PROMPT #334 – IT HAPPENS

I was reminded during the millionth (it’s seemed like it) broadcast of Forrest Gump when the T-Shirt designer steps in IT and an unflappable Gump comes forth with the line “It Happens.” We all encounter things that “happen” in our lives, both good and not quite so.

What’s happening? Or better yet what has happened in your realm of influence? What would you like to happen? Be it personal, local, or wider spread than that, let us know through your poetic heart. It happens to all of us. We’ll help you step around it.

MARIE’S HAPPENING:

JUST YESTERDAY

I loved gardening
beneath sun and deep blue sky
in sensible shoes.

I loved Keith as he
painted old cheap plastic pots
‘seventies Corvettes.

I loved filling them
with flamboyant petunias,
modest marigolds.

I loved settling in,
sipping black coffee, watching
red robins rummage.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

WALT’S HAPPENSTANCE:

HAPPENSTANCE

    “Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.” ~Aldous Huxley

You live and learn,
earning your respect
and stumbling your way
through this world. You hope to build
strength and character and
strength of character
to anchor you. Feet firmly planted,
convicted to depict a man
who makes his mistakes better
each next time he makes them.
Never curse the sins visited upon the son
for they were merely lessons the father
never got around to teaching.
Nothing wrong with reaching for the stars,
venturing far from home base,
yet keeping our heart close to the place
that bears your footprint.
Not all missteps are mistakes,
every deviation takes you to a new location.
For generations this had been your station.
But your errors are the foundation upon which
your life was built. Becoming sturdy
and strong, ending up where you belong.
Remember it happens to all of us.
Learn from it and move on!

161 thoughts on “PROMPT #334 – IT HAPPENS

  1. CRIME HAPPENS

    They say crime doesn’t pay,
    but it certainly takes its toll on society.
    Men have the full capacity to love,
    Yet on the opposite side of the coin
    he commits the most heinous atrocities.

    The staggering level of darkness
    emanating from within him is devastating.
    Whether it’s partially cloudy or sunshine,
    he brings along the nighttime’s reign of terror
    with him in the midst of any summer day.

    He can be a Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde;
    a wound up jack-in-the-box, waiting patiently
    for the perfect opportunity, or innocent victim
    like a Lappet-faced vulture or Andean Condor.

    They say crime doesn’t pay,
    but more often than not; society pays the price
    with her own blood, kin, precious loved ones—
    all because men don’t pay attention, or take heed
    to their conscience.

    Benjamin Thomas

  2. HOW COMFORT HAPPENS

    I stand beneath eternal starry skies
    that sail above the softly crashing sea.
    The stars bring to my eyes a host of free
    delights: the whites and blues of massive size;
    a global cluster whose collection lies
    beyond the Milky Way; the orange glee
    of Betelgeuse; the greens content to be
    reflections in the ocean’s midnight guise.
    Collectively the sense they form is awe,
    a feeling that inspires a hint of might
    but does not warm when nights are stark and cold;
    instead, I seek the heavens’ nearest draw:
    the ever-fresh and ever-cycling sight
    of the new moon in the arms of the old.

  3. Marie and Walt, I’m entranced by the sheer volume of memorable lines in your offerings, especially “red robins rummage” and “not all missteps are mistakes.”

  4. IF I COULD

    If I could…
    I’d heal the world
    with marigolds
    Tame and replace
    the seas
    with magnolia trees
    cure disease
    with perpetual
    lilac blossom
    make the earth
    awesome
    in elegant
    pure white orchid
    teases

    If I could…
    I’d rule the world
    with endless
    arrays of
    mahogany
    dapper dahlias
    deliver world peace
    in countless
    displays of
    flaming red roses
    calm the stricken
    with colors
    of green
    courtly poses

    If I could…
    I’d have legions
    of purple haze
    armies
    slender lavender
    standing at attention
    Not to mention
    fierce knights
    of Peruvian
    lilies
    making the masses
    silly with
    pink carnations
    and gerbera
    daisies

    If I could…
    there’d be entire cities
    of pretty
    wise hibiscus
    in the absence
    of natural
    disasters
    the
    beauty
    and awe of
    asters
    Let the fragrance
    of azaleas
    blaze the
    countryside
    and a pleasing
    tide of chrysanthemums
    to run for
    miles and miles

    Benjamin Thomas

  5. IT HAPPENS EVERY NIGHT

    It happens.
    Every night I dream.
    From a distance I feel you, every night,
    the nearness is stirring.
    It is blurring my vision,
    I can see you through closed eyes,
    you permeate the misty midnight,
    beneath the moon, and stars, and Venus and Mars.
    Hands reaching to hold, to caress and possess
    every part of you. From the end to the very start of you.
    I come to be beside you, conforming to you,
    a matched set burning from ignition
    to full flame. It’s the same every night
    It happens. I dream.

