January 29, 2015

Poetry Friday--One More Ku-Do!

Emily Dickinson is back this week. I took a breather last week and then I think I'll put her away for a while. I need to get my Sketchbook Project in order so that it can be submitted before the end of March deadline. I'm sorry they moved it from end of January to March--it gives me more time to procrastinate--never a good thing. (Click on the labels on the right if you missed the earlier Kud-dos to Emily or Sketchbook Project posts.)


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

If you're wondering if I have the correct word in line three of the haiku, rest assured, I checked, and it is indeed manically. If the chipmunk had been running around as a result of mental illness, then it might have been correct to use maniacally. But, since the chipmunk is acting as a chipmunk usually does, then manically, is correct. I can't tell you how many times I doubted myself! I also doubted my choice of the wild grape vine. Do chipmunks eat grapes? Again, I checked. Chipmunks eat just about everything--the little rascals! The grapes were growing wild against an old stone wall and I snapped the photo in the fall and have now found a use for it. The chipmunk is from a public domain illustration, which I have altered.

These 4 Corners is the place to be for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Be sure to stop by.


Announcement: in case you haven't heard, the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, is scheduled to be released in time for National Poetry Month. Celebrations is a collection of holiday poems for the entire year. The poems are in both English and Spanish, and, are for students in pre-K through grade 5. The book is intended for school and library use, but I can see poetry lovers of all ages enjoying it! One of my poems was selected to be included in celebration of election day. Yay! (Celebrations would make a great teacher gift!)

January 25, 2015

Haiku Sticky #290


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Happy Haiga Day!

A week or so ago, Robyn Hood Black posted a photo of antique buttons and suggested that her readers use the buttons as inspiration. So here you go, Robyn:


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

January 23, 2015

Poetry Friday--Winter Blues

"Winter Blue" by Jonas Lie (1913), courtesy The Athenaeum.

I always get the winter blues, but it's my own damn fault for not getting out into the sun. However, here's a poem by Robert Francis that tackles another type of winter blues--colors.
Blue Winter

Winter uses all the blues there are.
One shade of blue for water, one for ice,
Another blue for shadows over snow.
The clear or cloudy sky uses blue twice--
Both different blues. And hills row after row
Are colored blue according to how far.
You know the bluejay's double-blue device
Shows best when there are no green leaves to show.
And Sirius is a winterbluegreen star.

from Come Out into the Sun: Poems New and Selected (University of Massachusetts Press, 1965)

I going to continue the discussion of winter blues with my take on one particular shade!
The Price of Blue

The only blue worth
writing about, late in
January each year,
is a blue--vivid, yet pale.

Deep within a snow bank
it resides--a shade that
some may never see for the
white that surrounds it.

It is hypnotic. Once seen
you'll want to excavate
the enigmatic blue to
find its origination.

It evades! The deeper
you dig the further it
slips from your grasp.
If you persevere you

may find purchase,
but in doing so you
will undoubtedly have
paid the price of blue.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Tara at A Teaching Life will lead you through the Poetry Friday Round-Up this week. Stay warm and keep away from snow banks!





January 20, 2015

January 18, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

This month the Shiki kukai free format topic was "eyewear." A rather odd subject, I thought, but the funny thing is, I actually came up with two possibilities! One I submitted to the competition. I can't really call this three-liner a haiku, and maybe it's not even a poem, but, it makes for a cute haiga. If you wear glasses, and live in the colder states, it should resonate with you!





































© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

January 15, 2015

Poetry Friday--Two More for My Pal, Emily!

Today I have two more Ku-dos to Emily. The first one I spent hours on only to trash it and start over. However, I learned from my mistakes and I finished this version in almost no time (you can teach an old dog new tricks). It tickled me to think of Lassie and Timmy and how Lassie always came to the rescue.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

The next photo I took at Trinity Church in Boston, at one of the Boston Book Festival Events in October 2013. I like to take random photos because you never know when they might come in handy to illustrate a poem! The Dickinson poem I found a bit perplexing. So many of her poems have a religious bent, yet this one seems to be mocking faith. I took the view that for many, it's better not to put all your eggs in one basket! (Which reminds me of a Fred Astaire song, which I'll find and add below, not that it's related in any way to these poems!)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Irene Latham, at Live Your Poem, is playing Round-Up host this week. Stop by and say "hello!"

