Thursday, April 15, 2021

NAPOWRIMO 2021 April 12-14 April 1958


April 1958 

 

The uniformed Marine, the lace enrobed bride,

pledged love in a somber Lenten church

knowing deployment was calling

for an undeclared war.

The shadow of second widowhood

fleetingly on their minds,

taking joy in the celebratory moments,

watching a toddler dressed in crinolines

center stage on the dance floor

ecstatically declaring “now I have a daddy!”

 

©2021 Noreen Braman


Monday, April 12, 2021

NAPOWRIMO 2021 April 8-11 Four Day Verse

 

The days of the week written in script over and over again on top of variously colored brushstrokes.r
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
 

Four Day Verse

 

Thursday

            Still working on birthday poem lines

            Falling asleep in front of the TV

            Waiting for the double shift to end

            No peaceful sleep until he is home.

Friday

            A strawberry margarita and brownie with ice cream,

            rare dinner out with the

      overtime working love of my life,

            required undivided attention.

 

Saturday

            Spring opening of the farm stand beckons

            with fruit and flowers and tomatoes

            but first a list of household chores

            and a night of Ray Bradbury.

 

Sunday

            Glorious Sunday! Freedom all day!

            just deal with the ants, hang up some plants,

            dodge the chilly raindrops, indulge in Sunday dinner,

            gaze at 4 blank sheets of paper.

 

            Will think about that Monday.

 ©2021 Noreen Braman

 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

NAPOWRIMO 2021 April 7 Birthday Greetings

 

A woman sits alone on a bench near a pond, holding a bunch of balloons.
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Birthday Greetings

 

Second birthday in pandemic,

88 cases and 3 deaths this week,

reminder that my double shots

weren’t party drinks,

but sobering reminders that

the older we get,

the more precious are the celebrations,

adapted to the twists and turns,

changes of plans,

and universal obstacles,

testing resilience, and connection to others,

Showing the lifesaving worth of a simple yearly greeting.

Thank you all for being part of my support system,

as hopefully, I am part of yours.

©2021 Noreen Braman

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

NAPOWRIMO 2021 April 6 The Silent Spring Revisited

 

mage by Schäferle from Pixabay

The Silent Spring Revisited

 

In a neighborhood without regimented landscaping

old growth trees spread at will

and reward the lack of human intervention

by housing song birds seldom heard

along the manicured streets.

Refugees in the treetops

fleeing construction of another gated community

more warehousing of consumer goods

and asphalt-bordered rows of retail.

Listen now to their songs before

They become nothing but echoes.

©2021 Noreen Braman

Monday, April 5, 2021

NAPOWRIMO 2021 April 4 and 5

April 4, 2021



Easter 2021

A tisket, a tasket,

too busy with the basket

and eggs and cake and roasted beast...er

for anything profound this Easter.

 

 


 

 

April 5, 2021

 

Well, Well, Well

 

Well-read books create well-read readers

except a new book read by a well-read reader

can become a well-read book after time.

 

Assuming a well-read reader first has to read well,

bored kids whining about “nothing to do”

might just be told, “Well, read!”

meaning even a well-read book 

might not be well read 

by even kids that read well.

and that doesn’t create well-read readers, 

or even readers who read well.

 

And this doesn’t even address 

picking between

a well-written book 

or a book written well,

which only deepens this well-known dilemma.

 

©2021 Noreen Braman


 


 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

NAPOWRIMO 2021 April 3, 2021 Third Generation


 

 

Third Generation


The legacy of widowhood hung heavy

two generations of fatherless children

taking on inherited grief

and ghosts embedded in the shadows

whose whispers can only be silenced

by self induced oblivion

swearing to break the cycle of chaos

she tells him he is lucky

that he got out alive. 

©2021 Noreen Braman


Friday, April 2, 2021

NAPOWRIMO 2021 - April 2, 2021

 

Image by ijmaki from Pixabay

Digital Dueling

 

Look what I found,

Here, (insert link) and here, (insert link) and here, (insert link).

It totally contradicts what you told me,

Here, (insert email) and here, (insert email) and here, (insert email).

Do you know there are actually photos,

Here, (insert .jpg) and here, (insert .jpg) and here, (insert jpg)?

So why are you debating me,

Here, (insert tweet) and here, (insert tweet) and here, (insert tweet).

I thought we were supposed to be friends,

Here, (insert Facebook post) here, (insert Instagram feed) and here, (insert Messenger chat).

  

©2021 Noreen Braman

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

NAPOWRIMO 2021 - The Final Chapter?

 

a photo of burned books and ashes

It is almost NAPOWRIMO 2021. Something I’ve been stumbling through for about 10 years, having fun, pulling words out of the air, some making lyrical sense, some not. Most of the time I didn’t go back to revise, it was on to the next day’s thought. I’ve been writing poetry since childhood, have had a number of publications in newspapers, anthologies and online publications. A picture book idea consisting of poetry won an award, and was presented as a staged reading by a theater company. Had an exhibit of illustrated poetry at a library, lots of readings, including at a presentation when the Anne Frank exhibit came through New Jersey. A few gems among the rocks. My computer and my file cabinets are overflowing with the good, the bad, and the ugly, not sure which category is the largest. It’s been a fun ride, a therapeutic ride, a life-documenting ride. Now as I approach that time of life when thoughts turn to decluttering, downsizing, and even Swedish death cleaning, I wonder what I should do with all this confetti. Maybe, as Jo March did in “Little Women,” I will burn it all. She started over, I don’t think I will.

