August 30, 2016

Haiku Sticky #373

We went to Fenway last night, so I dug up this old haiku (arguably more of a senryu) that I wrote August 31, 2009.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

August 28, 2016

Happy Haiga Day!


Click on the image to enlarge. Photo © Amy Souza, used with permission, haiga © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

August 26, 2016

Poetry Friday--End of the Endless Summer Heat!

We've had a bit of heat relief this week, and a smidgen of rain. Earlier in the month I posted a series of haiga that all used the line "endless summer heat." Today I have two more. I'm calling it quits with the heat topic after today and will be moving on.

Despite the heat, everyone's tomatoes managed to flourish. I know because the library's staff room table has had an endless supply of tomatoes sitting on it. (That's okay by me, I love fresh tomatoes!)


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo by Jack Delano (1942), courtesy Library of Congress.

This next one is a tanka:


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I don't know what I'll have for next week, so if you want to throw a challenge my way, leave a comment with a topic. I'll see what I can do.

Now mosey on over to My Juicy Little Universe and tell Heidi I sent you!

August 23, 2016

Haiku Sticky #372

This is a senryu, a poem about human nature rather than Nature.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

August 21, 2016

August 19, 2016

Poetry Friday--"The Collusion"

I'm sure you've heard that "all poetry is political." I don't know about all, but at this time of year, in this particular year, it's hard to keep the political out! So, let this be a warning: if you're not interested in politics, or in my political views, then stop reading now. I'll give you time to think about it by directing you to the Poetry Friday Round-Up being held at Dori Reads. Spend some time there, and if you're up for my political rants, then by all means come back!

Here there be Rantings!

"Meerwunder vnd seltzame Thier" [ca. 1544], courtesy Wikimedia.

Okay, you're here willingly, so let's get on with it. In April, PBS NewsHour ran a story on Ocean Vuong, who had recently published, Night Sky with Exit Wounds. The piece titled, "Ocean Vuong on why reading poetry is political," has to do with Vuong, his background, politics, and his poetry.
"The reading of poetry is in itself an act of political resistance to the mainstream," he said. "Particularly in this election cycle, where there is this great anxiety for certainty. What is your position? What is your stance? Why are you flip-flopping? There’s an anxiety of certainty and power and boldness...But poetry acknowledges the true complexity of what it means to be human, which is that nothing is ever that certain."
Not that I needed permission, but it's nice to know that others think poetry and political angst go together.

To say that I am disturbed by this year's presidential race is, of course, an understatement. I cannot contemplate the justification for running Mr. Trump as a candidate, and I sure can't consider that people in their right minds would vote for the man. I'm of the opinion that he is throwing every potentially disqualifying line out there in hopes that one will stick and get him thrown out of the race (or get people to jump off the Trump bandwagon). He only wanted to prove a point, but now the game has gotten out of hand. He has created an audience for his brand of rhetoric and the audience will not let him loose. It's all about the show! Entertain me! Entertain me! I'll be laughing and cheering as the country goes down the tubes!

So, with the prospect of the inmates actually running the asylum, and a Trump presidency a possibility, I was compelled to write the following:
The Collusion

I

The flimflam man stands
before us and can't go
from a capital letter to
ending punctuation without
multiple em dashes and canned
word hash in between.

There is no intellectual
depth to the man or his
communication. Fortunately,
his preferred form of written
message is mercifully short
though bluebird flighty.


II

We have been raised on tv or
social media and have long ago
internalized the simple rule of
repetition--repeat often,
loudly, and with conviction.

The pronouncements have been
made a quadrillion times, so
we know them to be true.
Plus, our hearing is sharp.
Our ears are perked for the dog
whistles that are meant for us.

Lord (the Christian one) knows
we needn't tax our rapidly
shrinking brains by giving
thought to consequences.

(Aren't we against taxes?)

III

Take the expression, "Idle hands
are the devil's workshop."
Substitute minds for hands
and you've defined 2016--the year
when the collusion of politics
and the devil is a fait accompli.

IV

The all too literal end
waits to be written overnight
November 8-9, 2016.

©, Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I don't generally write my poems in sections, but I sensed there needed to be a bit of space between the thoughts. I agree with Mr. Vuong,
"...I think the practice of poetry teaches us that silence and emptiness and space in general is actually quite potent."

Cover of Time magazine, August 22, 2016.

Hang in there, American friends! And, for our friends in other countries, please know that there are those of us who are going to try to do right by the country and the world. If the unthinkable happens, then I beg of you to let me sleep on your couch, as soon as I can book a flight out of here!

