Gently nurture your beating heart
Grapple with your savage soul
And arrest your doubting demons.

For your utility
Though hidden
Peeks through ragged cracks
Seeking the light
And comfort of a thousand suns.

Pay your dues
If you must
But trumpet your goodness
Your kindness and your own glories
As deserved as any other’s

Perhaps more so because
You have suffered in silence
For far too long.
Go now and bask in your worth.
Those dark corners of quiet
Will remain ever so.

Daily Prompt: Homage

Earlier this summer I joined a writer’s group. We meet every week at Barnes & Noble where each person is free to share something they’ve written whether it be poetry, a short story, flash fiction or the latest chapter in a novel in progress. Surprisingly, poetry is something I’ve become drawn to, an unusual development in that I’ve never really taken an interest in it before now. One of our ‘tribe’ members is well versed (sorry, couldn’t resist!) in haiku so I thought I’d give it a try myself.

When I get home from these congregations, I’m usually too wired to sleep. Ideas, words and phrases flood my brain and I take pen to paper to gather my thoughts. Last night I shared some of these haikus with the group only to learn what I’d written weren’t technically haikus. Haiku, also called nature or seasonal haiku, is an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three lines of five, seven and five syllables, is usually written in the present tense and focuses on nature. What I learned is that what I’d originally called my ‘late night haikus’ were similar but identified instead as ‘human’ haiku, a form of verse that only references some aspect of human nature or emotions. They differ from nature haikus in that there are no references to the natural world.

Google defines senryu as “a poem, structurally similar to haiku, that highlights the foibles of human nature, usually in a humorous or satiric way”.

So, I know something now that I hadn’t known before – a good day yesterday, therefore! Here are my examples of this newly discovered form of poetry: the senryu. Each is a distinct verse, there is no correlation of one to the other; they are just six separate ‘human’ haikus. I hope you will enjoy them, keeping in mind these are my first attempts! 🙂

Hot/cold mermaid mugs
Seattle-based elixirs
Free wifi: Drink up!

Shallow depth of field
Two point eight aperture wide
Sweet bokeh delight.

Gifted in sheer pink
Lacy thongs, sequined brassiere
For whose enjoyment?

Elongated nails
Siren red with flecks of gold
Corrupted by grief.

Desires yet flaming
Stifled by heat and fatigue
Yearn for cooler nights.

Fleecy pajamas
Tunic top, wide-legged bottoms
Tangling good night’s sleep.

Her world is gray
Mine is a kaleidoscope.

She prefers the darkness
I adore the light.

Anxiety is the centerpiece of her existence
Joyous serendipity thrills my soul.

One of us is at peace
While the other yearns not to live.

I’m so weary of
This good cop/bad cop gig.

Are you happy being miserable?
It certainly seems that way to me.

I know I should be kind
But you tax what little patience I possess.

We urge you to get help
You reject and dismiss: Oh, but I’m fine.

You are not, however
Cloudy skies remain in your forecast.

Your persistent martyrdom
Takes a toll on us all.

Frustrations are high
With no end in sight.

Are you happy being miserable?
It certainly seems that way to me.

In two-thousand seventeen
Fragile women remain
Harassments to advantages gained
And freedoms purchased
Via the tireless efforts
Of so many before us.

Weakness in women
Paints unflattering portraits
Of gender betrayals
Fainters and screamers,
Weepers and handwringers,
Inviters of contempt

Pathetic tributes to a bygone era
Inexcusable excesses
Of melodrama and manipulation
Causing injury to all:
The delicate, the strong
And those who strive for potency.

We are made culpable
For their deficiencies
By our shared biology
These tenuous flowers
Poison our gardens:
Such needless sabotage!

Their unwillingness to see
Their inability to thrive
Their eagerness to hold us back
Shackled in another age
We are our
Very own worst enemies.

From whence inspiration
A lottery prize
Buy enough tickets
Increase your odds
To make it happen

Conjured muse
A bearing down
A calling forth
To grind the spark

Often, silence
Seeking light
Hungering for more
Digging deep
Bumping into shadows

Slender pivots
Heralded new images
Energy ON
Minds in madness
The heart knows and responds

Internal engine purring
Inspiration, process, drive, product: Creativity
Lather, rinse, repeat

Too many people take the good in their lives for granted
Behaving in ways that imply
A belief that they deserve their blessings
Without actually pondering just why
They think the randomness of the universe
Accidents of birth
The preordained arrangement of genes
(Precise donor A mates with precise donor B resulting in self-deluded offspring C)
Should have bestowed upon them
Great hair, lovely cheekbones, high IQs, strong physiques
(Not to mention being born in the most powerful nation in the world
Instead of a back-street hovel in Bangladesh
Or the isolated frozen tundra in a far-flung corner of Siberia).

Too many people assume the mantle of entitlement
Thinking a bad day is one when their daughter fails to make show choir
Or where layoffs at Christmas will negatively impact a school bond issue
Or how unmatched metallics mar a cultivated pulled together sense of fashion
Unaware how petty their grievances come across
To those who have truly suffered
To those who have truly known pain and sorrow
To those desperately seeking a respite from their troubles
And never, not ever, finding it…

Oh, yes, the humanity!

I am being folded into my life,
Days reveal themselves
With quiet, joy and solitude.
Indecision, a sometime companion.

Open skies, blue streaked with shades of white
A calming spirit.
Trials perhaps yet to come
I have a voice that wants to sing.

Words and songs all my own,
Not yet expressed
(But soon).
Hidden, but there – still.

Yearning to try
Grasping to know who and what I am
And to understand
What is mine to give, and why.

Move on – my mantra.
At times I am weary
Fearful of destinations undoing the very essence
Of who it is I think I have become.

I think I know what I want
Occasionally, I’m surprised.
I don’t care for ice cream
But sometimes I do.