FanStory.com
"Heart Crafted Poems -2022"


Chapter 1
New Year Opportunities

By JLR

Harken Thee one and all!
Think mind, body, spirit
this whole year-long ...
love, dance, and pray!

Author Notes 20 syllable contest entry

thanks for the use of photo by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 2
Spring Comes

By JLR

Spring stirs not under this heavy snow.
Peeping into the early sun aglow,
Rising low across the northern sky
I ponder the winters days going by.
Noting, a tick of time can cast long shadows
Generating improbable depressing woes.
 
Coming again, the promise of rebirth
Obverting stillness and slumber within the earth,
My melancholy reverts as anticipations swarm
Exiting winter; tremulous no more as my heart warms.
Springing forth am I, knowing that Spring comes!

 

Author Notes Acrostic Poem contest entry


Chapter 3
Steppingstone's

By JLR

Little time, if any, is ever foolishly spent sitting idle.
Should such a soul, make the effort to reflect upon from where they began,
Constantly seeking, unseen guides who are often journeying right alongside,
Sent as constant companions by the Master, the Chosen One.

With every step, Free Will is carried, at times like a burden.
This can result in courses taken where boulders, markedly, are strewn.
Thus, a moment, a brief pause might render the path traveled less laborious.
Little time, if any, is ever foolishly spent sitting idle.

To stop and reflect upon the chosen path told to be so straight and narrow,
the one drew out with repeated assurances in the "Good Book" like a map,
would with such loving wisdom ring loud, resoundingly bringing one back on course,
Should such a soul, make the effort to reflect upon from where they began.

Whether you take a path rife with boulders or one with steppingstones
Your journey is yours to take. For each day comes opportunities known or not
that can be heavy and burdensome, or a course one has taken seem quite smooth when
constantly seeking, unseen guides who are often journeying right alongside,

So, pause, reflect, make time, and then you too shall surely know
Everyone's journey has a beginning and a certain end
As you traverse a life filled with nothing but steppingstones, with your servitors,

Sent as constant companions by the Master, the Chosen One.
 

Author Notes the Potlatch Club: Cascade
*There is no set meter or rhyme scheme.
*The defining feature of the form is that the lines of the first stanza are repeated as refrain lines in subsequent stanzas to give a "cascading effect".
* Line 1 of stanza 1 is repeated as the last line of Stanza2,
*Line 2 of stanza 1is repeated as the last line of Stanza3, and so on until all lines in Stanza1 have been used.

NOTE: Servitor: someone who performs the duties of an attendant for someone else.

Thanks for the use of Walking Past by nikman on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 3
Hannah

By JLR

Hannah
brings sunshine
while dancing, frolicking, laughing.
Gently falling are raindrops.
Sound echoing joys revealed,
sunrays beaming,
dancing gracefully,
frolicking freely,
laughing loudly,
-Solo-
Loudly laughing,
freely frolicking,
gracefully dancing,
beaming sunrays
revealed joy's echoing sound.
Raindrops are falling gently.
Laughing, frolicking, dancing, while
sunshine brings
Hannah.

Author Notes Write a palindrome contest

**Hannah: a word reading the same forward or backward

Special thanks for the use of: Arachne by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 4
The Apprentice Wood Carver

By JLR

Remnants of historical papers discovered held close
in trembling hands, begin the steeping of thoughts most
provoked by the faded words; indentured, seven years.

"Son of Richard, in 1704, set forth to ply a trade
with St Oliva, Southworks carpenter shop conveyed
forth as a faithful, dutiful apprentice.

Where the master did train
in the fame art which he reigned,
by any and all means that he did,
teach and instruct,
or cause to be taught and instructed -

Whilst providing meat, drink, apparel, lodging,
and all other necessities, whether bodging
or sawing, according to the custom of the
City of London during the said term,"

Through those ornately hand-carved doors,
then began a legacy - across many, many scores,
great-grandfather's - eight generations removed.

So day and night, the apprentice served,
restricted to partake not of cards, dice, reserved
toward any other unlawful games -

nor frequent taverns nor play-holes observed
nor fornicate or contract matrimony during time served,
whilst under the license of the said master.

Thus a legacy, I proudly claim was set forth across the span of time
as life's happenstance abraded the polish, the shine
of those double-hand-carved doors
entered frequently by a family member of mine.






Author Notes Note: Bodging is a traditional woodturning craft, using green wood to make chair legs and other cylindrical parts of chairs. The work was done close to where a tree was felled. The itinerant craftsman who made the chair legs was known as a bodger or chair-bodger


Chapter 5
At Transition

By JLR

A sudden dampening of all that is known envelopes the five senses.

Instantly, you see a doorway has opened.

There ahead, pulsating, expanding ...
the glow of brilliant white light
illuminates the forest Heavenward.

 

Author Notes 33-word write of Spiritual fiction

Give a shoutout to Marty Finney on social media for this photo on Unsplash.


Chapter 6
Broken Hearted

By JLR

Warm raindrops downward fall
plunging on stones below,
warm raindrops downward fall.

A young lass with her beau,
a flood of tears drops down
plunging on stones below.

His words cause her meltdown
To blend with falling rain
A flood of tears drop down.

Jilted, consumed by pain
mixed-up, her hopes, and dreams,
blending with falling rain.

Tears and rain form new streams
rushing to the seashore
mixed-up; her hopes, and dreams.

Gone! Her sense of ardor,
Warm raindrops downward fall
Love not the guy next door,
Warm raindrops downward fall.

Author Notes A personal quest to write my first Terzanelle which is a poetry type that is a combination of the villanelle and the terza rima forms. It is a 19-line poem consisting of five interlocking triplets/tercets plus a concluding quatrain in which the first and third lines of the first triplet appear as refrains. The middle line of each triplet is repeated, reappearing as the last line of the succeeding triplet with the exception of the center line of the next-to-the-last stanza which appears in the quatrain.
The rhyme and refrain scheme for the triplets is as follows:
1. A
2. B
3. A

4. b
5. C
6. B

7. c
8. D
9. C

10. d
11. E
12. D

13. e
14. F
15. E

16. f
17. A
18. F
19. A

Thank you for the use of when the heart cries by lynnkah on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 7
Trusting your Senses

By JLR

Between my eyes sits my sniffer
that helps me tell that things differ.
Hearing that which smelled fishy
which turned my tummy squishy.
causing my taste buds to drool
proving twice I was the fool!
Between my eyes sits my sniffer
that helps me tell that things differ.

Author Notes Octelle
The Octelle, created by Emily Romano, is a poem consisting of eight lines using personification and symbolism in a telling manner.
*The syllable count for this verse is 8/8/7/7/7/7/8/8
*the rhyme scheme is A1A2bbccA1A2.
The first two lines and the last two lines are identical (refrain).

Graphic poster via Google


Chapter 8
Sonnets Masters

By JLR

Some writers find the rhythm naturally
Others who can not find the beat are lost.
No other than the great masters of words
Needed worry to employ perfect iambs.
Eerily elusive, without great skill, is a meter
Together with the stress in its proper place
So well balanced ending with sweet rhymes.

Many nations claimed the art form
Adding English, French, Italian, Russian to the name,
Sonnets are known as "the little song" with fourteen lines,
Together we must thank the sonnet's medieval birthplace, Italy
Enjoying recognition of Rosetti; Wyatt, Howard, Sidney, Spencer,
Regaling Shakespeare wrote and wrote and wrote some more
Spurring on Donne, Milton, Keats, Browning, and on and on and on ...

Author Notes An Acrostic Poem contest entry


Chapter 9
Drifting - Life's hazards

By JLR

The journey back from a place with no name
where bad habits wore his mind down with shame
while mired in darkness, "hope," he thought, a con-game
thus, the virgin Mother was naught but a Grande dame,
where so-called friends claimed every day was all the same.

But just a moment in time, a sudden shift, in this rat race
brought him face to face with God's Grace,
as he felt surrounded by his Spirit's embrace.
Reminding this lost soul of his rightful birthplace.
That to live in sin is not a life sentence of disgrace.

Drifting through life is often commonplace as we grow.
Testing the water, one usually sticks in the tip of a toe,

caught in an undertow of fate, doom, or strife - we know  
we drift through, blow by blow; seldom will life throw a death blow,
so, let your spirit glow.

Author Notes A Picture this club entry
A quantain AAAAA/BBBBB/CCCCC


Chapter 10
Unknown Destiny

By JLR

Twist and turns slightly bending nowhere,
Just beyond the vacant meadows ending nowhere.

