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October 28, 2016

Poetry Friday--Consider This the Seed

The only good thing to come from one of this year's presidential candidates is the way he opened up a discussion about sexual harassment and assault. The New York Times ran an article last week, "She Never Spoke of It to Her Husband. Then She Heard the Trump Tape," about how women and men are now speaking up, and out. A problem exists and now is the time to give a boot to the monster hiding under our beds, or in our attics, closets, and basements.

One of the men interviewed for the article said, "A lot of the time you have to have someone push you in that direction or plant the seed to get you talking." So, Poetry Friday readers, consider this the seed. You don't have to reveal your secrets here, I'm not asking for that. Humiliation, even after dozens of years, may still hold you back. I encourage you however, to tell your story on paper (or electronic device of choice). Write a poem and say, "Enough!"

Back in 2011 I had the pleasure of being featured in one of Jama Rattigan's series of "Potluck Poets." I shared a recipe for almond bars, a few haiga, and for some reason (probably because I had looked through my high school yearbook), I included a poem that had been sparked by a memory of what happened to me in high school in the 1960s. Yes, we hang on to some memories for much too long. I told Jama, I could still remember the feel of the hand that grabbed, at a most delicate area of my body, from under the bleachers.

Here's my poem again:

I know I wrote a poem about that
thing that happened back when I
was in high school, you know--
"that thing." I’m sure it happened
to you, too, some comparable
humiliation, violation, embarrassment,
which has stuck with you for more
decades than you’d care to admit.

I’ll find that poem and share
it with you if you’ll share your
poem with me. What, you don’t
have a poem? Oh, I bet it’s there.
Just like a girl in a birthday cake
who waits for the right moment
to jump out and yell "Surprise!"
Think of yourself as the cake.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Here's a short one I wrote for today, since I've left that old memory behind:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Okay, Cupcake, it's up to you to tell your story. And, if you live in the U. S., it is up to you to vote on November 8! Peace and justice shall prevail!

Please visit Linda at Teacher Dance for the weekly Poetry Friday Round-Up.

October 25, 2016

October 23, 2016

October 21, 2016

Poetry Friday--Today's Little Ditty Challenge

Earlier this month, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes featured an interview with and the poetry of Kenn Nesbitt. The challenge issued by Kenn was to
Write a poem for your mother. Write it for your mother and give it to her. It can be any kind of poem you like, as long as it’s especially for her.

This assignment was an impossibility to complete since my mother has been dead for the last 31 years. My mother died at the age of 57, much too early. Unfortunately, I have lived with the idea that my mother would not have died if she had taken care of herself. Why does a woman let herself be diminished by her appetite? I have a few theories in my mother's case--low self-esteem, unfulfilled dreams of a career, buying into the idea that a woman's only role is to be a wife and a mother. Of course, there could many more reasons, some of which would never have been revealed to me no matter how long she lived. There are some things one keeps to one's self.

I guess Michelle did not get as many responses as she had hoped for earlier in the month, because, the other day she posted something (which, now, I can't find to quote accurately) asking those who've held out to please consider writing a short poem. If the issues we all seem to have with our mothers are overwhelming, and have held us back in their expression, perhaps something shorter would be doable. So, I've taken that advice and written something short. It is posted on the October 2016 padlet. And for today, I've gathered a few haiga that I wrote about my mother. They've all been posted here before.

Mother's Day 2011:

Mother's Day 2012:

January 2014:

Mother's Day 2016:

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place today at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Stop by!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

October 18, 2016

Haiku Sticky #380

After a year and a half of drought conditions, we had a day of intermittent rain. The next day I was amazed at the number of little white puffballs that had appeared overnight in my yard.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

October 16, 2016

October 14, 2016

Poetry Friday--Bird Poems from Robert Francis

If you're a regular reader here, you may have picked up on the fact that I love birds (and ironically, cats).

I have two bird poems from Robert Francis. Robert Frost once said Francis was "the best neglected poet." Consider him now un-neglected since we're talking about his work today!

Both of these poems are from Come Out into the Sun: Poems New and Collected by Robert Francis (1965):
The Hawk

Who is the hawk whose squeal
Is like the shivering sound
Of a too tightly wound
Child's toy that slips a reel?

But beyond who is why.
Why any cry at all
Since death knows how to fall
Soundlessly from the sky?


So bandit-eyed, so undovelike a bird
to be my pastoral father's favorite--
skulker and blusterer
whose every arrival is a raid.

Love made the bird no gentler
nor him who loved less gentle.
Still, still the wild blue feather
brings my mild father.

If you're interested, I've posted Robert Francis poems twice before, here and here.

Please check out the poetry happenings being rounded-up by Irene at Live Your Poem.

October 11, 2016

Haiku Sticky #379

This year a number of people on Facebook shared a a Columbus cartoon from The Oatmeal. I urge you to take a look at it and read it, including the notes at the end. It explains a connection to American history that most of us probably haven't heard--Columbus's role in the slave trade. It is not a pretty picture.

I'll never think of Columbus Day in the same way. The artist who put together the Columbus Day cartoon offers up some alternative titles for the October federal holiday. I'd like to offer this one, "Truth and Justice Day."

It's a long introduction to today's senryu (a poem like a haiku, but about human nature rather than Nature):

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Recently I've been reading two new adult books of fiction that take a look at slavery. They are The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Of the two, Homegoing had a greater impact on me. I highly recommend it for book group discussions. Although The Underground Railroad is an "Oprah book," and on the list of finalists for National Book Awards, I can't recommend it with the same level of enthusiasm, but, it, too, will make for a great discussion.

October 9, 2016

Happy Haiga Day!

An ekphrastic ditty for today!

"Bassin de Trianon à l'Automne" by Henri Le Sidaner, courtesy The Athenaeum.

October 7, 2016

Poetry Friday--Random Thoughts

The significance of this presidential election occupies my thoughts much too much. Writing poems doesn't seem to be an option at this time. One month to go before the anxiety either subsides completely or begins to grow exponentially. Until then, I'm digging through old poems to fill the void. This tanka was written on October 3, 2010 and I used it for today with a photo I had taken back in 2009. My blueberry bush was particularly colorful that year.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

The photo, uncropped, was also in this haiga from 2010:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

For the Poetry Friday Round-Up you must visit Violet Nesdoly / poems, she's waiting for you! Have a great weekend!

October 4, 2016

October 2, 2016

Happy Haiga Day!

September is already gone, so I figured I'd better post this one before the winter is here and the squirrels will be looking for those acorns they left behind on the stairs!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.