Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Wambling...

April 17 and 18: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

Yesterday, I was "spoonsless" energy, no focus, no nothing. So, I am doing today today and yesterday today....or something....

Yesterday: Today is a Two for Tuesday prompt day. Here they are: Write a science fiction poem. Write a fantasy poem.

I pick one, usually,. on Two for Tuesday. But I have had both of these ideas in my head recently, as in, science fiction or fantasy--which is which. So today, I will combine them.

Fairy Tale, NOT

It's science--
You can't get pregnant
Without having sex.
Really. Fact.

It's science fiction--
New legislation
In Air Zone "A",
That says you can.

No, take that back.
It says you ARE.
Two weeks before,
To be precise--

And just signed
Into toxic law
By the "Brewer",
Bad Witch of the South.

Precisely stupid.
Science, no.
Fiction, yes.
I think you call that

Fantasy. But not
The kind where elves
And loving fairies
Grant your wishes.

No. Not at all.
This fantasy is
Cruel and toxic.
The "bad witch" wins.

And now
We all know
How much lawmakers
Care for women,

Women's health.
Women's issues.
Not a bit.
Not at all.

And our new
Story of freedom?
Our new tale?
Our "his" story?

Evil. Impossible.
Not science. Fiction.
Fantasy. The dark kind.

Today: For today’s prompt, think of a favorite regional cuisine, make that the title of your poem, and then, write the poem.

Green Jello

It's become an icon,
A legend of our state,
Although it wasn't something
The Pioneers once ate,

It's now been made immortal
In an Olympics pin.
And there are competitions
About what you put in.

Cottage cheese and carrots?
Pineapple? Maybe so...
But if you want to make it
You first will have to know

The mystic secret (shhh--it's not repeated...)
It looks delightful. But---no one will eat it.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 16, 2012


Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month; April 14-16

Was offline most of the weekend, so here are my poems for Saturday, Sunday, and today, with prompts attach. Hope you don't get an attack of poemitis reading three at a time...

April 14:

For today’s prompt, write a doomsday poem. Some of you may remember the world was supposed to end last year (actually twice last year), but that’s nothing new. Every few years there seems to be a new “end of world” prediction (anyone remember Y2K?). In fact, this year had a movie made after it in relation to the Mayan calendar (btw, my dad is one of those who actually believes in the 2012 doomsday prediction), and there’s a whole industry built around end times preparations. So why not write a poem about it?

I got silly here--I am actually quite annoyed with the topic of this poem, but there's nothing I can do about it, so why not laugh?

Doggie Doomsday

It's the end of the world as you know it--
Don't believe me? Well, wait, and I'll show it--
I'm calling the cops
On you and your pet--
Your dog hasn't learned
About "shut up!" yet...
At three a.m. I'm wide awake
Because of the noise he can't help but make.
And you're the main reason, you dumbass Jim.
You're supposed to have trained him. I don't blame him.
You're the one. Pay your fine, and don't blow it.
And if I had a shoe, I would throw it!!


April 15:

For today’s prompt, use the following five words in your poem: slash, button, mask, strap, and balloon. Use them in any order.

I chose alphabetically, just to make it more interesting. And my form here is a "Haiku Stack", which is a number of Haiku put together as one poem. I used one "required" word per haiku.

Prepare For Takeoff

It's all blowing up
Into a huge gossip game,
Ballooning wildly

Into a mad mess
Of hurt feelings.
People are
Pushing buttons. We

All wear the same mask
Of insouciance. No one
Will admit it, but

We feel every slash
Of another one's mean words.
We all want to stop

But no one will be
The first to shut up. Strap in.
Don't enjoy the ride.


April 16:

For today’s prompt, write a mixed up poem. I guess there are a few ways to come at this poem. Your narrator could have mixed feelings about something. Or a character could get “mixed up” in something. Or the poem could be about mixing up a drink. Or a mixtape. Or however you wish to mix this prompt/poem up.

