The Electric Grandmother, by Debi Swim

The Electric Grandmother
by Debi Swim

She should have green eyes. No, blue. Why not brown?
And her nose a button nose. No, Greek. No, aquiline.
White hair caught in a bun. Salt and pepper! Mousy brown.
Grandmothers come in varieties
pick the one you want
and so we did
but eventually outgrew her
and her usefulness.
Then she sat alone with
other grandmothers
telling each other
about their grandkids.

Seems a bit of a waste
of grandmothers though
the real ones end up in a cemetery
and ours, oh, ours, came back
when we were old
and combed our hair
calmed our fusses
and took care of us until
we ended up in the cemetery.

Oh, I wish I could have
a forever grandmother, too.

Process notes: My favorite movie of all time is a sweet, nostalgic one called The Electric Grandmother, TV movie, 1982, based on Ray Bradbury’s “I Sing the Body Electric”. A trio of children and their father, get a very special robot grandmother to assist them.

Written in response to red wolf prompt 433.

Debi Swim writes poetry in West Virginia, mostly to fabulous prompts.

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Blue Sleeved Time, by Debi Swim

Blue Sleeved Time
by Debi Swim

Later I caught him, Time hurrying by, by
the blue sleeve, and I harangued him
For his impertinence of rushing me along
For letting me think there was a measure ahead
not noticing the bulk was behind

I berated his poor proffered gift
that he shoved in my face on a golden
platter. Memories of tender moments…
and what good are they? I ranted

Where is the touch, scent, substance?
Nothing to grasp, to cling to, dust,
it is all just fairy dust, all sparkle
no heft. I scolded his second rate
offering as cheap. A trinket. Carny trick.

Time jerked the blue sleeve from my grip
and whispered, what more do I owe you?
You took every second I gave and if you
didn’t understand the repercussions…
He smoothed his cuff, smirked and said,
well, do you want your money back?

Source Note:

Rhapsody, Mary Oliver
“Later I caught him, Time hurrying by, by
the blue sleeve, and I harangued him’

Written in response to prompt 426.

Debi Swim writes poetry in West Virginia, mostly to fabulous prompts.

April Fool, by Debi Swim

April Fool
by Debi Swim

I have a vivid recollection of it
the night was comfortably cool
the exhibitionist moon a jewel,
the perfect setting, I admit.

The night was comfortably cool
as I recall, hand on fevered brow
spring breeze tickling a bough
and I, as I think of it, an April fool.

The exhibitionist moon, a jewel
mounted like a diamond solitaire
seemed to be offered to me, I swear
I never knew he could be that cruel.

The perfect setting, I admit
but I was just a naïve girl
my head in a love sick whirl
I couldn’t recognize counterfeit.

I have a vivid recollection of it
the night was comfortably cool
the exhibitionist moon a jewel,
the perfect setting, I admit.

Process notes:
Poem form: catena rondo
First line from “I Have A Vivid Recollection of It” by Jimmy Roberts found in the poetry anthology, The Traveler’s Vade Mecum, edited by Helen Klein Ross.

Written in response to prompt 432.

Debi Swim poems in West Virginia mostly to prompts from around the net. She blogs at https://poetrybydebi.wordpress.com/

A Whiter Shade Of Pale, by Debi Swim

A Whiter Shade of Pale
by Debi Swim

Waiting for the end of day
waiting for the dreams to come
waiting for I don’t know what
everything is going
slowly going
everything is going
away
And is this the way my world ends
one losing at a time
one giving up at a time
one concession
one desire
one usefulness
after another
waiting for that
whiter shade of pale
Someone tell me
what has it all been for
the striving
the trying
the working
the playing
the cursing
the praying…
the opening of my eyes
the closing at the end
what was all that
in between?

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet. Blog: https://poetrybydebi.wordpress.com/

Alzheimer Dreams, by Debi Swim

Alzheimer Dreams
by Debi Swim

Her mind goes back
and further back
to days of long ago
to things of which
she is fond
June bugs, fireflies
pollywogs in the pond
grass tickling her toes
screen door slams
homemade jams
and wildflowers
picked for mom
climbing trees
summers free
her childhood
over and over again
This is where she lives
till her mind gives out
her body gives in
and existing is finally done

Process notes: Watching my mother-in-law wither away.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet. Blog: https://georgeplaceblog.wordpress.com/

Death of a Poet, by Debi Swim

Death of a Poet
by Debi Swim

I have become an empty cistern
A dry river bed, bleached bones
Have forgotten the smell of rain

I am words stuck in the throat
A horse without a whisperer
A pot untended, boiled away

I am parched, athirst, panting
Where is the well that I may sip
Where is my Erato?

Am I singing my swan song?

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet.

