Featuring cherita!

December 31, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

I haven't been writing much of late due to a variety of things, so I went looking through my files for something old that would work for today. I found this poem I wrote in January 2009.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. 1911 postcard courtesy SMU Central University Libraries.



new year's eve
dark chocolate
made-for-tv movie
cat's body stuck
in the shopping bag handle

happy endings
for all

I rarely use a centered format for my poems, and I didn't for "Finis," but it looks much better if centered within the circle in this illustration.

Have a good New Year's Eve, and healthy and happy 2018. To those of you experiencing this spell of Arctic weather, please stay warm and bring your animals indoors!

December 29, 2017

Poetry Friday--Heading into 2018

Photo of Ella Wheeler Wilcox from Poems of Reflection, 1905.

This year can't be finished fast enough for me. I pray that 2018 will be better than 2017 has been, but I have my doubts.
The Year
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

The above poem matches my mood. I used to say I was an eternal optimist, but much of that has been beaten out of me by the events of the past year. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, too, seems to have been of two minds. She also wrote a poem titled, "Optimism."

I'm no reformer; for I see more light
Than darkness in the world; mine eyes are quick
To catch the first dim radiance of the dawn,
And slow to note the cloud that threatens storm.
The fragrance and the beauty of the rose
Delight me so, slight thought I give its thorn;
And the sweet music of the lark's clear song
Stays longer with me than the night hawk's cry.
And e'en in this great throe of pain called Life,
I find a rapture linked with each despair,
Well worth the price of Anguish. I detect
More good than evil in humanity.
Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes,
And men grow better as the world grows old.

Both poems are from Poetical Works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1917.

Which poem reflected the "real" Ella? (I may have to read The Story of a Literary Career by the poet to look for clues.)

Please stop by My Juicy Little Universe where Heidi is rounding up today's poetic offerings. Here's to a 2018 where we will see "More good than evil in humanity."

December 24, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


holiday blessing...
children eye sweets snapping
to at "amen"

December 21, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Time for Santa Claus"

It's time to leave politics aside for a few days and I'm not going to attempt an original poem, it's a day for light-hearted holiday fun.

Here's a "sung-to-the-tune of" song from a collection titled Christmas Entertainment: New Songs to Old Tunes, Fancy Drills, Acrostics, Motion Songs, Tableaux, Short Plays, Recitations in Costume. edited by Alice M. Kellogg (1897).

Time for Santa Claus

by M. Nora Boylan

(To be sung to the tune of "Ta-ra-ra, boom-de-ay.")

Now's the time for Santa Claus;
Christmas comes with loud huzzas.
Hark! the bells! Oh, hear them ring!
Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling.

Chorus.—Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,
Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,
Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,
Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling.

See his prancing reindeer brave,
Hear him tell them to behave—
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen.—Chorus.

Yes, hurrah for Santa Claus!
Blow the trumpets, shout huzzas!
We'll be happy while we sing—
Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling.—Chorus.

On the off-chance you're not familiar with the tune "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay," here's a recording of it sung from the sheet music, which allows you to read along.

The song is reported to have originated in the 1880s in a St. Louis brothel where it was sung by a woman named Mama Lou. It was first publicly performed in Boston for a 1891 musical review called Tuxedo. "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay" became a music hall favorite in England. Considering the tune was adapted for use by American school children by 1897, it must have been fairly popular in the U. S. and had lost its off-color connotation. The tune was resurrected in the late 1940s for the theme song of the children's program, Howdy Doody!

Stop by Buffy's Blog for the Round-Up. Then, let us all be merry! See you next week for the last Poetry Friday of 2017. How can that be?

December 19, 2017

Haiku Sticky #439

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


one week til Christmas
bruises on her forearms
from shopping bags

December 17, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

I found the illustration and the look on Santa's face wrote a cherita for me!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Illustration from St. Nicholas magazine, 1909.


December 2017

what gifts to bring
this year?

Dear Santa letter
from America with a note
of despondency

December 15, 2017

Poetry Friday--The Round-Up is Here!

Yes, indeed, the Round-Up is here! Welcome and be sure to leave your links below!

