Holding the Glimmer – A Sonnet

A glimmer of God I feel in your touch 

As your head turns to the sound of my voice

Your eyes see me as one who knows so much

Aware that I held the power of choice

 

The transformation came awhile ago

From the seed that was planted deep inside 

Yet my mind still accepted these changes slow

Despite my body being modified 

 

And then like a flash in the dark of night

A surprise, this gift you bestowed on me

The honor of knowing love at first sight

Your touch confirmed that I am your mommy

 

That point of love exponentially grown

I pray to deserve this baby on loan

 

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This sonnet was inspired by Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #225 – Glimmer and Frank at dVerse who requested poems with couplets.

The biggest inspiration though was my friend, Lindsay, who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy this past Wednesday.  Amidst the scariness of this pandemic, miracles of life still happen!  The above poem isn’t her birth story (Lindsay is a wonderful mom to a 2-year-old already) but maybe it’s yours or someone who you know.

I have to admit, with all the forced togetherness, I have forgotten at times that children will act like children and the mandate – whether from God or Gibran – is to be more like children.  So yesterday, we did no school work and played outside, enjoying the sun and observing the flowers that have blissfully blossomed, unaware of the threat of illness or death.

Children are truly a gift – they know what is important in life. It’s none of the things that adults think are important and that is such a wonderful blessing.

 

(c) 2020 iido

This Road – A Poem

I want this road to be left untaken

No need to explore the path forsaken

Cover your mouth, don’t be in awe

Follow the rules and withdraw

A cough, a fever, not rats or fleas

Are hallmarks of this deadly disease

To stop it, we need to change our lives

If on this road, we must survive 

For if you chance to take the step

One breath outside can become regret

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So…Social Distancing…I’m writing this from the prerequisite 6 feet away…

This poem was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #223 – Untaken and #224 – Awe. No virus is going to keep me from my streak!! Also, for GDG Tuesday writing prompt to “write a piece of prose around the question: How do we stay focused when the world around us is falling apart?”.  

So seriously, how is everyone doing? I’ve been caught off-guard with how fast everything is happening here in the USA, at least in my area.  I am not a fast mover (in running as well as in other aspects of my life). I am also one who needs the time to process change in order to fully accept the changes in my life – that’s why I’ve always gone to therapy during my big life changes (graduating college, getting married, the deaths and births of my children).  This isn’t a possibility right now so I have had to rely on my own “self-therapy” – which is OK, but nothing beats being able to talk to another person.

I think that’s been hardest part about social distancing – I am a social creature!! I gain energy from being with people and it keeps me from getting too caught up in my own head.  

True, I am blessed to have my family with me. My children have actually adapted to being “homeschooled” despite my lackluster skills at being an academic teacher.  We are on a schedule which includes doing chores and staying active. All good…on the surface…but I know the stress and fear of the uncertainty has been weighing on me and I worry how all of this is affecting my children.

So, I’m thinking “fake it ’til we make it” is going to be my new mantra! I’m going to catch up on my blog reading – I know you all have much better writings for me to read than the news! Art in all it’s forms may not be the antidote to this virus, but it will be the hot soup, the snuggly blanket and the social and emotional connection that will get us through this.

 

(c) 2020 iido

WOMAN – An Acrostic Poem

Waters of life connect us
Over millennia, we birth and love,
we cry and learn,
we bleed and live
Mother to daughter and mother 
to daughter and mother
to daughter
Awash in power and persistence
Now let us open the floodgates!

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. I wanted to write a poem to celebrate the great accomplishments of women in the world, historically and more recently, as well as acknowledging the women in my life who are great, accomplished women. This includes:

  • my mother
  • all the wonderful women here in the WordPress blogosphere (Gina, Punam, Kate, Mich, Jamie, Jane, just to name a few)
  • my running tribe (Michele, Nada, everyone in MRTT/SRTT, of course)
  • my west coast fam (Karla, Ellen, Jane, Henny, Trucs, you know who you are – don’t make me call you out!)
  • my east coast fam (yes, that includes you if you’re reading this!!)

I know the “water is wide” with regards to how far women still need to go to achieve true equality…it would help if women were (at least) met half way, don’t you think? Still, we have moved forward and hopefully, together, we will continue to do so.

* The link above is to a song by Joan Baez called “The Water is Wide”. I wasn’t able to embed the video in the post. I love the first verse of this song (it always makes me teary) and thought it went well with the poem. The verses after…eh…

This acrostic poem is also linked to Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #222 – Connections and to Punam’s Saturday Ragtag Community Daily Prompt – Water.

