Featuring cherita!

December 30, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

I am so ready to be done with 2018. It's been a horror show. This poem is a cherita terbalik, which is simply a cherita's 1-2-3 lined stanzas rearranged. In the third stanza I've borrowed words and sentiments from Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, March 1861.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo by Andrew Gaines/Unsplash, altered by me.


we've been scorched
by smoldering hellfires...

two thousand nineteen

better angels now requested
to bring fire hooks to break
through to our mystic memories

December 28, 2018

Poetry Friday--Winter Swap

One day last week I opened my mailbox to find an envelope that had come from Australia. I don't believe I had ever received mail from Australia before. It turned out to be part of the 2018 Winter Swap organized by Tabatha Yeatts. My swap partner is Kat Apel of katswhiskers.

Inside was a packet of materials tied up in a yellow ribbon. The first thing I noticed was the little notes that instructed me to complete the puzzle first.

Ta dah!

Text of Kat's cherita:

random noodling

to savour

a three-course
for the senses

© Kat Apel, all rights reserved, used with permission.

I appreciate that Kat found a photo of a noodle-eating lady, similar to the cover photo at the top of my blog.

[Here's another group of Geisha enjoying their soba noodles that is part of a collection of images posted by Okinawa Soba (Rob):

For more Geisha images, check out the Flickr album of Okinawa Soba (Rob).]

Beside the puzzle, Kat included a mounted and laminated copy of the puzzle poem, and another mounted piece, a colorful photo of birds-- "We stick together 'cause we're birds of a feather." Both pieces will be used as bookmarks in my house, for sure.

Also in my swap packet was a fun cat mask. I decided to model it for you. As you can see, I am lacking in selfie skills! This is the least bad photo of the ones I took!

Thanks again, Kat, for your kindness and your spirit of fun!

On this last Poetry Friday of 2018, Donna is hosting the Round-Up at Mainely Write, but, she's really in Pennsylvania. Happy New Year everyone!

December 25, 2018

Haiku Sticky #484

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


unexpected gift:
a pine scented tree for
her rearview mirror

December 23, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


after the solstice...
today warmer or just
wishful thinking?

December 18, 2018

Haiku Sticky #483

A flock of birds landed in the backyard causing the cat to hyperventilate. I barely had time to focus on an individual bird, no less look it up to see what it was, before the whole group up and left.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


migrating flock...
not grounded long enough
to look up its name

December 16, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Christmas rush
...on a field near the mall
geese glean

December 11, 2018

Haiku Sticky #482

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


lukewarm tea...
the heat of her words
in this cold room

December 9, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Msyr, all rights reserved.


snack time over...
sweeping up random
body parts

December 7, 2018

Poetry Friday--Spark 39

The latest Spark challenge ended last Friday. Up until recently, I've participated as an "artist," but this time round, of the people signing up for the challenge, more were artists than writers, so, I agreed to partner as a writer.

My partner is artist, Mary Hill, and the piece she sent to me is mixed media. I received permission from Mary to post her pieces. Thank you, Mary!

Here is the inspiration piece, "Purple and Gold Landscape 2":

© Mary Hill, all rights reserved.

When I received the file by email, the fires in California were still blazing and in the news, so my mind went immediately to that. The National Climate Assessment was issued a day or two after I received my inspiration piece, and that, too, factored into my response:
Paradise, 2018: a pair of cherita

"It will take a while. But it will get better. It always does." Eyewitness to the Camp Fire, California, November 2018

if we squint we see

the flames of a wild
fire as an aura--

a god's adoring smile
a land and people blessed
a tempering of our souls

optical delusions

radiance mistaken for
divinity still blinds

with eyes nearly closed we
can only blame ourselves
for descending into darkness

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I sent Mary a cherita from my files as an inspiration piece:
packing to go

no room in
the cardboard boxes

what remains to pack
needs only the space
between her ears

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Here's Mary's delightful response, "Done with moving: Relaxing":

© Mary Hill, all rights reserved.

