Collaboration: Day 61

Only the Essentials

Bandaids for my skin that’s thin;
I always seem to need it.
After the demise,
a water filter is wise.
And don’t forget that feral cat.

Keep a rocket in your pocket to blast
the apocalyptic zombies away.
For my hideaway,
a case of Chardonnay.
And don’t forget that feral cat.

Cinnamon Crunch cereal that
goes snap, crackle and pop!
Power up with my handy
dandy portable generator.
And don’t forget that feral cat.

Orange flavored Gatorade
is so refreshing!
Case of bottled IPA beer.
A bottle of Rum, Keeps things fun. Cheers!
And don’t forget that feral cat.

I always pack my favorite jam
to spread where needed.
Without a dragon? Oh my!
It cooks, heats and flies.
And don’t forget that feral cat.

Not one for practicality,
a record player and lots
of post punk vinyl.
A journal and a pen, or ten.
And don’t forget that feral cat.

Original prompt: What should go in our emergency kit?

Juanita E. Mantz Pelaez, Cindi Neisinger, Dar Stone, Charlotte Ransom McKenzie, Rose Y. Monge, Sherre Vernon, Nan Friedley, Rob McMurray, Thomas Vaden, Natalie Champion, Gudelia Vaden, Frances T. Borella, Debby Johnson, Jessica Lea

Collaboration: Day 60

Each Stone with a Story of Its Own

A dirty job indeed, but someone has to monetize it.
Beautiful day, as the birds still sing and people rejoice.
Capable people are most likely to succeed. Mundane
Days turn to evening revelry. Deep mauves adorn the May sky.
Every poetic word awaits the morning verse.
Fanciful desserts tantalize and invite my desires.
Grapes weigh heavy and stain my lips.
Heavy hearts search for signs.
Indigo blues in shade and rhythm.
Jamming morning glories.
Kinky stockings are my desire.
Lonely meadows calling for their matching souls.
Mourning news obituary, Penney’s quit retail sales today.
Newborn cries to be heard.
Ocean waves highlighted by wondrous sunsets.
Perfumed petunias painting the horizon pink.
Quiet mornings kissed with sunshine and gentle breezes.
Red is not the only color. Rusty birds
Squawk and rile me. Serenity is a state of mind.
They declare their love boldly— blue flag irises offer sepals to the bees.
Under cloudless skies, hope remains.
Vivid sunrises hark the new day.
Walls crumbled, each stone with a story of its own.
Xylophonic rhapsody tingles tin tones of xenial fashion.
Your every word is like music to my ears.
Zestful notes in the chickadee’s song.

Original prompt: Write one line of poetry beginning with a letter from the alphabet. Consult other lines to see which letters are missing. Goal: Write an abecedarian.

Cindy Bousquet Harris, Gudelia Vaden, Debby Johnson, Ai Minamoto Kelly, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Rob McMurray, Thomas Vaden, Nan Friedley, Debby Johnson, Lynn Doiron, Dar Stone, Kamelyta Noor, Juanita E. Mant Pelaez, Frances J. Vasquez, Natalie Champion, Frances T. Borella, Ruth Bavetta

Collaboration: Day 59

Your Secret Superpower Is

Frenchness, mood swings,
and detachable arms.
Superhuman hearing, but only
when I’m trying to sleep.

The ability to look
on the bright side—
and, if I don’t see it,
I can shine a light.

To see, feel, touch and understand
the souls of all living things
I am the soul listener,
the encouragement whisperer

Wonder girl, costume and cape included,
my power is the ability to dance on command
I can twirl like a Dervish until the world wakes up
and there is love and peace around the world.

Sunrise brightened my bedroom
and the Doves chirped anew
I joined my feathered friends
in rhythmic avian song.

In the blink of an eye, I was outside,
Then another blink, I was back in.
I am surrounded by a clear light that repels sharp edges
and absorbs the scent of eucalyptus trees.

The Patient and I sit face to face and six feet apart.
I breathe into my heart and connect up with his heart.
His Aura is bright as he begins to stand upright.
The long battle is won.
The “Healing” has begun.

