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Best Carolyn Devonshire Poems

Below are the all-time best Carolyn Devonshire poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Disposable Wisdom

Each day Annie Lesley opened a can
Her eighty-six-year-old hands trembling
As she sat with her cat and ate pet food
What is wrong with this elder’s rendering?

Pride swallowed to remain independent
Large, sunken eyes peered from her weathered face
Her late spouse a decorated hero
Annie’s lifestyle a national disgrace

More enlightened cultures all over the world
Have revered their seniors throughout history
Asians and Native Americans
Are just two who honor their ancestry

Polynesians, other Pacific tribes
Respect the wisdom that comes with age
Seniors are welcome in family homes
But here in the states they’re placed in a cage

Bone-thin Annie Lesley chose to be free
Amazing neighbors with her endurance
When social services tried to intervene
She fought with remarkable resilience

Old photos on walls told many great tales
But only purring Tibby was listening
Each morning she rose to care for her cat
Until the day that Tibby went missing

In tears she claimed he must have been poisoned
Though in cat years he was older than she
Each day she sat by the window, staring
Awaiting the homecoming of Tibby

She’d been abandoned by society
Lost in the world’s most “progressive” nation
For sacrificing her spouse in World War II	
Annie received little compensation

This widowed war bride never had children
Her mate had met his fate in Normandy
Posthumous awards she dusted each day
Annie’s life was defined by loyalty

To a man and a cat who never came home
And the vigil she kept all alone
Ended quietly one warm summer night
When an angel came to take Annie home

With a can of cat food in hand when found
Annie had nothing else to eat in her house
This is the way a veteran’s wife died
And tear stains had blemished her faded blouse

Although seniors’ wisdom is heeded
In societies that grow from history
Too many like Annie lead lonely lives
Wisdom untapped, they die in poverty

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009

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Past-Life Nightmare

A child of four suffers recurring dreams,
disturbing parents and siblings with screams.
When she awoke, always sore in one knee;
next to a birthmark, it throbbed painfully.

Night after night she feared going to bed.
What caused these nightmares that raged in her head?
Even when grown, the torment persisted,
so a therapist’s aid she enlisted.

“Hypnosis,” said he, “might offer some clues.
Why not try it?  You’ve just bad dreams to lose.”
Once under, he guided her to a room --
here people’s lifetimes in books were entombed.

“Find one that is yours,” her counselor said.
Quickly she did, but before it was read,
she felt an ache, saw just a faint title.
The words, she thought, said “Alister Bridle.”

The hypnotic trance now suddenly broke;  
puzzling questions “Mr. Bridle” evoked.
For many years she thought that was her name;
perhaps a past life had been filled with pain.

Who was this man?  She simply had to know!
Seasons passed, summer suns made way for snow.
In Florida now, 1998,
she thought all the nightmares she had escaped.

But strange dreams always catch us by surprise --
when the lights grow dim, our minds fantasize.
Cloaked in velvet, she left her parents’ farm,
stealing away on a late autumn morn’.

To meet her love, she climbed on the carriage,
knowing her folks would forbid their marriage.
Warm-hued leaves carpeted the hillside road,
and her pulse beat fast; she’d soon join her beau.

She thought only of him; joy cast its smile,
but that’s when he called, “Alice, the bridle!”
The leather band broke and wrapped ‘round her knee.
To the ground she was pulled; her horse ran free.

She met death, but past-life dreams recycle,
and she’d never been “Alister Bridle.”



*Based on real events I experienced.

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009

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Footprints

Frothy waves stretch to kiss toes
Hikers plodding sandy coasts
Leaving imprints on the shore

Who journeyed here, perhaps this morn
As the orange orb created dawn
Summoning sun worshipers

Footprints far too large to fill
Descended down the shell-strewn hill
Then hugged the waves’ low tide

The retirement community
Sends scouts here daily just to see
If the sands of time still wait

Alas, they do, imprints remain
Sacrificed to sea when evening tide returns again

Their legacies erased each day
Another scout, another age
Will surely cast its prints anew

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009

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Erosion (haiku)

Gullies scar brown earth
     Hurricanes bring erosion
          Of both soil and lives

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009

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Gathering of the Golden Girls - Soup Convention

Four “Golden Girls” seated at a table
Grey streaks our hair, but minds remain stable
     Convention is underway
     Michael has something to say
He opens our meeting with a fable
 
It’s about a tortoise that beats a hare
Some of the “fast writers” begin to glare
     Joyce, Francine and Barbara know
     It takes time for verse to grow
We’re the queens of rewriting; this we swear
 
Iolanda’s introduced to read her book
“Lava of my Soul,” no gobbledygook
     We’re mesmerized by each line
     At the end we toast with wine
Joyce says, “Now those words took some time to cook.”
 
It’s Karen’s turn to read “Silent Whispers”
We see tears falling into John’s whiskers
     “Tears of joy,” Francine exclaims
     For Karen’s Best Seller fame
Applause rings out from grateful listeners
 
After the “meet and greet” it’s nearly dawn
The crowd starts to thin as our comrades yawn
     Joyce, Francine call it a night
     But Barbara still sits upright
We two remain when most others are gone
 
One poet called us “Late Night Cockroaches”
This indignity did not encroach us 
     We call ourselves “LNCs”
     Awake in wee hours with ease
Waiting for our princes to approach us
 
That’s when the James Brothers draw near
Peranteau and Fraser, to make it clear
     With two erotic writers
     LNCs pull “all nighters”
Knowing that we can propose; it’s Leap Year!
 
