February 28, 2011

Please Support PBS!


Click on the image for a larger, more readable, view.

Graphic courtesy Chris Bishop/PBS

February 27, 2011

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

Yesterday, I attended a rally in support of the workers in Wisconsin. Rallies took place in every U.S. state capital, as well as in other cities. MoveOn and partnering organizations called the gatherings "Rallies to Save the American Dream."

Many years ago I worked in a university library in New York City. We were represented by the Teamsters. I was happy to pay my dues. Since moving to NH, where the word "union" is often thought of as a dirty word, I've continued to be a supporter of labor unions, despite not having the opportunity to join one.

I've done a lot of reading about the labor movement for several children's book projects I've worked on over the years, and it has only convinced me that my support of unions is justified. So, I felt it was my obligation to brave the cold and the snow-covered sidewalks of Concord, NH to stand up for my fellow workers in Wisconsin.

Solidarity!

February 25, 2011

Poetry Friday--"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"


Walt Whitman wrote some mighty weighty poems. He also, however, wrote others that are remarkable in their simplicity. Here's one of the latter that I particularly like:
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

When I heard the learn 'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
I don't believe much commentary is necessary with this one, do you?

Another poem in the same vein is his "A Clear Midnight."
This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.
Night, sleep, and the stars.

Visit Read Write Believe where Sara has the Poetry Friday Round-Up for this week.

Image courtesy: NASA, ESA, Hubble, R. Sahai (JPL)

February 22, 2011

February 20, 2011

February 18, 2011

Poetry Friday--"Oh, to be You, Squirrel"


It is my week to post at The Write Sisters and there I have shared a little poem I found about the weather. I tied it into this astonishing winter with its never-ending snow.

As I was writing that post, I looked out the window and saw a squirrel lightly scampering across the snow. He covered yards and yards in seconds, something that I, as a human, could never do with the ground encrusted the way it is.

I wrote this in response to the squirrel and the poem at The Write Sisters:


Oh, to be You, Squirrel

Oh, to be you, squirrel this
winter when walking
in crusted snow tears at
boots making ambulation
treacherous for us busy,
bumbling, biggety humans.

Oh, to be you, squirrel to
flit across the white. Leap!
Scoot up tree trunks to
chuckle your rodent laugh
not knowing that tomorrow
you will not remember today.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved


Great Kid Books is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up this week, so stop by.

Photo by Douglas Brown

February 15, 2011

February 13, 2011

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

Originally posted at The Four Seasons of Haiku February 2010.

February 11, 2011

Poetry Friday--Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm combining two, no three, of my favorite things today: haiku, cats, and dark chocolate bliss. (Smudgie has that look of someone who has a dark chocolate truffle melting in her mouth, doesn't she?)


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

Carol Rasco from RIF is hosting our Round-Up this week--get ready for some tantalizing word-candy!

Have a great weekend, and then on Monday, a lovely Valentine's Day!

February 8, 2011

February 6, 2011

February 5, 2011

Today is "Save Our Libraries" Day in the U.K.

Image courtesy CILIP


Today there will be protests against recent and proposed library closings in the United Kingdom, according to the Guardian.

With nearly 500 libraries and bookmobiles on the chopping block, I must stand up for these protesters and salute their support of the public's right to read!

If you're interested in finding out what kind of activities are planned across the U.K., visit Voices for the Library.

Author Philip Pullman recently gave an impassioned speech in support of libraries. You can read the full text of his speech here.

Here's my favorite part:
My mother took me to the public library just off Battersea Park Road and enrolled me. I was thrilled. All those books, and I was allowed to borrow whichever I wanted! And I remember some of the first books I borrowed and fell in love with: the Moomin books by Tove Jansson; a French novel for children called A Hundred Million Francs; why did I like that? Why did I read it over and over again, and borrow it many times? I don’t know. But what a gift to give a child, this chance to discover that you can love a book and the characters in it, you can become their friend and share their adventures in your own imagination.

And the secrecy of it! The blessed privacy! No-one else can get in the way, no-one else can invade it, no-one else even knows what’s going on in that wonderful space that opens up between the reader and the book. That open democratic space full of thrills, full of excitement and fear, full of astonishment, where your own emotions and ideas are given back to you clarified, magnified, purified, valued. You’re a citizen of that great democratic space that opens up between you and the book. And the body that gave it to you is the public library. Can I possibly convey the magnitude of that gift?
I urge you to support your own local public library, wherever you are in the world. Use the library often--afterall, it's a prime example of your tax money at work for the COMMON GOOD.

February 4, 2011

Poetry Friday--Hyacinths Part 2

A month ago I posted a piece about forcing hyacinths. At the time, my hyacinth bulb had only sprouted a bit a green. Here it is now:


It has definitely lived up to its promise!

On Monday, at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia challenged us to write a poem about looking up, either literally or figuratively. My hyacinth inspired this salute to spring, although, when I took the photo on Wednesday, we were in the middle of a doozy of a snowstorm!
Hyacinth

There is no certainty--
much is contingent on
the caprice of sun
and showers.

Yet, within its crinkling
purple paperthin skin
the heart of the bulb
aligns itself.

With a persistent push
heavenly green rewards
whatever gods exist
in the firmament.

Then, with a jubilation
of pink, an acclamation
of fragrance--hosanna,
hosanna, hosanna
--

Spring!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved
Head from here over to Dori Reads for the Round-Up this week.

February 1, 2011

Haiku Sticky #82



Oops, that should be "fishermen." How could a fisherman be in houses?

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved