If I Were Goddess of the Ocean

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This past week, Laura Shovan wrapped up her Water Poem Project and the final bonus prompt came from author and poet, Aida Salazar. She wrote,  “Imagine you are the goddess of the ocean. Write a poem about what you have to do during an ocean storm to keep all its creatures safe.” I saw the first half of this prompt, ignored the rest, and went on a mini-rant. I vacillate between feeling frustrated, angry and scared these days, and the idea of being a powerful goddess of anything is very appealing.

If I Were Goddess of the Ocean

Hell!
Some people would feel my wrath!
I’d rage through DC,
sweep wild waters before me,
send towering waves
thundercrashing
through the Oval Office,
channel cascading currents
through Congress
purging it of sycophantic cronies,
then surge forth
to scour away
self-righteous hypocrites
clothed in a veneer of Christianity
who have forgotten the meaning
of compassion
and willingly play
Russian Roulette
with others’ lives.
I’d tumble them about a bit
shake them up.

Unwilling to further
foul my domain,
I’d pull back the tides,
toss these sodden creatures
back onto land.
Bedraggled and drenched,
perhaps they’ll reconsider
their self-serving stances,
their callous calculations,
their disregard for truth
and consequences.

I’ll settle back down
to the ebb and flow
yet whisper warnings
with my surf…

Don’t mess with me!

©Molly Hogan, 2020

Christie Wyman, birder, naturalist, poet, teacher,  is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog, Wondering and Wandering. She’s been making the most of National Poetry Month with her fabulous ThoreaulyInspired Poetry Project and also shares her contribution to the Progressive Poem.

SOLC Day 28: Waves

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March 2020 SOLC–Day 28
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
http://www.twowritingteachers.org

Laura Shovan is sponsoring a month-long Water Poem Project. Each day a different poet offers up a water-related prompt. Today’s prompt came from poet, Heather Meloche, who asked writers to create a concrete or shape poem about waves. This prompt seemed especially appropriate since nearby beaches closed yesterday morning.

My husband and I both love walking on the beach. The closest beaches are about 45 minutes away, but we go several times a month during the winter and more often when my schedule opens up in the summer. We usually go early in the day or late in the afternoon. We’re not there to lie in the sun or even to swim (We do live in Maine after all! Brrr!). Instead we walk together, gather shells, watch the sandpipers play tag with the surf, and listen to the call of the seagulls. We scan the water for seals or unusual ducks. We admire newly deposited driftwood and intricate water-etched patterns in the sand. Often we stop and simply stand at the water’s edge, breathe the salt air and watch the waves.

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A Cherita: Our Trip to Crater Lake

Poetry Friday--snowAs February draws to a close, I’ve slowed down on my participation in Laura Shovan’s challenge, and sadly, I am now several prompts behind at this point. Still, participating has been a fabulous experience. I’ve learned so much from seeing other’s poems and interpretations of each prompt. There are some mighty creative people out there!

During this month I’ve been struck by how my initial thoughts on what I might write sometimes shift and change dramatically.  I posted about this in my SOL post on Tuesday.  It happened again when Alice Tabor-Nine posted some beautiful photos of Crater Lake.

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photo by Alice Tabor-Nine

My initial efforts focused on the bird’s eye view, the brilliant blue, the magical Wizard’s Island. Then, I remembered our long-ago plans to visit Crater Lake and how they were suddenly altered.

Our Trip to Crater Lake

Once upon a time, long, long ago, hidden turmoil brewed.

Then, one day, it could no longer be contained.
The volcano burst, cataclysmically altering the scene.

Hot, violent tears erupted in a steady flow.
We diverted to Urgent Care…
double ear infection

©Molly Hogan, 2020

This week Karen Edmisten is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog. She’s sharing a poem about February 29th by Jane Hirschfield. Perfect timing! Stop by and check it out!

 

How to Bathe Your Baby

slice-of-life_individualI’m participating in Laura Shovan’s daily poetry challenge this month. Each day someone posts a prompt around the theme “Water.” Yesterday’s prompt was for a How-to poem that included a reference to water. I considered a few ideas and one by one, rejected them. Then my mind, in that random way it has, flew back to one of my favorite memories–the first time my husband and I bathed our son, Connor.

It’s a memory that never fails to make me smile. I look back and see us standing by the kitchen sink, Connor in our arms. We were so earnest, so nervous, so determined to do it right.

I had a book. (Of course I had a book!) It was probably “What to Expect the First Year” or some such thing. I distinctly remember we had read and reread the section “Baby’s First Sponge Bath” in anticipation of this event. I’m pretty sure I’d even read it aloud. (If I remember correctly, my husband didn’t even roll his eyes. In fact, he may have been reading over my shoulder.)

Now the time was here. The counter was littered with the requisite items: bath towel, cotton pads, Q-tips, washcloth, baby soap, and whatever else was called for. I may have actually had a thermometer there to check the water temperature.

I look back at us in that long ago kitchen and feel such a huge affection for the two of us, so young with this beautiful new baby. Oh, how we already loved him. Oh, how much we wanted to do it all right.

I distinctly remember the book, open on the counter, and reading aloud step by step through the book as we bathed him. My husband, who was an RN, made no protest. We took turns holding, washing, soothing. We were starting from square one together. Doing the best we could. 

How to Bathe Your Baby

Before beginning,
read the appropriate section of the book–
once or twice.
(Okay, maybe three times.)
Gather required supplies.
Place them carefully on the counter.
(Do you have them all?)
Check.
(Double check.)

Gently undress your baby
bit by bit.
Reveal small sections of his perfect skin.
Soothe his cries.
Marvel at his delicate fingers and
their gentle exploration of the air.
Press a kiss at the nape of his neck.
Smooth your hand over his head of dark hair.
Let your fingers linger.
Moisten the washcloth with warm water
Gently smooth it over his skin–
Learn the universe of his curves.

Follow the directions in the book–
step by careful step.
Handle him like fine china.

When done,
wrap him in a soft towel.
Cradle him between the two of you.
Keep working as a team.
Do the best you can.

©Molly Hogan, 2020 (draft)