I wave my magic Harry Potter wand,
poof the coronavirus disappears.
Earth and Humanity breathe

I got out my crystal ball and predicted
the future: they’ve found a pill.
Tastes like strawberries, for Coronavirus.
Been keeping my psychic powers a secret

I can get something done by just planning to do it!
I don’t like to brag but I bend time;
things due today — presto— due
next week or never….

Tell me a lie and I will know
Like Pinocchio, your nose will grow.
No need to cry if you comply
Truth spoken; spell broken

My mouth opens and money comes out.
All for a hug, how much do you want?
…and then, to everyone’s astonishment,
I don’t say what it is I really want to say

Original prompt: You wake up to find you have a superpower. What is it?

John DiFusco, Frances J. Vasquez, Juanita E. Mantz Pelaez, Debby Johnson, Cindy Bousquet Harris, Magdalena Nunez, Natalie Champion, Barbara Berg, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Stephanie Barbé Hammer, Gudelia Vaden, Douglas McCulloh, Shali Nicholas, Dar Stone, Rose Y. Monge, Ruth Bavetta, Cindi Neisinger

Collaboration: Day 58

Message from Future You

Honey, you survived the Pandemic.
Though your life changed, aware
Of every little germ and cough.
Never the same!

Don’t worry, your favorite
Little dudes will again play
Hockey at Ice Town
As you celebrate each goal
Maskless, wearing Woolie gloves.

You survived the pandemic.
I’m glad that you are back
In preschool; the little
Ones missed you.

Survival mattered; collateral
Damage unforeseen. Physical
Separation, psychological
Isolation and sensory
Deprivation endures-
“Same as it ever was.”
Pray for the future generation.

My body, the reflection of time.
Of time standing on Earth.
Of steps taken.
Of races run.
Of battles won.
My body.
My Earth vehicle.
Still standing on Earth..

It wasn’t the end
Just the beginning
Of a better Earth

One of the pandemic’s victims:
Big oil. You will be happy
To hear that skies are blue and clear.

If you travel far enough into
The future, you’ll find we’ve
Conquered disease and death.
You’ll love it when you get here.

When you stand on the edge of time
Having earned every wrinkle and line
You’ll accomplish what you set out to do
You were loyal, brave and true

You can’t imagine how you landed
Here among the light and dark
But I know you will come to find
The way, the light, the meaning.

Dear Me, everything you want
To be or can be is within
You and your grasp

You’re enough.

Original prompt: A letter sent to you now from yourself twenty years from now.

Kris Lovekin Debby Johnson Gudelia Vaden Rose Y. Monge Cati Porter John DiFusco Juanita E. Mantz Pelaez, Rob McMurray Dar Stone Kamelyta Noor Natalie Champion Nan Friedley

Collaboration: Day 57

Aliens to the… Rescue?

Into the vast infinity
I am thrust alone, wandering
hearing only my inconsolable
cry, “take me home”

I enter the snowy kingdom
of Narnia and a deranged alien abducts me
and takes me to the White Witch’s castle.
My knees are shaking and I start to faint…

Shaking like a scared cat at being abducted
by little green men with helmets.
They take me to another planet unknown to me.
Then I wake up from my slumber!

Shaking, I jump up in bed,
awakening from my dream
Up I go, taken
by a beam with a scream

But wait! it wasn’t a dream?
“One, two, three,” pushed me into a black hole,
“To a better universe,” they claimed.
“Finally!” I exclaimed.

Pitched into darkness, rescued
by shimmering light expanding into
an iridescent explosion of glorious colors
as I’m tethered safely in place.

Sweet rescue from pandemic
worries. Isolation broken! Adventure!
New friends! No thought
of ever coming back!

Yesssss! Finally! I get to ride a space ship.
New experience. Fascinating journey.
Abducted? No no no.
It’s a fresh new beginning. For freeeeee!

Lifted up in a golden blanket
of stardust I wave goodbye to Gaia,
“Spread your love as I have
shown you,” she whispers.

At first, I’m scared, then relieved
to be off this damn planet. After interrogating me
about life on Earth, they take pity on us
because we’ve mucked things up

enough and life is too inhospitable
for their species to even conquer.
Mine is an easy captivity, but
satisfactions here all feel somehow brittle.

