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

Saturday – An Acrostic Poem and March Runfession

Saturday mornings begin best with

Awakening while the sun still sleeps, dressing then

Trotting down the stairs with sneakers in hand, quietly making a PB and J yet

Ultimately waking the youngest ones with the coffee pot’s final hiss,

Rushing to get them back to bed then, quickly into the car, fueling and hydrating

(me not the car)

Driving to a favorite trail, late, but relieved that my tribe waited for me to

Arrive before starting on our group run. 

Yes, this is the best way to begin a Saturday. 

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I wrote this poem last week for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt (you can read responses to her prompt HERE), but I wanted to save this poem for the March Runfession. So without further ado….

Forgive me Nike for I have sinned….

I runfess…I really, really, really, really, really miss Saturday morning group runs! Yes, even waking up at 5 or 6 AM. I miss the quiet companionship of the thumping of sneakers on packed dirt, the cool early morning mist and the laughter of bada$$ mother runners.

I runfess…my new sneakers (that arrived just a week before we knew what the term “social distancing” meant) have been very committed to being 6 feet away from people, specifically me! Despite having more time at home, the “extra time” that could have gone into running has not made an appearance.  I blame it on homeschooling, but really it’s probably the stress of what’s going on that has defeated my motivation.

I runfess….in an effort to get out of the pandemic funk, I signed up to Run the Year.  That’s right, I plan to run 2020 miles this year (or part of that if I can get a team together…Bueller? Bueller?).  Because what better way to combat stress and pressure than to commit myself to running a ridiculous number of miles when I have never even gotten close to running before?? I blame the high of finishing the Taji 100 for this one…

I runfess…I’ve also signed up for the March Madness Challenge through Team RWB (Red, White and Blue). Team RWB is a group that supports active military and veterans through physical activity.  Even though I have not been in the military (aka, a civilian), I have a nephew in active duty and numerous friends who have been or are active military.  The concept of staying active for a larger cause resonates with me. I may not be able to help in a tangible way, but this act of solidarity speaks to my social soul.

Well, there you have it…March has definitely come in like a lion this year…here’s to hoping that lamb comes soon and brings toilet paper and hand sanitizer….

 

(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

The Path – A Double Nonet

The straight and narrow path calls to me

Stay strong, be brave, keep eyes ahead

Gluttonous green surrounds me

Lusciously tempting me

It can be all mine

Lumber, water

Resources

I will

Take

And

Share them

The path says:

You have enough

Abstain from conflict

Caused by fear, greed, hurt, hate

Bridge ignorance with knowledge

Each slat a step to love and peace

Generosity widens the path

This double nonet was written for Sadje’s “What do you see?” Picture Challenge #19. The photo Sadje provided (above) seemed to fit with Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt request for poems “abstaining from war and conflict while committing to compromise and to unity with and respect for nature into perpetuity.” I’m not sure my poem totally fulfills Jamie’s requirement but the two together, at least to me, are a perfect complement.

The season of Lent has begun for Christians and it is marked by fasting, almsgiving and prayer. Instead of giving something up, I’ve tried to do more – more praying, more helping, being kinder, being more compassionate, giving more whether it’s monetarily, physically, emotionally or mentally. Laurie, a fellow runner, from Meditation in Motion wrote a great blog post about this. I think this practice has helped me have more hope in the world. Especially with everything going on right now. Ghandi said it best, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

©️ 2020 iido

Mama vs Mars – A Haibun

On this day, fourteen years ago, the God of War thrust his sword into my abdomen and stole the apples of my eyes. Like his namesake planet, I was left cold, and barren with crusted blood like iron red rust covering my once life filled belly.

On this day, fourteen years ago, I declared, “Let there be storms!” and created a maelstrom of wind and tears, anger and confusion, sadness and frustration. The storms ate the comforting, yellow sun, the brave, blue skies, the protective purple rains and the just-for-fun rainbows. The storms raged and the war commenced.

Waiting out the storm

I eat Istakhar Apples

Spring’s peace is hard-won

Happy 14th Birthday!

While this is not a traditional haibun, it does incorporate the prompt from Frank at dVerse to use Mars in a haibun. I was also able to include Anmol’s dVerse poetics request time write a poem that included apples and it’s mythologies. The links to the “apple stories” I have used are included in the actual poem.

Lastly, I was able to use Beth’s Tuesday Writing Prompt at the Go Dog Go Cafe. Her prompt was the phrase, “Let there be storms”. The god of war, the red planet, apples and storms – mix together with a dash of angst and pinch of nature and voila! Haibun!

March 4 is the birthday of my twins, Lucas and Larissa, who were born at 22 weeks and didn’t survive. We have always celebrated their birthday with a cake. This haibun captures a bit of the anger and sadness that comes with losing children, as well, the bittersweet aftermath of living with the reality of this grief.

©️ 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