The Weekly Avocet – #586 #Nature, #Poetry, #Spring, #Winter

The Weekly Avocet – #586 #Nature, #Poetry, #Spring, #Winter

 

I’m pleased and privileged to be among all these wonderful poets.

The Weekly Avocet – #586

February 25th, 2024

Hello to our Poets and Nature-lovers of The Avocet community:

Snow melts on rooftops,

water refreezes in cones,

stalactites drip down.

Wesley D. Sims – Oak Ridge, TN – wes4words@att.netwes4words@att.net

Submitted by Edwina KaderaA group of birds on the beach

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceGratitude

When morning comes and I awake I think to myself,

“I’m still here” and I lie there and contemplate the day ahead.

The sun sends small shy rays through the slightly opened window.

They dance upon my half-closed eyes. I can see!

The mockingbird outside the window sings its happy song,

“Pretty? Pretty? Choose me! Choose me!” I can hear!

I move my stiffened joints from side to side–

they hurt and I am glad, for I can feel.

Aroma of fresh coffee wafts through the half-opened door.

The automated coffee maker has just come on. I can smell!

As I lie there, I send a little prayer for those who are hurting,

for those in harm’s way, and to keep my loved ones safe.

And then I give thanks for my many blessings.

I hobble to the bathroom sink, rinse my face with icy water,

give my teeth a perfunctory minty brush. I can taste!

I wrap my friendly old robe around myself,

working my feet into my slippers.

My loosened limbs take me slowly through the house into the kitchen.

I have a nice home, so many do not.

I have good friends and caring family members. Many are alone.

My refrigerator and pantry await my choices. Many will go hungry today.

A small bouquet of flowers given by a friend graces the table.

I have food and beauty!

A neighbor’s flag flutters in the breeze, my heart swells with pride.

I am an American!

I sip my steaming coffee, savoring my blessings.

I am rich beyond belief!

With gratitude, I send a silent “thank you.”

Wilma Lentz – Oro Valley, AZ – wilmallentz@gmail.com

Kindness always comes back…

Snowy limbs bend low,

drop packets of white powder,

shrubs turned into ghosts.

Wesley D. Sims – Oak Ridge, TN – wes4words@att.net (I started out writing a note to some friends. But the following is what emerged. I’ve no idea

why. I was listening to the morning news and weather. I’m just sending it like it happened.)

Good morning, everyone.

I hope you’re doing well.

Here, the coffee is hot.

The weather is rainy but not,

and that’s the way we like it.

The rain was no problem.

It fell like a mist.

The air was cold,

but not quite as crisp.

Spring, she’s a comin’

a comin’ for sure.

When she does,

we’re gonna embrace her,

embrace her with love.

Wind still sings and whistles,

round corners and trees.

Shakin’ the branches,

drop pin’ their leaves.

Spring,

she’s comin’ for sure.

how do I know?

Just look at my dog’s fur.

Shedding,

piling up,

flying here and there.

Just look at that would you?

It’s everywhere.

Spring,

spring she’s a comin’

she’s comin’ for sure,

but wait! Wait!

Old man winter, he’s got one more.

He’s blasting round,

wind, rain, mud.

Fire, snow, earthquake,

famine, flood.

Death, blood.

Spring,

spring, she’s a comin’

She’s comin’ for sure.

Patty L. Fletcher (Bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled)

Kingsport, TN – Patty.volunteer1@gmail.com Winter Seashore

Moonlight drops

onto a stranded cloud

trickles over its rim

and falls

to the beach

where it sprawls

on new snow

and slick ice;

from there

it dares not move.

The houses, flagpoles, trees,

this neighbor’s fence,

the slats of that bare arbor

all stand pinned

by the air

to the deep blue,

deeply illuminated sky.

The sea doesn’t

even lap at the end

of its advance. Instead

it pauses at its edge

then retracts its

flat, lit expanse

as if nudged by a qualm

not shared by one

who has known

this scene for a lifetime

and feels no compunction

about overstaying his welcome

or risking detection,

no unease

about freezing in place.

Robert J. Ward – Reading, MA – rjpward@comcast.netrjpward@comcast.net

Thank you for submitting, subscribing, and sharing.

