When Violets Aren’t Violet

VIIOLETES - Anelka -- PX

Roses are red;
Violets are ———- purple!

Doesn’t it bother anyone that numerous poets for centuries have painted those innocent little violets blue?  Of course, I know that there are, indeed, some strains of violets that are more blue — and even some that are pink and white. But I have to believe that they are the exception, because, after all, the very name of these flowers is spelled  v-i-o-l-e-t.

However, I’m not really complaining about the color of violets. I just got to thinking about that particularly well-known poetic line and about how we as poets really do feel we have our own kind of literary license. What is it about poets that makes them think they can write just anything they want to write as long as it rhymes and keeps the meter smooth and uninterrupted?  Well, I’ll tell you what it is about us:

We love words — the sounds of words — the rhythm of words — the music of words. And we love playing around with lots of different numbers of syllables. We love to hear consonants repeated, vowels repeated, digraphs repeated. And if we need to turn a sentence around backwards to get the right rhythm — or leave out a couple letters replaced by an apostrophe — or go beyond the norm with hyperbole — well, it’s all part of what we see as our job —— and to be honest —— it’s part of the FUN of writing poetry.

True poets follow rules of meter and rhyme and correct use of figurative language. But we also follow rules of emotion, yearning, and imagination.  So, yes, we do believe that it’s okay if we altar reality a bit here and there or say things backwards. If it helps make the poem touch a heart, grab the imagination, take the reader to another realm, or tickle his funny-bone, we figure we’ve done our job well.

And, personally, I think that’s why a poem can speak to readers in such unique ways. People don’t always realize it when they are reading a poem, but it’s those quirky kinds of things — those little excursions away from what is generally the “accepted” pattern — that has caused many a poem to grab a place in the reader’s mind and heart and stay there.

So okay … here’s my version:

Roses are red;
Violets are blue;
We don’t always stick
With only what’s true.
We’re looking for words
With meter and rhyme,
And if we can’t find them,
We might tend to whine.
So cut us some slack;
We’re doing our best.
If a poem gives you pleasure,
It passes the test.



 

Hungarian Cookie Haiku

Exif JPEG

Dad’s Hungarian Cookies

Memories so sweet:
Daddy baking cookies from
Fam’ly recipe.

Hungarian treat:
Flaky, sugared, golden dough
Stuffed with hickory nuts.

Each year at Christmas,
In kitchen warm and cozy –
Memories so sweet.


For decades, my dad (who was Bulgarian/Polish) baked Hungarian cookies. It was a recipe handed down from one Balkan country to another, and was a favorite of our family. However, in the last several years of my dad’s life, Christmas season included so many other activities as well that sometimes he just didn’t have time to bake those cookies along with everything else. When those years came along, he baked them for me on my birthday instead, which is February 1st. So it’s right that I’m thinking about them in February this year. I can almost taste them even now.



Too Old For a Valentine???

 

VALENTINE SIGN FOR OLD LADY“Please, won’t you be my valentine?”
That’s the slogan on my sign
As up and down the street I trudge,
But can’t get any hearts to budge.
It could be I’m too blatantly
Begging someone to love me.
Perhaps if I were less profuse
The guys would then be less obtuse.
But when you’re pressing 101
And haven’t much time left for fun,
It seems a shame to take it slow —
Playing hard-to-get, you know.
But I just thought of something more:
It could be at the problem’s core
Is simply there’s no hearts to win
‘Cause there’s no hundred-year-old men.


Please don’t ask me where this came from because I don’t have a clue. I’m still a long way from a hundred and one. And I know I broke some grammar rules, but that’s one of the really great things about poetry: You can get away with stuff you could never get away with in prose.  🙂
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!



 

Rain Poems

It’s been raining here for two whole days, so I thought it was only fitting that I write about rain. Since I’m in a poetic mood, I decided I’d give myself a little workout and do one haiku, one cinquain, and one simple iambic pentameter verse about that subject.

heavy-rain-tree-for-background.jpg

HAIKU

Everything is gray.
Rain hanging like a curtain.
No sun peeping in.


CINQUAIN

Raining!
Again today!
I just have to complain:
All is gray and wet and dreary!
Boring!


IAMBIC PENTAMETER VERSE

Another boring day of endless rain.
We don’t need this much water every day.
Sunshine is now a fading memory.
The birds won’t even come out now to play.

