Moon Phases – A Poem

Moonbeams shine through the window

Highlighting hands in circular motion

Scccrrruuuubbb, sccccrrruuuuubbb,

The sound elongating on each orbital pass

Along the Corelle plane

Muffling the hopeful crinkle of suds

 

She looks out the window

Her eyes following the moon path

Russsstling, russssssstling

Wrestling with her mind to focus on the task

She looks down at the wet line along her shirt waist

Pointing to the needy stack of temporary satiation

 

Slowly, her hands stop their motion

And she lifts up her right hand to

Capture the moonlight upon her palm

She watches the shadows play hide and seek 

And feels the pull of Artemis to abandon her post

An arrow pierces her heart 

And she holds her breath in realization

 

Quickly, she presses her face to the window

Her breath now fogs up the glass

HAAAAAAAAAA, haaaaaaaa…….Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh

The cooling pressure reminding her

The moon is cold and lonely like a clean plate 

She notices the front of her shirt is wet

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This poem was inspired by Patrick’s Pic and a Word Prompt #230 – Moon. I took this photo of the moon on a cloudy night this week. It looks so far away….

When I was thinking about this poem, I actually was washing dishes and looking out the window – this was after dinner, when the kids were still up and about and not at all tired enough for bed. The noise was daytime loud. There was nothing in particular that happened to make the day “bad” and even their after dinner/before bedtime squabbling wasn’t particularly bothersome. I was just waiting for the day to be over, so I could have some time for myself (sorry, Hubby).

It was only after all the kids (and Hubby) were in bed and the house was silent that I was able to formulate into words and phrases what that moment was like – a moment that I’m sure many mothers (and maybe some fathers) have experienced. It’s these moments that people always tell you to be grateful for because they will be gone soon enough.  It’s these moments that you try your hardest to accept as just a phase of life. 

I was reminded about a quote from St. Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Teresa, who said, “Wash the plate not because it is dirty nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” Yet what if you’re having a hard time loving any of the potential people who will use the dish next because they are arguing about who’s turn it is to pick a show to watch while getting sticky ice cream and cake crumbs all over the couch? (It was supposed to be a nice treat….)  Maybe it takes a saint to not answer Artemis’ call….

 

© 2020 iido

 

Playtime – Four Connected Senryu

Being, Doing – BOING!

Keep up with life’s rhythmic bounce

Now the ball has dropped

 

Pushed and pulled now – PUFF!

In a cough, the order’s gone

Chaos! Tag, you’re it!

 

Now we sit, stay – RUFF!

Yet still, there’s a need to fetch

Wait for it – steady 

 

Being, staying, here

My eyes reflect what’s in yours

Let’s go build a fort

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I originally wrote this connected senryu just to get down some thoughts I’ve had this week. Serendipitously,  Laura at dVerse asked for poems about our relationship with “order” and with a few word changes, this poem fit right in.  I do like using a poetry form  – it helps me to not be too wordy and makes me focus on showing not telling (I hope you can see that in my poetry!).  I also do love order – not to be confused with a love of cleaning, though! I love the order of knowing what to expect, which is why I don’t love our current coronavirus situation.

The poem starts with this inspiration:

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Yes, that is a basketball and a foam tennis ball in the branches of a tree. I don’t know what the kids were doing outside but they swear it was not intentional…

The middle part (I’m pretty sure) came from my subconscious acceptance that my kids really, really, really want a dog  (yes, “Ruff” = “Rough” in the poem). They are doing everything in their power to show how responsible they will be if we got one (including daily vacuuming). My older daughter even made a powerpoint presentation about why we should get a dog.   My conscious answer is still, “We’ll see…” (meaning “no”) but the fact that a dog made it into a poem….

It ends with the first picture – my kids building with these large lego blocks and other materials (chairs, picnic blankets, boxes, bikes, cones). Obviously, this was a week where minimum school work was accomplished yet there was still lots of learning and problem solving opportunities.

