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My Poetry


Seems impossible to believe, but somehow I missed posting my poems here for three years!!!

I am remedying this immediately and posting my poems for April, 2015 here for any to see.

I would love your comments on all or any of them.  As always they were done to prompts from Poetic Asides. Thank you.


April Poem A Day for 2015


Day 1 
Prompt: Write a resistance poem

Resistance to You

In a deep hole of sorrow I met you
Timid at first I dared not show
my true feelings for fear your
intentions were not as mine
and I held back protecting
my scarred and broken heart
Against your onslaught
of soft and encouraging words
I tried to build a wall to keep
them out
but your words slipped through
as warm and inviting as a spring
breeze sweeping into my damaged
and tattered heart and healing
it with a force powerful
and tender as the touch of
a lover’s skin.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Day 2: 
Prompt: Write a poem about a secret

My Secret

Inside of me
bubbling like champagne
is a feeling so new and fresh
it’s warm and pink like a newborn
wrapped in the sorrow left over
from days past and brave
enough to wander through
me igniting closed corners
and reaching into closeted
cloaked places so long neglected
It peeks around and wants to
play with its insistent joy
forces me to open my eyes
to an impossible possibility
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 3:
Prompt: Write a poem about machines

Machines surround me in my life
They should save me time
but mostly they create an
illusion that time is shortened
as yes, the food processor
pummels food to a paste
or chops it for you in a second,
but think of the time you must
take to wash it in the dishwasher
also a machine designed to save
you time, but really think of
how long it takes to load and
unload and then there is the
mixer, such a saver, but really
by hand is only a bowl and a
spoon and much the same result
Don’t get me wrong, I love my
machines and what would anyone
do without the coffee made in
an instant one cup at a time
definitely doing its job and
saving time with no muss
and no fuss
If everything were as simple
as my Keurig and its finesse
Wait I have to go spend some
time in my favorite machine,
my car
purring like a well maintained
cat and moving me to places
I might have used my feet to
travel to, but why do that
when I can sit in the comfort
of a stuffed leather seat and
glance at the scenes as they
sway past my vision.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Day 4:
Prompt: Departure

Your Departure 

We knew you were going
yet we ignored all your preparations
how you cared no more for your
favorite foods or how you kept
telling us we could stand on our own
and we tried to fight the force
of your ever present anger at
this unpleasant and unwanted
and certainly untimely leaving
as you slowly each day became
littler and weaker and your limbs
shrunk to the size of canes
your spirit undaunted sent
false denials as your hands
trembled and we watched as
you were forced to succumb to
machines to control your breath
Yet you stayed on not wanting 
to take that final trip even though
last call was being sounded
and we took our goodbyes
separately and together that
last night when we hoped 
you might stay for awhile
longer and I fed you pudding
and yogurt like a baby while
you tried to smile and stay
just a little longer with us
You sensed your leaving was
soon and begged to go
like a whining child
But your departure came
without warning as they
tried to keep you from going
but the doors had closed and
you were on your way.
 copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 5 
Prompt: Write about a vegetable

Horseradish Root

Horseradish root you look 
like an old man with 
your mottled knobby skin 
and tendrils poking from your head
Your smell pungent and sharp 
reminds me of evenings spent 
with long dead loved ones and 
our collective grunts as we bit 
into the bitter scrapings 
of your inner core
Even combined with the sweet charoset 
your taste lingered on our lips 
to take us back to the struggle 
we celebrate and to etch 
in our minds the feelings 
of those who had to flee 
familiar surroundings for what 
we now take for granted --- 
freedom
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Day 6
Prompt: NOT-AS-THEY-SEEM

Do You Know Me?

You see a blonde haired older woman
Still retaining her youth
in plump cheeks and fashionable
jeans
I wear a ring, but I am no longer
married in this life
under the blonde is the brown
I hated since a child
I may appear whole, but my
body is scarred like an old handbag
Smooth and shiny outside with a
torn lining
It has scars from excavations of
non vital organs and one from
two joyous events when
my now grown daughters
were plucked from me
underneath my smile is
a wasteland of unsorted
emotions and if you were
to find my heart you would
see it is fragile and about
to break in pieces since
the loss of the man who
kept it together as it
tentatively hopes that
soon it will find solace
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Day 7 
Prompt: Love/Anti-Love 

Secret Love

She happened upon him as only a friend
One of over a thousand who filled her
computer with their random activities
and commented when her life
brought her sorrow or accolades
yet from the first his words
were an invitation
a soft, subtle force that
moved her as if she were on
a river floating with the
current unable to stop herself
as his words became more
ardent and his intentions
became the anchor that
brought her to him
drifting toward him
unable to stop as both
found solace and peace
and she wanted so much
to shout it to all who knew
her as the feeling that
connected them drew them
toward each other ever
closer each day bringing
to each the happiness
they had told themselves
they would no longer have
and she wanted to shout it
to all who knew her but it
was too new like a butterfly
just emerging from its cocoon
So fresh and blooming with
tender wings ready to fly and
she worried its wings might be
caught on the barbs of others
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 8
Write a poem about a Dare
(Based on characters from If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor)

Not A Game

She was at the party
all her baggage 
already unpacked
and laid out for 
her new friends to
know and she did
not want her old 
friend to see it all
But there she was
petulant as always
wanting to be part 
of her life and
barging in with her
own game of 
Truth or Dare

Not waiting for anyone
she launched her 
attack and pounced
with Truth
what could she do?
Her old best friend
asking her why
she had ignored her
these days and she
the one who knew
found her lips unable
to speak the words
long held from this
girl who she knew
from pigtails
turned to her new
friend who took
up the Dare to
tell the Truth for 
her and let it
all shine out so
the room was
illuminated with the
unvarnished nightmare
of her undisclosed secret
and her old friend dissolved
in tears as she realized she
had been the last one to
know how her friend
had suffered and she
wanted to run away
but the rest of the party
closed around her 
and let the light erase
all thoughts of anything
but happiness at knowing
this sad, but indisputable
Truth
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 9 
Prompt: Write a poem about work

