Featuring cherita!

May 28, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

After seeing what I refer to as "the push heard round the world," I dug up this illustrated poem that I hadn't posted before because I had grown tired of posting poems of repugnance and recompense.

The repugnancy, unbelievably, continues to increase, and really, some sort of payback is necessary for all the damage done to our country's reputation. If you saw the video, you couldn't help but note that the featherless peacock looked clueless standing in the crowd of legitimate leaders.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


The Emperor

is not a suit an emperor
can have tailor made.
The nakedness of
his insecurity
results in barely
suppressed giggles.
Giggles lead to guffaws.
And where might
guffaws lead?

May 25, 2017

Poetry Friday--2017 Mass Poetry Festival Review, Part 2

Today's review consists of a writing exercise that was made available to all at the 2017 Mass Poetry Festival, and, some photos.

Many of the festival's events were held at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), and in the atrium area near the cafeteria, something different is featured each year. In the past there has been a typewriter orchestra performance, reading of "bad poetry" contest winning poems, chalk drawing and other crafty ideas. This year, Montserrat College of Art set up a flower vendor's cart with free paper flowers (the stem was a pencil). It was both a writing prompt and a souvenir of the festival.

How clever is this?

The instructions are:
Write a poem that begins: After the rain it all looked different. Make sure your poem contains specific details about the landscape, the glistening, the spring flowers, and perhaps the mood of the speaker.

Here is my poem. You will notice it is all about the mood of the speaker! After avoiding several cars plowing through puddles, I was slightly jaded about the rain. No stinkin' glistening flowers for me! (And maybe I was a little influenced by current events?)


After the rain
it all looked different.
Now the drivers
deliberately drove their
cars through puddles.
Pedestrians splashed
became the goal in a game
that requires minimal
skill but maximum

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Since Salem is such a walkable city, and I did a fair amount of walking, I thought I'd also share a few photos that have nothing to do with the festival, but simply show the city's unexpected delights found between the raindrops.

Glamor shots for wannabe witches.

Shop window display.

My favorite find! Note his shark bicycle helmet!

Don't even think about pouring your stale beer down this street drain!

The PEM is undergoing construction of an addition, so the museum is advertising current and upcoming exhibitions on Jersey barriers in front of the site. The horror movie posters exhibit looks like fun, but if you want to see it, you'd better go in August. When September comes along, Salem turns into tourist-central and parking is at a minimum at least until mid-November.

A little passive aggressive, don't you think?

This photo was taken last year, but I imagine the scene is still the same, although I didn't pass this particular building on my recent visit.

It rained on and off all festival weekend, yet somehow, I managed to miss "Raining Poetry." You'll have to read about it here.

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche will be hosting the Round-Up this week. I believe school is out now for Margaret, I hope she has a great summer! (And you, too!)

May 23, 2017

Haiku Sticky #410

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


drawn into
another cat video
...missing her

May 21, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


The Cracks

They fear
he will fall
through the cracks
not recognizing
that the cracks
will be what's

May 19, 2017

Poetry Friday--2017 Mass Poetry Festival Review

Two weeks ago I attended the Mass Poetry Festival in Salem, Massachusetts. It's my 7th year attending, if my memory serves well. I make a weekend of it and stay overnight in a B & B even though Salem is less than an hour's drive from home. I really took the opportunity that the rain gave me, to relax and to not be obsessive about packing in as many sessions as possible. Today's post will only hit on a few of the events and activities that I did manage to take in.

The first session I went to had the amusing title, "Doughnuts and Death: A Baker's Dozen of Emily Dickinson's Most Depressing Poems." Actually it was a giant Emily Dickinson gossip session with most of the discussion going to Dickinson's love of Judge Otis Phillips Lord (who was a friend of her father's and two decades older than she).

We were told that the Judge playfully called Emily, "Jumbo." Here's a picture of Judge Lord (it is an engraving from History of Essex County, Massachusetts and obviously is based the photo you can see here.

As for her "most depressing poems," it seems that between the ages of 10 and 25, Emily lived next to a graveyard! No wonder death was addressed in her poetry!

And, speaking of doughnuts, here, Emily has written the recipe for "Kate's Doughnuts."

I definitely have some reading to do on Miss Emily's life!

At a reading by Andrea Cohen and Tom Sleigh I found it fascinating that Tom Sleigh's parents ran a drive-in movie theater. He told us some of what it was like growing up at the drive-in! At times I'm more interested in the poet than the poetry.