Rescued from contagion— a welcome blessing.
Mind and body decompressing.
What becomes of me, I won’t fret —
Just give me access to the Internet.

My aliens are smaller than me, but
with 6 ft long arms. One puts a protective
shield over my face and wraps me
in a blanket with special powers.

The blanket transforms into a C to hug me
every hour. I tell them I am grateful,
but could I please go home to
a better Earth once this is all over?

Wearing hazmat suits, all I could see
were their beady green eyes.
They seemed to distance
themselves from me after

checking my temperature and sticking
a swab up my nose. I was then transported
to a world of breathing machines
and IV lines for further study.

Original prompt: Today, you have awakened to find that you have been abducted by aliens. How do you feel about this? Where do they take you? Do you ever make it home?

Nan Friedley, Rose Y. Monge, Raine Lefaivre-Naggi, Barbara Berg, Debby Johnson, Rob McMurray, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Gudelia Vaden, Julianna M. Cruz, Kamelyta Noor, Natalie Champion, Joseph Milazzo, Dar Stone, Juanita Mantz

Collaboration: Day 56

Behind the jar of marmalade,

A trove of pixies and fairies
nestled in the shade
calling, “Climb in and play.”

My arms full of fairy dust, I open
the closet door to see a new world of fairies.
They are iridescently beautiful
and spread peace, love and happiness.

I’m traveling with Princess Tabitha
to a sunny, flowery kingdom where fairies
and Glinda the Good Witch lives
Maybe I’ll meet the Wizard of Oz
and he’ll grant my three wishes…

Bagging Goodwill donations, magically
all the skinny clothes in the back
of my closet now fit perfectly.

My closet, full of decades of clothes
I no longer wear, takes me to those night clubs
where I danced away time.

I enter a world of rock gods that have passed
Cobain and Bowie play next to Johnny Cash.
When Prince joins in, I swoon,
Fainting in my Nirvana-type Narnia.

My arms full of towels, I open the linen closet
door, only to find I am standing on a cliff!

I open my clothes closet and instead I see
a bird suit with wings especially for me.
I insert my arms, step out into the sky,
and you know what comes next, I start to fly.

I open the small unmarked box hidden
in the bedroom closet. A tattered leather leash?
Yes, and his favorite doggie toy! I close my eyes
and I’m transported to the Rainbow Bridge
where Five-0 waits patiently, tail
a-wagging and ears flopping in the wind.

Crouched down, peering into the dark.
No pots and pans. My hand rests on cool
crystals of sand. Thunderous crash of waves
send saltwater spray against my cheeks.

I opened Mother’s hope chest, a time capsule
of her youth, and found love letters
from my father, a testament of love.

Checked the dried flowers hanging in the dark
hall closet and was lured into a florid chasm
to the queendom of symbiotic plant harmony.

At the back of the front hall closet,
I step into an alternative universe where
we honor nature and respect science.

I opened the secret door, unseen
and hidden for years, a whoosh of musty air
blew my hair out of my face. When
the dusty cloud cleared, I peered in
on a perfectly groomed garden—clearly not
my ramble of over growth— perfectly
manicured— but by whom? Then I hear
the scratch of a metal rack across
tiny trail pebbles. My eyes caught only
movement and the color red— could it
have been a little cap atop a garden gnome?

I will never know. I closed the door
and went out to water my thirsty tomatoes.

Original prompt: You are in your house and go to the closet and open the door but instead of towels or potato chips or clothes, you see another world. Where and when do you go? Who or what do you meet there?

Juanita E. Mantz Pelaez, Julianna M. Cruz, Cindi Neisinger, Rose Y. Monge, Barbara Berg, Debby Johnson, Natalie Champion, Gudelia Vaden, Nan Friedley, Kris Lovekin, Frances T. Borella, Frances J. Vasquez, Ginger Galloway, Cati Porter

Collaboration: Day 55

Just Another Monday in Quarantine

Wake up! It’s time to get up and go to work
in my pajamas, while the coffee perks.

Up with the sun, exercise at heart.
This is how I determine the day will start.

I hear things are starting to open
Is there a job for me? Sure am hoping!

