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Friday, April 30, 2010

Poems for Days 25,26,27 and 28

Photos for "The Heart of the Matter" of Don Henley

Technically the Poem A Day Challenge for Poetic Asides is finished today, April 30th. But because of my own challenging month I am a little behind. So I will continue to post tomorrow or Sunday the last two poems of the challenge. Meanwhile, I hope that everyone who stopped by here has gotten a chance to visit there and read the comments for each day. There are so many incredibly gifted poets who posted there. I am going to submit 5 poems from my challenge and would love your feedback. So please, if you liked any of my poems the best let me know by commenting here.

Also I need to repeat that I will not tolerate spammers. I had to delete a comment again today, so I have put back the comment moderation. Sorry for the codes. I hate them, but I also hate spammers.:) Let's hope this will stop them.

Here are the poems for each day up to April 28th. Thank you to all who have commented on my poems this month and hope you will enjoy these too. By the way, "The Heart of the Matter" is one of my favorite songs. Here is a story of what happened when I first heard this song:

It was the summer of 1989 when I was driving in upstate New York back to the camp where I worked after visiting my cousin. I slipped in the new Don Henley CD, The End of the Innocence
and no kidding I played "The Heart of the Matter" over and over. For some reason I couldn't get enough of that song. So it was raining and very dark on the highway. Sounds like a set up for "Supernatural":) No, it was raining and I was playing it ear drum splitting loud when all of a sudden I saw a police car in back of me with his lights on. He pulled me over to the side of the road and told me I had been speeding. Now what I didn't tell you was that I had no idea of my speed since my speedometer was broken. He told me I had been going 15 miles over the speed limit! Lucky for me I had a note from my mechanic explaining that the speedometer was broken and I had an appointment to get it fixed. Phew!!! I got out of that speeding ticket. Anyway, that's the story of my love for that song:) Needless to say I am a huge Don Henley fan and of the Eagles too. But this is not my all time favorite song. That is "Moon River" from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" my all time favorite movie.

April 25, 2010

Write a poem inspired by a song.

Based on “The Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley –The Eagles*
(See the lyrics to "The Heart of the Matter" here)

The Call

You called today
The one I didn’t want to hear
You found another man
Got me thinking
What went wrong with us?
Though I think about it,
no answer comes

I sit in my favorite chair
The one where you used
to sit on my lap
We had some good times
Didn’t we?

But the more I think the more
I can’t think and my brain overloads
I’m back to square one never seeing
the end and in a circle rethinking
my part and your part

I sit alone not sure why
And agonize over why you are gone
Thinking you might have taken pieces
of me with you, because I’ve lost myself

Till I realize it’s forgiveness on both sides
I have to forgive you and you, with your
wall of ice need to forgive me
or my life will lay in pieces forever.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

*This was written in a man's point of view. Obviously this isn't real or relevant to my life. I've thought of changing the POV, but haven't done it yet.

April 26, 2010

Write a poem with “more than 5 times”

I Close My Eyes

I close my eyes and see you as a toddler,
short legs flying down the concrete sidewalk
I close my eyes and see you in kindergarten,
bright eyes smiling holding hands with Jose,
whose five year old heart belonged to you.
I close my eyes and see you at twelve falling off
that horse, breaking your nose, and months later
trussed in plaster cast from hip to toe
from your hip operation
I close my eyes and see you graduate high school
Already a depression veteran, but on your path
I close my eyes and see you the last time you were
happy, laughing with your friends
I close my eyes and see my daughter grown.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

I Cried Five Tears

I cried one tear for the loss of your affection
I cried two tears for the loss of your attention
I cried three tears for the loss of your laughter
I cried four tears for the loss of your touch on
my skin
I cried five tears for the loss of your body fitting
next to mine in a flesh jigsaw puzzle.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 27, 2010

A Hopeless Poem

You can look in her face and see the
years of ferried trips for lessons
Dance, voice, horseback riding
they loom there as reminders of the
sunny disposition she once had
The eyes give it away, though
What she thinks of herself now
It’s in her walk that used to have a swing
to her hips but now is just a shamble
Scuffing her feet as if she were a
recalcitrant child

