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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all!!!

I couldn't choose so I posted all the pictures I liked. These are my New Year cards to you!!!!!

Apples and honey with challah are traditional so you will have a sweet year!!!

I won't say this summer has been fun, because it hasn't. But at least my husband is better.:) We are all trying to get back to normal, but things keep getting in the way. I had to have a cataract operation in August and I'm still taking care of that eye. But guess what? I have to have the other eye done now in October. It's funny having 20/20 vision in only one eye, but soon it will the same for both and I'll be back to before 7th grade. That's when they decided I needed to wear glasses to see far. Only now all I'll need is reading glasses. Not wearing glasses all the time is going to be different for me.:) People will have to get used to seeing me without them too!

So Rosh Hashanah came very early this year. It crept up on me and suddenly it's the New Year! It's another chance to start anew. It's a chance to atone for my sins, but seriously, I've been trying to think of anything that I've done that I might atone for and with this last year I can't. I know that some of my family won't think that. I'm sure they have things they hold against me, but this year I have gone out of my way to make sure people were happy. Yet they never are! So next week when Yom Kippur happens I'll once again fast and hope that it will all be okay.:)

For everyone who celebrates, a Happy Rosh Hashanah -- Shana Tova!!

I was going to put my review of a new children's MG here, but since I haven't posted in awhile I'm going to do another post right after this with the review. Instead, I'm going to post the poems I have done since the last time I posted:

Poems Posted on Poetic Asides with Robert Brewer

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Prompt: Use "as I was saying"


“What do you want for dinner?” I ask.
“I’m busy you choose,” one of them answers
I don’t want to choose.I’d rather be writing
my fingers tapping on the keys
My mind occupied with thoughts
no one there will want to hear
Instead I ask again to the air
“Should we have chicken?”
Then I think, too much to do
Raw chicken to marinate or
roast or fry and hours away from
my writing, and I decide no never mind

It doesn’t matter since it has sat on the
air like a giant empty balloon deflating
as I speak. No one is listening and I’d
rather be writing to this week’s prompt
So sad I am away from my computer and
in the middle of these uncaring people
with whom I must share my life

“What does anyone want for dinner?”
The silence spreads like a fungus
They are busy discussing the latest
political news and ignoring me
Until one of them glances over and says
“What did you say?”

I seethe invisibly and try once more
“As I was saying…”
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

As I was saying
You don’t know the me inside
Only the outside
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Strolling down PA Street

My heart is breaking as I stroll through the offerings
Hearts on sale today
along with love here and not here
Party bores and walks through stores
Conversations on dead ears

As I was saying, PA street abounds with joy
Infused by the heady words of each poet
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Wednesday, August 20, 2010
Prompt: Write a poem about service of any kind

Ambulatory surgery ballet

This is not their first rodeo
I can tell by the casual way they all stroll around
Green suited they meander in
chit chatting with the nurses
who at intervals disappear to ministerto the supine bodies in wait for the doctors’
services – not all for eyes

My nurse, Tracey shows me to my cubicle
And unable to read or watch TV I listen and
wonder at the casual talking outside my curtain
as they drip drops and gel into my eye
and the ballet continues with each new bed
moving toward the opening doors
The prologue proceeds until my eye
filled with pupil-opening drops and numb
finally opens to the doctor who places more gel
inside and then it is curtain time

I’m on stage and my door is open
They lay me on a soft sculptured bed
and place me under a sheet leaving
only my eye exposed
I am a Cyclops bound to the table
Floating in an oxygen haze as I concentrate on
the light and behold a kaleidoscopeof color
bouncing in the air above my eye
Until finally the curtain lowers and the finale
As they walk me back to my cubicle they
are lining up more who must follow the
steps to the eye scraping ballet.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Poem #2

In Service to Us

The exodus began in secret
As if we could slink away
in the dark of dawn and
somehow heal the wounds
caused by our service

For citizens we said we came
To change their lives
Mold them into more
manageable shapes
more like us
Make them push away
their heritages and embrace

We believed it would work
Through the the bloody
attack-filled years when
men and women sent
In the name of service to
liberty ate sand and sweltered
under a mid-eastern sun
Some came home damaged
Too many in flag draped caskets
returned to tear-filled eyes they
would never see. to half-grown kids,
to wives holding babies never to be
held by them

They had gone in service to their
country - bright eyed boys and girls
filled with patriotic zeal
Some against the war yet bound
by honor to serve to find the enemy
no matter the enemy kept changing
like a giant shell game

