Woman Unseen

can you see me
over here
still alive
still breathing
still wanting
still needing
needing what
I just don’t know
no longer young
but don’t feel old
not enough wisdom
in my weary soul
lived all these years
and learned
so damn little
Rome burned
while I fiddled
where was my heart
where was my mind
picking up sticks
wasting time
erstwhile friends
slipped away
to a time and place
of yesterdays
children grew
and moved away
don’t need me
to find their way
when I was young
and not yet old
still traveling
an easy charmed road
did not think
this day would come
old as the hills
but still
too young

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: Though this doesn’t seem to apply to men, we women of a “certain age,” become invisible. This poem is for all the not-seen ladies out there.)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

March Chimes

Spring was my mama’s favorite season. She loved gardening, whether it involved vegetables or ornamentals, and when one visited, spring, summer, or fall, outside among the growing things was where one would likely find her. Her front porch sported a multitude of wind chimes, and when I hear mine (on my back porch) “tinkling in the wind,” I think of her. This one is for you, Mama.

 

March chimes tinkle in the wind,
Telling me spring is on the way,
Chasing away dark winter days.
And I wonder where the wind has been.

Unlike winter, spring sports a grin.
Yellow-bold, bright and warm and gay.
March chimes tinkle in the wind,
Telling me spring is on the way.

Sometimes brash, chimes dance, drunk on gin.
Or perhaps weed entered the fray.
Drunk or high or merry, who’s to say?
They jump and jingle as they spin—
March chimes tinkle in the wind,
Telling me spring is on the way.

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: Originating in French lyrical poetry of the 14th century, a rondel poem is a fixed form of verse based on two rhyme sounds and consisting usually of 14 lines divided into three stanzas. The first two lines of the 1st stanza are repeated as the refrain of the 2nd and 3rd stanzas. The meter is open, but usually has eight syllables per line. Rhyme scheme: A-B-b-a, a-b-A-B, a-b-b-a-A-(B)—capital letters represent lines repeated verbatim.)

Image by Carla Burke from Pixabay

Haiku 1

Golden color rains,
Crackles and breaks under shoes,
Spills dry, lifeless blood.

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: A form of Japanese poetry, a Haiku contains just 3 lines with a total of 17 syllables. The 1st line has 5 syllables, the 2nd 7, and the 3rd 5. It it usually about nature.)

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Seasons

When did I step into winter—
That I’d like to know.
The last I remember,
I was walking in the woods,
Autumn leaves, brown, red, and gold
Cushioning my way.
Azure skies above,
A brisk chill to the air,
Alive and invigorated.
Strolling fall’s path,
I recalled days gone by,
Fondly, a smile on my face.
Though I had suffered some loss
Of loved ones and missed opportunities,
The days yet stretched ahead,
Full of promise,
Things to do, races to run.

Like the nature of all springs,
Mine had been turbulent,
Full of self-inflicted storms
Interspersed with calm tides and winds.
But as spring had waned
And I became an adult—mostly—of mind,
Not just a hormone-driven body,
The storms grew farther and farther apart,
Until, somehow, without realization,
I strode tall and strong into summer.
Ah, how those days did shine
With family, friends, rewarding work.
Playtime at the beach every year,
Just the ladies and I splashing, laughing,
Drinking margaritas, singing, more laughing,
While lounging on the deck
Watching moonlight dance on the waves.

Autumn sneaked in there somewhere,
Easing through the door so gently
I barely noticed its entrance.
Thought my body wasn’t quite as strong,
It yet served me well.
And life went on—
Work and play uninterrupted.

When the leaves began to fall,
At last, I slowed down,
Smelled the proverbial flowers,
Worked less and played more.
I basked in my new-found freedom,
Did what I wanted when I wanted
With few exceptions.
I brushed off aches and pains,
Explained away the ladies’ and my abandonment
Of sand and sea and margaritas—
For we weren’t getting old.

Then, just like autumn,
Winter arrived unannounced,
Slipped through the back door
With barely a chill—
The old goat parked his frigid ass
In the center of my life
And refused to budge.
I called him names, cursed him, denied him,
But he did not go away,
Just became more entrenched,
Chilled my blood, brittled my bones,
Dried my skin, thinned my hair,
Invited gravity to sit at his side.
Winter waged his war
Without a shot being fired
And captured my youth.
Did he drink it?
Did he eat it?
Where the hell did it go?