Days without work

Work began for me as intermittent
babysitting and it fed my small needs
as I wandered through teenage years
then work was only for summers
as I tried to amass enough money
to keep myself in school telling
any who asked of course I would
stay the full time and not sneak 
out in the fall to return to my real
love where education was my work
and then work became my days
days and days of getting up when
it was dark and facing discontented
students whether I was ready or not
work was not over when I returned 
to my haven but I did work at night
and most weekends had me 
poring over papers for work
and the students came and went
and were taught or not and I 
kept this routine for work
always thinking this work was 
what I really wanted to do, but
it was a sham for I longed to 
be away and spend my days
at leisure not needing to work
I was only happy a few years as
work became a place where my
heart was too and then I had to 
leave and work was an ancient 
green walled room filled with
noisy and disrespectful students
too young to know they were
already lost and would never
rise in the education pile
and then work was a place where
I could teach writing and my heart
sang until this was gone and I was
left with no work and 
now created my own work
and finally moved away from
working and suddenly realized
my soul had a different cadence
no longer did I rise at dawn and 
pore over paperwork
now my work was what I wanted
to do when I wanted to do it
Freed at last from the yoke of work.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Day 10
Prompt: Use How in the title

How Does Love Start?

Love begins like a tiny drop
falling from a leaf
it’s a spark you never
knew lived in you 
coming alive for the
first time as a newborn
as open and raw as a baby
eager to push forward 
and its energy increases
pulsing through your body
and brain flicking switches
you never thought you had
as it flies merrily around
and sprinkles sparkles in 
your heart that radiate 
to all parts through your
veins and arteries they
course until they reach
your mouth and you smile
and yearn for your lover’s 
smile and linger on the
thought of those lips
covering yours and your
body doesn’t behave
it keeps pushing for 
more and more touches
and those sparkles leap
into your eyes when you
see your lover and your
eyes refuse to leave
your lover’s face for 
fear of never seeing
it again for love has
the mind of a toddler
and must be fed until
you are so filled to 
the brim with desire
and sparkles fly 
everywhere as you
feel the sap as if you were
touched by magic and 
suddenly transformed into
an all consuming creature
eager for only one thing
your lover and their touch
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu




Day 11
Prompt: Write about the Seasons

Sara Says

Sara says she doesn't like Spring
as if Spring cares if she likes it
or not 
and as if Spring were to run
away hurt at her slitted eyes
the lush burgeoning life 
the purple crocus buds
displaying on the awakening
grass and the sound of the 
birds at night heralding the
opening of the season at last
as Spring parades her finery
tulips blossom and lavender
lilacs explode filling the air with
their fragrance
garlands of azaleas grow
and the smell of wild roses 
permeates the shoreline as Spring
shows her collection
but Sara would rather the 
frigid ice crystals of Winter
her breath on the air
fingers frozen as snow
collects in piles around her
She dismisses Spring's show
and rushes through the excesses 
of Summer eager only for the
cool breezes of Fall and waiting
for the first snowfall to announce
that Winter is finally here.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Day 12
Prompt: Damages

Cracks

At one time 
the round buildings 
facing each other 
across the wide boulevard 
were state of the art
the city must have marveled 
at their architectural splendor
As we pass them each time 
now we see cracks in the
foundation and wonder 
how long they will exist
worrying too about 
the occupants who 
blithely live
with a crumbling base 
normal lives and go 
to sleep with confidence
they will see the morning 
sun rise from their window
and not the street
and I think of the structure 
of my body and yours
how we hide any cracks inside
heartbreak and sickness invisible 
to the outsider and that 
somehow in some way 
one of those cracks will 
intensify and suddenly 
our whole body crumble 
as the round buildings might
unless someone fixes 
those cracks and strengthens
the foundation and how 
we need human cement
to shore up 
our tiny fissures too.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 13 
Prompt: Confessions

Sweet Confessions

The smell of grass makes me giddy
though it also makes me sneeze and 
peonies with their brilliant colors and
aroma bring me to my knees

I love the smell of growing thyme
ran my fingers through it and
soaked up the fragrance of lemon 
when I grew it on my lawn

My life is not an open book
I hid much from my husband
now he is gone it is
hidden forever from those
trusting eyes

And I have coveted another 
or two sometimes letting
my fickle body rule
and covering it up

I once covered a ham sandwich 
with a pattern pamphlet
to hide from my
religious grandfather
in the store where I 
grew up and where 
I played with buttons
as my toys

I was afraid of dogs back
then and I remember how
I ran to my mother's side
when I saw the tethered

German shepherd in front
of the toy store afraid to 
go beyond her protection
even for a toy

My favorite color is red
and I am afraid of roller coasters
though once went on one twice
just to be sure I could do it again

and I now have a secret so special
I feel swollen like a balloon with 
the joy it brings to me 
and I worry it will be pricked

and the joy will fly around
leaving me for another
and so I keep it locked
in a cloud lined place.

copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 14
Prompt: Honesty/Dishonesty

