November 19, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


a fall poem...
its lines not rhyming
but rimed

November 17, 2017

Poetry Friday--Thanksgiving Rerun

In 2010 I did a post on the women of the Mayflower, and then in 2013, I posted an ekphrastic poem inspired by an iconic painting of the "The First Thanksgiving, 1621" by Jean-Leon Gerome Ferris [circa 1915]. I'm going to post the painting and poem again today so that we don't forget the women of history. Of the 30 adult women who traveled on the Mayflower, only four survived the first winter!

Painting by Jean-Leon Germone Ferris, courtesy The Athenaeum.
Dear Mr. Ferris:

Re: your painting titled
"The First Thanksgiving, 1621"

We, the women of Plymouth
were not glowing with health.
Nor, were we given to smiling.
Yet, you portray us as robust,
clean, and gracious hostesses.

Rather, viscera from all manner
of wild creatures stained our dress.
Our scarred hands were burned,
swollen, cracked and bleeding.
We silently wept with pain, fatigue.

We cooked and served as was
our lot, while the stink of bear-
greased savages filled our noses
making us gag. Our own men, too,
had a noxious stink about them--fear.

Some may have given thanks
that day, but it was not the women.
Therefore, we write to urge you to
take up brush and palette once more.
Do not give us beauty, give us truth.

The four who had the misfortune not to
have perished in the year of our Lord, 1621

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
I have a tee-shirt with "Writing women back into history" on the front. It's something I'm trying to do and I hope you are too. [Note: the shirt was purchased a few years ago from the National Women's History Project. It no longer seems to be available, but there are still "Writing women back into history" posters and banners.]

Visit Jane at Raincity Librarian for this week's Round-Up.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

November 14, 2017

Haiku Sticky #434

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


nearly Thanksgiving
a feast of roses covered
with snow

November 12, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


November morning
cold nose, hands, and toes
but, oh, the frost

November 10, 2017

Poetry Friday--Haiga Gallery Musings

For the month of November, at The Haiku Foundation website, my haiku with illustrations are featured in the THF Haiga Galleries. I want to thank Jim Kacian and The Haiku Foundation for allowing me to share my work with an audience different from my Poetry Friday peeps.

Here's one of the haiga that is a favorite. Why? Because I can imagine a man and his dog, outside after a long winter, meeting up with other fresh-air starved people and dogs. It is a colorful and playful scene that makes me happy!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

On The Haiku Foundation home page the announcement went:
This month’s featured artist is Diane Mayr.
This is the first public recognition of my work having been done by an "artist," despite the many times I've said it myself in an effort to boost my confidence. Believe me, the outside acknowledgement is sweet.

So, how did I win this honor of being featured? I read the following in the Gallery section, "Would you like us to consider your work for a Haiga Gallery? Contact us for details." I had amassed a fair number of haiga, so I thought I'd email and see what was involved. I was certainly surprised when I got a reply that basically said, "we have an opening in two months." OMG! I was only inquiring! Now what? I would need to submit about 30 haiga. Do I turn down the invitation? Right away, the devil on my shoulder started whispering, "What a fraud, you are. The jig is up!"

It sure seemed that the jig was up, but I wasn't going to miss an opportunity that fell into my lap. I told the shoulder guy to put a sock in it!

I've never assembled a collection. How would I organize it? Was there a specific topic I could build upon? Many, many haiku collections are arranged seasonally, but I didn't want that to be the only theme. Could I do one season--autumn--since the collection would be posted in November? Nope, I didn't have enough.

I spent a lot of time going through my files and trying to find something to pin a theme on. After a while, it was obvious--animals. I had cat haiga, dog haiga, bird haiga, bug haiga, etc.

The THF Haiga Galleries collections aren't titled other than with the poet's name, but for myself I titled the collection, "Feline, Canine, Equine, Swine (and More)."

Since it is The Haiku Foundation's gallery, I eliminated small poems, but I did pick a few related forms like tanka and cherita.

I narrowed it down to about 50 possibilities.

I tried to keep a balance of animals, but of course, cats and dogs had a tendency to dominate. I wasn't always successful with the balance in the gallery. In spots you will notice I have two insect haiga together, two bird ones, two ones on walks, etc.