I've been drowning in political discussion and sometimes my poems have a political point to make, but, for the Round-Up I promised to keep my poem non-political. One of the suggestions I received last week was to write a poem about women; another was to write about celebrations.

As suggested, I've written a poem of women. I've been reading a novel that has a saint in it. I'm not a believer, but I am fascinated by the stories of saints. I've used a few over the years as subjects (to see them, click here). The Thérèse in this poem is St. Thérèse of Lisieux:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


The Odor of Sanctity

With little Thérèse's final
consumptive breath a scent
of roses diffused through
her chamber. It was recognized
as the odor of sanctity.

Today we might recognize
the scent as something a crazy
lady who heard serpents
hissing in her ears would purchase
at the dollar store in a can.

It isn't exactly a celebration, is it? If you're looking for me the explain it, you're out of luck. It began as one thing and ended up as something else. As Umberto Eco said, "The author may not interpret. But he must tell why and how he wrote his book." I've told you the why and how of my poem, so the interpretation is up to you.

Ready for more poetry? Check out the links below. (I apologize to the earlier linkers, I had the wrong settings. I fixed it, I believe.)

December 12, 2017

Haiku Sticky #438

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


only my cup of tea
can be predicted

This is a senryu, that is, a haiku-like poem about human nature as opposed to Nature. I hope the women of Alabama realize the power they hold in their hands to effect the future of their daughters (not to mention the country in general). I don't dare predict the outcome.

December 10, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


all the old patterns

December 8, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Lemon Pie"

Last Friday, at A Year of Reading, Mary Lee noted that the Round-Up for today was going to be hosted by Lisa at Steps and Staircases. Lisa issued a challenge for this week
Hello poetry friends! The topic/prompt I want to suggest for the December 8 Poetry Friday Roundup is either/and: Respond to "When Life Gives You Lemons..." or write a poem using an object/making a drawing, as Amy Krouse Rosenthal did with a lemon drop. If your poem can be expressed visually through a picture or drawing--like Amy Krouse Rosenthal's "When Life Gives You Lemon Drops"--I would love to post everyone's visuals.

Here is my response:

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


Lemon Pie

We will not regress.
We will not become
a nation of either black
truffle risotto, or,
black beans and rice.

We will progress.
We will all proffer
our plates for a thick
slice of meringue pie
made from the lemons

that we have diligently
planted picked packed
shipped shelved selected
bought or bagged, and
brought to our kitchens

to juice, mix, and bake
into the pastries we
share as is our right as
civilized human beings.
We all need dessert!

I went looking for lemon images before starting to write, and when I found the label for Progressive brand lemons, a poem began to take shape!

Next week I'm hosting the Round-Up and I promise not to post anything political. I admit, it will be difficult, but perhaps you can give me something to write about? I'm open to all suggestions! See you next Friday, if not before!


Those of you who live in the United States: net neutrality is in danger! You have a week in which to make your voice heard. Please do so BEFORE December 14! Click here to get started.

If you have no idea what net neutrality means, here's a video from Hank Green that explains it fairly well. The problem of maintaining net neutrality is still ongoing three years after Green's "debate" video, although the comment dates are no longer current.

December 5, 2017

Haiku Sticky #437

This haiku was written last December during Mary Lee Hahn's first #haikuforhealing challenge. I'm trying to write a haiku a day during December for this year's challenge. I may or may not post any of them because I don't seem to feel much healing going on, and any of last year's hopes have mostly slipped away. If I do post any, it will be for an occasional Haiku Sticky or Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


the warmth
of a cat's breath
December dawn

December 3, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


autumn stroll

a poem
unexpectedly birthed

she recites it
to herself before the muse
can reclaim it

December 1, 2017

Poetry Friday--Chickens on the Loose!

Children's writer, and my dear friend, Andrea Murphy, is the teaching director at Hogarth Country Day School (preschool). On the 6th of November she posted a photo of her little students gazing out the front door of the school, enthralled by two beautiful Wyandotte chickens. She assumed their owner would notice they were missing and attempt to locate them. Two weeks later they were still hanging out at the school eating the last of bugs and seeds in the garden. No one had come forward to claim them, and so, with the help of students' parents, the two fowl were finally captured and taken off to a new home before winter snows arrived.