No amount of encouragement slashes through the
layers of sorrow she has buried herself in
as if a living shroud enclosed her
She carries misery with her handbag
Places it down wherever she goes
It sends out its message of despair
Telegraphing her sadness to whoever crosses her path.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 28, 2010

At the end of the line

One too many abusive curses
hurled at me for failing to do
a small thing for you
Vitriol tossed out willy-nilly
into the open air
Imprisoning me with your
cage of words

When do I say enough of this?
Maybe,finally, possibly I will see the
end hidden beneath my delicate ego
Poking its head through the curtain
you laid in front of us
Begging for attention amidst
parading anger

How will I do it?
Simply walk to the door and turn the
knob or stand there with
special shield deflecting the barbs
until they fall in disconnected wads
around your bloated calcium laden body.

Or will I simply ignore the words and
soldier on doing your bidding
Raising my shields to cover my body
when the incoming proves too strong
as you continue to fire
And me walking toward
you with arms outstretched for a hug?
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Poems for Days 21, 22, 23 and 24

Photo for "Earth"

Photo for "Evening"

Life has a way of punching you in the gut when you least expect it and that is what happened this week. After taking my husband home two weeks ago we had to take him back to the hospital. When he went to the doctor his calcium level had gone up so high the only place for him was the hospital. He could barely walk and talk and he was so confused he wasn't sure about anything. I am happy to report that since he has been in the hospital the calcium level went down, but the doctors still don't know what is wrong with him. That is what the first poem is all about. So that is why I haven't posted anything since Tuesday. He went into the hospital on Wednesday night. But I still wrote poetry each day and posted it on the Poetic Asides website with Robert Lee Brewer's prompts. I am in awe of the talent in that community.

Here are the poems I wrote since Tuesday:

Poem for Day 21

April 21, 2010

According to the doctors

Something is lurking in your
body causing your calcium level
to rise and they don’t know what it is.
They placed you on an IV that beeps
and drips drops of saline solution
into your body to flush out the poison
The water pushes through
like a roaring brook through your
blood seeking out and pushing
forward granules of calcium
Water in and water out
as your voice strengthens and
your mind clears until a shadow
of the man I knew glimmers there
in the distance.

Can they find the culprit?
They are confident they say
They have alternatives with treatment
they say if there is something there
for them to treat. In the meantime we
wait as if our lives were one large
waiting room until the answer is found
and the veiled presence of your true
being lays beneath the hoarse
voiced man in the extra large hospital
gown who barks orders and sits on
the edge of the bed, head leaning
forward as his eyes close.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Poem for Day 22

April 22, 2010


My feet sink into the sand on the beach
The soil’s fertile loam nourishes brilliant flowers
along the fence.The air caresses my cheeks
I walk along the water’s edge admiring
black billed ducks and the curve of swan’s
necks gliding along the surface of the water

Meanwhile on a rapidly diminishing ice floe
polar bears struggle to find food
Their cubs hunted to the point of extinction
Baby seals are clubbed to death while their
mothers unable to destroy the predators
watch in horror

An oil rig has an explosion creating an oil slick
sure to destroy helpless sea creatures swimming
by the alien structure. In rainforests loggers cut a swath
through the majestic trees cutting the air supply
of millions for years. Meanwhile people cry for the
preservation of our animals and our land

The earth is our home
Would you allow someone to come into
your house and kill your children?
Destroy your plants, spill oil on your carpet
and in your bathwater?

The earth exists, though there are questions as to why or how
It isn’t pleasant everywhere. She has her problems, such as
erupting volcanoes, hurricanes slamming down trees, noreasters
shattering glass and uprooting trees,earthquakes burying thousands
creating ruins in seconds.
It’s earth
We accept her faults like we would a loved one
Always ready to love her.
But are we ready to kick the butts of anyone
who won’t preserve her goodness?
We are the caretakers of earth and must stand
guard with drawn swords when anyone tries to
lay waste to her.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Poem for Day 23

April 23, 2010


My fingers rest lightly on the keys
Between typing my eyes close
Jolted awake I stare at the screen
I delete the offending letters prepared
to write the correct words that will certainly
pop into my brain, but in the thinking my
eyes deceive and close and once again on my
screen, dddddddddddddddddddddddd

Five hours later my laptop still on my lap
I awake to a sea of ddddddddddddddddddd
Maybe it’s time to sleep.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Poem for Day 24

April 24, 2010


The sun, the star of the sky,
descends in a death defying slide
until it reaches the horizon where
lavender and pink burst as if a
plane were skywriting in streams
across the wide expanse

The colors bleed to gray
until light is extinguished
In summer the gap filled
with fireflies dancing over
the grass their backs
glowing intermittently
as they flutter in the twilight

Evening comes as a whisper
Always a surprise when the gray
turns to black as the streetlights
appear. Hard on the heels of day
birds begin their evening tweets
Flying to trees for safety and we
slip back into our homes to
locked doors and lighted
living rooms waiting for evening
to turn to night .
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Some people are still having trouble with the website loading. If you are having trouble and you are either on Facebook or Blog Catalog send me a note and let me know.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Poems for Day 19

Picture for Taunting Shadows from:

Picture for Strong from: node/38090


The prompt for today was Two for Tuesday and you had to write a poem about looking backward and/or one for looking ahead and never looking back. I have been posting my poems on both this blog and on Poetic Asides where Robert Lee Brewer, an excellent poet, gives a prompt each day of April. You can post your poems in the comments there. Robert Lee Brewer has been nominated for Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere and you can go to Blogging to vote for him. Once you read his work and see the extent of what he does I am sure you will see why he qualifies for this honor. The good thing about voting on Blogging is that you don't need to join anything and you can comment too. This is rare for any website these days.

Here are my poems for today:

Taunting shadows

I close my eyes
Your love surrounds me
a pillow against the world
Your chest was my resting place
as your arms encircled me and
held me close. The feelings for you
so strong they propelled me
beyond my comfort zone to you.
Tore me from my parents
onto a subway train at midnight
to flee to your open arms.

We chained ourselves to each other
with our love and now as I look back
I realize the hypnotic state
could not have lasted, yet in my mind
though it had disintegrated years before
I kept myself open to you.

Years ago you were a young
wanderer crazy for adventure who took each
situation in a gulp and carried me toward
places I didn’t want to go with your charm
And I clung to you for you were my glue.
Your hazel eyes on mine were all I needed
Bathed in their warmth my day was complete

I see these shadows from my past haunting me
Taunting me with their truths no longer there
I beat my fists against your invisible wall and
mourn the loss of the radiance of your smile
the circle of your arms as I stand here in the cold
wondering where did those times go.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Bombard me with your worst
I ricochet trouble as it happens.
Send your bullets flying at me
I won’t flinch
If trouble wants to find me it will
need to strap on its arsenal
My body is soft but inside I am

You underestimate me think my soft
voice and demeanor can be breached
Pummel me with fist of iron
Walk on my fingers
Slam your heel into my gut
with a mystery ailment weakening
my husband day by day
You can’t stop me
My path is plotted and I will see you
at the top with my published book in hand.
Copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Thank you to my faithful readers. I appreciate your continuing to read my crazy meanderings even though we have had technical difficulties. Those are starting to clear up now I hope. Also welcome to any new people. Please leave a comment. I try to respond, but sometimes I just can't. Also, please do not spam me. I hate those codes, but since I did get one spam comment on my last blog, (which I had to delete) I might have to put in security.

On Wednesday, April 21st I am going to be on Red River Writers Book Club with host Fran Lewis. I will be one of the people asking questions of the author for the month, Stephen Tremp, who has written a novel dealing with the idea of worm holes, Breakthrough to Covert. Please tune in to listen at 12PM Central time. Stephen's novel is a non-stop adventure with a spy hero, chase scenes, and fascinating scientific technology simplified for easy reading.

