May 30: Night Drive to Camarillo

This journey I am calling quadrupedal
Since over three days it will have four legs,
This scruffy dog I am renaming Wheedle,
For kisses he delivers while he begs.

That dachshund is a desk upon whose back
A halting sonnet I seek to contrive.
The Goodyear grounded under skies of black:
A Giant tethered by the 405.

Of course, sometimes a pithy name reflects
Times that truth fled into cerebral swirls,
So when I saw planes land at LAX,
My brain supplied the phrase “a string of pearls.”

And on such nights I might say poetry
Is saying what the altered mind can see.

May 29th: Roughing Up

The final word of my initial draft
Cuts like a fiery sword into my brain,
And in my frenzy I shall seize the haft-
For editing I’ll need it’s blade again!

For even as I celebrate the end
Of that most painful process of producing
Fictional fabric which sharp eyes will rend
Into which criticisms I’ll be loosing.

Such skirmishes do not result in wounds
Excepting those that land upon my pride.
But to my faults I am kindly attuned,
Particularly when my brain is fried.

I’ll let my story sing me off to sleep,
Regardless of how much of it I keep.

May 28: Hail to Purple

Jacaranda tree in bloom
O tree whose bounteous blossoms glow between
Silver-white brightness of overcast sky,
The sidewalk gray, and foliage of green;
Your vibrancy cannot but draw the eye

In neon violet marching up the hill
Flanking the street, perfectly parallel;
Prolific panicles that gently spill
Scalloped corollas in a silent knell.

These brief, abundant weeks will end too soon,
As fallen flowers wither and turn brown.
How foolish to ignore resplendence strewn
About you when you fail to look around.

It’s easy to take gorgeousness for granted
Wherever jacarandas have been planted.

May 27: Storied Past

It’s been too long since I have written fiction.
Though sonnets with my talent set align,
I can’t deny my potent predilection
For telling tales of more than fourteen lines.

And so I wrestled with a piece of writing
That previously had given me some trouble,
Whose characters just wanted to keep fighting,
And so my prior efforts I redoubled.

I let myself explore the foolish fancy
Of giving the first scenes a good rewrite.
Though unfamiliar genres can be chancy,
A part of me just knew that it was right.

The fictional inertia has been routed-
But then I had to write a poem about it.

May 26: For T

Three years ago, a group of friends amassed
To watch the final Potter film together.
That silliness felt jarring in contrast
To the fell fate befalling their bellwether.

There’s not really a satisfying answer
As to why that vivacious Hufflepuff
Should have to battle terminal brain cancer;
Because, perhaps, she’s made of sternest stuff.

For laughing wild amid severest woe
Was what she called on all of us to do,
Inspiring us to rhymes most apropos
And many lusty readings did ensue.

And though I never got the chance to meet her,
I know that cancer never can defeat her.

May 25: Roman à Clef

Each couple has two origins: the one
They tell their families and then the version
Their friends retell, not just because it’s fun,
But also from their own tales it’s diversion.

That pair who met “at work” met in a bar;
In World of Warcraft is “we met online;”
“We’re high school sweethearts” means he played guitar;
Love at first sight? They both had too much wine.

It’s easy to dismiss the shorthand tales-
At worst they’re trite; at best they’re a cliché.
But when we find that similar travails
We’ve all endured, we may just reappraise.

And in due time, we find that we’re connected
By incidents and knowledge unexpected.

May 24: Pamplemousse

A grand dame, gems a-glitter at her throat,
Smiled down at my and husband’s hands entwined,
Remarking on how obviously we dote
Upon each other. Oh, how she maligned

Those lovers who ignored each others’ eyes
To stare at glowing screens throughout the meal,
And after eighty-seven years she prized
A life well spent enjoying what is real.

Her words and fragrance lingered in the air,
Approving warmth and Eau de Shalimar,
Leaving us flushed with pleasure, yet aware
Of shared perspective, even from afar.

While phones may give directions while we drive,
It’s sharing love that makes us feel alive.

May 23: Open Up

When work’s intense and sleep’s in deficit
A change in schedule can be bothersome;
Annoyance, which resolves into a snit
Do not such welcome differences become.

For when work’s done and sleep is immanent
And music dances lightly on the breeze
One can’t maintain a state of discontent,
When sun and joy conspire to bring you ease.

When such gifts come, hold tight to gratitude
For when things will inevitably change;
And with that patient mental latitude,
Experientially expand your range.

And if impatience starts to interfere,
Sit down and order it another beer.

May 22: At the Close

This is a moving-boxes time of year,
When piles of paper stacked precipitously
On horizontal surfaces appear
To cast their leaves away capriciously.

And as shed sheets infect desk after desk
They settle on the work that’s been assigned
And keep appearing, paperwork burlesque,
Resulting in paralysis of mind.

While teachers yearn for summer to arrive
Administrators brace for fiscal close.
What quarters system sadist did contrive
For both to be coevally imposed?

For one tends to succumb to greater tension
When one cannot be granted an extension.

May 21: I Envy You, Getting to Watch the Show

Forgive me, Interwebz, for I have sinned:
I fear that humblebrag I have committed.
Before my Facebook access you rescind,
Extenuating factors I’ve submitted:

Exhibit A: the brag was full of joy
In shared accomplishment; Exhibit B:
I have invited others to enjoy-
It’s all for a good cause (Exhibit C).

Yet, Lordy Lou! I cannot help but grin
At having shared the stage with two rock stars-
The videos and pics are full of win,
The victory’s not only mine, but ours.

Such rapture is nearly beyond my ken…
Oh crap. I think I’m doing it again.