Before you think manuscript writing must’ve been tedious;

For monks to manifest in the margins a man riding a penis;

Well, I often pen love and romantic poetry, if you please;

And I’d probably doodle phallic shapes if I were a better artiste.

~Just L (NaPoWriMo, April 24, 2017)

Prompt: Ekphrasis on the marginalia of medieval manuscripts

Cross-pollination Encouraged, Naturally

In general, on a single avocado tree all the open flowers will be synchronised. That means they will be all functionally male or all functionally female.

The avocado pollen of one tree is compatible with itself and quite capable of pollinating its own flowers — known as self-pollination.

The avocado has a ‘complete’ flower, but with an unusual behavior known as ‘protogynous dichogamy’. The avocado flower has both functional male and female organs in the one flower, but opens and closes twice over a two-day period — the first day as functionally female and the next as functionally male. Each opening stage only lasts about half a day.

The unusual flowering behavior is to reduce the likelihood of self-pollination occurring — by minimizing the amount of own-pollen about when female stages are receptive.

So while self-pollination is possible it appears to take the fun out of functionality.

~Just L (NaPoWriMo, April 22, 2017)

Oh Gloria!

Oh Gloria! Anytime I cross your threshold I smile. Kicking off my shoes to feel my bare feet on your cold tiles. Oh how I miss your slower pace. I drop my bags as you welcome me with a Pacifico and lime. The ocean sunset view brings a sweet sigh to my lips every time. Closing my eyes on the terrace, your warm sun never fails to kiss my face. This alone is worth the many miles. Oh Gloria! How you beguile! Soon I rediscover the secret of your place — as I turn to meet my gorgeous dark chocolate man’s embrace.

~Just L (NaPoWriMo, April 16, 2017)

Prompt: A letter to a person, place or thing.

Author’s Note: An American woman and a Jamaican man share Casa Gloria in Mexico.

There Is A Woman Who Lights Up The Whole Earth

You, statuesque beauty, graced the door – took my breath away. You lit up the whole room. What is your secret?
I found it futile to divide myself between the beat of the drum and my heart. What is your secret?

Positive energy crackling in the air; Enamored by the mystery that draws two souls together.
Woman, Jah plucked you from the kingdom of heaven to be mine – granting my prayer in secret.

At once, I sat at the table before you, felt I had known you for an eternity, and had to be your true lover man.
And, though we had not yet touched, I was more deeply in love than ever. This is my secret.

Your sun-kissed skin and caramel tresses a stark contrast to my chocolate canvass and guava-covered locks, we make a striking pair.
In the hours we are apart my mind is filled with dreams, and my body searches for you. No secret.

I never want to leave you alone; I want you in my house, in my truck, to share all of my worldly goods…
My Empress, I cannot live without you. Do I have your full attention? We cannot keep this joy a secret.

Woman, there is no one in the world that makes me, the Lion, feel like you.
You light up the whole earth. What is your secret?

~Just L (NaPoWriMo, April 13, 2017)

Author’s Note: The lines in this ghazal were *liberally* borrowed from a playful song written by my sweetheart.