Skies grimace gray clouds,

snow slips in on white cat’s feet,

powders the earth’s face.

Wesley D. Sims – Oak Ridge, TN – wes4words@att.net Muddled Winter

The night air is chilly enough

to sharpen the edges

of houses, give the streetlights

extra glare, but the moon is

a fuzzy smudge of yellow

appearing blearily through the bare

branches. It’s as if I’m not

wearing my glasses, but the blur

comes from clouds that

tomorrow will bring a mild

rain, removing whatever pitiful

traces of snow remain.

This time last year Old Man

Winter did his job, buried us,

confident in his hibernal mission.

Must have had a tough off-season,

for now he doesn’t know

what he’s about; he moves in

fits and starts of cold

and snow, but then turns away,

can’t seem to stick to his purpose.

We stand by and watch, hoping

that by the time he makes up

his mind, fresh young Spring

will bound in to let him know

he has dithered too long.

Robert J. Ward – Reading, MA – rjpward@comcast.netrjpward@comcast.net

“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you

in abundance. This is the Law of Nature.” – Steve Maraboli

Truce?

Side by side on the display shelf they sat,

the primroses and fireplace logs.

What odd shelf mates they seem.

One patiently waiting for Spring

while Winter is still in charge.

Kathleen Schrum – Spokane, WA – Joeygsgirl@comcast.net Winter Sand

 

A cold winter drizzle, on the rain soaked beach

brings sand crabs creeping out of their burrows,

only to run back down their holes of safety.

Quiet and desolate, the rain makes gentle pock marks

of gray and black sand.

There isn’t a soul in sight to see what I’m up to

on a quiet desolate beach.

When my feet tire, my shoes are not welcome and come off.

Silver-gray sky meets the threatening sea in the distance,

but to me it is not gloom.

For me, the beach has never presented a scene

other than beauty.

Walking into the water’s edge, the rain pierces

my feet and ankles.

Submerged now, peace engulfs me. I am one with the rain.

Numbing extremities help me stay

in this special place of contentment.

Betty O’Hearn – St. Petersburg, FL – mimiohearn@gmail.com

Wildlife make new friends,

huddle together in shrubs

like newfound lovers.

Wesley D. Sims – Oak Ridge, TN – wes4words@att.netwes4words@att.net

Before Grooming the Horse in Winter

Mare searches for old kernels with her nose

and finds them lodged within the burry spears.

She wants the bundled bales but she’s not close

enough behind the bales to reach the tiers.

A loose whinny drops her liquid muzzle,

and when Bruce the brown tomcat wraps his tail

around her fetlock, their noses nuzzle.

She rolls him. He leaps to the highest bale.

Her icy tail whips against an old gray

plank, sets Bruce upon his haunches, but she

forgets their game, content to munch away.

They touch like willow blossoms in the barn

and speak a language I’m too fast to learn.

Christine Swanberg – Rockford, IL – chris.swanberg@comcast.net Snow Salsa

Dancing with the wind, slanted snow swivels,

salsa slashing the windows. We’re snowed in.

A corner ice sickle hangs and drivels

like an intravenous glucose machine.

I put on Tropicales and dance too,

a solo sequestered salsa (of sorts),

a solitary rendezvous, not blue.

Midwesterners must always be good sports

when winter comes conquering and calling.

We dance and read, watch old movies, maybe

paint a closet or polish brass. Befalling

all it can befall, snow on limb of tree.

Stay and salsa a day, you swaying snow.

Just a day, OK? Then you have to go.

Christine Swanberg – Rockford, IL – chris.swanberg@comcast.netchris.swanberg@comcast.net

Please be kind, write to each other…

Winter’s Favor

When the world is a black and white photo,

and all the trees are defined like bare bones,

as the snow-ladened pine makes a grotto,

while winter whipping wind whimpers and moans,

then we rest inside near hearths, unencumbered.

We kindle the fire, turn inward desire

to things longs forgotten, now remembered.

And if we might ask what this day might require,

the answer may be sublime or serene:

a closet of book, a movie or nook,

a project put off, some silver to clean,

perhaps something quite delicious to cook.

