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

The Dinner – Prosery

The wine did not matter. Nor the decadent dinner of lobster and steak. Not even the flowers with their heady scent. And not the sunlight highlighting your cheekbones and good breeding.

You hand me a package and when I open it and look crestfallen. You explain, “It is the moon wrapped in brown paper.” Your face was full of pride and expectation. 

“But darling,” I say, ”I had asked for fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, with malt vinegar and salt to sting my lips for you to kiss and tongue turn to tingle.”

“You deserve more than cold fish and soggy chips,” you counter. “How can I compare your beauty to fried food? I am a man of means and I mean to give you the best.”

I shake my head, the silence steeping the air and the realization sinking into my heart.

Image credit: Olga Solodilova Unsplash 
For the visually challenged reader, this image shows a couple dining. The man has a glass of wine in his hand and he is looking at his companion. The woman is staring the other way, holding a few long stem flowers.

Early for Sadje’s What do you see #121 but late for d’Verse Prosery with Björn’s prompt to use the line “It is a moon wrapper in brown paper” in a 144 word piece of prose. If I really wanted to stretch it, this writing also fulfills d’Verse’s Tuesday Poetics for an un-Valentine’s Day Poem theme however it is prose and not a poem so that may disqualify it. With my aversion to Valentine’s Day, I was quite happy to see these prompts.

Yes, it’s true – I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I am a big fan of chocolates but this day just seems so superficial to me. I am especially not a big fan of kids bringing in valentines to school. At least at my children’s school, they make all the kids bring in a valentine for each kid in the class. Gone are the days of worrying that you wouldn’t get a valentines in your shoebox mailbox. Maybe that is where my aversion to this holiday comes from.

There is just something so artificial about this day. Why are kids – who have no notion of romantic love – even celebrating this day? Why are we forcing them to proclaim love (or even friendship) to kids who may be mean to them? Plus, all that pink and red and white paper and glitter that will just pollute the earth. And the candy and sweets! We still have Halloween candy and now more comes in.

One blessing of this pandemic, for me, was the chance to stop and be more thoughtful about what I was doing and why. I’m now looking at what my family is doing and asking that same question. What are we doing and why are we doing it?

© iido 2022

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

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

Resolution – A Haibun

There is no chill in the air despite the manger-as-cradle being filled by The Babe. Maybe this was the real climate during the first Noel? Mary and Joseph traveled to the rocky hills of Bethlehem in Palestine where she gave birth to Jesus Christ – hills covered in dry, scratchy sand and small grasses not soft wet snow.

I wonder if they ever looked back – to see what they were leaving behind, to realize how far they’ve come. Or did they only look forward, to the hope of what – of who – was to come?

On this warm December day, I must look back before I can look forward to new beginnings. Otherwise I fear the unintended and unwanted irony that could result. I feel the sweat forming on my brow as I imagine what this next year might bring. 

Outbound Old Year laughs

With relief or craziness

Cautious New Year starts

This photo was taken on our cross country in 2016, somewhere between CA and UT.

I wrote this poem last week when we were still in December 2021 for Go Dog Go Cafe’s Haibun Wednesday and for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #295 Chill, #294 Travel, #293 Cradle, #292 Rocky, #291 Beginnings and #290 Outbound. I need to catch up on Patrick’s challenge to continue my streak (hope it’s still valid even after my hiatus!).

This is Day 3 of 2022 – so far, it’s gone well. I never really write down resolutions but my daughters have started to write their goals for the year and have checked it off as they have accomplished them. They both successfully completed most of their goals from 2021.

I have to admit that I have never written out a list of goals – interesting, right? Why not? Did I not have dreams that I strived for? Did I have no vision for myself growing up? Thinking back, I don’t think I did. I never really thought about what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do; I never even really thought about getting married and having a family. I always thought that life – or God – would just lead me where I was meant to go.

One thing for sure though – I never felt disappointed in my life. How can I be disappointed by not reaching a goal when I didn’t have any goals to reach? Some would call this being an under-acheiver…or being naive about how life works…. I would call it being trusting….is that a goal or a resolution to have or to change for 2022?

©️ 2022 iido