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Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Life Changes and New Poetry

This is a view from the shoreline after rain at low tide

It's been a few weeks since I last posted and a lot has changed!!! My husband came out of the hospital a new person and he has pretty much gotten back almost all of his energy. The prednisone is taking away the calcium and hopefully it is working on the sarcoidosis. he has been able to tolerate it so far [knock wood]. But it does make him kind of manic and it's like truth serum. Anything he thinks comes out of his mouth with no regard for the feelings of the other person. This makes it kind of difficult to feel good, since he knows exactly what will push my buttons. However, there are many things about him in this new incarnation that I like. :)

Meanwhile, I have been writing poetry and tending to my own self. I went to the opthamologist and found out that I have to have a cataract removal operation in August. I don't really have that much trouble seeing, but the doctor said that it should be removed. When I do get it removed they will replace the lens with a new one that will let me see things at a distance. That is something I haven't been able to do since I was 11.:) I will let everyone know the date when it gets closer. It is only a few hours of my time and you get to go home that day.

As for the writing poetry part I am posting all the poems I have written in these two weeks. You will see that some of them are different from my usual style. Enjoy and let me know your comments, please. As always my poems were written to the prompts on Poetic Asides, the website for Robert Brewer who also thinks up the prompts each week. It's hard to write just one poem for each prompt and the people who post there are prolific and excellent poets. Each week we all post and discuss each other's poetry while coming back day after day until Wednesday rolls around again. You could say I and many others are addicted to the website. :)

I wanted everyone to know that one of my poems has been published on the website for Poets for Living Waters. It's called Earth and you need to look for it by title, because they left out my byline. Just click on the link for the poem and scroll down. Though they left out my byline it is in the right alphabetical order on Open Mic (D-G). I wrote to the editors who wrote back and said they would fix the error. However, tonight I went to check on it and they hadn't done it. So I wrote to them again and I am still waiting for an answer. I will let everyone know if I do hear from them in the comments for this blog. Poets for Living Waters was created to use poetry to bring attention to the effects of the oil spill on the Gulf's waters. Poets submit poems that apply to this topic and you can submit by email if you are interested. They are still accepting new poems. You can submit 1-3 poems each time. I am very happy to be in the company of other people from Poetic Asides who have their poems there too.

So here are all the poems I have written since the last post:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Prompt: Write a poem for any of these titles:
  • Spectator falls from 2nd deck
  • Life under melting Arctic ice
  • Disheartened by the disaster
  • The Many Voices of Lauryn Hill
  • If You Can't Take the Heat, Use Fewer Jalapenos

Life Under Melting Arctic Ice

The ice formed around you
Clinging to your chest
Centering around your heart
And it formed a barrier
Shutting me out as if I were
suddenly stuck under the ice
Searching for a hole in the melting
glacier as I swam blindly shoving my
arms up toward the clear frozen
shelf reaching the flat surface
unable to push through the layers
as your words built more
And I floundered gasping for air
The energy to keep pushing sucked
from me in the vacuum of your
disinterest and disdain

And as I swam in the distance between
us my heart cracked thinking of this
formless existence without you
A tiny hole appeared, a pin prick only
Yet I fitted a finger through and
realized it was melting as I poked my
head through the larger hole and your
arms surrounded me in a warm apology
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Spectator falls from 2nd Deck

A few hours out of port
he spied a figure in the water
beckoning as she rose revealing
her tail swishing behind
Mesmerizing him

He leaned over the
railing confirming her lustrous
locks trailing in the azure water
Blinking his eyes the image
remained taunting him singing
a strange high melody, and he leaned
further to hear as the notes hit his ears

In the dark no one saw or heard the splash
But a passenger on the first deck saw a
blob pass the porthole
Too late the announcement came over the
ship’s loudspeaker.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Disheartened by the disaster

He sorted through the mounds
of clothes finding pants six sizes
too big barely worn, creases crisp
Swimming on his smaller body.

He mourned their loss
as the pile to give away grew larger
Pain showed in his face
A remembrance of the waste of a life

Not sure why he bought them all
Confused by the emergence of
the man he’d hidden all these years
who no longer fitted these “clown pants”
as he called them

The loss of money, time, and fashion
too much for his recovering body
he grabbed the bag and tossed it into the
metal charity box hoping somewhere there would
be a man to fit all these oversized disasters.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prompt: Write a poem using the title: After the rain

Shoreline after the rain

The water fled leaving bare rocks
Brown mud pocked with broken
shells normally hidden by the water
lay empty devoid of its usual occupants

My sneakered feet squeaked on the wet
boards of the boardwalk
as I passed the space where the blue heron
usually stood regally searching for prey

Searching for their hiding place i
walked along the shoreline
feeling the rain softened humid air
stick to my face as water dripped
in a fine mist as if sent through a sieve

Even the fireflies
toned down their show
after the rain.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Waking after the rain (Inspired by a newspaper story)

Warm from sleep they rubbed their eyes
remembering the fury of the rain pelting
their windows and banging against their roof
They had feared the new shingles replacing old
rotted ones would not hold and cause dripping
Creating a need for holders for the drops invading
each sacred inch of their pristine home

Elated the ceiling above their bed had held
they hugged and reaffirmed their love
Preparing for work, he came downstairs
whistling. Feeling ten years younger
as he took the stairs two at a time
a smile on his face

Debris covered the living room floor
bits of tree bark and pieces of leaves
Did the storm blow them through the door?
Confused he moved down one more step
past the protruding wall that had blocked his view
of the ceiling and the hole containing two large
tree branches poking into his living room
So the bang he had heard was not in his dream
after all.
copyright 2010 by Barbara Ehrentreu


  1. Barbara, so many wonderful poems in response to Robert's prompts.

    Good luck with the cataract surgery -- my mother had to have cataracts removed from both eyes towards the end of her life. Not sure why they didn't implant lenses (except that this was a good 25 or so years ago), so she used contact lenses that she had to put in. She was an artist, so vision was very important to her.


  2. Peggy,
    Thank you so much! I love your work too and try to comment on as many as I can. This week I thought you wrote a ghazal, but then checked the rhyming and it didn't fit. What was that? Or was it your own creation? How many of us haven't felt that way?

  3. Hey Barbara -- so, SO glad to hear that something is working for your husband. Truth serum, eh? Well, it could be worse. Good luck with your cataract surgery, too. My father just had that done on both eyes and it went really well.

    As for your poetry. Wow. My favorite is "Life Under Melting Arctic Ice," but I love how the poem, "Waking After the Rain" ended. How many times have I heard that story, but you still caught me by surprise. Bravo!

  4. Linda,
    Thank you so much for visiting! I saw you were in the Top 50 for April and you really deserved it. Coming from you I am thrilled that you liked my poems. I am really lost when I get to the PA website, because of all the wonderful poetry there. I loved yours this week too. I think I commented on them at the website. I will visit your blog too.:)

    Also good to hear more encouragement about my cataract operation. I am looking forward to less blurry vision. I don't notice that I have a problem, but I'll go by my doctor's judgement.

  5. Barbara, so nice to visit and see your wonderful poems all in one place. Very nice blog!

  6. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for visiting! Also thank you for the praise:) Did you read the latest interview with Jo Linsdell-Feliciani? If you leave a comment you are in the drawing for a free book!


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