Featuring cherita!

October 30, 2015

Poetry Friday--"Voting"

Next Tuesday is Election Day. It's going to be an election that many people will ignore. It's not a Presidential election year, nor is it a Congressional election year, still, there are elections going on that may be consequential on the state or local level. If you don't vote, you have no one to blame but yourself if the school project in your town doesn't get funded, or if your state legislators decide to make it harder for poor women to get health screenings.

Voting is a right guaranteed by the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. You, as an adult, act as a model for the future citizens of this country. If you neglect to vote, young people may get the message that voting isn't worth their time and effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."

I wrote a poem last year and it was accepted for inclusion in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. The book was compiled and edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, and is published by Pomelo Books. If you flip through the poem credits, you'll find these familiar Poetry Friday blogger names: Joy Acey, Michelle H. Barnes, Doraine Bennett, Robyn Hood Black, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Kelly Ramsdell Fineman, Mary Lee Hahn, Penny Parker Klostermann, Julie Larios, Irene Latham, Renee M. LaTulippe, B. J. Lee, Jone Rush MacCulloch, and many more!

Here's my poem, which celebrates our right to vote:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

The poem was also translated into Spanish for The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations and is titled "Votación." Special thanks to Liliana Cosentino and the others on the translation team. And, kudos to Sylvia and Janet for their editorial vision.

Head across the country to where Jone is hosting the Halloween weekend Round-Up at Check It Out. (Yes, it's the same Jone whose name is mentioned above.)

Finally, on Tuesday, go out and vote!

October 27, 2015

October 25, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

If the text if difficult to read, click on image to enlarge. Here's the text alone:
where did this October
day go?

October 23, 2015

Poetry Friday--Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell as a child, photo courtesy Houghton Library, Harvard and Wikimedia.

Last month, I wrote a haiku sequence using words from an Amy Lowell poem. It led me to take another look at Lowell's poetry, and to reaffirm that Amy Lowell is one of my favorite poets! Here are two reasons that come immediately to mind: 1. She wrote small poems, and even some "hokku." Of course, she wrote long poems, too, but those I do not read (hey, just being honest). 2. She was obsessed with color and ways of describing them (see "Thompson's Lunch Room: Grand Central Station"). In a world full of color, why not take the time to appreciate it?

Three examples:


When night drifts along the streets of the city,
And sifts down between the uneven roofs,
My mind begins to peek and peer.
It plays at ball in odd, blue Chinese gardens,
And shakes wrought dice-cups in Pagan temples
Amid the broken flutings of white pillars.
It dances with purple and yellow crocuses in its hair,
And its feet shine as they flutter over drenched grasses.
How light and laughing my mind is,
When all good folk have put out their bedroom candles,
And the city is still.


Throw the blue ball above the little twigs of the tree-tops,
And cast the yellow ball straight at the buzzing stars.

All our life is a flinging of colored balls
                         to impossible distances.
And in the end what have we?
                         A tired arm--a tip-tilted nose.

Ah! Well! Give me the purple one.
Wouldn’t it be a fine thing if I could make it stick
On top of the Methodist steeple?

September. 1918

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.
Under a tree in the park,
Two little boys, lying flat on their faces,
Were carefully gathering red berries
To put in a pasteboard box.

Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.
To-day I can only gather it
And put it into my lunch-box,
For I have time for nothing
But the endeavour to balance myself
Upon a broken world.

Amy Lowell died in 1925, so most of her work is in the public domain. Check out Open Library to read it online or download as an ebook.

Now it's time to see what Jama's got cooking for the Round-Up at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

October 20, 2015

Haiku Sticky #328

Yup, there were snowflakes on Sunday. Yup, I missed them.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

October 18, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

Click on the image to enlarge. © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

October 16, 2015

Poetry Friday--A Ku-do and More

Last week I posted a number of workplace haiku, this week I'm posting one more. This one is illustrated and is part of my Ku-dos to Emily project, in which I write haiku inspired by Dickinson's poems and then illustrate them. I haven't posted a ku-do since April, so maybe it's time to get going on the project again.

597.9 is the Dewey classification number for reptiles. The Garter snake in the picture is one that was in a patch of daylilies outside the library a few years back. It was about 2 feet long. But, as the haiku suggests, "more than one" snake has visited us--we've had several Eastern Hognose snakes INSIDE the library! I have no idea why or how they came to be inside, but we carefully moved them out. They were only pencil-sized, but some people don't seem to appreciate snakes in the library no matter how cute and tiny! It turns out, Eastern Hognose snakes are endangered.