I think I'll go with the "mixed feelings" suggestion here, and I think I'll try a sonnet form, because it's rigid and organized, and might help the feelings become more so.

Lost In The Mix

There's too much to remember when I speak
With one dear daughter, separated by
The miles of distance, and the years of life.
No matter how I try to fix it, I
Am sure to say the wrong thing. Not unique
To us is not recalling that we can't
Say things in e-mail (which, you know, is rife
With pitfalls!) which come out the way we want
Them to. The nuances are lost, and we
Can only see bleak words upon a page.
We hurt each other, and we never know
How we can fix it. I wish I could show
Her how I feel, but I know, at her age,
She just can't listen. After all, it's me.


All works
© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lucky, Eh?

April 13, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, write an unlucky poem. Today is Friday the 13th, and I think it’s the perfect opportunity to wax poetic about anything and everything unlucky.

The whole concept of "luck" is an iffy one for me. I am not sure how I define that word, how I contrast it with Fate, and if I even believe there is such a thing as luck. And yet, and yet--there are those things that, anyhoo, here's my attempt to talk about "being unlucky".

Luck, Is It?

Why do I feel
As if I am never
The one who could
Call herself "lucky"?

So much in my life
Is wonderful, so
Why do I disdain
To call it all "luck"?

Nothing happens to me,
In my opinion,
That is "luck",
As I define it.

I work damn hard
For each and every
Thing I want to
Achieve in my life.

I don't take chances
Nor do I expect
The Universe to
Simply shit gold on me.

I don't have "luck"
When it comes to my life.
I plan it. I work it.
And sometimes, I miss it.

Sometimes, I don't win.
No lottery. No legacy.
But if I want it badly,
I'll work till it happens.

So, I am not "lucky".
I am "unlucky".
But, I don't care.
Because--I am happy.

© Aisling the Bard, 2011. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 12, 2012


April 12, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Something (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Example titles might include: “Something New,” “Something Strange,” “Something at the End of This Book,” or “Something Something.”

And today, there was also a suggestion about writing a "Tanka" which is a Japanese poem-form resembling the haiku, but of five lines, arranged syllabically thus: 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. So I am going to write this prompt, as a Tanka.

Something Unusual

I saw this happen.
I saw someone smile at me,
I saw smiling eyes,
As I was kissing my wife.
In public. In Utah. Wow.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


April 11, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, pick a season (any season) and make it the title of your poem; then, write your poem. For instance, your poem might be titled “Winter” or “Spring” or “Rabbit Season” (if you have a sense of humor and like Looney Tunes cartoons).

Stupid Season

It's an election--
Once more,
Seeds of rhetoric
Scatter themselves
Across the airwaves.

It's predicated
To grow morons,
No matter how
The human humus.

No one thinks
Anything worth
Thinking, doing,
Will come of this.

But every four years
We do it anyway.
Stupid as those
Who keep planting
More seeds

In toxic ground
Thinking surely
This time
As never before
Something will grow.

We should plow them all under.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Forest? Trees? Difference?

April 10, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

Today’s “Two-for-Tuesday” prompts are:

  1. Write a Forest poem.
  2. Write a Tree poem.

You can literally write about a forest. Or you can literally write about a tree. Or you can dive right into the metaphor separating the two. Your choice. Get creative with it.

I have been lost, a bit, in a couple of forests, bumping up against a few trees, the kind that keep moving when you're not looking. This is a very apt prompt for me, one that will help me figure out what part of my dilemma is forest (the underlying situation) and what part is trees (individual aspects thereof), and how to tell them apart when I am trying to find my way out of there...

The Aspen Conundrum...

This, not that.
Or, in some cases,
Do I really mean
That, not this?

I do not understand
The details of some forests
In which I find myself
Intrinsically entangled.

Perhaps each separate "tree"
Is more important than
The interconnections
Of something that is one thing.

