A Spice of Life – A Poem

Vanilla
White Bread
This life
I dread
Boring
This thread
What if
Instead

Cleaning?
Decline
Laundry?
Malign
Housewife?
Resign!
What next?
Get mine

Chocolate
In bed
Handcuffs
In red
My legs
Wide spread
Honey
Give head

Wake up!
Real time
My life
Is fine
Spicy?
Benign
Love it?
With wine!

This poem was prompted by Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #193 – Spicy. This cheeky poem popped into my head as I cuddled my sick 4 year old this week.

Having a sick child is probably one of the things I hate most about being a parent. Not only do I feel helpless that I can’t make the fever/pain/nausea/etc go away, but besides giving meds and cuddles, there is often times little else that I can do to make my child better. Plus, sick kids are usually whiny and needy – this is one of the worst combinations for me. As much as I try to be soothing and compassionate, I really don’t like clingy kids who are prone to vomiting.

But, I do cuddle and bring water and take temperatures and let them eat in front of the tv when they are sick. I clean up their mess and wipe their snot with tissues or my shirt. I have my masters degree and snot, sweat and spit up all over my clothes.

That’s why I had to laugh when I saw the statue pictured above at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC this weekend. The artist was probably not a mother. This statue is living a “spicy” life – carefree, happy, unencumbered by worries such as sick kids or what are we having for dinner. She isn’t even wearing Spanx!

So while I will probably never frolick in a meadow holding my child with one arm while we gaze at a bunch of grapes (or maybe those are flowers?), my kids do keep me on my toes and keep my life from getting boring (although definitely not in the way it says in my poem. I have my honey for that! 😉).

©️ iido 2019

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Liberty Eyes – A Ghazal

This close, I notice your eyes – surprise!

How much they see, with eyes – she spies…

The New Arrival, still fresh with hope

Believing the dream ‘till his eyes spot lies

The Father telling old fashioned stories

That Daughter, with wary eyes, defies

The Mother clutching her dark skinned Son

Fearing mistaken identity, her eyes pleading, cries

The Proudly Out, in their best prom suit

Lipstick matches rainbow eyes and bow tie

The Child, drinking water, no straw please

Less plastic to hurt dolphin eyes, she tries

The set of your lips, aware of the trials

Determined eyes still on the prize

With my whole being, I’ll carry your torch

That burns bright in my eyes, hope supplies

A late reply for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #192 – Eyes. We were in NYC this weekend and went to the Statue is Liberty (apologies, Patrick! But you know I am loathe to miss one of your challenges!). The picture above is a cast of Lady Liberty’s face.

This is also my second try at the ghazal form for d’Verse, hosted by Gay Cannon. I realize I’ve used the same ending rhyme as my last try, so I will try to remedy that if the inspiration strikes a third time! I did include my name in the last couplet – the name Irma means “complete or whole”.

This was the first time that I was able to climb up to the crown of the statue since I was a child. The feeling of climbing those narrow steps and thinking of the meaning of this statue, especially to an immigrant like myself, was overwhelming. I still believe in the American Dream and work to make sure my children – and all children belonging to anyone living in the USA – can achieve their American Dream as well.

The way to achieve that Dream may be harder after these 4 years are over, however as Ranger Jim said when he was telling us about Lady Liberty’s pose: she is in motion, moving forward and lighting the way. The Statue is Liberty – still a great message and example for all.

©️ iido 2019

Lola’s Magic – A Ghazal

When Lola* arrives, it’s hard to deny there’s magic
The children happily sigh, “She’s magic!”

My tween can whisper secrets in her ear
Lola – my spy who can pry – hush magic!

My sweet girl’s dollies all need a cuddle
Lola’s arms wide like the sky – hug magic

Train engineer boy with curious spark
Lola answers all the why’s – smart magic

The toddler is whining, “No” is his word
Lola sweet talks – he complies – bribe magic!

Then quiet, they gather around her chair
Lola gives sweets on the sly – bad magic!

Homemade dinner, there’s so much to clean up
Lola’s sink is spotless, dry – clean magic

I’m exhausted, drained, this job is so hard
Lola’s shoulder, allows me to cry – mom magic

My first attempt at the ghazal poetry form was inspired by Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about someone I admire. According to Gay Reiser Cannon at d’Verse, who introduced the components of the ghazal for their challenge, the ghazal’s narrator “is always a hero longing for the unattainable”. I hope my longing for the unattainable “motherhood” is evident here. Please feel free to comment on this form/content, etc. – all feedback is welcome!

* Lola is Filipino/Tagalog for Grandmother. This poem is dedicated to my mom, my children’s Lola. She really has the magic touch with my kids (along with my dad). They simply adore her! In fact, my youngest has declared Lola his best friend. This makes my heart so happy!

I know I can never reach the level of sacrifice that my mom has, but I can try to be the best mom to my kids as I can be. In the meantime, my mom has already surpassed motherhood goals and is approaching the pinnacle of grandmother-hood!

©️ iido 2019

Breaking Stone – A Poem

I looked at you

With your short hair and black square glasses

An 80s band t-shirt tucked into slim waist, denim shorts that fell a tad below your knees

I could see the curved outline of your breast when you turned to look at me

Appreciatively

Like I was looking at you.

