Poetry (sort of) — NaPoWriMo: Warnings Cautions & Notes

The day 25 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to write a poem in the form of a warning label about myself.

For humor, I decided to twist the prompt a little. I also added too many warning memes for the same reason. Sorry. I hope you laugh. I did.

When I flew airplanes for the US Air Force we used (and carried with us while flying) many technical instructions, called tech orders. All military flying has similar things but may call them something different (i.e. Navy is NATOPS because thou shalt not out acronym the US Navy). The most important of these weighty volumes, now probably carried electronically, was titled a Flight Manual (dash-one in AF jargon). If yer familiar with this, you’ve prolly guessed where I am going.

My poem has three parts: warnings, cautions, and notes. (We had to memorize warnings and cautions.) I am using the same definitions in my poem.

Warnings are operating procedures, practices, etc., which, if not correctly followed, could result in personal injury or loss of life. Cautions are practices that could result in damage or destruction of equipment, loss of effectiveness, or long-term health hazards to personnel. I will add hurt feelings, pain, and tears to the list. Notes are things essential to highlight. The folks who write that stuff don’t just make it up. One never wanted to be the reason for a warning, caution, or note being added to a tech order. But this is supposed to be about me. I used third person, casual.

 

Just so ya know.

I – Warnings

Irrationally defensive of loved ones.
Capital punishment opposer,
…but willing executioner, if necessary.
45 years with US DoD, never kilt a body,
…but might try anything once.
Game to breaking rules & taking chances,
…not tough enough to be too stupid.
Drives safe and wears seat belts,
…but known to play road-rage roulette.

Goats are fake ewes.

II – Cautions

Given to fits of laughter for no reason,
…or at the most inappropriate times.
Thinks snarkasm should be Olympic sport,
…it’s his only chance for a gold medal.
Sheepishly grins at who thinks him harmless,
…often delights in being misunderstood.
Understanding & compassionate listener,
…until your whiney-ass is drama royalty.
He don’t hunt, fish, play golf, or ride a Harley,
…he writes poems, loves animals, & gots a soft heart,
… he’ll edgimacate any who sees it a weakness.

III – Notes

Thinks blunt synonymous with
…clear, concise, and brutally honest.
Loves to use foul language at random.
Likes to argue without knowing why.
Thinks Irish are the soul of humor.
Is way past old enough to know better,
…pretends to no longer give a shit.

Anti-masturbation?

(Bill Reynolds, USAF, Retired, 4/25/2018)

Can’t you see, Ah, Lawd, can’t cha see wha’ dat woman’s been a-doin’ ta me?
Look both ways, my way and yours.
Mind the gaps, cuz Ima’ways right.

It’s them damn atheists again.

Breathing is optional.

Doc asked me what motivated me to quit smoking.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

 

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A2Z Challenge: V is for Venus

I decided on Venus over vampires for this post because some of you know so much about vampires than I. Seriously, I have considered turtle necks on more than one occasion.

Venus is not just any Roman goddess. She is the. We are talking love, beauty, prosperity, fertility, and victory. And she oversees sex. I could add music, art, and passion. She was so important to Romans that they claimed her as their ancestress. According to mythology, her son Aeneas fled from Troy to Italy. He became the ancestor of Remus and Romulus, who founded Rome. That is a big deal, if you’re a Roman.

So, Venus is mother of Rome, sort of. She has other ties to Greek mythology. The Romans claimed she was the same goddess as Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. For Venus the Romans adopted many Aphrodite symbols, like roses and myrtle. Myrtle was so important to this goddess that even statues of her wore myrtle wreaths.

Venus’s festival happens on the first day of April. It was called the Veneralia. Aside from draping Venus in flowers, followers also carefully washed her statue, and promised to fulfill the moral obligations of good Roman wives and husbands. Many men and women also asked her advice on matters of the heart. I am sure they got dependable answers.

Other symbols of Venus included the scallop shell, doves, dolphins, pomegranates, pearls, mirrors, and girdles. Girdles? Some of these were borrowed from Aphrodite. So was her origin story which claims that was born of seafoam.