It is the Nature of the Beast, by Debi Swim

It is the Nature of the Beast
by Debi Swim

See the wisteria’s jumbled limbs? Their tightly clasped leaves just beginning to unfurl makes a green lacy pattern against a clear sky. Soon it will be a jungle, a maze of hidey holes and perches for the birds. The feeder hangs from a low branch. All day juncos, grackles, jays, cardinals and their cousins dash and jostle, scrabble and fuss for a place on the ledge. A woodpecker swoops in, hangs by its claws, half its body underneath dangling like an acrobat. The nuthatches fling seed hither and yon – picky eaters – while below on the ground heavy, clumsy doves clean up their mess. Turkeys come early morning and late evening scratching the spot beneath the feeder for leftovers furrowing a patch that will become a muddy mess with the next rain.
Marvel at the chipmunk as he climbs the thick, twining base and gracefully, agilely jumps to the feeder, the squirrel, too. Deer come, mostly fall and winter and butt the feeder with their heads, then munch on the splatter at their leisure.

                In every season the feeder an oasis, a cheery café.

And yet, this happy scene is marred by an ominous shadow. A circling hawk is attracted by the activity below. His keen eyes on the prize, he waits for his chance, sees a careless chipmunk scampering across the lawn and with a noiseless plunge scoops his prey in deathly grip of talons and carries the limp bundle away. Imagine the calamity of it on a peaceful, ordinary day. The swiftness of the attack, the scurrying of the creatures and then the waiting, with trembling and skipping hearts till one brave bird dares the feeder again and all becomes normal again.
It is the way of nature and of the world. But, at least nature is not malicious. It does not attack out of hate and erroneous ideology. It is only survival. Let man take notice.

                Greed, terrorism, hate, ways of the human order, nature’s greatest foe.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet.

Lord, Have Mercy, by Debi Swim

Lord, Have Mercy
by Debi Swim

Delicate bones under dried leaf skin
fingers clasped loosely in her lap
tributaries of green in ropy veins
and her thumbs go round and round.
She sits and stares into the past…
a burning house, she upstairs
a jump into the banked up snow.
She sees it all again.

I know she’s thinking of two small graves
and she whispers “Lord, have mercy.”
And her thumbs go round and round.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet. Blog: https://georgeplaceblog.wordpress.com/

Rainbow Hollow Good News Tent Revival, by Debi Swim

Rainbow Hollow Good News Tent Revival
by Debi Swim

In the field back of the houses it stood
as though the gentle overnight shower
had mushroomed it into being.
We kids dropped our bikes, awed, excited
and entered that great tent, its flaps raised
to let in what bit of breeze was stirring.
Straw was scattered over the stubbled
ground, dusty, musty, hot smell of barn
and row on row of folding chairs, empty,
waiting to cradle sinners’ sorry selves.
A lectern at the front stood
full of grave responsibility for tonight’s
Rainbow Hollow Good News Tent Revival.
Giggling, I stood behind the lectern,
motioned the others to sit and preached a
rousing, shouting, glorious story of
sin and death, and born again. Then
we ran out lest the Holy come down
at our possible sacrilege (though I
think He would have smiled at our game)
ran out into bright sunshine of
biking and tag and country lanes.

Process notes: Every summer, in the small community of Rainbow Hollow in northeastern Tennessee, a tent revival appeared like magic for a week of hard preaching before moving on to the next little town, an attraction (not unlike the generic carnivals that were small town fare in those times) to the children filled with wonder and yet a thing to laugh about, too.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet. Blog: https://georgeplaceblog.wordpress.com/

Pax, by Debi Swim

Pax
by Debi Swim

Winter is a sulky bitch pitching
her fits into spring when she
should be gracefully walking away,
instead a hissy fit of jealous ire
before she retires to sleep.
She’d been all silvery glittering sway
in her heyday but like an aging beauty
queen she fades. Age spots on the porcelain
skin, hair dulled to dishwater drudge,
a sludge of cinders and salt, she peppers
her talk with indignant spit and sputter.

But Spring knows you catch more flies
with honey sweetness. She persists,
gently insists on having her day,
replaces the glitter of snow and ice
with buds and blossoms, scents of spice,
as we long for her to stay awhile, warm
the grass, swell the lilac limbs with nubs,
spread maternal love to birds nesting in trees.
She wafts health to body and mind
and I’m buoyant with a zest for living.

Process notes: Saturday and Sunday we had around fourteen inches of heavy wet snow. The electricity was out for twelve hours and by Thursday the temperature got to 78 degrees. I was ecstatic. Friday, overcast and cool. Last night a heavy frost. Today promises to be nicer and tomorrow even better. Snow flurries are forecast for Monday. GAH! I wish Winter and Spring would quit bickering!

Written in response to Red Wolf Prompt 373.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet. Blog: https://georgeplaceblog.wordpress.com/