In the green shrouded hedge line,
stone steps are ascending nowhere.

These gray-shaded steps heading into infinity,
so it does seem, extending nowhere.

In a non-dual universe, it matters not
if the steps lead onward, wending nowhere.

Always confident JLR walks forever onward,
with Joy leading him; transcending nowhere.

Author Notes Found on Shadow Poetry.com I discovered this rather enjoyable poetic style -
A Ghazal is a poem that is made up like an odd numbered chain of couplets, where each couplet is an independent poem. It should be natural to put a comma at the end of the first line. The Ghazal has a refrain of one to three words that repeat and an inline rhyme that precedes the refrain.
Lines 1 and 2, then every second line, has this refrain and inline rhyme, and the last couplet should refer to the authors pen-name...
The rhyming scheme is AA bA cA dA eA
here is my example...Enjoy ...


Chapter 11
A Writer's Lesson

By JLR

Sagely, my friend, you seized the draft.
'Tis best you kept your ink in the well.
Scribbled lines on paper; are you daft?
The artist caresses a canvas or stele,

seeking the image to create with skill.
The woodcarver pats the burl, conjuring
up the hidden gem under a spell.
The sculptor sits with the stone honoring

its unseen treasure; patiently pondering.
These masters, if studied, teach us correctly.
Your skillful talent, you are squandering
being a lover of words; if not chosen so selectly!

So, resume, you must with pen and ink.
But, tune to your inner voice, don't overthink.

Author Notes this is written in three quatrains and a couplet, but employs a series of "couplet links" between quatrains, as revealed in the rhyme scheme: abab, bcbc, cdcd, ee Somewhat as one would find in the Spenserian sonnet, which this is not.

Self talks about the incredible skill required to write poetry or prose.

Definitions: Stele; Greek (standing block) Ancient stone often with drawings
Selectly: a derivative of the word selectively


Chapter 12
Stormy Seas

By JLR

Hot bolts of light zig-zag across the dark sky
Now near, explodes untamed sound waves that thump
Afar unstrained wild waves spew cold raw spray;  flump.
On the blow of wind, heard is the sailors' cry.
Hurled hard along the deck he thought he might die
Until overboard he made the choice to jump.
The cold embrace of the rough sea caused goosebumps
In the debris, he saw the mast go by …

Break of dawn teases away the dark of night
Wind eases to a caress, the waves uncurl.
Not far ashore, contused, he lays alive..
While much fatigue engulfs this soul, aright,
He shouts, “Thank you”, for this new day, a pearl!
Aware of God’s Grace was how he survived

Author Notes A Sonnet is a poem consisting of 14 lines (iambic pentameter) with a particular rhyming scheme: An Italian sonnet is composed of an octave, rhyming abbaabba, and a sestet, rhyming cdecde or cdcdcd, or in some variant pattern, but with no closing couplet.
Usually, English and Italian Sonnets have 10 syllables per line, but Italian Sonnets can also have 11 syllables per line as is the case for this poem.

Thanks for the use of Stormy Seas by Monica Morrell on FanArtReview.com

flump: definition, fall heavily


Chapter 13
Fishing dream

By JLR

Soaked from the heel to toe
tongues dripping along the sides
toe boxes flooded, socks are seeping.
Leaking are the string holes.
Still, I trek along the stream
While I dream of that big trout
still swimming away from me
as my soggy Converses
carry me along!

Author Notes A Fabulous Free Verser Club Entry on Shoes


Photo form Google


Chapter 14
Spiritus Unum

By JLR

Seven men and five women sat waiting for the admin to begin calling names for the first interview.

Across from the waiting area was the conference room with blinds on the windows. Suddenly the lights in the room came on. The blinds tilted open just enough so the interviewees could see the silhouette of three shapes stand up and walk to the conference room door.

To the surprise of the interviewees sitting across from the now open door, three older males walked out and stood facing the twelve. Each was wearing a white robe with colorful sashes around their waists. The taller of the three had a richly colored vestment draped across his shoulders. Their hair was long and gray. All had beards of significant growth but were well-trimmed. The most startling feature was their eyes which appeared to sparkle and radiated a warm kindness. In unison all three raised their arms, palms held open, in a welcoming gesture as one spoke, "Welcome, would you all come in."

One could imagine our group's shock that we are were all invited in at once. While we got ourselves seated, one of the men said, "Let me introduce myself; I am Michael, head of HR and keeper of records. To my right is our leader, called by many names. For the present, you can address him as Elohim. To my left is his son, whom you can address as Emmanuel."

Michael seated himself, and Elohim rose, nodded slightly, and began slowly walking around the room. As he passed by each of us, we heard him whisper our names saying, "Welcome, it pleases me that you are here." Then he returned to his seat. Emmanuel stood and said," We thank you, each one, for answering our advertisement for our unique job opening. The fact is, we have twelve spaces, and after extreme vetting, we have brought you all in to make an offer of employment.

Elohim interrupted and states, "Our organization has been around, quite literally, for eons. While our market methods seem dated to most of our prior users, we get excellent ratings for our product. Those who began working with my son followed his lead and established huge markets. But we franchised, and those darn franchisees started making up their own rules and creating another level of hierarchy that changed our product and drove the masses out of the door.

So, we are striking out with a new IPO, Spiritus Unum. We are taking the market back over, and we were hoping you could help do it!"


word count: 429

Author Notes Spiritus Unum: in one spirit
Elohim: a.k.a God
Emmanuel: a.k.a Jesus
Franchisee: Organized religion


Chapter 15
Confessional

By JLR

In the confessional, I brought my cross to bear
to an intermediary, the wrongs my heart needed
to declare. With profound remorse and a sense of despair
the words stung my tongue as I sat flooded with grief
while I cinched up my Spirit with the beads tightly
clenched within the palms of my penitent hands.

The priest listened without uttering a sound with folded hands.
With a deep conviction, I sought his compassion to bear
my troubled soul to relieve me from what held me tightly.
Hopefully, seeking redemption, which my heart needed.
My wrongs have rung my twisted heart tighter with grief
Then I heard the Priest mutter; I hear your despair.

He then prayed, "Mother embrace this man's despair
From my heart, I turn this petitioner into your hands.
Remove the pangs of heartfelt troubles and grief.
For the wrongs he professes are more than he can bear.
It is his soul where forgiveness and his comfort are needed
So, it is I pray that in your embrace, please hold him tightly."

Then a bright light came forth, and I felt held tightly,
And in an instant, away dropped my feeling of despair.
I suddenly understood I was given what was needed.
In my minds-eye, I saw the open palm of Her hands
while aglow was her face, Peace and Grace her gifts, to bear
forth the fruit of redemption and release from grief.

Forget about the need to wallow in the throes of grief,
Go straight to your Source, hold tightly
to the Knowing that it was He who took over your cross to bear
the wrongs, shortcomings, trials, troubles, and despair.
His promise was, Jesus will support us in His Hands,
When we make the call, Father, "it is I, and Your forgiveness is needed."

Make your petitions known to Father, Mother, God as needed.
Let not the seconds turn to minutes then to hours carrying grief.
But, put all your needs, wants and sorrows, and defects in Their hands.
Then, with great anticipation, knowing that you are held tightly,
no longer must you shuffle in the muck of sadness or despair,
and never, not ever, will you confront more than you will be able to bear!

For me, the confessional is needed where I feel I can cocoon tightly,
exploring the cause of grief that brings me down at the level of despair.
While in the palm of my hands ... I hold in respectful embrace the cross I bear.

Author Notes The sestina is a strict-ordered form of poetry, dating back to twelfth-century French troubadours. It consists of six six-line (sestets) stanzas followed by a three-line envoy. Rather than use a rhyme scheme, the six ending words of the first stanza are repeated as the ending words of the other five stanzas in a set pattern. The envoy uses two of the ending words per line, again in a set pattern.
First stanza, ..1 ..2 ..3 ..4 ..5 ..6
Second stanza, ..6 ..1 ..5 .. 2 ..4 ..3
Third stanza, ..3 ..6 ..4 ..1 ..2 ..5
Fourth stanza, ..5 ..3 ..2 ..6 ..1 ..4
Fifth stanza, ..4 ..5 ..1 ..3 ..6 ..2
Sixth stanza, ..2 ..4 ..6 ..5 ..3 ..1

Concluding tercet:
middle of first line ..2, end of first line ..5
middle of second line ..4, end of second line..3
middle if third line ..6, end of third line ..1

Thanks for the use of Grandmother's Rosary by meg119 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 16
Hands: Mankind's Story

By JLR

Hands healed, but scarred through and through,
from the brutal force of nails driven onto the wooden timbers.
The visual reflection that remains in the vast river of life
when we focus our thoughts upon those hallowed grounds.

