Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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The Diner: A Haibun*

Half a dozen old men sit in a line along the counter, some watching the news on a tiny screen mounted over the stacks of styrofoam to-go containers. Others hunch over cups of coffee keeping silent company, each with himself. A young woman in a blue face mask wipes down the counter with a stained towel.

At a table three young men in paint-spattered shirts quietly converse in Spanish and finish up their bacon and eggs. At the back of the dining room, a toddler encased in a highchair flings to the floor chubby fistfuls of Cheerios. His father ignores him and shoves a forkful of syrup-soaked pancake into his mouth. The child’s mother, with dark circles under her eyes, sucks on a straw in a glass of soda and stares into nothingness.

The rest of the diner’s mismatched plastic white chairs and farm-styled faux oak tables are vacant.   Framed photos of vintage cars hang crookedly on dingy yellow walls intermixed with black and white signed photos of forgotten celebrities, a head shot of Ronald Reagan, a tattered newspaper restaurant review from 1994, and a broken neon Budweiser sign.

In the center of a wall is a poster of Helnwein’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Unceasing top offs–
soggy newsprint spread across
chipped dark Formica

*A haibun is descriptive prose followed by a haiku tangentially related to the prose.

2021


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Day 240: The Sunday After

On the Sunday after the election,
I turned off the chorus of cable news pundits,
and instead
Called a friend and chatted for an hour,
Zoomed to virtual church for a drink from my spiritual well,
Brewed tea,
Made minestrone,
Washed my kitchen floor.
I listened to the wind rattling my windows and stirring up
autumn leaves.
Then I pondered how to rebuild the bridges between
old friends and anonymous adversaries
and then realized how tough
it is going to be.

ljgloyd (c) 2020

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/11/09/rdp-monday-tough/


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Day 65: Empathy with Wild Geese

Another daily practice I have commenced during this time to keep me grounded is to, among other things, read a poem a day. This morning I randomly selected Mary Oliver reading her well-known poem Wild Geese.  It made me tear up. I empathized with everyone in this world to whom this poem resonates.

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/rdp-friday-empathy/


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Word Nerd

I was astonished to realize that I have written nearly 100 poems.  I write poetry from time-to-time and for challenges like NaPoWrimo, but I guess it adds up over the years.   Even though I identify myself as a poet on my “About” page, I still have a hard time embracing it.   Poetry seems to be cool and hip only within a relatively small community of like-minded word nerds, such as myself.  I have had friends read my poems and snicker.  Or sometimes they say things like, “It doesn’t rhyme.”   They don’t stop to look at internal rhymes, alliterations, assonances, meter, metaphors, evocative themes and all the other characteristics of poetry.

Most people I know don’t read or even like poetry.  It is not mainstream anymore, not since before the radio and television age when poem-casting, along with story-telling and singing, were how our ancestors amused themselves around a fire in the evening.

Maybe I am not a poet and don’t know it.

Maybe, though, I have a different definition of poetry.   For me, poetry is not merely a form of entertainment or a literary art form to be mastered.  For me, poetry is crafting an economy of words intended to convey subtle, evocative, expressive ideas in unique, brief, and innovative ways.  I write poems to hone my word-smithing abilities.  Poetry is a writing exercise for me.  Poetry is not a noun; it is a verb.  It is about the process, not the product.

I know I’ve harped on this idea in past posts, but I will say it again:  I don’t mind if I am not a good poet.  Like any true nerd, I don’t care what people think as long as I am doing what I enjoy. 

If you are at all interested in reading some of my poems, here is a link to all 30 poems from last year’s NaPoWrimo challenge:  https://misspelicansperch.wordpress.com/2019/04/

ljgloyd

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/astonishment/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/your-daily-word-prompt-define-january-29-2020/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/rdp-wednesday-rhyme/

 

 


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Haibun: Wandering

There is an expression that suggests when a person is being “lead down the garden path” that she is being deceived.  I do not know who first postulated this idea, but I do know there was once a wizard who said, “all who wander are not lost”.  I would rather wander down the garden path with Gandalf anytime.

Winter rains, cool nights
Green grass, red bark, orange boughs—
A compost pile looms

Ljgloyd 2020

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/rdp-sunday-wander/

 


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Orgulous

I learned a new word today: “orgulous”.  It is an adjective meaning haughty, proud, ostentatious, disdainful.  Based on this I took some pictures and wrote:


A Haiku:

Nasturtiums flaunt
brash colors across my yard
–Jealous salvias.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ljg (c) 2019

 

 

 

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/rdp-wednesday-orgulous/


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Breathe In, Breathe Out

This feels by far the lamest poem I’ve written this month.  But I am one day to the end so I am not going to stop now.   So the prompt, which has a lot to do with the difficulty in writing this poem, is to write “a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully.”   Huh?   Tranquility and passion are polar opposites in my mind so it stands to reason that the rhythm, meter and rhyme of this poem might fight with each other too.   I took the instructions literally and focused the poem on the act of meditation in conquering pain.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

“Find a place to lie or sit.”
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…
I can’t, it hurts, I want to quit!
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…

“Make that monkey take a nap.”
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…
But he’s swinging in trees and flinging his crap!
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…

“Inhale that golden light from above.”
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…
Oh let me be filled with heaven’s bright love!
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…

“Exhale that dark and searing pain.”
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…
But I feel this battle is all in vain.
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…

“We’re done for now, open your eyes.
You’ve been cured for sure, now dance about.”
It’s all been for nothing, it’s been a great lie.
“Keep breathing in and keep breathing out.”

ljg 2019


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Ars Poetica

Today’s prompt poem about poetry:

ARS POETICA: How to Write a Poem

Poems, like gangs, take over the beach at dark.
It’s not safe, I’m told, to go down there.
But to learn to write a poem, I am going this morning,
in Spring when clouds, thick like pudding, hug
chilled, wet sand and the quiet feels like padding on a wall.

I sprawl on the sand, feet pointing towards the surf,
lacy green foam washing poem-matter over me,
coaxing words whispered in a hesitant ear,
each wave’s fondle hiding a fatal undertow.
Then I realize: I am not safe here.

Lori Gloyd (c) 1997, recast 2019