In response to Midwest Winter, by Lillian, the Home Poet
Winter’s lonely sentinels, the trees, whose branches sway in these coldest of winds – the trees live on despite it all. Buried underground, below the frozen surface lives a hidden will, a slow certainty that sap will flow and buds will burst back into leaves. This thin layer of living, breathing, growing things to which we all belong – so fragile in the grandest scheme of things – is nigh unstoppable within the narrow scope of Earth’s domain. Our empty streets still overshadowed are by life’s grand forest fortresses. Long live the Maples and the Oaks. Stand. Sink deep your toes into the fertile ground. Raise high your many fingered hands unto the sun, until the ice age comes.
Paul Guernsey Player
wisened older friends
always walked before
listening to stories told
never totally alone
muddy boots on doorstep
frozen tracks returning home
paths to follow on
Paul Guernsey Player © 2019/01/27
Written for my second oldest brother’s 65th birthday, but applies all my siblings. Good going, Scott, Craig, Drew and Cindy, and returning, too.
*renku – (linked poem) A poem of alternating stanzas of nominally five-seven-five and seven-seven onji, usually composed by two or more poets, and developing texture by shifting among several traditional topics without narrative progression. Typical renga run to 36, 50, 100, 1000 or more stanzas. – from Glossary of Japanese Terms
My Superbowl half-time show would feature Yo-Yo Ma, a chair, his cello, and that is all. No lasers, no drones, not even a stage, just Ma seated at the 50 yard line.
[ANNOUNCER] LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YO-YO MA.
The house lights fade to black as twenty spotlights follow a solitary, slender figure walking through applause to the center of the field. He bows, sits, and begins to play. What has he selected for us? The notes of J.S. Bach, perhaps will resonate from Ma’s strings and spruce top board. They fill the stadium, the air waves, and our hearts. At one tender and particularly exposed passage, the spotlights, too go out as one simple line of melody continues out into the night. The darkness now is pierced with pinholes of staccato camera flashes and of distant stars whose planets on some future starry night like this will many years from now receive a broadcast emanating from the Earth.
One by one, the lights return as the music crescendos, building in complexity of rhythm. Finally, Ma stands to thunderous applause. He deeply bows. Exiting the spotlight, the bow-wielding artist leaves only an empty chair and cello, shining like the Sun.
day streams on and on
as night unwinds her kite string
blackbird flock untethered flies
wistful daydreams in its stead
Paul Guernsey Player, © 2019/01/14
Foreboding and bewitching, both;
enticing with a veiled and secret threat.
Made precious is the light,
if only by its contrast
to the darkness of the night it comes to end.
The blackbird flock continues overhead
upon its daily flight from roosting shelter
somewhere in a sunken glen,
up to the highly tensioned cable perches high,
upon of the buzzing flow of every
Earthbound humans’ dim, but everlasting day
that feed an endless wanton lust for lights.
The unsuspecting birds know only that the clouds
are extra wet today and that they cannot see the ground
if much above the tree-tops any dares to fly.
The youngest circle back against the flow, as if confused.
The strongest wings depend upon the rhythmic
beat of those that know the way.
The oldest, now half-blind, can fly there in his sleep,
and back again, with knowing caw to turn the strays
back to the proper daily course.
No fog can cloud the mind of one so set upon his ways.
The blackbird flock continues overhead,
but heeded not by Earthbound humans dim,
whose wanton lust for endless day enclouds
their wingless thought as surely as their
vision and direction fade with age.
Paul Guernsey Player, © 2019/01/14
|1/2 cup||raw sesame seeds|
|1/4 cup||minced fresh ginger|
|1/8 cup||coconut flour|
|1/3 cup||coconut oil (softened)|
Mix all dry ingredients.
Place mixing bowl on a warm surface while blending in the oil, like the non-element part of a warm stove top (just to soften the oil). Fold and press in the oil until the texture is consistent.
Press into a silicone mold.
Chill 10 minutes to re-solidify the coconut oil
*Substitute your sweetener of choice, such as 1/4 cup minced dates.
winter squirrels rutting
what better time to do it
But rutting is by far too coarse a word,
for what the squirrels have done is honest play.
And winter is by far too strong a word,
so far they are from hibernation’s sleep.
young buck’s urgent press
the doe’s unguarded yielding
once more, yes, again
So, out they came to frolic and cavort,
to leap and romp and spring in crisp fresh air.
springtime pups brewing
tiny buns in the oven
unknown joys ahead
a blank renku by Paul Guernsey Player, © 2019/01/11
blank renku – a form of linked verse, written by one or multiple authors in alternating collaboration. Blank renku differs from renku in that stanzas alternate between haiku form, and blank verse. The shortest blank verse stanza would be a couplet. The longest would fill a Post It note, the original (fictional) medium of blank renku, as invented for The Blank Verse Mystery. Variations are expected.
Blank renku can be played as a game, in the original spirit of renku. It merges poetry from East and West. Writers can choose to write in their stronger form or in their weaker one, and in this way it is similar to Terry Pratchett’s game of THUD.