I go back and forth between how much to enforce schoolwork and our daily schedule versus allowing the kids to do what they want. Some days (OK, most days), I am pretty strict with staying on schedule and making sure the kids are productive in an academic way. Prior to the coronavirus shut down, our lives were full with activities and things to do. We had a schedule, an order, a rhythm to our day and week that didn’t waver and was usually pretty consistent once it was set. (Yes, I have read the articles about how kids thrive in consistent environments.)  And I thought the kids liked doing all these activities.

I think they still do, but I think they also enjoy this slower pace of life that allows them the freedom to be more spontaneous with their time. Despite the inevitable chaos of having some days with less structure, having more time together to just be with each other to play, talk, connect – it really is a positive outcome of having to “shelter-in-place” to “flatten the curve” of this pandemic. Kids really don’t need all that much – well, besides a dog….

 

 

(c) 2020 iido

 

Nomad No More – A Chaucerian Stanza +1

Between 9 and 3, I used to wander

Down lonely paths and quiet streets in town

This nomad time allowed me to ponder

All my life’s ins and outs and ups and downs

But now I’m kept hostage by this virus crown

Physically restricted, no place to be alone

My nomad gifts this suffering, for sins I must atone

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

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This is my first time writing for Sammi Scribbles’ Weekend Writing Prompt – this weekend is #152 – Nomad, 68 words. I found her site courtesy of Sadje’s site. I love how inspiration and connection is a hallmark of the WordPress blogosphere!

I also tried to connect it to Frank’s dVerse Meeting the Bar request to write a Chaucerian Stanza of 7 iambic pentameter lines with the rhyme scheme of ABABBCC. I missed the Mr. Linky deadline for that prompt, but it’s probably for the best since I went over the 7 line maximum by 1 line so I could fulfill Sammi’s 68 word request. I will attempt Frank’s challenge again though!

This theme of “competing demands” reflect more of my “current coronavirus conundrums”. While I might seem extroverted, on the deep inside is an introverted soul who needs alone time to recharge and refresh.  I used to be able to find this alone time when my children were in school (hence the reference to “9 AM to 3 AM” in the poem) and I could wander and wonder in a pseudo-nomadic state.

I don’t think my children knew this about me. When I pick them up from school, I am refreshed and ready for our afternoon and evening interactions. On the weekends, my husband is there to cover the times I would step away to recharge.

Being with them 24/7 for the past three weeks (has it only been that long that we’ve had the shelter in place order?), they have found out my secret the hard way. Now, they know that I need an hour at least by myself in the morning. They know that they need to occupy themselves with school work or playing or even (gasp!) TV or video games for that time. They know what the consequences are when I don’t get that recharge time, and how vastly more pleasurable it is at the home when I do.

In return, I have also learned more about my children’s needs at their current ages (versus when they were babies and toddlers, how they have changed!). After lunch is when my older daughter needs her alone time. My younger son needs cuddles and snacks around 3:30 (which is when we usually get home from school). My older son needs to have outside time in the middle of the day no matter what the weather is. My younger daughter needs to do something creative every day to stay happy.

Having this time with my children when they would usually be in school has been an unexpected gift from this otherwise greedy coronavirus. I read the stories about how COVID-19 has taken lives, taken jobs, taken people’s sense of a “normal life”. I wonder how many stories there are out there about what this period of time has given to people. I wonder if people would even realize that they’ve also been given a gift.

 

(c) 2020 iido

You Are Here – A Rhyming Poem

“Mama! Where are you?” 

My little boy cried

Standing by the toilet, 

At least he tried.

“I am here,” I say,

With mop in hand

Doing the job 

That I can’t stand.

“Honey! Where are you?” 

My love seeks me out

“I’m back from fishing 

With some huge trout!”

“I’m here,” I say, 

Fingers newly manicured

They’ll be chipped by dinner

That’s now ensured.

“Sweetie, where are you?” 

My mom’s on the line

“If you don’t call, 

How do I know you’re fine?”

“I’m here,” I sigh, 

On my errand drive.

Now, another stop, 

Will I be done by five?

“Oh, there, you are!”

My friend, from the school

Holding signs to fundraise

For the new pool

“I’m here,” I offer,

Accepting the task

I draw smiley faces,

That match my mask.