I tried to arrange them following the passage of a year, that is, January to December. That was a little easier, except for the ones that really didn't have a particular place in the year.

I finally asked two co-workers to pick out their favorites, so I could get an idea of what had general appeal.

It was tough making all the decisions needed! I have a heightened appreciation for anthologists like Lee Bennett Hopkins who deal with such decisions on a daily basis!

Make sure you visit Jama's Alphabet Soup and catch this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

November 7, 2017

Haiku Sticky #433

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


dashboard clock
wrong for four months
daylight saving time

November 5, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


rental restriction

line her shelves

cross-stitch project
brings another pet home
to the apartment

November 2, 2017

Poetry Friday--Goodbye October

In a flash, October has come and gone. Before we move on into November, I wanted to share the postcards I sent to four people in Amy Souza's October Spark postcard challenge. (To learn more about Spark, click here.)

We were free to create an art postcard of our choosing. No topics were assigned, but, I like to work around a theme. I think I'd have to say that the results are all about ORANGE, although they began as an exploration of the topic of "pumpkins."

A tanka:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


at first light
a breakfast table
laid with a cloth of
orange polka dots

A haiku:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


November 1
neighbor's compost heap
now with grins

A tanka:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


grown to fulfil
its holiday destiny
alive tonight with the aid
of an artificial heart

This next haiku was inspired by a favorite old picture book, Mousekin's Golden House, by Edna Miller:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


November 1
the field mouse's treat
a day late

I hope I haven't hurt anyone's eyes or sensibilities with all the orange! I can guarantee I will never use orange in quantities such as this ever again!

Head over to Teacher Dance where Linda is hosting the Round-Up this week. Linda had posted a photo on Facebook last week of a squirrel nibbling on a jack-o-lantern. Old pumpkins can provide a treat for many little creatures.

October 31, 2017

Haiku Sticky #432

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Skype meeting
a fly traverses
the woman in blue

October 29, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


trip to the orchard

we see pumpkins
growing on a tree

how easy it is
to ignore twisted wires
when you want to believe

October 26, 2017

Poetry Friday--Highlights of Highlights

Last week I attended the Highlights Foundation workshop, "The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children." In all honesty, I was there for the craft, but over the five days spent in PA, I found a lot of heart. Laughter and friendship came easily to the group of attendees, which included instructors Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard. Charles Waters was there as workshop assistant. The poetry anthologist extraordinaire, Lee Bennett Hopkins, talked to us from FL via Skype. We also had a helpful session with Boyds Mills Press/Wordsong senior editor, Rebecca Davis. I reacquainted myself with friends from past conferences, retreats, and blogs: Pamela Ross, Linda Baie, and Janet Fagal. If you didn't know it already, children's writers are a kind and generous bunch!

Here are a few photos:

My cabin! Each person had his/her own room.

Meals were awesome! And snacks were available all day long.

Our instructors, Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard.

Lee Bennett Hopkins in a Skype Q & A.

Yours truly between Georgia and Rebecca.

Poet friends Vicki Wilke, me, Linda Baie, and Janet Fagal.

Pamela Ross took this selfie of the two of us. I guess you can say we glow!

Poets are great ones for taking pictures! From the quality of this one, perhaps I should stick to words!

Rocks from the word garden. I took other non-people photos that I plan to use for future illustrated poems such as this cherita:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

We had one chilly morning and I found the frosted picnic table complete with handprint outside the dining hall!


early morning walk

the children's poet
on the lookout for ideas

her words come
as a Thanksgiving ditty
gobble gobble gobble

I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath for me to share the secrets of poetry. Here's what I learned:

1. Find your poem's real beginning. It's probably not where you thought is was!

2. Hone your poem! Sharpen your vocabulary and then cut, cut, cut everything that is unnecessary.

3. Surprise your reader. Think unexpected. In other words, avoid cliché. (I almost wrote, "like the plague.")

I'm sure others came away with different secrets, which I hope they will share.

My neighbor to the south (in MA), Brenda, is hosting this week's pre-Halloween Round-Up at Friendly Fairy Tales. Have a great weekend and remember the candy is for the trick-or-treaters!

October 24, 2017

Haiku Sticky #431

I don't generally write with similes and metaphors as haiku writers write about what a thing really is, not what it is "like."

