Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Today is Such a Lovely Thing

The corridor of yesterday
Has no trespasser though we may
Stand at the gate and wait, wait, wait
We always only have Today

And when today slips from this place
Of crowded streets and winds we chase
Nothing can trouble it again
Or snuff from it one tiny trace

Today is such a lovely thing
From it all forms of beauty spring
And wing their flight from morn to night
In subtle moment-winnowing

And soon what now we call today
Will be forever far away
Thus we ought taste and not to waste
This gilded crumb of gold and gray

For corridors of yesterday
Have no trespassers though we may
Stand at the gate; we dare not wait
And miss the gift wrapped in Today

© Janet Martin

My Today is smelling like Mr. Clean due to the fall cleaning I am trying to wrap up in November (and a week off), so we can focus on other things in Dec.

Once Upon a June #2

Once upon a June we were
The girls with flowers in our hair
And time on hands not quite as worn
By motherhood and
Many a summer morn

Once upon a dream or two
Eyes sparkled, lustrous as the dew
That gleamed before the door of noon
Closed on the wisp of
Many a moon and June

Once upon November’s eve
A woman’s heart begins to grieve
The suddenness of what once was
And cannot ever
Be again because

…once upon a June we were
But girls with flowers in our hair
Where now we watch our daughters swoon
With summer dreams of
  'once upon a June'

© Janet Martin

Once Upon a June

 A surge of warmer air made last Tuesday's white disappear. With the wild wind howling since yesterday morning, the temps have once again plummeted. I was out just now trying to 'help' the wind scatter 'the petals strung on once upon a June'. The leaf pile got buried in snow so I'm hoping nature's big broom will sweep it away before spring;)

PAD Challenge day 22:For today’s prompt, write an alone poem.

The cup of summer spilled over
To autumn's howling broom
Where fields once dizzy with clover
Are swept of blushing bloom
Now every woods, a ghost-town
Moans where the wind runs wild
Like she who dashes half-madly
In search of yester's child

November, you are a loner
For none your case will plead
Or beg you to tarry longer
...we bolt our doors instead
While you torment the window
With tears you cannot quell
Your only friend the shadow
Stark-cold, and skeletal

Ah, once upon a June rose-bold
Your predecessor lay
While we sprawled gladly by, cajoled
By beauty's long-lashed day
...and whispered pretty phrases there
and scrawled our touch soft, slow
Through laughing breezes ere the air
Grew somber with your snow

November, you are a loner
The flower and the bee
Cannot remain to suffer long
Your assigned agony
And we, like all the posies
Blush to admit the truth
But we prefer the roses, you
Are simply too uncouth

We try to brave the gale you flail
And find the good in you
While you slap our faces pale
And vex us with your hue
Of blue-gray low-flung heavens hung
Upon the afternoon
You scatter all the petals strung
On, once upon a June


I'll Be Up To My Elbows in Dish-soap Suds...

PAD Challenge day 24:For today’s prompt, take the phrase “I’ll Be (blank),” replace the blank with a new word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

I'll be up to my elbows
in dish-soap suds or such
when you come a-wafting
with a lover's touch,
with a lover's whisper
with a lover's lure
You taunt in glimpses
I cannot endure
Until I relent,
dry my hands
Then, my dear
Just like a bubble, pop!
You disappear

Muse is a rebel,
A charmer, a ruse,
Lost in the silence
but quick to seduce
me in the middle
of life's noisiness
She sparkles and glitters
like fool's gold, I guess
for as I come running
with pen poised to write
Poof! she swishes
the words from
my sight

I'll be a soldier of ink
til I die
...as the mind thinks
so the pen must cry
For how can one suffer
the weight of a word
yet never uncover
the poem it stirred?
Oh, loveliest vexing
of you, lover's touch
when I'm up to my elbows
in dish-soap 
and such...


Self Cannot Love...

PAD's two-for-two Tuesday challenge is to write a love or anti-love poem. 

We have a way of getting in the perfect way of it
Self is a bossy darling looking out for number one
But if we should decide to not ‘seek our own’ a bit
Then we should be prepared and plan to change our plans often

‘Love does not seek its own’ nor groans as it unclenches fists
Its utter selflessness baffles the best of us at times
Self does not go gentle into the good night's purple mists
But oft resists the hills that love insists its servant climbs

Ah no, for self is dumb-struck by your keen, relentless proof
And blushes ‘neath the honesty of Thy unjudging gaze
As love forgives the shortcomings where Self would stand aloof

Self cannot love in, of itself, or thus forgive the same
Love is divine, its very nature God Himself revealed
Self is a beggar dependent upon Love’s Sacred Name
By which all men are saved and every Self-affliction healed

© Janet Martin

But, Love

     PAD Challenge day 25: Two-for-two Tues.
    Write a love poem.
    Write an anti-love poem.

     Image source

    The Want of it cries in streets
    And tears the night apart
    The mind for all its airs competes
    With matters of the heart

    The heart cannot pretend
    Its need a groaning wail
    Where everything is nothing, friend,
    Without it; touch a grail

    ...of everlasting thirst
    Its cup a thoroughfare
    Of  hopeless hunger, reason cursed
    With uttermost despair

    For self cannot please self
    Nor its own lover be
    Ah Love; Thy force within us swells
    In holy mystery

    And Love will never fail
    Proved once by nail-pierced hands
    Yet he who simply takes and takes
    Will never understand

    The wonder of it all
    Perplexes how we live
    For love's first-fruit is not in what
    We keep, but what we give

    ...and even givings' price
    Will never be enough
    If the motive for sacrifice
    Is anything, but Love

    Then what is Love and who
    Can its full wonder know?
    Ah, love is God and God is love
    And by His grace we go


    By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35

    Monday, November 24, 2014

    Roasted Pork Sandwich

    She watches him; the hunger of life in every bite
    While bread and pork and gulps of milk amuse his appetite
    They feed the fire that feeds the dream that winks within his eye
    Where time meanders like a stream, slow through middle July

    She envies him a little for the gusto of a quest
    He cannot fully name yet ever tugs within his breast
    His vision still untarnished by a road of what-has-been
    His feet point ever forward, eager to be seventeen

    She smiles a little smile to see him gobble bread with ease
    Unhindered by the brutish yoke of cost or calories
    And he cannot yet fathom the intensity of this;
    How tick and tock can gently lock away this youth of his

    …and so she watches him and tries to sear upon her heart
    The image of a mannish boy hunched over bread and pork
    While planning plans, untethered by the sorrow of the clock
    …for mother knows the highs and lows of little tick and tock

    © Janet Martin

    He came home last night ‘starving!’ he said, and wondered with an impish grin ‘would mother make a sandwich?’ and she did…

    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    You Know how It Is...

    You know how it is, she whispered
    Wordless my own words slipped;
    ‘Sorrow is a constant companion
    Joy is a cup, cracked and chipped’

    Happiness is the heart’s halo
    Spilling its light to the eye
    Longing, a ravenous shadow
    Raking the deep with its sigh

    Love is a compass whereby we
    Will never be led astray
    Hope succors self’s daily dying
    Where love is leading the way

    Yet, when the day-dust has settled
    And all of dusk’s colors have dripped
    Over a halo of nettles
    Into joy’s cup, cracked and chipped

    I hear the bittersweet echo
    Only spent years can admit;
    Sorrow is a constant companion
    Joy is a cup cracked and chipped’

    © Janet Martin