Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second week of Advent: a poem


                                                          Advent

         I used to write
         a poem each year
         at this time, anticipating
         the Savior’s coming, but
         household chores,
         the yard, the holidays––
         I’ve made no time
         for meditation,
         writing, waiting,
.
         I hereby vow
         beginning now
         to take more time
         from this day on,
         to concentrate,
         to celebrate,
         prepare, like Mary,
         for the Blessed Child.
         Lord, help me live
         expectantly today
         and every day
         until the second-coming.
        I must make ready--
       again.
c 2017, PL







Sunday, December 3, 2017

First week of Advent, 2017: a poem

                    An Advent wreath. Advent is the run-up to Christmas in liturgical churches

Years ago, I began what I hoped would be an annual happening: writing an Advent poem in the Octo Sequence pattern touted by Mary Harper Sowell, former president of Poets Roundtable of Arkansas. The online instructions are different from what Ms. Sowell used, that is, the fourth and fifth lines of the eight (octo) rhyme. Mine are rhymed. This poem described my life twenty-seven years ago in 1990.

ADVENT: THE COMING OF A CHILD

This Advent will be more serene
since I'm no longer organist--
no preludes, hymns or antiphons--
and time I spent in pressured haste
is now revered as private space.
No preludes, hymns or antiphons
since I'm no longer organist.
This Advent will be more serene.

The yuletide bustle will be less:
my school choir sang an autumn show,
releasing yet another night
for shopping with the family
or entertaining merrily.
Releasing yet another night,
my school choir sang an autumn show;
the yuletide bustle will be less.

Just when the season's simplified,
a grandson comes to live with me;
one curious, crawling eight-month-old.
(Did Mary want to rail and  rant
when Jesus tumped her favorite plant?)
One curious, crawling eight-month-old,
a grandson comes to live with me
just when the season's simplified.    


Published in variations, 1994
c 2017, PL

                                              The grandson, a few years later. He's now 27.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Run-up to December - HAIKU

                                                                autumn-bare crape myrtle


AN OAK LEAF FALLS
INTO THE MINI-ROSE BUSH
WINDCHIMES' TUNE
~~~~

one month later
finding
my Halloween shirt
~~~

flying
into the birdbath
leaves and shadows
~~~

CAT JUMPS TO THE RIM
OF THE BIRDBATH . . . PERKS HIS EARS
AT A FLOATING LEAF
~~~

skimming
in the lake water
trees and clouds
(photo, S. Breidenthal, AD-G)
~~~

late November
beyond the bare tree, a flock
of blackbirds fly by
~~~

A THUNDERSTORM
INTERRUPTING
MY RAKING
~~~

grandson in a crape myrtle at The Wharf

c 2017 PL dba lovepat press




Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"Improv on 4 lines of Frost" - poem






IMPROV ON FOUR LINES OF FROST

It would take me forever to recite
all that’s not new in where we find ourselves,
to live once more on family’s old home place
now that my mother, your great-granny’s gone.
The house is mine, as eldest, to maintain,
and ours, my grandson, since you’re mine to rear.
Let’s walk around the grounds where I once played:
the chinaberry here, persimmon there.
Mulberry leaves outside my bedroom swayed
in wind, threw ghostly shadows on the wall.
That yard, which neighbors keep immaculate,
grew our potatoes, limas, purple hulls.
When I was six like you, this grassy patch
played host to jimpsonweed and cockle burr.
Back there, the woods, which some years Grandpa set
on fire by accident, sit tamed in streets
like suburbs. Muscadines, blackberry vines,
plum thickets, black-eyed Susans—all are gone.
I’m going to put you in your bed, if first
I have to make you build it. Come, the light.

c 2017,  Pat Laster dba as lovepat press

published in:
Lucidity Poetry Journal II, 2012
Grist (MSPS Anthology), 2013
Hiding Myself into Safety: Short Stories & Long Poems, 2016



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rain and other subjects - poems

HAIKU

rain
running along the roof line
away from the storm
~~~

CINQUAINS

Last night,
a thunderstorm.
This morning, pine needles
carpet streets and roadways like brown
velvet.
~~~

THE SAFARI ROOM-I
Couldn't
tell if it was
thunder or the traffic
this early Sunday evening in
Piggott.

HEAR ME ROAR - II
Thirty
minutes later,
thunder rumbled around
this building as if to say, "I'm
thunder!"
~~~





SHOO! (FLICK)

The rim
of my coffee
cup close to the fireplace
sports an Asian beetle nosing
around.