Now they returned sliding through
Kuwait's border. We saw the last
convoy still armed, roll to safety
and begin the long journey back
to where roads didn't hold IED's
in wait to destroy their friends
and cause them to shudder at each noise
Back to malls and the warm arms of
Back to the ease of Monday night football
and Saturday afternoon baseball
Back to barbecues and days around the pool
Back to the freedom they thought they were saving
fueled by the false fear of a political agenda
that pushed our best into the hot sands of Iraq.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

August 27, 2010
Prompt: Use Whatever in the title and write poem about that

Whatever Happens will Happen

When I send it out there will be no fanfare
For it is an everyday thing to send an email
No matter the email has my life attached to it.
Whatever happens will happen
The story attached to the email has been
pulled from my mind in creative turmoil
Smoothed into existence and fine tuned
like a girl on her first date

But this girl’s been around
and knows the score
If you reject her she won’t lay down
like a defeated dog
Instead she will rise up and shine
after polishing and revision
rid her of the snags they found
But maybe they will hold hands
with her and savor the joy
oozed into each word as it
poured from my mind

Whatever happens will happen.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu


A man rants false prophecies
while Lincoln’s statue looms over him
A reminder of real freedom
and the bravery of a one who walked
into danger and laid the path for others
And a man who walked upon it and found
himself on the steps next to Lincoln
The rightful place for MLK
a real prophet with a real dream

And fifty years later a bloated blowhard spouts lies
as his followers follow him like he were the
Messiah and listen as if his words were honey
But he spouts ribbons of hate
that leap into the crowd and bind
them, for in their minds they are patriots
They are fighting for their freedom
Knowing they had lived the dream all their
lives and now refused to accept MLK’s
dream had come to fruition.

And across town at the site consecrated by
the deeds of MLK were the ones who
had stood as guides as so many walked
the path to the dream
Celebrating the joy, the life, the awe of the
journey and the goodness of the man
as their speeches spread through the crowd
reminding all that hope was still alive

When freedom is attacked we must fight back
With truth and justice against the ribbons of hate
that wish only to twist the truth for their own ends
Spewed by false dreamers who wish to move the
country back to where some were separate but equal
and the color of skin mattered
As they twist the ribbons in their mind they vow to do
whatever it takes to get back that supremacy
While the ones who march for MLK’s dream
take a breath and say, “Whatever it takes”
And MLK wishes he were there standing next
to Lincoln and spreading the joy of hope.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

WHATEVER WILL BE WILL BE (for my husband on our anniversary)

We have traveled a long road together
since we pledged our love all those
years ago when we saw the future as
a green grass meadow we would skip
across to find our own version of Oz
Events haven’t gone our way
though your strong arms have been
there to soften those blows
When life imploded
your arms encircled me as if they
were breathing life into the husk of
my empty shell

I, the lion and you the bull, an unlikely pair
Tied together by a simple gold band
circling our fingers – the symbol of the
journey begun so many years ago when
you dropped to one knee on the horsepath
in Central Park and asked me to be with you

Through too many moves and the joy of our daughters
Through times when I held your hand and prayed
so hard I thought the heavens would shake from
the effort. and I missed your arms around me
when I cried into my pillow still praying that you
would be spared as you lay there your heart healing,

Resilient as a rubber band you have bounced back
time and again when life gave you sinkers
you hit them away like a baseball
All Star. And you were here tonight to celebrate our
life together though months before we thought
you had aged twenty years. Now you are back to
me though not the same I will still love you
For you were the boy who crept into my life when I
least expected and stole my heart and I gave it to you
as our future stretched ahead not knowing but
believing whatever will be will be.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

September 1, 2010

Prompt: Write: I’m going to set the world on fire

I’m shedding my good girl exterior
and donning my new virtual leather bustier
and studded collar to kick the ass of anyone
who keeps me from my dream

There’s no stopping me as I climb to the top
and light the match of joy
for all who wish to come with me
and follow the dream I seek
We will get on our virtual cycles
and tear up the internet with our
brand of truth and poetic justice
the flagbearers of freedom
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Come with Us (For Marie)

Come with us, Marie
Let your hair fly
as you ride your own
virtual cycle in your own path
Dream your own dreams
And fly over your own words
For we are together
a company of poets
whose lives create
images we must inscribe
From fireflies to lover’s passion
they flow liquid onto the screen
There for anyone to see
Our hearts and minds bared
nude to the world and at times
scraped bare as if the words have
seared off our flesh and exposed
the innermost layer of mottled skin

You are us and we are you
We write in free verse and haiku
We praise birds and trees, old lovers
and speak of events around us
They are our meat and we chew on
the muscle and gristle only to spit
it out in our own ways

We are poets
Flaming through each piece
with our own versions of passion and glee
Hoping to bring forth the words that
constantly swirl in our brains as we
watch this world and marvel at the joys
as we suffer from the sorrows.