I do enjoy humor, and at poetry readings things can get a little angsty, so I made it a point to attend, "Not Without Laughter," a reading from the anthology by the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. The printed program had this to say about the anthology: the work "centered around finding joy, even in the most painful of times." I loved hearing how the women wrote poems in response to each other's poems, too.

Another reading I attended was given by Kazim Ali and Rigoberto Gonzalez. Ali mentioned that he took all his poems and made a text cloud of the most-used words. He next took the text cloud words and put them together to make a new poem. Fascinating!

Each year at the festival there is "The State of Poetry" session held. Here are some tidbits from this year's discussion:
Kazim Ali stressed that his poetry is not political, because "it is my life."

Marie Gauthier said that contemporary poetry is the same as the state of the world, "in complete disarray."

Rigoberto Gonzalez reads poets who went through difficult times to see how they got through. And he thinks that poetry lasts because of the craft.

Elizabeth Powell stated that "we are commodifying each other." And this: "poetry is the Snapchat of literature."

I learned about the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, which is, "a celebration of the meeting of poetry and the visual arts at the intersection of film--poetry movies!" We viewed many of the short films of the past three years. Interestingly, a poet is not allowed to be filmed doing a "reading" of his/her poem. The films are more like illustrated poems. Here's one:

Make your way over to Whispers from the Ridge where the Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted. See you next week when I'll wrap up my Mass Poetry Festival review.

May 16, 2017

Haiku Sticky #409

After days and days and days of rain and dreariness, the sun is out! So, you'll have to excuse this sappy tanka!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


golden bright
the new green lit
by sunlight
songbirds vocalize
with a spring breeze

May 14, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


day moon

she has overslept
yet again

she wipes the sleep
from her eyes but not
the memory

May 11, 2017

Poetry Friday--Not a Mass Poetry Festival Review

I had all intentions of posting a review of last weekend's Mass Poetry Festival, but I just couldn't get it together for this week. Maybe next week...

For today, I have a woodcut project poem from my ongoing series. The poems use woodcut illustrations found in Chap-Books of the Eighteenth Century. I'm still playing with the cherita form. (Cherita is a mini-poem of three stanzas. The first is one line long and sets a scene. The second and third stanzas are two and three lines and tell a story.)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


mid-May afternoon

birds in territorial

the newly coupled
unaware there
are birds

Be sure to head over to A Teaching Life where Tara is the Round-Up hostess with the mostess.

May 9, 2017

Haiku Sticky #408

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


not a sparrow
in sight yet every bush

May 7, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

Very late with this one! The photo was taken today, outside the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA, after attending a session at the Mass Poetry Festival. The poem was also written today!

You know things have gone too far when you question the motives of someone planting orange flowers. I have to learn to disassociate the color orange from one particular political person!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


orange pansies...
the color receives
a reprieve

May 4, 2017

Poetry Friday--Spark Postcard Exchange

The month of April saw another art postcard exchange organized by Amy Souza of SPARK: Art from Writing: Writing from Art. The exchange takes place between the quarterly SPARK challenges. (The next SPARK challenge will take place in May, I encourage you to participate!) For April I wrote two senryu (haiku format, but about human nature rather than Nature), and two cherita (a story told in three stanzas of 1, 2, 3 lines), and illustrated them digitally. In the past I decided upon a theme. In January, my theme was "tea," for October 2016, I used "October," last July, I used "endless summer heat." This time, I couldn't find a theme, so I wrote four unrelated poems. Three ended up closely related afterall!


April thoughts

they arrange to meet
in the park...

an antihistamine,
then his fancy can resume
its turning


he buys flowers
...she does not mention
it's the wrong day


morning sun

a spider's web
dripping with dew

only for a moment
does he hesitate
to brush it away


shasta daisy--
Fibonacci gets me to
"he loves me"

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I'm heading out to the Mass Poetry Festival in Salem, MA. I'll be three days immersed in poetry! If I manage to take legible notes, perhaps I'll do a festival review next Friday.

I may not be able to reply to comments left here until I return on Sunday. Jama's Alphabet Soup is hosting the first Round-Up in May, stop by, and then have a great weekend!

May 2, 2017

Haiku Sticky #407

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


lilacs nearly ready...
their fragrance too heady
to last too long