Ode to Dog Hair

A walk-through dog wash would be perfect. One
at my back door that washes, brushes
and dries my dogs. In minutes they’re done.
With a magic dog cleanser that rushes
To their skin, lifts the dust, with a smell dogs like
(And I like too). Once a day would be enough.
When night falls, or after a muddy hike
When fur is wet, their paws dirty and rough.
Instead of this I must groom them myself,
Brush in hand, unwilling pup at my feet.
I could have smaller dogs, the size of elves,
even a shedless dog, curly-haired and sweet.
As fate and love would have it, their furry
filaments are my burden to curry.

This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but once in a while one might be good. I started writing sonnets when I realized I just don’t have much more to say in one of my customary blog posts at the moment.

Still, I don’t know if Shakespeare (or anyone) before me has written a sonnet to dog hair. We might be witnessing a moment (low or high, you judge) in literary history.

Thoughts on a Walk Today With Bear

Pastel spring breaks through shyly, hesitant,
“What if?” Knowing snow could fall on the land
before white winter’s determined, rampant
cycle fades toward fecund summer’s grand
promises. Ambivalent, spring pauses, slow
to leave in this high valley. Soft showers
yield to summer’s green trees and fruitful show
of barley in the fields, potato flowers.
Then, come September, summer surrenders
Weary. Its moment too short for many,
Fine with me. Among season’s contenders,
Winter season is better than any.
Nature rests in winter’s patient freeze,
Ice crystals in the air, hoar frost on trees.

~~~

This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but once in a while one might be good. I started writing sonnets when I realized I just don’t have much more to say in one of my customary blog posts at the moment.

P.S. I never imagined writing 2 in a day but it was so pretty out there at the Refuge in the rain, what could I do? Now I have to go cover the beans. Freeze and snow in the forecast. 🙂

Rainy Day

The dark clouds gather; it’s starting to rain.
The dry fields need it. Crops don’t grow in dust.
In deserts it’s not easy to grow grain.
A plowed field can fill the sky in a gust.
My dog comes in to tell me, “It’s raining!”
Not much moisture yet, but the breeze smells sweet.
The air is cool, fresh, humid, earth-settling.
Petrichor rises from the empty street,
A brief sprinkle with the promise of more.
The clouds have settled for the duration,
A break from endless sunny skies restores
The mind beneath the cloud formations.
Rainy days in this bright dry valley are
Worth celebrating, so precious, so rare.

~~~

And, once again, I enter this with all good intentions of using the word of the prompt and I forget. Well there’s a glimpse of hope for tomorrow.

This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but once in a while one might be good. I started writing sonnets when I realized I just don’t have much more to say in one of my customary blog posts at the moment.

Beatled into Submission

Sunday morning my radio station
Plays the Beatles. One song after another
Drag on heart’s memory if I listen.
Sailing on time’s seas, small boat of wonder
And confusion, of self and future.
I began this journey that is no
Clearer now as I near the distant shore.
The sails are worn, and sometimes I row.
I didn’t like the Beatles much back then,
I wanted something serious, deeper,
Lyrics beyond “I want to hold your HAAAANDD”
Answers in top forty to awaken sleepers.
“You’re gonna carry that weight a long time.”
Long time? I’ve carried that weight a lifetime.

~~~

Excuse me for forgetting the word of the prompt. I got wrapped up in writing this messterpiece of the poetic arts.

This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but once in a while one might be good. I started writing sonnets when I realized I just don’t have much more to say in one of my customary blog posts at the moment.

The Scarlet Emperor Beans of 2021

The snows fell in summer last year, my beans
Were twelve feet tall, vulnerable, OH NO!!
I covered them with sheets to keep them green
They mostly made it, continued to grow
Gave me seeds for this year, purple and black
Beautiful promises I took gratefully.
And I put them in a small, red sack
In a pink metal box to wait safely
For this spring to come. The beans from 2020
In small pots ahead of summer, have grown
So happily and tall, my house can barely
Hold them till they are safely in the ground.
These undaunted beans are not a metaphor,
But lovely, joyous seeds from a hard, strange year.

Here’s the backstory of the Beans of 2020

I’m gobsmacked by how these beans have grown. In past years at this point in the spring, they might be a foot high. But what should I have expected from the seeds of the dauntless surviving beans of last year? I think I’m going to have to put them in the ground soon even though more cold could come. It’s a problem. They’re saying “We’ll be fine” but I know they might not be. Many years a hard frost hits the apple blossoms in late May. BUT some of them are going out there today. I still have the sheets under which they were formed. ❤

~~~


This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but once in a while one might be good. I started writing sonnets when I realized I just don’t have much more to say in one of my customary blog posts at the moment.