Then on Thursday, April 22nd on my Blog Talk Radio show, Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages, my guests will be Eric Luper and several writers from that wonderful
group Milspeak. There is another anthology that is available now with the writings of these great service people. Eric was the subject of one of my articles. He will be discussing his new book, Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poems for Days 15, 16, 17, and 18

Picture for "To Be a Poet"

This week was very hectic due to needing to write a poem a day for April. So I didn't post them for the last four days. Also, my husband's health was not good at all. The doctor gave him a new medication after he got out of the hospital two weeks ago and it has been causing him to lose sleep and other things. The worst is how confused he seems and how angry he is about the confusion. He is going to the doctor tomorrow, I hope and we will finally get to the bottom of this mystery illness. They know he has high calcium, but they don't know what is causing it. The doctors keep trying to find the answer and wind up eliminating the diseases tested. But they never tell him what he has. So tomorrow he is going to make an appointment with a pulmonary doctor. You can add coughing to the list of symptoms he has. He has granulomas in his lungs that could be causing the cough. We'll see. I'll let you know when I know. In the meantime please pray for him. :) One of the poems I wrote is about his health problem.

For anyone who hasn't read my other posts all of the poems you see here and the other ones for Days 1-14 are also posted on Poetic Asides for Poem A Day.

April 15, 2010

Write a deadline poem

Deadline Day

We’ve folded and placed in the envelope
all the details of our existence
gleaned from magical math that
finds my piddly earnings somehow
too large to refund my money

I have done this too many times
rushing to the crowded post office
envelopes in hand stamped and addressed
Needing to verify they will arrive at their destination
with certified papers assuring their delivery

Hurry it’s 11:45 PM. Will we make it by midnight?
We fly to the car and race, palms sweating only
to find a line. The clock ticks off the minutes as
I bite my nails to the cuticles. At last at 11:59 we
reach the overworked postal worker and exactly
at midnight hand over our year’s financial history and watch it
drop into the outbox.

Next year we’ll do it the day before to avoid the crowds we say.
Repeating last year’s line word for word. We open the door into the
lobby and go against the crowd formed on the outside. I feel like I just landed
on the moon and will float away with the happiness that has replaced
my angst.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 16, 2010

Write a poem about death of some kind:

Questioning Death (loosely based on Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”

When my time comes will Death come as a hot
guy in a tuxedo holding champagne and roses
Or will it be like the slide at the amusement park
a swift ride down a steep slippery slope?

Will he smell of Old Spice, take my hand
and walk with me like a lover?
Whisper tender words as he touches the small
of my back helping me into the gold Mercedes
in which we will ride toward the light?

Will I recognize him or will he introduce himself
Placing his calling card in front of me?
Tap dancing down the ruby encrusted path
as family and friends see the light go out of my eyes?

Unlike Emily I do not wish this. I would rather hide in
a safe room with the only key than be seduced by that
tempter. I will barricade myself before one inch of me.
falls into his spell. I already have a love – Life.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 17, 2010

Write a poem about any aspect of Science

Science Stumped

It happened gradually
His energy waned and suddenly in front of me
stood a man who acted like 87 not his true
age of 67
His voice changed, grew hoarse along with
his disposition the crotchety croak of an invalid

Science intervened with blood tests and the
doctors placed him in the hospital for more
tests to be prodded and pricked, drained and chained
to a bed with a catheter to measure the liquid.

The diagnosis too much calcium in the blood seemed a
simple fix so they IV’d him and sent him home. Their work
was done, the level went down, so home he went with
drugs and vitamin D. Again probed and examined by his doctor
They increased dosage still not finding the root cause

Armed with charts and results the scientists continued to examine
with no results. As science ruled out cause after cause searching
for the reason for his cough, his lack of energy, his inability to focus
What changed this dynamo into a mewling sheep needing to have me
put on his socks? We wait as science deliberates his fate.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 18, 2010


To be a poet

If you listen to other people
The world is a different place for them
They ignore the beauty around them
In the growing grass they miss the bright yellow
dandelions and the rows of daffodils along the
roadsides. Each event they attend is seen on the
surface and not examined for images or emotions
Like my mind needs to constantly consider
Like the way the sound of the music reminds me
of a time years ago when I stood in a beer soaked
crowd with the smell of weed permeating the crowd
Lost in the sea of music and feeling like a piece of
a human ocean.