Consider taking part in the next quarterly Spark round--I know many Poetry Friday peeps are writers or illustrators.

Elizabeth Steinglass is hosting today's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Be sure to stop by!

December 4, 2018

Haiku Sticky #481

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


lunch with co-workers
...round table discussion
of crab Rangoon

December 2, 2018

Not-So-Happy Haiga Day

I was never a fan of the Bush presidencies, but I did appreciate that George H. W. Bush was a caring man. The tributes that have come out since his death Friday night, have only served to reinforce that. Surprisingly, news about our current leader took a back seat for a time. (A blessed respite, but too short.)

The following cherita is, unfortunately, more of an rant against he-whose-name-shall-not-be-spoken, than a tribute to a late president. It stands as an example of how my poetry has been tainted. I am sick of the bitterness--make that hatred--that he-whose-name-blah-blah-blah has brought into my life.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


"...what the hell was that by the way?"

the contrast so clearly
drawn by a death

it's the soulless that fail
to understand the meaning of
a thousand points of light

The first line is from a July 2018 political rally (only a few months after Barbara Bush's death, I might add). Here's the full quote:
The thousand points of light, what the hell was that by the way? Thousand points of light, what did that mean, does anyone know? I know one thing, Make America Great Again we understand. Putting America first, we understand. Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out? And it was put out by a Republican, wasn’t it?

November 30, 2018

Poetry Friday--And So It Begins

The rush toward the holidays has begun. For some, though, the season of joy is exactly the opposite.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


late November 2018

decreased daylight, rain, cold,
and, oh, the state of the world

a surfeit of tears
at the sound of a carol
the squish of a bug

The blues can do a number on you. Sit under a therapeutic light, wrap yourself in a fuzzy sweater, brew a pot of tea, stay away from the news. Cry if you need to. Just remember, after December 21, the days will get longer again. The holiday rush will slow to a halt. And, after December 25, holiday chocolate will be "priced to go!" Stock up!

Visit Carol's Corner for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up--you may find poetry is even better than chocolate!

November 27, 2018

Haiku Sticky #480

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


November rain
a shiver with each drop
that streaks the window

November 25, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Black Friday...
only in the market for
a poem that fits

November 20, 2018

Haiku Sticky #479

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


mince pie...
once a year a friend

November 18, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. "Black and White Cat" by Henriette Ronner-Knip.


cat ready for breakfast

its stare ultimately

then the nip behind
the knee--its intent
not to be denied

November 16, 2018

Poetry Friday--Probably Not What You Were Expecting

I'm sure you were expecting yet another haiku or cherita, or maybe one of my Robin Hood poems--surprise! None of the above.

There are people who have a visceral effect to images of spiders, so, if you are one, it's probably best to leave right now.

The following video supposedly went viral last week on the internet. I can understand why! It is amazing. And utterly fascinating!

As you can understand if you've watched it, the spider video has been spreading under the name, "dog head spider." I find the name a little sinister, don't you? Bunny Harvestman, its "real" name, takes my imagination to innocuous springtime themes.

So, without further ado, although it's nearly Thanksgiving, let's celebrate Easter!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. The illustration is a mash-up of several public domain images.


Prep Work

Teeny tiny jelly beans in
flavors exotic or plain
picked by bunny harvesters
in sun or in the rain
fill the empty spaces
between your Easter treats
of dark chocolate eggs
and marshmallow Peeps®.

I imagine a whole crew of bunny-headed spiders, working for the Easter Bunny, harvesting jelly beans from beanstalks, and then dropping them into waiting baskets. I see the spiders' webs and silk functioning like cranea in a shipyard.

A word about the rhyme. I know "treats" and "Peeps®" are slightly off. I would have been better served using "treats" and "sweets," but, I'm a big Peeps® fan, and those little yellow marshmallow blobs are my Easter candy of choice. (Unfortunately, Peeps® have been so heavily promoted over the past few years for every holiday and poor-excuse-for-a-holiday, that they are no longer something to look forward to. But, I digress...)

I'll probably kick myself next April when I have to scrounge around for an Easter post!

Linda at Teacher Dance will undoubtedly have more seasonally appropriate poetry links today at the Poetry Friday Round-Up!

November 13, 2018

Haiku Sticky #478

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Armistice Day

the children wave
their flags eagerly

with equal innocence
an eager wind sets dying
leaves to waving goodbye

November 11, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

The trees are now nearly bare and the cat can stop being on guard against leaves flying past her window. Windy days are quite exhausting.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


old cat
vision fading
awaits the end of wind-tossed leaves
so she can rest
once more

November 8, 2018

Poetry Friday--Introducing the Robin Hood

It's been a crazy year, and I'm so glad that the frenzy of Election Day is over.

I had been particularly bothered by the constant labeling of the media as "fake" or as "the enemy of the people." I thought about how easy it had become to dismiss the watchdog of democracy. Then I thought about what would happen after the press had been devitalized. Would libraries--books--art be targeted next?

In order to distract myself, I played with form. I wanted to write a short poem of hope. A 3-line senyru (haiku form but about human nature) wasn't going to be long enough. I had enjoyed writing a poem using a form that Margaret Simon introduced to us last month called an octaiku (2-4-8-2-4 syllables), but I was looking for slightly more complexity. What I ended up with is something I'm calling a "Robin Hood."

I developed the following rules for a Robin Hood:
subject should be determination, persistence, opposition, survival, etc.

no title

2-4-8-4-2 syllables (the reader should see it as an arrowhead)

punctuation and capitalization is optional
In old Robin Hood movies, Robin showed off his archer prowess by hitting a bullseye and then aiming a second arrow at the same spot. Robin Hood's second arrow was so accurate, it hit the exact same spot as the first, splitting the shaft of the first arrow. That shot became known as a "Robin Hood." I have named my form "Robin Hood," since the arrow of endurance splits the arrow of whatever adversity besets the human heart/natural spirit. Does that make sense to anyone other than me?


words we
can commit to
memory may be rewritten...
yes, hell will be

Here's one, written on Election Day:

two years...
truth and justice,
empathy, kindness, all but gone
we vote!


cold rain
wet fallen leaves
hidden acorns trodden berries
and one cheery

All poems © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Give a Robin Hood a shot (pun intended) and let me know how you do.

It's time to head down to Florida for Michelle's Today's Little Ditty P. F. Round-Up

November 6, 2018

Haiku Sticky #477

I completely missed posting last Tuesday, but this Tuesday is so important, there's no way I'm going to forget. I don't care what you do when you get to the polls--cross your fingers, say a little prayer, or wear your lucky underwear--the important thing is to get to the polling place and VOTE!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


mid-term election
today I almost regret
being atheist

November 4, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

Click on the image to enlarge--you may be able to see one of the pests on a bud near the top of the bloom. © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


the roses of 2018

two years of pests have
had a spotty effect

scars disappear when leaves
fall, but an insidious blight
is at work rotting the roots

November 2, 2018

Poetry Friday--Autumn Rainbow, Part 2

The month of October is over, and with great trepidation I look forward to November. Since the Spark postcard exchange creation period is completed, I am posting the three cards I made for exchange participants. I've worked with a theme of "autumn rainbow," and I posted three colors last week. Here is the rest of the rainbow:


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Autumn in Red

Maple leaves
Dogwood fruit
Crab apples
Burning bush
Sumac drupes


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Dear, Isabella Tiger Moth

Orange and black are the colors you wear
as a creeping crawling woolly bear.

Caterpillar, that is.

One day you spin a cocoon of amber,
then presto change-o! You're a brown tiger!

Moth, that is.

I know real tigers are orange and black
and real bears are often brown.

Dear, Isabella Tiger Moth:
Please switch your outfits around!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


The Impatience of Frost

He warned us it is hard to hold--
the early green that's really gold--
but the gold will persevere.

Had he waited 'til the greens faded,
he would have found the hue fated
to eventually reappear.

