April 2021 Poetry Contest – April 1 0 to April 14
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Just posted on line https://formerpeople.wordpress.com/2021/04/21/lone-foreigner-
This is the fifth and perhaps final time I am doing the April poetry challenge. The goal is to write at least one poem per day. I am averaging about eight per day and posting four reserving four as “unpublished”. I am basing the poems on prompts from “Writing com Dew Drop Inn”, “Writers Digest”, “Poetry Superhighway” and “NaPoWrMo” prompt daily prompts and on “Pensively Prompt’ et all daily prompts. I am combining prompts where possible. I will post these here in batches every five days or so. Each poem will have an image that helped inspired the poem. All postings will be podcasted a few days later on Spotify and elsewhere. Each posting will be a separate posting, but the index will be cumulative. The final posting will have the complete list of all poems written whether posted or not. Comments welcome but please keep it civil. Some of my poetry tends to be a bit “in your face” or “political” from a “leftwing perspective.” If it offends you in some way, please accept my apologies in advance. That is never my intent.
This is part three covering poems written April 10th to April 14th, posted on the 14th
I am writing some other poems per day but not posting them as I need to reserve some “unpublished” poems. There will be a podcast version shortly on Spotify, Public Radio and elsewhere. I will list all the poems I wrote in my final April posting, May 1 KST. Posted
Transgressions, Writing Com – Dew Drop-In
Every Morning Cherita, PSH Prompt
Prime Love Writers Digest Prompt
Letter to Frank Zappa, Napowrmo Prompt
The Mountains of My Love, —Describe Yourself as Landscape Writing Com Dew Drop-In
Great Dismal Dark Play Sestina Writer’s Digest
Superman on His Morning Patrol PSH Prompt
Coffee Obsession Pensively/Writing Com Dew Drop-In
The Wit and Wisdom of Mary Geneva Aldridge Aller -“There’s Method in Her Madness” Dedicated to My Mother Who Passed on July 31, 2005.
Lucky In Love, Unlucky at Cards, Writer’s Digest
Visiting the Tower of Babel, Napowrmo Prompt
News Headlines I’d Like to See Napowrmo Prompt
Robots Taking Over Writing Com Dew Drop-In
Just Another Black Dude Pulled Over Driving While Black
Poem with Transgression in Form and Content Writing com Dew Drop-In
Something remains hidden
Every Morning Cherita PSH Prompt
A few years ago, I discovered one of my favorite writing exercises: Try writing a cherita. Cherita is the Malay word for story or tale. It is a little 6 line story.
Try writing a single stanza of a one-line verse
followed by a two-line verse,
and then finishing with a three-line verse
You can find samples and even a journal you can submit your little stories here:
Every Morning Cherita
When I wake up
And see you there
The darkness of the night
Begins to recede
As the sun lights up
Filling me with your love
Letter to Frank Zappa 1975 NaPoWrMo
And now for our (optional) prompt. This is a twist on a prompt offered by Kay Gabriel during a meeting she facilitated at the Poetry Project last year. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response. These can be as short or long as you like, in the form of prose poems, or with line breaks – and of course, the subject matter of the letters is totally up to you.
Letter to Frank Zappa 1975 sent to him
I loved your overnight sensation album
It made my day
It inspired me to write
Some poems which I hope
You can consider using
In a future album
Your friend and number one fan
Jake Cosmos Aller
His Response – never responded
Love your poems
Love your name
Is that your real name?
Is it because you are from Berkeley?
One of my favorite cities
I will be able to use
Some of these poems
My people will get in touch
With your people
And work out a deal
To use these poems
Great job my friend
Your friend for life
Prime Love Writers Digest Prompt
For today’s prompt, write a prime number poem. That is, I want you to somehow incorporate a prime number into your poem. You could include a prime number in the title of your poem or use one in the poem itself. Or write a poem that has a prime number of lines per stanza or for the entire poem.
