Monday 12 March 2018

Poetry Monday: Spot The Little Lie

It's Poetry Monday! Join Diane, Delores, and maybe Joan (of Devon) in the comments, and me, as we tackle the subject "a story that's mostly true."

Write a poem, borrow a poem (giving credit were credit is due, of course), or just read what we have on offer. It's all good! The objective is to encourage us to write and have fun. Well, that's my objective anyway. You can leave your poem here or at Diane's or Delores's blogs, or if it's on your own blog, let us know where to find you by leaving your blog address in the comments.

"A story that's mostly true" is an intriguing topic, isn't it? I started working on it with great relish as soon as Diane posted it.

And I worked on it.

And worked. And worked. And worked.

I did come up with one title I was proud of: "If You Treat Truth Like An Elastic Band, It Could Snap Back And Hit You In The Face," but there was no poem to go with it because the title was the whole idea in a nutshell.

And then I wrote one extremely awkward, opaque poem with no rhythm or rhyme and only a little reason, comparing the different lies we tell with the different colours in a box of crayons, starting with "little white lie" and progressing through "blue lies" which is when we say we're fine but we're not really, and "green lies" which are like sour grapes "I didn't want that car/house/person anyway", and right down the line to "purple lies with glitter" which are the whoppers that anyone can spot a mile away. It might have been a fairly good idea but the execution stank.

So by Saturday evening, with only a day until my usual posting deadline, I was still struggling. It was like wrestling with a story problem in junior high math class. The kind I could never do because me/math/lack of logical mind. Except writing a poem is WORDS, people. I LIKE words. Me and words get along fine. Why cannot I words find to poem make??? 

Then I had to take my mom to outpatients at the hospital, and that took my mind off poetry writing. She is fine-ish, just so you all know, but I am still on high alert and will be all week, just in case. And this was just after saying on Friday that I had a week without a crisis! I should have knocked on wood. Dang.

Anyway. I decided finally to write a poem about our trip to outpatients, and ask you to guess which part is NOT true. I'm numbering the lines so you can refer to them more easily. The answer is in this post, so it IS possible to get it right. However, outlandish guesses are always welcome :)

Saturday Evening With Mom

1. I was taking a nap
2. When the phone rang
3. It was my mom
4. She wanted to go to outpatients
5. I've done this trip a few times
6. It usually takes five hours of waiting
7. This time it took three
8. The doctor wrote two prescriptions
9. We drove home to my mom's house
10. Then we drove to a drug store that was open late
11. Then we decided she should get the Rx's
12. At her own drug store the next day
13. Because her health insurance wasn't going through properly
14. And they were going to charge her up front
15. And by now she was getting agitated
16. So we drove to my mom's house again
17. And I offered to stay awhile
18. And she said she was fine
19. And I came home
20. And relaxed
21. And wrote this poem
22. And none of it rhymes


Not our doctor

Not our doctor

Not our doctor

(All pictures courtesy of Pixabay.)


Wishing you as healthy and happy a week as you can manage, all things considered.

Keep your apples handy!

Update: Next week's suggested topic: a lesson from our childhood. Thanks, Diane!


Elephant's Child said...

Line 20 is the fib. And it is purple, illuminated, spangled with glitter and blowing a trumpet.

River said...

I can't pick the lie, unless it's #20, because you might not be relaxed knowing your mum is okay but not fully well. Possibly I'm just too tired to concentrate.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Line #7. I have been to ER and it is always longer than three hours.

baili said...

dear Jenny,i love Most reading about your struggle for poem even than poem itself (and it's not a lie) because i can relate to this so easily ,this is your sweetness and generosity that you always leave for my poetry few positive words which help in the growth of my hemoglobin i am sure :)

you say that as if you can read my poetry of native language (what else does a poet want (naturally) lol

i feel so honoured and blessed with your kindness my friend!

i know that in this part of ages moms (as we also soon will be ,god forbid) don't feel better in most of cases (personal experience) and they think that there kids are worst enemies ,they mumble and yell in spite of all our patience and help .
so through your brilliantly expressive poem revealed all the TRUTHS simply

only slightly confused said...

Doesn't sound like you were taking nap when your Mom sounds like you were struggling to write a poem. This one tells the story for sure.

Red said...

So a question:Do you ever come back to your partial poems and topics and work on them again and finish them?

Anonymous said...

Hello Jenny, that time again.

I'm sorry that your mum hasn't been feeling too good again. Hope it was just a routine appointment.

I think it is line number 7 and that you did have to wait for 5 hours or even more. Scandulous isn't it, especially when you have to pay for it.

I couldn't think of anything either for this week's theme, so (unashamedly) I went through the poems I'd written for Amber and thought the following would be ok.

Two Little Monkeys

There were two little monkeys
Swinging from tree to tree.
The one in front looked back at his friend,
Saying, "You can't catch me!"

"Oh, yes I can", said the one behind
And he put on a spurt to show,
That he was only taking his time,
Because he had nowhere else to go.

His arms were long as he swung with ease
From branch to branch, tree to tree.
And soon they were swinging together
In tandem; one, two, three.

Neck and neck they were swinging while
Matching each other's pace.
Enjoying the freedom it gave them,
Determined to win the race.

Time passed from day to night
As back and forth they swung.
Their arms were getting tired,
But still they firmly clung.

Their energy was getting low
As they needed food and rest.
But it was still undecided,
Who was the absolute best.

Next time you're in the jungle
Look up high and you will see,
Those two little monkeys still
Swinging from tree to tree.

This is the entire poem, but for this week's theme I will tell you that those monkeys did stop swinging, had food, water, a rest and are the best of friends.

Have a good week.

Joan (Devon)

Marie Smith said...

I think #20 is the lie. You didn’t relax and write the poem!

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

When the 'catch-me-if-you-can' gene really hits! :)

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

I SO love your posts! They always make me chuckle. (Yes, that's a word.) I'm going to go with #20 as well. I wasn't relaxed reading about this. So your shouldn't be either. ;)

jenny_o said...

105/100, EC :) The extra five points is for the trumpet and the word spangled - that word doesn't get used enough!

jenny_o said...

You are right, River! I was still on high alert and will be until I know my mom is getting better.

jenny_o said...

Actually, that part was true! Our visits are usually five hours (or more) but this time there weren't as many people waiting, and also there was no bloodwork done so we didn't have to wait for results.

jenny_o said...

Thank you, dear baili - sometimes a poem comes into my head nearly complete, other times it runs away like a naughty child!!

When my mom asks for help, she accepts it gratefully but when she is not ready to ask, it is as you said - she feels I am intruding and it is not pleasant for either of us :)

jenny_o said...

Ha ha! No, actually, that was the truth :)

jenny_o said...

Not often; I did try again a couple of times but probably won't try again. To me it's like reading a book I don't like - life is too short to spend my leisure time being unhappy :)

jenny_o said...

You are right, Marie - I didn't relax :)

jenny_o said...

Diane, #20 is right! I can't seem to relax until everyone is (semi) healthy again ...

jenny_o said...

I love it, Joan! And I bet young monkeys actually do compete with each other, but stop for a break too :)

My mom's wait time was actually only three hours, which is unusual - normally it's around five. In Canada we have universal health care, so we are fortunate not to have to pay. It makes it somewhat easier to endure the wait!

Terry said...

Hi Jenny,

I read your post and it was very good. However, I don’t like poems that much and I know where my limits are. Poetry is not for me but good luck to anyone who can write it. The amount of posts i’ve written is now 100 and I really need to take a break from blogging. I don’t enjoy it like I used to.

dinthebeast said...

For a while, before Briana got her car, I rode Paratransit to Highland Hospital for my meds and doctor appointments. Highland is the county hospital, so there is almost always a wait for what you need, but the care is simply the best.
I have learned how to minimize the waiting now, but when I used Paratransit, I had to arrange the ride times ahead of time, and just added an hour to whatever my best estimate was to be safe. I missed my pick-up time two or three times, and had to wait for them to arrange another ride for me, but I always got home, and am very thankful for Paratransit, which improved the quality of my life by a lot.
I mostly dealt with the waiting by bringing a book...
I hope your mom is feeling much better very soon.

-Doug in Oakland

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I liked your poem O'Jenny. An original approach and imbued with personal knowledge - something you really know about. That ordinariness is appealing - genuine human experience.

For what it is worth, here's my offering...

