Welcome to Four Lines! I have a goal I would like to write at least four lines of poetry or a haiku every day for the rest of my life. I'm excited about this challenge! Also, along with my daily poem, I will be reading at least four lines of another author's poetry. I'll try to include that here also. So I'm thinking - how difficult can it be to read and then write one poem a day? We will see! - Claudia

All poems on this blog, unless noted, are written by Claudia Callaghan.
© 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Claudia Callaghan
Used only with permission. Please feel free to join Four Lines and request permission.

Monday, April 30, 2012

         Sonnet 20

Bliss is writing poetry,
like a runners high, a gift,
placing the last puzzle piece.
How we love what is unseen,
how we love what is seen,
is poetry still and in motion.
I peered from the forest around
Langton Lake for my dear egrets,
patiently searching for their
flash of whitest white.  Near
my walk's end, I spotted one
gliding above the trees, veering,
falling, and landing in shallow water
directly in front of me.  Poetry!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

           Sonnet 19

The first time I sang to you
was in your candle lit room
on your bed between caresses.
In flickering gold and dark
you grasped my hands tight.
Do you remember that night?
Without regret or searching
for reasons, I no longer
sing to you.
Your strong, smooth hands
will never again grasp mine.
Our passion passed into light
like Minnesota melting snow
we love.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

               Sonnet 18

Never rhyme just to rhyme -
I still hear Professor Pao-Llosa say.
I'll do it one time.  Come what may.
See?  I'll do it again, you'll see then,
as with William Carlos William's
hens, on what so much depends.
Of course, they couldn't all be hens;
he wrote "chickens." There must be
a rooster or three in his procreative
poem.  Pao-Llosa loomed, a Cuban native,
his machismo wearing, a hot stone,
uncaring about feelings.  He wrote to me...
"You'll never be a poet, until you..," know it,
"Never rhyme just to rhyme."


* Professor Pao-Llosa is also a brilliant,
Pulitzer Prize nominee for poetry and has
won several awards.  His books:  Sorting 
Metaphors,  Bread of the Imagined, Cuba
Mastery Impulse, and Parable Hunter

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tipsy Sonnet 17

Drinking wine,
I'm feeling fine,
am a green vine
climbing up a tree.
Leaves are twirling,
sun is learning,
colors brightening
inside me.
Never leave me
I pray to the sky,
pray to roots,
angels and wings.
Buddha, Lao Tzu,
Jesus, thank you.


             Sonnet Mike
Southwestern Chicken Burrito, you.
Roasted Portabella Sandwich, me.
We, Creme Brulee and tea.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

                Sonnet 16

"How do you continue on," you asked,
"poem after poem, song after song?" 
not understanding me and my cast,
where my part, my attention belongs.
I answered, I cannot stop, it matters not
what is past or future or what thought,
whether my hair is stormily knotted,
or brushed, shining, perfectly smooth.
I will weep a sunken life and die, for
if put in a cubicle without paper, pen,
time, I will not be myself who you bore.
- Too much Shakespeare, not enough Zen :)
From you, I love things good, things green,
know hope and kindness, where Zion is seen.


To my mom, whose enthusiasm for life,
glows inside me and from that and heaven
springs my music and poetry.  Eternal thanks!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

                    Sonnet 15

There are honey bees in my bonnet
with white and yellow daffodils on it.
Two egrets, five turtles, one willow tree,
an affected picnic table, peppermint iced tea,
and lilacs I'm bringing home with me.
As a matter of fact, I'll bring home the sky! -
because the kind older lady walked by.
I pointed out five turtles sun bathing,
my favorite egrets gracefully grazing,
mentioned I write sonnets of nature praising.
She said, "You look like a writer of sonnets!"
Instantly, honey bees flocked to my bonnet,
all of these joys heaped brightly upon it.
Sweet heaven! I look like a writer of sonnets!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

             Sonnet 14

To write of love spreads love.
To write of hate spreads hate.
Energy unseen, what we think of,
what we think of we create.*
Even the tenant of writing a story -
to be considered a story at all -
there must be tension in all it's glory.
First thrust love to the wall.
In the end if love has won,
it is only by the edge.
Do we think so little of humanity?
Are we bored not on this ledge?
My evolving purpose is thwarted,
ironically here, the battle reported.


*in the future, anywhere

Monday, April 23, 2012

                   Sonnet 13

Are these sonnets to easy to understand,
to black and white, to close for binoculars,
intermediate not premier, tamed and reined,
words without melody, in my hand's palm?
Recently, I read an exquisite, high brow poem,
with such complexity I had to read it
repeatedly, wondering would I ever be home
with this elite poem?  What does it mean?
Home being where breeding begins,
I decided to bring Elite home for a day,
reading word after word, part after part,
over and over, till memorized by heart.
Understanding, and more, opened to me,
the author's vision again set free.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

                  Sonnet 12

Fifteen years ago or so, unboundried
with Shakespeare's plays, they were
another arm, foot, or heart of my own.
I died with true Desdemona pleading,
flowered myself like Ophelia, floating
and muddied in her river grave, hated
Claudio and loved Benedict as Beatrice.
Bottom's mule mouth I entranced kissed.
I subjoined for days betwixt thoughts -
theirs, mine, and Modern and Elizabethan
time.  Now, studying Twelfth Night or
Othello's decent into I know not what,
I awake unencumbered, expanded,
hearing the sunrise and sunset of rhyme.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

                  Sonnet 11

We stopped for a Teal along the road,
desperate with a weeping wing.
Scooping her up, I wrapped her
in my new, red, cotton sweater
and set her securely on my lap.
Her cries constant, we drove away
from her home, her mate, as I spoke
serenely, hoping she could sense
my mantra, "We're helping you."
The teal's patterned feathers equaled
the beauty of water!  Suddenly quiet,
she looked at me - intelligent, curious,
unafraid.  Everything changed for me
that day.  I saw myself in her eyes.


Note:  The day my friend and I rescued the teal, taking her to a bird sanctuary that mends wounded birds and returns them to the wild, was an epiphany for me.  I've rescued many wounded birds, but never one the size of a duck and also never one that I had to hold (we had no box or anything in the car to put her in), for such a long time, while driving to the sanctuary.  I was astonished at the beautiful, intricate patterns of the teal's feathers, a small example of the beauty of nature - but not just that!  I decided beauty in nature - in essence, the truth of all things - is not determined by size.  A mountain and a bird soaring, feeding, raising their young, living, are equally beautiful and important.  When the teal stopped squalking and became curious of her surroundings, she focused partly on me, even staring at me for minutes at a time, as I spoke kind words - that she was going to be ok and not to worry.  Several weeks after the rescue, I received a post card from the sanctuary that she recovered and was released back into the wild. 



Friday, April 20, 2012

                    Sonnet Ten

           Happy birthday to you!
    The world is more beautifully blue
        with quiet dignity observing
       a gentle strength unwavering
                 because of you.
           Happy birthday to you!
    The world is more beautifully green
         with consciousness unseen
       a desire to learn, to care more
                 because of you.
           Happy birthday to you!
   The world is more beautifully brown
with a man loving and loved by one woman
                 because of you.


This poem is dedicated to my amazing Uncle Zoli,
- Happy Birthday! - and also, to his wife, partner and love,
my wonderful Aunt Anda.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

                  Sonnet Nine

Little Running Horse sadly muzzled,
looks at me, demoted and puzzled.
What is this thing around my mouth?
she thinks, drained of her wild mirth,
mirth she feels, her true love found
in nature, where she will not bow down.
Rubbing her face against the ground
she tries to remove the foreign object,
a burden unwanted she strives to reject.
I'm determined by the course of events.
She is nothing a muzzle represents.
We walk around cat tail pond.  I lead
wondering about her various breeds.
The wolf inside her pines to be freed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

                 Sonnet Eight        

I dreamt of a melody, melancholy, light,
ariose and full of hope. When I woke,
half asleep,  I sat at my piano playing it right
the first time through.  When playing it again
a fog, a veil descended, notes faded into night,
a candle blown out by an open window's wind.
I realized I was still dreaming.
Come morning the melody disappearing,
on the floor luminescent turquoise seeming
ice art pieces of exquisite patterns placed
about were melting.  My bare feet wet, cold.
I saw moonstone, rolling glaciers beaming,
like last night's Nova documentary on ice.
I realized again I was dreaming.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

                 Sonnet Seven

It is my favorite number, seven,
partly because it rhymes with heaven.
Sandwiched between six and eight,
seven still knows nothing of hate.
We are sardined in silver-can time,
in words of a poem structured to rhyme,
a number given as we wait in line.
How is it that seven breaks free?
It blooms perceiving individuality!
Seven yellow roses in a blue glass vase,
seven dancing uniquely in mingled space,
seven eggs, different, though samely nested,
at 77 Galileo died, his resolve popely tested,
on the seventh day our Creator rested.