Honestly

Through the day I weave
the thread of honesty
and it lingers with me
as I say to a stranger
“Have a nice day”
Do I really care if
this stranger is happy?
Should I say instead,
I don’t know you and
don’t care for you, but
I guess you smiled
and we shared
an elevator in the
building where we
both live?
maybe too much 
Was it honest to leave
out important things 
I should have told you
before you were swept
from me to the great
sea where your ashes 
now reside?
Should I have told you
of the few times my
eyes looked into another’s
and we lingered too 
close to one another?
Should I have told you
that first night about
my date for New Years
and would you have
wanted me if I had
honestly told you the
next time we met that
I had forsaken you for
another who meant so
little to me after all?
Was it not better that
I honestly told you
my love as it poured
from me each year
and that my heart
beat only for you and 
will continue to keep
your special rhythm?
What would honesty
have done to the 
force that was our 
love before it was
tempered by a few
years of dishonesty?

copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 15
Prompt: Use an adjective for your title

Delicious

Your taste defies description
it haunts me as I survey
the array of your goodness
I dream of
your rich flavor melting on
my tongue and coating
my mouth with your sweet
intangible and indescribable
sensuous and seductive
taste
Who can choose from your
variety of shapes and
flavors and yet there is
always the tried and true
milk chocolate or the
exotic dark chocolate
with it’s almost bitter
aftertaste and milk chocolate
with coconut not to
be missed
if you can get
coconut and almonds
you have bliss
chocolate you are
my essence
you’re a tempter
taunting me to take
you into my mouth
and bite your heavenly
body.
I have to have you
each day though it
is never enough.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu




Lovely

Daffodils arrived yesterday
popping their yellow heads
up into the warmer air
and they formed groups
as if an artist had planted
them dotting green grass
some would say they were
lovely and yet this also
describes the dress I love
in my closet and the 
hairstyle some wear
Do I use lovely for
such splendor or 
is this word too long used
for the mundane to 
apply to such grandeur
Would there was another
word less misused
less spoken for the 
everyday and more
for the coming alert
I must see this experience
of finding daffodils
growing along my road
and along the gate
their green shoots 
decorating the too long
grayness of the sidewalk
announcing Spring has 
arrived like trumpets
before a king.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 16
Prompt: Science


Science Thoughts

I never cared much
for Science
maybe it was because
the cute guy I had
been crushing on
all year rejected me
in Chemistry class
and maybe it was
because you couldn't
smooth it out like
you could a story
or change the course
of an experiment
once it started
and though I believed
I so believed that 
Science would help
you when disease
invaded your body
and I put my faith
in doctor's brains
imbued with the
Science you needed
Still Science did not
succeed as it used
all of it's tools 
tubes, liquids 
to fight the invisible
force destroying you
that you couldn't
smooth out like a story
and whose end was 
too harsh and proved
Science had failed once
again.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Day 17
Prompt: Swings

Swinging

It seems my life has been
as series of swings
as if my emotions could
change with the swing
of a move to a different
place
as if swinging my face
toward another space
could change me
and yes, I have to 
admit the swings have
created a looseness and
a feeling that nothing is
stationary
all life is swinging from
one emotion to the
other from darkness
to light from giddy
joy to unbearable sorrow
and the journey,
oh the journey taken
has accumulated these
emotions into a 
collage of such enormous
proportions you would
need a magnifying glass
to find each moment when
they changed
and now when I thought 
only sorrow would permeate
my life and darkness follow
me the swing toward the 
light and the giddy moments
has again begun.

copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Day 18
Prompt: Use only 2 vowels and y

e and a

The deep sea swept the
beach and my heart
leaped as the sand
seeped away and
the sea's heart
etched the peace
we all want and
feel
at the edge
feet awash as
sea met land
salty fragrance
warm sand met
teal water and the
week's stress melted
away as sea washed feet
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Day 19 
Prompt: Write a poem about Authority

Mother

As a girl my mother loomed
as the only authority in my
house, although my dad 
gave a good performance
She roared and I cringed
her voice a deadly weapon
to my weak embattled soul
and we covered up small
disturbances so she wouldn't
learn like the time the ceramic
sugar bowl broke and my 
brother and I pieced it together
almost like new hoping she would
never notice and she never said 
a word
then suddenly as if the time had
flipped like a calendar page
I was a mother
the one with the power
who wielded it with a different
swing
as my children defied me
and I thought back to what
my mother had done and 
she never lifted a hand to 
me at all but she brought
me down with her persistence
never give an inch to a child
for they will take it all
but I didn't do that 
instead I gave my children
the key to the world
and I hoped they would
open the right doors
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu



Authorities

They laid in wait like jackals
salivating as the prize 
loomed closer and now
when they are in charge
they sharpen their claws
and pounce on the poor
and the unprotected
their talons digging deep
into the soft skin of the
underprivileged and their
drooling mouths open for
more and more bounty
They would strip the 
very foundation from 
our lives so they could
line their pockets with
wads of cash
ill-gotten and filtered
only to the very top
of the food chain
and the underlings
who must now be
at the beck and call
of this wildlife
pray to the only
authority they know
to keep them safe
and to whisper in the
ear of the one who
sits above them all
that he is the only
one in charge and 
must stomp his heel
on the necks of those
who want to bring 
the kingdom back to 
poverty and make us
relive the days when
selling apples was a job
and they smile their 
salacious smiles while
pondering who they
will destroy with their
pens hoping soon that
the only one thwarting
their authority will not 
be there and holding the
pen sword that will
smite them
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 20
Prompt: Write a poem with My—the—-

My Life, The Short Version

As I stand on the lofty pinnacle
of age and gaze down at the
road like a winding path up
a giant hill 
my life is the stops along
the way on the long journey
towards the top
Much of the road was bumpy
causing my vehicle to jump
up and down and sometimes
it was smooth like a 
summer lake at dawn
and I accumulated so much
during this long trip that 
no one body can contain it
Occasionally I lost loved
ones along the way and 
one wrenching loss so
devastating it almost 
made me stop 
but there is always a
sunrise and maybe the
sunsets over various
venues are sweet memories
as the road continues on 
the other side of the hill
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu




Day 21
Prompt: Who Am I or Who Am I Not?