I asked Andrea to share her photos with me and I've written a tanka and a little ditty to go with them.

Photo © Andrea Murphy, used with permission. Tanka © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


the welcome mat still
at our door
despite the ever shifting
direction of country winds

Photo, © Andrea Murphy, used with permission. Poem, © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.



How many borders
did Gallus gallus cross
before he was welcomed
as domesticus?

Gallus gallus is accepted as the progenitor of today's domesticated chickens, Gallus gallus domesticus.

Mary Lee will be hosting the Round-Up this week at A Year of Reading. Be sure to stop by and have a day filled with poetry.

November 28, 2017

Haiku Sticky #436

This is wishful thinking. I'm hoping to be finished by December 1 with the large batch of turkey chili made with the Thanksgiving turkey carcass! (Actually, some went into the freezer, so it may be months!)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


December 1
the pot of turkey chili
finally gone

November 26, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


first morning walk
the expectation of
meeting a cat

November 24, 2017

Poetry Friday--"America = The Bottom Line"

On Sunday, I came across a Facebook post from Paula Poundstone:

Paula has a point. Americans are gullible consumers. This led me to thinking about how corporations can change Americans' thinking about what is good and what is good-for-you. They wheedle us into thinking that what is good can also be good-for-us. For corporations, it's all about the bottom line. They exist to make money, not to make us healthy. If they make a product cheaply, sell it to a gullible population, and get that population to crave the product so that they buy more, then the corporations' bottom lines increase.

When I was young, not many outside of immigrant communities had ever heard of yogurt--a fermented dairy product. In New York where I grew up, Dannon made simple yogurt products--plain, strawberry, prune (don't turn up your nose, it was my favorite), and that was about it. Then in the 1980s yogurt started to take off. Flavors were added. Its popularity grew. One day, 8 oz. containers turned into 6 oz. containers and were sold for the same price. Then 6 oz. was reduced to 5.3 oz. The flavored yogurts soon came to include choices with chocolate bits, candies, crushed cookies, and other add-ins. A whole new market was added for even smaller, "baby-sized portions" for babies and toddlers made with "organic" ingredients. When the initial yogurt market was saturated, "Greek-style" yogurt came to light. Twice as much in price, but Americans were getting more protein! Any potential protein benefit, though, was negated by upping the sugary add-ins.

As I said, corporations are out to make money. So, here we are, you're privy to yet another rant. I've also ranted in poetry, below, and you can blame it on Paula Poundstone!
America = The Bottom Line

"Sugar gave rise to the slave trade; now sugar has enslaved us." Jeff O'Connell, Sugar Nation

The corporate monster,
spying a borderline
healthy food, rejiggers
it with sugars and corn syrup.

Markets it as good-for-you.

The food, in a mere
twinkling, has been turned
into candy--highly addictive.

Highly profitable.

Breakfast cereal was
marshmallowed, dried
fruits gummy-beared.

Irresistible to kids.

The granola bar was
festooned with caramel,
spangled with chocolate bits.

Reintroduced as The Energy Bar.

Sugar too, has a new first
name--Organic. Therefore,
it must be good for you!
Cravings need not be denied.

America loves it!

The Bottom Line loves it, too.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

The Black Friday edition of the Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place at Carol's Corner. Be sure to stop by!

November 21, 2017

Haiku Sticky #435

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


two cats:
their perceived hunger

November 19, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


a fall poem...
its lines not rhyming
but rimed

November 17, 2017

Poetry Friday--Thanksgiving Rerun

In 2010 I did a post on the women of the Mayflower, and then in 2013, I posted an ekphrastic poem inspired by an iconic painting of the "The First Thanksgiving, 1621" by Jean-Leon Gerome Ferris [circa 1915]. I'm going to post the painting and poem again today so that we don't forget the women of history. Of the 30 adult women who traveled on the Mayflower, only four survived the first winter!

Painting by Jean-Leon Germone Ferris, courtesy The Athenaeum.
Dear Mr. Ferris:

Re: your painting titled
"The First Thanksgiving, 1621"

We, the women of Plymouth
were not glowing with health.
Nor, were we given to smiling.
Yet, you portray us as robust,
clean, and gracious hostesses.