And if you need help with remembering which numbers are prime numbers, I’ve got you covered (here’s a list of prime numbers up to 100: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97)
Wakes me up
With love in her heart
I leap out of my dark bed
Eagerly greeting the dawning sunlight
Filling my soul with your deep endless angelic love
Wondering again who you are, why are you here, my angel dear?
As I sit in the morning light, filled with your love, seeing the sunlight
My deep dark nightmares begin to fade with your deep love
I am filled with the light of the dawning sun
I was dreaming of all those years
Then one day you came to life
Walking out of dreams
Describe Yourself as Landscape Writing com Dew Drop-In
The Mountains of My Love
—Describe Yourself as Landscape Writing com Dew Drop-In
The Mountains of My Love
I am like a mountain
Growing out of the plains
Rising to a peak
Overlooking the town
Filled with my love
For my wife
I remain a towering inferno
Passionate intensity erupting
Whenever I see you
Great Dismal Dark Play Sestina Writer’s Digest
For today’s prompt, write a poem using at least three of the following six words: convict, great, play, race, season, and voice. Extra credit for using all six words. Extra credit for writing a sestina. It’s not a race, so I won’t convict anyone who can’t use all six words, but it is the season to play around and share your great voice. Now!
Great Dismal Dark Play
There is a great dismal dark play
At work in the wild world
There is a Race to the finish line
During this unsettling Season
Millions of people losing their Voice
As thousands die every day
PSH Write a Comic Book Poem, Superman on His Daily Patrol
Write a poem where you describe each part of it as if in a square of a comic book. Put it in the present tense. Close your eyes (or not) and imagine exactly what is happening in each line, what you want to see or do in your setting. Use simple descriptions, think about materials, shapes, and colors along with what else is there (houses, businesses, parks, transportation, etc.). Other considerations are: What sounds do you hear, what smells do you smell, and how’s the weather? In this poem, you can be the hero/heroine or not!
Superman on His Morning Patrol
Superman wakes up
On a beautiful spring morning
Glad to be alive
He drinks his coffee
One of the best things
On his adopted new world
He suited up
Flew out his window
On his morning patrol
Promoting the American way
He flies about the city
Stopping to eat a hot dog
Chatting with the vendor
About life on earth
Life is good
Visiting the Tower of Babel, NaPoWrMo Prompt
Finally, our prompt (optional, as always). I’m calling this one “Past and Future.” This prompt challenges you to write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempira’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction. A hat tip to Cathy Park Hong for a tweet that pointed me to the science fiction dictionary and Hoe for introducing me to the Classical Dictionary.
Visiting the Tower of Babel
A team of SF travelers
Discovered HG Wells secret plans
And construct a time machine
A big debate ensures
Where to go
When to go
Some wanted to go back
and witness the crucifixion
Finally, they decide
To go back in time
To the construction
Of the tower of Babel
They set the time machine
To 2,226 BCE
And off they go
They find a large tower
Reaching towards the heaven
They stay and watch
The tower’s construction
Then the tower falls down
In a lightning strike
Everyone who witnesses
Is struck with madness
The tower lay in ruins
The people speaking
The scientists conclude
That this biblical tale
Was probably true
Coffee Obsession Pensively, —Excess or Obsession Writing com Dew Drop-In
Thought about the Difference
As he drank deeply
Enjoying his coffee obsession
The Wit and Wisdom of Mary Geneva Aldridge Aller -“There’s Method in Her Madness” dedicated to my mother who passed on July 31, 2005.
We are here today
To celebrate the life
Of Mary Geneva Aldridge Wilson Aller,
As we are gathered together
to mark her passing
On to another, better world,
I thought we should reflect
On her life and its meaning.
Therefore, I have a message
That I hope we all leave here today.
I call this speech,
‘The Wit and Wisdom of Mary Geneva Aldridge Wilson Aller,
” There’s Method in her Madness.”
Which was one of her favorite Shakespeare quotes.
I hope we will see the wisdom
That my mother tried so hard to impart
And what I hope I have learned
From 52 years of watching
The life of my Mother.
What have I have learned?
From Mary’s life
And her death
And what we can all learn
From her 85 years of experience
In this mad crazy corner
Of the world, she loved so dearly.