Or when I see the ocean its expanse brings me back
to the time when I spent an idyllic afternoon on the rocks
overlooking a cove on Long Island Sound
Or how the sun sparkled like diamonds on the choppy water
Or how the water had hues of aqua and green with a touch of
deep blue or how the horizon looked like someone drew
with purple charcoal on the sky

The face of a poet may not show the movies we show inside
for ourselves and try to express in words that never seem to
say what we have seen
Like a blurred photograph my words always seem to fall short
striving for the one word to bring it all together
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poem for Day 14

Long Island wild roses

This is a very short post just to show you my poem for Day 14. I hope you enjoy it. It's about my life years ago when we owned a house in Rocky Point, Long Island.

Long Island

The smell of wild roses growing along the shoreline
announces the start of summer
I tilled the soil each spring for my garden where
bright red cherry tomatoes and plump round beefsteak ones grew.
baby carrots fresh from the soil and nasturtiums growing nearby

The girls played on the bricks tightrope walking along the edges
singing and dancing while performing their productions
The hammock hung between the dogwood trees where I lay
facing the sky canopied with the fragrant leaves

Wild strawberries grew in the grass of my backyard and when
I mowed the smell of wild onions surrounded me as the tall
grass tickled my legs. Along the fence the roses bloomed in
paint box colors. White flowers painted with
red as if brushed by an invisible artist. On the side of the house
peonies grew in pink profusion. I’d cut them and bring them
straight to the sink. Their blooms held ants between the
petals so I’d run the water hoping not to flatten their beauty.

In front were the azalea bushes, white and pink bouquets and the impatiens
planted along the edge mixing with purple hyacinths
In spring the tulips grew in ordered rows.Later in the summer the gladiolas would
tower over all with their trumpet shaped blooms so heavy they would lean over.

I went past the house since we left. The new owners pulled up the garden.
Replaced it with ground cover. It’s as if my life were erased and all I have
are half remembered memories when my life was car pools, raking, mowing,
and planting a garden. When mother was my job and wife sat on the back burner.
Long Island, Suffolk county, Rocky Point you live as the impression on the sand
stays after the tide ebbs on your beaches where once we walked
our bare feet leaving no impression on the shifting sand.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time I hope that you were able to load this now. I don't see anymore errors when I load the page, so let me know if you still can't get onto the page. Of course this won't work if you don't see what I just wrote.:)

Poems for Days 12 and 13

I have been having terrible problems with this blog. It wouldn't load at all at various times during the week. Now it is probably slow loading. So please I hope you will have patience and that si why you are here. You have to refresh a couple of times to get it to load faster.

That said I am posting the last two poems written from prompts for Poem a Day on Poetic Asides by Robert Brewer. Both prompts were difficult to write about. The first is titled after a city and the other two are a love and anti love poem. Funny enough, the anti love poem was easier to write than the love poem.

Day 12

April 12, 2010

Title your poem with a city’s name

New York

You’re inside my skin with your
Neon signs and restaurant sprinkled streets
You spout from my mouth with a Brooklyn tinge
And you invade my mind with childhood memories

I’ve known you on foot and have driven past your wonders
Watched tourists gawk at places I’ve seen since childhood
Explored your waterfront and strolled through The Cloisters
Pretending I were a medieval princess wandering my abby

You are always rearranging your places
Building buildings so tall they get lost in the clouds
Stuck tight in endless rows
Bridges connect the boroughs soaring over the Hudson
And the East Rivers
Looking like necklaces with their twinkling lights at night

I could bring you to all the homes where I lived
The railroad apartment on St Johns Place in Brooklyn near my parents’ store
Our ground floor Lefrak disaster in Kew Gardens, Queens where the toilet overflowed on my mother’s beige carpet and black and white linoleum tiles
The apartment across the street in the Roger Williams with the concrete backyard
Where Flash ran away and we lived with our babies.