  6. Blind Spot

    Nothing of import happened yesterday.
    Oh, newly named babies were born somewhere, far away,
    and many more unnamed people died in distant lands,
    mostly naturally, none directly at my hands.
    Some remarkable events occurred, so they say.
    Might have been a haboob, a fire, or a monsoon flood,
    but nothing happened to me, my friends, my blood.
    No matter to me, you see, as in bed I lay,
    no matter to me, other peoples’ joy or woe.
    All that mattered were my plans for the day,
    areas to clean, a garden to hoe.
    Might have been a new war started, so I heard,
    but distant sirens don’t affect me, too busy watching birds.
    Nothing of import happened yesterday.

  7. Oh Walt– absolutely love // a man
    who makes his mistakes better
    each next time he makes them.// Terrific & such a great reminder of how to handle those mistakes we seem to keep repeating!!

  8. Current Events

    Honoring the day, hoping
    to bring light to the darkness,
    maybe create something to
    cherish, or at least, remember.

    Respecting the day, thinking
    it’s a good time for
    random acts
    of joyful beneficence.

    Appreciating the day, reminded
    to not try too hard to
    do big, showy things.
    Many little acts of good will do.

    Working the garden this day, mindfully,
    I’ll go slow, pause, breathe, observe.
    Quite Zen.
    Of course, I am also quite old.

    I have woken this day, gratefully.
    What the heck,
    I might as well
    choose to be happy and love.

  9. IT’S A MYSTERY

    How it happens,
    May be born of the mystery,
    An unknown feature,
    Not at all expected,
    Perhaps anticipated,
    Without a known timeline,
    Maybe just a wish,
    A deeply buried hope,
    A profound longing,
    An undeniable dream,
    Yet unrealized,
    Until the day,
    The time,
    The moment
    It happens,
    Seemingly out of the blue,
    But is it?
    Or do we know,
    It will appear,
    It will manifest,
    It will show up,
    It is just how it will,
    When it will,
    Remaining the mystery,
    Until it is here,
    Until it is real,
    Until we can feel it,
    Until we can say,
    Yes, it really happened,
    And I knew it would,
    All along.

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

  10. WHEN A CALL GOES OUT

    When a subtle signal is heard,
    Does it generate a response?
    Making something happen,
    Or is it all just random chance,
    Or is there a design,
    Beyond our comprehension,
    Creating what needs to happen,
    Without our conscious knowledge,
    Maybe we are,
    Conscious creators, collaborators,
    Of everything that happens,
    Why it happens,
    When it happens,
    As it happens,
    Promoting it happening,
    Perhaps we just face it as it comes,
    Trusting that it is happening,
    For some unknown reason,
    At some unknown time,
    As a trigger of something else to come,
    When we least expect it,
    Maybe we’ll never know,
    Why something happened,
    Or be able to predict what will happen,
    Maybe it comes down to faith,
    That what happens,
    Was supposed to happen,
    And what is going to happen,
    Will happen,
    And when it does,
    It just so happens,
    We will be ready for it!
    And as it happens,
    We were!

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

  11. For All That Happens

    the sun’s awakening grasses near fields wave cars stop at an intersection then pass
    coincidental friends made at a convenience store where I buy my paper cost of gasoline rises stories told wars and murders on the first page fine arts buried behind the opinion page
    there’s even a kidnapping on the comic page children feed ducks on a pond in a city park
    traffic rushes past my friend in a coffee shop is taking leave to have a baby in passage I learn to see the world in new ways populations signs at the edge of town stay the same as if
    someone dies for each who is born to the sun’s westward passage the moon waits

  12. On an Ordinary Friday

    Somehow a heavy boot
    wedges its heel onto the shovel
    and trying to shake it fee
    down I tumble again

    the kind of fall where
    you know you’re going
    and you cannot break/brake
    yourself so you meet the rocks

    gingerly wriggling legs inside
    boots not breaking anything
    but my pride once again
    taking the heat although fear

    surges afresh the way it did
    when I broke my knee
    slipping on the ice burning brush
    and no way to unbreak it

    so that each unbalancing
    makes me want to run and hide
    away while simultaneously stirring
    pure daredevil risktaker that shouts

    I won’t quit and you can’t make me
    I dare you nah nah nah seeing again
    that painted white line on the playground
    supposedly dividing boys from girls
    in elementary that we stepped over

    and over kicking dancing daring
    after the nuns slipped inside
    to grade a few more papers
    thumb beads in desperation

    at our ‘boldness and audacity’
    use their words again to address rocks
    digging into my side even as I use
    the shovel to right the mast

    attacks the hole for the Bee Balm
    yet again trying to reclaim this soil
    hoping Blackeyed Susan’s
    will multiply like coneflowers

    watch the enormous spider disappear
    into its hole in the lintel stone left
    mid-pasture no reason except to anchor
    me as I joust only to fall on my shovel.