Rhytisma acerinum, tar spot fungus, is too good a metaphor to ignore. This summer, foliage on the trees in New England started showing black blotches, with leaves beginning to fall unseasonably early. I suspect it also had a hand in the sedate colors we're now seeing. It's almost as if the trees, too, are being affected by the miasma of 2017 America.

Leaves from my yard. The spots on the maple leaf in the middle are highly visible. In the summer, when the leaf is green and the spots are freshly black, the designation "tar" is particularly fitting.

The condition is mostly cosmetic. A Wikipedia entry states, "the most important practice is to keep a clean yard and remove as much debris as possible." I think we also need to clean up our political yard and definitely get rid of one particularly nasty spore.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


we feel the black
spread beyond the leaves
tar spot fungus

October 22, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

Halloween is a week away. If you're looking for a simple costume, go as he-who-shall-not-be-named. A white shirt, a red tie, tan-in-a-tube, a little white make-up for around the eyes, and a yellow wig. Or, a rubber mask would do the trick. (There are some who'd advise against such a costume; read more here.)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


costume shopping
yellow wigs and self-tanners
all sold out

October 20, 2017

Poetry Friday--I'm Back!

I wasn't going to post today, but Linda Baie's post kind of shamed me into it. Linda and I, Janet Fagal, Pamela Ross, Charles Waters, and about a dozen others, attended the 2017 Highlights "The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children," with Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Suffice it to say, it was wonderful and inspiring. However, it will take a bit of time to incorporate some of what I learned. In my case, it may take me off onto avenues I've not taken before--think rhyme, poetic devices, etc. Here's a senryu, featuring a leaf I took a picture of to demonstrate a species-identifying app on my phone! Not the prettiest leaf, but against the gray-brown of the woodland path it does stand out, and, it provided me with a apt metaphor!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


finding colors
hidden under the green
...poetry workshop

If you haven't already, please visit A Day in the Life for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

October 15, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

A cherita for today. There will be no posts until next Sunday as I will be attending the Highlights "The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children 2017" workshop. If I had been on the ball, I would have prepared Tuesday's sticky and the Poetry Friday post ahead of time, but I'm not exactly well-balanced this week! See you next Sunday!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


as I fall asleep

a snippet of a jingle
long forgotten

a melody easy
to recall but the words
barely break through

October 13, 2017

Poetry Friday--I Can't Get No Satisfaction!

Last Friday's post was a poem titled, "Early October." I had written and illustrated it the weekend prior. By the time Friday came along, I had grown to dislike the poem. This seems to be a pattern with me of late.

Here is a short poem flower poem I made into a haiku sticky in late September:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Goldenrod, cinquefoil,
beggerticks, buttercups,
hawkweed, goatsbeard.
It's as if autumn seized
the summer sun to parcel
out to delirious bees.

Although I liked the poem, it didn't relay the sense of urgency I felt coming from the bees now that fall has arrived. So, I approached the topic of autumn again and recycled the delirious bees to come up with "Early October" for last Friday.

Here's the text:

Early October

An underlying hum
from the delirium
of a hundred honeybees.

A brief period when
golden light portends
chilly changes on the breeze.

White and muted pastel
wildflowers foretell
fashions for winter fairies.

Early ends to the days
find diligence gives way
to woollies, poems, and teas.

It struck me as less than satisfactory. I began to feel I had unnecessarily attached three stanzas to my bees stanza. So, on Sunday I reposted "Early October" as a one stanza mini-poem.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. If you have a full-size screen, click on the image to enlarge it and see how many bees you find.


Early October

An underlying hum
from the delirium
of a hundred honeybees.

Going back to the original "Early October" poem I found the last stanza was awkward and cliched. It had to go! But, I liked the idea of the third stanza with it's winter fairy fashions. I rewrote it as a cherita. [A cherita is an untitled poem of three stanzas. The first stanza is one line and sets a scene. The second stanza is two lines and the third stanza is three lines. The cherita tells a little story.]

