March, March, Left and Right

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Mar. 25/17

a

A marching band, that
Is where I spent the happy
Hours of growing up.
Finding the after beats,
Honking on a horn of silver.
Marching in Minnesota,
California, Oregon,
Las Vegas, all over Alaska,
Maryland and Pennsylvania.
I loved to march
Watching those with battered
Lips, lick them in quick
attacks by the tongue
Which would really rest
On a concert stage with Carol Channing.
Loved the changes in season
And when we marched in the
Chinese New Year's parade
In San Francisco, and the
Tuba players had firecrackers
Tossed in the bell to
Drive the evil spirits
Of military service out.
We marched at openings,
Closings, and when we 
stood still, the world cheered.
I loved to march wearing
Orange and black,
Green over green,
Left foot, right foot,
Straw foot, hay foot,
Angles and diagonals
Squares of precision.
I always thought that
The band would hold together 
Over time. But they marched
Away, each to their own pace.
I'm a victim of moonlit hair
That pretends to color,
Looking at the stars 
In a cold March night,
And dreaming of the cadence
Of drums, beating and beating
And bb ee aa t i n g g g g
As they march out of sight and sound
Disappearing into time.
I dream of marching into the stars
Lit for all times 
If you would just look up.
Can you hear the tune?
The brass, woodwinds,
And the percussive beat
Of living a life.
Percussion leading me
In living every day
With the guidance of
The drum major pounding
In my ears. Boom bah boom
Bah, Boom. Then we rest.

Meaningless (a dailypost word prompt)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/meaningless/

Meaningless, all those hours you spent,
Raising your voices, lifting your glasses
To Cheer. It was meaningless, harboring that hatred,
For a man's skin color and shouting
The South shall rise again, everywhere, 
For their health is endangered while
Their mouths run, compassion wins.
Meaningless challenges the courts
Rule: that the poor can be healthy,
Rule: that insurance is a right
If you pay for it, and you will pay
For it, because we aren't grown up,
Not enough that it matters,
To hand our gratuitous illusionary cash
Over to social programs. To a single system.
Meaningless, the lack of tact
To hammer over and over what the masses
Refuse to understand, that they are part,
The most important part, for they work at the 
Bottom of a triangle and seek to pull themselves 
From poverty. So they shouted, hated, hurt
Made bleed when all they had to do was share.
Meaningless, the first one hundred days,
While apes jump up and down as the President
Learns to color and write his name.
Meaningless his statement of KING.
I acknowledge no king, emperor, ruler,
Whose hearing aid and heart are missing.
Meaningless, caught in a box crayons
Without benefit of a piece of paper
That says "In pursuit of happiness."
Scoffing, I bow to mediocrity, pretend 
I can understand...But I don't.
It's all meaningless.

Luck

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/luck/

Luck has waxen wings;
Flying through rays of glorious yellow
With a tail of radiant red.
Glaring and daring the sun
To deny it a future.

Luck has paper wings,
Sodden and ground-bound, stricken,
Laden with gravity, a leaden power,
Which pulls it kite-like
Through puddles of tears, betrayed.

Luck has feather wings,
Ignoring words of failure, mockery.
Moving in between tears.
Dropping lightly, butterfly like,
Starlike, super star, nova.

Luck has eternal wings,
Laughing at the crowds who flock
Like joyous crows before a feast,
Who beg her for a morsel. Teasing,
Recreating herself endlessly.

Luck has lunar moth  wings,
Dominating the nighttime, peeking
Into dreams bereft of reality.
Children's dreams, hopes, parent's prayers,
Planning a voyage into time.

Luck has nimble wings,
Speeding past the impossible,
Ringing the tones of celebration,
Paying out at pinball machines,
With paper strips and silver coins.

Luck has steam powered wings.
No misfortune, nor even tasks 
To pull one through for she is not idle
Hands search, alone in the dark. For her wings
Are gossamer ideals put to work.

copywrite 2017 Ann WJ White
All rights reserved

Arid: Reflections on a Morning

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/arid/

Morning comes with stale coffee lingering in the air.

Dogs in and out, and in, then out. Two words erupt.

Then fall to pieces as likely to grow as limestone.

The cord is missing, my laptop still and thoughtless.

