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Paint by Numbers

19 Aug

1 mighty ocean
3 million grains of sand
11 towels dotting the shoreline
30 feet from the lifeguard stand

2 lifeguards, gabbing
1 expectant mother, resting
2 prayers said for husband at
1 interview that morning

1 brand new cell phone
15 times checked
0 calls or messages
from 1 husband, delayed

1 engine roaring
8 beeps while backing up
2 tires crunching
2 victims, surviving

1 mighty ocean
3 million grains of sand
11 witnesses, yelling
1 ambulance, wailing
all prayers, answered.

My lifeguard stand.

My lifeguard stand.

Away with Words

4 Mar

the words came over the mountains
as we rumbled around blind curves
on the dirt roads of the Andes
heart lodged high in my throat
trying to read a book, needing some air
because it all took my breath away

the words came over the mountains
the ones I could not capture
with the short lens of my Pentax
the sparkle and hues of the valleys
majestic yet humble pastoral scenes
punctuated by colorful forms with bent backs

the words came over the mountains
honking their horns before hairpin curves
casting a golden light on the clouds at my feet
nestling in the furrows of the patchwork hills
clinging to rocks like lichens above the treeline
catching my eye with your smile from the backseat

I was unaware, but those words became everything
everything I wanted to capture
everything that touched my soul
everything that made me yearn
everything that made my heart sing
everything I wanted to share
everything that brought me to my knees
everything about you
inspiring everything that was me
and wanting, wanting
to somehow give it back
wanting to whisper it in your ear
but never knowing how

Today, Anthony Desmond over at Dverse challenged us to write a poem  that is influenced by certain times in your life that made you the poet you are today. I can trace poem-writing to when I was 8 years old, but the desire and need to write poetry sprang up somewhere in my mid-teens. I can remember distinctly wanting to express things in a way that I had not figured out yet. So, this poem is about that time in my life, specifically about a trip through the Andes, or rather several trips that my mind has put all together into one.

“The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment… by writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.” – Walt Whitman

*Note about the photos: I originally posted a pic of my brother and I at Ingapirca because I thought that all of my other photos of the Andes were all gone. Well, the very next day after I posted this poem, while I was going through stuff, preparing to move, I found this set of photos that are all from that very trip that my poem is about! Serendipity 🙂

Ode to my Bicycle

28 Jan

Your two wheels
and metal frame
have penetrated my brain
my two feet no longer
can catch up
to racing thoughts
that swoop on
spinning faster
rounding corners
jumping curbs
down the slightest slopes
you make me fly
with rubber wings
pushing me harder
pumping muscles
steely minded
wind whistling
past me around me
dodging raindrops
and ever increasing
my peripheral vision
pumping euphoria
through my veins
while I dance
on your two wheels.

Look Ma, no hands!

Look Ma, no hands!

Posted for Open Link Night at Come join us and share your poem!

I have a love affair with my bicycle. These days it is my main mode of transportation for errands and such, which is great, because I love getting out of the house and being outdoors. When I hop on my bike I always end up feeling exhilarated afterwards. Thankfully, everything I need is within a 6 mile radius of my home. I have often quoted the line from the movie Singles, where the cyclist from Expect the Best says, “I just like the way the world looks from a bike.” Me too! I used to think that it was only on sunny, blue sky days, but it’s wintertime now, and I have found that I like riding my bike even on cold days.

I have been reading a lot of Pablo Neruda’s poems lately, and this poem was inspired by his odes to common things.


23 Jan

It took about three times
before the pattern was clear:
walk with me
stop talking
no I don’t want water
no don’t touch me
and that’s when my husband realized
that it would be best to just
sit and shut up, rub my back
hold my hand, walk with me,
obey my commands
it is not in my nature
to be that way, but
my mind was on other things
rocking back and forth
moving to a deep rhythm, within
while everything without was a distraction
because when that time comes
there’s no turning back
nothing will stop it,
and my brain starts focusing on
just one thing:
get this baby out!

My fifth time through
while I was two months shy
of the waters breaking,
my mind could still focus on
the things around me
which was a good thing
because my father was dying
and none of us knew it
because just as when that water breaks
it came suddenly, and
there was no turning back
for three weeks, he tried his best
to engage in our conversations
and humor our loving intentions
but his mind was on something deeper, within
I struggled to stay positive, to hold his hand
rub his back, tried to offer him some water
but it wasn’t until 58 days after
he said goodbye
when my baby came
one freezing morning in November
that it dawned on me, a true epiphany
all those 21 days in August and September
my father was in labor
which takes being mentally focused
without distractions
until the birthing is done.

The first day in the hospital.

The first day in the hospital.

Brian at Dverse is asking us to tell him a story today. There’s not much of a plot to this one, but it’s a story I have been wanting to put into words for a while, and this prompt gave me the encouragement to give it a shot. I seem to write often about my Dad, and I think that it is because we had a beautiful father-daughter relationship; we were very close. This poem is mostly about the process I went through trying to understand how hard it must have been for my dad to make the decision to go into hospice one week after his diagnosis of stage-4 esophageal cancer.

