Tag: Poetry

Hurricane Season – A Haibun

Hurricane Season

August here in the south is so hot you can fry an egg on the hood of your car.  The sun burns your shoulders while you hurry from the car to the store and are grateful for some cool air conditioning relief.  The humidity is so high you sweat buckets.

It is the season for hurricanes so we are stocking up on bottled water, batteries and other necessary supplies to sustain us and keep us safe.  In the event we find ourselves in the of path of a monster, we will have to ‘hunker down’ as is the language of the storm watchers.  We are always thankful for the generator we purchased a few years ago and have not yet had to use, and we will worry once more about whether or not we should have invested in hurricane shutters.  We will know by November’s end if we won that gamble or not.

The names of the storms become so familiar, creeping into our everyday conversations as if they are real people living with us.  For years after we refer to them as if they were distant relatives who had come to stay for a while.  They were either good houseguests or not depending on the damage left behind.  

Those hot August nights
Moisture still hangs in the air
Fan works overtime

Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Frank Tassone is hosting Monday Haibun at D'Verse Poets and has prompted
us with writing a Haibun about August.

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay 

Song Lyric Sunday – America the Beautiful

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, host Jim Adams, has given us the prompts Alluring, Beautiful, Charming, Graceful and Seductive. For my choice I have decided in America the Beautiful by the late, great Ray Charles. I hope you enjoy it, especially the video of him opening for the Yankees v Diamondbacks World Series Game 2 in 2001. It came just weeks after the 9/11 attacks and the country was still reeling from the terrible tragedy. It was a time of such sadness and Charles gave a very moving rendition of the song.

The Song

The lyric to “America The Beautiful” was written by a Wellesley College English professor named Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote it as a poem that was first published in 1895. At the time, the term “America” was rarely used in reference to the United States (it does not appear in the “The Star-Spangled Banner”), but over the next few years, when the country claimed Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Cuba, Guam and Hawaii as overseas territories, it was much more than a collection of states and better described as an empire known as America. This song helped popularize the term, which Theodore Roosevelt used regularly when he became president in 1901.

To this point, most patriotic songs referred to the United States as “Columbia,” which was the female personification of the country (“Hail, Columbia” and “Columbia, The Gem Of The Ocean” are examples), and presidents hardly ever referred to “America,” although “American” was commonly used as an adjective.

“America The Beautiful” became a song in 1926 when the poem was combined with the music of a hymn written by Samuel Ward called “Materna” for a contest by the National Federation of Music Clubs. It remained the most popular “America” song until Kate Smith recorded Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” in 1938.

Many Americans feel this should be their National Anthem, rather than the “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Many artists have recorded this, including Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, but Charles’ version is the most famous.

Bates was inspired by the beauty of nature during a lecture tour in Colorado Springs.
She recalled just before her death in 1929: “One day, some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there.”

She continued: “We stood at last on that Gate-of-Heaven summit, hallowed by the worship of perished races, and gazed in wordless rapture over the far expanse… It was then and there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies, that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind.”

The poem first appeared in a Boston church publication called The Congregationalist on July 4, 1895, with the editor’s introductory note: “Miss Bates’s poem has the true patriotic ring pertinent to Fourth of July.”

The original poem described the skies as “halcyon” instead of spacious and the plain as “enameled” instead of fruited.

According to Mark Steyn’s A Song for the Season, Samuel Ward wrote the music that would eventually accompany “America the Beautiful” after a particularly thrilling visit to Coney Island.

On May 25, 1986, millions of Americans joined hands to form a human chain across the country (with sizable gaps) as part of Hands Across America, an effort to ease hunger and homelessness in America. At 3 p.m. Eastern Time, participants began singing “We Are The World,” followed by “America The Beautiful” and the event’s theme song.

The Lyrics

Oh beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife
Who more than self, our country loved
And mercy more than life

America, America may God thy gold refine
Til all success be nobleness
And every gain divined

And you know when I was in school
We used to sing it something like this, listen here

Oh beautiful, for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain

But now wait a minute, I'm talking about
America, sweet America
You know, God done shed his grace on thee
He crowned thy good, yes he did, in brotherhood
From sea to shining sea

You know, I wish I had somebody to help me sing this
(America, America, God shed his grace on thee)
America, I love you America, you see
My God he done shed his grace on thee
And you oughta love him for it
Cause he, he, he ,he crowned thy good
He told me he would, with brotherhood
(From sea to shining Sea)
Oh lord, oh lord, I thank you Lord
(Shining sea)

Lyrics from a song in Public Domain

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Wind in the Sierras
blowing tumbleweed
across barren, dry landscape
Gone are the heady moments
from the previous night
with men all named John
Insidious pleasures
and steamy dalliances
A day in the life of a girl
known as Desert Rose

Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved


Stream of Consciousness - The last photo you took - mine is one of my plants, The Desert Rose which is blooming right now.  It’s name inspired my poem.
RDP - Tumble
FOWC - Insidious
Word of the Day - Dalliance

Winding Down

Winding Down

As the earth stills there is a hush
emblazoned sky in orange crush
Spoonbills wade the color of blush
Nothing to rush, nothing to rush

The sun has left taking its light
In the darkness the moon glows bright
Shining beams wherever it might
Stars glint at night, stars glint at night

Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Image by Twighlightzone from Pixabay 

Grace is hosting D’Verse Poets tonight and has prompted us with writing a Monotetra, See below:

*Comprised of quatrains (four-line stanzas) in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of 8 syllables per line
*Each quatrain consists of mono-rhymed lines (so each line in the first stanza has the same type of rhyme, as does each line in the second stanza, etc.)
*The final line of each stanza repeats the same four syllables. This is what makes the monotetra so powerful as a poetic form – the last line contains two metrical feet, repeated.
*This poem can be as short as 1 or 2 quatrains and as long as a poet wishes.

Stanza Structure:

Line 1: 8 syllables; A1
Line 2: 8 syllables; A2
Line 3: 8 syllables; A3
Line 4: 4 syllables, repeated; A4, A4

Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl

A mother of pearl sky
Overtones for the day’s finale
Coral colored horizon
burns into the sea
as the elusive green light
flashes farewell
to a surreal sunset  

Fragrance of coconut
Floats on the evening air
Fading footprints
in the exsiccated sand
are taken back
by the gentle flow
of evening tide

Blue and yellow sails
fly on a lone schooner 
still visible in the diminishing light
In the silence
a feeling of peace
descends on a tranquil scene
akin to paradise

Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Word Prompts

Akin - Word of the Day
Exsiccate - RDP
Real - FOWC

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay 
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