May 1, 2015

Poetry Friday--A Haiku Sequence

If you have indoor cats, you know the feline frenzy that occurs the first time you open the window after winter. I found a painting, "Cats by the Window," by Nicholas Tarkhoff (1909) and a sequence sprouted!

Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading. © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Painting by Nicholas Tarkhoff, courtesy The Athenaeum.

I used the term "can-opener" despite the fact that I haven't had a can of cat food that required one in years. I wonder if ten years from now kids will scratch their heads and ask, "what's a can-opener?"

I generally try to avoid using junk words like "just" and "even," but I ended up using both! There is not a lot of room in haiku to explore alternative ways of saying something that may require more words (and syllables).

I'm leaving work early today and heading to Salem, MA for the annual Mass Poetry Festival. I'm looking forward to it, and, I hope to take enough notes and/or photos, so that I have something to share with you next Friday.

Please visit Ellen at Space City Scribes for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.



29 comments:

  1. Love it. A very clever sequence. I still occasionally use a can-opener and every time I swear I won't buy a brand that doesn't have a pull-off lid!

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    1. Do you have a cat, Sally? If so, I'm sure you know how inspirational cats are!

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  2. I hope you enjoy your day in Salem as much as I enjoyed your haiku sequence.

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    1. Thanks, Andy, I think of your museum rant every time I visit the PEM!

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  3. The can-opener line made me laugh out loud. I don't have cats but a dear friend does, and they knew the sound of a can of tuna being opened! I love this sequence. Looking forward to your report from the festival!

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    1. I'm back and my report will be sketchy at best! I had a great time though. Last night Rita Dove and Richard Blanco read. You couldn't have asked for two better readers!

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  4. I have a kitten again after several years without, and the first time we opened the window he was entranced. These haiku perfectly capture the moment! Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Enjoy your kitten! It's been almost four months since my old cat died. I'm always tempted...

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  5. Great fun! :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

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    1. Thanks, Alan. Stop by again!

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    2. Thanks!

      And I do love cats. I had one from a few doors down adopt me once. :-)

      open window
      the cat dozes
      half in half out

      Alan Summers
      Presence 3 (1996)

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    3. Thanks!

      I have quite a few cat haiku, and a restaurant cat or two, too. :-)

      warm regards,

      Alan

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    4. Ha! I hope those restaurant cats aren't on the menu! ;-)

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    5. .
      .
      On the menu, or more accurately, into the menu! :-)
      .
      This one is from the Canary Islands holiday I took years ago:
      .
      restaurant el pescado
      the smoky cat’s
      four white gloves

      Alan Summers
      Publications credits: Blithe Spirit Vol. 14 No. 2 (2004)
      .
      .

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  6. Beautiful Diane, although you've added the picture, I also see in my mind's eye a former cat, at his own window, most of the day. Have fun at the Festival!

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    1. My cat, Skippy sleeps on a platform at the window, so, considering she's asleep 23 hours a day, she spends most of her day at the window, too!

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  7. We have a small screened in space outside the kitchen that we have dubbed "the camp" because our cat rolls around, jumps for bugs, and makes little happy noises when we let her go out.
    Your image and poetry once again inspire.

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    1. I'm afraid Skippy would freak out if she had a screened-in space. As much as she likes the window, taking her outdoors is not her idea of fun! (That could be because she was on the end of a leash...)

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  8. lovely sequence, the second haiku is my favourite, luv the precision intimated

    much love...

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    1. Isn't "equipoise" a lovely word? And it describes a cat's intense, balanced stance perfectly.

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  9. This sequence (and the picture) resonates with me! Switch two slim black cats for one huge orange cat, but other than that...

    And about the can opener. Our Will was a rescue, but there must be something hardwired about the sound of even our hand-crank can opener. He comes running, even if I'm opening a can of tomatoes!

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    1. Cats refuse to learn tricks, but that doesn't mean they're not trainable! ;-)

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  10. Love it Diane! You are amazing!

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