We place our virtual arms around each other
For we are all the same
Our voices find the music so many ignore
in the darkness and the light
in the beauty and the trash
We live with a fire only we can understand
We are poets and that is enough
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu


One night fire found me
Its constant companions smoke and chaos
surrounded me while it flamed
out of control poking out of windows
pushing into corners
Always moving
Climbing stairs and rolling over
bodies entwined in love

Fire doesn’t think
It places itself wherever there’s fuel
Licking the edges of elegant mansions
Or the sad cardboard lodging of the homeless
It’s the great measure of equality

And though I hid my eyes to stop the
scene in my mind the fire raged on
Blackening the outside as it destroyed
the inside in its mad mindless quest
Leaving in its wake the charred, burnt smelling wreck

Extinguished by the power of the hoses
it can be pushed into submission
But like a recalcitrant child its deeds survive
Though you may punish it and spray it out of existence
its pushy presence remains for days
Reminding one of the horror of its destructiveness.

Don’t remind me of fire.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

One thing I wanted to say was that one of these poems here fueled a political debate on the website. Some people decided that there was no reason to talk about war when the war is basically over. They thought that the poems were too political and decided to leave the poetry board on which I post. To this board's credit the discussion was very balanced and eventually we got back to writing poetry. Since this prompt on Fire caused some of my old feelings to stir it was very difficult for me. However, I don't think that praising soldiers is political. Also the poem that caused the furor, the one about MLK was only my take on a series of events on one day. My feeling is poets write their own feelings and that is why you can't judge poetry except on its own merit. If it makes you feel anything then it's good.:) So when people started arguing over my work I had mixed feelings. My first thought is always to make people happy. That's what I did. Therefore you see the poem about writing poetry. The other one is a poem in answerto the person who didn't like the idea of political poetry. So now you can go back and reread them and see them in a new way.:)
Look for my review of Nature Girl by Jane Kelley on the next blog. Jane is going to be my guest along with Sandro Isaack, the author of Stork MIA on Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages on Thursday, September 24th at 3PM Central Time. She will also be a guest author on this blog soon. (Just click on the Blog Talk Radio icon on the sidebar and you will get there.)

Until the next time thank you to the new people who have visited and decided to follow this blog. Of course, thank you to my loyal readers.:) Sorry I haven't posted as much, but health issues related to my eyes have kept me very busy.:) I have a question for all of you.
What would cause you to feel that someone went beyond the limit in poetry? Would you be able to read a political poem that is not your point of view? How many of you are offended by any of the poems I posted here? Please leave a comment for me. I am really interested in knowing what you think for the future.:)


  1. And to you as well!

    Your poem, "Deciding on Dinner" really resonated. My kids are still little, but sometimes I feel that all I ever do is cook and clean, while nobody listens.

    I think it's a universal feeling parents have.

    Take care!

  2. In terms of political poems and so forth.. Poets have historically been in the fore-front of social justice. Poets also often write about their impressions of the world striving to share their unique vision. Combining these two facts about poets with the bedrock values of freedom of speech in these United States of America in which we all, live creates a three legged stool on which you can solidly sit and happily poem. I shall be happy to pull up my three legged stool and sit beside you poeming my poems.

    It was a delight to see that if a poetry site can be seen as a microcosm of this world in which we live today, that passion, and even outright conflict could result in a quick return to the ultimate love of freedom of expression and the ultimate passion of poets...writing poetry.

    Looking forward to reading and sharing more.

  3. GUYS!!
    Thank you for visiting:)

    I'm so glad you could relate to one of these poems:) I'm also sad that you have been in that situation. It's a very frustrating place that can make someone crazy!

    I would be interested if you have found a way to deal with this. Maybe it's a topic for exploration on your blog:)


  4. Pearl!!
    So happy for your visit and comment. I love the metaphor of us sitting on three legged stools writing poetry:) Are we on that wide Internet highway our hair gently moved by the breeze of freedom?

    Thank you my friend:)

  5. Dear Jane Kelly ...

    Delightful to read your interview and to go back and listen to you on Barbara's (and new co-host Cindy's show). The novel, (although, I personally, skew chronologically a teeny bit above your age group...) sounds delightful. On a personal note of synchronicity I just wrote a few poems about a Carousel inspired by the carousel in Prospect Park which I used to visit each week as a very little girl!

    As usual a delightful interview Barbara and best luck to you
    Jane Kelly and to Nature Girl!


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