I know some tribes have dances that they do
To bring the rain when grounds are parched and bare.
I wonder if there is another dance
To end the rain and turn the weather fair.



 

 

Weekly Smile – 1/20/20

I’m jumping in for the “Weekly Smile” at Trent’s World this week. If you’d like to join in, hop over there and get the easy rules for participating. Everyone has something to smile about every week, and even though we sometimes pass those things by without making note of them, there’s something really special about taking the time to share with others about what made us smile. It usually makes someone else smile as well.

That’s what I’m hoping to do this week. I had several smiles during the past week, but one of my big smiles inside was when I was browsing through one of my art journals and came across the cartoon-ish painting below. I did this piece on the spur of a whimsical moment, and it goes with the equally whimsical poem.

I couldn’t hold back the smile and the sense of fun that came over me when I looked at it again. I’ve hardly noticed it since I painted it last October, but this week brought it to the forefront. (Sorry the page is wrinkled, but that happens sometimes when we paint on paper that’s pretty lightweight.) I hope it brings you a smile as well.

TEA

SURVIVAL

Huge cup of tea,
A piece of cake,
A cookie — two or three —
Some chocolate bonbons in a box
That’s labeled just for me —
I think, perhaps, I’ll make it
Through this day adequately.


~~~~~

Cinquain: Just Do It

QUIL PEN AND INK -- LunarSeaArt -- PX

Written in response to a couple friends of mine who have said for almost a year that they’ve thought about trying to write cinquain, but they won’t even make a start. They find it fascinating, but seem to be afraid of it. They have this false idea that because they need to count syllables, they will have trouble. If they’d just try, they’d be surprised and delighted with the results — and hooked on it– like I am.  🙂

Dear friend,
Tell me again
Why you don’t try cinquain.
You think it’s difficult to write?
It’s not.

You say
You are afraid
That you can’t get it right.
Syllable count seems difficult.
It’s not.

Just try,
And you will find
That it’s much easier
Than you have even dared to think.
DO IT!


photo courtesy of LunarSeaArt @ pixabay.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Country Christmas Roads

WINTER COUNTRY LANE -- Reijo Telaranta -- PX

Country lanes at Christmas —
For the traveler, such a chore.
Snow encrusted, rutted lanes
That make manuv’ring poor.

It’s hard to see the shoulders
And the middle line is blurred.
For traffic in the other lane
No ample room’s assured.

And drawing towards the end of day,
When light is running low,
Traversing snowy country roads
Mandates my going slow.

But I’ll continue trav’ling down
Those snowy country lanes,
To friends and fam’ly, waiting me.
It’s worth whatever strain.

Besides, those Christmas country roads
Through woods and fields snow-clad
Resound with quiet so unique
It makes my heart quite glad.

They seem to wear a special peace
That blankets their domain.
And settles over me when I’m
On snowy, country lanes.


 

photo courtesy of Reijo Telaranta @ pixabay.com


 

Thanksgiving Poems — Week 1

Thanksgiving in the U. S.  is exactly three weeks from today, so I think it’s only appropriate that I revisit some of my Thanksgiving poems from over the years — and maybe even write a new one.

This week I’ll begin the series with two: one quite serious and one just for fun. Hope you enjoy them, and if you’re one of my own countrymen, I hope they add to your expectations for a happy Thanksgiving celebration.

 

AH, THANKSGIVING, HOW I LOVE YOU!

RED DRESS

Ah, Thanksgiving, how I love you!
Golden crowning jewel of Fall,
Beacon of warmth and cam’raderie,
Sending glad invitation to all:

“Gather to worship; gather to visit;
Gather to focus on all that’s worthwhile;
Feast from tables resplendent with harvest;
Feast on the love in a touch and a smile.”

All the year’s labors weigh heavy upon us.
All the world’s problems seem bigger by far.
But out from that wearisome struggle you call us,
And laying it down, we run to where you are.

And whether in cottages, mansions, or churches,
Community buildings, or tables in parks,
We gather with gratitude full – overflowing;
To the Giver of blessings lift voices and hearts.

Then we return to life’s pattern awaiting.
Filled up with joy, we set off on our way,
Warmer and richer and kinder in spirit
For pausing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

TURKEY WITH SIGN - SAVE TURKEYS

I spot him there, behind the barn,
A full-plumed, regal bird.
He looks up, straight into my eyes.
I speak no single word.

It’s happened thus, in passing years —
At least for two or three:
Each mid-November I’ve set my mind;
He’s been there to greet me.

Now, lifting his head in challenge strong,
He gobbles loud and long.
I lower my gun and heave a sigh:
To kill him would be wrong!

So, wrestling with my double mind,
I trek home to my wife
To explain why, once again this year,
Ham will greet the carving knife.


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


 

Stepping Through The Door — Cinquain

I wrote this piece for my poetry site, but decided I’d share it here as well.


WHITE DOORS - 7 -- Arek Socha 00 PX - purple

Arek Socha @ pixabay.com

Portals
Wait before me.
I stand before closed doors
But do not let that hinder me:
“Open!”

Behold,
The doors obeyed.
And now I stand in awe.
I see what possibilities
Await.

So now
I must decide:
Will I cross the threshold?
Will I accept new challenges?
I will!


 