POST-RETREAT

Sleeping
around the clock
after a week away
with no op for my usual
naptime.

c 2017 PL, dba lovepat press

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Autumn photos and poems


Wary/ like a guard dog/ or the secret service/ Greye checks the yard with feline eyes/ then sits.


a flock of blackbirds
flying down to the cotton
no scarecrow around


Lady/bug lights on my/ puzzle page. Sans even/ a hello! I quickly flick it/ away.


A squirrel/ under the car/ forages for acorns/ abundant from the wind in the/ oak tree.


sunset
adding its colors
to autumn foliage
--Dorothy McLaughlin, from our calendar,
CONNECTING OUR HOUSES

c 2017 PL & DMcL, co-author's of Connecting Our Houses, a perpetual haiku calendar, out of print


Friday, October 27, 2017

Deep into Autumn: POEMS

# 315
While I
make coffee, Greye
sits apace staring at
his food dish--patiently--still as
marble.
~~~

#317
I watch
as a goldfinch
takes a long bath in fresh
water. Nearby, yellow maples
drop leaves.
~~~

#320
No birds
singing; so still,
the far-off highway drone
is audible--till a pickup
passes.
~~~

#323
Spider
webs everywhere
there're two objects to start
and end with. In one, two perfect
circles.
Builders
spun while I slept,
designed webs CD-sized
or old 45s--too fine to
capture
photos;
too sunny to
get close. What industry!
Examples of Mother Nature's
beauty.
~~~


c 2017 PL dba lovepat press

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mockingbird and falling leaves: poems

HAIKU
mockingbird
sips the water
before its bath
~~~

Brown leaves
fly by the droves
into the holly tree
for good seats at the mockingbird
concert.
~~~

GOSSIP?
Early,
a mockingbird
gabbles to its world
from the dogwood tree, changing up
its tunes.
~~~

WITHIN SIX FEET!
Testing
my hearing, are
you, mockingbird, like she
did in real life with recorded
voices?
~~~

SEAT AT THE OPERA
High-wire
recitatives
and arias from le
oiseau moqueur amuse me on
the porch.
~~~

c 2017, PL dba lovepat press


Monday, October 2, 2017

Time for reunions - a poem

Kathy, Roxie, Janis, Bettye

REUNIONS

R  eunions--whether in families or for friends
E  voke ebullient anticipation or edgy dread.
U  nderlying our attendance is a vulnerability
N  atural to those who've grown apart. What if
I  'm too big, too bald, too bold, too shy? Will
O  thers accept what I've become? Alas,
N  o one is responsible for me but me.
S  ympathize, empathize. Life c
                                                   o
                                                     n
                                                       t
                                                         i
                                                           n
                                                             u
                                                               e
                                                                 s.

Linda, Carolyn, Kaki.

c 2017, PL dba lovepat press, from variations, 1994

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Autumn creatures & plants - poems

Dogwood at Dairy Hollow

ON TUESDAY
Monday's
spider not there.
Without going closer,
I strain my eyes for a look-see:
nothing.
~~~

PERSISTENCE
I douse
one large ant hill
in the stone-filled sidewalk.
The next week, an even larger
one's built!
~~~

TOO TINY TO SEE
Web from
holly to Norfolk
pine, but no sign of its
maker on this cool September
morning.
~~~

SAVED BY THE OLD WOMAN
Cat tries
to go inside
with a squirming lizard
in his mouth . . . "No, no, no you don't!"
I said.
~~~

MAKING THEMSELVES VISIBLE
Juvy
redbird, robin
fly into my vision--
one in the purple shrub; one in
the grass.
~~~