But how can something
Borne in, born in,
The very blood
Become irrelevant?

I don't know which is tree.
I don't know which is forest.
I don't know where I fit.
Maybe I should explain...

It reminds me of
My back yard,
Where there is one
Amazing aspen tree...

And of course you know
An aspen tree
Sends out "suckers",
Attached new shoots

Which burrow underground
And eventually
Poke their heads up
To become new trunks.

Of course, beneath the soil
They're all still connected.
An "aspen grove" is,
In reality, one tree.

So when I try to
Clear the lawn of "suckers",
Shoots where I don't want them,
I am cutting the main tree.

It's kind of like family...
There's my conundrum.
I have wonderful kids
And they're all grownups.

They love me, I guess...
I know I love them...
My grandkids are amazing--
And yet--they are separate.

My kids have their own lives.
I have my own life.
I might be the "main tree"
But we grow independently.

So--what does one do
When one doesn't want
Aspen shoots all over
The rest of the yard,

But one does want to keep
A few selected shoots
Which have been pruned
And groomed into a grove?

And what does one do
When one feels connected
At the root, in the blood,
To one's children, now adults,

But also, I'm aware,
For the most part, I am
Irrelevant to dailyness--
They are they. I am I.

We are connected,
But not symbiotic,
Not identical, not aspen trees.
We're individual people.

And so, my conundrum...
Are these people, my "trees",
All in the family forest
Going to be injured

When we begin to disconnect?
Unlike aspens, which are all
One tree, we are simply
One forest, different trees...

I don't want to lose connection.
I don't want to be irrelevant.
And yet I want to live
My own life, without symbiotes.

I want my kids and grandkids
To be strong, independent,
Sufficient in themselves,
And yet, I want connection...

And of course, this is not
At all the same situation
As wanting my aspen tree
To live, but be separate

From the ubiquitous shoots
It sends out, continually,
In places where the last thing
I want is another tree.

So I'm thinking. Am I
The forest, or a tree, here?
Am I, are my children
Connected at the bloodroot,

Or are we, must we be
Separate, each entity
A member of a forest
But a different kind of tree?

I have yet to decide.
Every day, I am thinking--
And I do it when I go
To the yard to prune aspens.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 9, 2012


April 9: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, write a shady poem. I’ll leave the interpretation of this prompt up to you. It could be a poem that includes shadows and/or shading. It could be about a shady part of town or a shady person. Or well, something else.

In The Shade...

It was shady,
Up on the porch
Watching grandkids
Hunting eggs
In the sun,
Watching daughters
Laughing, hugging, dancing.
Watching with Mom,
As life sparkled by.
Once in a while
Someone came up,
David, mostly,
To speak to us.
Siblings stopped
And chatted a bit.
People came by
For photos, for hugs.
I was honored
With flan, made special
By T, just for me...
I held hands
With Brie, with Mom,
And looked and laughed
And watched the swing,
And the tree-climb,
And the egg-hunt,
And the interactions
Of children, and grandkids
And dogs, and siblings
And butterflies and birds
And sunshine and cameras.
I danced a bit,
I sat in the shade
At the picnic table
And was hugged by,
And talked to by,
Various grandkids,
On their way to
Somewhere else.
I thought of trying
The tree-climb,
But didn't.
The day was a
Of people and actions,
Of light and color,
Of impressions--
A symphony
Of sound and life.
I was part of it,
I think.
But somehow the moments
That most define the day
Are the ones I spent
Sitting on the deck,
Holding Mom's hand,
Or Brie's hand
And watching life
Pass before me
As I relaxed
In the shade.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Don't Say No....

April 8, Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, write a rejected poem. Despite some acceptances, many of my poems have been rejected for submission over the years–but that’s not quite what I mean by rejected poem. I’m more interested in poems that work the idea of rejection into the poem somehow. This could take the form of a poet lamenting rejection, though also a rejected friend or student or whatever.