  13. AS THE NIGHT HAPPENS

    The reality of day,
    Shifts to a dream state,
    Too subtle to say,
    But never too late,

    Where there is desire,
    It appears to come through,
    Like a fully flamed fire,
    A good dream will do,

    Our clear imagination,
    Can completely ignite,
    Nothing to shun,
    In the hope of the night,

    What happens in our dreams,
    Can fuel our reality,
    Lovely as it seems,
    In its own way, it can be.

    In our creative mind,
    Go beyond the night sky,
    Where love is easy to find,
    No need to question why.

    Only limitation happens to us,
    When we forget to imagine,
    Thinking we need a car or bus,
    Instead of our vision to begin,

    A truly good intention,
    Capable of firing up the night,
    Creating magic enough to stun,
    With fireworks, it might!

    There’s nothing we can’t create,
    Make happen on any night,
    Making it meaningful and great!
    Truly touching and memorable, quite!

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

    • But never too late,
      A good dream will do,
      In the hope of the night,
      In its own way, it can be.
      No need to question why.
      Instead of our vision to begin,
      With fireworks, it might!
      Truly touching and memorable, quite!

      A poem embedded in your last lines! Reads like a hand-in-hand stroll on a starlit shore, hoping for more than a dream. And this… “There’s nothing we can’t create,” Truth in your words.

  14. I loved both of your poems, but Marie’s cheered me up… Family situation has got me worried…

  15. I chose to write a poem based on this nursery rhyme. I have recited it often over the years…
    “For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the message was lost.
    For want of a message the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

    For the Want of a Nail

    Somewhere back there
    Was a man in charge of making nails…
    A blacksmith, and maybe
    He was careless or in a hurry,
    And did not get that nail made.

    But
    Maybe he did, and the farrier
    Was busy looking at the ladies,
    And didn’t have time to take that nail
    and shod that shoe.

    But,
    Maybe he was ready to shoe that horse,
    And the rider was impatient, and
    Said he had to go, and
    Hopped on that horse and road off
    With that message,
    But without the nail,
    The shoe got loose,
    And the horse tumbled,
    And the rider with that important message,
    Was stuck by the side of the road…

    The battle went wrong,
    It was lost.
    The king was captured, and
    The people had a new ruler.

    The people grumbled,
    And the blacksmith said,
    “I had other things to do.”
    The farrier said,
    “It was just one nail in the shoe.”
    The rider said,
    “It was fate, and things just happen.”
    The king wondered,
    “Why this happened to him.”

    No one saw they made a choice,
    A seemingly minor choice,
    It should not have caused a kingdom to fall,
    But each choice is connected…
    To other choices, and
    There is strength in the right choices,
    But collapse in the wrong ones.

    It is an old tale to be sure,
    And it doesn’t really matter these days,
    Or does it…

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    May 16, 2021

  16. Not Happening

    Consistency continues
    day after day. In
    my gut, I feel like
    I am stuck in a rut.
    Oh, to be at a beach, away

    from thoughts that linger
    in the forefront of my brain.
    Afternoons lolling on sand,
    evenings dining on seafood. No
    appointments, temporarily sane.

    I need no European vacation,
    nor formal clothes of any kind.
    A mere change of scenery
    would be refreshing with soaring
    birds, and scent of ocean brine.

  17. Pingback: Great Balls of Fire! A getaway pegacorn happens! | Experience Writing

  18. Growth

    While I slumbered in the night,
    The tiny seeds I planted did grow.
    They raised their leaves to the morning light.
    While I slumbered in the night,
    Those seeds that were planted in the light,
    Waiting for me to rest, in their deftly planned row,
    While I slumbered in the night,
    The tiny seeds I planted did grow.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    May 17, 2021

  19. I planted one seed of corn…

    “One for the blackbird, one for the crow,
    One for the soil and one to grow.”*
    As I dropped each shriveled seed of corn…
    I smiled at the old farmer’s tale,
    And thought what foolishness this was,
    For surely all the seeds would grow.

    “One for the blackbird, one for the crow,
    One for the soil and one to grow.”*
    The days past I watched for them to grow,
    And wondered if those words were wise,
    While I was the foolish one.

    “One for the blackbird, one for the crow,
    One for the soil and one to grow.”*
    The crows did chatter up in the trees,
    And the jays cried out, “Oh, more please.”
    My brow was furrowed as I heard them sing.

    “One for the blackbird, one for the crow,
    One for the soil and one to grow.”*
    As the tiny stalks of green rose
    I counted one, two, three, four,
    And thought maybe they still will rise.

    “One for the blackbird, one for the crow,
    One for the soil and one to grow.”*
    A week has passed, and a few more stalks
    Came out of the ground, but
    I knew the old farmers were right….