So Billy, what did you do at the weekend?
Stand up and tell the class.
I went to the zoo miss.
The zoo?
Yes miss.
Well go on tell us what you saw.
A giraffe miss
As tall as a tree
And an alligator that stared at me
And I climbed inside the monkey pen
Played hide and seek for a while and then
I dived into the penguins' pool
As a seal called Sammy leapt up on a stool
To balance a ball on top of his head
I think it was blue but it might have been red
And there was a dodo and a dinosaur too
Yes I really enjoyed our trip to the zoo.

Jono said...

I am so glad you are human. I guessed wrong but I didn't think you sounded relaxed, either.

jenny_o said...

If you're not enjoying it, a break is probably a good idea! I know you don't care for poetry so you get extra points for reading it anyway :)

jenny_o said...

Thanks, Doug. I like to take a book if it's just me, but when I go with my mom she likes to talk :)

We have a similar transit service here and I was very thankful for it in the years after my dad's stroke. He went on outings, and to eye and medical appointments. And the cost was very reasonable. As you said, it really improves quality of life for the riders.

jenny_o said...

I like it, YP, and I spotted the little fib :)

I can't figure out if you're teasing me about that poem or not. I wrote it as it came into my head. It involved no work or thought whatsoever. I thought that was obvious! It was prose dressed up as a poem - an imposter :) But, thanks, I think.

jenny_o said...

Was there any doubt that I'm human??? And no, I wasn't very relaxed. Being with my mom is stressful on its own; it's worse when she's not feeling well!

Martha said...

I actually had to go back and read your post a couple of times just to try and choose a line! My brain is fuzzy today :) And then I had to skip quickly past the comments, so I wouldn't cheat. That was hard because - here is my confession - I really wanted to cheat! So anyhow, #20 is the only one that makes sense to me. How can you be relaxed and be on high alert at the same time? You are fibbing! That's my guess and I'm sticking with it :)

jenny_o said...

Well done, Martha :) I thought it was obvious but maybe "high alert" doesn't mean the same thing to all of us. You can check the other comments now to see what I mean! Thanks for playing along.

Diane Henders said...

I was going to guess that #7 was the lie, but I cheated and read all the previous comments. ;-)

I'm sorry that your mom is having problems and that relaxation will be a fib for you for a while. Here's hoping everything settles down for you soon.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I am not teasing you Jenny. It is easy to mis-read well-intentioned comments because we can't hear the commenter's voice or see his/her face. When someone has created a poem I would keep any negative thoughts to myself. Creation is to be cherished not disparaged.

jenny_o said...

I am all too aware of the problem of mis-read well-intentioned comments ~

I wouldn't say this particular poem was created so much as slapped down on the page, though!

jenny_o said...

Thanks, Diane. I expect there will be a lull followed by a crisis followed by a lull, etc., etc., for the rest of my mom's life. It's like the sine wave that never ends ...

Cherie said...

I caught the train to work today
The ride was free I didn't pay
The conductor said his machine wasn't working
That may be true or was he just shirking
To travel home I caught the bus
It turned up late but I didn't fuss
For if it hadn't turned up late
I would have missed it and had to wait
For tea I simply had a snack
Hubby's at football and won't be back
Until the wee small hours in the morning
I'm off to bed as I feel like yawning
The previous line is not quite true
I'll stick around and chat with you.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

That immediacy is sometimes the best way. Good poems are not always the result of hours of crafting.

kylie said...

I also thought 7 was the lie but now it's pointed out, 20 makes more sense!

I like coloured lies idea and I liked the way a big whopper was purple and sparkly instead of black. Black is so cliched

jenny_o said...

I read your post before I read your comment here, so I know this is a mostly true story - for real :) Well done with the poem! Thank you for joining in.

jenny_o said...

I thought I was being too obvious but apparently not! And I love Elephant's Child's additions to the whopper - spangled and blowing a trumpet!

John Going Gently said...

I loved the debate the poem caused xxxx I've been away from here too long x

37paddington said...

Line 20 is the fib. Hope your mom is doing better.

jenny_o said...

Thanks, John

jenny_o said...

Thank you. Haven't relaxed yet this week ...

baili said...

absolutely true and on such forced help times i received awards of (dis) honour from my mom lol but i am still proud i did ,my conscience is weaker than me he cannot bear any kind of burden at all :)

jenny_o said...

I know what you mean - my conscience is my guide, too, and a very tough one - ha ha :)