Hands that hold closely the baby to a mother's breast
nurturing the miracle of God's provenance; being reflected
through the innocence of a newborn child of God.

Hands cupped, dipping into the cold, crystal clear water
flowing from mountains to seas
connecting to the Source of the overflowing gift of His Love -
A gift that cascades down ... still eons later.
A pure, abundant, never-ceasing life source.

Hands comforting the heavily burdened shoulder
of a loved one who just heard those seemingly
life-threatening words, "your cancer is malignant."
Hands held open seeking immediately
His healing embrace and Grace.

Hands time-worn creased with wrinkles
reflect the life of a hardworking man
reverently placing a palm against palm,
while on bended knee, sends praises of thanks
of a long well-lived life.

Hands: Mankind's Story

Author Notes A Free verse entry for the Picture this club writing prompt


Chapter 17
Kaleidoscope of Color

By JLR

Buttered-Ale dropped me deeper into sweet dreams
at evenlight. At once, a kaleidoscope of color, embowing
sheaths of dazzling lights carries me to the midnight streams,
encapsulating me as in a cocoon. Keep warm, dry, safe, growing.

Beyond, the parade of dazzling colors, rotating like a wheel,
vanishing instantly; a lush floral garden draws near.
I awaken within my shell, protected with a golden seal.
My life capsule splits with a crack, and all becomes clear.

I emerge morphed into being a beautiful multi-colored butterfly,
While my wings dry with the aid of rays of sunlight,
my mosaic of shimmering energy fluttering, a mate flies by.
I take the wind underwing and flit about the sky like a box kite.

Oh, to dream such a dream of such utter freedom!
Oh, to dream such a dream of a butterfly kingdom ...

Author Notes Picture this club entry: abab;cdcd;efef; gg

use of archaic words:
Butter-Ale: Ale boiled with lump sugar, butter, and spice
Evenlight: twilight
Embowing: Arching, Lydgate
Keep: To dwell


Chapter 18
When I was young

By JLR

When I was young the lilac fragrance exploded
into the air for two weeks every spring while
the purple blooms on every branch were overloaded
as the daytime sun danced on the lake, making me smile.

When I was young, we gathered for the family meal
precisely at six p.m. Sitting tall with hands washed,
heads bent ready to bless the meal with not one squeal
we knew that mom, busy as a bee, simply noshed.

When I was young we seldom sat idle and foolishly prattled
'twas chores done first, books cracked next, bedtime vespers
said with gladness of heart for the just past day. Rattled,
not one whit, off into sleep we'd go, listening for angel whispers.

When I was young life seemed much less hectic, more simple
Neighborhoods were secure, playgrounds safe, subways securer
Two houses down, a young sweet lass smiled showing a dimple.
I smiled back with a friendly nod hoping ... just to reassure her,

When I was young ... she was young too.

Author Notes Write a rhyming poem using: When I was young

abab/cdcd/efef/ghgh


Noshed: to eat lightly
Prattled: talk at length in a foolish or inconsequential way.
Vespers: evening prayers
Rattled: thrown into a state of agitated confusion


Chapter 19
Little Sister

By JLR

There had been dark and painful exchanges with my mom just days before I decided to pack my bags and leave home. I guess people would say that I snapped. Others would say that I abandoned the family. A few might have thought I was being selfish and should just suck it up, I had a sister to care for.
But I needed to decide upon some type of action to save what little hope I had of breaking away from this karmic wheel of life cycle.

At eleven I started to see with my own eyes that "ordinary" families, whose parents were sure of the basic needs to make a house a home, were provided for. Things like utilities paid so the furnace would heat the house and the lights were on to do homework. These things and more were never certain or even expected at our house. Then there were the unspoken & unknown physical abuses.

At seventeen what made my escape more feasible was America was at war. I had completed my high school requirements. On my seventeenth birthday, I made a mad dash to the local recruiter's office and enlisted. To secure what I wanted to do in the military I committed to a six-year hitch. I took the enlistment papers home, put the pen in my mom's hand, and said, "sign this."
I went to the living room where my sister Millie was doing homework. I told her, "I am gone. I leave Friday for basic training. I will not be back."

Those words, "I will not be back" haunt me today more than they have ever before. Little did I know or even fathom that those few words were the last words that I spoke to Millie.
There are no words to describe the enormous void I felt receiving the news recently that Millie had passed away. Fifty-five years had come and gone. I know that God has taken a beautiful soul back into his arms. Millie, the girl I called, little sister, who was fourteen that last time I saw her.
While we never shared in each other's lives, we were family. The loss of family time and pushing back the opportunity to undo those words have now come and gone.

So, what is the end of this for me? I will respond to this anonymous person who sent me her obituary that informed me of her departure. I'll begin with a simple fact I was Millie's brother; would you be willing to tell me what you can about my sister?


word count 429

Author Notes True Short Story about myself and a sibling

thanks for the use of Volks Polizei/lecture by Renate-Bertodi on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 20
Spring Splashes

By JLR

Splashes of color
springing forth, oh so, dazzling,
dotting the landscape.

A kaleidoscope
couldn't compete with this array
of flowering plants.

droplets of raindrops
dancing ever so gently
on tips of petals,

complete this Spring scene,
making my heart burst with Joy
as Easter morn nears.

Author Notes A stacked 5-7-5 Poem

thanks for the use of meadow flowers in Sheffield by Renate-Bertodi on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 21
Resist! Resist!

By JLR

Ukrainian nation
fight with resolve and inspiration!
Reject this Putin's power fixation.

Author Notes The contest to write a poem with exactly twenty-five syllables.

The use of the photo is for this reason: My intention is to put a face on this topic, not statistics. Too often we lose the harsh reality that bombs don't stop at destroying buildings, hospitals, and bridges, they are destroying Ukrainians hopes and dreams.

Ukraine - 40 Million people who want a free and democratic society

3/12/2022 - 2.5 Million grandparents, parents, and children displaced and in harm's way because of a truly evil power-hungry tyrant.


Chapter 22
Losing Patience

By JLR

God sat with his closest companions, Michael and Gabriel watching news clips on the cosmic television with the earth on the cusp of world war.

God says, "Guys, in my omnipresent views on mankind, I see that my omnipotent gift of Free Will has backfired."

Gabriel said, "God, your omniscient ways have lasted for eons."

Michael said, "God, in your wildest dreams, you would never have thought it possible that nation upon nation would repeatedly be in conflict and still this greedy.

Even saying, God, in their benediction every week causes firestorms down there.

God said, "I am giving them two more weeks to end this, or I am sending Noah back down, and they will know I am God!

Author Notes 120 words - six sentences
must use the following words: God 7 x, benediction, countries, dream, mankind, news, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, television, war world.

thanks for the use of The nature by M. MISHRA on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 23
Stems reposed

By JLR

Spring again sprung forth as a tease.
Snow with cold breeze
keep buds heads down
just like a frown.

Repose endows life in full force,
warm sun its source
with warming rays
where the bud lays.

Repeats of nature nurture me
when buds I see
ascend, stand tall
long through late fall.

Author Notes The Minute Poem is rhyming verse form consisting of 12 lines of 60 syllables written in strict iambic meter. The poem is formatted into 3 stanzas of 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4 syllables. The rhyme scheme is as follows: aabb, ccdd, eeff.

A special thanks to Photo by Roman Datsiuk on Unsplash


Chapter 24
Writing - My Legacy

By JLR


















Alas, as I sit this morn with a cup of joe
I long to remember those times I wasn't so slow,
as I pause to reflect upon my life's ebbs and flow,
the ups and downs and the sudden throes of woe.

So, I pick up a journal my quill, and some ink
letting words bubble and stew, when within a blink
a line or two appear on the page quite out of sync,
with a lot of effort, I rewrite to smooth out the kink.

With my page full, I lip-sync my lines of words
and find I have written about some spring birds.
each thought, every line describing the bluebirds,
smiling about the crossed-out line about mouse-turds.

That kink that my peers on Fan Story would surely quiver
written out so the more succinct a poem I could deliver.

Honestly, I write to leave a legacy for my children,
and their children to share and read - Nicht daran,
those throes of woe, but about all the bluebirds
bird songs I shared with them in just a few words.

 

Author Notes Why I write in poetic rhythm

Cup of Joe - Coffee
Nicht daran - not about


Chapter 25
Mind, Body, Spirit

By JLR

As I sit pondering life at near age seventy-two
simple things I treasure like being able to sleep
in periods of hours and not just minute by minute
busy my mind.

Crazy thoughts came quiet as a door mouse
In these quiet hours.


Racing around the track in my midnight
reverie feeling as though caught in a draft pulling
me into a minefield; being chased by those lost minutes
of not being mindful of someone's opinion,
doing things mindlessly and driving through a stop sign,
being smart enough to mind my own business,
or to tell me often to mind the time, get up, and move
and the big one, mind my own business,
and becoming more challenging
to mind my business of navigating my days.

Then a tug of nature wakes me,
while my well-used body rises,
my mind calls attention to my aches and strains
as I think of the times, I did abuse this body
racing toward to the privy, pitter-pattering
not to wake the wife.

Again, reclined, I embrace the tug of heavy eyelids
welcoming the silence of the hour
to replace my busy mind
as I place an invitation to my Higher Power
to put my higher self "my spirit" to work to do good works -
while I release my mind and body to recharge

Author Notes A free verse
Thanks for the use of The Sounds Of Heart Beats by seshadri_sreenivasan on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 26
Yearning for Awe-filled Grace

By JLR

An awe-filled Grace is what I hold my breath to witness day after day.
That moment in time when Grace will fill the skies with quintillions of
shooting stars illuminating the pathway to the very source of our beginning.

Such Grace that my heart will be flooded with unlimited Love that is mine --
just from the effortless act of asking Father, Mother, God to bless me.
So, each and everyday hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second
-- right this moment -- unrestricted, infinite Love is what I have
to give to my family, neighbor, and foe.

That Knowing in an instant that all I know, I see, I hear, I feel, I taste
comes from the very essence of the God source.
The Trinity are connecting everyone and everything
by unbreakable links of pure gold.
Thus, binding us in Oneness with our Creator and with one another.

To miraculously come into the fullness of absolute Peace.
That indescribable garden from which the spring of loves'
pureness pours from The Source of the Great I Am,
where I can undeniably claim, "That we are one another".

That we are all children from our God Source -that we are one.
Brother and sister for eons of time gone and yet to be.

Author Notes The Free Verses Cub Challenge write a Free Verse from the last lines of a book nearest me: which was from
Everyday Grace -- Having hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles by Marinanne Williamson
Published by Riverhead Books 2002


Chapter 27
Staying the Course

By JLR

     Along the many paths I walked in my life,
brisk breezes bellowed forcefully many times.
Constant strain made the steps, at times, come slowly.
Determined but tough to stay the narrow trail,
every effort was employed to persist with great resolve.
                                       *  ---------------- *
Frighteningly, days came when I strode on a darker patch
God, however, knew my purpose and provided calm
hastening in the warm sun and provided lulls in the storms of life,
instead of dread, fear, and strife, I relished Love, Grace, and Peace.
Joyful footsteps fell stride upon stride, taking me to His Promised Land.
                                       *  ---------------  *
Kingmakers, Earls, Knights, and Peasants, have stridden these paths
lugging gold, tilling the land, striking swords, shepherding sheep.
Men and women, children, and elders with shoulders on the boulder
nudging a life onward - striving ever upward to claim their Oneness.
Obedient each one, following the golden rules etched in stone.
 
Pitfalls penetrate such intended goals – with man’s Free Will in tow.
Quicksilver may not be as toxic as man’s tongue, greed, or hate.
Riddled with potholes, man’s trek contains self-created minefields.
Set to maim the soul’s resolve to stay the course - to seek out God.
Tested is humankind by gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, envy, pride, or wrath, 
                                         * ------------------ *
Unwaveringly, I travel onward filled with awe as I journey along
vales, verdant, and wrapped in purple hues of spring flowers flourishing.
Waving and tousled by the gentle wisps of warmed winds,
xeric floral tapestries with traces of yellowish tinting clinging to ornate petals.
Yielding a smile upon my face and unbounded love within my heart

Zealously I plod ahead – with such anticipation re-entering the Garden of Eden.
 

Author Notes Write a poem using the 26 letters of the alphabet chronologically. The first word of each line should start with the letters of the alphabet chronologically.

Five Quintains and a monostich

Definition: xeric -- of an environment or habitat containing little moisture


Chapter 28
A Childs imaginings

By JLR

Splashes splatter,
make for wet socks.
All those puddles
a river formed.


              Gaily sploshing
              a young lad walks
              Fairies' bubbles
              float high, well-formed.

                                  Pitter-patter
                                  where giants walk.
                                  Dragons huddle
                                  sharp-tails deformed.

                                                  Crossed swords clatter,
                                                  a black crow squawks.
                                                  Folk tale grumbles
                                                  told while it stormed.

Author Notes A CUBE16

*Each line has 4 syllables
*Each stanza has 4 lines
*Each CUBE16 has 4 stanzas
*Each stanza rhymes [a-b-c-b]
*CUBE16 can be stacked for longer poems

Thanks for the use of Hidden in the Attic by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 29
Old Has Been

By JLR

Grumpy old men
want to feel young again
*******
To romp in the glen,
and chase chicks around the pen.
*******
Not treated like a has been!

Author Notes 25-word Poem

thanks for the use of Time Stand Still by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 30
Invaluable

By JLR

In the eyes of a child, seeing that sparkle of untainted love,
nesting cardinals nurturing their soon-to-be hatchlings,
visions of the rainbow just after a light spring rain,
absolute feelings of love when your mate says, “I love you.”
limitless knowing that your prayer for a loved one is answered,
unconditional love toward all humankind all children of God,
answering the call to selfless service to neighbors or strangers,
breaking away from mass-mind negativity found in a myriad of sound bites,
learning to just live in the present moment and remembering to just breathe,
each one of these and so much more is more valuable than gold.
 

Author Notes An acrostic poem

thanks for the use of Do you see an Angel ? by avmurray on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 31
Night Walk

By JLR

Night Walk

The broad avenue was awash with soft lights,
As we strolled with Hazard our rescue dog
you talked long and hard about bringing home.

My reluctance,  I remember, was abated by the smiles 
you evoked as he hopped and spun around the
small kennel at the pound tickling your soft heart.

I find a measure of pleasure in your hand wrapped
tightly around my arm, as we pace ever so slowly taking in
the last of summer's warmth rising from the smooth pavers.

The still night does nothing to slow the rush of love
that is tugging itself outward from the depths of my soul,
knowing that tomorrow you undergo the cancer treatment,
while the weeks ahead will require your need to fully rest.

Oh, how I so wanted to capture this moment and bottle it
so that I could provide you with little sips of this font of
loving times we shared walking Hazard.

JLR 3/30/2022

Author Notes Picture this - free verse submission --

A reflection of when my bride told me she had cancer - and the slow and steady climb she made coming back into her fullness of living life to its fullness today five years cancer free. Amen!


Chapter 32
New Moon to Full Moon

By JLR

New Moon to Full Moon

Awake again at two AM. My mind is buzzing.
Like a honeybee attracted to a new queen’s hive.
The sounds of the night were so still 
that I heard the whisper of the wind sigh.
 
Which led me to reminisce about those days
passed when the balladeers stood on stages
above grassy fields.
Belting out songs of truth.
The fields were blanketed not with flowers,
with America’s youth reposed.
 
The legions of legends following the news
reported about the life and strife of the everyday commoner
filled my thoughts with song after song. 
Good times, bad times, just in-between times.
 
My room, lit by the moon, is cast in shadows
as my mind fogs over as I hear from memory,
Leonard Cohen re-awakening me.
Giving me a snapshot in time of the world,
opening my eyes to a universe of possibilities.
 
His words gave a voice to my voiceless self.  
At times, Cohen quotes Yeats while bringing alive
my youthful understanding through the lyrics of the Paradise,
the Belson heap and Savior’s breath that made me feel
as though I was a trusted sojourner of his clan.
 
The second act, as the full moon
could be known to be, brings to mind a contemporary –
a rebel, a devil, a fearless fellow – who told it like it was,
the times are a-changin’ -  
Bob Dylan, a young man from the
land of ten thousand lakes brought music
calling the politicians out like never before.