ALONE
Scruffy
fledgling redbird
has the "pool" to himself
after his sister abandons
her bath.
~~~

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN
Maple
leaves--five of them--
fall, one at a time; one
after the other, nestle in
the grass.
~~~

AUTUMN'S HERE!
A long
blooming season--
those Encore azaleas
that welcome the sunny first day
of Fall.
~~~
~~~


                                          Spider webs are everywhere these days

c 2017 PL, dba lovepat press





Monday, September 18, 2017

Mid-September: poems

#299 'TIS THE SEASON
Drier
than at any
time this summer--yellow-
bell and wild coleus both are
drooping.
~~

#297 WHIRRING
I hear
a hummingbird
behind me . . . in a bit,
it pauses within view, then flies
away.
~~

#298 HIDING
Redbird--
its 'chit' constant
but undiscovered. Now,
it's moved from the dogwood to the
maple.
~~

#300 ON THE PORCH AT DUSK
Night bugs
providing me
with stereophonic
music--some from the east, some from
the west.
~~

#301 A FORUM
Goldfinch,
tufted titmouse
and a sparrow all bathe.
Why so many birds all of a
sudden?
~~

#302 INTERPRETATION
"I think
he (the Prez) means..."
Why does his staff always
feel they have to explain the things
he says?
~~

#303 LOSS OF A FRIEND
Spacecraft
Cassini burned
up as planned in Saturn's
ringed atmosphere after twenty
years' work.
~~
c 2017, PL, dba lovepat press - hummingbird photo by Thurman Couch






Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tiny creatures lurking about: poems

Tiny
hummingbird rests
on a beautyberry
limb close to the feeder. Next look,
it's gone.

Next look,
it's back again.
Third look, there's TWO of them.
How much longer will they stay, I
wonder.
~~~
PL, 9/10/17

At dusk,
week-eating grass
around the roses, I
look up: nose to nose with a black
spider!
~~~
PL, 9/9/17

The squirrel
forages in
the wagon full of grass
clippings and irises' brown tips.
Surely,

with all
the pear leavings
thrown into the hedge row,
it's not hungry. It scampered off,
mouth full.
~~~
PL, 9/9/17

Juvy
redbird, robin
visit Couchwood today--
one in the purple shrub, one in
the grass.
~~~
PL,  9/9/17


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Pears, pears, pears, pears, working up the pears

 Second wagonload of wind-fall pears, August '17
pear petals
drifted
against the fence
--by Susan Delphine Delaney
from Facebook. Used with permission
~~~
a buzz
from the pail of pears
that need “working up”
--sycamore’s mottled bark, October monthly, 2012
~~~
bountiful harvest
one leaf and one pear still hang
on the ancient tree
-- in front of the moon (2010)

CINQUAIN
After
the pear harvest,
the south wind wrestles one
recalcitrant fruit to the ground.
My treat!
--posted on Facebook, 11.13.'14
~~~

leaving plenty
of the windfall pears
to gleaner bees
--a patch of yellow, 2005

ping of sealing lids—
thought of winter preserves
eases today’s work
--Connecting Our Houses, 1997

c 2017, Pat Laster dba lovepat press




Sunday, August 20, 2017

Pear-motif poems

From my January Gimcracks, January 30, 2003,
drizzly morning
a lone yellow pear
in the blackness
~~PL

From Dim Sum, 2005/II, p. 23:
apple orchard--
could I have
the pear tree
~~Yu Chang

From day breaks, February 20, 2000:
pear tree
white explosion on
the blue day
~~(the late) Dion O'Donnol

LOVE POEM II
I just finished breakfast
--cheese omelet
with picante sauce,
coffee, milk,
and a ripe
(the best kind)
pear.

I thought of you
and your buckets
of blown-off-the-tree
pears,
not to mention those
that resisted the wind.

It does not take much
to call you to mind--
maybe nothing at all--
but the pear served
admirably.

I hope you harvested
as much good from them
as I did.
~~Reformed from a note or email sent by L.T. sometime during 2012.



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A poem by Wendell Berry

DARK WITH POWER
Dark with power, we remain
the invaders of our land, leaving
deserts where forests were,
scars where there were hills.

On the mountains, on the rivers,
on the cities, on the farmlands
we lay weighted hands, our breath
potent with the death of all things.

Pray to us, farmers and villagers
of Vietnam. Pray to us, mothers
and children of helpless countries.
Ask for nothing.

We are carried in the belly
of what we have become
toward the shambles of our triumph,
far from the quiet houses.

Fed with dying, we gaze
on our might's monuments of fire.
The world dangles from us
while we gaze.

--from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, page 28,
originally in the book Openings (1968) 

Friday, August 11, 2017

MID-SUMMER RAINS (poems)


AUGUST, 2017
T-storms
forecast daily
this week. Eek! New Orleans
is flooded. Are we next in line?
Not yet.
~~~
DELUGE
Blowing
rain--hard--pooling
in the grass; grays the street
and air. But--as if in a one-up
contest,

