Featuring cherita!

March 31, 2015

March 29, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

This tanka was posted as part of Heidi Mordhurst's Ch Challenge on Thursday.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The photo by William Henry Jackson is courtesy Library of Congress. The yellow perch is from a cigarette card and is courtesy NYPL Digital Collections.

March 26, 2015

Poetry Friday--Down to the Wire

Originally, the deadline for the Sketchbook Project was January 31, 2015, but, it was extended to March 31, 2015. Bad move. It gave me more time to procrastinate and now it's down to the wire. Will I get it in the mail and postmarked by March 31?

Silly me, I thought the sketchbook was the size of half a 8.5" X 11" piece of paper. I should have known better and taken it out of the envelope and measured it. I spent a lot of time setting all the photos and poems in place so that I could print it on the photocopier and when folded in half would be a perfect little book. My plan was to simply replace the sketchbook pages. I did print it on the photocopier and folded it. It looked great--spaced right, the photos ended up next to the poems, etc. However, the sketchbook, it turns out, is 5" X 7" and I'm up the proverbial creek without a paddle. So, now I'm resizing it, trying to figure out how to set the margins so that it prints only in a portion of the sheet. It's like a giant puzzle, and I'm not a puzzle person. I may not make it. Thirty-two pages never seemed so long!

If you click on the Sketchbook Project link on the right-hand side of the page, you can see the poems in the Sketchbook Project that I have posted since last spring. There are two that I hadn't posted earlier; I'm going to share those today.

I was reading through old reports from The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) and "found" this poem that I used for the first poem in the book:
Collective Guilt
A poem composed of the words of Florence Kelley found in the "Report from the National Consumers' League" from the Proceedings of the Third Annual Meeting of the National Child Labor Committee, 1907

Young children pick the cotton
that we are wearing;
they help to spin it.
They help to stitch
it in the factories.

They have to do
with the distribution
of all our goods.

They are in the shoe factories.
They are in the garment
trade by thousands.
They are in the hat factories...

No one is free today
from participating in this
particular evil.

No one.

The photo and poem I used to end the book:
Title: John Howell, an Indianapolis newsboy, makes $.75 some days. Begins at 6 a.m., Sundays. Lives at 215 W. Michigan St.) Location: Indianapolis, Indiana. Created: 1908 August. Library of Congress: LC-DIG-nclc-03225


This photo is unusable.
I am in it.
The story is not about me.
I am merely the means,
I hope--I pray--
to a happy ending.

Here's a photo of an NCLC exhibit panel, which I have decided to use on the back cover:

If I get the book turned in on time, then it will be digitized, and, you'll be able to see it online. I'll let you know if and when that happens.

I'm probably not going to purchase a sketchbook for next year. I think the project is better suited for artists and the media they use. If I'm going to put that much work into a book of poems, then I might as well use the effort to try to sell it! I did enjoy what I created over the past year. I probably could write a few more poems and have real book, but for now, I'm stepping away...

Stop by the Poetry Friday Round-Up where today it is being hosted by Jone at Check It Out.

March 24, 2015

March 22, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

I'm sure getting good mileage on this poem I wrote for Heidi Mordhurst's Ch Challenge: it was posted on her site on March 9, I posted it again here on March 13, and now, I've illustrated it! I like the way it came out--bright and happy. The background is a painting by George Ames Aldrich, and comes courtesy The Atheneum. The horse is from a photo I took at The Big E several years ago. I edited out all the fair stuff so that I only had the horse's cute face. Doesn't it look as if he/she's inviting you into the scene? Of course, after two weeks, I see ways I could have written it differently, but, what's done is done.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

March 19, 2015

Poetry Friday--Ch Challenge Continued

Last week I presented a few of my musical connections to Heidi Mordhurst's March ch word challenge. I'm going to continue this week.

