THE GREAT AMERICAN GAMES

Elect.  Reelect.  One musical chair.
Debate.  Propaganda.  Merry-go-round.
American Dreamer, brave Truth or Dare.

Race. Trickery.  The Tortoise and the Hare.
Special interest mavens prance like proud hounds.
Elect.  Reelect.  One musical chair.

Our Grand Constitution.  Jeopardy.  Beware.
Freedom shredded by fiat.  Source unsound.
American Dreamer, brave Truth or Dare.

Vain civic souls feign veritable care.
Party theriac……verbiage, the noun.
Elect.  Reelect.  One musical chair.

Patriots panic through Labyrinths and lairs.
Governance grotesquely swell and abound.
American Dreamer, brave Truth or Dare.

Wits and Wages, the middle class not spared.
Charades.  Risk.  Go Fish.  No Clue!  Wits End!  Zounds!
Still…..elect.  Reelect.  One musical chair.
American Dreamer, brave Truth or Dare.

Source of Inspiration:  During election year, our lives are consumed by a barrage of political verbiage, enough to leave us stupefied!  But this is a time to remind us of our FREEDOM to make these political decisions.  Therefore, we must revere, respect, and execute the right to vote.  Always!  I was raised by a mother who was a politician and a father who was a highway patrolman.  From my father I learned a healthy respect for the law, and my mother taught me to always vote for the person, not the party.  And always vote, lest you waste or lose your right to vote!

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Writing a Villanelle

Words, like ebon tiles jumbled in a game,
Broach Life’s loves, fated wars, edgy affairs.
Poetic portraits in echoic frames.

Oversoon notions tossed into the flame,
Sketchy, shapeless, precociously bare.
Words, like ebon tiles jumbled in a game.

Ancient scribes penned psalms, songs for history fames,
Exemplar recitations trumpets blare.
Poetic portraits in echoic frames.

Burgeoning bards with contemplative aim
Scribble rash embryonic artful wares.
Words, like ebon tiles jumbled in a game.

Abstruse expressions of a soul, marred, maimed,
Scrawled in ink, agony, evoking tears.
Poetic portraits in echoic frames.

Life’e circadian rhythms fan the flames
Of balladry verse.  Passion’s novel pared.
Thus, words, like ebon tiles jumbled in a game,
Poetic portraits in echoic frames.

Source of Inspiration:  A friend of mine coined me The Voice of the Villanelle, and then taught me how to create a blog by the same name.  I’ve been asked many times why I write Villanelles and the answer is……..for the challenge.  My favorite game is Scrabble and writing a Villanelle is much like playing Scrabble.  The rhythm of life is merely mocked by the rhythm of poetry.  And that is why we write………poetry.

Crosswords

Life, like a crossword of questions and clues,
Phrenic play with words; what great toys they make.
This jumble of absurd dailies amuse.

Moments pandered to bemoan or bemuse
The quizzical quakes human tongues bespoke.
Life, like a crossword of questions and clues.

A grid of blank blocks to fill in with truths.
Black holes, the pathways of trails not to take.
This jumble of absurd dailies amuse.

Words, these truths, depend on another’s cues.
Mortals cluster for sodality’s sake.
Life, like a crossword of questions and clues.

Blunders, falsehoods, a domino of rues
Taint the game in a maniacal wake.
This jumble of absurd dailies amuse.

New dawn.  New match for word warriors to muse.
No prize, reward, just gray matter at stake.
And, Life, like a crossword of questions and clues,
This jumble of absurd dailies amuse.

Source of Inspiration for Crosswords
Crosswords, like poetry, are word games–great toys for people of all ages.  I began my writing career at 49.  Before that, I was in hand-to-hand combat with life, living memories to write later.  I encouraged my children to learn the play of words, which they learned early on would serve them well.  Thus, they are expressive and savvy writers.
Crosswords was published in International Who’s Who in Poetry, 2012.

The Statesmen of Eden

Ardent, earnest path, sight on civic need,
Yet, choked by past’s unctuous wheels did jade,
Seasoned reputations of pomp and greed.

Vibrant Eden beckons souls to be freed,
Obtuse lambs polish the grand dream man made.
Ardent, earnest path, sight on civic need.

Hacking at Eden’s ceaseless warts and weeds,
Good souls, their fates aborted in the trade.
Seasoned reputations of pomp and greed.

Jobless.  Debt.  Health.  Discontent, oh indeed.
No earmarks.  No aid.  Just get the bills paid!
Ardent, earnest path, sight on civic need.

Embattled servant poised to take the lead,
Ravaged by obdurate scribes, and left flayed.
Seasoned reputations of pomp and greed.

