April 28, 2016

Poetry Friday--Heading to the Mass Poetry Festival!

From the 2012 festival--some of the poets whose work appears in Villanelles edited by Annie Finch and Marie-Elizabeth Mali ("Everyman's Library Pocket Poems," Alfred A. Knopf, 2012).

Okay, you are going to be soooo envious! Here's a partial list of who will be speaking or reading at this year's Mass Poetry Festival being held today through Sunday in Salem, MA: Martha Collins, Mark Doty, Edward Hirsch, Marie Howe, Gregory Pardlo, and Charles Simic.

I'll be staying in a B & B for two nights and I'm expecting to thoroughly enjoy my immersion in poetry! Before I head out, though, let me share a poem by one of the attending poets not listed above, Ada Limón. Limón's Bright Dead Things: Poems, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.
Roadside Attractions with the Dogs of America

It’s a day when all the dogs of all
the borrowed houses are angel footing
down the hard hardwood of middle-America’s
newly loaned-up renovated kitchen floors,
and the world’s nicest pie I know
is somewhere waiting for the right
time to offer itself to the wayward
and the word-weary. How come the road
goes coast to coast and never just
dumps us in the water, clean and
come clean, like a fish slipped out
of the national net of "longing for joy."
How come it doesn’t? Once, on a road trip
through the country, a waitress walked
in the train’s diner car and swished
her non-aproned end and said,
"Hot stuff and food too." My family
still says it, when the food is hot,
and the mood is good inside the open windows.

Read the rest here and you'll learn what role the dogs play!

Buffy's Blog is where this week's Round-Up is taking place. Drop by and stay a while!

April 26, 2016

Haiku Sticky #355

A tanka sticky rather than a haiku sticky!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

April 25, 2016

Ekphrastic Mondays #4


Welcome to week #4's celebration of Frederick Childe Hassam, ekphrasis, and National Poetry Month!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. "The Table Garden" (1910), oil painting by Frederick Childe Hassam, courtesy The Athenaeum.

Thanks for viewing my 2016 National Poetry Month Monday exercise in ekphrasis!

April 21, 2016

Poetry Friday--And They Were Clad With Wings



Finally--an end to this seemingly never-ending angel project! I've included a poem that I hadn't posted here before, so I hope you'll take a look through. To make it easier to read, you can click on the arrows next to in to make it full screen.

Jama's Alphabet Soup is the location of the Round-Up this week. Stop by since Jama is sure to cook up something fascinatingly delicious!

April 19, 2016

April 18, 2016

Ekphrastic Mondays #3

Today's oil painting by Frederick Childe Hassam is titled, "The Sea." At first I found it quite arresting, but the more I looked at it, the more uncomfortable it made me.


"The Sea" (1892), courtesy The Athenaeum.
How Art Works

The artist tempers lugubrious
blues with a zing of tangerine
and leaves the edges of
reality rough like a feral cat.

A cat that is fed only enough
to insure its continuing
assault on a city's rats.

We are discomforted,
yet we can't look away,
so we talk in terms of style
and the theory of color.

And we persist in ignoring
the secondary problem
of the city's dead sparrows.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
I may have gone a bit overboard with the cat simile; it was partly as a result of reading articles on a rat problem in Chicago being kept under control by feral cats. Once I had the simile down on paper it seemed to make perfect sense to me in relation to the painting.

Only one more Monday left in April. Come back for the last in my National Poetry Month 2016 Ekphrastic Mondays series.

April 17, 2016

Happy Haiga Day!

Today is International Haiku Poetry Day! And, at The Haiku Foundation you can take part in the EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2016 which is going on right now! It is a worldwide celebration of "Foodcrop" haiku. I posted the haiku from this haiga as part of the Collaboration.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

April 15, 2016

Poetry Friday--Spring! At Last!


Spring has returned.
The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

Great quote, isn't it?

It's been an eventful week, I had one of those "screening tests" people over a certain age are required to get. I also gave up on the idea of completing the physical sketchbook to go with my angel Sketchbook Project poems. However, although I didn't get the book mailed, and consequently it won't be digitized, I decided to assemble the poems and some quotes into a slideshow. I'll have it next week for Poetry Friday.

The one saving grace for this week? It's finally Spring!

So for today, a small collection of spring poems, some original, some by others. Let's start with Emily Dickinson:
A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown--
Who ponders this tremendous scene--
This whole Experiment of Green--
As if it were his own!

This next one is from my short list of favorite haiga created by me:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Here's a poem of celebration by Elizabeth Coatsworth:
The Frogs' Wedding

Happy is the bride in the green, green pond.
And happy is the groom as he swims beside his bride.
She carries a bouquet
In the prettiest sort of way,
And he smiles and stares about him
In his pride pride pride.

The fishes, oh, the fishes,
They all bring their kindest wishes,
And the little minnows flicker
And they snicker as they come.
But sad and alone,
Squatted down upon a stone
Sits the disappointed lover,
Looking glum glum glum.

Since the following is only 14 words, it's pretty safe to guess that I wrote it for a "15 Words or Less" challenge:
Spring Circus

Pink petaled ringmaster
she announces the
spectacle of trapezing
squirrels and robins
juggling worms.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

We've had quite a bit of rain already this spring, but, this little rain poem by Harry Behn, I'd welcome any day!