You must find something so good to savor

if you want to stay in winter’s favor.

Christine Swanberg – Rockford, IL – chris.swanberg@comcast.netvast blue grayish clouds

light pours through an opening

mood brightens

Carol Bezin – Arkdale, WI – angelbezin@gmail.comangelbezin@gmail.com

Singing with Stars in the High Desert

I step outside to see the stars

in this clear and moonless winter night.

The air is crisp and cold and lightly

smells of piñon burning not far away,

its fragrant smoke drifting across

these greasewood hills.

I feel the sting of cold against my face

as my eyes adjust to the dark.

Sirius is bright at Orion’s heels–

The Great Bear leads her cub

across the pole–

Andromeda glows faintly

in the corner of my eye.

I strain to hear a yip or two.

I know coyotes are out tonight

but hear only a distant dog.

his solitary intermittent bark

articulates the silence.

From the black sky, dense with stars,

I seem to hear the hum of light,

stars singing like Blake’s at creation.

The infinite seems immanent.

I want to be among the stars.

I am among the stars.

The pungent piñon clings to Earth

and yet I soar, singing with stars

of light and life,

eons and distances,

voids and matter

unimaginable.

Richard C. Green – Pleasanton, TX – rc.green@hotmail.comWisconsin winter

no snow in over two months

climate change is real

Carol Bezin – Arkdale, WI – angelbezin@gmail.comangelbezin@gmail.com

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most

responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

Cold Rest

A small group of Canada Geese touch down

on the snow-covered berm, a cold wind

fluffs their feathers

slender necks protrude from oval bodies

and white stripes on both sides of each small head

give them a look of distinction.

Two geese toddle in tandem

where the melted snow

makes food readily available,

others soak up the faded sun

when a sudden wink from the universe

propels the large birds straight up,

missiles honking in flight.

Dolores Cinquemani – Central Islip, NY – dcinquemani@optonline.net

Winter’s Lullaby

It is the season of night and stars;

Of frozen beards, and breath to be seen.

I will quench the hot blade of Summer

In Winter’s determined lullaby.

We, stubbornly striving; laughter warming

Frozen fingers on a hot mug.

Axes swing through morning frost.

Dreams melt like icicles in the sun;

Pure drops in a crystal pool, freezing again.

Yawning, the crocus will yet bloom through the snow.

Jason Talbot – Sussex, WI – jwtalbot@live.com February days

historic warm temperatures

climate change brings chills

Carol Bezin – Arkdale, WI – angelbezin@gmail.comangelbezin@gmail.com

Blizzardy Winter Day

On this blizzardy winter day, a foot of snow

obscures the dormant garden

crafting snowy igloos on bowing yew trees

a cozy shelter for countless creatures.

In the midst of the swirling flakes

fluttering birds peck madly at one another

competing for a spot at the feeder.

Their limited food supply

lies buried beneath winters blanket,

encased in ice, frozen beyond their grasp

and so the feeder is an oasis,

a place of sustenance and comfort.

On a nearby river a family of beaver toil,

shoring and cleaning their riparian lodge,

hauling branches and twigs gripped with dexterity

in their five fingered front feet.

On this blizzardy winter day

the birds, the beaver, and humans too,

will thrust and parry protecting family

with one goal…

Survival

R. Duke Liddell – Malverne, NY – dukel@optonline.net

We feel blessed to publish the best Nature poets in America!

thirty-five degrees

warm for February day

spring tease

Carol Bezin – Arkdale, WI – angelbezin@gmail.com Moving to the Light

In darkest winter’s depths,

as the solstice sun set,

one small brave ray remained

and crouched, sputtering in the gloom.

Flickering, it strengthened day by day

on its intrepid journey toward Candlemass and equinox,

its growing brilliant flame a testament

to cyclical renewal and hope.