New York you walk with me no matter where I land
I close my eyes and your sights and smells assault me
You are my birth mother and nurturer of my soul
Your culture runs through my veins always pointing me back to you.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Day 13

April 13, 2010

Two for Tuesday: A Love Poem and Anti Love Poem

Anti Love

Why do I need you?
You are a headache shaped as a man.
I cannot be the person you wish me to be
And yet you continue to push me toward
An unwanted goal

You put your love away in a suitcase
A long time ago and threw away the key
Now all I see in your eyes are indifference
And impatience.

Those hazel eyes I once spent hours knitting
A sweater for in emerald green to match the color your
Eyes become when you wear green
Those eyes that now bore into me and hold
Recriminations instead of love
Eyes that accuse me of faux crimes made up by you.

I have grown tired of your cold face, the frowns, the
Loveless looks. Your wrath has eaten my love.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Invitation to Love

The invitation came wrapped in the shape of a young man
Whose lips were my candy and his body my playground
And I melted into him for the rest of my life.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Poems for Days 10 and 11

From clipart - Photo for "The Last Passionate Kiss"

These are this weekend's poems and they are very different. The first one is really a silly one and of course it's meant to parody horror movies. Horror movies are not my favorite genre, so writing horror is difficult for me. That's why I approached it from a humorous angle.

The second one is a fill in the blank after Last. This poem is really a sad goodbye and a realization of the truth. I hope you like both of them, but I think the first poem is more of a throw away.:)

April 10, 2010

Write a horror poem

Attack of the Zombie Writers

They rise silent from secret lairs
Unwritten words cling to decaying bodies,
trail in ink stained tendrils across the screen
They gather in hordes ready to pounce from
all sides like a gang of marauders about to
break into the home of an unlucky victim

in slinky rows their word tendrils
slide like chains
Clink, clink, clink, clink
The sound heard only by insomniac writers
held to their computers by the force of their words

Clink, Clink,Clink,Clink, CLINK, CLINK, CLINK
I hear it, chained to my seat as my fingers continue
their tapping to transfer thoughts into print
Unable to stop yet knowing the hour is late and the
Attack is near

Glued to her seat one innocent writer cannot leave as she
feels the tendrils trailing upon her fingertips and knows their
touch will erase her own words
leave her staring blankly
at the empty screen as the zombie writers slither into her brain and
devour its contents leaving only an empty shell.

Closer and closer they surround her,circle her body
Paralyzed by their instant poison she attempts to escape
The zombies find an opening and slip into her brain
is all that is left of her words/

Beware the attack of the zombie writers.
Clink, Clink, Clink, Clink, Clink CLINK, CLINK, CLINK
They could be coming for you!!
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 11, 2010

The Last-----------------

The Last Passionate Kiss

I can’t remember when or where
you last kissed me with the passion
we knew when we were young and
you gobbled New York in one step
When kisses served as glue as I
held to you as if you were a lifeline

Not knowing at the time abuse and indifference
hid in the creases of those
seductive lips.

When lust leaves, the picnic ends
You might as well pack up your things and
split. For without passion why live with a man?
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was just as Randy says: "Aw'ight". I lied when I said that we had unpacked the last box. My daughter found another box today and unpacked that. Of course it contained books.:) The living room is almost done if you don't count the pictures waiting to be hung standing against the wall. And of course, we still don't have a dining room table.:)

I've tried to address the problem of the slow loading and I've traced it to a widget that I may decide to get rid of if it keeps giving me that problem.:) I hope that all of you are able to load the page properly. If you can't, please let me know. Anyone on Blog Catalog you can send me a message or if you are on Facebook let me know. it's no good if you can't get here to read what I write.

