Ode to A Mask – Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – March 4, 2016

Ode to a Mask

Hidden in a plaster mask
For all the world to see,
Covered in bright feathers
A cockatoo waddles past.

Fancy dress at carnival,
Walking down the grand canal and
Yet another peacock cries
Dressed in orange and fur.

“What know you of her past?”
I asked my tourist guide ..
“A princess or a pauper?
“Who knows!” his shrugged reply.

For now we’re in September
Long past is Mardi Gras
No longer is it fun
To see her masked facade.

Hidden in a plaster mask
Dressed in feathers and silk
Once she was a beauty queen,
Now she’s just a ghost.

© G.s.k. ‘16

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Photo Challenge and B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond (ODE)

Circe the Witch Goddess – We Wordle with Red Wolf Poems

wordle19Circe the Witch Goddess

Grandmother sat by the warm fire
To begin the evening’s story
The children lay about the floor
She began to tell of Circe.

“Hear now children of wanton men,
Who sailed with brave bold Odysseus,
In a boat through the waterways
Of the Mediterranean …
Past siren’s hallucinations,
(Whom Odysseus escaped with wax and ropes)
Met they Cyclops and Calypso
Fought the sea that tempests did roil …
Then one day met a goddess witch.

They came upon the sparkling seas
Upon the island of Circe.
They docked their boat in her harbour,
Then walked inside her murky wood.
Not far from the witch goddess’ home,
Lions roamed there but did not kill,
Docile vision: otter with bears …
Foregrounding them to think of peace,
When in truth caution was far wiser.”

For you must know children, hear on …

“Her art, without brush or palette
Was grounded in magic herb lore
She created her potent potions
Dissecting plants and curving truth,
Creating spirals of illusion …
She’d  coil a man’s spirit like rope.

They came upon an edifice,
Near a curve and a bricked off cave,
They pulled their swords boldy, then saw,
A table of food and wine laid …
A vision a painter would love:
Perfect harmony and color!

Then a maiden with a sheep crook,
Welcomed the men and smiled demur:
“Strip off your dirty rags my friends …
I’ll call my maidens to bathe you …
Then you all shall feast and make love!”

‘Twas Circe in disguise, you see.
She tricked them all … no, one was wise,
He used forethought and hid away,
For he didn’t trust the lady.
And well for him he did hold back,
The others were turned into swine
And made to wallow in rank mud.
Eurylochus escaped this fate …
He ran then floated to his boat,
He warned Odysseus his master
Who left at once to save his men!”

(Children this is a very long tale,
There are many more verses still,
Before I go on with my story
I’ll have some soda to quench my thirst.)

“Now Hermes met Odysseus soon …


Red Wolf Poems – We Wordle 19

Barbara: docked, strip, used
Rick: brush, painter, palette
Misky: float, bricked, boat
Stimmyabby: hallucinations, crook, soda
Don: kill, edifice, dies
Jules: waterways, surface, otter
Irene: vision, art, foregrounding
Hannah: coil, spirals, ropes
Roslyn: roil, dissecting, truth
Sabra: murky, sparkling, curve
Bastet: Circe, wanton, wallow

This was a fantastic Wordle…and if I’m not mistaken, I think I got them all into the poem!


Unavoidable Pain: Two

Foto0254_aOde to the Two

Ah how loyal they were to me,
I just threw them over without a thought
As if they’d been nothing to me at ll
As if they were just another vice…

It was a last cold winter’s morn in ’13
And I, after 3 days of fever groped for them
I tried to light up that cold dank morn
But nearly fainted away right there!

I found that awful burning in my chest
Was compounded 10 times to infinite!
The taste was like an infernal burning cess-pit
The smell was beyond any description!

I put that last cigarette right out…
Then, weaved my way to my couch
Where I laid myself down as my head spun
Realizing I could no longer smoke!

Oh don’t think it hasn’t been a pain!
For every time I want a ciggy break
I think of smoking but in vain…
I don’t know now what to do with myself.

For though I can light up at any moment,
(I’ve two packs here calling to me each day)
The thought of that spinning sea-sick feeling…
Has ruined the pleasure now for me.

So, I say, why go throught the unavoidable pain
Of learning to overcome nausea once again
I’ll just have to find another mindless passtime
To occupy my hands when I’m reflecting on rhymes.

So, here’s to those loyal friends…I left them
And wonder now what to do with these two packs
Seems so terrible to throw 10 euro into the trash
Maybe I should just burn them in the fireplace…
Yes…’tis more fitting by far!


Well dear Shainbird...as you know, for some reason Ballads and Odes just don’t click for me, but an Ode I promised you and so I tried to make this an Ode…

Written for Prompt 37: Unavoidable Pain from Mind Love Misery:  This is a second trial for unavoidable pain…in truth, when one stops smoking it can be very painful…but I was already in pain so it became easy. I tried to start smoking again and found it was really painful, I still have a chestful of gunk!

Smells are way off, in fact I’m also finding coffee and some of my favorite foods disgusting…so It would be painful right now to start smoking again.  I’m just going to re-inforce this bit of negativity and accentuate the bother to re-start smoking.  So far it’s worked quite nicely.  I haven’t had a cigarette in 12 days…still early I know, but I’ve decided that I don’t smoke any more.

Now the big problem is what to do when I need that 5 minute break in the middle of writing a poem or story.  I used to get up…go out on the loggia.  Light a cigarette, take like 4 drags off of it.  Put it out and return to my computer.  Strange what 4 drags meant.

Ode: Not in the U.S.A.

Wrong Side of the TracksOde:

Not in the U.S.A.

Born I was in the U.S.A. on a defunct Air Force base…
Rantoul, Illinois but my docs say: Chenute…
but it’s all the same we’re all born somewhere
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

My life was marked for travel, could have been a gypsy
lived in more places before I was 21
than most people live in their whole existence
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

I traveled from the center, like some crazy human atom
to the deep south up to the far north
from coast to coast and across the pacific…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Never lived in a civilian town, always on a Base
never knew out in out prejudice or wrong sides of places
never knew white trash or niggers neither, just people…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Oh, I just lied!  I lived in Small Town for one eternal year,
knew what it meant to be a pariah, ’cause I’d flown in a plane
an outsider, ’cause I spoke proper English, an outcast..
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Learnt all about those rail-road tracks and shanty houses too…
learnt all about poverty and prejudice and old-time religion
alcoholics and wife beaters…I was two and ten then…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Happy was I to return to a base…where life was sane and safe
My gypsy life seemed finer then…after that experience
no life-long friends had I…no roots…no place…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

I won’t lament my life my friends…my story didn’t end there
once I was on my own…I traveled even farther still
10 years in Africa…then I found my place…in Italy…an ex-pat…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Now I pass my days in my own home…planted like a tree
childhood gave me all the tools I need…adaptive’s what I am
Got over feeling deprived of roots…made my own you see…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.

Another sort of misfit…outcast…pariah…outsider was I
traveled far to feel at home, though a foreigner am I
basically my home’s inside myself…it’s not about a place…
point is I never had a home…not in the U.S.A.