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


October wildflowers

white and muted pastels
less garish than summer's blooms

their color palette
will be borrowed for winter's
fairy fashions

I was left with the second stanza. I didn't hate it, so I tried to rewrite it as a simple haiku. I got hung up on using metaphor. Haiku doesn't use simile and metaphor. If I wanted to use a poetic device, I could write it as a tanka:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


shadows lengthen
while days grow short
October light
through its golden warp
are woven threads of silver

I ended up revisiting that last stanza, which I thought wasn't worth salvaging, but, you can always find a haiku if you look close enough.

with my cup of tea
a poem

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Thanks for reading this far. I think I'm finally finished! I hope you'll visit Live Your Poem where Irene is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

October 8, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

An abbreviated version of the poem I posted on Friday!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Early October

An underlying hum
from the delirium
of a hundred honeybees.

October 6, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Early October"

September zipped by and it's October! Next thing we know, it will be January. I'm not being facetious. The last three months of the year always seems to be the most overscheduled of all. Next weekend I'm heading off to the Highlights workshop, "The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children." I've decided to take the plunge since I don't seem to be getting any younger!

I know several attendees from prior writing events and Poetry Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing Linda Baie, Janet Clare, and Pamela Ross. Anyone else from the Poetry Friday crew attending?

I don't mind saying, the prospect of attending as a poet, rather than as a librarian, or a general know-it-all, frightens me a bit. I'm always waiting for the little kid in the crowd who's going to yell out, "She's not wearing clothes!" Will that child suss me out in Honesdale?

My poem for today is a light-hearted approach to October, rather than my real feelings about the season. I wrote in rhyme, which, for me at least, drives me toward lightening up. I think it may work as a children's poem, but to tell the truth, most of what I write is for me (and P.F. visitors) and since I'm 7 1/2 going on 70, I'm not sure what age my poems are for!

Poem © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Painting by Ernest Parton, "A Field of Wildflowers"


Early October

An underlying hum
from the delirium
of a hundred honeybees.

A brief period when
golden light portends
chilly changes on the breeze.

White and muted pastel
wildflowers foretell
fashions for winter fairies.

Early ends to the days
find diligence gives way
to woollies, poems, and teas.

It seems like the autumn colors are a little late in coming to New Hampshire this year. The painting I chose generally reflects the color palette outside. Click on the image to enlarge it a bit--doesn't the patch of dark to the right of the tree trunk, look like a Father Time figure? Who is he walking with? (Or, if you prefer--"With whom is he walking?")

[It's been a week or so since I wrote it, and in reading the poem again, I'm sorry I didn't leave it as a short, short poem of just the first stanza. The other three stanzas are unnecessary padding. Come back on Sunday for the shortened version when I'll re-illustrate it for Happy Haiga Day!]

Visit Violet Nesdoly | Poems for the Poetry Friday Round-Up and go out and enjoy this early October weekend!

October 3, 2017

Haiku Sticky #429

Yesterday I awoke to the news of another domestic terrorist mass killing. Then the White House press secretary quoted John 15:13, and, followed it up a bit later with "The only person with blood on their hands is the shooter. This isn’t a time for us to go after individuals or organizations." I call bullshit! There's blood on many, many hands. If not now, then when?

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


press secretary:
bloody hands she hopes
to cover

October 1, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


autumn sun
barely enough to sustain
the asters
yet more than enough to set
the afternoon on fire

September 29, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Abecedarian"

In writing an abecedarian for Michelle's September TLD challenge (she's featuring all the contributions today), the major stumbling-block for me was to find something for the letters Q and X. In most ABC books Q is usually satisfied by "Queen" or "Quilt," while X often is represented by "X marks the spot," "X-ray," or some word that begins with "eX" rather than X. I always think of using an eX word as cheating. Of course, there's really not a whole lot of words beside xylophone that someone would recognize. I got to thinking a bit more and came up with a solution--plain old X. Unfortunately, X likes being the center of attention! Here's my poem with a slightly tweaked illustration taken from an old book titled, The Pirate's Pocket Book, by Dion Clayton Calthrop.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Abecedarian: An Xcellent Xcuse to Xpound

