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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Last Post for April Poem A Day - Days 26, 27, 28, 29, 30!!!

Sorry for the lateness of all this, but my husband's health took a big turn for the worse. He needed to be moved to the ICU and also needed a bronchoscopy. They did that today, but they needed to put him on a respirator for awhile. We are hopeful this will help his lung to reinflate. However, we did go to the hospital, but he is now resting comfortably. So I decided to catch up on my writing. It helps me to write a lot!!!

This is the last day for April Poem A Day. My next blog will probably be going back to talking about writing and authors interviews. 

I am going to post all the days left in this blog:

April 26, 2014
Prompt: Write a poem about Water


The rain pours
over all and I 
begin to think
of the water
pooling on the

Bringer of life
We grow in it
in the womb
and use it to
replenish our
own liquid.

It can be a helper
or a monster
bringing floods with
deluging rains
or swirling in waves
as a tsunami

Or it can be 
a mirrored surface
where you can gaze
and dream and feel

We bathe in it
and cleanse our
skins and we wash
our clothes in it
water splashing in 

Water is everything
to us and we are
part of it 
We live in each other
Needing and being needed
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 27, 2014
Prompt: Write a poem about Monsters


When I was a girl there
were movies with monsters
playing on Saturdays in huge
theaters where the smell of
popcorn hit your nostrils as
you walked into the lobbies

But I didn't watch those
for I had my own fears
of monsters hiding in
my closet each night
waiting for me to open
and they would jump 
out to get me

So my friends would go
and tell me they had to
hide their eyes when the
monsters like Godzilla, 
came on the screen
I thought I would never
see these horror movies,
including the ones with 
zombies and vampires,
but somehow they found

At summer camp the night
movies with their scratchy
sounds filled the canvas
pull down screen with the
images I most wanted to
never see with the sounds
roaring over me and I a
captive audience needed
to stay and watch 

Years later I became
desensitized to monsters
of all kinds with Mystery Science 
Theater and suddenly I saw
how phony these monsters
were. I could see the craziness
of these movies without feeling
fear and found the fun that my
friends so long ago had known

Of course, by that time
I no longer believed monsters
lived in closets and knew they
really lived in the real world
where I could not hide from
them and had to pray they
would not visit me
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 28, 2014
Prompt: Write about being Settled

A Life Unsettled

I thought my life was settled
A smooth sailing until the end
where eventually all would fade
and fly away, but into this
tranquil scene arrived a storm

No one realized how strong
this storm was 
Yet it continued to batter
and smash up his body
Unyielding and relentless
it continued to destroy

Until now the body is
weak and fighting, but
needs life support
for its breath

Nothing is settled
yet and we are in
limbo waiting for 
one small body
part to be healed
and go back to
its job of holding
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 29, 2014
Prompt: Write a Two for Tuesday poem either real of magical or in the style of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Magic Universe

I would weave you
a cloak of golden
threads to cover
your shoulders
and heal your
wounds and you
would walk with
your old strength
beyond the hospital
doors and into a 
world where we
were floating in
an azure sky 
flying and flitting
never setting down

And that golden cloak
woven with the threads
of healing blossoms
colored with the whims
of all dreams
would repel all sickness
and you would be whole
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Cold Reality

The news is harsh
Doctors deliver it in
measured tones as
if they knew more 
than they are saying
but they hold onto
some truths

Nurses are the 
buffers who slip
in and out ministering
to the patient without
They keep me whole
for somehow I feel 
like an undone jigsaw
with pieces going
every which way
Not even able to find
the corners so I 
can begin to put
them back together
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 30, 2014
Prompt: Write a poem to Call it a Day

Ode to April

Don't want to call it a day
for April has been a 
resurgence of poems
and a refill for my
soul as each day
brought its prompt
I charged into the
words as they came
to me sharing all I 
wrote for friends 
and yet to be friends
in a secure bubble
of acceptance and
friendly discussion
Never thinking for
a minute that this
wasn't ready for 
all to read, though
some might not have
been honed as well
due to the hastiness
in which they were 
But thank you for the
outlet for I feel without
it I might have dissolved
into a gooey mess and
sat alone wondering
how long I could take
this endless illness in
my husband and feeling
sorry for myself like a 
petulant teen
With my words flowing onto 
the screen my mind 
unleashed and all went into
my poems a melange of
pain and discovery, frustration
and rare moments when 
I remembered the before times
when life was ebullient and 
When he was a young
dashing man and I a 
mere slip of a girl and
we were enclosed in
each other's arms
I am not ready to call it 
a day to write a poem
a day for it soothes me
like a warm cup of tea
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time thank you again to all who have tweeted and retweeted my poems. I am so happy you found value in them. As you can see in my last poem I am not ready to call it a day and may continue to write and post more occasionally. Meanwhile I am going to copy all these April poems to the Poetry section of this blog. If you missed any you can find them there.:) 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Day 24 of April Poem A Day!!!

