August 30, 2013

Poetry Friday--Peace!

Novelist and poet, Wendell Berry, was recently named the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award winner. His poetry is full of love and respect for the Earth and its creatures as is evident from this poem:
What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

In case you don't know it, the International Day of Peace, a United Nations initiative, is held each year on September 21. This year it is on a Saturday. Playing for Change is partnering with IPD and is celebrating the date as Playing for Change Day. PFC, in turn, is also partnering with the 1Love Project.

Here's a sample of the joyous music Playing for Change uses to promote peace:



The following week, September 28, 2013, is the 100 Thousand Poets For Change annual celebration held in locations around the world!

Imagine a world where people are enjoying and respecting the natural world, playing instruments, singing, writing/reading/performing poetry--wouldn't that be a better place than one mired in conflict? I urge you to take part in all the September 2013 events, but, to strive for peace every day of the year. We lead by example.

A Teaching Life is hosting this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

August 27, 2013

August 25, 2013

Happy Haiga Day!

Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading. © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

August 23, 2013

Poetry Friday--My Summer Poem Swap Poems

This is a busy week--I'll be playing "Mother of the Bride" tomorrow! So, for today, I'm simply sharing the five poems I sent to my swap partners in Tabatha's Summer Poem Swap 2013. [Note: click on the images to enlarge them for easier reading.]

#1 June 22


#2 July 6

Woodcut print by Sekka Kamisaka courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

#3 July 20


#4 August 3

"The Summer Day," 1881, by Arnold Bocklin.

#5 August 17


All illustrated poems © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Another poem, which I wrote for the swap, but did not send, can be seen here.

I Think in Poems is the meeting place for today's Poetry Friday Round-Up. See you there!

August 20, 2013

August 18, 2013

August 16, 2013

Poetry Friday--"Woolworth's"


We are buyers, plain and simple.

Nowadays it's the big box stores like Wal-Mart or Target that are the places that represent American culture. When I was a kid, it was the old Woolworth's store downtown. Dark, narrow aisles, but full of everything a kid could desire. F. W. Woolworth, W. T. Grant, S. S. Kresge are all gone, I believe.

This poem by Donald Hall, comes under the chapter "1966-1969" in the collection Old and New Poems (Ticknor & Fields, 1990) I think the speaker embarked upon the ultimate destination shopping trip!
Woolworths'

My whole life has led me here.

Daisies made out of resin,
hairnets and submarines,
sandwiches, diaries, green
garden chairs,
and a thousand boxes of cough drops.

Three hundred years ago I was hedging
and ditching in Devon.

I lacked freedom of worship,
and freedom to trade molasses
for rum, for slaves, for molasses.

"I will sail to Massachusetts
to build the Kingdom
of Heaven on Earth!"

The side of a hill
swung open.
It was Woolworth's!

I followed this vision to Boston.

Steps and Staircases will be hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up for today!

1940 photo courtesy Library of Congress.


August 13, 2013

August 11, 2013

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Lewis W. Hine photo, 1917, Boston, MA, courtesy Library of Congress.

August 9, 2013

Poetry Friday--Flea Market Find

Back in April, my daughter became engaged and started planning a wedding for August.

In May, I went to a local flea market. I have a love/hate relationship with flea markets. I love finding cool stuff, but I hate bringing my finds into an already cluttered home. I went to the flea market that day with a specific mission in mind--to seek out rhinestone brooches or buttons so that my daughter could make a brooch bouquet. (If you haven't come across the brooch bouquet, do a Google image search!)

I had planned on looking at nothing else, but, I went with a friend who spotted a box of Haikubes, which looked to be brand new (in fact, upon inspection, two-thirds of the cubes were still sealed in plastic).


"You have to get it," she said. "You're probably the only person here who writes haiku, or even knows what haiku is. It's only two dollars..." That was it. I purchased the Haikubes and brought them home, where they have sat, untouched, until this week.

I finally decided to take a look at the game. There are 63 six-sided cubes. Most cubes have five sides containing different words; the sixth side is blank. After looking through the cubes, I had my doubts about their usefulness for writing haiku. Some of the words were downright odd, "wicked," "yelled," "dilemma," or "#@&*#!!." A couple of the cubes are "thematic" and are used to give the player a goal in creating a haiku, for example, "a desire for" or "my family."

Haikubes were created as a game, and as such, would probably be fun with a few people trying to create poems in the 5-7-5 syllable format as required by the instructions. However, there are several reasons why the game is not suited to writing "real" haiku: 1. The whole 5-7-5 thing! 2. Many of the words are in the past tense, whereas haiku should take place in the here-and-now. 3. Nature or seasonal words are definitely lacking. 4. If you subscribe to a definition of haiku as "the essence of a moment keenly perceived," then it's going to be difficult to find that moment in the choice of words found on the cubes.

Since my parlor game days are few and far between, I decided to use the cubes as prompts to writing haiku. Since 63 cubes are too many to roll, I grabbed ten at a time to see what I could come up with. Here is the result of my first roll (any blank sides were rolled a second time):

charm
swell
etc.
tangle
swimming
screwed
she
happy
left
my

Wow, not much haiku material here. I picked out three words and came up with:

late August swim
my foot in a tangle
of tourist trash

I dropped the "ing" from swimming, but, since I'm making up the rules as I go along, it's allowed!

I next used one of the words, and ideas implied by some of the other words, to come up with this senryu (a senryu is like a haiku, but about human nature, instead of Nature):

in a speedo
...her prince has lost
his charm

Attempt #3 is a non-Japanese style poem, again with a Prince Not-So-Charming bent, and, a lot of punning:

Visual Learner

She screwed up
her courage to ask
him to go to the shore.

But the growing
swell precluded any
thoughts of swimming safely.

Better to be left
on shore than to tangle
with the waterfront's charms.

This relatively long poem used seven out of ten words.

I was challenged, I had fun, and I certainly got my $2.00 worth from a flea market find!

For the Poetry Friday Round-Up this week, head over to No Water River, where's there's plenty of poetry, but without water, not much swimming!

Poems © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.





August 6, 2013

August 4, 2013

August 2, 2013

Poetry Friday--Summer Swap Time!

I am participating in the 2013 Summer Poem Swap organized by the incomparable Tabatha Yeatts. I participated last year and truly enjoyed the experience. An added bonus is that it forced me to be creative over the lazy summer months.

I like to pair my poems with illustrations or photos, and I've done so with the Summer Swap poems. I print them off on a color printer and send the pieces to my assigned recipients. However, I have a bit of a color printer problem. The printer refuses to be adjusted and reproduces colors that are unnaturally deep. In most cases it doesn't make a huge difference, but with today's poem, it definitely does. When printed, the background horses are practically invisible! Thus, I did not send this poem to one of my swappees.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading.

Alas, since I didn't send the poem, I had to write another one in it's place. I guess that's not a bad thing!

At the end of the Summer Swap, I will put all my poems together and add a link to them here on Random Noodling. I'll let you know when it's ready to go.

Now I'd like to direct you to Reflections on the Teche where Margaret is today's Round-Up host.