Not Again...

I watch the eyes
Not quite meeting mine
Looking to the side,
And I know...
It's going to be the same
Old, tired story--

I keep trying;
With renewed hope,
With a bit more courage,
With determination,
Knowing this time,
Some time,
It will be "yes".

Yet, here we are again.
And I see, once more,
Eyes sliding to the side.
Once more, the slight step back.
Quirk of mouth, once more
Forming the dreaded syllable.

One more "No"--one more
"Not now". One more
Rejection of my truth--
I can't deal with it again.
Not this time.

I turn from the mirror.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, April 7, 2012

So Sweetly Silent

April 7, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, write a poem describing a scene in which two or more people interact without speaking. Such moments happen every day. Some are happy; some are sad; and some are angry.

In Silence

Looking across the room
Over by the window,
Very still, I see her.
Every morning, I look.
Breathing deeply, she smiles,
Responding unconsciously,
I wonder if she senses,
Each time my eyes touch her
Sleeping face. Sometimes,
One of the cats will turn,
Moving to regard me,
Uneasily aware. But my eyes
Caress only her face.
Hearts meet, in silence.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 6, 2012


April 6, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, write a hiding poem. You could be hiding. Someone else could be hiding. Something could be hidden. Or maybe there could even be a hidden meaning. I’m flexible with any interpretations poets want to put on the prompt. Have at it.

Funny thing, this prompt intersects with something that has been on my mind lately, anyway. I didn't think to make poesy out of it--I had been contemplating it along other lines. But perhaps poeming it will bring it down to its essential elements, and then perhaps I will be able to figure it out...

Inside the Rabbit Hole...

"Who AAAARRREEE you?", he said,
Gazing over my head
From his secure spot
On the elevated mushroom...

I looked around...
That echoing sound
Fell like a swat
Of a fly in the hushed room...

He couldn't mean me,
Not myself, could he?
My name is my own.
But no one else was there.

And it wasn't his task,
To accost me, to ask
Who I was, in that tone--
Well, just how did he dare

To demand such as I
To self-identify?
As if he had some right
To intrude on my life!

Again, I looked around.
No, there wasn't a sound.
And the imposing sight
Of his smoke-wreath was rife

With foreboding, with power.
In that very hour
I knew that my soul
Still had some way to go

To complete such a task--
For when someone might ask
"Who are you?" the truth, whole,
And entire? I don't know!

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ancient Mother.....

April 5, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, write a poem about something before your time. Maybe it’s a certain time in history. Or a type of music. Or a story that was shared by friends or family–before your time.

Here is a picture of Mary Sandiford, born in 1848, 99 years before I was born. She is my great-grandmother, and she has a look about her that makes me wish I had known her...

Mother of the Folk

You look, in this picture,
Proud, focused, very self-aware;
This reminds me
Of my father,
Your youngest grandson...

He was three years old
And a month, to the day
When you died.
He didn't know you.
He was like you, though...

He had that same air
Of self-possession.
You look like
The pictures I have seen
Of other Duffys--

No, you weren't "Duffy"
But you seem to have brought
One Duffy-ness
To all the family
Following you...

It's that look, the one
That says, without a word,
"I am who I am."
Of all the traits
Of all my family

That is the one feature
I believe most defines us.
Loving people, yes.
But strong, Irish,
Determined to stand.

I look at your picture
And wonder what formed you?
What made you
So strong, focused,
A matriarch?

I've had my own challenges
And when I see your face,
I believe, somehow,
Your bloodline
Gave me strength.

I see myself in you,
And hope to live up, always
To your legacy.
To your strong gaze.
I wish I'd known you.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


April 4, 2012: Day 4, Poem-A-Day Challenge

For today’s prompt, take the phrase, “100% (blank);” replace the blank with a new word or phrase; make the new phrase the title of your poem; and then, write your poem. Example titles might include: “100% Beef,” “100% Cotton,” “100% Awesome,” “100% Etc.”