If you have a hankering for more poetry, visit Jama's Alphabet Soup for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

October 28, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


autumn leaves

Nature clears
her palette in readiness

for rendering
the world in black and white
and gray

October 26, 2018

Poetry Friday--Autumn Rainbow

I am once again participating in a Spark postcard exchange. The period of time for creating and mailing a postcard is the entire month of October. I won't be posting the three cards I created for the exchange until after October 31 to allow for my postcards to arrive.

My self-imposed theme is "autumn rainbow." I've created three Spark postcards using the colors red, orange, yellow. I wrote three more for today to complete the rainbow--green, blue, and violet (I'll ignore indigo, the poor stepchild of rainbow colors).


I guess I got a little away from the color with this one:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.



Carpets of needles
around evergreens
stand proof
that ever is not
the same as forever.


This one is a photo of a fantastic NH autumn sky. The geese were taken from a old Japanese illustration.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


through the clouds
geese call and respond
...blue blue sky


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


the last to bloom

asters are a fitting end
to the seasonal parade

a final burst of color
when all around is
browning or dead

Kay will be hosting the Round-Up today at A Journey through the Pages!

October 23, 2018

Haiku Sticky #476

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


she empties the box
of one thousand pieces
she'll never complete

October 21, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


fall 2018

measured steps
toward progression

momentarily forestalled
by colorful performances
of a poseur

October 19, 2018

Poetry Friday--A Visit to the Currier

The Currier Museum of Art, in Manchester, NH is a gem of a museum. It is small, but it has grown considerably in the past two decades. One of the reasons I like it is because it is do-able in an afternoon, unlike the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which, with it size, and its crowds, I find to be overwhelming.

Last Saturday I attended a symposium that opened the current exhibit, "Myth and Faith in Renaissance Florence: The Sculpture of Giovan Angelo Montorsoli and His Circle." The exhibit is built around Montosoli's "John the Baptist," a terracotta statue of the saint.

I'll share a few more photos I took at the museum--indoors and out, and, ekphrastic cherita to go along with two of them.

Outside, despite the rain, it was colorful due to "The Blue Trees."
The Currier Museum of Art commissioned artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to create an environmental community art installation, The Blue Trees. With the help of community volunteers, artist Konstantin Dimopoulos temporarily transformed nearly 100 trees at the Currier and in nearby Manchester parks by coloring them with an environmentally safe pigment in a beautiful shade of blue. The Blue Trees installation helps to promote awareness of global deforestation, while enlivening the city with this dynamic community-wide art work. The Blue Trees will slowly return to their natural color over several months.
By time I left the museum, the sun had come out and I was able to snap these:

Cherita © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. "Dancers" by Fernando Botero.


weekend away

inhibitions forgotten
she danced barefoot

it was as if the earth
had sucked the blues
right out her soles

Another featured exhibit is "Ethan Murrow: Hauling."

"Woman Seated in a Chair" by Pablo Picasso and "Spindrift" by Andrew Wyeth:

Now here's a practical piece of art: "Nude Looking Back" by Dan Dailey. It's just a wee bit large for my bedside table, but I wouldn't turn it down if someone offered it to me!

Cherita © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


pile of books to be read

all the scary ones
remain at the bottom

she'll readily admit
that her funky art piece
is really a nightlight

I will probably revisit the Currier soon. I'm looking forward to being inspired!

Please stop by Friendly Fair Tales where Brenda is hosting today's Round-Up.

October 16, 2018

Haiku Sticky #475

Not a haiku! The elections are three weeks from today. We HAVE TO turn out and vote if we ever hope to see our country restored to sanity. We need to change this culture of ignorance and white male privilege. VOTE!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Blue Wave

Imagine a wave
of informed voters.
The power of justice
and equality and fact.
Unstoppable. Imagine.

October 14, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

An illustrated poem for today. "Praying Hands" is a sketch by Albrecht Dürer (1508) and is frequently used in religious organizations' marketing efforts.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


After October 6, 2018

She opens the post office box--
an insurance bill and a mass mailing
from a foreign mission proffering
spiritual enrollment. For a small fee,
coming her way, will be masses, novenas,
a full year's worth of spiritual ejaculations.
More orgasmic intercessions of men?
No thanks
, she thinks, we have Congress.

