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Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 21 of April Poem A Day!!!

The prompt for today brought me back to my tutoring experience and working with students who needed help in Reading. Many times they had missed something and when they learned it they did better. This is a poem about a boy with whom I worked for a year before he improved in Reading.

April 21, 2014
Prompt: Write a poem about going Back to Basics

His Need

When he read for me I knew
the skips and the falters
the omissions of words
his whole demeanor as he
pored over the words
his eyes scrunched with
frustration as he missed
more and more
I knew he needed to
start over and relearn
all that had somehow
slipped over him as he
struggled engulfed
with sadness to make sense
of a foreign world each time
he saw a new task
He needed to go back
to before he saw words
so I showed him diagrams
and matching picture to
picture in an attempt to
fill in the blanks of a child
whose lack of ability
probably stemmed from
his loss of understanding
somewhere along the way
He needed the basics of
recognizing shapes to read
words and soon he was reading
those words and soon he was
reading paragraphs and soon
he no longer needed me.
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, again thank you to all who are tweeting and retweeting about this blog. I am very honored you are doing this.:) I am writing these for my own reasons, but it is nice to know someone else is enjoying them too.:)

Day 20 of April Poem A Day!!

This is very late, because we were in the ER with my husband who has pneumonia again. If you are keeping count this is the sixth time!!! It came on him almost overnight as he was trying to get stronger at rehab. Please pray that he gets 100% better this time!!!!

Today's prompt was about families and it was very hard for me to write it:

April 20, 2014
Prompt: Write a poem about family

Family Circle

I began with my mother and father
their joy in me made me feel 
special and I thought this feeling
would last forever then on came
my brother with his insistence on
being heard and taking all the 
attention away from me, but
I was a dignified nine year old
and eager for the opportunity
to find my own independence
so I enjoyed the non attention
of my parents until the day 
when Hal appeared and 
my parents became 
background noise as my
world expanded in new
directions and spread from
coast to coast with Hal at
the center
my center until Rachel with 
her soft baby ways enveloped
both of us with the cloak of
parenthood and suddenly
I was a mother and though
I still had my mother she 
became my refuge and
safe touchstone as I 
navigated the rocky waters
of a new parent and just
when I thought I knew
the terrain along came
Sara and knocked me 
off my course
Now there were four of
us and suddenly I was
at the helm of my own
family steering through 
the chaos of the various
ages along the way losing
my touchstone and having
to struggle without her support
to keep us afloat
Trying to absorb all the 
horror and the joy as my family
veered toward the rocky shoreline
and ran aground at times
And Hal who had been stalwart
and strong throughout became
the one we needed to tend to and
worry about 
the one who needed extra care
who became weak and wispy 
disease becoming his best friend
Yet we rallied round him making
a circle of ourselves.
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, I again thank whoever tweeted about the poems on this blog!! Thank you to all my loyal followers. You are the best!! Thank you to any new people who have happened upon this blog. You are all welcome!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 19 of April Poem A Day!!

Well we're more than halfway through the month and I'm still writing!! Today's prompt was to write about a color. Here are my poems for today:

April 19, 2014
Prompt: Title your poem a color and write about it.

Flesh Color
For me flesh color was the crayon I used
the least and only for faces and hands
But if I had looked around me when
I was a little girl I would have
realized this wasn’t the color
for everyone
Yet every crayon box had this
one crayon marked flesh color
and no others for the various
differences of my classmates
and random people I saw in
my city
I wonder if a child who was
not this color thought about
why this was the one chosen
to be flesh color
Why wasn’t it darker or browner
or yellower
When they colored a picture
of themselves what did they
use for the face and hands?
Was this their only choice
and what did that say about
the crayon makers who
continued to use this color
until late into the 90s when
finally they decided to add
a whole assortment marked
flesh color and gave it
its own little box
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Here is my second poem about my favorite color:


I always write about red
the color I will always
choose for it brings me
joy and lifts my spirits
like no other color can

Oh, gold is nice
and I love when it
sparkles especially
gold sequins lavishly
adorning fabric
or gold shoes peeking
out from a formal gown