Who Am I

I am the one who wasn’t picked
the breeze on whom you all depend
the silence of loneliness
the whisper of love’s memories
the uncaged lion when required
a silly sop whose heart opens
for all lost souls
a resting place for so many heads
a creator who finds words from 
the stream of chaos around her
I am the dream you wish
the aroma of Pink as I walk by
a ball of desire wrapped in 
the expectations of my age
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Day 22
Prompt: Write about Nature

Four Rainbows

No trumpets heralded
them and no spectacular
extravaganza marked their
presence yet in the sky
as if some mad painter
had climbed to the clouds
and with delicate brush
strokes covered it 
with perfect arches
filled with paintbox colors
like a new box of crayons
when they used to come 
in only eight colors and you
would take them out
and place them in an
array to admire their
clean sharp points
and it reminded me of
those days when a clean
page in front of me was
mine to fill with the fruits
of my imagination
and the world was tiny
like the box of crayons
home to school and back
not wide like it is today
so vast it disappears
distances melt and we
take for granted the 
spaces in the sky
where we soar
in giant steel planes
and speak on the waves
of that air
until Nature 
wakes us up to
her splendor and 
we drink in the
joy of her beauty
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu




Day 23
Prompt: History

My Grandfather's History

In the pre-World War I world
of the Polish corridor my
grandfather lived a peasant's
life as a carpenter in his shetl
with waxed paper covered
windows and a little family
pious and hardworking he
struggled as all peasants
did to keep his family alive
then the black booted soldiers
came and dragged him away
forcing him to fight in their
Russian army and my grandfather
never one to rebel decided then
to change his life and he escaped
deserted into the wilderness
running for the northern shore
enduring hardships to get there
to be on a ship his ticket out of
the horror of the Russian army
He never saw his family and he
must have suffered greatly
thinking of them pining for him
But he pushed on and found
himself on a great ocean liner
on his way to the promised land
America
America where he would begin anew
and he did
set up a business, bought a house
and returned each summer when
travel was easier to his family in
the shtetl each visit expanding it
until soon he had the money
to send for them and he
placed them in steerage
my father just a boy with
long golden curls as he
arrived wide eyed in this
bustling place so different
from the quiet of his peasant
religious life
My grandfather, a bulwark of
a man and my grandmother
small and strong now together
in this new land and my
grandfather, who had braved
the ire of the Russian army to
seed his family, must have
breathed a sigh of relief as
their feet touched American soil
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu





Day 24  
Prompt: Moment

Miracle Moment

Awaited like the sparkle 
of starlight and the
feeling of ecstasy
felt when the hard
work ends and like
the dawn of a
coral skyed day
awaiting the arrival
of the sun
she arrived like
a miracle
pulled from my
body bloody
and beautiful
laid across my
breasts covered
by the surgical
sheet and I held
her for a brief
moment just
one little glance
and I knew she
was my destiny
and we were
bound with a
thread so splendid
it burst into a smile
as I saw her tiny
fingers and toes
later in warm comfort
and I admired her
perfection and
as she fit into my
arms I knew the
stars would never
shine as bright as
the love we would
share and the thread
bound me to her
never to break.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu





Day 25
Prompt: Across the Sea

My First Trip to Europe

Heart beating fast for the long journey
seatbelt fastened as the sound of the
engines reverberated through the
cavernous space as the stewardess
competed with the roar and the 
disinterested passengers wanted
only to be fed and entertained
I sat next to my long time friend 
and lover and clung to his hand
as the plane began its ascent into
the sky until it reached its peak
and I peeked through the window
at the clouds riding over the 
water like horses over rough terrain
Green blue and speckled with gray
the water seemed endless and
Europe beckoned with its 
dreamlike cities and cathedrals
I remember when it changed
and I felt the presence of 
another place as we sped
towards our destination
The food was served and
with it tiny rolls with 
foil covered butter from
Denmark
and the joy I felt as I 
uncovered the lemony
pat continued when
I saw the rooftops of
Amsterdam before we
touched down on its 
soil
And I was a kid again
as each new thing
captured my attention
I was in a living picture
once only seen in geography
books and now this place
in all its unusual newness
for me would be stamped
in my memory along with 
the indescribable feeling
of the bubble of a dream.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu




Day 26
Prompt: Use a word invented by Shakespeare

Fashion ( A modern sonnet)

Shall I undress and leave my clothes
to slip into those for fashion
Maybe I should paint my toes
In the color of my latest passion

Should I walk barefaced into a store
and have my look redone
Style my hair in a new coiffure
Maybe a zany one for fun

Perhaps I am aiming too high 
for my unpretentious life
But magazines make me want to try
Fashion must be followed no matter the strife

But as I glance at store windows to see what to wear
I'm left in a questionable state
And I'm left with despair
For I know in my heart I will never be a fashion plate.

Who cares anymore if the skirt’s short or long
As long as the style isn’t a sarong.

copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu




Day 27 
Prompt: Write about Looking Back

All the Goodbyes

Once I thought memories 
remained in the walls so 
when we left our inner 
selves stayed in the places
where we had lived
old scratched photos
of younger selves
thinner and full of
energy and the days
of sunshine when we
frolicked in a tree shaded
glen where the clear water
skipped over stones and
we walked barefoot in a
cool stream as we 
hurried to find a place
where all of us could
lay down our blankets
and bask in the sunshine
and I remember early mornings
when we bicycled to the park
nearby our tennis rackets
tied to our bikes and 
we volleyed back and forth
when you and I weren't
hunting for poorly hit balls.
Your hair and beard still
dark and curly and 
mine pulled tight against
my head to keep it smooth
That crazy apartment in 
Buffalo we painted in
primary colors and the
parties we had with 
everyone squeezing into the
walkup two bedroom apartment
while Lady Balzac sat eagerly her 
enormous form blocking the food
as we shielded it from her sweet 
pink tongue and she eventually
took her hefty Newfoundland
self off to a cool space while
I served my latest creation
to so many guests I lost count
But we didn't care for we 
were high on wine and pot
and young so young I 
never believed we would
ever leave and these 
precious moments would
be sewn into the walls
as we aged somewhere
else far away from these
golden moments.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu




Day 28
Prompt: Matter/Anti-Matter

What Does It Matter Anymore?