Monday, April 16, 2012

                  Sonnet Six

Not breathing is a moment given.
A miracle, I could not breath for five
minutes, as they skated into Eden,
Torvill, Dean, and Ravel revived,
in Bolero. Three people became one
unknowingly united, like an atom,
how our earth appears to the sun,
in creating we succumb.
A Russian dancer, Ida Rubinstein,
commissioned Ravel.  He, gifted, wrote
this Spanish dance, designed blind
to British Torvill and Dean's remote
graceful flowing dance of love, ostinato
and melody, flying forever at Sarajevo.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

           Sonnet Five

He knew she was a rare beauty,
although her eyes were gray,
they shined into his days
with love and never duty.
His caring wavered with time.
Her desires not on his list,
intent to put his goals first,
a corporate ladder to climb.
Until, early to atrophy,
illness bled to her bones,
her body full of stones.
He altered his list, his gravity,
writing of love, then duty.
She died still a rare beauty.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

              Sonnet Four

Hiding behind a weeping willow,
her graceful locks of yellow-green,
at the edge of Langton Lake,
I stand statuesque, still as Little
Running Horse spying a sprinting
squirrel.  Through my binoculars
I observe a silent pair of egrets'
slow ballet in nuptial plumage.
My plan in motion is to sonnet
this pair until in fall they fly away.
Now standing in the water's edge
they are expert fisher-birds, spearing
unsuspecting fish with their yellow
beaks and swallowing them whole.

Friday, April 13, 2012

                   Sonnet Three

Wind visited today, first in my dreams,
whistling, singing through my window,
enticing me to go outside. When I did,
I was blown away, not in the hearing,
as music in the air, not in the seeing,
as in words on a page, but in feeling.
Feeling the wind against my body,
my coat, my skirt flying, my face kissed -
eyes, forehead, cheeks, chin, nose,
temples, lips, a hundred times and more,
beyond my skin, it's heart opening,
spilling out.  Wind soaring, whispering,
a tempest, a gentle breeze, scatters seeds
and bends my heart as it bends trees.



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

                       Sonnet Two

My friend with an interest in wit and form
asked for a sonnet, a luscious lemon souffle,
fresh from the oven, wafting and warm,
made from scratch, bliss of any gourmet.

I tried blank verse, listening to Shakespeare,
reading his sonnets, studying his plays.
Every poem I wrote, antipodal of air,
fell with a thud, the egged dud of my day.

If practice makes perfect, my mode is repeat,
to write a sonnet as grand as a souffle,
fragile, light, tangy and sweet.
I'll write sonnets till they rise every day.

Shakespeare, I love him, he's one of the three,
I would invite to dinner from history.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm getting it
together fast -
road runner -
in a morning
dash to find
the right clothes
to wear, searching
through drawers,
closets, while
coyote time,
ticking-tocking,
is near to
the hour
the minutes
the seconds
when I will
be late.

I arrive at
the workshop
with five
minutes
to spare!
In the elevator
going up
I look down
to see one
blue shoe and
one black shoe,
and purple
stockings
that I thought
were blue -
my tail feathers
caught by
coyote time!

I see a smiling
friend standing
next to me.
She says, gently
touching my arm,
"Lunch is on me!
Don't worry,
no one will
ever notice."

Monday, April 9, 2012

You wrote a poem about you and me,
how we are like flowers and water.
You are not afraid to speak of love,
knowing I will understand
it is everywhere, if we look.

Love - in the surface of things,
bark, rough and knotted,
lilacs blooming, sharing 
heaven's scent with all,
a smile I hear from miles away.

Love - in the deepest places,
a sonnet, sonata, the searching 
heart, finding the indescribable 
starting within and expanding
out to encompass everything.

Why are people afraid to love?
In loving we become ourselves
as created, as born, so near
to heaven, so near to heaven,
we see the etherial everywhere.

You are right about me
and I about you... you are
the healer, giving, desiring 
to keep growing, reaching 
out like a flower, like water.

