Featuring cherita!

August 31, 2014

Happy Haiga Day!

The haiku was my free format entry for the August Shiki Kukai. The subject was "goodbye(s)/departing words."

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Original photo by Arnold Genthe, courtesy Library of Congress.

August 28, 2014

Poetry Friday--Happy Labor Day!

On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday. That holiday was named Labor Day. I wonder if, in August 1911, little Preston knew that on September 4 there would be a holiday celebrating his contribution to the labor force and to America's prosperity?

Caption: Five year old Preston, a young cartoner in Seacoast Canning Co., Factory #2. I saw him at work different times during the day--at 7 a.m., in the afternoon, and at 6 p.m., and he kept at it very faithfully for so young a worker. Location: Eastport, Maine. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine taken August, 1911, courtesy Library of Congress.

Outside Seacoast Canning Co.

How old am I? I'm five-
years-old last week.
I'll hold up the tin and
the cart'n so you can
see it good. I do this:

I get the tin and I push
it in the cart'n. Get
another tin, push it in
a cart'n. You watchin'?
Get another tin, push...

Uh huh, that's what's I
do every day. But not
at all on Sunday, cause
that's the day we go to
church to save our souls.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

There is a short video available on the canning industry in Eastport. Created by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, it contains several references to Hine. Access it here.

Now--go enjoy your Labor Day weekend, but first, visit with Jone at Check It Out for the Round-Up!

August 26, 2014

August 24, 2014

August 21, 2014

Poetry Friday--2014 Summer Poem Swap--On the Receiving End

Last week I shared the poems I sent as part of the 2014 Summer Poem Swap. This week, I'll share the poems I received. I'll keep my comments short so you can enjoy the poems! [Note: click on the images to enlarge for easier reading.]

The first poem that arrived was from fellow haiku-ist and cat lover, Robyn Hood Black. With an almost 19 year-old cat, you can imagine how this poem spoke to me.

Robyn also included a little artsyletters something! Many thanks.

The next poem to arrive came on the back of an intriguing postcard sent from Hagerman, Idaho, by Jone MacCulloch.

Jone's cinquain:

her face
lines map years of living
youth, childbearing, golden old years

The Doyenne of Swap, Tabatha Yeatts, introduced me to a new-to-me poetic form called a "katauta." Tabatha included an explanation about this Japanese poem, and even directed me to page 196 of Lew Turco's The Book of Forms! Here are Tabatha's interpretations of the katauta:

Donna Smith "hath done yeoman's service" in her swap poem! She pulled words from my blog and created word art to accompany the poem she wrote using those words.

Lastly, Joy Acey sent a whole book of poems she wrote titled, Dog Days of Summer, Too 2014! I'm sure she'll get her wish of a future sale of her fun and/or moving poems!

Again thanks to Tabatha, and to all the gifted poets who participated in the Swap!

Irene at Live Your Poem is playing hostess with the mostess this Friday. Stop by and say "Hi!"

Come back next week when I'll pick up again with my Sketchbook Project poems.

All poems and original art © their respective creators, all rights reserved.

August 19, 2014

August 17, 2014

August 14, 2014

Poetry Friday--2014 Summer Poem Swap

The 2014 Summer Poem Swap, the brainchild of the lovely Tabatha Yeatts, is concluding today. Participants sent a poem to a different person every two weeks over the course of the summer. What follows are the poems I sent out (please click on the images to enlarge them for easier reading).

June 20, to Jone MacCulloch:

"Still Life with Flowers in a Vase" by Christoffel van den Berghe (1617), courtesy The Athenaeum. Poem © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Jone is someone who takes "Solace in Nature" (that's the name of her book), and has roses and other flowers around her home (Facebook can be so revealing). I hoped this buggy poem would appeal to her!

July 4, to Irene Latham:

Photo by Russell Lee, courtesy Library of Congress. Poem © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

If you haven't read Irene's novel for children, Leaving Gee's Bend, I recommend it! Irene uses quilt-making as an essential element in her story.

I had the experience of seeing a lovely old quilt on the beach, and, my grandmother had a yo-yo bed cover that I remember fondly (and wonder where it might be today).

July 18, to Anastasia Suen:

"Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" by John Singer Sargent. Painting and various studies, courtesy The Athenaeum. Poem © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

For many years I had a postcard of Sargent's "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose," stuck on my refrigerator. When our Poem Swap fairy godmother, Tabatha, sent us the painting as a prompt, I knew I would use it.

In looking through The Athenaeum's offerings, I found several studies that Sargent had done for the work. I feel certain that Sargent recognized when the work was finished. (Read the Wikipedia article on the painting and tell me if the paragraph beginning "Sargent's painting can be read as a botanical allegory" creeps you out--it did me! And, I can't un-read it!)