August 16, 2016

August 14, 2016

August 11, 2016

Poetry Friday--A Lucy Tribute

In her "I Love Lucy" days, Lucille Ball rarely was silent, except for the time Harpo Marx was on the show:



Her voice could induce a "chalk on nails" reaction for some people, but, for others of us it remains a part of the catalog of sounds of our youth.

Almost everyone who grew up with "I Love Lucy"--original programs or in re-runs--remembers one or two sketches as being favorites. I love "Vitameatavegimen."

Last week, at my library blog, I mentioned it was the 105th anniversary of Lucille Ball's birth. I went looking for a poem about Lucille Ball, or her "I Love Lucy" character, Lucy Ricardo, and came up empty-handed. Brenda Harsham wrote an ode, which she left in the comments and posted to her own blog.
An Ode Not Quite Odious

To Lucy of the curling locks,
red, shining but tightly tamed,
as was your genius, always
cloaked in silly ways and
cunning looks. You capered,
scarpered, skeddadled and tattled,
never more charming when
being shy or disarming.
Would I could have met you,
repaid every laugh with
the right words to lift you
when you needed it, as you
lifted me so many times.
I’m left only to gift you rhymes.

© 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham, all rights reserved.

Linda Baie responded to Brenda's ode with this "short rhyme of love":
A lost past time, comedic flower, she gave us laugh lines hour by hour.

© Linda Baie, all rights reserved.

I was hoping to have more people contribute a Lucy poem to a little tribute, but alas, only Tabatha Yeatts took up the challenge. But, she wrote this great clerihew:
Lucille Ball
mastered the screwball pratfall.
Her timing was impeccable--
her chocolates, delectable.

© Tabatha Yeatts, all rights reserved.

The following, like so many of my poems, started off as one thing and morphed into something completely different. It does mention Lucille Ball, and the red-hot fire inside her, but Lucy is not the focus:


Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading. ©, Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The painting, "The Pyramids of Giza at Sunrise" (1870) is by Carl Friedrich Heinrich Werner, and can be seen in its entirety, here.

It's not quite a tribute poem, so I tried again, and focused on terms that use red. Once again, I was sent back into my own past and remembered the appliance stores of my youth. Small crowds would gather in front of the new TVs and watch complete programs. I first saw Mary Martin's performance of Peter Pan at the appliance store!
On the Introduction of Color Television

A reporter follows a cherry-red
fire engine racing to an event.
Through a red light.
Past the red light district.

Ahead, an eerie infrared glow.

They pull up in front
of the appliance store.

The firemen, red in the
face, race inside to find
an array of the new-fangled
color television sets.

The reporter's flash bulb pops
catching shoppers red-handed
changing all the channels!

On the screens: Ethel, Fred, Ricky.
Then Lucy appears, the source
of a red hot conflagration of hilarity.

It's a red-letter day as Lucy paints
our town red--in black and white.

The next day's headline reads,
"Who Needs a Peacock
When We've Got Lucy?"

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Visit Julianne at To Read To Write To Be for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

August 9, 2016

August 7, 2016

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The background drawing of grasses is by Hokusai.

August 5, 2016

Poetry Friday--Endless Summer Heat

The month of July was mostly hot, hot, hot with exhausting and depleting heat. Let's hope August brings cooler temps.

One thing in favor of the heat is the inspiration it provided for a series of haiku. I'm participating again in the creative postcard exchange arranged by Amy Souza (creator of the Spark challenges). I had the month of July to complete four postcards and send them to my four assigned recipients.

I posted about the exchange I participated in during April, click here. For that exchange I wrote about birds. This time, there was no question that I would write about the heat. I challenged myself to come up with four haiku using the line, "endless summer heat." I found it an easy topic to tackle and wrote at least eight before stopping. (I seem to have gotten stuck on iced desserts for half of them!) I ended up illustrating five (only one ice cream haiku), which gave me an extra that I will be submitting to Carol Varsalona for her "Summerscapes" gallery.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The original photo, ca. 1913, can be found here. I added some "extras" to it.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The photo is mine taken last September. I used an old Coppertone ad as an overlay.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. That's actually my indoor cat's water dish. I love how photo editing software enables one to combine diverse elements.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Speaking of combining diverse elements--my seagull on the beach photo I combined with another photo of a sunrise, added a few effects, and voila!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. An illustration from 1895, cropped and combined with a number of effects. The "aura" around each dog was to give an illusion of heat. Does it work, or does it just look like I did a lousy job of erasing the background?

One of my poems was featured yesterday in a blog post at US REPRESENTED. I am tickled pink to have my poem in the company of poems by Mary Oliver and Wang Wei! The post, by Kevin Arnold, can be viewed here.

Tara at A Teaching Life, is enjoying summer on the farm, and, she's also hosting this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Keep cool everyone!

August 2, 2016