It was telling it like it was -  ‘twas a dark day in Dallas -November ’63!
and the Beatles were coming a was going'a hold your hand,
while proclaiming Wolfman Jack was back.
 
Like a Rolling stone, headed to Key Largo
my mind continues to wander as I wonder
where are those songwriters and poets
who know it is time to – tell it like it is?
 
Instead, we have talking heads that have a master’s degree
in communication but never have stepped into the ghetto,
rode the subway, been homeless without soles on shoes.
Neither have they worn rags with holes nor foraged a meal
from a dumpster! 
 
What do they know about the vile, deceitful,
the cruel, and the mean? 
Certainly not these Mr. Green Jeans.
 
Give me a balladeer, he or she – that simply doesn’t matter –
but please give me a balladeer
who will sing out their well-chosen words
and give us a new voice that will carry us from
the new moon to full moon, once again.

by JLR 4/5/2022
 

Author Notes A free verse tribute to two of my favorite legends of music and a shout of praise who, at eighty years old still, tells it like it was.

the Paradise, the Belson heap, and Savior's breath - songs from Leonard Cohen Live in Dublin in the summer of 1971

Land of ten thousand Lakes - Minnesota

The times are a-changin' - Bob Dylan's original song by many famous musicians.

'twas a dark day in Dallas -November - 63! - Lyrics from Murder Most Foul

Like a Rolling stone, Key Largo are two of Dylan's more popular songs.

My very special thanks to The Answer in the Wind by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com
who gives her very best through her art!


Chapter 33
Mother Mary's Dream

By JLR

Time abandoned; much free-flowing dancing.
A sliver of the crescent moonlight shimmers.
The old man on the moon, downward glancing,
pours pure nard on one star; your gown glimmers.
Music fills her soul, and the moment is entrancing
as she dances across the cosmos, skitters
beautiful butterflies, floating freely past,
sipping the nectar of God; rebirthed at last.

Timpani's light thrums pace the orchestral
composition backed by a choir of angels.
Hosts of soloists sing words of ancestral
truth as written on stone by archangels.
Flying above, against all odds, a Kestrel
makes the way clear for the coming death angel.
She dances; Mother Mary, consumed with Joy,
sees her son, Jesus whom man could not destroy.

Over two thousand years have come and gone
while Mary twirls, flooded with elation
as mankind, on bended knee at Easter dawn
prays so thankfully for God's creation,
Jesus was born for man's sin to take on.
Such a profound gift, some bow in prostration.
'Tis easy to see the pure celebration
of a mother portraying such elation.

Author Notes Picture this club entry - Compose a poem of any style and length for the picture. Week of 4-13-2022.

Presented in a Ottava Rima. A poem written in 8-line octives. Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in the following rhyme:

three octive poem. abababcc, dededeff, ghghghii

Definitions:
pure nard, very expensive oil poured on Jesus's feet and head.
Kestrel is a small falcon that hovers with rapidly beating wings.

In Celebration of Holy Week and the greatest blessing mankind could ever have imagined --- Simply seek and Ye shall Find!


Chapter 34
Sending a Prayer

By JLR

The gentle breeze glides,
creating a melodic sound.  
Teasing me to take shorter strides.
 
I linger longer, watching the tides.
Hearing calls of seagulls all around.
The gentle breeze glides.
 
Effortlessly the gull over waves rides   
at the seashore where nature abounds.
Teasing me to take shorter strides.
 
 Watching as a clam under sand hides
 while children frolick all around,
 The gentle breeze glides.
 
 When I see a fellow who seemed sobersides,
 he sitting head down in my foreground,
 Teasing me to take shorter strides.

I send a prayer from where Christ resides
for this soul’s sadness to be unbound.
The gentle breeze glides,
teasing me to take shorter strides.
 

Author Notes Villanelle - A Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme: aba aba aba aba aba abaa.

The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).

Definition - Sobersides: A serious and sedate individual

Thanks for the use of Lonely Sea Shore by BHAKTI MUNOT on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 35
Why?

By JLR

Please harken
I implore!
Please, can we war no more?
React with revulsion to tragic scenes
of innocent
lives lost.
Please agree!

Author Notes The Trinet, created by zion, is a form with these specifications: Line 1 - 2 words, Line 2 - 2 words, Line 3 - 6 words, Line 4 - 6 words, Line 5 - 2 words, Line 6 - 2 words and Line 7 - 2 words
Thank you for the use of Why by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 36
Tsking with a frown

By JLR

From the majestic purple mountain peaks
casting long fingerlings of deep shadows,
to rivers downward flow from frothy creeks
forming seven oceans rising how far... Who knows?.

Rains cascade on lush meadowlands, resplendent
with flora and fauna of innumerable species
as Mother Nature watches over ever ascendent,
Tsking with frown cast steadily upon the interspecies.

Clouds forming, more water vapors ascending
above rushing, gushing, heaving, crashing runoff,
created by the ravaging of fertile forests, rending
the protective gown of Nature that men cast off.

Author Notes Form: abab/cdcd/efef
Note:
Environmental issues in Haiti include a historical deforestation problem, overpopulation, a lack of sanitation, natural disasters, and food insecurity. The major reasons for these environmental issues are corruption, foreign intervention by the U.S and human exploitation, and the embezzlement of taxpayers' funds for personal gains. In addition, there is not sufficient protection or management of the country's natural resources. Other environmental issues, such as decreases in precipitation and more severe natural disasters, will likely arise in Haiti due to climate change. Experts agree that Haiti needs to adopt new policies to address both the issues that already exist and to prepare for the effects of climate change -- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

thanks for the use of: Colours of Mother Nature by seshadri_sreenivasan on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 37
A Known Truth

By JLR

Hear!
Know these words.
The Great I Am comes.
Sing, His return is certain.
All shall know and will see this.
Words have been written.
Sages spoke!
Pray!

Author Notes A Joseph Star Poem -


Chapter 38
Life's Lessons Learned

By JLR

Life's Lessons Learned

The licking of gentle waves caresses the shoreline
illuminated by the moonbeams dancing atop the
body of water held in Homestead Lake.

Pa's rugged hand rests gently on my back as he
watches intently at my fishing line, stirring in
the ebb and flow of the whisper of wind that
creates a slight cooling of the evening air.

Pa gave many a life lessons between the shrilling
of nightingales echoing in the nearby trees, and the
croak and ribbits of frogs hidden among the tall
reeds, just offshore ... 
Always say, "Please and Thank you" .... 
Never tell tales out of school...
A bad workman blames his tools ...
The bird in the hand is worth two in the bush ...
A friend in need is a friend indeed ...


Lessons that Pa's Pa passed down
when he also clutched the same pole in his hands
under that full moon,
many moons ago.

Author Notes Picture this Club entry


Chapter 39
Please see us!

By JLR

Extremely alone are souls that walk along life's path unseen.
Sadly, they are there; children, teens, men, and women, all unclean.
No abundance of hot water, shelter, soled shoes, and cooked meals,
simple pleasures; so often wasted when they lose their appeal.
A hellish existence that society labels half-wits,
or misfits, derelicts, addicts, drunks, or homeless who have quit.
All those that allow this stench of failure under their armpit --
Jesus sees these lost souls; surely, saddened to look at this scene.
You made to believe czars, Congressperson, driving fancy wheels,
Take heed. Judgment day awaits one and all; for its holy writ.

Author Notes The CinqTroisDecaLa Rhyme, a form created by Laura Lamarca, consists of one 10-lined stanza.
The rhyme scheme for this form is AABBCCCABC, and the syllable count of each line is 15.

According to the most recent national point-in-time estimate, there are an estimated 553,742 people in the United States experiencing homelessness on a given night, according to the most recent national point-in-time estimate (January 2017). This represents approximately 17 people experiencing homelessness per every 10,000 people in the general population.

The State of Homelessness inAmericahttps://endhomelessness.org Homelessness

Thanks for the use of: poverty by supergold on FanArtReview.com



Chapter 40
Another Summer Day

By JLR

The horizon above and beyond the expanse of ocean,
as far as the eye can see, is aglow with the
first rays of sunshine.

The early risers, the crabbers and
fresh salt air grabbers are slowly increasing
in numbers as the sun does its daily climb
upward, casting soft pinks and muted reds
overhead.