Bright sun burns my eyes, warms my hair,

Overheats the brain straining to find a foothold

In actions positive and bright. But the morning hour,

With its teasing laughter, places me in an arid state.

Atmosphere, dry as my mouth,  nothing  grows today.

Pages to remain blank. Inkless as the well in which

I dip my pen while seeking some other way,

I wish to be in the barren deserts of sand in

Timbuktu, where treasures lie beneath,

Hidden for centuries. Their gift? Knowledge

For the eyes of Africa, hidden from the French,

Manuscripts of jeweled splendor, golden highlights,

Speaking of mysteries solved long ago.

Surrounding a barren land with science, government, humanity.

Like cacti, needling those who would steal their worth.

These documents from the twelfth century, thirteenth,

Fourteenth, Fifteenth. Poetry of the stars to linger.

I would linger in the libraries and ponder how, in an arid desert,

The jewels of creativity could bloom and grow.

I would dally at the question posed of a green world.

How could I, in the setting of new leaves and buds,

Think myself without the soil of imagination?

Such a silly thought that morning is more dry, than the

Deserts of Mali or the great Sahara. Perhaps tea

to motivate and enervate? Or a simple peeled orange?

 

Please?

I write the words that do not rhyme.
Poetry it's called. It called me.
Do my words scatter in the wind?

The breeze that takes the poems
Blows through Spring, Summer and Fall.
Am I part of a rainbow of particles?

When you read me, the real me, do you
scoff or do you ask for more?
Is it the bare soul that offends?

I travel leagues as a digital dot
On a web of transparent knowledge
Looking to see if I can become a snowflake.

I travel to far away lands, to the seas.
Each stop I leave part of myself
And take part of you away to show.

No, not the lover, but the friends 
That are with me for a breath
Before the wind scatters us again.

I write the words that do not rhyme.
I am a poet, seemingly out of time.
From the safety of my sofa, I watch.

The world frightens me these days.
Words are harsh once again.
Dreams are dismissed as lies.

But I will continue to look for 
Those who hold the end of the rainbow.
Have you seen me passing with the wind?

Catch me and hold me. Hold me close.
Take the hole in my heart and fill it
With a sense of purpose. Please?
Am I alone? Do you see the star I came from?

Translate; in memory of Bill Manville (W.H. Manville) who died Valentine’s 2017

Translate my pain into inspiration.
A grief that turns my heart to sterling,
A metal that will not leave me stranded,
A mourning that imbeds a jasper arrowhead.
He has gone, looping his words between
His memory and mine. Remaining.
Older brother of soul, teacher of order,
He had taken Valentines, paper cutouts,
Red hearts and Pink silliness,
Dark visions combating the light.
Wrapped them in cushions of unsweetened
Advice, given freely, powerful in their
Scent of citrus, their odor of sage.
Wholesome and forgiving. He listened.
Silence now that his breathing
Has erred on the side of quiet.
His heart filled with the love
A teacher has for student.
Transient as they grow, but his eternal.
I must write to find my heart again
Where I laid it out for him.
How many, many types of love there are.
So many ways taking the crystal bonds,
Which when broken remain
In our memory of precious laughter,
Honest criticism, layers upon layers of
Rebuilding. He gave these seeds to us
To plant in our inner gardens, to bloom.
Watered by tears of grief, blinked,
They will grow. Tiny green hopes, words,
Writer to writer. Clearing weeds
Nourishing plots of future dreams.
I hear his voice in the wind
Teasing me, scolding me, holding me close.
Calling me to finish what I had begun,
To love those he loved, to work, to stand
On two feet knowing he believed in us.
We must carry his gift to us,
The world’s visions, the expected literacy.
Must share our voices, must care, we must,
Even when the caring scares and scars us.
His footprints stay with us, his books,
His stories, his belief that the world
Must read, write, share and pass
The compassion of an old friend to a new.
We carry him now, heart to heart.
We will honor him by our words, soon.
But written as the storms come,
Rain beating the earth in a primal flood
As he flows away from us, following the flood
Of our sorrow. The transportation of our hearts,
Flooded and sitting now filled with salty tears.
Our memories are precious, sketch in words,
Written as the tears streak, but forming
Wary wry smiles, smiles that will not betray.
Oh the memory of those smiles, he loved us.
I will carry him with me in my pocket of life.
Filled with random pebbles, coins, a leaf,
An acorn or two, a magic ring, a fallen star.
This hole of sorrow, this well of loss,
Fill it with swords, shields, puppies
Pictures, mystery, letters, trials,
Hopes and dreams. Do not forget…
You see, I loved him.
I loved him as brother, father, friend,
Mentor, teacher, and confidant.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/translate/

Bill Manville, of Sacramento, California died on Valentine’s Day 2017. He was a published author, a teacher, a traveler, radio host, copywriter, U.S. Army Veteran and dearly loved by Beverly. He ran a class on the internet called Writing to be Published. He was a well loved member of AA.