There is a ton of artwork depicting Venus. At one point in history painting Venus was so popular, after the classical era, any unclothed female figure came to be called a Venus.

Venus and Mars

Venus had many titles which further demonstrated her importance. Venus Cloacina was the purifier; Venus Felix was the lucky (she could be prayed to for good fortune); Venus Genetrix, mother; Venus Murcia, representing the importance of myrtle to her; Venus Verticordia, the changer of hearts; Venus Victrix, the goddess of victory.

Venus was married to Vulcan, the god of fire and the forge. Oddly, Vulcan was one of the ugliest of the gods. But he loved her so much that he created a golden carriage to pull her around. The carriage was drawn by doves to match Venus’s own beauty.

Venus was also the mother of Cupid, the Roman god of love.

Despite identification with Aphrodite, Venus was a native Roman goddess. Her name is the same as a Roman word for a particular kind of love. That name can be traced all the way back to the language before Latin, to a word meaning “to desire or love”. It’s clear that Venus was with the Romans for a long time.

The planet is named Venus. It was visible in the ancient night sky and because it was so bright and beautiful, it was named Venus. Although Venus is no longer worshiped by large numbers of people, we still remember her in music and in other in art and science thanks to her widespread influence.

(Requested source reference: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/goddesses/venus/  Greek Gods & Goddesses, February 22, 2017)

Two oldie Venus songs…

Look both ways for the goddess of love. Mind the gaps.

Poetry — NaPoWriMo: My Nod to Christopher Hitchens

The day 24 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to write an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. In this case, an elegy with hopefulness to it.

My Nod to Christopher Hitchens

In person, we have never met
I have not had the chance or honor
To smoke or share a drink with you
Or to ask you many questions,
Some risky business, that would be.
Now we never will.

Yet, I know you so very well
From reading what you so-well wrote
You told me all I need to know
With words of yours, still here with me.
You made the very best of it.
You lived and wrote up to the very end.

Because you were so deep in thought,
You always told the truth, even though
As you admit, you were often of two minds.
How I understand, and wish you were a friend
With your writing talent, you helped so many
You left behind a better world, filled with better words.

Now when I read about your lack of any creed
It makes me kind of smile, because I know
Wherever I go, I can keep you here a while.
So, when I read your cutting words, I see
And I feel you come alive. Back from the dead,
And into my head, and with me all the while.

(Bill Reynolds, 2/24/2018)

 

Look both ways to see the pages and read their very words.
Mind the gaps and skip no pages.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

A2Z Challenge: U is for Unicorn

Nice Touch – Wings

I am reluctant to attempt to write anything about these beautiful, almost sadly mythological creatures. However, I know some people who read this blog are expecting (perhaps demanding) them for the letter U. They have told me so.

There are two reasons for my insecurity. One reason is that I am pretty sure they do not really exist, but I am uncertain whether most people agree with me. The second reason is that too many people from age five to fifty (and more) know more about unicorns than I do. Fine. But none has stepped forward to write this post.

Unicorns have been described since antiquity as a horse-like creature with a single large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. They were depicted on ancient seals and have been mentioned in many old historical accounts, Greek (not mythology) and otherwise. The re’em, of the Bible is translated to unicorn in some versions.

In European folklore, unicorns are described as a white horse-like or goat-like animal with a long horn and cloven hooves. In the Middle Ages they were described as wild woodland creatures, symbols of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. Some say a unicorn’s horn can purify poisoned water, making it medicinal to heal sickness.

Long ago, Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of unicorns, which they believed lived in India, a distant and fabulous realm for them. Leonardo da Vinci even wrote hunting instructions, which look like a ploy to get your girlfriend to go hunting with you.

The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it.

The unicorn is the symbol of Scotland. It was chosen because it was seen as a proud and haughty creature which would rather die than be captured (liberty or death?), just as Scots would fight to remain sovereign and unconquered.

My proof that unicorns exist can be found in New Braunfels, Texas (USA). The mascot of one of the local high schools is the unicorn. Thus, students are unicorns. So, they do exist in human form. There are a few other schools who have the unicorn as their mascot, but such a mascot is rare.

For the record, I love unicorns. No one should doubt that. I only say or write good things about unicorns, and my disbelief in them is a myth (ignoring my earlier comment).

Now, for a bit of unicorn bathroom humor. This is primarily for certain friends and family (they know who they are), and those among you with such bizarre taste in hilarity.

 

 

Look both ways for unicorn.
If you see one, and you are a virgin, try to capture it.
Mind the uni-gaps.

Poetry – NaPoWriMo: Euphonious Rain

The day 23 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to write a poem based in sound. The poem could incorporate a song lyric in some way. Euphonious means pleasing to the ear.

 

 

Euphonious Rain

Listen…I Listen with my whole body.
I feel the sounds before I hear them.
They enter my complete being,
I’m mesmerized, tranquilized by sound.
Sounds go deep into my muscles and bones, I feel
enticing beats dive into my groin and pound my chest,
I inhale the rhythm, the beats and the measures.

I feel the music deep within me. As I hear it – I become it.
Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
as it taps above me. Hear the distant drum of thunder.
I am the rain, the tin roof, I release all thought.
My mindless feeling becomes alluring calm.
Feel the rumble and hear the night dance,
calling me into a sound-filled trance.

Into such a compelling sedative of sound
I let it enter, to hear the rain kiss me and touch me
deep within my being, it becomes my feeling,
my loving soul hears sounds of being alive.
To feel. To love. To be soothed. To hear and
Feel the rhythm of the falling rain calling to me.
Who’ll never stop the wondrous falling rain?

(Bill Reynolds 4/23/2018)

Look both ways on rainy days and mind the gaps and puddles.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

A2Z Challenge: T is for Triton

Triton from Greek mythology is a god and the messenger of the sea. He is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite who are god and goddess of the sea. Triton is often seen as a merman which is a guy mermaid (together known as merfolk or merpeople). Who knew?

Triton carries a trident just like daddy, Poseidon. But Triton’s has a twisted conch shell, which he blows like a trumpet to calm or raise the waves. It sounds so harsh that giants often begin to run away or retreat because they think it’s the roar of a dark wild beast.

An interesting story regarding this god’s pride is that he and other gods were challenged by Misenus, son of Aeolus, to play the conch shell as well as he did. How impertinent, right? Triton drowned his ass for being such a dick, and for making such a foolish challenge. Like I said, these Greek gods are sensitive, so try not to upset them, even if you are one.

Triton was the father of the goddess Pallas, and foster-parent to the goddess Athena. Unfortunately, Pallas was accidentally killed by Athena during a sparring fight between the two goddesses. Good grief! Those goddesses must have had some wild sparring.

 

At times, Triton has been multiplied into a host of Tritones, satyr-like daimones or spirits of the sea.

In the water, look both ways.
Mind watery gaps.

Poetry – NaPoWriMo: Who Invited You?

The prompt for day 22 of the 2018 NaPoWriMo challenges me to write a poem based on one of six statements asserting something impossible. The poem I write is to have the impossible thing happen. The statement I chose was, A mouse can’t eat an elephant. The elephant and mouse are metaphors for something big (me) and something small: a single cancer cell.

Who Invited You?

Who invited you? This is my party.
You have the wrong cell number,
You were discovered, disguised and in hiding,
Much too small for anyone to see,
And yet, you are a danger to me.

In this dance, docs will lead. I take the next step,
To erase the board and clean the house,
To take out the trash and to purge all the systems,
Flush out the waste and to remove all the danger.
You will be annihilated, to the last little cell.

In the end, you may win, but right here and right now,
the game plays on, and I’m doing the pitching
to cleanse you from my body and soul.
The hurt in me may not be known to you,
But my fear of you continues to grow.

The old man sitting next to me,
Willing to fight what he can see,
It’s you he refuses, cuz he sees only me,
Together we look for the end of the game,
Someday, maybe, not today, not today at all.

(Bill Reynolds, 4/22/2018)

Look both ways and keep your eye on the ball.
Mind the gaps and swing at the strikes.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month