August 1, to Heidi Mordhurst:

Haiku © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. "Fence" photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Heidi wrote about a summer project of writing "copy tributes," and asked for suggestions of women poets and their poems that a teen might find familiar. She mentioned Emily Dickinson, and that got me thinking about haiku I had written a few years ago, which were inspired by Dickinson poems (click here and here). I decided to write more, and, as I often do, I got carried away and embarked on yet another project. I sent two to Heidi, and I have a bunch more waiting to be put together with illustrations. I thought about trying my hand at an ebook, but after several tries, and being totally put off by the formatting, I've decided to go with the illustrated poems. When I'm done, I will try again. I think it will be easier to make a book of jpgs than individual poems!

I put the cart before the horse and came up with a cover first! Here it is:

August 15, to Keri Collins Lewis :

Poem and photo © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Excerpt from "Blueberry Pie" blog post © Keri Collins Lewis.

Keri and her husband keep bees (and make a wonderful honeycomb soap). I had a photo I had taken of a bee on a blueberry bush in my backyard (I don't believe it's a honeybee, though). The recipe I found on Keri's old blog, which sadly has disappeared. Fortunately some "snapshots" are accessible on The Way-Back Machine. I melded the images together and wrote the poem to go with it. I think it speaks to Keri's generosity, and, her love of food!

I will be posting some of the poems, which I received, next Friday, so come back again!

Meanwhile, Heidi awaits you at My Juicy Little Universe where she is hosting this week's Round-Up.

August 12, 2014

Haiku Sticky #266

I never saw news travel so fast, or the tributes come so quickly, as I did last night on Facebook at the announcement of Robin Williams' death. So sad.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

August 10, 2014

August 7, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Summer Skirmish"

(A little break from Sketchbook Project poems!)

I hesitated about posting this for one main reason: fruit flies are GROSS.

I do not like cold fruit, so I leave my fruit hanging in a tiered metal basket in my kitchen. In the summer, especially with an abundance of seasonal fruit, a little over-ripeness can occur before I get around to eating it all.

If I'm lucky, I can time it right and get the peaches into the fridge before the fruit flies show up. But, if not, I have to resort to tried and true methods of getting rid of them.
Summer Skirmish

Once again I miss the just-
right phase of my peaches
and suddenly there They are.

A vinegar trap may seem
too simple to be effective
against multitudes of fruit flies

but one must remember
Drosophila melanogaster
is not known for its smarts.

I take an empty baby food jar,
add a spoonful of cider vinegar,
cover the top with plastic wrap,

punch a few holes, and voila!
Once in, they can't find their
way out--glug, glug, glug.

After a day or two, fruit fly
corpses with their demonic red
eyes dulled, go down the drain.

Alas, I remain unconvinced
that Drosophila do not
spontaneously generate,

So, smartly, I put the old
baby food jar under the sink
to await the next skirmish.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I know I said fruit flies are gross, but, they are useful to scientists. If you don't believe me, take a look at FlyBase: A Database of Drosophila Genes & Genomes.

If you'd like more general information about the creatures, click here.

(I've found myself watching them crawl around the trap. I saw one fly on top of another, which led me to wonder about fruit fly copulation, which led me to this. I know, I know...you didn't really need to know all that.)

Mary Lee at A Year of Reading will be hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up this week. Mary Lee is our P.F. Round-Up organizer, and she does a fine job of keeping us all on track!

August 5, 2014

August 3, 2014

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. I had intended for this to be a tanka, but it got away from me.

August 1, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Boy With Coat"

Boy with coat in hand is 11 years old. Been there 9 months. Started at 50 cents a day. Now gets 60 cents. Loray Mill. "When I sweeps double space I gets 90 cents a day, but it makes you work." (Look at the boy.) Two "infants" appeared at the door, and vanished back immediately on seeing me. Location: Gastonia, North Carolina. Photo taken November 1908 by Lewis Wickes Hine, courtesy Library of Congress.

Boy With Coat

Ssh...don't tell Mama.
I'm not getting 50 cents
no more. I'm getting 60!

Ssh...we both have secrets.
She has her "jus' dreamin'"
book. I gots an extra dime.

Sometimes she shows
me her dreams in the
Sears Roebuck catalog.

I'm not showing my
10-cent pieces, though,
not 'til Christmas day.

Then I'm taking a pretty
page out of her book,
wrapping up my silver

coins and telling Mama
to buy herself a dream.
So ssh...don't say nothin'.

Poem © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up, please stop by.