Until the next time keep writing and thank you all for reading my meanderings. Someone told me today that my life resembled a soap opera. I've thought for a long time that we should be a sitcom family on TV. How was your weekend?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Poems for Days 5,6,7,8 snd 9

Pochahontas Discovered is based on this photo

Though I wrote a poem every day I didn't post at all this week. Part of the reason was I was so tired I couldn't see the words. But tonight I decided to post all the poems I wrote including the one for yesterday. I hope you enjoy them and please remember to leave a comment. I love to know how people see my writing.:) If you are interested in joining this challenge you can go to Poetic Asides read the prompts and post your own work. Or you can contribute your own poem here for any of these prompts or you can write your own ignoring the prompts.

April 5, 2010

A too much information poem prompt:

Clamp My Lips

I’m having trouble writing this
because I always give too much information
My mouth spews it out
as if it were water.

In life I am bombarded with too much information
I mean who wants to know that this starlet or that golfer
cheated on their spouses
And certainly it’s not necessary to drag out all of the people
with whom they cheated.

Isn’t it too much information to learn a revered music idol
had an affair? Does the music get worse?
We don facades to keep stuff from leaking out.

I give too much information
I should clamp my lips
Hide it from the world
Don’t tell all the details

It’s enough to know it was a fire
Don’t describe it or the smell of
smoke that continues to cause
ripples of fear when I smell it anywhere
Don’t tell about the loss of life.
Enough to say it was a fire
Anything else is too much information.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 6, 2010
An ekphrastic poem
Using Pochahontas – Annie Leibowitz

Pochahontas Discovered

Autumn grass carpets my forest
littered with fallen red and gold leaves
My doe friend, trods behind aware
the air is changed

We trek well worn paths
aware of the presence in the water and knowing we must flee
The empty water holds a boat larger than I ever saw
Can we escape this terror?

I must warn my village
Danger has arrived
My world is asunder and my heart beats
too fast as if I had run the whole way

I know these paths
Their secrets revealed as I wandered
them with my friends the deer
The land belongs to us all
I tend it with care.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 7, 2010

Until their words don’t hurt me

My ears will pretend they can
bounce words like rubber balls
Fling them over the fence like
unwanted weeds

My feet will stay planted on the
ground I know and my body will be
a wall protecting the fragile underside
of my soul

Unaware of the barbs from
the scars of their fierce words
as they pitch them out willy nilly
Nicking the corners of the borders of
my clamoring ego

Though tattered and pieced together
it puts a brave face to the world
And ignores the mean spirits
as if they were feathers in the
air of my life.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 8, 2010
Choose a tool and write from its POV


The surface must be kept pristine
White wooden shelves withstand my
mighty force

The gap narrows as blow after blow
pounds the shelf down to the metal
They misplace me most of the time
I’m not the first child of tools

Then the time arrives and there I am
in their hands pounding metal and wood
Bang, bang, bang, bang
The ping sound makes their ears pop

At the end pin meets wood and I have done my job.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 9, 2010

Self Portrait

She smiles like a young Mona Lisa with her
hair shaped by Roman hairdressers
wearing a tiny pink tee shirt standing
in the middle of a Roman street looking
straight ahead the expression
tailored for her lover pointing the camera

before the deluge of age pounded on her shores
And babies softened her belly
Before she became a blonde to cover the gray
Peeking too many times between the brown curly

Years later she flashes her smile
open as a Kansas prairie
no one sees the pain underneath
masked by years of pretending
reminds herself she is a wife and mother
recalls the days when she walked down those
cobblestoned streets wanting this.

Now she is fury wrapped in cashmere
a whipped cream lion
roaring into an abyss
vulnerable as a baby’s skin
loyal to a fault who
wishes these strangers would crawl into her
brain and see the reality of her life.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My history vetted

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates. In honor of spring and Easter I have this picture of daffodils and a poem by Walt Whitman about them:

Daffodils (1804)

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:

I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Here is what you can do with the poem. You can copy it and start collecting a poem a day or you can start writing your own poems each day. Either way, please share the poems you find here. That's what Poetry month is all about.:) If you copy it you can save it for Poem in Your Pocket Day,Thursday, April 29th when you slip a poem into the pocket of a loved one or good friend.