October 11, 2018

Poetry Friday--Library Discards

For those interested in poetry, one of the best places to discover poets and anthologies is, of course, at a public library. But, I'm sure most librarians will tell you that the poetry section is one of the least used sections in the building.

Libraries have morphed into community centers as opposed to lending libraries and this change has made it imperative that libraries present themselves as attractive. The practice of deaccessioning, a.k.a. weeding--updating the collection by removing books--has become more important. As a public librarian, it is my least favorite thing to do.

If a book of poetry looks old, and, worst of all, if it looks perfectly fine, but no one borrows it, then it goes. Shelf space is valuable--so out with the old, in with the new. We are a consumer society and the new and shiny is what we look for.

With any luck, your public library's discards are put on an ongoing sale table or end up at an annual book sale. Here's where you'll find some wonderful volumes of poetry waiting for you to scoop up and take home--sometimes for pennies.

It is also possible that libraries will sell or give their weeded books and donations to used book stores--real or virtual, and here, too, you'll find poetry winners for little money. I prefer the words inside to the physical form of a book, so I've purchased many used library copies with all their identifying stamps, book pockets, and plastic covers. An old library book may have a story of its own to tell you if you want to take the time to find it!
tucked in the book
receipt from a hotel
I've not visited

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

An old library discard I return to periodically is The Sparrow Bush: Rhymes by Elizabeth Coatsworth with wood engravings by Stefan Martin (© 1966). I snagged it from the "discards-heading-to-the-trash" pile!

Here's a poem from that volume:


Mud in the road and wind in my hair,
Mud in the road and I don't care,
Snow in the shadows, but the fields are all
And a big black crow is cawing.

Pussy willows close to the bough,
Catkins swinging and greening now,
Chickens feeling perky and kicking up a
And a big black crow is cawing.

Sap buckets hanging on our sugar maple tree,
Wild things stirring where no one can see,
I'm waiting for what's going to happen to
And a big black crow is cawing.

Laura at Writing the World for Kids is this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up hostess. Stop by, you'll be glad you did!

October 9, 2018

Haiku Sticky #474

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


bit by bit
maple leaves cover the ground
...a new rose opens

October 7, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

An octaiku for today.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Collections.


sweeping maple's
red leaves before realizing
the act
is pure prayer

October 5, 2018

Poetry Friday--Happy Octopus Month!

Earlier this week Poetry Friday regular, Irene Latham, published a new book titled Love, Agnes: Postcards from an Octopus. On her blog, Irene declared October to be Octopus month and she solicited octopus poems and art from her readers. I sent Irene an illustrated cherita, which may make an appearance at Live Your Poem sometime soon.

I found that writing an octopus poem was fun, so I wrote two more!

Last Friday, Margaret at Reflections on the Teche celebrated the publication of Irene's new book by having her students write octopus poems. One student, Madison, even created a new form, the Octaiku. Madison explains:
"An Octopus form, or, as I like to call it, a Octaiku (A combination of Octopus and Haiku.) The form is 2, 4, 8, 2, 4 because 2 and 4 can go evenly into 8."
I tried my hand at an Octaiku and here is the result:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Original image from The World Book: Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture (1917).


she dwells
in the deep this
creature of agility and
of disguises

I took the liberty of disguising my octopus in rather funky camouflage!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Original image from "Guide leaflet" (1901) of the American Museum of Natural History (1917).


Deep Sea Plural

Our language is a puzzle,
this I can't deny.
Is more than one cephalopod
octopuses or octopi?

I'm a big fan of a book by Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. In it, she tells us the plural of octopus is octopuses, and that's good enough for me. My online Merriam-Webster, though, lists octopuses as well as octopi AND octopodes.

Head over to The Opposite of Indifference where Tabatha is holding the Round-Up today.