She was a true Berkeley original,
And it is only fitting
That we bury her
Here a few blocks
From where she spent
Much of her life.
What can we learn?
From Mary’s life in this world?
Her favorite song from a musical was
“Stop the world.
I want to get off.”
And today she gets her final wish
As she leaves this world
And moves on to another world.
My mother grew up
In what could best be described
As hill country folk.
She was the 8th child of 10 children
Born on a family farm in the 1920s
High up in the Ozark mountains
Part Cheroke, Irish, Scot, Dutch, French
And maybe African American to boot
Her family part of the lost tribe
Of the Cherokee tribe
Who ran away
Before the trail of tears
She graduated from High School
And lit out for the West coast
Just as millions of people
Fled the dust bowl
Of the late ’30s and ’40s.
She arrived in the SF area
And settled in Berkeley.
She hated being considered an Oakie
And lost her accent
She cultivated an accent
She learned from
The classical radio deejays.
She then became involved
In labor and democratic politics.
She became a telephone operator union President,
Later was a real estate salesperson,
And became involved with the Save the Bay movement
And the League of Women’s voters.
During the 60’s she accompanied
My father to Washington DC
When he was Undersecretary of Labor.
She could not wait to get back
To her beloved Berkeley
Because she felt at home
In the zany openness of the Bay area
She once said
“every ten years the world flips
And all the nuts roll downhill
That is how she got there
Part of the Planetary Nut Reconfiguration Program
A little known Federal ABC agency “
She hated DC
As it reminded her why
She left the South
So many years before.
In later years she helped my father
In his many political campaigns
And was his business manager for almost 10 years
When he ran an economic consulting business.
When she retired,
She kept her love of reading
Until just a few short years ago
When she finally
Was no longer able to read.
That for me was one
Of the saddest parts of her final years
As she loved to read.
What we all learned from Mary
– Mary’s wisdom can be broken
Down into four areas:
Think for ourselves
Read everything there is,
And always do the right thing.
She always told us that we should question authority
And that we should never trust experts.
She said often what is an expert?
Just a guy with a Ph.D.
And we all know what means –
BS Piled High and Deep.
And she laughed
As she was married to Ph.D.
And hated campus politics.
She hated with disdain
Almost all politicians
Except for Truman and Kennedy
And she had her own Truman story
She thought they were all crooks and liars,
Especially the Southern-bred types.
She believed though in equal opportunity
And hated Republicans as much as Democrats.
No one ever measured
Up to her high standards
Of ethical behavior.
She often told us to do
The right thing.
But she refused to tell us
What would be
As we had to figure
That out on our own.
My final thoughts
Are on reading
Love of books
That she gave me and my siblings.
She read an average of three to five books
Per week every week of her life.
We were always trading books
Stocking up books on our visits
To the family library
As I thought of it.
I have taken a part in the library
With me and will treasure all the books
That she shared with me and my siblings.
She always had an opinion
One of her and my favorite books
Was the World According to Garp
And there was a “World According to Mary”
Where what you saw was what you got
And if you did not like her opinion,
Then you had best get out of the way
Was afraid of no one
And always stood her ground no matter what.
But I am happy that she
Let me in the “World According to Mary”
And I have lots of stories
From her life that would make great fiction,
For, in Mary’s improbable life,
Life was truly stranger than fiction.
Because my mother grew up in a Christian family,
It would be appropriate to read a bible quote.
My mother was raised as a Baptist
Although she left the Church
After asking the minister,
“If God created the world,
Who created God?”
Here is one of her favorite Bible quotes
Ecclesiastes 12 (King James Version)
1Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
2While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
3In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
4And the doors shall be shut in the streets when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low.
5Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goth to his long home and the mourners go about the streets:
7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
8Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.
9And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
10The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
11The words of the wise are as gods, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
12And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Her minister friend said the short version is ” Life is Good.
Then we Die and it gets even better.”
When Mary was a telephone union president,
Word came down
that she was invited
to meet Harry Truman.
