Hope Springs Eternal & So Does Willie Nelson

first-buds-forming

Another death hoax? Gee, how original…
You folks ain’t fickle—guess I’ll give ya points
fer grit if not fer gumption. I’ve rolled joints
my friends, far stiffer than my tricky ankle,
imbibed red wine that’s older than yer gran’;
this here bandana holds more DNA
than most small countries on a holiday,
so keep your Internet! Just leave the bedpan
close, gas up the bus, & brace for twenty
more long years—well, give or take a decade.
The road’s a callin’, songs are in my head,
& my ol’ guitar plays as good as any;
there’s plenty weed to smoke & hair to braid:
So’s far as I can tell, I’m still not dead.

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

“Hope Springs Eternal…” came to defile the earth as a result of being generously sponsored by Robert Okaji — whose behest it was for me to write a “Sonnet Ending with Three Words from a Willie Nelson Song,” which included the words, “wine, weed, and guitar,” and was preferably “Petrarchan” — during the May 2017 Tupelo Press 30/30 Challenge.

I post it today in protest of having to endure one more minute of Trumplewocky & Co. without being sufficiently anesthetized.

Thanksgiving

Wild Turkey

The birds have been beheaded, stripped of togs.
 The winter squash has made it to the store.
Cranberries left behind Wisconsin bogs.
Potatoes are appreciated more.

We’ll gather at the table for our spread,
& hungry mouths will start to salivate:
“Please pass the butter!”––“Don’t forget the bread!”––
“I’ll take a breast!”––“Pile taters on my plate!”

To celebrate abundance with respect
for those who till the soil & reap the wheat––
we’ll drug them up with tryptophan’s effect,
& top it off with pie to call it sweet…

Then, pants unbuttoned, lying on the floor,
we’ll muster up the strength to eat some more!

I stepped into the Wayback Machine to retrieve this one! Wishing you and yours out there in WordPress land a blessed Thanksgiving recovery! Since I’m decidedly NOT thankful for the genocide of Native Americans that is an irredeemable blight on our Nation’s past (not that we’re doing so hot in the present, either), I’ve been thinking of  this day as a remembrance of everything that’s wholesome, just, good purely for goodness’ sake, and enriching in this life! Thanks, fellow bloggers and friends, for your abiding, positive presence in cyberspace, and for making a difference for me, and for each other! With love to all!

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

My Day 4 Poem for the 30/30 Challenge is up at Tupelo Press!

Because I Said So

Because I Said So

With Thanks to Clyde Long for Naming That Title & 3 Words!

It’s been the same, old thing, year after year:
You mope around, all gloomy and convective,
grow turbulent with variable shear…

Continue reading here…

These interactive challenges have been great fun so far, and extremely helpful and rewarding to me! Please keep ’em coming!

Learn more about the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project here

 

Despair

bedroomdespair

They creep along the crease where plaster’s link
with geometric     terra cotta inlays
slips beyond the statutory pane’s oblique
illumination         Squalor’s dreg-lined byways

evince these shadows’ huddled histories
of furtive ventures through the crevices
where nights yield to darkening that sullies
the dark     & dank     spore-stippled surfaces

despair the light of noon to bare their scourge
No teakwood bed     nor wicker chair     will mask
depravity     as Geishas deftly forge
refinements to obscure the blights of dusk

What’s bent by vice yet breaks for dearth of rest
& makes its bed with vermin as needs must

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

Anniversary #18

Mike and I celebrated our 18th anniversary on January 23, 2016, but I thought this poem would make a great post for Valentine’s Day… The photo I’ve chosen to accompany my poem is of a bird I’m particularly in love with — he is a Cob named Bryn, and he is the devoted mate to a Pen, Wynn. They are a glorious pair whose annual brooding and chick rearing on the moat of Bishop’s Castle in Wells are meticulously covered by brilliant photographer, Will Glenn. In this shot, Bryn’s industrious foraging in support of his mate and their progeny is not only noble and adorable, but it reminds me of Mike’s constant efforts to be a nurturing, responsible husband and father, and ever-evolving human being, who inspires me in more ways than I could ever express!

To all you lovebirds out there:

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

bryn_s_bottom_by_earthhart-d8efjc7

Photo by Will Glenn: EarthHart.deviantart.com

An engineer has just so much to say
With breath, enthusiasm, eye-contact—
And words seldom emerge in shades of gray,
But it’s your love that keeps my heart intact.

You’ve seen me at my worst and never balked,
You’ve seen me giving birth, begging for drugs,
Stood by when even I could not have talked,
And let me hide while you’ve dispatched gross bugs.

Your actions are a testament to Love
That has no need of meter, trope, or rhyme—
Lip-service, poets know, is not enough
To build a life that stands the test of time.

For eighteen years (and more!) I’ve loved you—that’s no bull!
I know I’m blessed to have a heart that feels so full!

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

Death by Colonoscopy

Gasoline is what it most resembles–
That high-octane concoction for your cleaning
Relies upon the basic fundamentals
Applied to pipes and valves in need of preening.
Like carburetors sputtering to life,
Upon consuming lubricants and fire,
Intestines active with vocations rife
Explode in songs of torrents they inspire!
Though chrome might shine when doused in caustic juices,
And pistons made of steel defy combustion,
Membranes of flesh are known for gentler uses,
Refined for tasks related to digestion!
I dutifully swallowed Satan’s nectar
And rode shit creek without a surge protector!