Haiku: Left Arm

Left arm sunburn
Interstate median irises
Summer roadtrip

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Alben William Barkley’s Grave

The sky was bluer than usual this morning as I drove to Paducah, Kentucky. No clouds and fewer trees as I crossed fields of corn and soybeans. The sky was so blue I could almost pick out the brightest stars being overwhelmed by the sun.

My mission was to add Alben Barkley to my Dead Vice Presidents collection. I kept my car windows up for fuel efficiency even though the temperatures were nice and cool and when I opened my door at Mount Kenton Cemetery, my face was caressed by the smell of freshly mown grass but with an extra timbre. I’m guessing it was bluegrass since this is Kentucky.

Except for the historical marker outside the cemetery entrance, there was no indication that the man buried here was a Vice President. It’s a very unassuming grave in a very unassuming cemetery.

Barkley was Vice President for Harry Truman when they famously upset Thomas Dewey in the 1948 election. He is the oldest man to be elected Vice President and the only one to get married while in office. (To a woman half his age so there’s still hope for me.)

With VP Barkley now safely in my collection, I have 32 of the 42 dead Vice Presidents.

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Summer Haiku

These verdant mountains
feasting on solstice sunshine
and a thunderstorm

For today’s Solstice Poetry Prompt from Living Poetry.

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Fraiku: Doctor Verse

Don’t edit yourself
Poetry is the fever
Let it heal your mind

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Growing up, my girl next door was called Andy.
I just assumed gravity would bring us together—
like two galaxies slowly merging over a lifetime.

It might still happen though we’re no longer neighbors—
not that that matters in this age of internet dating,
remote work and learning, Zoom relationships.

My neighbors were once the people I delivered newspapers
to or begged candy from on Halloween night and today
I don’t know who lives in the next apartment.

Now I think of my readers as neighbors. I don’t care
which school you attended or the color of your passport.
We communicate at the speed of light.

The gravity of our words draw us together—
faster than the dark energy keeping us apart.

For the LP Prompt: Neighbor and Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Galaxy.

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Fraiku: Politics

When conservatives claim government is broken
They aren’t complaining
They’re bragging

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They stand hip deep in the ocean
awaiting the wave’s crescendo

It doesn’t care how much they love
each other— it will wash over them

and they will either stand strong
or be swept out to sea

(For two prompts: LP’s June Visual Prompt and Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt.)

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Fraiku: Baseball

Crack— a leather orb
climbs to heaven while moonrise
looms over left field

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Mulberries Published at MasticadoresUSA!

My poem Mulberries in the Piedmont has been published by Masticadores USA. I encourage all my fellow poets to check out Masticadores and send them your work.

All thanks to their editor, Gabriela Marie Milton!

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I dreamt I was walking my dogs under the light of the moons.

I dreamt I was walking my dogs
under the light of the moons.

The Greater Moon was full—
glowing porcelain above our heads
while the Lesser Moon was a ruddy
crescent setting in the west.

We returned to the backyard and howled,
all three of us, then hunted snipes
until we collapsed in a pile
of dirty paws and panting tongues.

I awoke in a narrow bed— no foot warmers,
no one begging breakfast before dawn.
Felt the pull of a lonely moon
in the still dark night

and howled into my pillow.

(From yesterday’s Living Poetry Prompt.)

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