Rather, viscera from all manner
of wild creatures stained our dress.
Our scarred hands were burned,
swollen, cracked and bleeding.
We silently wept with pain, fatigue.

We cooked and served as was
our lot, while the stink of bear-
greased savages filled our noses
making us gag. Our own men, too,
had a noxious stink about them--fear.

Some may have given thanks
that day, but it was not the women.
Therefore, we write to urge you to
take up brush and palette once more.
Do not give us beauty, give us truth.

The four who had the misfortune not to
have perished in the year of our Lord, 1621

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
I have a tee-shirt with "Writing women back into history" on the front. It's something I'm trying to do and I hope you are too. [Note: the shirt was purchased a few years ago from the National Women's History Project. It no longer seems to be available, but there are still "Writing women back into history" posters and banners.]

Visit Jane at Raincity Librarian for this week's Round-Up.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

November 14, 2017

Haiku Sticky #434

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


nearly Thanksgiving
a feast of roses covered
with snow

November 12, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


November morning
cold nose, hands, and toes
but, oh, the frost

November 10, 2017

Poetry Friday--Haiga Gallery Musings

For the month of November, at The Haiku Foundation website, my haiku with illustrations are featured in the THF Haiga Galleries. I want to thank Jim Kacian and The Haiku Foundation for allowing me to share my work with an audience different from my Poetry Friday peeps.

Here's one of the haiga that is a favorite. Why? Because I can imagine a man and his dog, outside after a long winter, meeting up with other fresh-air starved people and dogs. It is a colorful and playful scene that makes me happy!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

On The Haiku Foundation home page the announcement went:
This month’s featured artist is Diane Mayr.
This is the first public recognition of my work having been done by an "artist," despite the many times I've said it myself in an effort to boost my confidence. Believe me, the outside acknowledgement is sweet.

So, how did I win this honor of being featured? I read the following in the Gallery section, "Would you like us to consider your work for a Haiga Gallery? Contact us for details." I had amassed a fair number of haiga, so I thought I'd email and see what was involved. I was certainly surprised when I got a reply that basically said, "we have an opening in two months." OMG! I was only inquiring! Now what? I would need to submit about 30 haiga. Do I turn down the invitation? Right away, the devil on my shoulder started whispering, "What a fraud, you are. The jig is up!"

It sure seemed that the jig was up, but I wasn't going to miss an opportunity that fell into my lap. I told the shoulder guy to put a sock in it!

I've never assembled a collection. How would I organize it? Was there a specific topic I could build upon? Many, many haiku collections are arranged seasonally, but I didn't want that to be the only theme. Could I do one season--autumn--since the collection would be posted in November? Nope, I didn't have enough.

I spent a lot of time going through my files and trying to find something to pin a theme on. After a while, it was obvious--animals. I had cat haiga, dog haiga, bird haiga, bug haiga, etc.

The THF Haiga Galleries collections aren't titled other than with the poet's name, but for myself I titled the collection, "Feline, Canine, Equine, Swine (and More)."

Since it is The Haiku Foundation's gallery, I eliminated small poems, but I did pick a few related forms like tanka and cherita.

I narrowed it down to about 50 possibilities.

I tried to keep a balance of animals, but of course, cats and dogs had a tendency to dominate. I wasn't always successful with the balance in the gallery. In spots you will notice I have two insect haiga together, two bird ones, two ones on walks, etc.

I tried to arrange them following the passage of a year, that is, January to December. That was a little easier, except for the ones that really didn't have a particular place in the year.

I finally asked two co-workers to pick out their favorites, so I could get an idea of what had general appeal.

It was tough making all the decisions needed! I have a heightened appreciation for anthologists like Lee Bennett Hopkins who deal with such decisions on a daily basis!

Make sure you visit Jama's Alphabet Soup and catch this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

November 7, 2017

Haiku Sticky #433

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


dashboard clock
wrong for four months
daylight saving time

November 5, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


rental restriction

line her shelves

cross-stitch project
brings another pet home
to the apartment

November 2, 2017

Poetry Friday--Goodbye October

In a flash, October has come and gone. Before we move on into November, I wanted to share the postcards I sent to four people in Amy Souza's October Spark postcard challenge. (To learn more about Spark, click here.)

