Duty revisited

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Duty revisited

Forget what I said earlier about Duty
being a stern mother
and a tiny house
where I kept stubbing my toe
on “You shoulds.”

Lately Duty has become
a pool noodle
that keeps me happy
playing in the safe shallows
instead of risking
the big surf of the deep,

a tether
that won’t let my ball
arc dangerously through the air
and maybe get bruised on the rim.

I haven’t opened the freezer lately either
to check on the state of my dreams.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration:
This prompt for this poem was the following on the Poetic Asides blog on November 18, 2013:

“For today’s prompt, write a “forget what I said earlier” poem. This poem could be a response to a poem you wrote earlier in the challenge (or just earlier in general). Or it could cover one of those moments–I have them all the time–when you say something that ends up proving wrong or that you wish you’d taken back.”

The poem that “Duty Revisited” talks back to is…

DUTY

Duty is a stern mother:
Do your homework first.
Finish the cleaning before you read.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Don’t be late!

Duty is a tiny house,
no room for big projects.
I want … ricochets back
You should
Always stubbing my toe on something.

Duty is a pair of old jeans,
comfortable, unpretentious, serviceable,
sturdy, familiar,
safe.

Attention to duty means well-fed children,
happy parents,
a manicured lawn,
a reconciled account,
a shining car,
…a freezer full of dreams.

© 2004 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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A little screed against progress

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hacker

A little screed against progress

New car plays no CDs
camera has no download cord
it’s all Bluetooth and Wi-fi
and I’m feeling pushed toward

a world controlled by passwords
where music’s streamed, not owned
photos float on virtual clouds
and my attention’s honed:

delete the fake-bill email
ignore the mystery link
report the phishing trial
and with suspicion think

of all my cookie fragments
drifting through the air
as a trail of bread crumbs
for the thugs of ransom-ware,

increasingly uneasy
that someday I’ll be hacked…
The internet-less past
was safer—that’s a fact!

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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It’s not that I don’t like progress. The internet has brought many positive changes to my life which  would be very different if I suddenly found myself wi-fi-less.  However, in our rush to do everything online I sometimes get the uneasy feeling, especially on days when news of another mass hack circulates, that we’re all rushing toward a cliff.

PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Carol at Carol’s Corner.

SJT – Home (Missing Home)

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The farmhouse where I grew up - Photo © 2009 by V. Nesdoly
The farmhouse where I grew up – Photo © 2009 by V. Nesdoly

Missing Home

I remember squeaks and slants
in the floor of our last home
can picture the gouge
in paneling beside my desk
the crumbing rubber
on the patio-door seal.
In the shed I see
rust-freckled freezer top
shelf of garden powders and poisons
boxes of canning jars
tangle of camping stuff
all familiar—like loved homes are—
as my own hands and feet.
So the other day
when I couldn’t remember
if there was a slanted ceiling
and a south window
in my childhood bedroom on the farm
I felt as if I had taken off my sock
and found I was missing a toe.

© 2012 by Violet Nesdoly (First published in Picking Flowers – a Fraser Valley Poets Society project.)

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Top to bottom L-R: top two - Destroyed kitchen; 2nd row - We ate a lot of breakfasts and lunch on the balcony; The living room; Row 3 - Living room restored; Kitchen restored.
Top to bottom L-R: Row 1 – Destroyed kitchen; Row 2 – We ate a lot of breakfasts and lunches on the balcony; The gutted living room; Row 3 – Living room restored; Kitchen-dining area restored.

Thankful for Home

As you probably pick up from the poem above, I am a homebody. I love to travel but I love to come home more. I like a social outing but home is where I feel most comfortable, relaxed, and happy.

In the summer of 2014 we came home from holiday to a flooded house. All the main floor flooring of our townhouse had to be redone, along with much of the basement den. Witnessing the change of my cozy living room to a bare shell with a splintery chipboard floor, the devolution of my functional kitchen to cupboards stacked helter skelter in the middle of the room was almost physically painful for me.

And so my heart goes out to the refugees we see on the news, streaming across Europe—homeless because their homes have been bombed, their familiar towns and cities not safe to live in any more. I can only imagine how it must feel to have no home.

We eventually got our home back, better than ever. But since our flood I have stopped taking my home for granted. Often now when I sit in my cozy living room or work in my functional kitchen I marvel at how they were brought back and say, “Thank you, Lord!” And my prayer for refugees everywhere is that may they find homes again too.

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning. Today the theme is THANKSGIVING FOR HOME.

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week for Spiritual Journey Thursday