Volunteering at his local library, he ran a class on writing that was open to the public. He understood the need, the urge, to write and that writers need support at all levels of their ability. Being a gruff, loving, inspiring man, he passed the gift of what he had learned to others with an open heart. Whether the class succeeded of not, he urged them on. Revising, placing students in groups to evaluate each other, support each other, he gave us a rare gift of insight into ourselves.

He worked tirelessly in the pursuit of helping others escape the madness of addiction, remaining anonymous except for his first name. If a song represented his attitude towards others it might have been this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjhCEhWiKXk also know as Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are” He accepted people as they are. Truly a testament for human to be remembered as, Bill was “amazing” just the way he was. Of course you would have to change to words from girl to guy. Volunteering as a rehab clinic volunteer, he understood that by helping others he would help himself remain successful as a long-term sober recovering addict.

Celebrated as a Book of the Month author, he also worked as an editor for Cosmo, contributed columns to the Village Voice, Key West Solares Hill, The New York Daily Times and the Huffington Post. Magazine articles appear in The Fix, Cavalier Magazine, the Saturday Evening Post. He published his books through MacMillan Publishers, Duel, Sloan and Pearce, Simon and Schuster,  NAL, Delacorte, Dell/Random House, BSForge Press and Tor Publishing. His works include: Cool Hip and Sober, Goodbye, Saloon Society, The Man who Left his Wife and Had a Nifty Time, Writing to Be Published, and Breaking up. He was a contributor to the fourth edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (commonly called The Big Book at meetings.)

Bill also hosted a radio show, Addictions and Answers on KVML in Sonoma CA, which delved into real stories of the struggles faced by others dealing with alcohol addiction. With over forty years of research into the material he had available to him, he was able to paint a realistic picture of the process of becoming sober, something that was both a personal and social matter of importance. He believed in the process of sobering up as a lifelong purpose. One of the transcripts of a show he hosted with Dr. Dave More is available through the NYDailyNews.com, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/parents-cope-moms-dads-turn-kids-ambien-adderall-day-article-1.1092155.

He attended the University of Pennsylvania, but graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. His next stop was the University of the Mediterranean, Nice where he explored life in all of its fullness and color. As his works were being published, he was encouraged to begin teaching. So he did. He was a member of LinkedIn where he looked for aspiring authors to take his online course.

No one can summarize the character, love, production and history on a single page and with such short notice. I have done the best I can. So a final toast: To all who aspire to sobriety or writing, we have loved him, learned from him, and will never regret that opportunity he shared with us.

 

Resist

https://allaboutwritingandmore.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/resist/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/resist/

I'm too old to sit in the corner,
Too old to twist and turn 
To find my heart and mind
Torn asunder over the
Future of the past, the once and future,
Over hatred and bigotry.

I'm too young to concede 
The world won't change
Its clothes for the better.
Won't go to a Humanity-R-Us
Establishment for a refit.
Overthrow the twenties and big brother's uniform.

Can't see the colors for the 
black and white, like TV when 
It started, with removable tubes 
You could change out tubes, glowing bright, at
The drugstore, right past the cashier
While Dubois sits writing in the corner still.

Your still produces the elixir 
Of rebellion, energizing,
Thought provoking, intoxicating,
At a forgotten power of protest,
Of knowing right from wrong
As you swing your placard proudly.

School taught me to be nice.
A fatal character flaw, unreasonable,
Being nice, compassionate, sweet, helpful,
All words that buzz and bee. Liberal.
I'm too young to join AARP
Too old to swing from a Constitutional noose.

My email sings the need for money,
Donations, signatures, and one,
Oh, blessed one, that asks for a tip.
A tip for taking my money
Because I must be old enough
To be rich, to have, to hold, to keep.