March 12, word: "pitch"

I thought of pine tar and pine pitch when I first saw the word. I was wondering if pine tar and pitch were the same thing, so I thought I'd start with the dictionary. Lo, and behold, there was no definition for pitch being a pine resin product! There were at least a dozen definitions of pitch, but not the one I was looking for. But, the abundance of definitions gave me an idea for my poem:
Mr. Peeps a.k.a. the Perfect Pitch Pirate

Filthy from pine pitch and stinking
of rum still his mateys love
the timbre and pitch of his voice.
They spend hours rapt in his tales
of heroics and bonnie young things.

Like the pitch of a snake oil salesman
Mr. Peeps grabs their attention and
doesn't let go until the sale is made.

Any helmsman who dares steer
into a swell will find himself
pitched overboard if he causes
the ship to pitch and roll.
Ship mates brought to
an emotional pitch become
testy if a story is interrupted.

The captain knows the pitched
battle never comes when Peeps
is telling his tales. Cap'n no
longer pitches a fit, for in
the pitch black night no one
notices him sitting there listening
with his thumb in his mouth
thinking of his dear, old, mum.

Mr. Peeps' stories'll do that to a man.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Of course, when I think of pirate songs I think of "Drunken Sailor" or "Fifteen Men (On a Dead Man's Chest)," but "The Drunk Scotsman" is more reflective of the type of story I see my pirate telling (warning: may not be suitable for all ages):

March 13, word: "arch"

First a video for a little background:

Arch of Triumph of the Star
(You Up for It, Mr. Godefroy?)

They make us march
with foot soldiers--
those who have no
connection to stars!

They make light of us!
We are the future.
We've conquered the enemy.
We've conquered the skies!

Il faut!
They underestimate us.
We will plan carefully.
Study the arch, the air,
le bébé Nieuport.

L’appel du vide!

We will do it--fly through
l'Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile.
We will touch the heavens.
We will honor this land.

Ça te dit?

14 Juillet, 1919

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

It seems that when World War I ended there was a great celebration at the Arc de Triomphe. Pilots were made to march through the arch with common foot soldiers, which they resented doing. So, Charles Godefroy, was selected to exact revenge, and, to make history. He flew through the Arc de Triomphe three weeks later on August 7. Poems I write about historical events or periods I refer to as "poehistry."

Here's a little novelty musical recording about flying from 1911:

This week's ch words are chocky-block full of song connections. Monday "inch": "Garden Song" by Dave Mallett. Tuesday "lurch": What else but "The Addams Family" theme song? Thursday "lunch": "Sandwiches" by Fred Penner (I can't tell you how many times we sang this when my kids were young!) The poems I wrote, however, were not at all connected to the songs that sprung to mind!

It's time to send you hither and yon in pursuit of poetry. Catherine at Reading to the Core is hosting the Round-Up this week.

March 17, 2015

March 15, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading. Poem © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. (Originally written for a 15 Words or Less challenge 3/15/12.) Background print, "A view of the landslip from Great Bindon," courtesy Lyme Regis Museum, U.K. "Saint George Fighting the Dragon" by Raphael, courtesy Wikimedia.

March 13, 2015

Poetry Friday--Ch Challenge

This is the second week of Heidi Mordhurst's ch-ending words challenge. Monday through Friday for the month of March there is an assigned word to use in a poem.

I think of this as a musical challenge! Many of the poems I've written so far have some bit of music associated with them, at least in my mind, and starting with a connection to David Bowie that encompasses the whole ch challenge. It has become the "ch-ch-challenge" for me. Here's a version of Bowie's "Changes" that may be a little less familiar:

I made several more musical connections with my poems of the last two weeks:

March 6, word: "fetch"
Fiscal Therapy

The old lady spends
her days online
religiously checking
prices on eBay.

A born kvetcher
she tells her son that
everything she
has labeled will fetch
a good price

when the time comes.

"Okay, Ma," he says.

The labels are only
a warm-up.

She crosses out $6.99
and re-marks the
Xavier Cugat LP, $8.99.
All the while
humming "Perfidia."

Xavier Cugat and his orchestra performing "Perfidia":

March 9, word: "unhitch"
Hitching Up Your Wagon

How's that expression go?
"Hitch your wagon to a star"?
Just how far is the closest star?
More years than you'll have.
Of course, if your goal
is procrastination, then
you'll shine, shine, shine!

