October 31, 2017

Haiku Sticky #432

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Text:

Skype meeting
a fly traverses
the woman in blue

October 29, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Text:

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!

Text:

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.

Text:

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.

Text:

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.

Text:

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.

Text:


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.

Text:

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.

Text:

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.

Text:

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.

Text:

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.

October...
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.

Text:

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"

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 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.

Text:

press secretary:
bloody hands she hopes
to cover

October 1, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Text:

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