~~~~~

 


 

My Heart Belongs To Autumn (re-post)

Several years ago, as I sat on my front porch just enjoying the beauty of autumn, gazing fondly at a huge tree in my neighbors yard, this poem just started running through my soul. Today, as I thought about the fact that it’s the first day of autumn, 2019, I decided to re-post that poem so that all my new readers can enjoy it as well. After things get so far back in the archives, hardly anyone ever finds them. So I hope you enjoy this little reminiscence with me.


cropped-connies-tree-bright-color1.jpg

Leaf by tender leaf,
I watch this stately monarch
Dressing up for fall.

Gold, russet, yellow,
And brilliant red — her choices,
For she loves them all.

Hour by passing hour
The change begins subdued – but
Then bursts into flame.

I revel in the site.
My heart belongs to Autumn.
It’s joy calls my name.

The troubles that have pressed
Throughout the year now ending,
Though they’re present still,

Are restrained by the power
Of Autumn’s golden glory
To subdue all ill.

My heart belongs to Autumn.
Indeed, it always will.

~



Forest Reflection

Just a little whimsy I posted on my poetry site, but I thought you might enjoy it too. It goes along with the whimsy I was feeling when I painted this doodle-ly piece.  [I don’t think doodle-ly is really a word, but I’m a writer — I can make up my own words. 🙂 ].


RAINBOW FOREST w. shading

I know a forest filled with rainbow colored trees.
And every time it rains, they lift their leafy heads.
For God’s great promise spoken to Noah years ago,
With bow that promised we’d have no more floods to dread,
Reflects its multicolored prism on these trees,
And God’s great faithfulness from tree to tree is spread.




 

Up River in the Autumn

AUTUMN RIVER - Larisa Koshkina -- PX

Please, won’t you come along with me
Up river in the fall?
We’ll float at leisure, passing woodlands
Burnished, thick, and tall.

We’ll watch thick clouds give way to sun
That breaks horizon’s crest
And choose a course that guarantees
Delightful Autumn Rest.

~~~

 


 

photo courtesy of Larisa Koshkina @ pixabay.com

 


 

Three Autumn Cinquain: I’m So Ready

GOLDEN TREE REFLECTIONI’m tired
Of summer heat.
I say this ev’ry year:
Fall is the only perfect time
Of year.


Autumn
Is close now.
I hear the crickets sing.
And leaves are falling one by one.
Can’t wait.


Seasons
Come and go.
And I appreciate
All of them, but none so much as
Autumn.


Thanks so much to my wonderful friend, photographer Terry Valley, for this amazing Autumn picture.

~~~

 


 

Adventure, Here I Come!

MOON & BALOONS -- pIRO4d -- px

I want to step out in adventure,
But each time the first step draws near,
Before I can start to move forward,
I’ve run, face-to-face, into fear.

I long to get out of my humdrum
And into new elements wade,
But just when I find my direction,
I realize I am afraid.

What am I to do with myself then?
I have no solution in mind.
I look at the fear, and I dither,
Which means that I get left behind.

Perhaps, I’m not meant for adventure,
And everyday life it must be.
Oh, that would be such disappointment;
From humdrum I’d never be free.

No, I must be stern with my psyche
When my knees start to tremble and sway.
Courage is not being fearless.
It’s taking the plunge anyway.

~~~~~

 


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