As promised, Fred and Ginger--"I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket." Watch the whole thing! There's some fantastic comedic dancing. Luckily Ginger doesn't have to do it backwards and in heels, but she sure takes a beating!

January 13, 2015

Haiku Sticky #288

I've had a spindly Christmas cactus for at least five years that has never seen a new pot, or new soil, and only gets watered when it practically screams at me from a nearby shelf. Yet, it always perks up after watering, and once or twice each year I am humiliated by a smattering of brilliant pink flowers. What did I do to deserve such forgiveness?


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

January 11, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

Last week, on Facebook, Margaret Gibson Simon, who lives in Louisiana, posted a photo of a tree covered with resurrection ferns. I had heard about resurrection ferns, but I knew nothing about them. So, I googled "resurrection fern" and found a lot of fascinating information, which led me to this:


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

January 9, 2015

Poetry Friday--More Ku-dos

A few months back I started on my Ku-dos to Emily project of haiku inspired by Emily Dickinson poems and that have been put into an illustrated format (haiga). You can see the beginnings of the project by clicking on the Ku-dos to Emily label on the right.

I'm going to share two more today. I don't think either one needs explanation, but if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask by way of the comments.





Click on the images to enlarge for easier reading. Haiga © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. "The Orchard at Sunset" by Charles Francois Daubigny courtesy The Athenaeum.

Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference is the place to be today for poetry treats.

January 6, 2015

January 4, 2015

January 2, 2015

Poetry Friday--Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu 2015


It's that time again--Happy New Year! As a haiku poet, I've been participating in an annual New Year's haiku postcard exchange, a Nengajo, for 6 years. I'm half-way through the zodiac!

I have to admit, this year's postcard was the hardest one yet to put together. I had a hard time wrapping my head around sheep as being an inspiration! I came up with a number of versions, all, except the one above, I rejected--mostly because the image was not high enough resolution to reproduce well in print. They reproduce fine online, so I'm able to share. (If I'm going to be honest, I really enjoyed the process of putting a ram's head on a human's body! I'm getting a bit better at doing things like that! I also admit, the ram-man is a little creepy!)

A few explanatory notes: "first" is a word (kigo) used to imply a new year without coming right out and saying it. Wool, yarn, knitting could be considered in the same way--as implying sheep without saying it. I didn't mention sheep or wool in the postcard above, so, I used a ram's head in the design, and the calm and dependable characteristics of a sheep are referenced in the haiku.

Here are a few of the "rejects." The first two use the knitting theme. This one would have been rejected on the basis of the sickly green coloration, even if it had been suitable for print! The photo is from a 1918 book the Handbook of Wool Knitting and Crochet. Somewhere along the line, I tinted it green. What was I thinking?


A variation on the green-lady haiku is used here:


This next one is completely different and implies a sheep that is willing to go against the accepted order of things. Not very sheep-like, but overall, not a bad haiga.


For prior years' Nengajo postings, click on the Nengajo label on the right-hand side of the page.

Nengajo postcards went on sale in Japan on October 30. Nengajo is a big deal in Japan. Here's a link to some free downloadable 2015 designs that are available online in case you want to initiate an online Nengajo with your friends.

I have postcards left over, if you'd like one sent to you, please email me privately with your address dDOTmayrATcomcastDOTnet. I'll send them while supply lasts.

Next year, 2016, is the year of the monkey--that should be fun. I hope to get my design ready a whole lot earlier than I did this time around--I didn't order my postcards until November 29! I wish I had taken more time with the printed version. The colors in the printed version didn't come out as I thought they would. I think the postcard looks better here on the blog. Ah, well...

Wishing everyone a poetry-filled 2015. Start off by visiting The Miss Rumphius Effect for the Round-Up.

Come back next Friday when I pick up on the Ku-dos to Emily project once again. (Click on the Ku-dos label on the right if you want some background on the project.)