Advocates Lobby ~ haibun

Advocates Lobby

Footsteps echo in state halls, as office doors open. Will lawmakers listen to citizens’ arguments for recognition of something as foreign to some as sexual orientation and gender identity? Echoes mean little if no one will listen, yet silence delivers nothing. And so they speak, hoping their representatives will hear.

hoping to counter
attempted isolation
advocates lobby

On promo Equality Day, February, 19th, concerned citizens standing up for equality and LGBTQ rights walked the halls of the Missouri Capitol during “promo Equality Day” and visited State Representatives to encourage them to support and pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA). MONA would prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, such as unlawful housing practices, denial of loans or financial assistance, unlawful employment practices, and denial of access to public accommodations. MONA has been proposed every year since 1998, with growing support each year, and is badly needed in a state where no employee is assured protection from being fired for sexual orientation and public restroom access can be denied, based on gender identity. In a nation established on the protection of rights, some rights continue to be withheld, and any voice supporting those rights deserves to be heard.

This haibun is my response to the prompt for dVerse Poetics: On Privilege, which is to write a poem regarding privilege (or, as in this case, the lack thereof).

Image source:


Tempered Words ~ the magnetism of a prose poem

Ice on the Missouri River – 31 Jan 2019

Usually, when I start a magnetic poem, I let a thought come out of the words as I scan through them. This time, before started I decided I wanted to include river ice, so I used the online Nature Poetry Kit. I stumbled right away and decided the available words, even with the usual magnetic editing, wouldn’t be enough to get me to where my mind was going. So, I just went back to writing, and the result was this prose poem.

Contemplating Ice on a River That Should Not Freeze

Anger takes us nowhere. Talk to me. Do not choke the flow of words, like ice on a river stealing light from the waves. The Niagara is a river that sees little ice, even in the coldest of times. Its few islands are not impediments, instead channeling, giving it direction, the mighty falls no precipice, but a way to gather its strength with rapids that are a celebration rather than a sign of fury. Throughout its journey, its dialogue is one of reason, serenity punctuated with a passion that does not hamper its course. The waves we meet should not impede us, but instead be the life in our journey.

When I was done, I decided to try magnetic poetry again, and this was the result:

Tempered Words

Like ice on a river
stealing light from the waves,
words of anger
bring the chill of darkness,
leading us nowhere.

During the winter months, an ice boom is stretched across the Niagara River at Lake Erie to prevent damage to docks from ice flow along the shore, as well as to prevent blockage of the water intakes for the hydro-power plant near Niagara Falls. The boom is removed when ice coverage of the lake is minimal, usually in early April, when there will be a steady flow of ice for about a week. The photo above (source: is an aerial view of the boom preventing ice flow from Lake Erie into the Niagara River. The images below were taken 30 Jan 2008, after a break in the boom resulted in the river being choked with ice for several days. (click image for new tab/full screen)

wings of light wakening all ~ tan renga


through open window.jpg

Carpe Diem #1607 Tan Renga – an open window is a challenge
with a twist – create a tanka starting with the provided haiku by Chèvrefeuille,
(in blue) followed by a 3rd and 4th stanza (another haiku and response),
essentially making this a tan renga / solo renga. 

the sound of the surf
enters my home through the open window
and a butterfly
                    © Chèvrefeuille

wings of light wakening all
bringing joy and contentment

butterfly dancing
with wave shimmer reflections
fanciful vision

whispering waves symphony
providing nature’s soundtrack

Image source: (edited here)

Contemplating Ice on a River That Doesn’t Freeze ~ prose poem

Contemplating Ice on a River that Doesn’t Freeze

The winter water here is cold, but I’ve seen colder. Felt colder. I’ve seen ice float down the Niagara River, filling it shore-to-shore. But that was a fluke. No, there are no whales there, but normally the ice boom keeps the Lake Erie ice from flowing downriver and damaging docks along the shore. Actually, ice is more common on the Missouri River. Winter temperatures always are in flux, and hundreds of tributaries send their broken ice downstream. I’ll think about that today, when I’m kayaking in a t-shirt. Make that a kayak. I’ll be wearing the t-shirt – in 60-degree weather – thinking about last week’s river ice. And I’ll be on the water, not in it. It’s still cold, and I’ll be thinking about that tomorrow morning, when the temperature will be back down to 20 and the ice will form again on the creeks and streams. I think I’ll head back to the river next week and take some pictures of the ice flow – from shore.

Image: Osage River, Missouri – ice free (noon, 14 Feb 2019)
~~ click image for larger view in new tab ~~