God knows how sexy I feel
When I wear a glorious green high heel!

Monday in quarantine is like a bad stew
Except when I am awoken by a sweet mew.

Milo Morris says mew mew:
Feed me chicken stew!

My dog with black patches I named Pow Pow.
No wonder his former owner named him Cow Cow!

I brought home a dog I named Zancudo
Long-legged like a grasshopper and ate Menudo.

My morning is busy, I do lots of chores,
Laundry, dishes, and sweeping the floor.

Gentle breezes and delicate chirping.
Somewhere in the garden a cricket is lurking.

Feet in the ground, I reach, trying to bud.
My roots inhale deeply, looking for mud.

Have I listened to all the sun has said
or busied myself inside baking bread?

Eavesdropping on birds singing a duet,
Worried they may stop if too close I get.

A pig, a pond, a perfect storm pervades.
A gathering, a smattering of ants invade.

Nights and days are becoming blurry.
Unable to hug a loved one is a worry.

Monday’s children blessed with faces sweet and fair
must hold hearts imbued with love, empathy and care.

The next generation:
Tape on floor marks our separation.

Wear it, don’t wear it, only you can decide.
Mask or not, let your conscience be your guide.

Bombay Club sings “I got my second wind”.
Hoping you get yours as you elect to stay in.

Original prompt: Write a rhyming couplet, i.e. two lines of poetry about ten syllables each that have a words on the end that sound the same.

Cati Porter, Ginger Galloway, Frances J. Vasquez, Debby Johnson, Sharon Sekhon, Stephanie Barbé Hammer, Frances T. Borella, Nan Friedley, Rose Y. Monge, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Thomas Vaden, Gudelia Vaden, Dar Stone, Barbara Berg, Lynn Doiron, Mark Givens, Kamelyta Noor, John DiFusco, Natalie Champion

Collaboration: Day 54

A Bouquet of Mothers

First, a vase, tall and lean, thick and wide,
bodaciously curvaceous, glass, ceramic, brass.
Babies breath a delicate flower, an accent
to her beauty. Named for the joy of her heart,
like sweet kisses on her breast. Forget-me-nots,
cornflowers, and blue irises. Dried roses
from your funeral and memories of laughter.
Yellow roses and lavender hydrangeas.
You knew all their names and wondered why
I couldn’t get past lavender and lilac.
Violet geraniums in a bed of pink primroses –
mom’s pandemic garden! My dearest mother,
gone three decades, you loved rust
chrysanthemums, so I always get them for you.
How the big pink peonies grew for you!
Under the cypress trees. And how the big black ants
loved them too. We shook them upside down
each time you cut a stem. Clouds of rosey blooms
in vases all throughout the house April, May and June!
Daisies as fresh and pure as a baby’s first delicious howl of life.
Daisies, sunflowers or marigolds? It didn’t matter,
you loved the amber hues. You named me Rosa—
the only flower in your family bouquet. How cool is that?
Lilies and roses to Mamá who loved me first, and to Tías
who nurtured me along the way: Te amo siempre.
Roses red, violets blue, I am who I am because of you.
Roses are pink, geraniums are red, and the birds have been fed.
Whether the one or ones you mothered are furry or human,
biologically related or not, here’s a lavender rose plant,
my favorite, to scent your daily path in tribute to you.

Original prompt: Write about flowers to create a bouquet for Mother’s Day

Frances J. Vasquez, Liz Gonzalez, Sharon Sekhon, Cati Porter, Raine Lefaivre-Naggi, Gregory Anderson, Mary Torregrossa, Ginger Galloway, Rose Y. Monge, Frances T. Borella, Debby Johnson, Thomas Vaden, Natalie Champion, Rob McMurray, Gudelia Vaden