Ask me the goal. (I will xplain.)
Berate me for pursuing it. (I will xpand my argument.)
Celebrate if I achieve it. (...I'll be so xcited!)
Don't smirk, giggle, or
Emit guffaws. (Xempt yourself from such inanities!)
Frown not, either. (You will be xpelled!)
Give me your complete attention. (No xpense other than time is required.)
Hear me! (Let the xplications begin!)
I (me, on xhibit for all to see, and, judge)
Just came up with this brilliant, but slightly
Kooky idea of
Lavishly and lovingly lauding (okay, xceedingly hyperbolic) a
Minor (xcruciatingly so),
Neglected (xhaustingly so), letter, which is
Overpowered constantly by a certain vowel.
Peculiarly xtroverted, this cruciform marks spots and is
Quintessential to communication, yet is
Relegated to playing second fiddle to the xcessively bloviated letter E!
This cannot go
Undenied or unquestioned! (Xposure is necessary!)
We must embrace the letter X. (And render xtraneous vowels xtinct.)
X! All by its lonesome self--no
Yielding to the call of that xtra E.
Zip, nada, nothing, but X! The xceptional letter.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Laura is hosting the Round-Up today at Writing the World for Kids--she's waiting for you!

September 26, 2017

Haiku Sticky #428

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Goldenrod, cinquefoil,
beggerticks, buttercups,
hawkweed, goatsbeard.
It's as if autumn seized
the summer sun to parcel
out to delirious bees.

September 24, 2017

September 21, 2017

Poetry Friday--Frost and Found

A big shout-out to Michelle Barnes who is featuring a post I wrote for TLD, "How to Get to Carnegie Hall." Be sure to check it out!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

A long time ago I wrote an article titled, "Frost and Found." It was about "finding" haiku in the poems of Robert Frost. It never did see its way into print, but, I still think it is a valid approach to writing haiku, especially for kids who cry, "I don't know what to write about." Frost's work is chocky-block full of strong visual images. If you can't find a million images in a book of Frost's, there's something wrong with you.

Frost provides the images, and it's up to me, as the poet, and you, as the reader, to find the relationship to humans. I'm going to use Frost's phrases, but not necessarily in the order he presented them.

Since it's still apple picking time here in NH, and, since apples are particularly abundant this year, I thought I'd see what haiku lie hidden in "After Apple-Picking."
After Apple-Picking

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Here are five haiku I found:

fleck of russet...
through a tree magnified
apples appear

of no worth
a barrel that I didn't

cider-apple heap
ten thousand thousand fruit
struck the earth

coming in
scent of apples
on the night

rumbling sound
I keep hearing...
this sleep of mine

How many haiku can you find?

Amy at The Poem Farm is this week's Round-Up host. Please stop by!

September 19, 2017

Haiku Sticky #427

I'm not quite sure if this is a haiku (deals with Nature) or a senryu (deals with human nature). I'm leaning toward senryu. For those who don't know, a kigo is a seasonal word that acts as a shortcut. You read the word and you know exactly what season it is.

Pumpkin-spice has taken on a superstar role in the fall. You see it absolutely everywhere. Most people I know have long grown weary of it. Does anyone really need pumpkin-spice Pringles?

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


the new kigo brings
an eye roll

September 17, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


wherever it fits
it goes

September 15, 2017

Poetry Friday--Response to a Response

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

The above was my art response to a poem by Rebecca Smolen in the recent SPARK! 34 challenge. I've written about the challenges before, which are the brainchild of the talented Amy Souza. (Amy is an artist, writes, edits, and also manages the quarterly SPARK! challenges as well as a quarterly postcard challenge.) You can read Rebecca's poem, "Van Gogh Could See It," here.

As you all know, Van Gogh was a prolific artist, so I was able to find a number of self-portraits to choose from for my response piece. And, there is the painting, "The Starry Night," as well as a drawing of "Starry Night," accessible. All of Van Gogh's work is in the public domain, so I felt free to use and adapt it.

I almost never do an art piece without words in it, and for the SPARK challenges I generally use a quote to add to the piece.

Van Gogh was a letter writer and his letters have been translated and are available online. I spent a good part of a day just reading randomly through his letters. But, since there was a mention of warships in Rebecca's poem, I decided to look for a mention of boats. The quote I found is taken from a letter to Emile Bernard circa July 17, 1888.

