Featuring cherita!

June 29, 2014

June 27, 2014

Poetry Friday--A Sketchbook Project Two-fer

Photos of two children, separated by many miles [please click on them to enlarge for more detail]. Two poems for my Sketchbook Project.

Caption: Young girl working in Anniston Yarn Mills. Location: Anniston, Alabama. Date: November 1910. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine, courtesy Library of Congress.


In the mornings I look
at the lettering on the
side of my machine.

I know my letters but I
never did learn to put them
together to make words.

Julia, reads real good.
She reads the waving words:
"American Machine Company
Pawtucket, R. I."

What is a Pawtucket?
It sounds like my brother
saying Pa took something.

Julia says it's a place way
far from here. In capital R,
Rhode, capital I, Island.

I imagine a place sunny,
breezy, smelling of clean
air. A place where girls,
like me, don't have to work.

Maybe, I'll go there, someday.

Caption: (For Child Welfare Exhibit 1912-13.) View in a Pawtucket, R.I., cotton mill showing accumulation of lint on floor. The air is full of it too, but photo doesn't show it. Location: Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Date: November 1912. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hines, courtesy Library of Congress.

Pawtucket Spring

My little sister is five.
She likes to pick the bits
of fluff that cling to me
when I get home from
the mill. She calls me
her favorite dan-dee-lion.

Poems © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

The Round-Up for this week is taking place at Buffy's Blog. Stop by and say "hi!"

June 24, 2014

Haiku Sticky #259

This one I wrote several weeks ago for the 15 Words challenge at Laura Salas's blog. (I also erroneously posted it and then took it down, so, some of you may have seen it before!)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

June 20, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Sights Set"

Written for the Sketchbook Project:

Caption: A few of the small girls and boys (not the smallest ones) that I found working in the spinning room of one of the Amoskeag Mfg. Co. mills at Manchester, N.H. Photo taken at 1:00 p.m., May 21, 1909, in hallway of spinning room. Many others there and in the other mills. Smallest boy (on left hand) is George Brown, No. 1 Corporation. Corner of Granite and Bedford Sts. Next is, Eugene Lamy, 16 Marion St. Girls: Melvina Proulx, 145 Cartier St. Laura Oclair, 145 Cartier St. Location: Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo taken May 21, 1909 by Lewis Wickes Hine, courtesy Library of Congress.
Sights Set

Look at him posing
like some mighty strong-man!
My petite suitor, standing
tall, arms crossed, with his
skinny little muscles
barely standing out.

He doesn't know this man
with the big box camera.
Why, he might be a
challenger for my affections!
Eugene need not worry--I have
my sights set even higher.

I'm looking to get away
from Manchester.
Away from mill rats
and men, both inside
and out, who want
to capture my soul.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Fellow librarian, Jone, will be hosting this week's Round-Up at Check It Out. (Jone is also the person to whom I'm sending my first poem in this year's Summer Poem Swap, organized by the lovely Tabatha Yeatts! I'm planning to collect all my Summer Swap Poems and posting them together on August 15.)

June 17, 2014

June 15, 2014

Happy Haiga Day!

Another from my trip to the Andres Institute:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

June 13, 2014

Poetry Friday--Another from the Sketchbook Project

Caption: National Child Labor Committee. No. 92. Main entrance Gary W. Va. Mine. Miners going into mine 7 A.M. Boy beginning career as "picker." Will be in mine over 10 hours consecutively. 7 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Location: Gary, West Virginia. Photo taken September 1908 by Lewis Hine, courtesy Library of Congress.

This photo immediately captured my attention and the child's voice popped into my head.

I was always taller
than the rest. And skinny, too.
Mama called me Polebean
and the name stuck to me
like the grin on a possum.
"Git some sun," she would say,
"keep growin' while you can."

Suddenly my voice started
changing. I grew a whole lot
more and I knew it was time.
The night before I went down
that hole to be a picker,
Mama clung to me like
I was a beanpole and cried.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
I was overtaken by a writing frenzy, so I have a number of Sketchbook Project poems set to post over the next month or so!

For the Round-Up this week, you must go visit Catherine Johnson!

June 10, 2014

Haiku Sticky #257

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

With two cats inside, and lots of birds outside, I spent a good portion of the weekend rescuing cats!

June 8, 2014

Happy Haiga Day!

A short poem to accompany a photo of a sculpture at the Andres Institute of Art in Brookline, NH. (Don't ask me what the poem means--I don't have a clue.)

Click on the photo to enlarge for easier reading. © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

June 5, 2014

Poetry Friday--D-Day Remembered

June 6, 2014 is the 70th anniversary of the invasion of France that marked the beginning of the end for Germany in World War II.

I'm going share three poems about World War II that you can also find in my online collection, Kids of the Homefront Army: Poems of World War II America.


JUNE 6, 1944

It’s almost as though
everyone is walking
on tippy-toe.

New York City is quiet--
hushed and listening
for the latest news

of the invasion
that will lead us
on the path to peace.

Or not, depending
upon how it goes.
For now, all eyes

are on the news line.
All hearts have stopped beating.
Please, Lord...




Every Thursday night
since the war began
my mother and I go
to the picture show.
She claims it’s because
she needs to escape
from the kitchen.
She doesn’t fool me.
It’s the Movietone news
she goes to see.
Newsreels show the war
as it is—dirty and deadly.
As long as Lowell Thomas is able
to narrate the horrors every week,
Mother will be there to watch.
She wants to be a witness.
Me, I’d rather be a slave
in the kitchen.



I picked up the trumpet
in grade school
for something to do.
It was my dad’s horn.

He had played in his
high school band.
He was rather good—
or so he said.

I liked tootling around
pretending I was
swinging with Benny
Goodman or Tommy Dorsey.

One day, at school,
a horn player was recruited
to play Taps as a tribute
to our fallen servicemen.

I had pretended for so long
that I believed I could play.
"I’ll do it!" I said,
before I stopped to think.

Now everyone would know.
I was a faker—a fraud.
How could I have been
so foolish?

I practiced all weekend
in the cellar where my squeaks
and squawks were muffled.
I drilled until my lip bled.

On Monday, bruised and swollen,
I took my place on the landing
between the two floors.
I lifted the trumpet.

I played slowly,
I played deliberately,
I played my best.
I played for my dad.

Poems © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Library of Congress. Video courtesy Internet Archive.

We can't think about D-Day without remembering those who died--war means loss. Especially for children. Let's all work for peace today.

Carol's Corner is hosting this week's Round-Up and I'm sure there will be plenty of poems to put a smile on your face.

June 3, 2014

Haiku Sticky #256

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I hate that the second line had to be broken due to size restraints! This one was my entry in the free format section of the May 2014 Shiki Kukai. The topic was "midnight." It got votes from 6 people, which makes me happy. My kigo entry for the topic "mosquito" only got one vote, but it was a two-pointer.

June 1, 2014

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Thank goodness for digital cameras. My memory is no match. However, a Google search using "red spring wildflowers," did quickly bring up Eastern red columbine. If I had to describe the flower, without using color, I have no clue how I would describe it. A floral version of a crown roast?

I spotted the flowers on a walk in Brookline, NH, at the Andres Institute of Art. I have many photos of the sculptures, which will surely find their way into future Happy Haiga Days.

The Andres Institute is a hidden gem, and, a great hike, providing you remember to bring bug repellant!