I've written snake haiku before--everything is fair game for haiku--and other poems about snakes, too!

May 2009

street fair
...the snake's pattern

June 2010 (Snake isn't mentioned, but it is what inspired me to write the following, which I originally illustrated, but requires more work before being ready to post.)

out for a walk
the women's chatter
suddenly stops

November 2013 (Ekphrastic poem.)

Mr. Klimt's Garden

Hens like little soldiers patrol
its path always on the lookout
for a weevil to swallow whole.

Or a snake. Chuck, chuck,
chuck, chuck
. They strut plucking
at weeds between the daisies.

They look up at the towering
hollyhocks, ignorant to the fact
that spores of rust are in the wind.

One day soon the gardener
will tear out the infected plants
and the hens will be soup.

March 2014 (One of my "rant" poems!)

Poems and haiga © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Amy at The Poem Farm will be playing host to the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Please stop by!

October 13, 2015

October 11, 2015

October 8, 2015

Poetry Friday--Workplace Haiku

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a winning entry for a haiku contest that is held every week, and has been going on for about a year. How did I not know about the "Workplace Haiku" challenge held at the Financial Times?

I clicked on the "Workplace Haiku" link and was able to read the haiku that are visible on the page, but when I tried to click on the links to the original posts, I was taken to a subscription page. Clicking out of that page brought me to the FT's home page, and then I was caught in an endless loop. I have absolutely zero interest in reading the FT, so, I'm not going to pay to subscribe. I imagine I can read each week's winning entry, but I won't be participating in entering the challenge, nor in reading the older posts. Ah, well.

I occasionally write about the workplace, so the challenge wouldn't be much of a stretch anyway (sour grapes anyone?). There's not a whole lot of nature going on in the workplace, with the exception of human nature, so it could should probably be titled a senryu contest (haiku format, but about human nature rather than Nature).

I checked through my files, and came across a number haiku related to my workplace, the public library. Here are a few:


library empty...
Red Sox opening day
or coincidence?


out of the corner
of the librarian's eye
a housefly


circ desk deserted
black bear outside
the library


library check-out
today all conversations
begin, "it's so cold..."


summer sunset--
the librarian shelves


librarians discuss
the best attended programs
--ghosts or aliens

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I found another library haiku I had written for my Ku-dos to Emily project back in July 2014. I never put it together with an illustration, so, I'll do that for next week. Come back again!

Laura at Writing the World for Kids is hosting this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

October 6, 2015

October 4, 2015

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I've used the old beech tree photo in this haiga, too! The haiku was my free format entry in the September 2015 Shiki Kukai.

October 1, 2015

Poetry Friday--What I Did on My Summer Vacation

My vacation last week actually straddled the seasons. I went to Ogunquit, Maine and was there for the last day of summer and the first few days of autumn. Except for Friday, when it was a bit nippy, the weather was gorgeous! I went with all intentions of packing a year's worth of walking into 3 1/2 days by the sea. On Wednesday I walked 26,035 steps! My Fitbit thought it had been worn by someone else! I cut back by about half on Thursday due to a blister on one of my toes. There is a trolley that runs around town and costs $2.00, so I rode the trolley twice that day.

I still spent plenty of time on the beach on Thursday. To add commentary to the following photo would be superfluous. I thank whomever it was who walked the beach before me and somehow expressed my feelings exactly.

I took lots and lots of photos with my little point and shoot camera, and my cell phone. Several I have made into haiga (haiku with illustration). I also took short video clips of Piping Plovers.

Amazing little birds that remind me of mice in the way they scurry. I can't imagine how they get much nourishment pecking the sand at lightning speed!

Haiga inspired by the time spent by the sea (click on the images to enlarge):

A vacation "paradise" highlights the inequality gap as it exists in America today. Private beach vs. public beach. Service demanding tourists vs. immigrants working for minimum wage in the tourism services industry.

Even the weeds on the beach were alive with bees preparing for winter!

I have more photos that will provide me with additional haiga opportunities. Look for them in future Happy Haiga Day! posts (on Sundays).

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe is hosting today's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Stop by and see what Heidi and her Diamond Miners have for us this week!

By the way, if you're looking to travel to Ogunquit, I recommend staying at The Puffin Inn, a bed and breakfast. If my recommendation isn't enough, take a look at one of the breakfasts I had sitting out on the porch. It's caramelized mango French toast, and tucked underneath is sausage!

All photos, video, and haiga © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.