100% Confuzzled

I really do not know
Exactly what I think
About it all.

I'm sure my actions show
I teeter on the brink--
I'm gonna fall!

I read the daily news
And my heart screams in pain--
Or, does it sing?

My mind soars high, then stews--
No sane mind could sustain
This kind of thing.

I waver side to side,
From being full of joy
To furious...

I really can't abide
Each newest faction's ploy;
All spurious!

First, "poly-ticks", you know,
The tiny little bugs
That suck your blood...

But then, I start to glow,
Brim up with tears and hugs,
When something good

Makes YouTube or the news--
A large lad, with a voice
Like golden light

Contrasted with the views
Of ugly, anti-choice
Men--freedom's blight!

My head is spinning, here...
Whenever I've decided
How I feel

The next thing to appear
Has my heart subdivided--
Nothing's real.

So, one-hundred percent?
I'm sure of all my views?
Yes, settled here--

I'm one hundred per cent
Convinced that, of the news,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sorry Song...

April 3, 2012: Day 3, National Poetry Month Poem-A-Day Challenge

Daily Prompt: For today’s prompt, there are actually two options, because it’s Tuesday, which means a “Two for Tuesday” prompt. They are:
  • Write an apology poem, or…
  • Write an unapologetic poem.

Your choice. You can be sorry–or not. Or write about someone who is sorry–or not.


I have some thoughts on this--here they are:

Sorry, Are Ya?

So I see you up there,
On the podium,
Exhorting the "little people",
Reminding us how much better
Things would be if you
Got to be the POTUS.

I hear your ringing tones
Declaiming your recipe
For massive change, for how
You would put a Repugnicant
Band-aid on the cancer
And make it all better.

I hear you saying, always,
Whether in word or in tone
Or in toxic implication
How the guy in the White House
Has made things so much worse--
But you, you will fix it.

And I hear you saying
How very sorry you are
That our country has come to this...
How sorry you are about it all,
The economy, godlessness, gay rights,
Such a mess! All his fault!!

And I? I believe you.
I believe you are sorry,
Sorry in ways you can't imagine.
A sorrier excuse for a human being
I have never seen, nor heard.
You're sorry, all right. Shut up.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poems, Prayers, and Promises....

April 2, 2012: Today my mind is going on and on in several directions at once (ok, those of you out there who know me, stop laughing and saying "what else is new"...I mean it!) This evening I have a very very special ritual I am going to be performing, I am still thinking about some of the earlier things I have posted in this blog that I said would be ongoing, I am still focusing on the Poetry Month Challenge, and there's even more---but for that, those three things are the ones I want to focus on this morning, because they did remind me of a wonderful song I used to love, "Poems, Prayers, and Promises" by John Denver, which contains the following refrain:

And talk of poems and prayers and promises

And things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone
How right it is to care
How long it's been since yesterday
And what about tomorrow
And what about our dreams
And all the memories we share

He did speak eerily prophetic words in this song, about wondering whether he would get to "see it all"...if you like, you can hear the whole song and read the lyrics here.

But for me, today, the title says it all. I have, today, on my mind, Poems, Prayers, and Promises, and so I am going to try to do justice to each of them in this posting, and see if that will lead me more joyfully into the rest of my day. So--here we go:

Poems: The lovely Poem-A-Day challenge in celebration of National Poetry Month, which gives us a prompt every day to enable us to spark creative juices, is once again letting me play. Today's prompt reads, "For today’s prompt, write a visitor poem. The poem can be from the point of view of a visitor–or the people receiving the visitor. The visitor could be expected or unexpected. The visitor could be welcome or unwelcome. The visitor doesn’t even have to be human." And here's what sprung to my mind when I saw this prompt. Here's my poem:

Don't Come Over

It bothers me
That my house
Is unfit for company,,,

It somehow says
That there is
Something very wrong with me,

That I don't keep
My home clean
And quite ready for the day

When any friend
Could drop in
Any time or any way...

I used to clean--
A Virgo
Who could pick a nit quite well--

But as I've aged
My housework,
Like my weight, has gone to hell.

And yet I know
I'm doing
All I can to stay afloat;

I simply feel
That housework
Is an anchor on the boat!

I teach, I share,
I'm doing
Many things outside my home,

And scrubbing floors
And dusting
Gives one far less time to roam.

If I don't do
The cleaning
That I always used to do

Then I will have
More free time
Just to come and visit you!

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Prayers: Tonight is the culmination of a spiritual work I have long envisioned--those in the 1734 Study Circle will be walking into the Stream even deeper this night. I am deeply focused on this and so very grateful it is happening. Yes, I am a little nervous--I have never done this kind of Work with other people before. And yet, I know it is the right way, and the right thing--and I feel deeply connected with All That Is as I approach this threshold. And I am moved to share something I wrote some time ago, something that embodies the way this endeavor makes me feel:

Again She rises, white, distant, complete in Herself....
Once more I attempt to decipher the feelings She engenders...
I cannot fault myself for failing to comprehend Her...

Indeed, it is in Her nature to be integrally cryptic.
And the precious knowledge She withholds is not for the taking...
The message is concealed in rays of moonlit Glamour...

If timely action is required...I may miss it....
Mother...I need direct communication this time...
Or my response will honour neither Thee....nor me....

© Aisling the Bard, 2008. All Rights Reserved

My prayer is that this threshold I am crossing will honor both the God/dess and my Self, and the others who cross with me. I cannot know. But I can try. And I can remind myself of what I say often to those in this Circle...'You can't do it wrong'....


Promises: We have two ongoing ideas floating right now, the bits and pieces of "Desiderata" as well as the ongoing "workshop" on creating your personal mythology. I have made a promise that we would periodically re-visit both these things with some ongoing commentary. Today, in light of what I have already written, a bit of "Desiderata" seems like where my mind is going. Here it is with a few thoughts:

As far as possible without surrender
Be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
Even the dull and the ignorant. They too have their story.

I have "my truth", and others have "their truth". I need to be aware, and I hope you are, too, that even if someone else's "truth" is different from yours, that does not mean that both are not "true". I use a small acronym when I look at the word "true"...I need to remember that it stands for "things really unique, eternally", because the fact is that even two people who seem to believe the exact same thing about the Universe don't have the same Truth. So--today, I am going to go joyfully into what **I** think this day is about, and not worry a single bit about what the "others" think this day is about--because, in the last analysis, we're all right. I promise!

So there we have it. For today, here are my poems, prayers, and promises--and I know that you also have yours. This is YOUR day. Do with it as you will. And Walk in Beauty!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fire In The Head--National Poetry Month, Again..

I am once again participating in the Poem-A-Day Challenge from the Writer's Digest in honor of National Poetry Month. So, here's my first attempt, following today's prompt:

April 1: For today’s prompt, write a communication poem. The communication could be dialogue between two (or more people); a postcard correspondence; a letter; a voicemail; a text message; a series of tweets; or whatever. Heck, I guess a poem is a form of communication–so there’s really no way to screw up today’s prompt (outside of writing nothing at all). Let’s get this party started!

Are You Up There?

Sometimes I feel
There's no one home,
Whenever I try
Communicating with Deity.

I never seem to connect.
I sometimes hear buzzing
Like a busy signal,
Or party-line static.

I know there are others
Who are also trying...
I guess if there's really
One God up there,

With all the people who pray,
He/She/It might not have
Time to do anything
But listen, not answer.

So, it's discouraging...
But wait! Here's the Sun,
And here's a fresh breeze
Carrying a ladybug--

It's March. It's early...
Never saw one quite this soon--
But it landed on my blouse.
Guess this is my answer.

Thanks. I'll call again later.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved