Preflight Checklist – A Poem

I am poised
At the edge of beginning
Unable to unclasp my hands
From behind the back of mundane
To grasp the infinitesimal potential before me.

I am afraid
Of the miracle that might happen
If I topple over the edge of the wall
Will I fall and shatter?
Will I be caught by others who know that I matter?

I am trusting
In the stars that spell my name
That my purpose will be revealed
Like wings unfurled catching the breath
Of the true spirit

I am accepting
Of the cuts upon my skin
The bruises of learning
Stamped with the names of experience
Rubbed with an ointment of love

I am ready
To fly

This poem was inspired by Hélène’s “What do you see?” Picture prompt and also incorporates Devereaux’s Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt to write a poem about flying.

Taking that first step has always been difficult for me, especially if it’s in a direction that is different and/or difficult. I know some people love a challenge, love to embark on adventures and they do it without excessive worrying or fearful procrastination. I am like the figure in the picture: seeing the beauty and potential but afraid of grasping the wall, swinging my leg over and dropping onto the other side.

I’m learning that to truly fly in this world, I can’t overthink, I just have to do it (as the slogan goes). Think it – Say it – Do it – Be it – then Take Off!

©️ iido 2019

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Where Your Soul Goes – A Poem

It’s where your soul goes
A concrete box upriver
The jailer is a spring day
Filled with dark skies and raindrops

It’s where your soul goes
A driftwood raft in the ocean
It’s occupant a summer afternoon
Passively waiting for rescue, relief

It’s where your soul goes
An oak barrel in the Falls
Filled with a foolish, frantic autumn dawn
Accepting anger wanting to rush headfirst and SMASH

It’s where your soul goes
A white house downriver
The owner is a winter night
Winds whipping, lashing, tearing

It’s where your soul goes
When the silver scalpel rips open your body
And takes the life filled with hopeful anticipation.

This poem was written for Devereaux’s Tuesday Writing prompt challenge at the Go Dog Go Cafe to use the phrase “Where the soul goes” in a poem. I was also able to incorporate Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge #177 – Upriver as well as Hélène’s beautiful “What do you see?” Picture prompt. The key to this poem was literally the key in Hélène’s photo! I’ve also included some links in the poem about the phrases I used in case you aren’t familiar with “up (the) river, over the Falls or down (the) river.”

Monday, March 4 was the birthday of my twins, Lucas and Larissa, who would have been 13 years old if they had lived. It doesn’t get easier. This poem is dedicated to them.

©️ 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

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

Millie and Emma – A Reverse Nonet

One

Then two

Exactly

Identical

Without permission

Now brought into being

They refuse their genetic

Wiring, rebelling, and seeking

What the petri dish sought to deny

This nonet was written for Hélène’s “What do you see?” Weekly Challenge (the picture above is from this prompt) as well as for the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge. Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda’s prompt: Describe a recent world event without saying what the event actually was.

Can you guess what the reverse nonet is about? The title names (for the girls in Hélène’s picture) comes from this article.

In my writing group, I read a short piece about a family who tried to clone their car but ended up cloning their son. It turned out their (original) son was a serial killer and the parents had to decide whether to allow the clone to live or not, unsure if it would become a killer as well. It was a difficult decision for the parents – I won’t tell you the ending in case he sells this fascinating story.

In researching this poem, I hadn’t realized that animal cloning has been happening in all parts of the world since the 1960’s. I had thought gene manipulation and cloning were relatively recent events. It makes me wonder about the long terms outcomes of humans “playing god” – hastening genetic change that used to take generations to manifest. Not that we’re recreating Jurassic Park – at least not yet! (This blog post I found recounts this scene from the movie, “Jurassic Park”, and also has some interesting thoughts about cloning and writing.)

So, cloning is the world event my poem is about. Maybe I should have made it a double reverse nonet?

©️ iido 2019

Shallow Souls – 2 Haikus

To see within shallow

Souls don’t need to stretch beyond

Low lying mirrors

Walking on wet street

Pools of shallow souls writhing

Worms gasp their last breath

It’s Tuesday and I was able to create these two haikus for Devereaux and Beth’s Tuesday Writing Prompt at the Go Dog Go Cafe. Finally on time for this prompt! Their request: Write a haiku using the words “shallow souls”. While the pictures don’t totally match the words (and not to imply that pigs or worms have shallow souls), the juxtaposition made me smile.

©️ iido 2019

Prelude to Destruction – A Haibun

Bach’s Prelude in C Major is a well-known piano piece that is about two minutes long. Close your eyes while you listen to it and imagine a stream gently flowing over rocks as it meanders through green forest. Now imagine 130,000 barrels of oil being dumped in that stream. What will happen to the forest and the critters living there?

Now picture the wind whispering over a meadow blanketed with flowers still bright with color despite the new moon. And now a bulldozer comes to move 5000 tons of garbage onto the meadow including plastic that will take a millennia to decompose. How do the colors and aroma of landfill compete with that of wildflowers?

Or listen to the music and let your mind wander over the ocean, the warm sun highlighting the majesty of humpback whales breaching the surface. Now heat trapped by greenhouses causes 600,000 tons of ice to melt in Antarctica raising temperatures that could kill 400 plant and animal species in a year. Would seeing the dead carcasses of whales and other see creatures be as majestic?

Two minutes, the length of a prelude whose repetitious melody can remind us of the repeated wastefulness and mindless consumption we daily engage in that will lead to the destruction of this planet we call home.

Two minutes to kill

The only world that we know

Time to change the song

This (very loosely defined) Haibun was written for Jamie’s first Wednesday Writing Prompt of 2019 focused on the theme of the environment. I also included the last Tuesday Writing Prompt from Devereaux and Beth Amanda at the Go Dog Go Cafe. Their request was to include the words new moon, minutes and prelude in a poem. It definitely took me more than 10-15 minutes to write this Haibun!

The facts embedded in this poem come from this article about things that happen around the world in a minute. I doubled the numbers to match the two minutes of the prelude (I hope I did the math correct!). Conservation and protection of our environment is a cause my family and I are passionate about. We recycle and are trying to compost. We limit our plastic use – the kids have even given up straws! Just two minutes of a small change to your daily habits can make a difference! You can save the world with reusable bags as your cape!

©️ iido 2019