Hey, you said

The simple greeting caused my skin to pucker

While you moistened, then bit your full bottom lip

And readjusted your glasses with slender, honey colored fingers topped with dark purple nail polish

Hey, I said

Because that’s the best pick up line.

And so We started

Asking and answering

Feeling out yet avoiding the urge to touch

Softness against softness.

Then the hard truth came around the corner

Time to go, babe, he said

The sadness in your eyes

As my face fell in my hands and

My fear of the truth hardening

Until I turned to stone.

Immobilized

Stuck in the life carved out for me

Since birth

Since before birth

The expectations hewn into a 5 foot 4 inch alcove.

Then your touch on my hand, soft like the kiss of a butterfly

Strong like the arch of a rainbow

Pressing a paper against my calloused skin

I look at you and brave a smile.

This poem was inspired by Hélène’s “What do you see?” Picture Prompt Challenge and also by Christine E. Ray’s Pride Month Writing Prompt Challenge – Brave.

Hélène’s picture seemed despairing when I first looked at it. But then I noticed the rainbow shining on the broken statue and remembered reading Christine’s prompt, and this poem was born. Breaking through the stone barriers in our lives (whether externally or internally imposed – like racism, sexism, homophobia) takes a lot of bravery! And while I know there are people reading this blog that may be put off with the topic of my poem, I hope the universality of the theme, “Be true to yourself” resonates and finds an empathic home in their hearts.

©️ iido 2019

Being – A Haiku

Beneath the oak tree

Tender green limbs announce

A new being born

A haiku for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #191 – Being. I am always amazed at some of the places that trees and other vegetation have taken root. This little guy came into being despite the tight space and being under the shade of this lovely oak tree. I wonder it’s one of its progeny either dropped into this crevice on a windy day or hidden there by an enterprising squirrel.

This prompt also reminded me of a wonderful writer who I have lost touch with (sincerest apologies!) with all the goings on of life. We have a project that has been on the back burner that I am firing up again. Take a visit on Rylan’s blog, The Doing Being when you can! You won’t be disappointed!

©️ iido 2019

Kitty so Fair – A Limerick

There once was a kitty so fair

That her beaus would do anything she dared

She’d sit on the roof

Have them climb up as proof

That they loved her beyond compare

A little limerick for this cheeky picture courtesy of Hélène for her “What do you see?” Weekly Photo prompt.

My kids have been out of school since last week so my writing, reading and commenting time (as well as my running time!) has been limited the past week. They start camp next week so hopefully I’ll get back some time. I love my kids and love spending the extra time with them but I also need my space.

My older daughter is reading a book called, Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts. She is 11 and already very insightful! Contrary to popular belief, I am actually more of an introvert who doesn’t mind interacting with a lot of people. But once those people are gone, I need to retreat and be alone or with just my husband to recharge. So unlike Ms. Kitty in the picture above, one beau is plenty for me!

©️ iido 2019

Before – A Poem for Paulette

Before you crossed the finish line

Before you said, “I’ll sprint the last few yards”

Before you couldn’t believe there was only a 5 K left to go

Before you passed the halfway point and were surprised you made it that far

Before you changed your strategy, doing intervals so you can finish strong

Before you ran 4 miles, your longest race distance since you had just raced 5ks

Before you toed the line at 8 AM in the pouring rain

Before you signed up for your first ever half marathon

You were already a winner

This poem was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #190 – Before and written for a lovely young woman I met at the Niagara Falls International Women’s Half Marathon.

Paulette was walking the course during a stretch when my friend, Danelle and I, were also walking. We struck up a conversation. I don’t remember what we said but when Danielle and I started running again (since we were doing intervals) Paulette joined us. She said she liked our energy and felt she would be able to finish if she continued doing intervals with us.

This was around mile 4, after the 5K racers had turned towards the finish line so we still had a significant amount of the race left to do. As we did our intervals, Paulette told us that this was her first half marathon, that she had only done fun 5Ks before. She was also running it alone since her friends had other things come up last minute. I was really impressed by her! This young woman had jumped feet first into an international half marathon – no 10K in between, minimal training beforehand and all on her own! What a strong and brave individual!

I could tell Paulette was also determined, bold and ambitious. She stayed with us despite dealing with cramping in her inner thigh area. She already had the mindset of a runner!

Towards the end of the race, her sister, brother-in-law and nephew came to cheer her on. Oh, the look of happiness on Paulette’s face! And the look of awe and happiness and pride on Paulette’s family’s faces! Her nephew even joined her running for a mile or so.

As we neared the finish line, Paulette kept on repeating that she couldn’t believe she had ran as far as she did. 13.1 miles (or 21.1 kilometers for the rest of the world) is no joke!! Going around the final bend, Paulette was hesitant to run to the finish line, but run she did, crossing the finish line looking powerful, happy and accomplished!

I am so honored to have run with Paulette on her first half marathon. This was a PR (personal record) for her. I look forward to hearing about her next race – because I know she will continue to run!

****

My full review for the half marathon will be coming soon! Stay tuned!

©️ iido 2019