Silver is sparkly too
and it creates a sheen
wherever it is placed
making things special

Orange has its moments
especially as the skin of
an orange or of course
pumpkins plump and 
ready for picking

Lavender is soothing
in a quiet and dignified
way it creates an aura
of peace and tranquility

But red is the one for
me and will always be
my refuge and my favorite
and I will always choose
this standout color in
all its shades of fire engine,
vermillion, ruby and even

Its glow creates a fire
inside me and instills 
a spark which carries
me through my day
and warms me from
the inside out 
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, I hope you are enjoying these posts. I am not getting any comments so I don't know how you are thinking. Please let me know. If you comment remember they are moderated so it might be awhile before you see it. Be patient I always try to approve them quickly.

Happy Easter to all who are celebrating. Passover is drawing to a close and this year it has been a difficult holiday with my husband starting out in the hospital and now in rehab. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 18 of April Poem A Day!

Today's prompt is about weather. So I wrote about our experiences with Hurricane Sandy. 

April 18, 2014
Prompt: Write about weather

Hurricane Sandy

We live on the shore
and were forced from
our home by the 
insistent announcement
by a retired baseball manager
who said our area was being

The storm loomed on TV 
a whirling swirling mass of
clouds twirling its way towards
us in a line too definite to ignore
and we fled like displaced persons
from a war to a safer place
We headed north to where 
we were told the storm 
would miss

While we traveled she 
kissed the Jersey shore
and like a two timed lover
moved structures into 
pieces of wood and 
twisted steel was tossed
into the ocean like a 
scorned piece of jewelry

But she had followed us
and we heard her terror
in the wailing winds and
her result in the loss of
electricity so far from her

And we saw on TV 
her mammoth footprint
as images appeared
over and over again
of homes and businesses
unlucky to be in her path

We thought of how it 
would be if we were 
there and worried over
our few possessions
being overrun with flood
waters though we were
two stories up

As finally we arrived
home it was dark
the halls lit by emergency
lights and the only
destruction for us
was the spoiled food
in our refrigerator

When I saw the faces
of the people whose 
homes had been taken
down like matchsticks
my thoughts were with
them yet I felt the guilt
of surviving unscathed
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time I would love if you would share your writing here. Please leave a comment if you wish.

Day 17 of April Poem A Day!!

Today's prompt inspired me to write two poems. Here they are:

April 17, 2014
Prompt: Write a poem about anything in pop culture

I’ve lived through it all
The Beatniks with their
black on black and triangle
The Hippies with their long
skirts and flowing shirts
their long hair festooned with
flowers and arms trailing in
the air proclaiming peace and
The war protests and the
sit ins visited but never involved
The self awareness of the 80′s
with its big hair and big shoulders
The disillusionment of the 90′s
and the rise of Goths wearing
black nail polish and black
The despair of the turn of the
century when our world blew
up in front of our eyes and
a piece of our country dissolved
in the rubble
I’ve been to see The Rolling Stones,
the Kinks, the Who and the Beach Boys
and their music has been the
soundtrack of my life
and I have experienced both
Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen
in person and Leonard Cohen with
his soulful laments
I listen to country and rock music
and get carried away by the strains
of Mozart
Musical theater is my favorite as
I hear familiar tunes
I am dual centuried with one half
in the twentieth and the other
striding along in the twenty-first
anticipating all it will bring
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Ode to Betty Boop
She came out of an inkwell
Probably no one under the
age of sixty remembers
and as he the cartoonist
drew her features and this
big eyed fat cheeked and
impossibly thin woman
came onto the movie screen
I fell in love with her.
Her boop oop a doop
and her red rosebud mouth
makes me smile and I have
surrounded myself with
statues of her in every possible
She is the ultimate American girl
with her satin gowns and feather boa
She can be a soldier or a nurse
a stewardess or pop out of a
champagne glass with her legs
kicking in the air
Her eyes are big and round
and she always looks surprised
Frozen in ceramic beauty she
brings me joy in all sizes
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, again thank you all for reading these and I hope you are enjoying them. I am a day late, but yesterday was very busy. My husband finally got out of the hospital and he is back in Burke Rehabilitation Center to get back his strength. We are hoping this time he will stay well and get stronger. 

