Parenting Haze – A Poem

The first 24 hours, a dream
Of downy softness anchoring
The haze from the drip, drip
Am I ready?

The first 3 months, a gauntlet
Of liquids leaking, not sleeping
A form of hazing
Will I survive?

The first year, a tornado
Of becoming a talker, walker
Hazardous trial and error
Am I doing it right?

The next 21 years, a crystal ball
Wanted to predict and protect
Hazy edges turn sharp
Cutting off my questions

The hazmat of parenting
When can I stop worrying?

This poem was written for Patrick’s Pic and A Word Challenge #179 – Haze. I am on a streak completing Patrick’s beautiful word and photo prompts. Last week was a “rush” post but I didn’t want to miss his prompt!

This week, I had a bit of fun with his word “haze”, repeating the “haz” in different forms in this poem. Gina at dVerse talked about a “hum” in our lives (check out Gina’s poem beautifully illustrating this) however my life right now (and for quite sometime) can be more described as having a “haze” not a hum. Maybe it the lack of sleep or the rush of our daily schedule, but this haze, this film, covers my view of the world. Sometimes it obscures parts I can’t or don’t want to see. Sometimes it colors conversations (like a sepia filter) and changes the meaning of those connections. Sometimes it is as thick as a pea soup fog that I must pull myself through. Sometimes it is words, phrases and ideas that overcome my mind until they can be captured in lines of verse. I don’t know if I’m friends with this haze but I’m thankful for its inspiration for this poem.

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The Girls at Sunrise – A Haibun

We’re laying on top of the van under a scratchy blanket with What’s His Name. The cold fingertips of morning mist drag across our skin, weighing down the beads around us with condensation.

The sun makes it slow appearance, a disapproving gaze covering The Big Easy as well as the skyline of New Orleans. We’re hoping the sun’s warmth forgives and forgets like we’ve forgotten where the blue top with embroidered flowers went.

Puckered flesh exchanged
Innocence for plastic beads
At sunrise – regret

*****

For Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #178 – Sunrise. Also incorporating last week’s dVerse Poetics theme: Mardi Gras.

©️ iido 2019

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

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

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

St Valentine’s Mass – A Quadrille

In the valley of my Breasts,

You kiss your desire

For me

On the mountain of my Belly,

You nuzzle your respect

For me

Between the plateau of my Thighs,

You caress your awe

Of me

Upon my feet you worship

Love and life

Today is February 14th so I thought it appropriate to share this today even though it’s late for De Jackson’s Monday Quadrille at dVerse featuring the word “Kiss” and early (at least for me! 😁) for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #174 – Valley.

This sensuous poem is not my usual style. As a mom, first and foremost, this aspect of my being is usually lost under layers of laundry, piles of dishes and miles of after- school chauffeuring.

One aspect of my husband that I am most thankful for is that he hasn’t forgotten this part of me. He finds me under all those layers and reminds me that I am still a desirable woman; that because I have brought life into this world – into his world – that it makes me more beautiful, more wanted, more than enough. So this Valentine Quadrille is dedicated to TKD for remembering and loving all my changing topography. ❤️❤️

©️ iido 2019

Picket Fences – A Haiku

Instead of the wood

Focus on the space between

That is where hope lives

This haiku was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #173 – Fences. There has been lots of talk about fences and other barriers being built to keep “other people” out. But, as Patrick’s poem alluded to, it also keeps us in. Unless we go through (or over or under or around) the fence, we would never know who or what is on the other side and whether we like them or not.But no matter which side of the fence you might be on, I bet you always look through the spaces between.