Sally Rosenthal – Philadelphia, PA – Sanford.rosenthal@comcast.netSanford.rosenthal@comcast.net

Five Robins

perched in our naked maple

five robins puffed up and unmoving

this gray raw windy overcast late winter morning

sheltering in the unprotecting naked tree

perhaps stoically awaiting predicted Nor’easter

or perhaps patiently resolutely

awaiting the promised coming of spring

when all will be forgiven and forgotten

as nourishing nature will unrestrained

rise again to fuel fruitful fecundity

perched in our naked maple

five robins puffed up and unmoving

this gray raw windy overcast late winter eve

they wait out the unmaterialized storm

will still be perched stoically in tomorrow’s dawn

Aimé E Duclos – South Berwick, ME – ajduclos@gwi.netajduclos@gwi.net

In A Beach-State of Mind

Beach-towels, flippers, goggles, change of clothing,

all fit in the carrier bag

Makeup is not needed. It won’t help

Comb, brush, and moisturizer stuffed in side-pocketsHurdle number one

Clean, de-ice the stoop behind the exit-door

Shovel enough snow and ice to put one foot

in front of the other till you reach your car

Hurdle number two

Crawl from passenger side to driver seat,

Driver side door is frozen

Car starts. Great!

While car is running, clean your driveway

by then car is ready to be deiced

You and carrier bag, in the car, intending

to visit your favorite beach, Cabin-fever dictates,

“Jones Beach is not far away from Levittown.”

Hurdle number three

You go backward, forward many times

Finally, you are out of driveway

You are on the roll

Little slipping here, some sliding there

No big deal, you are on Hempstead Turnpike!

It doesn’t look too bad

So, it takes you twenty-five minutes to see

Meadowbrook Parkway

The roads are barely passable

You are determent, no turning back

You keep going till the GPS in your head says,

“You are here.” You give a kiss to your car

and leave her behind in parking lot #6

You and your carrier bag in very slow motion

heading to your destination.

The snow, the ice-patches, don’t change your goal

You and your carrier bag survive the bumpy ride

Finally, you are on the half frozen sand

Oh, blue sky calm-ocean, you inhale and inhale the salty-air

You ignore cheers of ghostly Polar Bears

You shed layers and layers of winter clothing

feeling ten pounds lighter,

with your flippers and goggles on,

as a sprint-runner, you dash towards rocking wavesNo need to test the water with your toes

Just jump in do your polar-plunge

and disappear under

Don’t dare to come up to breathe

Unless you wish to turn to a purplish-blue statue,

on sands of your – beloved – Jones Beach.

Narges Rothermel

Native daughter of Alaska

I filled my lungs with crisp cool air

in Ketchikan,

walked softly alongside of a running river

touched and tasted the cold clear water

I witnessed with amazement, a pilgrimage of

determined traveling Salmon.

Some energetic, some slow, some sluggish, all

swimming up the river towards their destination.

our guide took us to the entrance of a village,

marked by carved totem poles of many sizes.

An open space, Tribe’s community room was set

to receive another flock of newly arrived outsiders.

Master of ceremony, a man ageless without numbers,

ran like a lion, talked like a leader, laughed like a child,

and played his drum like a pro.

Dance stage was decorated by tribe’s paintings,

feathers, jeweled wooden boxes, and totem poles.

I volunteered to take a part in their planned tribal-dance.

My partner, Blessed Cloud,

a young girl as beautiful as an exotic orchid

dressed in a radiant red robe, bright blue long vest

with bold black crafted patches.

She reached for my hand her touch was light like a feather,

her voice heavenly like whisper of the wind,

her eyes like midnight blue on a moonless sky,

her smile pleased the eyes like a ripe peach in midsummer.

Her braided black hair smelled like white lilac in early spring.

She guided me like a mother guides the child’s first walk

we danced to drumbeats like two old friends.Before my reluctant goodbye,

I dared to hug Blessed Cloud as tight as I hug my daughter.

Narges Rothermel

A Taste of Spring

What a glorious day.

Yes, it’s February.

The air is warm,

the sun shining.

We took a golf cart ride around our new place,

Our development.

The grass is almost green again.

I can almost smell the flowers that will grow,

See in my mind animals, fox and deer,

Hear the birds.

There are so many trees. Today was a taste of spring.

In a few weeks, it will be spring

And all that I imagined in my mind,

Will come to life again.

That’s the meaning of spring.