We were free to create an art postcard of our choosing. No topics were assigned, but, I like to work around a theme. I think I'd have to say that the results are all about ORANGE, although they began as an exploration of the topic of "pumpkins."

A tanka:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


at first light
a breakfast table
laid with a cloth of
orange polka dots

A haiku:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


November 1
neighbor's compost heap
now with grins

A tanka:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


grown to fulfil
its holiday destiny
alive tonight with the aid
of an artificial heart

This next haiku was inspired by a favorite old picture book, Mousekin's Golden House, by Edna Miller:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


November 1
the field mouse's treat
a day late

I hope I haven't hurt anyone's eyes or sensibilities with all the orange! I can guarantee I will never use orange in quantities such as this ever again!

Head over to Teacher Dance where Linda is hosting the Round-Up this week. Linda had posted a photo on Facebook last week of a squirrel nibbling on a jack-o-lantern. Old pumpkins can provide a treat for many little creatures.

October 31, 2017

Haiku Sticky #432

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Skype meeting
a fly traverses
the woman in blue

October 29, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


trip to the orchard

we see pumpkins
growing on a tree

how easy it is
to ignore twisted wires
when you want to believe

October 26, 2017

Poetry Friday--Highlights of Highlights

Last week I attended the Highlights Foundation workshop, "The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children." In all honesty, I was there for the craft, but over the five days spent in PA, I found a lot of heart. Laughter and friendship came easily to the group of attendees, which included instructors Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard. Charles Waters was there as workshop assistant. The poetry anthologist extraordinaire, Lee Bennett Hopkins, talked to us from FL via Skype. We also had a helpful session with Boyds Mills Press/Wordsong senior editor, Rebecca Davis. I reacquainted myself with friends from past conferences, retreats, and blogs: Pamela Ross, Linda Baie, and Janet Fagal. If you didn't know it already, children's writers are a kind and generous bunch!

Here are a few photos:

My cabin! Each person had his/her own room.

Meals were awesome! And snacks were available all day long.

Our instructors, Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard.

Lee Bennett Hopkins in a Skype Q & A.

Yours truly between Georgia and Rebecca.

Poet friends Vicki Wilke, me, Linda Baie, and Janet Fagal.

Pamela Ross took this selfie of the two of us. I guess you can say we glow!

Poets are great ones for taking pictures! From the quality of this one, perhaps I should stick to words!

Rocks from the word garden. I took other non-people photos that I plan to use for future illustrated poems such as this cherita:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

We had one chilly morning and I found the frosted picnic table complete with handprint outside the dining hall!


early morning walk

the children's poet
on the lookout for ideas

her words come
as a Thanksgiving ditty
gobble gobble gobble

I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath for me to share the secrets of poetry. Here's what I learned:

1. Find your poem's real beginning. It's probably not where you thought is was!

2. Hone your poem! Sharpen your vocabulary and then cut, cut, cut everything that is unnecessary.

3. Surprise your reader. Think unexpected. In other words, avoid cliché. (I almost wrote, "like the plague.")

I'm sure others came away with different secrets, which I hope they will share.

My neighbor to the south (in MA), Brenda, is hosting this week's pre-Halloween Round-Up at Friendly Fairy Tales. Have a great weekend and remember the candy is for the trick-or-treaters!

October 24, 2017

Haiku Sticky #431

I don't generally write with similes and metaphors as haiku writers write about what a thing really is, not what it is "like."

Rhytisma acerinum, tar spot fungus, is too good a metaphor to ignore. This summer, foliage on the trees in New England started showing black blotches, with leaves beginning to fall unseasonably early. I suspect it also had a hand in the sedate colors we're now seeing. It's almost as if the trees, too, are being affected by the miasma of 2017 America.

Leaves from my yard. The spots on the maple leaf in the middle are highly visible. In the summer, when the leaf is green and the spots are freshly black, the designation "tar" is particularly fitting.

