The Blank Page

Just enough snow to make us believe
that today is a blank page and
on these faint lines, we can write
a short story with a happy ending
or a heroic couplet ending a poem.

 

The window screen divides the scene
into thousands of pixels, and each one
will need to be filled, black or white,
on or off, here or not here.
A crossword puzzle we can never complete.

Vaccine

Latin vaccinus, from vacca “cow” because of

early use of cowpox virus against smallpox.

I remember the massive Sabin oral vaccine

for polio first developed by Jonas Salk.

Vaccines stimulate the production of antibodies

provide immunity against one or several diseases

using disease to treat without inducing disease.

“Our greatest responsibility,” said Dr. Salk Vaccine,

“is to be good ancestors.” We too

use our life to inoculate against life.

A 1963 poster featured CDC’s national symbol of public health, the “Wellbee”, who was encouraging the public to receive an Sabin Type-II oral polio vaccine in campaigns across the United States. (via Wikimedia)

Sun Reverie

Curled on a grassy circle of sunlight,

looking up at the clouds, I am

seven years old again. My parents are

healthy, happy and will always be alive.

Sun-powered, I can do anything on Earth.

A dark cloud blocks the window’s sunbeam.

I return to the cold, wood floor.

My old eyes -sun-blinded – burn and tear.

When I stand up, my body protests

and aches from more than just years.

 

After the Rain Blues

Even the new plants in the garden

have had enough of the spring rain.

Winter lingered. True spring passed us by.

Warm, moist, green jumped to May summer.

Brushing rosemary and sage scents the air.

 

Robins brush their wings against window screens

attacking reflections of their own nesting instincts.

They started nesting in the pine tree

outside the bedroom window under our gaze.

Today, three blue eggs match the sky.

robin nest wiki

The Double Ronka

There are several poetry forms that use a linked sequence of poems.

A crown of sonnets or sonnet corona is a sequence of sonnets, usually addressed to one person, and/or concerned with a single theme. Each of the sonnets explores one aspect of the theme, and is linked to the preceding and succeeding sonnets by repeating the final line of the preceding sonnet as its first line. The first line of the first sonnet is repeated as the final line of the final sonnet, thereby bringing the sequence to a close.

Renga, which means “linked poem,” goes back seven centuries in Japan. It was created in order to encourage the collaborative writing of poems. Poets sometimes worked in pairs or small groups and took turns composing the alternating three-line and two-line stanzas.

Finished renga could be hundreds of lines long, but the most common length was a 36-line form called a kasen.

It was several centuries after the renga that the opening stanza of the renga became its own short form, the haiku.

The ronka poems that appear on this site are 5 lines, but I started several this week that overflowed, so I think I will try at least a “double ronka” of two linked poems. The evolution of the ronka form continues.