I don’t want to meet Harry
unless he wants to meet me.
Hearing that quip,
Harry was amused
And sent his advance team to talk
Some sense into that feisty fiery woman
Out in SF, that Mary Aller.
Two government types,
Dressed as I am,
Asked her if she was a communist
Boy, are you stupid?
If I were a communist, would I tell you?
I don’t think so.
Where do they get people
Like you anyway?
The SF Chronicle captured the moment
With a huge headline,
“Harry Meets Mary.”
This sums up my mother’s fearless feisty
Stubborn personality and yes,
Truman was one of the few politicians
That got the Mary Aller seal of approval
Now my final Mary story
Sums up her life for me.
In 1974 I was in a BHS play,
The Madwomen of Chaillot
Where I played the waiter
Whose line was
“she’s not mad.
She’s the madwomen of Chaillot.”
But Mary was in the audience
And I lost my character
For a moment and said,
“She not’s mad,
She’s the madwoman of Berkeley,
oops I meant Chaillot.”
Brought down the house.
I went home thinking I had done it,
Insulted my Mom in front of the whole school.
And said that was okay
As she liked the phase.
You are my madwoman of Berkeley
And I’ll have it no other way.
And that was the end of it,
When I say,
“Mary, you were one of the most original people
And I treasure the fact
That I was your son.
You were at times
Very difficult to deal with
But in the end,
Your good karma
Will outlive you
As you always did the right thing,
And for that
And all the other words of wisdom
I learned over the years,
I salute you,
Our beloved Madwomen of Berkeley.
Write a Lucky Poem and/or..Write an Unlucky Poem. Writers Digest
Lucky in love, Unlucky in cards
There is an adage
That sums up my life so far
One can be lucky in love
But unlucky in cards
That sums it up nicely
I have been lucky in love
Met and married
The girl of my dreams
Dreamed of meeting her
For eight years
Then she came into my life
Became my wife
But I have never been
Lucky in cards
I mean I have played
Poker with friends
But always lost
Won a little bit of gambling
But usually lost more
Then I won
Eventually gave up
Just not fun anymore
Never really had the gambling bug
Just not my cup of tea
It seemed to me
Yet to get a jackpot
But then I think
I hit the jackpot of love
When I met the love
Of my life that date
When I met my fate
And that has made
All the difference
In the world
News Headlines I’d Like to See NaPoWrMo Prompt
And now, on to our (optional) prompt. Today’s prompt comes from the Instagram account of sundress publications, which posts a writing prompt every day, all year long. This one is short and sweet: write a poem in the form of a news article you wish would come out tomorrow.
Donald Trump Dies of a Massive Heart Attack
Congress Passes 2.6 Trillion $ Infrastruture Bill in rare Bipartisan Vote
North Korea and South Korea Enter into Unification Talks
U.S Troops Come Home From Afghanistan and Iraq
Peace Breaks Out Around the World
The Covid pandemic is finally over
The Robots are Taking Over, Machines Writing com Dew Drop-In
The robots are coming
They will soon
More and more jobs
Leaving people free
To do other things
But what will we all do?
When the machines
From driving and delivering
To cooking our food
Cleaning our houses
Cleaning our offices
Even doing our lawyering
And our doctoring
What will we do?
When the evil computer overlord
Emerges in the future
And enslave us all
To the robotic overlords?
Just Another Black Dude Pulled Over Driving While Black
The other day
A young black army Lt
Learned a vital lesion
To the average cop
On the street
A black man
Is a suspect
And must be dealt with
With maximum force
Just to teach them
You don’t mess with the police
You must know your place
And in today’s world
You are nothing more
Then just another black man
In the eyes of the law
The Lt.’s crime?
Driving while black
In a small town
The cops saw a black man
Did not care
That he was in uniform
When the black man
Refused to comply
And questioned their right
To harass him
They pulled out their guns
Making it a felony arrest
Beat him up for good measure
All for nothing
Not a crime
But did they care
Not at all
That is justice
In our America
They did not go all
George Floyd on him
Perhaps his uniform
Saved his life