The prompt for today's poem is "History", so I focused on a situation that has been happening fairly regularly lately. How many of you have adult children who question your memories?

Mine does very frequently and I incorporated this experience into today's poem. This is a short post with only one poem, since I'm right on time now.:)

What I love about April as Poetry Month is being surrounded by poetry all month. Sometimes only a poem will do when you're writing and many times I have found I have written more than one about an experience. Poetry takes the images of a memory and translates it into mind pictures so we're taking and putting them into poetic images.:)

Here is my poem for today:


They creep into conversation
like today when I spoke of the first time
I ever cooked calamari
their slimy translucent grey bodies lay
on the counter with the eyes staring
antenna now useless protruding from their
heads. They didn’t look like the fried crispy
rings I had known.
In the middle of the memory she says
“No, that wasn’t when we were in Bedford.
It was in Long Island”
I questioned the memory, all the while knowing
she was wrong, but in the all knowing world of
a young adult woman not yet in her thirties
it was the truth for her.

Lately our truths seem to collide
as if she were searching through
my memories and deciding which were real
and I question each time wondering if she is right
knowing the memory is mine
held in my brain and lived viscerally,
How can she vet the memories I had before her?
She wasn’t there when I threw my wedding ring across
that parking lot in California.
or when I lost my tooth in Arizona.
She wasn’t there when I got the news my father died
on an April morning.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April is Poetry Month

Last year I started exactly on April 1st posting each day's poem. I also posted on Poetic Asides blog that Robert Brewer writes. However, this year is a little different. On April 1st a poem was the farthest thing from my mind. My husband's doctor called and told him to go to the hospital for tests and a procedure. He stayed in the hospital for three days and didn't get out until today. So I fell behind in writing poems. But tonight I caught up and I'm now up to date. Oh and he is getting better. More about him tomorrow.:)

So this post is exclusively my poems. I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to comment one way or the other.

April 1, 2010


There’s an empty space
behind the smile on my mouth
that greets each passerby
with a friendly Hi

It’s hidden by the gloss of
accomplishments during the day
and lays in wait like a snake about to strike
until my family leaves and occupies their

It creeps through the gaping hole left by
the emptiness around me
sits like a docile child
as I try to placate it with TV programs and emails,
Facebook groups and writing

Writing helps, but still it waits
for nothing can fill it
and soon it will crawl back inside for the night
hidden once more from the rest of the world
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 2, 2010


The day begins with its running
flush, brush, rinse.

It swishes through the dishes as it swirls
off the food.
rushes into the empty washer flowing
pver the clothes as it agitates and mixes with
soap, then rinses clean pulling the dirt down the drain.

Its clean non-taste glides down my throat
fills pots for soup and pasta.
mixes with all food like the Miss Congeniality of liquids

slips over fountains and babbles over rocks
thunders over mountains to be Niagara Falls
floats quiet and silent in lakes and ponds
where animals swim on and in it

Surrounds us in massive oceans that
rise in waves and carry currents
and it evaporates, becomes clouds then
produces rain that pounds my windows making
puddles. It is us and we are it. We are made of it, produce it, and
it is the center of our lives.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 3, 2010

Partly Gone

In the aftermath of the fire
the beige shingled home where
we lived for ten years
ceased to exist

one side charred
its windows
broken by the power of the fire
blackened from roof to porch

in minutes we were pushed to the
forced into a change not
forseen on the bitter cold December
evening when we were wrenched
from comfort and fled to the street
in our pajamas
to watch in horror as flames became the
new tenants.

In twenty-five minutes
hungry flames devoured the steps leading
to their bedroom upstairs
stranding two while firemen tried
rescuing, but had to watch as
flames licked and destroyed the flesh of my
neighbors trapped in the fire’s furor.

Our half of the house escaped the fire’s
char, sat intact.
kitchen, living room untouched
but we would never live there again.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, thank you to all my usual readers and I hope that anyone who stumbled on these meanderings comes back. All of April I am going to post my poems here each day. Please come back tomorrow for the 4th poem of the month.

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