I will be posting today's poems later. Again, thanks for the tweets and retweets. I really appreciate that. You can also leave a comment here. I moderate them so you won't see it right away. Keep writing and reading poetry.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 16 of April Poem A Day!

We're more than halfway through the month and I'm still writing. Today's prompt made me think a lot and I wound up writing two poems for it.

April 16, 2014
Prompt: Write an elegy - a poem for the dead

An Elegy for My Mother
When you left me I crumpled
and days followed without any
reason while I forgot the mail
and remembered only the sorrow
hanging in my heart like a new
I grieved for you and your presence
and found times during each day to
share a moment with you, but
of course you were not there to
chat on the phone and listen to
my complaints
Not there to see your grandchildren
grow to the women they are now
Not there to exclaim with joy
when my novel turned from
dream to reality
Not here for me now to
put my arms around you
and snuggle deep into
your embrace
Not here to hold me
and tell me it’s all okay
when the world closes in
When all I want
is my mommy
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

I wrote one elegy, by I decided to write another in a different vein.
Elegy for My Mother 2
You were beautiful
but you never thought so
thinking beauty meant thin
and you were never that
I remember you agonizing
over your clothes and
me squeezing you into
yet another too small dress
you needed to tailor for you
were excellent with needle
and thread, creating and
making my clothes until
embarrassment sent me
to buy them in a real store
A working woman before
it became the norm you
always made us dinner
I learned to cook watching
you throw this and that
together each night
Not always perfect you
used your voice as a
weapon and many times
it attacked me and left
me broken
But you would swoop me
in your arms and all would
be okay until the day when
your voice became a whisper
and I leaned down to hear
you say my favorite words
“I love you” from your
disease ridden body and then
you closed your eyes forever
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, hope you are enjoying these poems and again thanks to the people who are tweeting the blog link.:) You are the best!!!

A friend of mine posted this and I thought you might enjoy it:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15 of April Poem A Day!!

Today is tax day, but I got an extension to pay our tax. Tonight was also the second night of Passover and for all my Jewish friends Happy Passover.  A Passover Seder has a structure like a piece of writing. You start with the Kiddush, which is a blessing over the wine. You use a Haggadah to make sure you get the story right. The youngest asks the Four Questions, which are questions about the Seder and about why we eat certain foods. Then there is the story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. God is the central character and it's all about the interpretation of his deeds. Finally the big climax when Moses leads his people out of Egypt by parting The Red Sea. The ending winds down with the Jews staying alive by eating manna in the desert.

Today's prompt is about Love!

April 15, 2014
Prompt: Write about Love

Love Fills My Heart

I thought you had squeezed

all the love from me
If you looked inside you
would find only a
shell of a heart
like the cheap hollow
chocolate hearts you see in 

Then I lay prostrate at your feet

as the last drops of love
found deep inside me
emerge and when I pour
this little bit on top of you
suddenly you will be strong
again and I will continue
to find more filling my heart
until it is no longer empty
Only then will my sadness
be replaced with the joy
of your smile
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Whoops, I had to add one more poem to this post. The prompt was for a Love and an Anti Love poem. So here is my Anti Love poem:

Chocolate You Destroy Me
(Anti Love Poem)
Chocolate you destroy me
You force me to eat you
and I gorge on your sweetness
only to pay the price of despair
as I survey the results of my
stuffing your goodness into my
mouth and letting the delectable
smooth substance of you melt
But no I must not love you for
this is the destruction of my
body and though I do love
you I must say no and ignore
your charms
But just one more bite, please
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, I want to thank all the people who have tweeted about this blog. It's nice to know someone is reading your work. Usually I go by the comments where people will react to my blog, but I was surprised and very happy to see all the tweets.:) I've been in a kind of a daze since my husband has been in the hospital these past weeks, so I just found them yesterday. I am also posting my poems on Poetic Asides under lionmother.

Happy writing and I hope you are writing poetry too.:) It's all that has kept me sane.



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