Take my advice--step in front
of that wagon, insert your head
and buckle up the collar, attach
the traces. You can click
to yourself if you'd like--no
further motivation is necessary.
Lay back your ears and go.

I didn't realize that Heidi had changed the day's word from hitch to preach, so if you visit her post for March 9, you'll mostly find preach poems. Here's a song the hitching poem dredged up. It's from the 1956 film Westward Ho the Wagons!:

March 11, word: "smooch"
Bésame (No) Smoocho

A kiss is a peck or a
passionate surrender.

A smooch is not a kiss--
a smooch is an event.

as performance art.

The title is a play on words of the song "Besame Mucho." Here's a fantastic version by Diana Krall:

And here's the ultimate smooch performer--Snoopy!

Next week I'll have a few more ch poems that I've tied to music. But, now, if you haven't already visited, you must head over to Author Amok for the Round-Up.

March 10, 2015

March 8, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Illustration from Harry's Ladder To Learning by Anonymous, published 1850.

March 6, 2015

Poetry Friday--15 Words More Or Less

For many years I participated in Laura Salas's "15 Words or Less Poems" weekly photo challenge. This past year it has been taking me longer to get moving in the morning. However, I couldn't leave the house without posting my challenge poem! As a result, I was getting to work later and later on Thursdays!

After much internal conversation I decided to stop posting poems on Laura's blog, but to continue to be challenged to write a Thursday poem from her photo prompt. What this did for me was allow me to get to work fairly close to "on time," take more care in writing a poem, and, it freed me from the 15 words restriction. Most weeks since January 15, it has worked fairly well, although one haiku took me a week and a half to finish!

January 15
After Bathing a Dog

A dog shakes.
Water is flung.
This motion
is explained
by physics
using words
like centripetal
and mass.
This precision
leaves unanswered
the question of
why the dog does
it with such a
look of vengeance.

January 22

The Counter Bell Self-Image Test

"Please ring the bell for service."


for assistance

is preferable

to shattering
the silence.

She'd rather

the floor open
up and swallow

her whole.

January 29
iris in a bucket
its wry smile...
royal symbol reduced
to a cheap commodity

February 5
first grader...
reluctantly he shares
his pinecones

February 12
his eyes--were they
green-brown or brown-green?
...Valentine's Day

February 19
gnarly oak
...the healing hurts more
than the injury

Last week's poem, another tanka, I've made into a haiga. It will be posted on Sunday, so please come back!

I hope to continue with the non-posted weekly challenge poem, and will probably do periodic postings here. I think all the poems can stand alone without the prompt pictures, but if you're curious, click here, then find the date.

The counter bell seen above is one we used for many, many years at the library I work in. It is from a time before we needed two people on the front desk at all times. Despite rumors of public libraries' demise, we're busier than ever. Sadly, though, it's all about the entertainment, not so much about the reading.

The Round-Up for today is found at Robyn Campbell's blog, be sure to stop by.

Photo and poems © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

March 3, 2015

Haiku Sticky #295

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

This was posted last week as a response to Laura Shovan's Sound Poem project for lava (in the comments section).

March 1, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

Everyday we get closer to spring! My ex-pat friend, Janet, who lives in County Clare, Ireland, teases with news of daffodils up and blooming in her neighborhood. I resorted to buying 2 small bunches of daffodils at the supermarket this week. I took a photo, which you see below. The daffs came with a tag that read, "This bouquet of daffodils was hand picked and flown to you from the fertile green fields of England." I assumed they were from down south or Mexico, but flown in from England? I never would have thought it. So, I went online and found this: "The UK is the largest volume producer of daffodils and narcissi."

Daffodil photo and tanka © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The writing in the background is the handwritten manuscript of the poem, "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud," by William Wordsworth, © The British Library Board, courtesy Wikipedia.

Last Sunday I promised myself I wouldn't post any more poems about snow or cold. This is a good start. I have next week's haiga ready to go, and that one is connected to no season at all!