“I’m tired, I need rest,”

I hide in the shower

“Being there is so draining,”

My energy dips lower.

“I am here,” a voice whispers

“And you are here, too.

I can help you through this.

I’m here for you.”

I raise my eyes

To the Light from above

And feel myself

Wrapped up in His love

My strength renewed,

I cried without fear.

My heart knew the truth:

Alleluia! You are here!

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I’ve been missing the deadlines for Sadje’s “What Do You See?” picture prompts the past few weeks. Saturday was coming up so fast! But maybe that was because I was losing track of the days…

This week’s picture prompt for Sadje’s “What Do You See?” #24 is a photo with a neon sign that reads “You are here” against a blurred city background. It immediately made me think of the Catholic hymn, “Here I Am, Lord,” and one of my favorite stories from the Bible.

It also made me think of how often I am called every day – not by God (at least, I don’t think it’s Him, although, maybe it is…) but by my children, my hubby, my parents, my siblings, my friends, people who aren’t my friends.  Especially now, being home all day, every day – I can’t escape the “needs” (because “demands” seem too harsh) of the people and situations arounds me.  FYI – the hiding in the bathroom part of the poem is based on  a true story.

The hearing of God’s voice is also true, although not as dramatic. I haven’t actually heard His voice, but I have gone to mass (so much easier to do now that all it entails is just turning on the TV) and have come across several serendipitous articles that speak to God’s role as Compassionate Comforter.  With all the uncertainty and fear in the world, I have found myself turning to the One Constant in this world.  Indeed, nothing has changed with mass since I was child – the order of sitting, standing, kneeling is still the same; what the Priest says during the consecration is the same; the hymns are the same; that message of unconditional love is the same.

I know many people have rightful concerns and issues about the Catholic Church. I was even thinking of putting a trigger warning at the start of this post because I know some of my readers feel very strongly about the corruption in the Catholic Church especially with regards to the cover-up of child sexual abuse (please let me know if I should have).

And I agree – the part of the Church that is made by man is terribly flawed. But the spiritual part is not (at least in my opinion). The consistent message of hope and love is not.

And right now, it’s that message of hope and love, that is helping me through this shelter in place.

Happy Easter to my Christian readers! Chag Pesach Sameach to my Jewish readers!

 

(c) 2020 iido

Dearly Departed – A Reverse Nonet

I hold my friend’s quivering shoulders

Her arms hug this poor surrogate

For a vibrant, cherished soul

Who departed too soon

Our sobbing subsides

No words for Death’s

Kidnapping

Except

Why?

This reverse nonet was written for Patrick’s Pic and Word Challenge #208 – Departure and Punam’s Saturday Ragtag Daily Prompt – Hug.

My friend lost her two year old daughter to a rare form for liver cancer two weeks ago. Her daughter would have turned three on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, this year. This poem is for her.

©️ iido 2019

Patient Anticipation – A Poem

I’m waiting for you

To put on your clothes

You can’t decide between

Dogs on your shirt or stripes

The clock ticks

I’m waiting for you

To brush your teeth

So I can have my turn

You spit not in the sink

The clock ticks

I’m waiting for you

To eat your breakfast

While I’m packing a lunch

I know you won’t eat either

The clock ticks

I am waiting for you

To tie you shoe

The bunny ears are too big

But you say you can do it

The clock ticks – we’re late for school

I’m waiting for you

To come out of school

The clock ticks – the patient anticipation

Feels like the nine months

I waited

To show you the depth of my love

This poem was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #206 – Depth and #207 – Waiting. I am finally caught up!

I have had a lot of time to contemplate waiting – having kids gives me plenty of opportunity. I usually do try to be patient, to show them that they are “worth waiting for”.

But sometimes I am stressed because we are late or because I have to do something else that seems more urgent – and in those times, I am not patient. Sometimes I am even angry and spewing all sorts of non sensical threats and pronouncements.

