Poem – In My Body

Prompt from Poets and Storytellers United.

My pelvis wide as ocean,

with bladder flowing along, of course.

Ovaries shrunken down

after forty years of storms.

Those tiny things starved of estrogen,

clung on like barnacles,

month after month screaming like seagulls.

Legs are whales,

belly a rolling wave.

Breasts whole islands

that the sea is reclaiming.

Tectonic plates moving south.

Shoulders hang around like anglerfish,

huge, waiting to snap

should I so much as sleep crooked.

Brain a whole coral reef of life

with sharks moving through.

Why the oceanic theme?

This morning, my body is a grey bay

of barely moving water,

sandbagged,

as slow as an outgoing tide.

Poem – Halfway

Behind me, the road

of chocolate.

Ahead of me, the road

of carrot sticks and celery.

Me, here at the weigh station.

*****

This small poem came from a prompt from Poets and Storytellers United, to use the concept or words ‘way station’ in a piece of writing.

I am not dieting, but probably should cut back on the chocolate. Toddler mind screams: I’ve got to have SOMETHING!

Poem – She Travels For Work

She travels for work, my daughter.

I had the email the other day:

‘on my way home, Mum.

Set up my room.’

Which means ‘clear away your paints,

Mother.

I do not acknowledge that you call it

the spare room.

I do not acknowledge that you have grown,

or changed at all’.

Six months at home, six months away.

She heads south,

tends her kingdom there.

She doesn’t say much.

Doesn’t want to bother me,

she says.

As if I can’t see the worry lines,

how pale she becomes.

I suppose all women are queens in their own domain,

but revert to child again

in the family home.

She has a man there,

I know,

but I know nothing about him either.

Well, apart from the usual:

steady job, older than her,

has a dog apparently.

He can’t have kids.

There goes my fancies

of being a grandmother.

If he mourns her when she’s away,

she’s never said.

Towards the end of her six months here,

there’s a letter or two.

Fancy black and silver stationery.

She says to get over it,

not be sad when she’s gone.

I was crazy at first,

withdrew entirely from the world,

wept.

I’m fine now.

Sometimes, I dread her coming home.

Sure, things are more lively,

but who’s to say I want that

at my age?

She says I never want anything to change.

I smile to myself.

Oh Persephone, if only you knew

how much I love my spare room,

my new hobbies,

my life without you.

I see the daffodils are you.

You’ll be home soon,

and I must pack up my paints.

I was working on a nice winter scene, too.

Oh well.

It will keep for six months.

*****

Thankyou to Setjataset for the ‘prompt’. She has just posted her own Persephone poem, and it got me thinking about how the daffodils and jonquils are starting to push up out of the earth, we are past the Winter Solstice, and thus, Persephone is coming back from her six months in Hades, with Hades.

Demeter often gets a bad rap in the Persephone story, being the wildly possessive and over-protective mother. I, too, have an adult daughter who I have launched into the world. She now lives interstate with her husband and three children. It got me thinking about how women change once their children are grown, and how hard it can be for those adult children to accept that the mum they left at home is not the woman who welcomes them; who now has a separate life.

Covers

Whenever the band warmed up,

they played covers of other artists’ songs.

Imagine a folk band,

lead singer barefoot, with almost-obligatory long

Joni Mitchell hair,

pounding their way through Nine Inch Nails.

Afterwards, blinking in astonishment

at their own ferocity,

they asked the sound engineer:

“How was that?”

No one had the heart to say

‘so much better than anything else you play’.

The band readied their Peter, Paul and Mary playlist,

never knowing they were really

someones else.

*****

This poem came from a prompt on the Poets and Storytellers United website, where the writer talked about singers and bands covering songs. I’m a bit of a fan of covers. The prompt reminded me of the time I was in the room where a folk band was warming up.

Poem: Hestia

Today’s inspiration: Bloodline by C. Dale Young | Poetry Foundation

To be beloved of Hestia.

We don’t talk, we quiet ones

who tend hearth, home, stoves and ovens.

About our days early, and well past dark.

Our every moment a devotion to Her.

Every cook, chef, floor sweeper, fire kindler –

all of us worshipping She Who Is The Heart(h)

of the Home.

If only Eris had sent that apple rolling a little to the left,

Hestia would have picked it up,

smirked at the inscription:

To The Most Beautiful,

and baked that troublesome fruit into a pie.