The condition is mostly cosmetic. A Wikipedia entry states, "the most important practice is to keep a clean yard and remove as much debris as possible." I think we also need to clean up our political yard and definitely get rid of one particularly nasty spore.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


we feel the black
spread beyond the leaves
tar spot fungus

October 22, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

Halloween is a week away. If you're looking for a simple costume, go as he-who-shall-not-be-named. A white shirt, a red tie, tan-in-a-tube, a little white make-up for around the eyes, and a yellow wig. Or, a rubber mask would do the trick. (There are some who'd advise against such a costume; read more here.)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


costume shopping
yellow wigs and self-tanners
all sold out

October 20, 2017

Poetry Friday--I'm Back!

I wasn't going to post today, but Linda Baie's post kind of shamed me into it. Linda and I, Janet Fagal, Pamela Ross, Charles Waters, and about a dozen others, attended the 2017 Highlights "The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children," with Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Suffice it to say, it was wonderful and inspiring. However, it will take a bit of time to incorporate some of what I learned. In my case, it may take me off onto avenues I've not taken before--think rhyme, poetic devices, etc. Here's a senryu, featuring a leaf I took a picture of to demonstrate a species-identifying app on my phone! Not the prettiest leaf, but against the gray-brown of the woodland path it does stand out, and, it provided me with a apt metaphor!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


finding colors
hidden under the green
...poetry workshop

If you haven't already, please visit A Day in the Life for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

October 15, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

A cherita for today. There will be no posts until next Sunday as I will be attending the Highlights "The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children 2017" workshop. If I had been on the ball, I would have prepared Tuesday's sticky and the Poetry Friday post ahead of time, but I'm not exactly well-balanced this week! See you next Sunday!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


as I fall asleep

a snippet of a jingle
long forgotten

a melody easy
to recall but the words
barely break through

October 13, 2017

Poetry Friday--I Can't Get No Satisfaction!

Last Friday's post was a poem titled, "Early October." I had written and illustrated it the weekend prior. By the time Friday came along, I had grown to dislike the poem. This seems to be a pattern with me of late.

Here is a short poem flower poem I made into a haiku sticky in late September:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Goldenrod, cinquefoil,
beggerticks, buttercups,
hawkweed, goatsbeard.
It's as if autumn seized
the summer sun to parcel
out to delirious bees.

Although I liked the poem, it didn't relay the sense of urgency I felt coming from the bees now that fall has arrived. So, I approached the topic of autumn again and recycled the delirious bees to come up with "Early October" for last Friday.

Here's the text:

Early October

An underlying hum
from the delirium
of a hundred honeybees.

A brief period when
golden light portends
chilly changes on the breeze.

White and muted pastel
wildflowers foretell
fashions for winter fairies.

Early ends to the days
find diligence gives way
to woollies, poems, and teas.

It struck me as less than satisfactory. I began to feel I had unnecessarily attached three stanzas to my bees stanza. So, on Sunday I reposted "Early October" as a one stanza mini-poem.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. If you have a full-size screen, click on the image to enlarge it and see how many bees you find.


Early October

An underlying hum
from the delirium
of a hundred honeybees.

Going back to the original "Early October" poem I found the last stanza was awkward and cliched. It had to go! But, I liked the idea of the third stanza with it's winter fairy fashions. I rewrote it as a cherita. [A cherita is an untitled poem of three stanzas. The first stanza is one line and sets a scene. The second stanza is two lines and the third stanza is three lines. The cherita tells a little story.]

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


October wildflowers

white and muted pastels
less garish than summer's blooms

their color palette
will be borrowed for winter's
fairy fashions

I was left with the second stanza. I didn't hate it, so I tried to rewrite it as a simple haiku. I got hung up on using metaphor. Haiku doesn't use simile and metaphor. If I wanted to use a poetic device, I could write it as a tanka:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


shadows lengthen
while days grow short
October light
through its golden warp
are woven threads of silver

I ended up revisiting that last stanza, which I thought wasn't worth salvaging, but, you can always find a haiku if you look close enough.

with my cup of tea
a poem

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Thanks for reading this far. I think I'm finally finished! I hope you'll visit Live Your Poem where Irene is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.