Trish Hubschman – Lancaster, SC – plutzhub@gmail.com

Ten Poetic Forms

by Byung A. Fallgren

HAIKU:

*Haiku is Japanese poetic form, one of the most popular poetic forms in the world.

*Composed with 3-lines, 5/7/5 syllable pattern (first line has 5-syllable, second line has

7-syllable, third line has 5-syllable.) Many contemporary Haiku poets don’t even pay

attention to syllables.

*The essential components of Haiku are three short lines, a cutting word that connects

two juxtaposed images, and an element emblematic of a season (nature); to simply put it,

the first line or third line brings together the two-related lines.

*Haiku poem should be untitled; should not use simile (like, as); should not use metaphor;don’t capitalize the first letter of each line.

Simile: She looks (like a flower). She is thin (as reed).

Metaphor: The sun (smiled). The nature (moaned).

Below is an example of Haiku I wrote, using my daughter’s photo.

A moose standing in a yard under a tree

Description automatically generatedautumn morning stroller

a moose under the autumn leaves

surprise the passerby

au.tumn morn.ing stroller (five syllables that sums up the two related lines below)

a moose under the au.tumn leaves ( seven syllables)

sur.prise the passer.by (five syllables).

This is 5/7/5, three lines Haiku. If you prefer to ignore the format,

this can be written like below:

fall morning stroller

a moose under the orange leaves

oblivious of the passerby

Or, if you want to put the line that sums up the two-related lines

on third (last) line, you can write like below:

This one is written ignoring the format of 5/7/5 syllables.

a moose rests

under the canopy of fall leaves

passerby stops to see him

 

SENRYU:

is the same as Haiku in format (5/7/5, three lines), but Senryu is usually written in past tense

(nowadays people write Senryu in present tense.) and only reference to some aspect of human nature or emotions. They posses no reference to the natural world and thus stand out from nature

seasonal Haiku. Below is an example:

mother worried

daughter moved away

on a snowy night

I wrote this just to show the example of Senryu, ignoring 5/7/5 syllables.

TANKA:

*Tanka is a Japanese poetic form that translates to “Short song.”

*Usually five lines with 5/7/5/7/7 syllables.

*Unlike Haiku, this form allows simile, metaphor, personification.

*Tanka cover wide subjects than the nature-based Haiku.

*Tanka do not rhyme or have titles and can have variety of forms.

*Often this form disregard syllables. Any form short five-line poem

as below:

A. tonight

she is lonely

writing

love poems

to an old friend

B. (5/7/5/7/7 syllable tanka)

street lamp makes gol.den

ghosts on wet streets, steam ris.ing

pave.ment, set.ting on

che.rry blos.som on the lawn

I remi.nisce about your pro.mise

GOGYOHKA:

*This Japanese poetic form is composed of five lines with one phrase per line.

*concise (five lines) and free (variable length with each phrase), have title.

*Phrase: group of words with no subject (noun) and predicate (verb).

*Sentence: group of words with subject and predicate.

Below is example of Gogyohkas.

The doe

when her son

was excluded she

walks with him

in the night

Morning Fog

with his cool breath

on her face

her wings of passion

unfolds to be gathered

into his infinite embrace

FREE VERSE:

*Unlike prose poem, Free verse has stanzas (a group of lines of verse forming one of the

divisions of a poem or song).

*Prose poem is like a short story in appearance, but do not separate lines. Continuity of

the lines give the poem strong feeling.

SEVERED SEVEN LINING:

*A Seven Lining is a poem that consists of seven lines, with the lines split up into two

three-lines stanzas and one final that brings everything together.

Below is an example written by me of the Severed Seven Lining, adding my photo images:

 

Unlabeled graphicA bird perched on a branch

Description automatically generatedCarefree Moment

Now and then, we resort to our favorite

observation point

to clarify the thoughts that tend to

scatter away like petals in the windt

2 Comments

  1. Robbie Cheadle Reply
    February 24, 2024

    Hi Patty, congratulations. Yours is a lovely poem.

    1. Hi, Robbie. I’m so glad you liked it.
      I hope you enjoy the other poet’s work here too.
      Maybe you might send them something to publish.
      Happy Poetry reading.

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