©️ 2020 iido

Mass – A Limerick

The priest intoned in a voice deep

The solemn promise that God keeps

He loved us on the cross

We gained life through his loss

The cost of salvation doesn’t come cheap

The body of St. John Neumann in repose under the altar at the St. John Neumann Shrine.

This irreverent limerick (is that redundant?) was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #221 – Mass. My streak is still going strong! While Patrick’s heavy poem focused on mass in the physical sense, I went in a more spiritual direction.

I spent yesterday on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. John Neumann with my daughter’s Confirmation Class. We had never been there before and this was actually our first “pilgrimage” together. I really enjoyed learning about St. John Neumann who is known as the Patron Saint of Immigrants. He was the first male saint from the United States of America.

St. John Neumann’s remains are interred in the shrine underneath the main altar (yes! That’s totally him in the picture above!). We celebrated mass before we left the shrine and I couldn’t help but look at his remains during the entire mass. Here was an actual saint, a man who was so moved by God’s love and God’s message to the world that he changed the New World! He founded the first Catholic Schools in the United States and created 89 churches, most of which catered to specific immigrant groups who had come to the United States from Europe.

St. John Neumann was made a saint when I was three years old. The latest miracle attributed to him occurred in 1982 in Philadelphia. The boy who was cured is now 41 years old and living in Ohio. Do you believe that miracles can still happen in this day and age?

©️ 2020 iido

Biking to the Beach

The shoreline changes

My breath holds steady

Memories of salt, my beacon

The sea air shifts the sand

While waves grab the wet grains

The shoreline changes

Yet directions are not needed

The old bicycle just needs legs to pedal

My breath holds steady

Despite the sting in my eyes

Quickly there and then gone

Memories of salt, my beacon

This cascade poem incorporates four (4) prompts: Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #220 – Shoreline, Merril at dVerse’s call for poems about impermanence, Punam’s Ragtag Daily Prompt – Beacon and the picture is courtesy of Sadje’s “What do you see?” Challenge #18. Sometimes it takes all these little pieces to create something big and beautiful (at least I hope this poem is such).

The idea of impermanence made me think of beaches and the changing shore. There are so many happy memories that can be made at the seashore. However, memories can change from year to year. The smell, feel, and taste of salt water and air also goes well with the salty tears shed in making bittersweet memories.

Ironically, (at least in stories and movies) people seem to go to the beach to get away from some painful event or memory without realizing that the pain is as impermanent as the seashore.

This month, remembering how transient the difficulties of life is, helped me keep moving forward – my beacon for this month. As the Persian adage states, “This too shall pass.”

©️ 2020 iido

Valentine’s Day – A Poem in the Style of a One Line Story

I am digging through the trash

For the tiny red heart you

Drew on a post it note right before

The marker dropped from your hand

And the line made that annoying long beep sound

And the doctors and nurses rushed in

And pushed me out

But not before I saw them toss

Your heart in the trash

And CLEAR it, CLEAR it out of the way

So they can see the clock

That records the Time

And now I’m left looking for it

In the pile of this is unfair bullshit garbage.

I “borrowed” this picture from my friend, Loriann B‘s FB page. I’m not sure if she took it or if it was from someone else. If this is your image, please let me know do I can give you proper attribution. Thank you!

This poem was written in a one sentence story style suggested by Amaya/Gospel Isoceles for her D’Verse MTB Challenge. It doesn’t truly meet the challenge because it doesn’t meet the parameter of the story to be odd/whimsical and true however I do think it describes an event that can be considered “the end of the world as we know it”. Alas, I missed the link up, however this was defiantly a challenge that I will try again.

I also missed Patrick’s prompt #218-Tiny for last week but am “early” for his deadline on prompt #219- Dig for this week. I am totally on a streak for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge – I hope this one still counts! I really loved Patrick’s poem for “tiny” – he is truly a glorious writer and photographer!

I did not get to do any celebrating for Valentine’s Day unless you include being able to sleep without a sick child on your chest a celebration. Having all your kids sick on the same week is really hard! And they all had something different! Thank goodness for my parents who stayed to help me this week. Today, everyone was up and about so hoping we have seen the last of whatever nastiness invaded our home.

