March Madness – A Haibun

It is March and I am Mad. The sky is a vibrant electric blue. The clouds are soft cotton pillows. The sun is bright but not warm enough to melt the recent snow. It is a fake spring.

But when a gentle wind blows, soothing my brow with the feel of soft yellow daffodils and hot magenta tulips, I release the anger and betrayal.

Disappointment healed

By springs flowers marching on

The promise of hope


Another coming together of prompts! Merrill at dVerse requested a Haibun about “March Madness” while Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt asked: How does nature inspire joy in you, inspire your creativity and perhaps even your sense of peace? For me, the symptoms of spring sparks joy however where I am now, spring has been a tease – snowing one day then 60 degree temperatures the next. It is enough to drive one mad!

©️ iido 2019

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Entangled Excuse – A Pantoum

Entangled in your sheets again!
A groan? A moan? Tickling my ear?
Needing to get up but when
I try to move you snuggle near

A groan, a moan tickling my ear
Your arms wrap around me
I try to move, you snuggle near
Your intent awakens suddenly

Your arms wrap around me
The alarm calls my name
Your intent awakens. Suddenly,
I’m late! Who am I to blame?

The alarm calls my name
Needing to get up, but when
I’m late, who am I to blame
Entangled in your sheets again?

Another Pantoum for Gina at dVerse! This time coupled with Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #176 – Entangled. I think this Pantoum more closely follows the form.

It was quite fun, actually, to think of sentences of phrases that could be changed with punctuation, but definitely a challenge to put it together and have it make sense. I also played around with WP to see how to stop it from messing with the spacing of the lines when I publish the posts. I am really quite mindful of things like that but had given up with WP since I am not the savviest with technology.

* Feedback on this Pantoum is welcome and much appreciated! Thank you in advance for your comments! *

Lastly, dedicating this one to my Honey BK (Before Kids).

©️ iido 2019

Tundra – A Pantoum

A tundra – cold and frozen
Defines the landscape of blame
Bereft of all connection
Yet longing to reclaim

Defined – the landscape of blame
Just needs forgiveness to light
And longing can reclaim
The love that heals the blight

Needing forgiveness to light
The way won’t seem that long
The love that heals the blight
Will help those words come out strong

The way won’t be that long
Since longing can reclaim
To help those words come out strong
Redefine the landscape of blame.

The picture above is from Hélène’s “What Do You See?” Weekly Challenge Picture prompt. When I saw it, I immediately thought it would fit with Frank’s post on dVerse about “Blame and Forgiveness” but alas, a poem did not matriculate before Mr. Linky was gone. Then today, the lovely Gina posted on dVerse about the Pantoum form and the pieces all fell together!

* I welcome any and all feedback on this form. Thank you in advance for your thoughts! *

Blaming another is really an isolating feeling. To me, it’s a disconnect from the other person and from your own self. When you are finding fault, it usually means you are overlooking the good parts, the parts that connect you with the other and that might also connect you to your better self.

Forgiveness is a reconnection. True, taking that first step to reconnection or maybe even the reconnection itself may be overwhelming. But the love and peace that can come with a reconciliation is one of the greatest gifts one can give and receive.

Is there someone you need to forgive? Welcome that person (or even yourself) back from that cold tundra with open arms and a hot beverage and you’ll be rewarded with the brightest flame of all!

©️ iido 2019

Ode to the Taji100 – A Quadrille and Running Update

Dawn’s light blush appears

As I sip this bitter brew

Trying to feel connected

To the desert and to you

Soft heat on my tongue

Lacks sandy grit and dirt

My eyes closed in prayer

As yours stay alert

My peace

For your hurt

This Quadrille includes prompts from Mish at dVerse, Quadrille #74 – Sip and from Beth Amanda at the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt – Light.

Another serendipitous meeting of prompts that helped me to express my thoughts about completing the Taji100. “Complete” might be too strong of a word since I am no where near the 100 miles I was supposed to run for this challenge during February. Between snow days and hubby traveling, finding the time to run was more difficult that usual. Coupled with freezing weather, I just couldn’t bring myself to run with the stroller either – Mommy guilt: it’s ok if I’m running in the freezing cold but I don’t want to put my child through that.

Still, I think about all the men and women in the military who suffer in heat and cold and other uncomfortable (to put it mildly) situations all over the world. I know my difficulties are nothing compared to the trials of being active military.

I asked one of my friends who was in the Army how he can run so fast. His answer was, “You learn to run fast when someone is shooting at you.”

My personal goal now is to run 50 miles before February 28. Yes, I know that’s tomorrow…I’m going out for a 10-15 mile run right after I post this. It’s 25 degrees out but at least there aren’t snipers in my neighborhood.

©️ iido 2019

Recycling Shakespeare for a Better World – A Haiku Sonnet

In this brave new world

Plant a heart of gold, harvest

A bouquet of friends

Faint-hearted farming

Doesn’t yield food for the soul

Cold comfort hunger

Break the ice – Be brave

Be fancy free with warm words

Of love and welcome

All our yesterdays

Are meant to be composted

Nutrient wisdom

Silence can kill with kindness

But regretful words do not.