vicious-
sounding pickups
roar past angrily toward
somewhere. I sit under the roof
and swing.
~~~
AUGUST 1, 2012
Raining
just long enough
for me to walk around
the side of the house and turn off
the tap.
~~~

AUGUST 31, 2012
"Speed bump
ahead" sign just
above the floodwaters.
Boaters using other street signs
as oars.
      *
Remnants
of Isaac make
it to our state, with wind
and downpours, somewhat relieving
the drought.
~~~
~~~
c 2017 PL dba lovepat press    





















`

Monday, August 7, 2017

Several Etheree poems

PROBLEM
A
hummer
trapped inside
the screened-in porch--
it wouldn't be shooed,
hov'ring above door frame
bumping 'gainst transparent walls.
No butterfly net handy. But
an open wire hanger just might work:
hook red feeder on open door. Voila!
1997 ~~~

FRUGALITY
I
go through
coupons clipped
four months ago
from papers' inserts,
note expiration dates--
some 3 months old, some three days
past, which I separate and trash,
add current ones, still full of the hope
that I might save a dime or two next trip.
1998~~

THE SWIM SUIT AD
You
see this
bathing suit?
Now, do you see
the model pictured?
Is she a size 16
in women's, for heaven's sake?
More like a 6, but hey, her top
enhances her like mine: it smashes;
the waist minimizer feature doesn't!
2000~~

DR. JOHNNY WINK, OBU
His
satchel
in one hand,
a paper scrap
in the other, the
English professor walks
to class on the city's bike
trail and memorizes poems.
Once, I offered him a found pencil.
"Thanks. Some student always comes without one."
2001~~

c 2017 PL, dba lovepat press


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Poems from the Unpublished card file - August

1997
God's feathered fools
surely remain in the woods
of cat heaven
[image from Charles Allbright's AD-G column]
~~~
2000
today, calico
following MY lead
naps at my bedside~
~~~
2005
picking his garden
with a dead leg and a cane
92-year-old
[image from Jay Grelan's AD-G column]
~~~
2006
fishing the river
snake holding a live catfish
floats near my bait
[image with no attribution]
~~~
2010
a late breakfast--
shall I take an early nap
or eat some ice cream?
[I did both]
~~~
2015
new grocery list
cat food, calcium
and coffee
~~~
2017
Second
blooming this year,
the Encore azaleas
brighten the mid-summer landscape's
green-ness.

c 2017 PL dba lovepat press

Thursday, July 20, 2017

More summer poems cat, heat, drought

Greye Laster cat

IT'S COOLER DOWN HERE
smart cat!
Rather than rest
in the attic's heat, he
spends his afternoon nap on the
fourth stair.
~~

STRANGE ONE
Strange one
at the birdbath:
stretched out, a foot long, eyes
checking the water. Finally,
he laps.
~~

A FIRST!
After
all these years, Greye
jumped up on the loveseat
in the space between my paper
and me.