 

Then again, who knows. It’s like the old story, “The Lady or the Tiger,” firepit or filing cabinet — I don't know what door I'm going to open —  Good, bad or ugly.

 

 

Poetic Revisions

(for all those poems I wrote that should not have seen the light of day)

 

This is a placeholder for the first line of my poem,

Here is where I used an amazing alliterative phrase

But this line was ironically unrelated to

the symbolism taking place here.

 

I deleted these words completely

And replaced them with some even less lyrical

Trying a third time to capture the metaphor

Which sounded too much like a simile

Saying something about how art differs from craft.

 

This stanza sits waiting for wordplay,

a clever conclusion of a profound thought

literally a literary revelation

as soon as I finish revisions.

 

©2021 Noreen Braman

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Poetry At Work Day - 2021

 Today is Poetry At Work Day. Since I've been working from home for months, I have easy access to a lot of my own poetry, some about my work, some about another person's work. This one is a particular favorite and was previously featured on the web page of an NPR show the no longer exists in the particular form it was in 2000. I think it prety much sums up the first work day of a new business in my town.

 

Image by Please Don't sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

Opening Night at the Jamesburg Dunkin Donuts

 

“We’ve been crushed all day,” says the man behind the counter

who unlike the other workers, wears a crisp, embroidered, denim shirt,

denoting his position as a higher authority, maybe even the franchise owner.

All day long they’ve been doling out coffee, doughnuts and ice cream

like Atlantic City card dealers- here’s your hand, let me scoop up your money.

By 8 PM, the stock is depleted, not a chocolate doughnut in sight

but the ice cream counter can make up for that

even though the night is unseasonably chilly for June

big dollops of mint chocolate chip tantalize the lips of customers

some who stay to revel in the clean newness,

sitting at the burgundy tables, scraping the floor with the heavy wooden chairs,

leaving chocolate sprinkles, doughnut crumbs in their wake.

A huge van equipped for cross-country travel tries to park outside the window

back and forth it goes trying to fit, while the children inside

illegally unrestrained, press their faces against the window.

Finally they are in the space and the door slides open

and out bounds Dad with three in tow - pale blondes,

one for each hand, and one to hold his shirt tail.

Inside he picks up the youngest and stands him on the counter, leaning far over

to see what doughnuts are left.

Hidden behind the line of coffee drinkers, soda buyers and ice cream lickers,

the other two children discover the freezer and it’s all too easy to open the door,

inside, a wonderland of ice cream cakes, complete with sparkling trims

little plastic graduation hats, diplomas and glitter.

It seems perfectly logical to help daddy out and bring him the cake

and they drag it by the box until the corners give out

and the ice cream cake with its chocolate top

and frozen roses and crunchy bottom

rolls out of the box and onto the floor,

in front of amused coffee drinkers who have no idea that the cake is real.

And daddy, who notices at last, shoves the mutilated frozen treat

back into the box, and back into the freezer,

and quickly departs with his  purchases, and his three little blondes,

two of whom seem confused that they have no ice cream.

Finally some one asks, are those real cakes, or just displays,

and finding out they are indeed consumable,

tells the tale of the upside down cake -

which is immediately removed by the teenage girls

who dish out the ice cream in their white shirts and hats

and the glitter is swept up and the melted ice cream mopped up

as the dealers at the counter don’t miss a beat

pouring the coffee, wrapping the donuts, collecting the money,

smiling and hoping this crush of business

continues after opening night.

 

©2000 Noreen Braman

It is 2021 – Where has the time gone?

15 Years Ago

Can it be 15 years since I published my collection of blog entries about turning 50? Not a winner of literary awards, but an accurate time capsule of the things that caught my attention.

I look at the photo of me on the back cover, and wonder what that version of me would say if someone had told her how those 15 years would play out, and how fast they would go by? Six new people have been born to my own children, I found the Love of My Life and have been together 10 years, I lost a job and quite a bit of money in a recession, reinvented myself more than once, discovered a new focus on the importance of laughter and humor, and had lots of personal “adventures” in physical health, mental health, home ownership, work life, family life, love life, finances, friendships, and aging. Some of it has been funny — at least in my philosophy of “today’s disaster can be tomorrow’s funny story” — but some of it not funny at all. In fact, these past few years have, at times, really tested my ability to live on “the Smile Side of Life.”

The CoVID19 pandemic has changed life as I knew it, and I am not sure the changes are temporary. I’ve been “working from home” since March 2020, and don’t see an end to that anytime soon. I’m encouraged by the creation of vaccines, but disappointed in the slow distribution, and lack of confidence some people have in its safety. History may define this period of time as “before masks” and “after masks,” a line of demarcation similar to the Industrial Revolution. And — while only 12 days into the New Year of 2021 — the year has already started off badly, and is reserving the right to get even worse. I don’t anticipate that the recent events will ever become tomorrow’s funny story, at least not during my lifetime. As a mother and a grandmother I feel the heavy weight of these past few years and want to spare my children and grandchildren from the consequences. However, at this point, I am feeling a bit powerless.  

2021 ©Noreen Braman

My best recommendation is to remain aware of what is going on in the world and in our country, but to take mental health breaks. Go outside for fresh air, sunshine, and bird song. Make time for laughter by watching a favorite comedian or comedy. Express gratitude to someone – it is one of the strongest ways to enhance your resilience and happiness. Be present in your daily life, using mindfulness to keep you centered and protected from ruminating too much on either the past or the future. I don’t know what the next 15 years will bring, but let’s do our best to live them to the fullest. 

 

 

Noreen Braman on 30seconds.com 

Noreen Braman on Medium