And after I’ve calmed down (and we’ve arrived where we need to be or done what we need to get done), I usually end up apologizing and explaining why I was so upset. I also talk about what I could have done better and what they could have done better and encourage them to give me and their siblings feedback as well.

It’s an imperfect process and one that is often repeated in our house. Getting all of us out of the house and somewhere on time is feat we always acknowledge!

Still, if getting there on time didn’t really matter, I do try to wait for them – to practice their self-care skills (brushing, buttoning, tying, etc.), to finish the story they are telling me, to finish looking at the caterpillar crossing the sidewalk, to finish enjoying their childhood.

©️ iido 2019

OctPoWriMo Day 11 – The Growing Roar

The door opens and the roar begins

Begins as a rustle of shoes and bags

Bags of paper, projects, words, numbers

Numbers counting down to bedtime, dinner time…not yet time

Time to play and release the joy

Joy of unencumbered growing

Growing louder under the tree shadows

Shadows of night whisper but the roar continues

Continues with the clanging of plates and the chomping of teeth

Teeth that when brushed, sparkle like dreams

Dreams transform the roar to a snore

Snore is as silent as it gets.

This loop poem was written for Patrick’s Pic to Word Challenge #203 – Play and for OctPoWriMo Day 11 – Silence. Also, for the Saturday RagTag Daily Prompt – Shadows.

Silence is something that I rarely get during the day especially once the children come home. But their voices – whether laughing, singing, talking, arguing, shouting – remind that they are fully alive in their playing, working, eating even when they are disagreeing. Noise has always reminded me of life – I know this stems from growing up in a large, Filipino family. So silence was something I had to learn to be ok with, learn to love and cherish. But I know that playful noise will also be my favorite.

©️ iido 2019

OctPoWriMo Day 9: Looking Away

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
Because your adoring eyes
See what I cannot
I’d rather gaze upon a light
That – though bright – cannot see
The real me
That only brightens with a flick
Of my finger
And not when I enter the room

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
Because your eyes might hold anger
Or worse – disappointment, disgust
I cannot swipe left to get rid of
How that would make me feel
There is no X-out
Or control-alt-delete
There is only “I’m sorry”
Which doesn’t erase the memory cache

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
So I train my gaze on
What I feel I can control

Finally joining in on OctPoWriMo (6th Annual October Poetry Writing Month)! It’s Day 9 and the prompt today is hosted by Michelle, the theme is seeing/perception.

This poem came to me as I glanced at my phone thinking of a poem while ignoring my kids. Yes, it happens – probably more than it should, although I am trying to be more mindful of my electronic device usage. The kids are watching!

©️ iido 2019

What’s for Dinner? – A Metaphorical Poem

My body flops – fettuccine flat,

Limp from being over-cooked

In this marinade of

Too little thyme

Too much OregaYes

A large pinch from Rosemary’s Baby

I’m in hot water

Simmering

Waiting for the main ingredient

That chunk of meat

That should taste so good

Yet now is dead weight

The carcass of my life

Boiling over

Still, I have room for dessert

Hello! Hello! It’s been a while…I’ve been…”cooking”…the picture above is my version of Filipino Pancit Canton. My mom gave me a recipe but, like in life, I didn’t follow her directions exactly.

    I used the the noodles that were available in the (non-Asian) market by my house (since I wasn’t able to go to the Asian market – these weren’t the correct type of noodle but it tasted fine).
    I used leftover char sui (or red meat) as my kids like to call it) instead of chicken, although I did end up buying a rotisserie chicken to add for lunch the next day since we ran out of char sui.
    I used bok choy (instead of shredded cabbage) since a friend had given me a bunch from her CSA box that she didn’t know what to do this (I was surprised they even grew that around these parts!).

The improvised dish was a hit! Which was wonderful considering what a difficult week my kids and I have had. This weekend was the first time in the past few weeks where I felt I had enough time and enough head space to do some writing!

Coincidentally, this poem’s conception was parallel to Bjorn’s prompt at dVerse to write a metaphoric poem. Mr. Linky is closed but I think this poem still counts!

Here’s to a new week and being the cook instead of the meal!

©️ iido 2019