A coltish, athletic blond, kicking up clumps of sand,
along with a youthful yellow lab are bonding;
as she tosses a frisbee sailing unfettered
by the gentle breeze rustling
the tips of seagrass on nearby dunes.

As I observe the expansion of the early sun's luminescence
transitioning the rocking waves into sparkling diamonds
teasing the sparkle of the eye into a radiance felt
deep within my heart, I thank the man above
for one more bright sunshiny summer day.

Author Notes A Free Verser Club poem

Thanks for the use of Warm Summer Day by Monica Morrell on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 41
The Haymarket Riot

By JLR

All workers in near lands and afar
let us not forget that ugly day in
Chicagoland, the struggles so bizarre
when the Haymarket riot had been.

That May Day clash between the workers,
the police and strikebreakers awoke.
Nary one of the workers was a shirker.
Whilst upon the podium, the strikebreakers spoke.

The Haymarket Affair created panic and hysteria,
which increased anti-labor and foreign-born
hate all around, a plight worse than malaria.
While the employers groused and became more forlorn.

Author Notes Poem format: abab/ cdcd/ efef

Historical note: The Haymarket Affair, also known as the Haymarket Riot, was a violent confrontation between police and labor protesters in Chicago on May 4, 1886, that became a symbol of the international struggle for workers' rights. It has been associated with May Day (May 1) since that day was designated as International Workers Day by the Second International in 1889.


Chapter 42
Cocoa Puffs

By JLR

Nineteen fifty-six was a year of radical change
for a six-year-old Irish lad,
who was clad head to toe in wool,
that was dyed and spun last season, with loving care.

Wool just like that which had been sheared
from sheep, he shepherded just days ago,
with his now departed Da.

Dozens of freckles dotted every bit of his face,
glowing pink from the reflection of his red hair
sitting in his grandfathers home in America.

Seanathair said " Call me Granda,"
and so this lads life in America began.

His very first breakfast in this strange new house,
which smelled of sweet, buttered spice
from the tobacco of Granda's pipe,
was not the traditional fare ma cooked;
bacon, sausages, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms,
grilled tomatoes and some cooked leftover potatoes
made into a hash or a bubble and squeak,
with toast, butter, marmalade, and lots of tea to drink.

No, sir, it was something altogether uniquely American!

Granda put out two white porcelain bowls,
two spoons, and two cups of frothy chilled milk
from his icebox.

He set all this at the four-cornered wooden table
and a box that read Cocoa Puffs - taking the box
and pouring a healthy serving of a dark brownish balls into each bowl,
then pouring milk topping off the bowl.

To the grandsons utter amazement, a sweet, crunchy,
puffed cereal, infused with Hersey's cocoa
soaked in cold frothy milk transformed before his very own eyes,
into chocolate milk remaining in the bowl as he ate the little puffs.

When both the bowls were reduced to just the chocolate milk
Granda gave the boy a wink and nod and said, "Do this,"
as he proceeded to pick up the bowl and slurp the chocolate
milk from the bowl, and the lad followed his directions.

While the lad sat there thinking, Wow!
Chocolate for breakfast;
I am going to like it here just fine.

Author Notes A free verse contest entry.

Seanathair: old father
bubble and squeak: beef cooked with cabbage


Chapter 43
Weigh Anchor

By JLR

The clapper clanged the bright sound of three bells during the
morning watch as the first mate yelled, "Weigh Anchor."
Every seaman, after a fortnight in port, was eager to see the sun rising
and waves cresting against the bow, causing the salty mist to spray up.

The captain rubbed his aging St. Brendan medal,
captain easing the deep drafted schooner past the narrow
breakwaters into the open waters.
A medallion that his misses had hung around his neck many
moons ago, always praying, time and again, for safe passage.

The eight-man crew had stowed and had choc-a-blocked
the two hundred tons of cargo, and it was time for the fore and aft
canvas to be hoisted on this Brigantine, the Sea Angel, rightly named.

This crew had enjoyed fair winds and following seas over many a voyage.
The wise captain had never been caught in open waters that would
put his ship or crew in the hands of the devil
nor risk sinking to the bottom of the deep blue sea.

Across the port side, the barrelman saw the beacon shine its light
bouncing off the waves as he located a school of dolphins coursing
alongside a league or so before they disappeared from view.
The ship's company picked up the steady rhythm of the vessel
slicing through the waves all squared away, fully underway.

Author Notes Picture this club entry. A free verse poem

choc - a -block: wooden wedges used to secure cargo
St. Brendan: Brendan is the patron saint of boatmen, mariners, sailors, travelers and whales.
Brigantine: A two-masted schooner
Barrelman: watchman in the crow's nest above the ship
Beacon: lighthouse


Chapter 44
Animals at play

By JLR

Babs, the bunny, thought it was very funny
that Betty bear was sticky from eating honey,
so she offered Betty a warm towel to clean her tummy.

Stevie, the squirrel, gave eating honey a try,
but a crack in his tooth caused him to sigh
Stevie decided nuts were better, way up high.

Toto the tortoise, towed Toby the snail
up over the tree stump to the sandhill.
There, trying to hide, they saw Quentin the Quail.

Bobby, the bobcat, chased his sister, Bonnie
who was swiping her paw at their brother, Johnny,
who was much younger but quite brawny.

Author Notes A children's poem set in mono rhyming tercets.

thanks for the use of Too Priceless to Loose by avmurray on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 45
Only time will tell!

By JLR

Time and again, I become lost in a
roiling ocean of worries that I keep heaving
over in my mind ...
Is there a pattern I can decern?
********************
Dates lost, places I have been but not remembered
race across the vast shadows of thought like
tumbleweeds pushed by the winds of life's turbulent times.

Is there a pattern, and should there be a concern?
*******************
When, where, what, and why?
A rhythmic mantra is spoken in silence,
as days come and go
then nights turn into days --
as my mind suddenly becomes engaged
I feel my body begin to slump - asking, why?

Is there a pattern that causes my heart to yearn?
*****************
Sunrises, sunsets, bird songs, creeks babbling,
the gentle summer breeze causing a slight shimmering
of the leaves' iridescence created by a full moon glow ...
These are more precious than words spoken! 

Is there a pattern or a message I must learn?

Perhaps, the messenger carrying the guideword - worthiness.
Will he foretell that what lies strewn across a lifetime should not be
held as fatiloquent unforgiven deeds but tests of faith?

Is there a pattern my heart can discern?

Or, instead, is it the mystery of what lies ahead
that causes the convulsions of apprehension
to consume my peacefulness --
rattling my spirit at its very core?
Before I reach the point of no return,

Is there a pattern, an about-turn, a good turn?

Only time will tell ....

only time will tell ...
only time will tell ..
only time will tell!

Author Notes Just free verse thoughts about my ageless wondering ... Why am I here?

As always, my thanks for the use of Time Stand Still by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com

Definitions:
Decern: Decide; determine; decree.
Discern: perceive or recognize (something).
Fatiloquent: Prophetic; speaking of fate


Chapter 46
Flash of Lightning

By JLR

The Flash of Lightning

The hawk hunkers down deeper
sheltering her fledglings from
the blast of wind.
Slashing rains pummel
against her feathers.

~ As rainbow arches across the morning sky

She slumps, lost in a reverie
seeking refuge from life's torments
hard times, sad times,
bending but not yielding to feelings
of hopelessness as her sun always rises.


Author Notes The Puente, a poem for created by James Rasmusson, and is somewhat similar to the Diamante. Like the Diamante, you start with one aspect of a topic or issue and then, line by line, work toward another aspect. In the center is a line that bridges the two aspects together.

Structure ~
3 stanzas with the 1st and 3rd having an equal number of lines and the middle stanza having only one line which acts as a bridge (puente) between the 1st and 3rd stanza.

The 1st and 3rd stanzas convey a related, but different element or feeling, as though they were two adjacent territories.
The number of lines in the 1st and 3rd stanza is the writer's choice as is the choice of whether to write it in free verse or rhyme.

The center line is delineated by a tilde (~) and has 'double duty'. It functions as the ending for the last line of the first stanza AND as the beginning for the first line of the third stanza. It shares ownership with these two lines and consequently bridges the first and third stanzas.

Thanks for the use of Sunset, Fleeing the Storm by MoonWillow on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 47
My Precious Soulmate

By JLR

You knew not that I gaze upon you,
as you lay prone during a night of dreamy sleep.
Watching your nostrils expand and contract
with each slow, quiet breath bringing a smile
to my face and joy-filled thoughts into my heart.

