. Physically – it’s been all up – I completed a January Step Challenge with my running group, She RUNS this Town (formerly known as Moms RUN this Town, but changed to the pronoun for inclusivity since not all members are moms). My team won 1st place which was totally awesome! We were consistently getting over 20K steps a day – well, not me, but my teammates did which is amazing! I’ve started the Taji100 (100 miles in February to support veterans) and am currently in 3rd place in my age group for my state.

Emotionally – it’s been mostly down – my good friend suddenly lost her mother to COVID, we’ve also had numerous COVID infections at our church which has made my work there difficult, we’ve had several good friends also come down with COVID and now my daughter is sick with strep throat (thank goodness it’s not COVID!). I am trying to be like that tree with the cut, letting amber flow out to seal it off and trap whatever insects (aka stress) caused the cut to analyze for later.

February is Black History Month in the USA so this photo of two Black men talking to a white man really captured my interest. As you might know. the issue of racism is still very prevalent here in the USA, as evidenced by the killing of Ahmaud Arbery (which I’ve written about here and here), George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black people in 2020. Now, some Americans are in an uproar about Critical Race Theory (even erroneously thinking that Black History Month is part of CRT) which takes away from actually addressing the issues of racism and working towards equity and yes, friendship – or at least, respectful connection – between people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Diversity is a strength. Being empathetic is a strength. Being able to laugh in the midst of trying times is a strength. Can we find strength to be the harmony?

©️ 2022 iido

Keeping Her Resolution – A Quadrille and Runfession #17, January 2022

She is heard before seen

Her breathing huh-huh-huh heavy 

As if suffocating on the cold air

Yet not actually dying 

Puffs of effort-filled mist 

Emanating from her open mouth 

Her chicken-plucked skin shivering 

Despite the winter sun

No sweat to prove

Her dedicated determination

Guess who this quadrille is about?

I started writing this poem last week but didn’t get a chance to finish and lost the original “essence’ of what I was going to write. Thank goodness for Merrill’s d’Verse Quadrille #144 prompt – Shiver for getting me back on track! I also have to give props to Björn for his response, “Afterward” and to Kate for her response, “Quiver” to this prompt that set my wheels turning again! Check out “Mr. Linky” for other wonderful shivering submissions! NOTE: I did “cheat” a little with my hyphenated words which I counted as one word to make the 44 word limit. Merrill – will you let that slip buy? I’ll buy you a drink at the d’Verse bar! 😉

So, obviously the “she” in this quadrille is me! This my first Runfession of 2022 but my 17th Runfession blog post since I started doing them in 2019. My last Runfession was actually in January of 2021 – so it has been a year that I’ve been on my running hiatus. Yikes!! Now the huffing and puffing make sense!

You can’t tell from the picture, but it was a pretty cold day when I decided to do a short and quick outdoor interval run. But the sun was out and I had set a goal for myself to restart running/walking/moving of any kind this month.

I have to admit, getting back to running has been hard especially due to my knee injury which hasn’t fully resolved. I’m trying to take it easy and focus on form and (time) endurance rather than speed and mileage. It’s a different way of running, a different idea of myself as a runner but if I want to keep running, this is what I have to do. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Right?…

Also linking to Marcia’s Health Slice, originator of the Runfession.

©️ 2022 iido

The Muse Despairs – A Quadrille

In a cavern

My muse languishes.

Beside her

A broken paddle,

And smashed frame.

Her voice blusters,

A construct of words without meaning

The how of creation

Forgotten in the wake of her shipwreck.

Without poetry,

My muse readies herself

For the long goodnight.

This photo was taken somewhere in Nevada – we had stopped at a place with underground caverns.
The coolness was a relief from the heat outside. I can’t remember the name now, but I remember the feeling.

A double achievement today – and maybe proof that my muse is alive and well! First, this poem which was inspired by De Jackson’s dVerse Monday Quadrille prompt to write a poem of 44 words incorporating the word “muse.” I have to admit, I had forgotten it was quadrille Monday and had written a lovely yet longer poem which I then had to cut down to 44 words. Hopefully, I chose the right 44 words to keep!

Secondly, I am almost caught up with keeping my streak for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge! Well, if a streak could zig zag and backtrack and then move forward…what do you say, Patrick? I’ve incorporated #296 – Bluster, #288 – Wakes, #282 – Cavern, #281 – Paddle, #280 – Construct, #279 – Frame, #278 – Creation and #276 – Poetry. As a blogger, consistency is key so I am quite proud of my efforts in keeping this streak going.

The muse may be despairing in this quadrille, however, I have to admit, I am feeling quite the opposite. Maybe it’s because it’s a new year…maybe it’s because I am writing again and reconnecting with all of you and reading all the wonderful bloggers that I have missed in the past few months…maybe it’s because I have also started running again….maybe it’s because all these maybes mean potential and potential is hope…and if ever there was a better muse to muse about, it would be Hope.

©️ 2022 iido

The Encounter – A Double Nonet

Struggling so hard to grow in this world

Reaching and stretching to the sun

Pushing between the stone cracks

Swaying in the warm breeze

Standing tall and free

Fragrant beauty

Beckoning

A touch

Sweet

Small

Tender

Curious

With gentleness

Feeling nature’s strength 

Wrapped in delicate green

Pink softness walks quietly

Whiskered and furry ball of purr

Sharing in a similar struggle

Image credit: Dimhou @ Pixabay
For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a black and white kitten playing with a green flower-bearing shoot growing in between the paving stones.

This adorable photo from Sadje’s What Do You See # 115 inspired this double nonet. I thought the form lent itself to the idea of a meeting between two different entities.

Writing this poem made me think a lot about other encounters I have had in the past years and how they’ve changed. Making small talk with a stranger used to be so easy, but now, this act seems “risky,” fraught with suspicion and caution. Do I strike up a conversation with the unmasked person in line with me? How do I do that if they can’t see my smile behind my mask? How do we signal to each other that we are open, “curious with gentleness” – that we want to get to know them and not to judge them? Tenderness and compassion seem to be in such short supply lately. When will we realize that we all share in a similar struggle?

©️ 2022 iido