When I finished I thought about how relevant the quote is to contemporary America, and so, I wrote a response to my SPARK response. If you've read any of my recent posts you'll remember how I've become enamored of the cherita form (a short poem of six lines total, which tells a story), and for my response I wrote a cherita sequence. I hope that each cherita can be read independently of the sequence and tell its own tale.
Shark Attack! The Story Behind the Headline

on the monkey bars

two smart-alecky boys
taunt and egg each other on

never coming to blows
one will eventually blink
and walk away...

on the lake

while drifting they watch,
each in their own little boat

they breathe the air
absorb the sun and mostly
ignore the noise on shore

on the beach

a boy has climbed
up the lifeguard's tower

no one asked if
he was qualified,
or, if he could swim

from the tower

he has them chanting along
"sharks are fake"

swimmers respond
to the boy's presence--
there's no need for worry

on the lake

boats begin to take on water
too late for a safety check

they can hold on
there's a boat nearby...
there are no sharks, right?

on the distress call

wait, there is no lifeguard
the tower stands empty

a ruckus comes
from the arcade:
two boys are at it again

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
Michelle H. Barnes at Today's Little Ditty is hosting the Round-Up this week. Stop by for the poetry links, and, to contribute five words of peace.

September 12, 2017

Haiku Sticky #426

After a weekend of watching hurricane reports, Sunday night I had a typical (for me) anxiety dream--not being able to get to where I needed to be. My thoughts go out to the people who dealt with the reality of evacuating and of having a hurricane strike.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

September 10, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image credit: NASA/NRL.


hurricane watch

we buy cases
of bottled water

flashlight batteries
to illuminate our

I saw this on FB yesterday:

September 8, 2017

Poetry Friday--Abecedarian

Last week, at Today's Little Ditty, Michelle Barnes had an interview with Carole Boston Weatherford who challenged TLD readers to write an abecedarian poem for the September DMC challenge. I posted one on the TLD padlet, illustrated it, and was going to post it today. Following the news of Hurricane Irma, though, led to thinking about hurricane poems.

I remembered a poem I had received through a "poem-of-the-" email subscription many years ago. If I remember correctly, I believe it came from Milkweed Editions, but I can't be sure because I lost all my back emails three years ago in a crash. [I had been using an online back-up program that allowed me to reload all my files with the exception of my emails. There's something nice about getting rid of the old stuff and starting all over, but on the other hand, when you're looking for a poem you had saved, you're out of luck.]

I figured I must have written a hurricane haiku over the years, so I did a search of my files. It turns out I had written a whole book's worth of hurricane poems and forgotten about them! It was for a project I worked on back in 2003 on The Great New England Hurricane of 1938. One of the poems turned out to be an abecedarian poem! (It seems I posted another one of the poems back in 2011, which you can read here.)

Today's forecasters can warn of hurricanes far in advance of their hitting a location. Back then, forecasting, without the benefit of satellites and computers was an art at best. There was no FEMA assistance to help in the recovery, either. Some of the stories of the devastation would make your hair curl.

Apples (Macintosh)
Bathtub (claw-footed)
Cushion (sofa)
Doll (baby, fully-clothed except for socks and shoes)
Eyeglasses (tortoiseshell frame)
Fedora (size 7 3/8)
Galosh (left foot only)
Hymnal (Presbyterian)
Icebox (sliced bologna and half a pound of butter inside)
Jacket (child’s, red)
Knob (brass, door attached)
Life preserver (with survivor)
Milkcan (empty)
Nightstick (wrist strap missing)
Oilskin (and sou’wester)
Portrait (unidentified, 1700s?)
Quahog basket (no quahogs)
Rubber ball (black)
Staircase (minus banister)
Toddler (on shingled roof fragment)
Ukelele (strings intact)
Vacuum cleaner (electric cord frayed)
Window (six paned, with and without glass)
X-ing sign (railroad)
Yacht (her mast broken)
Zwieback (one box, unopened)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I never did finish the project, despite having 34 poems written. As I mentioned above, the devastation was awful, and after a while, it was too depressing to continue.

I hope all our southern neighbors escape unscathed. We'll be thinking of you.

The Round-Up is being hosted by Matt Forrest Esenwine. Matt is also celebrating the "birth" of his first picture book, Flashlight Night. Way to go, Matt!

September 5, 2017

Haiku Sticky #425

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


old friends
it now takes all of them
to find the words

September 3, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


late summer
...hard not to mistrust
the moon