A dessert worthy of Hera, Athena, Aphrodite,

and none of them pestering some shepherd boy.

I pour tea, place a scone on a plate,

heap up the good apricot jam,

the cream thick as ichor.

Hail Hestia, this one’s for You.

Poem – Mrs Mavis Wanczyk

Mrs Mars Wanczyk wants to send me money.

She has a large donation

from an anonymous benefactor,

and she wants this done quickly,

as she is retiring from the legal business.

Oh, what will you do, Mrs Mavis Wanczyk,

when you retire?

You’ve been busy handling all the cases left

on your shining desk,

and perhaps I’m the last one.

Mrs Mavis, will you take up fishing?

What will you do, Mrs Mavis,

when there’s just you in your house,

rattling around with money

and my bank account details?

Do the Swiss Alps call, with bank accounts in snow drifts?

What about a Carribean pirate destination?

Mrs Mavis, are you prepared

for long hours of Netflix and no chill?

Mrs Mavis, what will you do

for those thirty years until you die?

Is email enough, Mrs Mavis?

Is it?

Poem – Underworld

The past three months, I’ve forgotten to write and enter the Furious Fiction contest. Once again, the deadline slipped past, because of the torrent of emails that come in. I spent a productive 4am wake up stupid o’clock unsubscribing from many many things. Now it’s a case of working my way through the backlog of stuff and once again trying to ‘zero my inbox’.

Anyway, here’s the Furious Fiction prompt that I’m going to attempt to poem.

“The story must take place as some type of contest. It must include a character who forgets something. The story must include the words PRESS, FLING, and GROUND.”

What’s stuck in my mind is the most recent episode of my favourite WebToon: Lore Olympus. So, some idle ‘watching the work guys put up my new side fence’ time, and then into a new a poem.

*****

The world above presses down.

I’ve been flung from above,

so I’m told.

I’m under ground, under world,

so under the weather that I’m dead.

I don’t remember.

Something or someone golden has left me here,

by the bank of an ice river.

A ferry comes silent,

hooded figure.

I have a coin in my hand.

There are others around me.

We all press forward

while wishing to press back.

I force my way through the insubstantial pack.

We drift and glide through each other,

light and dark as shade.

Our last striving moments, I feel.

Did I spend time up there,

wherever that is,

wanting, doing?

It’s all gone.

I am on the ferry,

but I don’t remember how.

I would be afraid,

if I knew how to do that.

I once did.

Maybe.

Am I dead?

I don’t remember.

Hekate

As I begin my journey into KEEPING HER KEYS by Cyndi Brannen, I meet a Goddess who I have been afraid to work with. The reputation of Hekate precedes her, although, when I think of Her call to me, it came even before the call of Diana. I became obsessed with the children’s book JENNIFER, HECATE, MACBETH AND ME. The name Hekate called to me, and it was Her name that let me know that the book would be witchly, and thus, of interest to me. I can scarcely remember the book now. I should reread it. I think I read it around the same time as I read GRINNY, and the covers and plots have become entwined.

Hail Hekate, keeper of the keys.

Hail Hekate, ancient and enduring.

Hail Hekate, You of the triple, or more, facese.

Hail Hekate, I come before you,

a humble witch,

ready to bare myself to you,

and be lead into the light,

through the Gates,

into the universe.

Hail Hekate, my small voice calls to you,

as You have called to me.

Many years, but now I am ready.

Let me be brushed by Your Divine self.

Hail Hekate, Queen of Witches,

Hail Hekate, enduring One.

Hail Hekate, Divine Goddess.

Poem – Suffering

Inspiration: About Suffering by Elisa Gabbert | Poetry Foundation

In the lens of the whole world,

I have not suffered,

because I’ve never picked diamonds out of mines

as a five year old,

not waited on an island for two years

for entry into Australia,

not fled a war.

Yet, on the canvas of my one life,

I can map the valleys and dirt roads

where I broke down,

wheels shattered to nothing,

axles broken,

and I could have said: ‘I suffer.’

Even the Queen of Sheba,

reclining on a bed strewn with furs,

must have wished herself dead,

rather than listen to Solomon whine

about what she didn’t gift him.

Part and parcel of life

is suffering.

That’s what the poets tell me anyway.