Never
has he done such
as that. He reclined in
the small spot, put a gray paw on
my leg.
~~

Storm building in Fairfield Glade, TN on sisters' trip

smelling
rain, but the sun's
shining
~~

ALL THINGS IN THEIR TIMES
Every
time I looked up
at graying clouds, I prayed,
"Please rain. Please rain." Hours later,
spitting.
~~


Yellow
pansy hanging
out of the pot. Could I
hear it gasping, "Too hot! Water!
Water!"?
~~

parched ground somewhere

c 2017 PL dba lovepat press

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Birds in the Bush and Tree- poems


LIVE MUSIC
A wren is close
in the holly tree,
a mockingbird farther out,
a robin in the dogwood,
and a cardinal's 'chit-chit'
from the maple.
~~

woodpecker
tapping on the roof
above me
~~

Thrasher
flies to, lands on
a horizontal limb
of the ancient crape myrtle, lost
to sight.
~~

"Killing
me with your song!"
I tell the bird, not six
feet from my ears in the holly
treetop.
~~

Slight breeze
but no wind chime.
Mockingbird takes that role
well enough. Ah! There's a very
soft tone.
~~


I swing,
cooling off from
a spate of afternoon
yard work, while the mockingbird sings
for me.
~~

FROM THE BACK PORCH STEPS
Last call
of the redbird.
As the night bugs waken,
western sky shows only its blues.
I rest.
~~
~~
PL, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

Poems from the Past - Cinquains

1996 - ETHICS
"I know
it's not allowed."
Ruth stretches out her trunk
to fenced-out docent. "Goobers taste
so good!"
~~
1998 - DANGER!
My son's
experiment--
the glint in brittle leaves
is sun's reflection through the glass.
"No, NO!"
~~

2003 - FOUND IN AN OLD JOURNAL
I crave
ice cream after
two weeks' deprivation,
and he walks in with a bag of
corn chips.
~~

2005 - OUT OF THE COUNTRY
"Goodnight
for the last time
in 13 days," my boy
says before his school trip to Greece
and Rome.
~~

2006 - 101 DEGREES
Robins,
redbird and squirrel
glean from the shady yard
in grass that is drying up from
the heat.
~~

2009 - TOO BIG
Huge brown
thrasher wobbles
on the column feeder
eating seeds that the smaller birds
ignore.
~~

2012 - SO HOT FOR SO LONG
ACs
turned on at eight-
fifteen a. m. Nearly
80 degrees already this
morning.
~~

2015 - WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Five days
after seeing
"Oklahoma," I'm still
mind-singing "People will say we're
in love."
~~

2016 - IF THAT'S ALL WE HAD TO DO
Counting
the unmarked mute
swans on the Thames each year
for their owner, the Queen. What a
great job!
~~

2017 - SOUNDS
Music
of the wind chimes,
drone of the airplane, swish
and hum of passing cars . . . so far,
peace reigns.
~~
~~
PL, posted July 7, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

An Edgar A. Guest poem for the holiday


THE BOY AND THE FLAG
Edgar A Guest

I want my boy to love his home,
His Mother, yes, and me:
I want him, wheresoe'er he'll roam,
With us in thought to be.
I want him to love what is fine,
Nor let his standards drag,
But, Oh! I want that boy of mine
To love his country's flag!

I want him when he older grows
To love all things of earth;
And Oh! I want him, when he knows,
To choose the things of worth.
I want him to the heights to climb
Nor let ambition lag;
But, Oh! I want him all the time
To love his country's flag.

I want my boy to know the best,
I want him to be great;
I want him in Life's distant West,
Prepared for any fate.
I want him to be simple, too,
Though clever, ne'er to brag,
But, Oh! I want him, through and through,
To love his country's flag.

I want my boy to be a man,
And yet, in distant years,
I pray that he'll have eyes that can
Not quite keep back the tears
When, coming from some foreign shore
And alien scenes that gag,
Borne on its native breeze, once more
He sees his country's flag.

From Collected verse of EDGAR A. GUEST, published 1934 by Contemporary Books, Inc.




Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just in the past few days. . . poems/ photos

First day
of summer, yet
the pansies, though leggy,
still show off their multicolored
faces.
~ ~ ~


Purple
jew coexists
with coreopsis, cone
flower, dianthus, oxalis,
stone crop.
~ ~ ~ ~

Close up
of bronzy 'mums
blooming for the second
year in Mom's ancient concrete porch
planter.
~ ~ ~



c 2017 PL

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sights, sounds, smells - POEMS

Yellow
blooms of lance-leaved
coreopsis litter
the lawn. Son says "Leave them." Brother:
"They're weeds!"
~ ~ ~

Fragrance
of gardenias
another perk of porch-
sitting early in the morning's
coolness.
~ ~ ~

MOM! DAD! HELP!
Its first
trip to the bird-
bath? "Now that I'm here, what
do I do?" It wades in and sips,
then stands.
~ ~ ~

Orange
canna blossom
stands as an overlord
above the mandevilla's two
pink blooms.
~ ~ ~

Bluejay
squawks, "No suet
in this feeder, lady!
and I could use some sustenance."
"Soon, sir."
~ ~ ~

First time
in a long time
I see althea blooms.
Demise of hackberry-tree shade
the cause?
~ ~ ~

Barely
audible this
early, nearly-summer
morning, a freight train trundles toward
Texas.
~ ~ ~
c 2017, PL - dba lovepat press

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Memories of a writers retreat experience


 Karen, Carolyn, Deanna at a book signing by Ruth Hawkins

At the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
--a senryu sequence

Hasten, hasten all
writers –you who’re interested
in ‘one true sentence.’

Come to the old barn
where E. H. once wrote
parts of A Farewell . . .
Surrounded by ghosts,
his typewriter, leopard skin
rugs, whispers of lust
we focus efforts
to learn to write like Papa,
stark words, whittled to
the pith, gist and gut.
Imaginations flit, soar,
breaking boundaries
found in home, office,
school. Like doves released, we fly,
fill page upon page,
exult in fatigue:
a story begun, finished.
To Papa! Hear, hear!

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[10:24 pm, 1.21.14, Tuesday]


[Pat Laster
To the state critic, 1.16.14
Revised ala critic, 1.21.14] 






Sunday, May 28, 2017

Poems from a dedicated service person and poet: Lew Taylor, deceased

Lewis B. Taylor, R.I.P.

THE OLD VETERAN

I was born in this house on a country lane
that has become a four-lane pavement
across fields my ancestors cleared
and my father farmed during all his years.

I have lived my years in this self-same house
at peace with all men, except when called to war
to defend the land my forebears built.
I was proud to fight, preserving the land I knew.

Now, I die in a land I do not know.
This is not the land my father built.
It is not the land I fought to save.
It is a foreign land, with ways I cannot comprehend.

Is it the fate of generations
to die in lands they never knew?

--Lewis B. Taylor, from Lees in the Pail, 2009
~~~

ON THE COPTS IN EGYPT

All light is lovely in darkness.
A candle can be a beacon on a starless night.
They who trim the flickering wicks
May light a whole land.

One who travels in reflected brilliance
Never knows the worth of one long candle.
Then, moving from light to darkness,
He gropes to find familiar forms.
Holding no candle of his own, he gropes.

And then at last he sees.

The source of brilliance is the shining of a million candles
Each held proudly high
By solitary trimmers of wicks.

--Lew Taylor, from Drippings in the Pail, 1995

de TOCQUEVILLE WAS RIGHT

He said,
Americans
Will prosper until they
Vote themselves money from public
Coffers.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Orwell
Saw it clearly,
A vociferous few
Can make themselves more equal than
Others.

--Lew Taylor, from Cinquains Caught in my Pail, 1998

AT THE FIFTIETH REUNION
(of the Class of '47, U. S. Naval Academy)

The Class
has seen a life of forty-thousand years
nurtured from more than eight-hundred roots,
each anchored here in honored ground.

Uncommon men united in common cause,
gathered from around the earth,
began here the voyage of The Class;
a voyage on eight-hundred compass headings
that embarked from our hallowed yard fifty years ago.

Mystic ties unseen join this now-shrinking band.
So long as survivors range the earth
they are The Class, wherever each may be.
There will be no new recruits.
And the loss of each man in his turn is mourned
in each remaining heart.

Service--honor--country
bound these men with lines too strong for breaking.
The link in the chain has been tested:
it beareth the strain.

--Lew Taylor, from Leaked from the Pail, 2003

c 2017 PL