August 31, 2010

August 29, 2010

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image courtesy Library of Congress. Note: the LOC description says, "Print shows flower petals falling..." They look more like winged things to me, and thus brought to mind fireflies.

August 28, 2010

"Bright Days of Justice"--Will We Ever See Them?

Here's my question for today--are there "bright days of justice" ahead for the United States?

We'll see what happens at the Restoring Honor 8.28.10 rally in Washington, but I doubt that the people there today "have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny," as Dr. King said of the "white brothers" who stood with him on August 28, 1963. Do you think we'll be able to work the kinks out of those ties? Sadly, these past 19 months have led me to think not.

August 27, 2010

Poetry Friday--Bandit Signs

Atlanta drivers, slow down, and enjoy the experience of "bandit signs."

Flux Film 001 | Morse from Proper Medium on Vimeo.


I would hesitate to call the bandit sign poems examples of haiku (if you take the definition of haiku as "the essence of a moment keenly perceived," which is where I'm coming from), but, I do appreciate that they are a public art project. A fun and accessible one at that!

The artist, John Morse, created the project in cooperation with Flux Projects, an organization that has this as its mission:
Flux Projects supports artists in creating innovative temporary public art throughout Atlanta. The organization produces new platforms for artistic experimentation that engage a broad audience in their daily lives, beyond the walls of traditional arts venues. We challenge artists to make exceptional, surprising work that inspires Atlanta and fosters an awareness of the richness and diversity of the city's creative culture.
I wish we had something like that here in New Hampshire!

I hope to see more of the signs posted somewhere online--who cares if they're not haiku? Not me, they're fun, and contain quite a bit of common sense advice!

Head over to see everyone's favorite Book Aunt for today's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

August 24, 2010

August 22, 2010

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image by Gordon Parks courtesy Library of Congress.

This photo tickles me with joy!

August 20, 2010

Poetry Friday--More Places

Last week I explored haiku about my neighborhood. I compared computer-generated haiku to those written by a human being, me.

Today, I'd like to share an anthology with you, the Haiku Society of America Members' Anthology 2009, A Travel-Worn Satchel, artfully edited by Joseph Kirschner, Lidia Rozmus, and Charles Trumbull. The anthology has a theme-- haiku of place. Most years the anthology simply includes a haiku on any topic by each member who submits to that year's editor. In 2009, however, the haiku submitted had to be accompanied by a specific location.
The 293 haiku have been sorted by place and matched to locator maps, one for each page. Ledger lines lead to the point captured by each haiku. The name and residence of the poets and the specific location of each haiku are provided.
The resultant "global haiku map" is engaging. The locations include places on every continent (except Antarctica), and also, Mars! The "journey" begins in Alaska and ends on an atlas of the world.

I submitted five poems for consideration (locations: Kancamagus Highway, NH; Lee, NH; Poland Spring, ME, Fenway Park, Boston, MA, and Edinburgh, Scotland).


My Kancamagus Highway haiku was selected for the anthology:

moose mating season
thirty-two miles of highway
take forever

My friend, Marnie Brooks, lives in North Carolina. Her poem is set in Blowing Rock, NC:

Blue Ridge morning
bird song and
whine of chain saws

Copies of this fine anthology may still be available. You can inquire here.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is found at Teach Poetry K-12--stop by, even if you're not a teacher!

Photo by Cramit

August 17, 2010

August 15, 2010

August 13, 2010

Poetry Friday--Haiku Places

Haiku Laureate is yet another automated site that is available to those who think that 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables make a haiku. This site has an interesting twist--it bases its word choices on geographic location.

The explanation of how the haiku generator works, however, is much more interesting than the "haiku" that are produced. Here are three that were generated when I used the location "New Hampshire":

the riley zoee park
weekend visit at winant
a thanksgiving lons

of his couch playing fan
in birthday some ceiling up
on shot looking with

and room stream macro
back mirror out another
from night condo trees

Say what? Not one line makes sense whatsoever. Other than "trees" there is nothing at all recognizable as "New Hampshire." And, trees are found in all 50 states, so they're not NH-specific at all, really.

The results are a little better when a location is more explicit. Here are the results I obtained when I used my address in Salem, NH:

canobie lake park
and yankee olivia
on jillian round

the cannonball up
emily kayleigh wheel
giant flower jen

sherri kiddie log
power tiltawhirl frisbee
a waiting dave ride

Canobie Lake Park is an actual place in Salem (not far from my home), but, despite the amusement park-type words--cannonball, tiltawhirl, ride--none of the three "haiku" comes close to being a poem, or even making sense.


I was indirectly challenged by Haiku Laureate to come up with haiku about my neighborhood that would put sherri kiddie log in its place--the virtual trashcan. And, being that Haiku Laureate has determined that the only thing worth note in my town is Canobie Lake Park, I will use it as my subject. Here are my three:

summer evening--
roller coaster screams
on the wind

fireworks begin
not even the cat takes notice
--summer saturday

11:15 pm
the silence after the park
closes

The Stenhouse Blog is the site of this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Check it out!


Photo by martin.jessica

August 10, 2010

August 9, 2010

A Sad Anniversary

Today, August 9, 2010, is the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. Although I posted this before, on May 28, I thought I'd put it up again today as a remembrance.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image: U.S. Government Printing Office.


Several years ago, I wrote a book of poems (as yet unpublished) about kids in World War II America. Back then everyone was involved in the war in one way or another. It permeated life in every city and town in the country. Each of the poems is from the point of view of a different child. Here's one that deals with the atomic bombings and the end of the war:
Michael


HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI

Two cities bombed—
obliterated—to end a war
that has gone on for
what seems an eternity.

Is it right to end the killing
of American servicemen
with the killing of Japanese civilians?
I just don’t know...

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved
The war ended, but at what moral cost? I'm glad I didn't live during that time--I don't know how I would have answered that question.

If you believe in a "higher power," pray for peace. It's obvious to me, that Man can't, or won't, do it on his own.

Me at a peace rally in Boston in March 2007. Although it looks like we're having a fun time--the signs that are blocked read, "Make tofu not war," "No war no whey"--we had a very serious purpose in being there.

August 8, 2010

August 6, 2010

Poetry Friday--"The Poet on Facebook"

Last year I set up a Facebook account. I spent a few weeks exploring people and pages. But, it didn't take me long to decide that Facebook wasn't my "thing." Part of the realization came about because a poet, a well-published, and well-respected one, surprised me with how she chose to use Facebook. I wrote a poem about her.
The Poet on Facebook

I thought you'd ignore
those insane quizzes--
What kind of...
old lady,
animal,
Seuss character,
would you be?

I didn't think you'd
fall for those apps
wanting you to
Name...
the Easter Bunny,
life-changing books,
what's hot and
what's not.

Nor did I expect you
to be involved in
Virtual...
water balloon fights,
flower deliveries,
sheep launching.

I see you poking, pinging,
and tweeting and I wonder
Who are you? And what
have you done with
my poet?
She shall remain unnamed, and I know she doesn't read my blog, so I feel free to share this with you.

What have been your experiences with Facebook? I know many people who can't live without it.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Laura at Author Amok.

August 3, 2010

August 1, 2010