The prompt for today inspired me to write about the news. 

April 24, 2014
Prompt: Title your poem Tell It To..... and write a poem to match the title.

Tell It To The News
Tell it to the man who
blows hot air filled with
nonsense all over my
TV screen and to the
power hungry leaders
who must attack their
own people to feel good
Tell it to the endless stream
of breaking news that
floats underneath in waves
as we try to digest ten
things at once
Tell it to the useless rolls
of looped action played
over and over again until
you have memorized the
actions even if they are
violent or ridiculous
Tell it to the accident victims
who only wanted to have
a good time, but instead
they are now front and center
battered and bruised featured
as a story while they are
carted off to the ER
Tell it to the abused people
whose lives are not
showcased for all to see
but instead must live with
the chaos of war in a place
where news has deserted it
Tell it to my overflowing
brain inured to explosions
and gun fire from seeing them
all too many times in living
color on the screen and
wondering why when all
prefer no guns we have
a place in our country
where guns rule
Tell it to the horror of loss
we have seen too many
times on the faces of
parents whose children
were caught in the
nonsense of gun fire
and whose melting faces
will be immortalized on
the screen
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, thank you to Vicki Batman and H. K. Carlton for tweeting about this blog from the beginning. Also a big shout out to Madeleine McLaughlin, Melanie King, Jenna Storm, and Lea Barrymire and Ann Swann for their tweets too!!! You have made me very happy!!! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 22 and Day 23 of April Poem A Day!!

I am a day late posting this, because I forgot to do it last night. So I am posting two days today.  
Yesterday's prompt was for Two for Tuesday and so I did write two poems. Here they are for yesterday:

April 22, 2014
Prompt: Write a pessimistic and /or optimistic poem

Each day I fill up my hope
balloon for the journey
and we travel along the
corridors of silent walls
where it leaks slowly
and we settle in
hospital rooms never
seeing how the leak
increases and by the
end of the day it is
only a withered remnant
I must take home and
fill up again
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

The next poem could be considered optimistic, but I wrote it because it was Earth Day yesterday:

Saving the Earth
The Earth will be saved
only if we care enough
about it to stop the
destructive ways we
have been showing
towards her
Her green meadows
will thrive with wildflowers
and the songs of birds
while the sun will bathe
her in its brilliant light
creating the food we
all need to live
We will save our Earth
from the destroyers who
care only about greed
and not about the delicacy
of a violet rising from the
soil or the smile on the
child’s face who sees it
Our Earth is precious
and we need its bounty
not to be sullied by evil
businesses who want
only profit and don’t care
about the dirty oil that
will spill and cover all
But I believe we can
keep this from happening
with the strength of the
truth as we fight and
continue to fight to
preserve the verdant tresses
of our land
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Here is the poem for today. 

April 23, 2014
Prompt: Write a location poem

You Are My Home

The pillows sit on top of each other
Your sink is almost empty
Your side of the bed sits empty too
Each night I go to sleep with the
phone near my head in case you
call me and wake me in the 

Everything waits for you
as if all of us were in limbo
a sense of absence fills
the place and we all know
you are missing and there
is imbalance 

You are not here in body
for there is another place
where you live now
It is sterile and spare
but it is your home now
among the tubes delivering
medicine to you keeping
you there and I want to 
crawl into that bed and
have your arms around me
though you are weak now
and it would be me holding
you and then I would be
home and find the missing
piece of my life 
for you are my home and
I will plant myself where you
copyright 2014 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, I can't believe we only have a week more of this to go. I am not going to be happy when this month ends. I hope all of you have been able to celebrate National Poetry Month by either writing or reading poetry.:) 

April 24 is Poem in Your Pocket Day. On this day you place a poem in the pocket of a loved one and they find it during the day. Or you leave a poem anywhere. 

I will be going back to my usual format in May with guest authors and my usual meanderings.:)

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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