Though I had fought him tooth and nail,
At long last, I humbly dropped all store-bought defenses
That no longer camouflaged what I had become.
Yes, I collapsed into winter’s embrace,
Those cold, bitter, lonely arms
And now—
Now—
That old goat sits at my side,
Sucking me dry.
I shrink and I stoop, forget things.
No smile now, I remember times past,
Of rivers that have run dry,
And seasons that have gone by.
Gone by—
Gone by—
In the blink of time’s eye.

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: Free verse is an open form or poetry. It doesn’t use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any musical pattern. It tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech.)

Image by Simon Berger from Pixabay

Senryu 1

The days march along,
Flying faster as they pass,
Till I breathe my last.

When my life’s time ends,
Will my soul find contentment,
Or haunt night’s sloe gloom?

Eternal unrest—
Is that what my death will bring?
Or an aught of peace?

©2021 KT Workman

Note: Japanese Senryu—3 lines, 17 syllables. 1st line, 5 syllables; 2nd line,7 syllables; 3rd line 5 syllables. Subject matter usually the human condition.

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Haiku 2

Melting ice sheds tears
Upon frigid windowpanes,
Outside wanting in.

©2021 KT Workman

Image by Karin Henseler from Pixabay

NOTE: Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that consists of 17 syllables, and is typically about nature. The 1st line has 5 syllables, the 2nd has 7, and the 3rd has 5.

Johnnys

The morning is heavy, pregnant with spring.

Dew sparkles on the new blades stretched in mass,

Testing their new-found strength; in shouts of green

They greet the rose-soft sunrise, raise their glass,

Salute their warm savior with verve and sass.

“Hello!” shout the iris, waving blue heads.

“Hello!” shout the glads, white, pink, and red.

Near the barn, johnny-jump-ups perk their ears,

Wonder why the fuss from their vain cousins.

After all, from early March they’ve been here,

Yellow and purple, dozens and dozens,

Popping up while the ground is yet frozen.

Johnny’s are trailblazers, fearless and bold.

What’s the big deal about a little cold?

©2021 KT Workman

(Rhyme Royal–7-line stanzas, usually iambic pentameter. Rhyme scheme: a-b-a-b-b-c-c)

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Endings

all things end…
universes
galaxies
stars
worlds
countries
marriages
friendships
life…

nothing is static…
always changing
evolving
mutating
splitting
birthing
gendering
for better
or worse…

tear it down…
with wars
pollution
suppression
propaganda
cancel-culture
nihilism
bigotry
all colors…

nothing left but…
GMOs
poisoned land
defiled oceans
rotting cities
false outrage
trigger warnings
unschooled children
melting snowflakes

until…
no one can breath
eat healthily
drink clean water
walk unafraid
speak unafraid
pray unafraid…
our poor world
is on life support…

© 2020 KT Workman

Poker Face

his familiar face…earnest, free of artifice
or perhaps cunningly cloaked instead
constructs expressions conveying love and sincerity
and I’m so easily led

and his smile…warm and pious and bright
could effortlessly pull me under
choppy waves of helplessness, hopelessness
and tear my heart asunder

if I dare gaze deep into his inscrutable eyes
just what will I see…
true love and honesty and loyalty
or trust’s death looking back at me

I wonder…

if I strip the skin from his poker face
tear off his smiling lips
pluck out his beguiling eyes
until all that’s left is bone and blood’s drip

what would I find…

©️2020 KT Workman

Distressed Damsel

the damsel strolls in step with the night
snuggly swaddled in its ebony cloak
it has always been her one true friend
her moonstruck muse, whom she often misquotes

she scribbles her wishes on its blank black canvass
staples her dreams to the backs of dingy doves
nails her hopes to the wings of ravens
and sends them all to the stars above

she grimly dances with detestable devils
a wild, wicked waltz of spreading blight
hoots and howls at the muddy moon
scares away all the shiny white knights

©️2020 KT Workman