June 30, 2013

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott courtesy Library of Congress.

June 28, 2013

Poetry Friday--"Independence Day"

Next week is the 4th of July, which used to be more commonly known as Independence Day. The day was to celebrate declaring our independence from Britain in 1776. Through the years its meaning to the American public has changed to being a day off in the summer with fireworks after dark. I've called my poem for today, "Independence Day," instead of "4th of July," for what I hope will be obvious reasons.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The painting, by Frederick Childe Hassam, is "Fourth of July, 1916," courtesy of The Athenaeum. Click on the image to make it larger for reading.

I love this country, don't get me wrong, it's just that I think we are mired in a culture of consumerism and self-importance, and it worries me deeply.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend and next Thurday's holiday. Meanwhile, join me at the Poetry Friday Round-Up, which is being hosted by Amy at The Poem Farm.

June 25, 2013

June 23, 2013

June 21, 2013

Poetry Friday--Fūrin

Looking through some old poems, I discovered that three years ago yesterday, I wrote a tanka, about Japanese wind chimes, or wind bells, called fūrin. Now that it is officially summer, there's no better time to share this tanka:

gift from Japan--
porcelain wind chime
twists in the wind
ringing a knell for souls or
simply singing of summer?

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

It is thought that hearing the wind bells is cooling during hot weather, or, if nothing else, is a distraction from the heat!

Fūrin is a kigo (seasonal word), used by writers of haiku, to denote summer without coming right out and saying "summer." In Kawasaki, there is a wind chimes festival held each July. I can only imagine how musically colorful it must be! And inspirational for a writer of haiku! Maybe one day...

Wind chimes of bamboo, glass, and other materials are found all over Japan. You'll even find kūrin hanging in a train station! In 1996, in an effort to combat noise pollution, 100 notable sounds worthy of conservation were designated by the Ministry of Environment as "Soundscapes of Japan." The kūrin at Mizusawa train station in Ūshū is on the list. The video below will give you an idea of the station's sounds.



See you over at Carol's Corner for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Happy summer, everyone!

June 18, 2013

June 16, 2013

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Illustration by Jessie Wilcox Smith, courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery

June 14, 2013

Poetry Friday--"Questioning Faces"



The other day I was driving along when a hawk came swooping down, barely missing my windshield. The hawk was too focused to see anything other than its prey, which was on the opposite side of the road. It was fortunate that I had not been driving a wee bit faster! We were lucky, but perhaps the prey would have thought differently...

This poem by Robert Frost captures a similar near-miss:
Questioning Faces

The winter owl banked just in time to pass
And save herself from breaking window glass.
And her wings straining suddenly spread
Caught color from the last of evening red
In a display of underdown and quill
To glassed-in children at the windowsill.

The owl, the children, and the reader, were all beneficiaries of luck that evening!

Head over to visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Photo by bobosh_t.

June 11, 2013

June 7, 2013

Poetry Friday--HiCu (You Must Be 21 or Older to Read This Post)

Okay, HiCu, pronounced like haiku, isn't poetry. It's beer! Cucumber flavored beer ("with the slightest of hibiscus tangs"). I kid you not...

To learn more about this new seasonal beer, and I'll speculate that it'll be its one and only season, click here.



So why mention a cucumber beer on Poetry Friday? Because, the brewer, Magic Hat in Vermont, is holding a haiku contest, which they're calling "Potable Poetry." Sadly, the entries will bear no resemblance to "real" haiku. The contest will be yet another little witty word game. (You can call me a snob, I don't care.)

I have written a few beer haiku in my time, so, I'll share some that have appeared here before as Haiku Stickies:




And here's a new one:
local bar...
she always asks for fruit
in her beer

Haiku © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I would like to try a glass of HiCu. I checked Magic Hat's locator, cutely called the "sip code" locator, but the brew doesn't seem to be offered around here. There are, however, several places selling Elder Betty, which I'm actually more interested in trying.

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. A thumbs-down on the label. I know they're trying to make a connection to Japan and haiku, but the fish don't work for me. (I know, I know, the phallic connotations make it difficult to feature a cucumber.) And, since I'm not a fan of fish--eating it or the smell--it's even a little off-putting! But, then again, Magic Hat didn't ask for my opinion! [This is not to say I'm not a fan of Magic Hat beers. Circus Boy, with a wedge of lemon, is a favorite. Lest you think I'm a lush, I want you to know I average one beer a week.]

My friend, Tabatha Yeatts, is hosting the Round-Up this week. Cheers and have a great weekend!

June 4, 2013

Haiku Sticky #204

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I've got blisters in two spots already!