Collaboration: Day 53

When You Come to Your Senses

Dented and scratched, dedicated life-line.
Cold, reserved mostly but fills my tummy!
Small and addictive, constantly calling me over.
Smells like hell. Tastes like heaven. Prickly love.
Sleek White Metal Horse rides high in the saddle.
Tasty, tender tri-colored tidbits tantalize my tongue.
Sipping cool cinnamon lemon infusion so refreshing.
Circles of magenta, yellow, pink; fragrant love given.
Musty, stained from use; flammable, if given an excuse.
Sweating from those emerald bits that singe my tongue.
Lavender scented in steam with lemon wedges, sssssss!
Bright as summer, a ball of fragrant sun kissed sweetness.
Tough fluff stuff faster than a speeding bullet sweet images.
Happy daze in a shiny blue and white can, low carb to boot.
Pea-sized Crest on gnarly bristles, scrubbing my minty molars.
Tattered but hanging together still, good for another sleep at least.
A pair of mirrors that let me look out, but don’t allow anyone to look in.
You can see reflection through it. It tells what you look like from inside.
Chuffs and puffs, whistles and bells, squeaks and squeals, creosote smells.
Sticky sweetness fills my lungs as I sit, on the verge of sneezing, in deep shade.
Lovely brown seed of the gods – valuable like gold – satiates, intoxicates my senses.

Original prompt: Write about something by describing it using your senses, without naming what it is.

Rakhi Shelat, Julianna M. Cruz, Frances J. Vasquez, Frances T. Borella, Debby Johnson , Nan Friedley, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Thomas Vaden, Elizabeth Aamot, Rob McMurray , Rose Y. Monge, Raine Lefaivre-Naggi, John DiFusco, Cati Porter, Kamelyta Noor , Natalie Champion, Gudelia Vaden, Juanita E. Mantz Pelaez, Ginger Galloway, Janine Pourroy Gamblin, Kris Lovekin

Collaboration: Day 52

Beginnings & Endings

When you and I were Gaia
our love began, and our love
expands eternal—MyOTHER.

My mom is a Prothonotary Warbler
in a nest of soft mosses and leaves,
an Osprey always in deep defense,
and a Least Tern giving me shadow
in the sun or cooling me
with a sponge bath from the ocean.

Mom, you are my best friend
You are so kind and beautiful
You inspire me! I love that
at my age you still call me kid.

My mom is a fighter, a dreamer,
a reader and a dancer. Just like me.
I’m proud of Mom and her keen
sense of humor, as she reaches 100
in January: Keep on going strong!

Mom is the keeper of family recipes
stored loosely in a worn red and white
Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

s l o w l y aging, I feel you slipping
away. But, when you smile at me
MaMa, I feel like your child again.
Sturdy, practical, careful and devoted
to us always. I hate the thought of losing you.

First Mother’s Day without you;
no lunch at our favorite place,
no cake—everything tastes
of salt and umami anyway.

You have no idea how much
I miss you cussing us out.

Madre mia, you live through
your Dichos, capirotada,
and Cumbia memories.

I look at our children. Still
in awe. The dream came true.
Pieces of me out in the world,
tethered by love, make my heart complete
Becoming a mother I learned why
a craft of popsicle sticks, glue and tempera paint
is a more valuable gift than diamonds.

Devout atheist, with the best skin—
your granddaughter continues
your brilliant refusal of all easy answers.

What a blessing to be a part of five
generations of strong and nurturing
women. Stay tuned for more!

Mom, I love you so much that words
cannot describe. When I am in the cocina,
you guide me from heaven to add
a pinch of this and that and reminding
me to go easy on the red pepper.

Although we are now apart, there is
so much, so much in this world,
I am glad, you cannot know or feel.

Mama, you are the first reason
I love strays and abandoned critters.
I know you deep in my bones,
but you’re still a stranger to me
Even in my darkest night,
you are my guiding light.
Mom, you can still remember
so much with your heart, I will keep
holding your heart with all my might.

Original prompt: Write a line of poetry in honor of Mother’s Day.

Ai Miyamoto Kelley, Stephanie Barbe Hammer, Tom Vaden, Barbara Berg, Natalie Champion, Dar Stone, Julianna Cruz, Robin Longfield, Juanita Mantz, Gudelia Vaden, Cindi Neisinger, Cindy Bousquet Harris, Nan Friedley, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Rose Y. Monge, Kris Lovekin, Debby Johnson, Faith Dincolo, Raine Levaivre-Naggi, Frances T. Borella, Ginger Galloway, Kamelyta Noor, Frances J. Vasquez