Sole Mates

I know I must have met you once or twice,
Before I knew what I was looking for.
Or was it pure chance, a roll of the dice?
“Some enchanted evening,” or something more?
We would have been good friends and laughed a lot.
Bags packed, journeys to the planet’s distant
parts. Curious, adventure we’d have sought.
We’d have argued, but not inside our tent.
Would we have tried to save the world or been
Content just to live in it? I don’t know.
We would have faith in each other’s passions,
Giving and getting space and time to grow.
If I met you, I think it must have been,
Before my own nature I had gleaned.

~~~

Many sonnets are love poems; maybe even most of them. I decided to try writing a love poem but… The conundrum in this situation (pretty accurately described by this sonnet) is that if I’d FOUND “the one” I would have had a very different life. Whether it would have been better? The life I have and have had is pretty great so my jury is out on whether this is something to regret or not. Probably something to regret in some ways and not in others. Anyway, the couplet at the end is the truth.

This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but once in a while one might be good. I started writing sonnets when I realized I just don’t have much more to say in one of my customary blog posts at the moment.

Bad Sonnet After a Sleepless Night

I am not very scrupulous writing
These little sonnets. It’s enough to count
Syllables without the rhythm fighting.
A mental exercise of no real account,
I try to get the rhymes right and the lines
lined up as they should be. And if I say
something that rings true, we’ll all be surprised,
I could write odes to nature every day,
What epics does the high, bright sky demand?
The rapid-flying undetermined clouds?
In my eyes, what they do, they are, is grand.
Over the farmer’s pond, the field that’s plowed
Here a moment, reforming, floating on
The changing sky is nature’s best poem.

From this Vantage Point

It was all a big blur back then but you
Moved as if you knew what you were doing.
Maybe you thought you did. You had no clue,
Of mysteries the future was brewing.
Every step led somewhere you could not know.
Running blind on sage brushed chaparral hills,
California sun. It was enough to go,
With no idea where. The random thrills,
Falling in love, a moment or a year
A new job, a new friend, a journey. “This
is the ONE!” but it wasn’t. Shed some tears
and keep running. The hard hills listened.
Now you know there is no plot. No sacred shrine
With answers. The trail itself is life’s line.
`

This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but once in a while one might be good. I started writing sonnets when I realized I just don’t have much more to say in one of my customary blog posts at the moment.

Fame

I’m not a big fan of the razzmatazz,
No glitz or glam, no bright-red shiny nails,
Or glittery gold objects for pizzazz.
In jeans and t-shirt I’m a fashion fail.
The red carpet its hungry cameras.
Bright lights and renown? Not what I have sought.
Fame, flash and fortune are just chimeras.
Making is the magic; it can’t be bought.
The muses work in ways that no one sees.
Ideas come in solitary walks,
Away from human noise, on foot, on skis,
Under clouds and sky, inspiration talks.
A fancy suit hangs in my closet, draped
In plastic — the symbol of less free days.

~~~

This poem was kind of inspired by an appointment I made to see the eye doctor, a new eye doctor. When I called, he answered the phone. He kept saying, “I know I know you. I’ve heard your name, anyway. Where?”

Finally I said, “Well, I was famous in 2019.”

“What do you mean you were famous?”

“I wrote a book about teaching in China. There were a couple of articles in the paper and I did two interviews on the radio. Maybe that’s where.”

“That could be it, yeah.”

I honestly LOVED saying, “I was famous in 2019.” It just cracked me up.

~~~

The poem is a Shakespearean sonnet, though I’m not a fetishist about iambic pentameter since it’s the natural rhythm of the English language anyway. Iambic pentameter is ba-BOOM, ba-BOOM for ten syllables. A Shakespearean sonnet is 14 lines with the scheme of ababcdcdefefgg. It’s easy for a dyslexic person like me who’s likely to mess up the rhyme scheme if it has too many variables. The story is that Shakespeare wrote his sonnets like this because the traditional Italian sonnet (the Petrarchan sonnet) is immensely challenging in English because of the natural rhythm of English vs. the natural rhythm of Italian. I don’t know if this is true or not but I’m buying it anyway.

Heaven

Black birds, both yellow headed and red-winged,
Wood swallows dark blue, white, flit around me,
ducks cross the pond, geese squawk, meadowlarks sing,
In all directions so much to see.
Virga veils of snow drag across the far peaks
Pushed by a fast front. Sun slits light trees white,
Golden fields green in spring’s first wet week,
Puddles of black beside their mothers lie.
My big white dog explores with her nose
“seeing” more than I do. “So much to smell!”
“Good girl!” Ditch gates open, the water flows
Across land that’s begun to thaw. Man’s help.
The wind stops. A red-tail soars. The world stills.
My dog leans against me. Our souls filled.

~~~

This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but one in a while one might be good.