There were days when anger
over a little thing mattered
as if the world would collapse
for each of us if we didn't have
what we wanted from the other
Times when anger exploded
over a silly mishap or a
misspoken word
the fire so consuming each
of us we could no longer
stay in the same room
you running out of the
door to drown your
anger in nothing that mattered
and I seeking to find a
reason for mattering to you
then it all came to a screeching
halt when we realized at the
end of the day that what
mattered was the touch
of each other's skin next
to us and the thrill of
a hand being held for
the umpteenth time
and the smiles on our
children's faces
the matter had been
there for us all the
time and now when
you are gone
I have struggled to
find a way to matter
without you there
to remind me and
the sound of your
soft snoring in my
ear reminding me
I had all that matters.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu





Day 29
Prompt: What no one knows

What Nobody Knows

I had a secret crush
a boy for whom my
eyes would light when
anyone spoke his name
handsome and sweet
and we had met so
many times as children
playing while the grownups
chatted and our ages kept
us apart later as well as
our occupations as I
traveled to school and
he remained in his spot
He was a wisp of a dream
to me as I moved forward
my life never intersecting his
though wanting it to so much
and then when I was sealed
behind the bars of my
marriage with a new little
bundle of joy wrapped in
my maternal arms
we met again with a phone
call and all the untapped
feelings arose as he said
we should meet to discuss
the mundane that had
brought us together
and I walked into his
office holding my baby
against me as a shield
but his presence was a
magnet and at that moment
I wished to be unattached
so I might explore this
uncovered feeling but
life had placed a shield
around me and him and
though the feeling escaped
for a moment as I caressed
his cheek I knew this would
be the last of it and I saw
it die when I realized this
had been mutual for so
long and we had not
known
neither of us aware that
a bloom was growing
in our hearts and we had
stopped watering it.
He with longing and I
with regret said our
goodbyes.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu




Day 30
Prompt: Bury the ———

Bury the Sorrow

When it happened my
pain razor sharp ripped
into my body and tore
a chasm so deep any
solace fell into its pit
tears arrived at odd times
my eyes grew angry at
the constant wet furrows
running down my cheeks
and the world closed
around me as I strangled
in the ropes of my despair
Smiles around me bounced
off my heart and then April
arrived and as the warm
sunshine of poetry found
a niche in my soul I began
to bury the sorrow
one poem at a time
each one covering a little
more pain until now at the
end I have a chink of
happiness showing through
the crack in my heart.

copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


April 2012 Poems

There doesn't seem to be room on the blog for all of my poems this year, so I have decided to make a separate page for them. Here are all the poems from April so far. These will be updated daily until the end of the month.


April 1, 2012 - Urgent communication
Bills
They lay in their glassine envelopes
taunting me with their placid outsides
When I gather them from the tiny metal
box where they are placed I have hope
that some of those envelopes will be
a chance for happiness and not the
numbing sameness of monotonous
figures depleting my small store of
cash for the glory of corporations
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 2, 2012 - Uninvited guests
Uninvited Guests
After adding the juice of plump, rosy San Marzano tomatoes
to the simmering brown mixture filled with cuts of onion and
sweet garlic bits – me in those gray loose pants I wear for the
joy of being at home, stirring tomato sauce, tasting watching the
plops of red blossom around the pan on the snow white stove top
Sauce to the point of perfection, tasted and seasoned and ready
The glass bowl set near to catch the delicate spaghetti coated
with the luscious sauce waiting like a performer to begin the
show, we heard a knock, knock on the door. My daughter,
bowl in hand tentatively opened the locks and peeked outside
just a crack to see our uninvited visitors. He with the ready
smile and open face asked the question while his companion
popped up smiling too. My can opener, they needed my manual
can opener and I passed it to them a bond between two new
neighbors.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 3, 2012 - Two for Tuesday, write an apologetic or non-apolgetic poem
Wall of sorrys
After so many years the sorrys flow like a wall of water
too many and too few to fill the gaps of our days
We were inevitable, the force between us unbroken
and we moved ahead like logs in the river no boundaries
for our boundless love
knowing always the shelter of your strong arms
the pleasure of our shared moments
and it’s not my fault you turned away
my company no longer enough for your
selfish pursuits and I nurtured the seed of our
love watering it with my tears hoping it would
grow and flourish and become supple as it once was
yet your loveless glances continue and we bump
around in this alien world like boarders
only occasionally do I see the peek of light
in your eyes and I am sorry to see it for it
reminds me of the laser beams I used to know.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 4, 2012 - a 100% poem
Striving for 100%
We all do it
worship the number
pray for it 
cry for it
stay up late forcing
words into our brains
cross our fingers
when the papers
reveal the truth
and we infuse
this desire into
our children with
their first attempts
rewarding with gold
stars those who
achieve the magic
number 
while the stragglers
develop cement feet
and though they try
can never quite meet
the heights
they drop away to 
find the easier route
gaining hundreds 
for their limited attempts
forced to watch
the stars who soar
on the backs of their
100%s separated from
their talented friends
soon to be the haves
of the school.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 5, 2012 - Write about something that happened before your time.
The Lost Boys
Grandma had a routine
when she visited her
husband’s grave
She stopped at
two small graves
on the other side
of this pocket sized
cemetery overwhelmed
by Brooklyn streets and
the sound of the el
She strolled over and
stood in front of these
tiny markers while she
and my mother recited
once again the same
story of how beautiful
they were and how
fast they went as the
epidemic claimed mostly
the young and left a hole
in the family and sorrow
still in the hearts of their
mother and sister over fifty years
later and I watched each
shed tears dripping on
the soil as both of them
found the tiniest pebble
to place on the top of
the stones.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 6, 2012 - Write a poem about hiding or something hidden
Hidden Inside Me
People see the calm and quiet
demure and together woman
who speaks in a low voice and
sits calmly in Starbucks, 
vanilla skim latte in hand
but they don't know the 
fire burning inside or the
anger waiting, peeking out
sparked in private and only
rarely, when it can no longer
be tamed, flames out in public
the fire voice strong and firm
takes no prisoners retreats
from no one
demands to be heard at the
slightest injustice
yet it stays hidden within
only appearing when safe
in the confines of my home
where the lion no longer 
need be caged.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 7, 2012 - write about wordless communication
Coming Home
I see her face as she walks through the door
and smile knowing the way the night will be
she will hold it all in her until the air 
begins to escape and form into tears
while her day explodes around her 
as she lets out the tensions 
to us listening yet not able to 
direct events to soothe her 
stressful mind and ease the
unmanageable pain she continues
to collect as she moves 
through the monotony of her
work life unable to change
and forced to be burdened
by the harmful barbs of others
She answers my smile with
her own, tight, lips pressed
eyes dull, controlled and
then suddenly the face
changes and becomes
once more the sweet little
girl she strives so carefully
to hide and I fold her in 
my arms to stay the flood
of tears.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu


April 8, 2012 - write about rejection
Smooth
He sat in front of me in chemistry class
His smooth brown hair all I could see
as the teacher recited complicated
sentences I paid little attention to
as thoughts bubbled rising to the
surface giving me hope and
courage to finally, finally
open my mouth and speak to
this letter jacketed hunk so
close to me and yet so far
away on a plane with the
popular crowd shining and
unattainable and yet I
struggled one day at the
end of class
heart pounding in my throat
anticipation thickening my
voice as it squeaked out
the few words I had rehearsed
in my secret wonderings
hoping this time, though
my hair was short and not
the long shiny waves of the
popular girls and my fourteen
year old body not yet formed
he would say yes and I would
be on the arm of my crush
who would clear the aisles
as we glided past all the
harmful glances
So I said the words to his
open and outstanding face
watching as he carefully
answered with his own
and no one saw the
invisible knife as it tore
into me and left me
shattered in front of the
table of elements.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu


April 9, 2012 - write a poem about something shady
Sol y Sombre ( Sun and Shade)
We bought tickets for the 
middle of the arena where
the hot sun burned when we first arrived
but they assured us the shade would soon
be there and the bullfight would be mostly
in the shade for the rest of the afternoon
We took our seats on the hard stone
and purchased a thin cushion to 
soften the hours we would sit
unsure of what we would see
awaiting the parade of the 
matadors, resplendent in their
gold trimmed, embroidered
jackets
Then the bull advanced
we were still in the hot sun
when the picadors shoved
their sharp picks into the 
flesh of the innocent bull
as he attempted to run
from the horsemen 
flailing his horns around
The matador strode in
with his scarlet lined cloak
and faced the bull with
hidden sword
The crowd shouted "Ole"
as he skirted past the 
deadly horns and reduced
the bull to a confused mess
And then, when the shade
had descended over us
the moment of truth 
came and we watched
the matador 
sword now extended 
slice into the
magnificent head of the
outstanding bull and 
my eyes filled with tears
as the now shrunken 
carcass of the bull was
escorted out of the arena
to the cheers of the crowd
while the matador presented

the ear to the lucky onlooker

who had captured his heart.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 10, 2012 - Two for Tuesday: Write about the forest or about trees or any combination of the two
Caught in the Forest
The trees bend graceful
from the wind and the sun
toward the light rising
until my eyes can no
longer see into the
endless sky
raising their leafy tops
to the warmth and
leaving their bare trunks
behind, bark naked
to the whims of the
inhabitants of this forest
and I think of all of us
down here on the ground
surrounded by the trees
of our lives
leafy tops striving
each day toward the light
feeling the warm sunshine
of praise upon our efforts
as we leave the bare, naked
trunks of our former existence
behind.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 11, 2012 - Write about a season, Summer, Spring, Autumn, Rabbit...
That Spring
Spring came offering gifts
lush blossoms' fragrance
filled my senses and 
entwined with the new
feeling found suddenly
In my new grown body
anticipation as if each
moment should be 
pressed and kept
the light soft and 
desire bubbling like
scented oil inside
urges unknown
until Spring placed 
her floral hands upon
my electric skin and
made me lay on the
moss carpet of new
grown grass as I 
succumbed to the
dream 
wrapped myself
in garlands of desire
and afterward wept for
the loss of my childhood.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu





April 12, 2012 - Write a poem: Something...