I know my face flushes because my love words are so intensive!
To say them aloud, for them to be heard, I become so pensive.
I fear that to shout my adoration might seem incomprehensive,
leaving you feeling I am being way too suspensive.


Thirty-eight years have come and gone since the Fall Day
when I asked, "Would you consider marrying me?"
Your smiling reply, "Yes, I would consider marrying you."
Only to realize, in my introverted way, I fell short when
my intended ask should have been, "Will you marry me?"
To which I needed to restate and deliver with this direct specificity!

In today's circles, I want the world to know you are my soulmate,
but I fear this sounds so humdrum and seals my fate
by sounding so languid or bathetic - that it is on thin ice I skate.
So very intimate are feelings of love swelling my breastplate.


Over our years, both of us chasing careers,
and busily raising the boy and the girls,
we grew a closer bond and rode
together life's ups and downs.
I admire your subtle power that often
carried us both through thick and thin
and back again.

So, I whisper into the night as you rest,
"Soulmate, my priceless treasure, I am blessed
to have you lay your head upon my chest
Your presence fills my love nest with zest!"

Author Notes Write a love poem. Your love poem can be fictional or non-fictional.
Presented in mixed free verse and monorhyme quatrains

languid: lacking spirit or liveliness
bathetic: effusively or insincerely emotional


Chapter 48
Symphony of raindrops

By JLR

Pitter-pattering rain creates rhythm,
the ponds collect tones drip by drip
thrumming timbre in union
cause shifting octaves to
vibrate the taut strings
quivering with
perfect pitch
Do, Re
Mi.

Author Notes A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc... until line nine finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject and rhyming is optional.

Thank you for the use of: After the Rain by eileen0204 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 49
Charon Comes Late

By JLR

Charon, descend, I plead. Perverse is this
insane distress that so depletes this life.
Is there no end until you bring her bliss.
Must I implore you to conclude her strife?

Lost are the days her laugh or songs were heard.
Removed is the pizzaz that spun men's heads.
She sees not the brunette curls amiss, furred,
nor the unpressed chiffon peignoir's frayed threads,

that show long years of joy worn of old age
Is there one word that strikes the lock ajar?
I would be glad to give my life upstage.
What must one do? I hate the fraud you are.

Godless, the torment that you tie her to.
Oh, you unjust trustee of the pit czar,
This wait is not embraced. I so hate you
for the depraved, obscene excuse you are!

The sun just rose! At last, escape attained,
her soul released! Now with her God who reigns.

Author Notes This is presented as A Herioc Sonnet
containing the following format:
abab cdcd efef ghgh ii
With rhythm: xX xX xX xX xX
Line/Poem Length: 18

where in the end she doesn't wait for Charon to carry her across the river styx. Even though her lover pleads for Charon, She goes straight to the savior!



The meaning of CHARON is a son of Erebus, who in Greek mythology ferries the souls of the dead over the Styx.

Furred: covered with a dense coat of fine silky hairs
As always, thank for the use of: Andromeda by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 50
Redux - My Favorite Things

By JLR

Sunshine on flowers and dew on the grass
New tennis shoes and fishing for a bass
A jumbo stuffed panda fit for a queen
These are a few of my favorite things.

Brand new penny loafers and corned beef hash
Peeling oranges and paying with cash
The bald eagle with wind under her wings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Ocean waves rolling, songbirds flittering
Real Christmas trees, white lights glittering.
A young child's smile and a soak in hot springs
These are a few of my favorite things.

When I'm too tired
When my ears ring
When my world spins
It's nice to think of my favorite things
then things don't get under my skin.

Author Notes My Favorite Things
POETRY CONTEST
Write a poem about your favorite things in the cadence of "My Favorite Things" sung my Julie Andrews

thanks for the use of Mister, take me back to China by supergold on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 51
Do you see what I see?

By JLR

Pray tell, have you ever held corn seeds
In the hollow of your palms?
Do you see dull yellow, hard to the touch,
kernels that look like all the life has
been sucked out with a wet vacuum?

Or ... Do you see shimmering snow melting,
Up high in the mountains, turning from
trickles to flowing volumes of water
Gathering into a unified downward
gushing water forming creeks and streams
becoming rivers that gracefully empty into the oceans?

Then looking closer, can you see the ever-rising
sun on the eastern horizon gathering strength
to warm the ocean waves turning into transparent
vapors only to form billowing, fluffy as a pillow
clouds?

Can you see, then, with your minds-eye
the rolling of clouds, darkening over the
landscape as the precious water vapor
forms into larger droplets falling
with a rhythmic pitter-patter onto the
field, where these now planted kernels
magically drink nature's life-giving elixir?

Would you be amazed watching day after day
these kernels push mighty strong stocks from
under the tilled soil into the warm sun-drenched
blue skies, where tassels and florets form ears of
sweet juicy corn, cocooned in vibrant green husks?

I hope you see what I see too,
then perhaps, we might understand
our need to protect Mother Earth.

Author Notes A free verse poem -

Far too often throughout my life - I never took the time to see the majesty right before my eyes. Take something simple like a seed (kernel) of corn and look at what it takes to turn that kernel into a crop that feeds nations. God stuff ... for certain!


Chapter 52
The Cost of Battle

By JLR

Prancing abreast all in a row
Five on steeds with caissons in tow
Proud cavaliers ride straight and tall
Brigade in strength some big some small
So proud, well-read
Some young, some old
Well-bred, well-fed
No fear, each bold!
Adorned with class, berets of gold
Elite recruits to war were led

Each clash hard-fought; triumphs come slow
Encamped, worn out from blow-by-blow
Pain was real after each brawl
Platoons down sized; untold would fall
Wounded, or dead
Forlorn, tired, cold
Numbed by bloodshed
Their tears controlled
Shoulder upon shoulder, they hold
Chargers, fighters; heroes were bred

Remorse forgot,
the brave are not!

Author Notes Potlatch Poetry Challenge: A decatain is a stanza of ten lines. This format has two, thus the "duo" designation.
Created by our good friend and fellow FanStorian, Treischel
RULES
:
1. The meter is either iambic or trochaic, or a mixture of both.
2. There are two 10 line stanzas followed by a rhyming couplet.
3. The lines are a mix of tetrameter and dimeter with the following syllable counts:
8888444488 8888444488 44
4. The rhyme scheme in EACH decatain is:
aabbcdcddc (but the rhymes can vary between the stanzas).
5. The couplet rhyme is ee.

I used a mostly iambic with a couple of trohiac stanzas

Definitions: Cassion - (historical) a chest or wagon for holding or conveying ammunition
Prise - (verb) regard highly; think much of

Thanks for the use of; Do not cry by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 53
Metamorphose

By JLR

Six feet do carry
this body morphing until
my two wings unfold

Author Notes or this contest you are challenged to write a Haiku poem.

Haiku doesn't rhyme. A Haiku must "paint" a mental image in the reader's mind. This is the challenge of Haiku - to put the poem's meaning and imagery in the reader's mind normally with only 17 syllables over just three lines of poetry.


Chapter 54
Recess

By JLR

Big clouds amass above the peaks
amid the trees, the air is cool.
Class days are winding down this week
watch them cavort around the school.

Clouds creep, hiding the sun's hot rays
amid the trees the air is cool.
Recess goes long this last full day,
watch them cavort around the school.

Nine boys at play, the girls away
amid the trees the air is cool.
It is bo-peep the girls all play
Watch them cavort around the school.

Fields are awash with wildflowers
amid the trees the air is cool.
Play winds down while counting the hours,
watch them cavort around the school.

Author Notes A Picture this club entry in a Double Refrain Kyrielle
* stanzaic, any number of quatrains is written at the discretion of the poet.
* syllabic, each line is 8 syllables.
In English, it is often written in iambic tetrameter.
* written with 2 refrains.
* rhymed, aB1aB2 cB1cB2 dB1dB2 etc., B1 and B2 are rhymed refrains.

For the more youthful reader; bo-peep is a game for very young children, in which one hides (esp hiding one's face in one's hands) and reappears suddenly.


Chapter 55
My Body, My friend

By JLR

Oh my most dependable abused friend
worn, torn, spent, bent.
At times when it mattered most, you did mend
your youth well-spent.
Nearly breaking you in the stunts employed
never once did you resist or avoid.
Chill, nap, rest, heal
I'll do cartwheels
with you on the other side, Lloyd.