Restless denizen of Eden cry “Cede!”
For career statesmen — their roles overplayed.
Once ardent, earnest paths, sights on civic need,
Seasoned reputations of pomp and greed.

Source of Inspiration for The Statesmen of Eden
I was born to a Texas politician, my mother, and a Texas Highway Patrolman father.  I was taught to read newspapers daily, pay attention to the wheels that governed, and keep an open mind for the platforms of both ruling parties.  Vote for the person not the party, Mom would say.  I tell the readers this in an effort to explain;  we are bombarded with constant media hype for and against the candidates.  But I guess we’ll all survive one more year of blarney!
The Statesmen of Eden was published in Best Poets of 2011.

Seekers Song ~ A Villanelle of Truth and Purpose

Seekers traverse lands far and near.
Life’s purpose chased down fleeting trails.
Search inward!  Truth, purpose lie here.

Mighty mountains, their vistas unclear,
Dreams, but elusive holy grails.
Seekers traverse lands far and near.

Destined directives, the soul’s gear,
Tailored gifts luckless druthers quell.
Search inward!  Truth, purpose lie here.

Lustful latitudes helmsmen steer
Through clouds of doubt whipping white sails.
Seekers traverse lands far and near.

Frustration paves the road with tears,
Vain youthful dreams like sunsets pale.
Search inward!  Truth, purpose lie here.

Be still, Seeker, the way is clear.
Trust all within you will not fail.
Ye seekers traversing lands far and near,
Search inward!  Truth, purpose lie here.

Source of Inspiration for Seekers Song ~ A Villanelle of Truth and Purpose
The Hippie Movement prompted seekers of the meaning of life to travel the earth only to find after years of searching for answers were within themselves.  In the still, quiet beats of the heart, that “ah-ha” moment emerges to illumine our individual talents necessary for our survival and the survival of the world.  Thus, we all have unique talents to contribute to the community for the progress and perseverance of humanity.  Villanelle poems are appropriate for the repetitive nature of the subject, for with every generation there are new seekers of purpose and truth.
Seekers Song ~ A Villanelle of Truth and Purpose was published in The Best Poems and Poets of 2007.

THE LONG AND SHORT OF SHADOWS

Life’s shadows cast long into time.
Deeds of Love steep in memory.
Foul acts – viscid haze of man’s grime.

Unconditional Love sublime,
The Father’s path of destiny.
Life’s shadows cast long into time.

Barren mountains shield hatred’s crime.
Long shadows mask the mystery.
Foul acts – viscid haze of man’s grime.

Gardens planted in rows of Thyme,
Season journeys vague harmony.
Life’s shadows cast long into time.

Terror without reason or rhyme,
Journal violent history.
Foul acts – viscid haze of man’s grime.

Moments of kind deeds – Love sublime.
Hidden ‘neath tales of agony.
Yes, Life’s shadows cast long into time.
Foul acts – viscid haze of man’s grime.

Source of Inspiration for The Long and Short of Shadows
The Villanelle form of poetry is fitting for writing about life and world events, for these subjects tend to be quite repetitive.  There is always war in some or most parts of the world at any given time.  And hatred and prejudice, though conquered by some, are definitely repetitive in nature.  That is why I use the Villanelle to express strong feelings of the world’s malcontent.  This form of poetry is also challenging with short lines and the strict rhyming scheledule.  I have been honored by the publishing of my “word games”.
The Long and Short of Shadows was published in The International Who’s Who in Poetry, 2007.

Villanelle of War

War’s the norm in the world today.
Ancient lands mourn under the veil.
History repeats another day.

Terror and grief are here to stay.
Disease and death may come by mail.
War’s the norm in the world today.

Beware! the Jew, the Black, the Gay,
The holy fiend your worlds assail.
History repeats another day.

Naive children in streets at play,
Now die for Allah’s immortal tale.
War’s the norm in the world today.

Ancient powers with laws of clay.
Fanatics rise, then falter, then fall.
History repeats another day.

The fabrics of life change and fray,
But good over evil, we pray, prevail.
Still, war’s the norm in the world today.
History repeats another day.

 

Source of Inspiration for Villanelle of War
This poem, Villanelle of War, brought me unbelievable recognition from the international poetry community.  It was published in The International Who’s Who in Poetry, 2005.  In this book they chose 4 international poets, one from Mexico, one from Denmark, St. Lucia, and I was the only American!  I was completely blown away by this honor.  In the introduction of the four featured poets, this is what they wrote:  FEATURED POETS.…..We begin this directory with a diverse sampling of poets and poetry from around the world.  While varying greatly in subject and style, all of these featured poets honor the passionate art of poetry by gracefully and courageously exploring their most intimate thoughts and emotions.  It is our hope that all those who read these selections will be inspired and encouraged to pursue their own creative form of self-expression.