I was able to get a much needed 10 mile run in today! Not that I needed 10 miles, but I needed to get out of house and be with (healthy) adults. The ladies I was with from my She Runs this Town/Moms Run this Town chapter were totally cool and chill, like “Yeah, we’ll just run this trail back and forth a couple of times and yeah, we did 9, let’s round it out to 10!” Seriously – we just chatted and did our intervals and next thing you know…BOOM! 10 miles done!

Check out our strong legs and cute sneakers!

This brings me to 69 miles for the Taji100! And we are just starting week 3! Between being sleep deprived and covered in throw up and feverish kids, and having this awesome run and keeping up with my miles – this week actually wasn’t the “end of the world.”

©️ 2020 iido

Traveling with Children – A Haiku

The Child’s tourist eyes

Whisper such wondrous details

This world seen anew

This haiku was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #217 – Tourist.

My daughter saw this imprint of little foot prints on a sidewalk as we were walking through Paris this summer. As I was pointing out the architecture and ooh-ing and aah-ing at the Parisian ambiance, my daughter had noticed this lovely detail that we would have just walked by. Children do see the world in a different, and often times better, way than adults do. This is what gives me hope in today’s world.

©️ 2020 iido

America – A Short Story

Looking out my back door, I tried to keep my breathing steady. It had been twenty-four hours since Mamá said goodbye. She had walked me to the school door instead of just dropping me off. She had given me an extra long hug and whispered, “Hay una sorpresa para ti, in your lunchbox,” before letting me go and walking quickly down the steps so she wouldn’t be late for work.

I had entered the school and didn’t give her another thought. Until she didn’t come home for dinner. And she wasn’t in the kitchen making arroz con chorizo on Saturday morning. And now it was Saturday evening.

I walked into the living room and picked up my cell phone. I tapped the “news” icon and watched the app launch. I saw it then, a picture of the factory where she worked. Mamá was coming out of the front door, flanked by two men in dark clothing, carrying guns, and wearing bullet proof vests that had the three scariest letters in the entire English language.

I-C-E

Mamá was still wearing the gloves she used for cleaning, her hair was mussed, the curly tendrils like a crown of ivy on her head. The headline said, “The first day of school turned into a nightmare after record immigration raids.” I sat on the couch, my heart rate increasing.

“No te preocupes,” Mamá would say when I whispered my fears to her. “Tengo fe in this nation.”

Mamá might have faith in this country, but I no longer did.

The photo above was taken by Patrick for his Pic and a Word Challenge #216 – America. I’ve also incorporated other prompts from this last week: Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Writing Prompt to use the word “ice” and the number “twenty four”; and the Ragtag Daily prompt for Saturday – Nation (Thank you, Punam!), Thursday – Looking out my back door and Wednesday – Goodbye.

This story is based on a true story of an immigration raid in Mississippi that occurred on the first day of school in 2019 – so it isn’t really “fiction”, hence the title. The children, of the immigrants who were taken, were not picked up from school and had no way of knowing what happened to their parents. I can only imagine the terror of those children – losing a parent is a big fear for any child. This incident also reminded me of the way the Jewish people were rounded up by the Nazis. Is this what America has become?

©️ 2020 iido

Running the Ragged Edge – A Haiku and Running Memory

Ragged points abound

Softened by mist and lush greens

The edge, not the end

Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #215 – Point included a poem and picture of one of my favorite places in the world: Big Sur, specifically the Pacific Coast Highway which runs along cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. It truly is the ragged edge of the United States or “the Western World” as the annual international marathon states.

I ran the Big Sur International Marathon in 2016. It was my “Farewell to California Race” since it was the last race I did before we moved. When we lived in CA, we visited Big Sur, Capitola, Santa Cruz and Monterrey often. That area embodies my idea of California with its contrasts of rust colored, sharp pointed cliffs, golden sands, verdant grasses and redwood forests all shaped by the deep blue waves of the Pacific Ocean. The vibe is relaxed and eclectic – the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley.

When I ran the BSIM, I was 1 year post-partum with my youngest. I had to defer the race from 2015 since I was having the baby then, so I was really excited for the opportunity to run this race. Despite not having lost all the baby weight and not training as well as I could have (I was still nursing then as well), I felt strong and capable. I had trained with some fantastic members from the San Jose Chapter of Moms RUN this Town who had also thrown a goodbye party for me a few weeks before. It was really a wonderful race to end one chapter of my life and begin another.

©️ 2020 iido