10 am, Thurs Nov 14 2013 – American Sentences

14 Nov

A distant sun gives me the cold shoulder: Indian Summer’s over.

I sit, trying to collect thoughts, while little fists pound the bedroom door.

3 loads of laundry, but the washing machine won’t stop leaking water.

On my desk, incessant telephone haranguing keeps me on my toes.

Is it too late to run home, slide into base, where I can be called safe?

Never mind that look in my eye, I really am listening to you.

Ahhhhh ... Freak Out!

Ahhhhh … Freak Out!

More challenges, this time in the form of American Sentences, which is a form of haiku created by Allen Ginsburg. This is a new form to me, where each sentence has 17 syllables like a haiku. You can really write about anything, not just nature. I found some interesting websites about American Sentences, most notably this one by Paul Nelson which really inspired my to do this more often. This is my very first attempt, and it wasn’t easy, but I am realizing that I like challenging myself with form. According to Nelson, “I find it an amazing way to sharpen my perception and learn how to eliminate unnecessary syllables. It aids in a sort of pre-editing that supports my spontaneous writing practice.” That intrigues me a lot, so I will probably try to do this a little more often, since I can use a lot of pre-editing and elimination of unnecessary words in my writing.

This is posted  in connection with a prompt by Gay over at DversePoetsPub, in which we use American Sentences to describe a scene happening now.  SO, welcome to my world today!

Night at Sea

11 Oct

At sea at night
we smell hulking ships
miles before
we see their lights.

Are they coming or going?
Will they cross our path?
Green and red and white
dance against the black
while rushing velvet water
against the hull, slaps.

Radar screen
glowing green
offers little support
and radio silence
fails to report.

I grab the mouthpiece
to hail the captain,
across the airwaves I repeat:
“This is SV Fellowship
northbound vessel to your starboard.”

“Do you see us?”
“Do you copy?
Over …”

We sleep in our life vests at night
because the ocean is a serious thing

and there is a reason why
I avoid rollercoasters.

Bedtime stories at sunset offshore

Bedtime stories at sunset offshore

Beach Nap

27 Apr

The terry cloth
has got my back.
Salt air fills my nose.
The children play in stereo sound.
Waves crash from ear to ear
in the background.
Parts of my skin
feel warmer than others.
The fresh breeze mitigates the burn.
The words dance before me,
and are all topsy-turvy
on the page
I have no strength to turn.
My eyelids feel heavy,
my arms go slack,
as I slip,
I surrender,
to the inevitable
beach nap.


Children running on the beach.

Goodbye, Jersey

17 Apr

Goodbye, Jersey

(inspired by Goodnight, Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown.)

The sun is high
The air is still
And everything that will be,
Cars racing on the GSP
and the lady conductor asking, “tickets, please.”

Summer, trees, hydrangeas
Cool ocean breeze and jughandles
Every town in descending order,
and memories calling
from every corner

Goodbye, Jersey
Goodbye, Shore
Goodbye all the Wawa stores

Rt 35 & 36
Radio stations’ eclectic mix
Beginning in Red Bank, on the Navesink River
and traipsing around the state together,

Gingerbread houses in Ocean Grove
Twin Lights beaming from above,
Like an old, cherished love,
“You have not changed!”
(never will!)
Yet, the train moves forward, still.

Goodbye, Jersey
Goodbye, Al
Goodbye horses, farms, and cows
Goodbye ocean breeze, and salty air
and Jersey Girls everywhere.

Copyright 2012 Lupe Eyde-Tucker. All rights reserved.

Ocean Grove, NJ

Ocean Grove, NJ

I did not write ‘Goodbye, Jersey’ during NaPoWriMo 2013. I wrote it last summer after visiting New Jersey, specifically MoCo, and reconnecting with friends and places where I grew up. It was a great trip, and on the last day, as I was waiting for the train from Red Bank to take my mother and I to Newark Airport, all of the sudden the first lines of this poem just popped into my head, and I started writing it, literally on the train schedule. As we took our seats, verses and phrases kept coming to me, and I pulled out my notebook and started just writing it all out. It was a spontaneous poetic moment which I am still awed by. A couple of months later the entire state was slammed by Superstorm Sandy, and Monmouth County was devastated.

Saturday Walk

14 Apr

Saturday walk
through the neighborhood
skipping, meandering, twirling
down the street.
5 explorers and 2 guides.

“Look at that!”
“I wonder why? …”
Questions materialize
out of thin air,
as leaves flutter down
randomly onto heads.

A neighbor’s dog barks ferociously
at our approaching party.
“Shut up dog!” a brave explorer said.
“Good dog,” I call out, encouragingly.
“He’s only doing his job,” I say.
Transfixed by the perfume
of a tree in bloom,
we continue slowly on our way
(and they don’t hate him anymore,
because I am a guide).


Dialogue – Weekly Writing Challenge

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