Something Is Missing
Days follow days in
lockstep progression
hours slip effortlessly
through and between
moments filter
excitement and despair
and lives continue
with the regularity of
monotonous marching
and I search each
morning in the mirror
those eyes so familiar
saddened from the loss
coping, yet continually
searching for the thread
that used to hold me
together as if somehow
a stitch might be caught
and held and the garment
kept together, though old
and tattered and full of
holes. Somehow the
whole might reappear
transformed into the
something we both
wore together
instead of the rag
I keep close to
my heart now
reminding me of
times when life
danced us both
and our fine threads
covered us creating
a screen where we
shared the feeling
romping in endless
joy
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu




April 13, 2012 - Write a poem about being unlucky

The Unlucky Ones ( Thoughts on Tsunami 2011)
They were unlucky
to have been born
in a place where the
wind held court over all
where the ocean
reclaimed land long
domesticated and
refined until buds
grew and houses
stood painted and
strong
How unlucky to
have been born
in a place where
water slid over all
blanketing cars
covering pavement
forcing some to
seek shelter in
crowds with
bodies lying
side by side on
thin cots listening
to the snores and
cries of just met
neighbors
How unlucky to
be in a place
where no one
would ever be
able to reclaim
their homes and
radiation overruled
all
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu




April 14, 2012 - Write a doomsday poem

When the End Comes

My daughter always worries
about December 21, 2012
as if we were to believe
the Mayans and stop all
that day standing wherever
we are waiting for the
scene of the end
and will we all run
to the tops of buildings to
welcome the end like Y2K?
Will we hasten the time
by finding a way to off our
family and ourselves not
to see the end, but instead
to go peacefully, like
an ordinary day, only
this time sleep will be
our only constant
or maybe we can all
agree what we will do
and gather together
in giant crowds for
support as the unknown
descends upon us in
a fog, or ice or rains
fire
Or maybe it will come
with no fanfare and all
will perish without warning
activity on earth ceasing
as it self-destructs and
everything evaporates
leaving a fine dust
circling the sun
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu


April 15, 2012 - Use slash, button, mask, strap and balloon


The Button Room
My life began with buttons
their company my adventure
stories where I was the princess
strapped to the stone chair
and my brave rescuer in
a mask swooped in and
with a slash of his powerful
sword untied me and
I floated like a balloon
into his strong arms
all the while imagining
the airless rooom where
I played with those
buttons was the open
sky and I landed in
a soft splendid carriage
with my prince instead
of the hard wooden chair
in the room I grew to love
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu


April 16, 2012 - Write a poem about a mixture


My Mixture
Take one part girl from Brooklyn
Add years spent in the snow belt
as a callow youth
Mix one year of Los Angeles smog
and frantic movement
Stir generously with one year in Binghamton
Fold in the restless years of Buffalo life
and the sadness of losing both dogs and
an unformed life
Spread on the streets of Kew Gardens
for eight years and then bake well in
Rocky Point in a suburban home
complete with children and Newfie
Unmold and place in Bedford with
days spent ferrying children back and forth
Frost with two decades of work and worry
Sprinkle a finally published book and
poetic friends on top and serve
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 17, 2012 - Two for Tuesday. Write a poem about a fantasy 

Westeros (for Game of Thrones fans)
Winter is coming
spoken barely above a whisper
in this made for TV extravaganza
a world filled with warring countries
struggling to find union
yet distrustful of each other
a world where incest invades
the royal chamber and a half
naked queen with dragon’s blood
reigns over the remnants of her
kingdom
a place where wolves are dogs
and strong men become stronger
on the backs of women and servants
a cold place and a sweltering desert
love and hate exist hand in hand
and a girl must disguise herself
as a boy to stay alive
wild and civilized at the same time
a contradiction in every way
yet Westeros exists and
mirrors the corruption and deceit
found everywhere in our reality.

copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu



April 18, 2012 - Write a poem with a regional food as the title



Knish


When I moved to Queens
the delectable flavor
tantalized me and I
missed the aroma
wafting out to the
street as I walked
by never able to
avoid the invitation
sent on the breeze
for my mouth to
bite into the flaky
crust and taste the
oniony, potatoey
goodness inside
of that marvel found
on my Brooklyn street
they try hard at
Knish Nosh to replicate
but I still remember
strolling to the movies
holding that hot potato
confection
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu



April 19, 2012 - Write about a life event


My Wedding Day

It started squashed into my
mother’s tiny room
alone dressing in the
short skirted jacketed
ivory wool lace dress
so perfect for the
toned down ceremony
in the rabbi’s study
me screaming due
to a run in my
special white lace
stockings with the
satin shoes and
no one paying attention
to the bride as each
rushed around readying
our house for the guests
afterward
then the ride to Brooklyn
not special in my parent’s
car and finally the ceremony
in front of family and friends
where the ancient Hebrew words
brought me to tears and more
worry about mascara running
those words binding me to you
for all these years like the strong
thread used for my dress which
hangs in my closet still.

copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu



April 20, 2012 - Use Let’s_____
Let's Say Today Really Sucked
Hours spent in a hospital

waiting for the procedure

for him to begin and then


hours in a waiting room
awaiting the end of the 
useless procedure
watching doctors and
nurses milling around
their green fatigues 
splashed with bits of
color
One wearing a Nets
headscarf and another
a rainbow colored smock
All solicitous, concerned
hovering over the bed 
apologetic for the delay
as if anyone cared when
this invasive procedure would 
begin
He is calm and cool,
quiet and subdued 
hopeful they might
perform a miracle 
and bring blood to the
bloodless toe
but alas, with long
face the white bearded
oh, so friendly and 
personable doctor
arrives with the news
he, the miracle maker
cannot perform on 
this specimen and
the only people richer for
this are the fat cats in
glass and steel offices
who reap the benefits
and the doctor who 
slinks away guilty he
no longer has a reason
for smiling at me.

copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu




April 21, 2012 - Write about under the microscope
Under the Microscope
Should we dissect each
other like a science project
pinning a part of each 
to respective slides
and figure out why
we continue to exist
as a couple?
Why when all sense of
coupleness has disappeared
and the light in your eyes
only sometimes shines
for me
Why when the juices
flowing through our 
respective bodies
have taken a hike and
yet there still remains
that undefinable spark
perhaps found when 
examined closely
under more magnification
to figure out why it still
exists when all conspires
to snuff it out 
Is it like the burning ember
still smoldering under the 
burnt logs now ashes
Can if be fanned to burst
forth in flames or is it soon
to burn out if left alone?
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu



April 22, 2012 - Judgement or judging
Escaping Your Judgement

Your eyes hold me in

a vise glance

You don't like my

baggy jeans or the 

way I laugh too loud

or the joy I seem to 


find within the mess of

our lives

When I walk through 

the door I don't see

those eyes peering

down on me as if

I were being sentenced

I feel the rush of freedom

as I pass beyond your

scrutiny and walk into 

the world an anonymous

blob, free and unencumbered

by the weight of your vision.

copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu




April 23, 2012 - Write a morning poem
Morning Thoughts
I wake to the aroma 
of fried eggs wafting
from the kitchen, but
it is late and no one
is home
He wakes early,
sometimes before I
am asleep and begins
his day in silence and
routine
I rarely see the early
morning except if I am
not asleep and peek 
out through the blinds 
to see the strands of
red and gold ride 
across the sky
I wake to the 
certainty I have
missed something,
but in my half sleep
state remember 
mornings when I
was roused by the
sweet voices of 
starving kids 
with their soft
kisses and 
insistent yells
of "Mommy, wake
up. I'm hungry"
The mad dash to 
feed those empty
vessels and send 
them out to the 
world still in my
pajamas racing
like a madwoman
behind the wheel
to the school's doors.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu



April 24, 2012 - Two for Tuesday, write a love or anti-love poem



A Study of Love

Love can’t be dissected
it doesn’t lay there like
a specimen waiting for
someone to uncover
its secret
the tantalizing thread
it casts cannot be seen
until too late and then
there you are in the net
caught by the gossamer
delight of the thrill
no roller coaster ride
can duplicate the
charge which connects
you to the other
forever in a wild and
crazy dance through
the years and you
swirl with the changes
as the whirlpool sucks
you deeper into its vortex

copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu


April 25, 2012 - Write a poem about a sport

The Zen of Tennis
Tennis had always
been for me a
racket dusted off
for the summer
and dragged to
damp, dusty
wooden boarded
dwellings to sit
most days unused,
yet one summer
when life encumbered
me with family I found
a few moments in the
evening to thwack the
ball across the net
and I remember the
first day of this class
when the instructor
after showing us how
to hold the racket
launched into a
discourse on how
we needed to experience
the art of playing in our
minds and imagine
our rackets hitting the
ball in the perfect
trajectory over the
net and away from
our opponent’s racket
The zen of tennis
went through my
head as I trundled
kids back and forth
to various activities
and I was no longer
the chauffeur, but
the player center
court wearing an
oh so stylish outfit
and wielding a racket
like a pro, thwacking
the ball consistently
and truly
in a beautiful
ballet.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 26, 2012 - Write a poem about an animal

Flash – An Incomparable Newfoundland
What I would give
for one more moment
of your soft fur against
my cheek and your
head on my lap
for one more day
spent watching
your tail swish back
and forth and your
pink tongue lap my
face
The black and white
fur-ness of you as
you commanded the
space in which you were
majestic as a king you
comforted my daughters
as they lay against your
massive body and you
served as their bean bag
chair content to accommodate
their toddler shapes
You were my comfort
when all human company
failed and I miss the
exuberance of your welcome
your whole body shaking back
and forth as it leapt upward
forgetting your manners
to lick me hello
No welcome will ever
be as sweet.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu


April 27, 2012 - Write a poem titled The Trouble is...

The Trouble Is…
The trouble is there
is so much to do
and the time goes
by like water over
Niagara Falls and
the clock keeps
ticking though I
haven’t even seen
today’s poem or
finished my email
or edited that
manuscript or
woken in time
for breakfast
or smiled at the
day even once
and soon the
night comes
slipping over all
and the day folds
into an accordion
as I try to catch
up sneaking words
onto the screen in
the early hours and
forcing my head down
onto the pillow before
the day opens her
curtain and my mad
dash begins again.
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 28, 2012 - Write a poem about a problem

Our Problem
We dance around it
pretending it doesn’t
exist as if we were
living together as true
husband and wife and
not the roommates we
have become
when I lay beside you
my hand accidentally
touches your arm and
remembered pleasure
seeps through my brain
and rests in places no
longer watered by love
places that left in their
current environment will
surely turn to desert
and you seem oblivious
to this gradual disintegration
as I wonder what the arms
of those unmet will feel like
yet still I cling to the useless
feelings I now must carry
around like stones each day
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu
April 29, 2012 - Write a poem using a line from a previous poem
The trees bend graceful from the wind and the sun
Their canopy of green forms 
an umbrella of peace
as I stroll through their 
serene presence
and drink in the puffs of air
surrounding them 
bringing me to a higher
plane elevating my senses
as I breathe in the sweet
grasslike aroma emanating
from the growing leaves
budding and bringing 
infant life to the ancient
branches
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu



April 30, 2012 - Write a poem that fades


Day Fades
The sun spreads its tired
face all over the sky in
brilliant reds and oranges
with a few dabs of purple
and lavenders blending
blotting out the blue of
the sky inviting the
impetuous night to
peek over the clouds
as the sun descends
rubbing its eyes and
makes way for the
moon’s stunning arrival
and the water
reflects the faded glory
of the sun’s spectacular
reign as one more day
closes and folds itself
as one more day ceases
and the sun rests on the horizon
then
disappears
disappears
disappears
disappears
copyright 2012 by Barbara Ehrentreu














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