This was a fun and challenging prompt initiated by Jamie for The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt. She writes, “Fe, foh, and fun … Take a spin with Shakespeare and write us a poem using phrases of his that have come into common usage.” I honestly didn’t realize that all these phrases came from Shakespeare’s work! I’ve really only read “Romeo and Juliet” and some sonnets so seeing all these common phrases attributed to his work was quite a surprise. Check out this link if you want to see what Shakespearean works the phrase I used came from.

And of course, I had to do a sonnet to further honor The Bard. To give it a bit of my own flavor, I chose the Haiku Sonnet form. Again, I never new there was such a thing until I saw it in this website here.

Learning new things and new ways of looking at the world is one of the best gifts I’ve gotten from writing and reading poetry. What do you think of this recycled Shakespearean piece?

Cafe Privilege or Why I Don’t Trust White Women Who Don’t Order Coffee When We’re Meeting at a Cafe – A Poem

You had arrived first

Patiently waiting for me

Our meeting began

But you hadn’t ordered coffee

I was confused

Since I knew the score

Without paying the price

They ask you to leave the store

But you sat and you talked

That’s when it got scary.

You exclaimed, “I don’t see colour”

That it wasn’t a worry

I should have known

Right then and there

To keep my mouth shut

I shouldn’t have cared to share

But I took a chance

And brought up the notion

That your ability to sit without buying a thing

Was because of your white complexion

Your demeanor, indignant

And your voice, like ice

“Don’t call me a racist”, you said

“That isn’t nice!”

I never called you that

I began to protest

I’m just pointing out this double standard

To get it off my chest

But you didn’t see

The privilege that you wore

And just like that

You stomped out the door

I sat and I wondered

Just when things went wrong

You and I had a lot in common

We even liked the same songs

But the one thing different

Was what you claimed not to see

The colour of my skin

That claimed my ancestry

I know I’m not poor

Or disabled or gay

I speak the language

And I’m allowed to stay

I know I’m privileged

And have much to repay

But today you proved again

The different rules in play

While I sat stunned

Feeling full of self-pity

The server comes and asked

When I’m buying a coffee

I’m still seen as other

I just have to accept

While drinking my coffee

I silently wept

But you just continued

No hiccup in your step

Then you told everyone

That I was inept

You used your white privilege

To put me in my place

Because I said the price of coffee

Depended on your race

So – if you are a person

Who is truly aware

Of your privilege and whether

Life is really unfair

Be sure to buy coffee

And listen with your heart

In order to end the -isms

That’s where we need to start

This poem was written for Anmol’s prompt at dVerse Poetics to write about privilege. dVerse has had several thought provoking posts: political provocation in poetry and now this one on privilege. It makes me happy and hopeful that they are opening the conversation about these topics. * As of this writing, the link has expired for this prompt! My overthinking has again caused me to miss Mr. Linky! 😢

The poem is also written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge – Color (or as Patrick would say “Colour”). The issue of privilege, race and racism isn’t just based on ethnicity (a person’s cultural background – whether it’s based on religion, tradition or ancestral location) or nationality (the country of one’s passport) but the actual color of one’s skin. Even within communities of color, talking about “colorism” – the fact that light skinned POC have some of the white privilege that darker skinned POC don’t have – is a difficult conversation.

This poem is based on a true incident that happened to me a few weeks ago. The white woman who I was speaking with effectively damaged my reputation because of a disagreement regarding politics and race. Despite saying she wasn’t racist, her behavior indicated otherwise and I don’t think she was even aware of this. I carry the burden of this interaction. No matter the privileges I have (whether born with it like being physically able or earned like my education and financial status), here in the USA, it is what people see that often times determines their behavior.

One last note – Björn’s post about provocation in poetry inspired the title of this poem. Before anyone gets into a huff – I don’t mistrust all White Women – just the racists ones who don’t order coffee when meeting in a cafe.

©️ iido 2019

Explicit Emotion – A Haiku

Their eyes conveying

The explicit emotion

Rising in their pants

Another “two for one”! Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda at the Go Dog Go Cafe challenged us to use the phrase “explicit emotion” in a poem. When I saw Hélène’s “What Do You See!” Picture prompt – I knew the two were meant to be together!

We recently saw an exhibit on mythical creatures and one of those creatures was the mermaid. I learned about Mami Wata, a water goddess with origins in pre-colonized Africa that brings good fortune.

There was also the Feejee Mermaid, a hoax perpetuated by PT Barnum.

The allure of women with fish tails is a long standing myth. What is it about mermaids that inspires songs and stories? Especially since most of the stories (at least the non-Disney ones) are about mermaids luring sailors to a watery death. Is beauty and “explicit emotion” enough to disregard danger?

©️ iido 2019