 
*Entry for Michael’s “A Table of Four” contest
At my table: Carolyn Devonshire
Joyce Johnson
Francine Roberts
Barbara Gorelick
 


Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2011

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Tiger in the Sea

I thought I had hooked the world’s largest grouper
After struggling for hours, I was still reeling
Refused help from a friend; I was a trooper
Somehow I found its resistance appealing
Hot sun on the Gulf had me in a stupor
And in my hands I started to lose feeling

It finally came into view just before dark
Was shocked to find a fifteen-foot tiger shark

He’d just been toying with me all afternoon
And he was more than half the size of my boat
I felt like a comic in a weird lampoon  
My heart seemed to be rising up in my throat
Captain Ahab might have viewed this as a boon
But far too much weight did this tiger shark tote

He bolted, took off, stripped the line from my reel
And I had to cast elsewhere for my next meal



* For Thvia's "The One That Got Away" contest (True Story!)

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2011

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Stairway to the Stars

stairway to the stars celestial light beckons me no puddles overflow with tears my life’s silent movie reruns in my mind not a loved one left behind those I cherish wait for me lingering in paradise below the Earth loses color even the pyramids Eiffel Tower Broadway lights fade to those still confined in the worldly realm no legacy I leave just a kiss that carries rapidly vanishing memories my final farewell
*Written September 4, 2014, by Carolyn Devonshire For Guatami’s “The Poet II – Poetry Contest” Theme: Leave you a kiss

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2014

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Nevermore Will Raven Return

 *Note:  A 60-year annual tradition that involved a mysterious visitor leaving three 
roses at the grave of writer Edgar Allan Poe on the anniversary of his birthday 
ended in January 2010.  Curators of the Poe House and Museum are at a loss to 
explain who left these gifts and why they stopped.  On many occasions people kept 
vigils  near Poe’s grave during this period that began in 1949, but no one ever saw 
someone leaving the roses. In the morning, however, they were always on his 
grave.  Poe is considered the father of the American short story and 
his poem The Raven is one of his best known works.



Once upon a midnight dreary, Poe heard a tapping at his window
     While grieving the loss of his young bride, a maiden “angels named Lenore,”
A radiant teen whose long, black hair in gentle breezes would billow,
     Tapping at the window ceased, but suddenly it was heard at his door

Upon opening it, a Raven flew in repeating, “Nevermore”
     At first he welcomed this odd visitor until Poe whispered, “Lenore”
When he heard his word echo, the strange Raven he began to abhor
     He asked if he’d see his bride again and the bird replied, “Nevermore”

Though Poe died in eighteen forty-nine, a mystery evolved much later
     A century after his death, his grave had an annual visitor
Roses were left on his birthday by someone whose love appeared greater
     Who had left these floral gifts forever stumped the Poe House curator

Perhaps the answer can only be explained by reincarnation
     Did the Raven embody the spirit of Poe’s beloved Lenore
If so, perhaps the Raven returned again in a life rotation
     In human form she visited to lay roses on the earthen floor

And upon her death in two-thousand nine, she took to the skies once more
     A Raven who now joins the flock circling above her late husband’s grave       \/
Could it be her spirit remains with Poe, as it did in life before                         \/ \/ \/
     Bringing him in the afterlife all the roses a poet could crave                     \/ \/ \/ \/

For those who consider this possibility totally absurd
Just consider the fantasies Poe created with the written word



By Carolyn Devonshire
Contest Title: “Among the Dead,” sponsored by Constance LaFrance ~ A Rambling 
Poet ~

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2011

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Footprints to Follow

Father’s bare feet left footprints in the sand
Young son followed, each step carefully planned

Tim wanted so much to be like his Dad
Always emulating, quite a sweet lad

So as you leave impressions on life’s shore
Remember your path will not be ignored

Tread gently, leave prints that make your kids proud
Step far away from the perilous crowd

Stop at times, build sandcastles, pick up shells
Memories can’t be erased by sea swells

Imprints on children’s hearts last forever
Keep this in mind through every endeavor

A child may be following your footsteps
Always make your marks with loving precepts



*Entry for Francine's "Barefoot" contest

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2011

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Loving Helena

The chair is her home, her universe now
It is all that her many years will allow
Helena’s elegant beauty once shone
Now her mind wanders a world of its own

Age has changed her body but not her heart
Many great stories she’d always impart
To the wide-eyed grandchild she admired so
A girl who has loved her since long ago

Tales of black velvet gowns in which she’d dance
Soft moonlit beaches where she found romance
Economic hardships that came to pass
The rise and the fall of each social class

Her hands and face are now weathered with age
Accounts of the past still flow from this sage
And though some repeat again and again
I still listen now, just as I did then

I’ve memorized these tales, her gifts to me
And always I’ll remain her devotee
It matters not that my name escapes her
Love from her eyes she can always confer

Grandma brushes fingers across my face
And whispers, “Beautiful,” as we embrace
Though I miss years when she knew me so well
I know in the past her memories dwell

My love for her lingers, it always will
I take comfort knowing she loves me still

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2010

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