Harry Behn also did the illustration.


A haiku:
spring's first thunder...
the tightness in my jaw
as we talk

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Michelle is gathering up the poetry links today at Today's Little Ditty. Please stop by!


April 12, 2016

Haiku Sticky #353

Last week I posted a haiku that came in second in the March 2016 Shiki Kukai (kigo category). This week, I'm posting my March entry into the free format category. The topic was "driftwood." I actually liked this one better than the one that garnered a 2nd place ranking with 23 points, but, not many shared my opinion as it received only 7 points. Seven points is actually a good showing since there are usually over 100 haiku submitted, and each person has 6 points total to award to their favorites. There have been months I've received zero (deservedly so).


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

April 11, 2016

Ekphrastic Mondays #2



The second in my NPM 2016 series of ekphrastic poems (art on art) inspired by the work of Frederick Childe Hassam. Click here for the first one.



© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Oil painting, "Late Afternoon," also know as "Sunset" (1903), courtesy The Athenaeum.

Come back next Monday for another Hassam inspired poem. I'll try to move away from afternoon light paintings. Maybe I'll delve into rain.

April 8, 2016

Poetry Friday--PMMU

PMMU? Poetry-Music Match-Up! It's going on at Heidi Mordhurst's My Juicy Little Universe for the month of April. The match-up idea originated with Tabatha Yeatts, and if you click here, you'll find a post full of match-ups from earlier in the year.

When Tabatha put out a call for match-ups, I couldn't come up with anything, but, when Heidi recently made the same request, there was a song running through my head, "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)." My match-up, which Heidi is featuring today, was destined to be.

In looking into the song and its composer, Brooks Bowman, I discovered a tragic story. In short, Bowman wrote "East of the Sun" (and several others) for the Princeton Triangle Club's production of Stags at Bay, produced in 1934. The song was first recorded in December of that year. After graduating in 1936 Bowman headed to Hollywood, where he worked for a short time as a contract songwriter. Upon returning east the following year, he joined up with another Princeton alumnus to form a songwriting team, but, Bowman died in a car crash before they could sign a contract. It was four days short of his 24th birthday. I was left feeling really low after reading a brief Wikipedia entry, and this article written in 2013.

"East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)" has become a jazz standard, recorded by many, and Brooks Bowman missed the satisfaction of long-term success. Rather than the snappier recorded versions of "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)," I was drawn to Sarah Vaughan's interpretation for today:



I've written a little tribute haiku for Brooks Bowman who left much too early to take up residence somewhere east of sun and west of the moon.
mid-day sun
and still the day moon
...just you and I

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Stop by to visit Laura at Writing the World For Kids--she's rounding up this week's P. F. links.





April 5, 2016

Haiku Sticky #352

I'm proud to say that this haiku placed 2nd in the March 2016 Shiki Kukai in the kigo category. The assigned kigo (seasonal word) was dew.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

April 4, 2016

Day #4 of the 2016 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, and, Ekphrastic Mondays #1


A two-fer for today! It's my day to contribute a line to the 2016 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, the NPM tradition begun by Irene Latham. The poem took off (pun intended) on Friday and here is its progression thus far (contributed by Laura Salas, Joy Acey, Doriane Bennett):
A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky
A hummingbird holds and then hies
If I could fly, I'd choose to be

What a set-up! How could I not continue with the rhyme? So here goes:
A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky
A hummingbird holds and then hies
If I could fly, I'd choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees

It's now up to Penny Klostermann to take the poem to new heights! Here's the line-up of contributors for the month:

1 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
2 Joy at Joy Acey
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Diane at Random Noodling
5 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots
6 Carol at Beyond Beyond Literacy Link
7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
10 Pat at Writer on a Horse
11 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
12 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
13 Linda at TeacherDance
14 Jone at Deo Writer
15 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
16 Violet at Violet Nesdoly
17 Kim at Flukeprints
18 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Charles at Poetry Time
20 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
21 Jan at Bookseedstudio
22 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
23 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Mark at Jackett Writes
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
28 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
29 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
30 Donna at Mainely Write

The painting, by Frederick Childe Hassam, "Newfields, New Hampshire" (1918), is courtesy The Athenaeum.

This is the first of four April Monday poems about works of art. All the poems have been inspired by the works of a New England impressionist painter, Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935). Today's watercolor, "White Barn," was painted by Hassam when he around 23 years of age.


"White Barn" by Frederick Childe Hassam (1882), courtesy The Athenaeum.

The poem didn't start off as a humorous piece. It was quite serious with lines about indecision, and shadows, and essential-ness. I originally was struck by how the white barn was painted without a speck of white on it. I wrote the first poem over the course of two days. I let it sit a while and bingo, the whole thing changed--completely--even the title! I think the only thing that remains is "whitewashed planks." The "off-color joke" is my little pun about the white barn not being white. Come back next Monday for another Hassam-inspired poem.

April 3, 2016

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I hope it's okay to brag, but I really, really like this one! It's probably just the combination of black, white, and red and the word "propitious". Have you noticed black, white, and red being used on book covers lately? I've read two in recent months. The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin and Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart.