Free Bird? – A Reverse Nonet



The option

To fly away

Caught in a snapshot

Indecision showing

Trust as fragile as the song

I used to sing at your window

Will you raise your hand to set me free?

Image credit- Evan Clark @ Unsplash 
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a hand extended out with a little bird sitting on it. In the background one can see a lake and it’s shore in distance)

Another busy week, but I didn’t want to miss out on Sadje’s “What do you see?” #49 this week. Birds have often been used as metaphors for life – there is the “canary in the coal mine,” the “bird in a gilded cage,” the “early bird,” and “birds of a feather.” Birds have been featured in songs, like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” and books, such as Maya Angelou’s autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

As the election in the USA gets closer and issues of racial and social justice remain unresolved, I feel even more committed to doing small acts to help preserve this democracy and uphold it’s promise of equality and equity. I’m raising my hand in solidarity.

So between homeschooling/virtual learning, being involved the local election, and keeping up with usual household needs, I’m trying to continue to find the time to write and read and run. Some days, I have to chose what to do. Some days, sleep wins. Some days, I feel like I am doing the right thing for my family and for myself. Some days, I feel like I have accomplished nothing. Some days, I feel like I could be doing more.

Some days, just raising my hand and saying, “Present,” is enough.

©️ 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




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

Millie and Emma – A Reverse Nonet


Then two



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

What’s Your Problem? – A Reverse Nonet

I am right when I say this is true

The problem of our country is

I know better than you do

There is only one way

So do what I say

No more listening

Only shouting

And shooting

So what?




Ears, hearts, minds

Not right or wrong

Better together

No need for big egos

Let’s make room for ideas

Before the sounds of bombs deafen

And we are left, right, alone, deadened

It’s been a busy week in our household but I really wanted to respond to this Tuesday prompt from the Go Dog Go Cafe. Their query: What is the biggest problem facing the country right now? If you could only change one thing, what would it be? Consider if this problem can even truly be “changed”, or if it is something steeped in our culture.

I don’t know if this is the “biggest problem” but it’s definitely one of them – the inability to listen, the lack of empathy, the self-centeredness. Turning on the news, it seems people are just yelling opinions at each other, attacking the other person instead of having a serious debate about issues using facts to back up statements. The art of conversation, debate, is gone. The value of connection and relationship is gone. My fear is if we continue down this path, towards isolation, we – the collective American We – we too, will be gone.

©️ iido 2018

Why Fear A Woman – a Reverse Nonet

Oh, now, don’t be scared by what you see.

My thick dark hair, my slender neck,

My ample bosom and hips.

Do I intimidate?

I like animals.

I can cook, too.

Like me now?

But, wait,



Than my

Body or

Niceness or skills.

I read, think and feel.

I make wishes come true.

Mine – and if I want – yours, too.

So, come in, talk, love – if you dare.

You should be scared by what you don’t see.

This photo from Hélène Vaillant’s “What do you see?” prompt intrigued me. While it could easily be related to the current Halloween season, it also made me wonder why images of beautiful women behind a pot, in the dark woods, with books, a treasure chest, and/or a pet bird, conjured such scary, spooky thoughts.

Why are women depicted alongside symbols or images of power, often vilified?

And why do we women accept those labels of witch (if we’re old or not that pretty) or bitch (if we’re young or pretty)?

A strong, intelligent, brave, beautiful and/or powerful woman should be cherished, not feared!


Did you read the title as:

~ A Question – Why fear a woman?

~ A Challenge – Why? Fear a woman?

~ Or with a sense of Incredulousness – Why, fear? A woman?

~ Or maybe even as a statement, possibly the title of an essay or the beginning of a list – Why fear a woman:


©️ iido 2018