I'm too old to sit silent, Chevy waiting,
To drive with fist shaking, gun toting
Road rage. Oh yes, I'll yield, sometimes,
But not about my politics. Compromise, act.
My caution light gleams yellow,
But the red light fails. I run as I take action.

I'm too young to hand over hope, tethered to
My heart, forever to a cause. So many,
Change causes change. I change. Voices cluster.
Liberal changes are on sale, bargain prices,
On cheap fabric imported that
Feeds a family overseas, but saying, "Buy American."

Too old to wear a flag upon my two piece,
My jeans, jacket, elbow patches.
Burn my flag, I'll cheer your voice,
Serve my flag, I did that. Embroider my flag on a globe,
Don't use my flag to beat and bludgeon
Those in need. I'll use it for your shroud.

We came, my ancestors came, arrived
Found a place, to grow, manipulate
Become human, chase their tails with 
Their tales of how we became great.
It was 1624. We started it. The movement. Blame us.
We advocated freedom, compassion, hope, education.

Don't tell me I'm too old, too young,
To tell you to resist the crazy. Crazy
Worse than the flu, poverty, student loans,
Worse than children dying, drowning, starving.
I'll resist your overly patriarchal ambiguities,
Attempts to cow and control. My body, my life

Too Old, Too Young, not to care
To not open my heart to others, to welcome.
To litigate with my head. Policy maker.
Too proud of being a resistance.
For when they first banned intelligence,
They hurt us all. Stole from us.
.
Grow old, grow energized,
Hit with words, but true ones,
Turn your television to truth.
Read a book, French philosophy,
Grow young, stand and turn to the light,
Like a sunflower, follow the judicial glow.

I'm too old to find my seat
On the bus, train, plane, without
First asking to pre-board.
I'm too young to have my dreams dashed
As they play pingpong with my future.
Let me land, resist, fight. Let me...

A Late Love Story

Wrong time, wrong man,
Spite, trial by fire,
Death by booze,
Small little hands held
Me back from suicide.
Small head, large needs,
Hungry, thirsty,
They consumed me
From his indifference.

If I couldn’t be his wife,
I would be perfect.
I would be mother
Of his children.
Wrong time, right man,
Not who I would choose,
With his loud words.
With his lack of tact.
Meaning nothing to me.
I have boxed my heart.
But sometimes, …

Bad diagnosis, lost heart,
Right time, right man,
I spiraled down
Wings flaming,
Phoenix consumed.
He holds a fire extinguisher.
He stays.
Has my story just begun
my sweet romance…

Ann WJ White @All rights reserved, January 2017

Two Cat Night

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/blog-party-and-a-charade/

A poem in celebration of Koolkosherkitchen’s monumental achievement in having 500 followers.

Two cats sat near my window sill,
Looking like statues of cute.
Long furred one, the other short,
Motionless sit watching me as
A reflection in the window passes,
I’m valued now by and for
Tortoise shell markings,
One striped orange mascara,
Green eyes watching closely,
One gold speck of mischief
Waiting for that sound,
That glorious sound, of a can
With a lid, a spoon and a dish.
Treasures of furry happiness.

Life’s Texture

https://narami.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/tuesdays-of-texture-week-52-of-2016/

Touch life, in a Chilean desert,
Where the sand is fine, rusty,
Pink with a sash of burgundy.

Feel life in a frozen apex above
An island of Canary, mountain high
As the ice covers and caresses.

Stroke the electric vibrations that
Emanate in mirrors, hiding the
Motion of nightlife, stirring it forward.

Pluck the purple passion found in
Tender petals. Surrounding you
Covering you with soft touches of pleasure.

Caress the swollen clouds that dangle
Teasingly just beyond reach. In the heavens,
Promising the cool breezes to passersby.

Manipulate the boulders, stacked by size
Treating the balance of gravity as
If the history of the world is on your back.

Trail your hands around the Austrian pattern
Swirling in a monastery as though
It was a moving footprint of a snail’s shell.

Splash against a sandy beach, scrubbing
The ocean’s waves. Feel the surging
Power that pulls away from your hands.

Touch a savage pattern, alkaline and dry,
Feel the salary of traditions old
A page of understanding that caresses as we learn.

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