Thank you for sending me
meadows of phlox, blooming 
lilacs, roiling oceans, a dolphin, 
the lei of flowers intermingling,
falling petals, perfectly strewn
from love.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Peaceful Sunday
with green Orion, turquoise Sara Eve
                                          and white Easter.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Almost asleep, I close my eyes...
hear loons singing, lyrically,
flying over my house!
I get up in one swift, smooth
motion - suddenly awake -
open and fly out the window,
temporarily converted!

Friday, April 6, 2012

True religions are like holy dishes,
disparate, kindred,  -
as God and His creations create -
delicious and lovingly
placed on One sacred buffet -
One eternal table,
where all gather
in kindness, contented.

We do not differ like stones and air.
We are like a pair of celebrating
hands clapping or folded in prayer.
Here we laugh, sing, dance,
share our food, drink water or wine,
toast to truth, beauty, differences
and similarities,
beyond boundaries or time.

True religions are like holy dishes,
disparate, kindred, -
as God and His creations create -
delicious and lovingly
placed on One sacred buffet -
One eternal table,
where all gather
in kindness, contented. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I met another Claudia
today - my one-time
Work Force Center
counselor, who couldn't
help me, same name
notwithstanding.
I'm not the government
program's right size -

being curved, not cornered,
holistic, not atomistic,
brown rice, not white,
spiritual, not religious,
all over the unemployment
pyramid. Health coaching?
- too colorful, too green,
in and out of defined,

current boarders,
without guarantees,
kind of like... poetry!
I did appreciate her advice,
and sentiment - "You're on
a good path, I know."  Outside
her government job, Claudia
is a Qigong teacher.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I remember holding you up
to the ocean two days after
you were born...

introducing
you to the water, immense,
moving, deep green,

introducing
you to the sun, warm, bright
on your newborn face,

introducing
you to the Atlantic wind, too,
for the first time.

You, my son, were small, securely
wrapped in a cotton blanket and
so loved.

Now, 28 and over six feet tall,
you are secure
in your own skin,
so blessed by water, sun and wind.

I am grateful for you! -
and also for what I know,
we are all so blessed and
so loved.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

    Lunch with Mike...Sonnet One

Lunching with the lover of literature
and life at the same sunny table -
He, danish salmon.  Me, greek salad.
We, Shakespeare and James Joyce.
Our conversation turns
                 corners and gamuts.
We are beginning to traverse
a map of lunches.
When we will become real friends
on our journey is not known.
I do know, he's deeper, happier,
reads more than most discoursies,
and I'm on Sonnet Boulevard
due to his suggestion!
                     
     Sonnet Two...Seven Days Later

My friend with an interest in wit and form
asked for a sonnet, a luscious lemon souffle,
fresh from the oven, wafting and warm,
made from scratch, bliss of any gourmet.

I tried blank verse, listening to Shakespeare,
reading his sonnets, studying his plays.
Every poem I wrote, antipodal of air,
fell with a thud, the egged dud of my day.

If practice makes perfect, my mode is repeat,
to write a sonnet as grand as a souffle,
fragile, light, scrumptious, tangy and sweet.
I'll write sonnets till they rise every day.

Shakespeare, I love him, he's one of the three,
I would invite to dinner from history.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I yelled at my son,
my shining Orion, today.
My heart cracked,
his heart cracked
as I became thunder.

How many times,
how many times,
how many times,
must a mom
tell her four-teen-year
old son to do something?

Homework, Orion.
Walk Onyx.
Take out the garbage.
Don't forget to practice piano.

Homework, Orion.
Walk Onyx.
Take out the garbage.
Don't forget to practice piano.

Homework, Orion!
Walk Onyx!
Take out the garbage!
Don't forget to practice piano!

HOMEWORK, ORION!
WALK ONYX!
TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE!
DON'T FORGET TO PRACTICE PIANO!

How many times?
Minimally a million,
the same words spoken,
circling in a ongoing loop,
like an album stuck on
the same words -
the same words -
the same words -
reiterated, over and over,
before the year's end!

More than our hearts
broke today.
When I became thunder -
calm followed,
a sweet break through,
as we sat on the couch,
facing each other,
mending, apologizing.
He heard me and I heard him,
like birds singing of passing rain,
surrounded by epiphany's effloresce.

Will he hear me and I hear him
tomorrow?
Yes, more than today,
and... every day more and more.

I just can't wait till...
he does his homework,
walks the dog,
takes out the garbage,
and practices piano
without my asking,
all on his own.