“February Sweater”

On the cold days when all warmth seems to fall asunder
I seek out the deep depths of my wardrobe to plunder
One of the best blessings from Christmas past: warm sweater
To keep the frost from my bones during winter’s wonder.

For some a warm blanket might seem a choice far better
Or a towel from the dryer when things are wetter;
still, I do feel there is nothing else that I could know
To be as warm and cozy as once gift wrapped sweater.

So on a frosty morn with coffee in hand I show
This ugly sweater that they once gave me years ago.
Yes, I will join them under a blanket warmed with love
But that warmth fills my heart. I can take both kinds to go.

If you see me with February reindeer don’t shove
Me out of your mind with coarse fashionista’s glove.
I do not wear this as a fashion faux-pas blunder.
I wear it because it warms me with both wool and love.

“February Sweater” by The Distracted Pastor, 2019
Don’t go judging me! For the record, this picture was taken in December. I don’t wear the reindeer clergy shirt in February. I do wear the hat though. It was made by a local knitter, was a gift from my wife, and it keeps my shaved head warm…

I wrote this poem for the dVerse poetry form rubaiyat challenge. We were invited to reflect on our writing process. I was thinking about the prompt offered by Frank Hubeny in the comment of “vortex.” I did not want to go straight into the vortex as I somewhat covered my feelings on the polar vortex with my blogs on “Ice” and the angry poem about that groundhog.

I started to think about the polar vortex and the cold that filled our home despite our best efforts last week. I thought about how nice it was to be warm, but that most forms of being warm were transient. Despite the subzero temperatures, the sweaters I wore did keep me warm wherever I went. I didn’t look very fashionable, but I was warm.

So, in many ways this was an ode to both those awful Christmas sweaters and to the kids who made sure I had warm clothes to wear. I enjoyed writing it even as it wandered around from one quatrain to the next. I guess, in a sense I am grateful for the kids, the sweaters, and for the prompt for happy contemplation.

If you were wondering, I do own an actual wardrobe. No, I haven’t found Narnia… yet…

“Perspective” Haibun

There is a time for every matter under heaven. There is a time for challenge and a time for winter. There is a time for difficulty and a time for tears. There is a time for brokenness and a time for loneliness. There is a time for solitude and a time for silence. There is a time for every matter under heaven, so why be jealous of those whose tears are yet to come? Why be envious of those who will know broken days? Why wish to be those who have had perfect days? There is a time for every matter under heaven…

Tomorrow will come
And all will be different,
So breathe through the pain.

“Perspective” by The Distracted Pastor, 2019

This poem is written in response to the challenge from the dVerse Poets’ Pub challenge for a Haibun on Solitude. This poem is dedicated to a good friend who knows why I wrote it. Thank you for listening, my friend.

“Steep and Steep ” plus an extra poem

Today I wrote a poem in response to quadrille challenge #72 on the Poets’ Pub at dVerse. I wrote the poem while having a cup of green tea, despite the words of the poem. Given the fact that I am baking stuffed potatoes in the other room, it is surprising that they didn’t make their way into the quadrille.

Steep your tea and think your thoughts for our days are brief!

The challenge is to write a forty four word poem. I based my poem on a 44 letter poem I wrote based on the unitoum form, although it is not officially a unitoum as it is only three stanzas long. As a result, the related quadrille is not a proper pantoum, but does have the neat feature of having the letters in the last word adding up to 44 letters in a 44 word poem. I like the symmetry of that construction. In honesty, I personally enjoy the 44 letter poem more than I like the resulting quadrille.

Steep and Steep

Black leaves steep.
Pour out Your
Pot of fragrant tea.
Fill your mug now.

As you sip your
Tea think about life.
Go slowly now.
Ponder things and drink

Think about your life
While there is
Still time to drink
And switch life up.

Bonus: Quadraginta Quatuor

Steep
Your
Tea
Now

Your
Life
Now
Drink

Life
Is
Drink
Up

Treasure Somonka

This somonka is meant to be read as conversation between two lovers (alternating between bold and regular type) until the third voice enters in (in italics). What treasure awaits when these lovers are united?

I rest here alone
I wait where few find the way
I wait in the cold
Nobody finds the still path
no one turns my rusty key

I come my lovely!
I seek you across the miles.
You alone I seek.
No one will still my sore feet
Until you rest in my arms!

Come find me quickly!
I grow weary of this place
Where no one sees me.
I keep something just for you–
Deep inside with my desires.


No one can stop me!
Here I am after so long.
Did you wait for me?
Let me draw you close and sigh
As I smile and end my quest

Turn my key my love!
Open the way to my heart!
Twist and turn and pull!
Pull open that which binds me!
Come and find your heart's desire!


I will, my sweet one!
Here I come to seek inside
Places I long sought...
Oh bliss, can it be? My love...
My chest of old comic books!

Honey, are you there?
Your mom says dinner is soon.
What is that you have?
Seriously? More comics?
No, they're not graphic novels


Hold me close, my love.
Touch me with your gentle hands.
Carry me back home!
She will never understand!
She's just like your mom once was...

Treasure Somonka, The Distracted Pastor. 2019

Written in response to the Creativity Contest “We’re Going Treasure Hunting” by Peregrin Arc! This poem is dedicated to Art, Russ, Tim, Michael, Ben, and all of the other comic book lovers I have known over the years. Keep being yourselves and call your graphic novels whatever you’d like!

A Quadrille of Conjoined Tankas

Gusts pierce old windows
As I enter cold kitchen.
The new year still creaks. 
Calendars change as snow falls.
Aromatic tea wakes bones.

Silent draft reminds:
You are blessed to be so warm!
Howling wind reminds:
Halloween is not scary
Compared to homeless winter!

Poem crafted in response to Quadrille Challenge #71 by dVerse. I am currently decompressing from preparing for Sunday’s Annual Meeting at the church I serve by using the creative side of my brain. Too much analysis and planning leaves my creative side in need of expression. There are worse things to do at your desk while enjoying a sandwich and cup of tea!