Author Notes Potlatch Poetry Club entry

Ronsardian OdeL The Ronsardian ode (named after Pierre de Ronsard 1524-1585) is the only kind of ode that specifies a particular rhyming scheme.
RHYME SCHEME/SYLLABLE COUNT
ababccddc, with syllable counts of 10, 4, 10, 4, 10, 10, 4, 4, 8.

Thanks for the use of Vision Of Childhood-2 by seshadri_sreenivasan on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 56
Ones' Concept of dreams

By JLR

Our souls travel while lying deep asleep.
Visions flow limitlessly as the soul seeks.
Busy minds are stilled; there is not one peep
while slumbering bodies and minds don't speak.
Souls searching not for illusions buried deep
while streams flow, wolves dance, and the water pipe leaks.
Visions spin from scene to scene while we dream.
On rare treks, a symbol may incite a scream.

What is a dream? One could say, rightfully,
are visions created for our higher souls
or of God or His worker's insightfully
to heal us in ways our conscious doesn't know.
Thus we might want to journal spritefully,
capturing these nuances to help us grow.
It matters much to import these visions
to aid in making good daily decisions.

Author Notes The contest to write a poem about How Do Dreams Come to Be?
This is a Ottava Rima is a poem written in 8-line octives. Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in the following rhyme:

one octive poem. abababcc
two octave poem, dededeff

Thank you for the use of The Firebird by cleo85 on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 57
Racing the clock

By JLR

The race of life around the clock
indeed, zap the reserved.
Afar we stray.
Some say foul play
indeed, zap the reserved.

We face absurd demands, unnerved
by the race when at play.
Avoid unknowns,
avoid unknowns!
Break hard, prevent delay.

Pace the rat race; awake indeed,
it's time! Shake your old bones
at morn o'clock
around the block.
It's time! Shake your old bones.

Along the way, tone down the moans.
Breathe deep, become the air
your life preserved
the life preferred.
Breathe deep, become the air!

Author Notes The Roundabout
*a four stanza poem, with each stanza consisting of 5 lines.

*is written in iambic and the lines have 4 feet, 3 feet, 2 feet, 2 feet and 3 feet respectively.

*rhyme scheme is abccb/bcddc/cdaad/dabba.

thanks for the use of : The Nightmare Before Christmas by Raoul D'Harmental on FanArtReview.com


Chapter 58
Unexpected Invitation

By JLR

The congregation on kneelers was in prayer
When through the door came an Elder in a golden smock
Who strode to the pulpit as people did stare
The pastor said, "you are not from our flock."

A beaming light surrounded this curious soul.
Tall, broad of shoulder, limping as he walked,
when he asked the pastor could he speak of his goal?
The pastor stated, "of course, speak to my flock."

After a moment of contemplative prayer
toward the faithful, who stared in shock,
he raised his arms then spoke one word, "Prepare."
To which the worshippers expected to feel a foreshock!

This saintly fellow said, " The way has been prepared.
the doorway is opened wide, your trek is on solid bedrock.
I declare that all lives are spared, and all sins are squared."
Everyone followed Him out the door like sheep in a flock

Author Notes The Canzonetta or Canzonet is:
at least 2 octaves, made up of 2 quatrains of alternating rhyme.
written with no fixed meter or line length.
composed with a refrain, repeated in L8 of each octave

This offering is a Canzonetta Prime when the rhyme scheme is ababcbcB dbdbebeB. In this rhyme scheme there is often a repeated rhyme word to strengthen the repetition, but it is not required.


Chapter 59
God's Grace

By JLR

Gracious atonement is always right there
Offering anyone the Peace of the Master.
Dripping with His Precious love to square
Sins, that are wrought, even whoremasters.
 
Greed, sloth, envy, avarice, and lies, are no match,
Redemption is sealed by the Spirit, the Christ!
All who call upon the Lord -with great dispatch,
Cry out with thunderous Joy – His life sacrificed
Ending all of man's sins that simply are outmatched.

 

Author Notes Rhyming Acrostic Contest // POETRY CONTEST
Please write a rhyming acrostic poem.


Chapter 60
Letter to God

By JLR

Dear God,

I am completely confused with the day-to-day happenings in my world and with people at large. I feel just a tad bit foolish to point out the heartbreaking activities of my fellow earth-bound journeyers that you know all too well are taking place that are rocking me to my core.

But God as my witness, I feel compelled to engage you with this letter outlining my various concerns. Great anticipation is driving my desire that you would return a reply out of your benevolent love for me as I claim that I am a child of God who is desperate for your intervention.

Please forgive me if I seem too casual in my addressing you in the form of this letter. My faith cup is running half full as I fear my prayers are simply not reaching you or even, in the worst case, I am not hearing your whispering in my ear while I sleep.

So, God, for me, it seems that the seven deadly sins, or what You may call the cardinal sins spoken of, are being largely ignored. Father, although these sins, while not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, they are parallels with the seven things You said to hate in the Book of Proverbs.

What do you have to say about this? Should little old me be concerned and pray about these? Should I just bury my head, pretending not to care?

Every day our earthly news is rife with stories about pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth.

News is full of stories of pridefulness. Actors, professional athletes, and scores of just average Joes have excessively high opinions of themselves.

Greed runs rampant on Wall Street, in banking, and across the vast expanse of corporations and the body politic.

Wrathfulness is in a hyper-state with a segment of people full of fear. Some people seem to present intense anger at anything or anyone who may not agree 100% with their wants, needs, creeds, or missions.

The envious souls we read about rant and rave, often with acts of violence toward the innocent and the aged. This toxic combination of anxiety-based insecurity, anger, and an obsession with comparing oneself to others seems to command the most news-consuming hours steering the most attention to what quite negative behavior this represents.

Alarming is the lustful behavior that seems to be happening in excess that spills into too many homes. It is not only the carnal garbage heap of pornographic material that must be blocked on every computer. But those trying to succeed excessively are more negatively impactful to everyone's household. I am writing about that drive turned into an intense longing, a craving, a lust to succeed at all costs, including sacrificing family, health, and spiritual practices.

While masses of homeless sleep on cardboard mattresses and dumpster dive for their next meal, worldwide, there are those so rich, so disconnected from the needs of others. At the same time, they consume in excess in eating or drinking and act impulsively as essentially greedy fools feeding every indulgence.

Then in closing, God, I am in utter shock about Americans who seem to have given in to the system that the Federal government will take care of their every need. I feel a growing pathos has darkened the shining light on the hill with an increasing populace's reluctance to work or try to contribute. Something my Pa called laziness.

Okay, there you have it! Will I put this letter in a stamped envelope and send it off to you? Well, God, I would need you to tell me where.

I certainly hope you can find the time to drop me a line or two to set my mind at ease. Just a simple " I got this" would settle my feelings of uncertainty and alarm.

Faithfully yours, I am ...

Author Notes Letter to God contest entry


Chapter 61
Another Appalachian Day

By JLR

Breathing cacophony, thunder resounds
around the hills and sweeps down the holler.
Dark clouds roiling and boiling like a pot
of grits about to spill over onto the stovetop,
flash brightly as yet another, then another
bolt of lightning lights the mid-evening sky,
the forest being assaulted flash-bang, flash bang.

The early morning dawn eases over the ridge
while shadows in the holler pull back
exposing the whirls and swirls of mist
that begins skipping, hopping, like a dance hall
full of ghosts doing a jig in triple rhythm, rising
to kiss the tops of chestnut oaks dripping with dew.

Beams of golden rays of sun bridge the gap
between blue sky and green forest floor.
While the sodden glen turns into
A kaleidoscope  of vibrant colors as
Granny's bonnets, Squirrel corn,
Blue cohosh rise and stand tall among
Squatroot and Dutchman's Breeches
while doe and fawn feed drunkenly on
all this succulent plant life.

What a contrast from the grimness
of a passing storm last night to the
springing forth of sunniness and warmth
of yet, another Appalachian day.

Author Notes A Free Form Poem about nature.

Notes: Grits are porridge made from boiled cornmeal. Hominy grits are a type of grits made from hominy.

Appalachian Mountain flora: Granny's bonnets, Squirrel corn, Blue cohosh, Squatroot and Dutchman's Breeches


Chapter 62
Summer sizzle

By JLR

Road trip
from mounts to shore
where the temperature,
In the shade, was one hundred four!
What for?

Author Notes cinquain. poem


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