    And I had been outsmarted by a crow…
    “One for the blackbird, one for the crow,
    One for the soil and one to grow.”*

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    May 17, 2021

  20. To those cats I have loved…. Who also loved poetry….

    Dezia died on this day,
    The fiery furball,
    Who ruled her world,
    And loved the poetry,
    I read to her.
    She thought T.S. Elliot
    Wrote the line “Oh, Cat,”
    Just for her.

    Today also is the day
    Biddie the oldest of the Inheritance left.
    She would sit on the table outside
    As I read her poetry.
    She liked T.S. Elliot
    Because she was a Jellicle cat.
    I suspect she preferred the poems of Shelley
    For she understood how moonbeams kissed.

    Jellicle and her sister Eliza Jane
    Would stop and listen to me read
    A poem or two to Biddie,
    Before they bounded out into the night.

    Zelda came from an abuse situation,
    A delightful kind creature she was,
    Loved the poems that my father wrote
    Because of the rhythm and the rhyme.
    She would wait patiently for me to read
    Elliot, Shelley and the rest of the boys in the band,
    And would give me a Cheshire smile
    When I began to tell a mountain tale
    Written by my father’s hand….

    Gus and June were too busy for poetry,
    But Gus did morn his sister,
    And my words of her made him stop and listen.
    He did this after Pearl left,
    And when Cassie got into her black carriage
    With pink ribbons hanging down
    Drawn by four black horses,
    His heart broke again.
    He never was much for poetry,
    but preferred me telling him stories,
    It was this day that Dezia died,
    That I deemed to be June and Gus birthday.

    Today I celebrate the lives of cats
    Who like me loved poetry
    Or at least storytellers, and
    I know somewhere out there
    They have joined the ranks
    Of other cats who like poetry
    Somewhere down on wild cat road.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    May 17, 2021

    • I enjoy your stories about The Inheritance. And again, I think these stories and memories would make a lovely book for children. It could be titled The Inheritance, and could be rich with illustrations. Just a thought.

      • Thanks and Marie, I would love to do a book of poems to the cats I have known…I miss the inheritance all the time… in the years after Ma died, and I wanted to give up… these cats that I made a promise to my mother to keep them and care for them… actually kept me alive.

  21. FAIR WEATHER FRIEND

    It just so happened
    you came to mind today ~
    the sky had blackened
    it just so happened,
    but my hat was fastened
    so as not to blow away.
    It just so happened
    you came to mind today.

  22. Pingback: Fair Weather Friend | echoes from the silence

  23. JOIN ME

    You will find me beneath a tree,
    pen in hand and a grand smile
    all the while writing poetry.
    It’s paradise in Poetry,
    when words inspired by your fire
    light my world to full pyre,
    poetic desire in rhyme and reason
    tossed to the wind. I begin with an image
    of your face, beauty and grace
    and a trace of love left to smolder.
    A spot on the blanket with your name
    ingrained in the stitching.
    I was wishing you’d join me
    when the words come flowing
    and you knowing my heart and soul
    are in each word and in you.
    It is true. I’d wait for you until
    the cows come home.
    Dreams come true when
    they’re based on me and you.
    Come join me anytime you feel the need,
    Beneath the shade of our tree
    in the Land of Poetry.

    • Walt I Love this poem and that line- “A spot on the blanket with your name ingrained in the stitching” was one of the most perfect images of love I have ever read… thank you for this beauty…

  24. My Possum Hank is dead….

    On my long winding driveway,
    Hank met his demise…
    Felled by another creature of the night.
    I have known him many years,
    Or at least one of the Hanks,
    For I call all my possums Hank.

    Such odd creatures possums are,
    They waddle as they walk, and
    There is a joke in the south,
    The reason the chicken
    Crossed that road
    Was to show the possum,
    It could be done.

    He belonged to the forest
    In which I lived, and
    Though he was a lowly creature…
    Not beautiful like a deer,
    Or noisy like a crow
    With their jet-black plumes.
    His hair always had
    That I-just-got-of-bed look,
    Still, he was lovely as possum go.

    Curious as to why he died,
    But knowing I would never know.
    Things happen in the forest.
    The life that goes on,
    And ends without me noticing,
    Unless like Hank they die
    Where I can find them.

    I will never know,
    If he was a hermit
    Among the possums
    Or if he had friends
    Who would make a toast-
    And say, “Has anyone seen Hank?”
    I wonder what stories they will tell,
    Embellished stories of his bravery
    Or how he like to ramble, and
    Always had a “Howdy” to say,
    When he was passing by.

    If I was there, I would join in with them,
    And tell them of our first meeting,
    How he and the cats that used to be
    Gathered in evening to eat, and swap tales.
    Instead, I said quietly goodbye
    To the possum I called Hank
    Knowing his passing
    Would mean little,
    And that fact alone
    Made me sad.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    May 19, 2021

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