Featuring cherita!

June 28, 2018

Poetry Friday--Ekphrasis at the Circus

I know the circus has gotten a bad rap over the last few decades, and deservedly so, if stories of animal abuse are to believed. However, the circus meant a lot to the people of the early 20th century when it provided an escape from everyday life through the promise of spectacular entertainment and exoticism. The circus was dreams and memories, and for that reason, I continue to be fascinated by it.

Today I have more ekphrastic cherita. These have been inspired by paintings with a circus theme. I'll start with a repeat appearance of a cherita I posted during Ekphrastic April.

"Two Children in Front of a Billboard for Grand Cirque" (circa 1930) by Marianne von Werefkin [1860-1938].

not enough saved...

the circus poster
seduces them again

her hand slips into her pocket
to check one more time

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Two new ones:

"Adelaide Yelving in the Circus Ring" (date unknown) by Thérèse Lessore [1884-1945].

behind the illusion

the angel balances
smiling, wings waving

no other joins her
to dance--a rubber ball
is no head of a pin

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

"The Elephant" (1922) by Alice Bailly [1872-1938].

after the circus

downing two aspirin
she heads to bed

she loves color excitement
animals music as long as
she's not in the middle of it

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

We're moving into peak vacation season, but before you go, visit Carol's Corner for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

June 26, 2018

Haiku Sticky #459

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


another "march for..."
this time desperation
precludes droll signs

I'm planning to march on Saturday in one of the nationwide #FamiliesBelongTogether protests. I hope you'll be marching, too.

June 24, 2018

Not So Happy Haiga Day

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


off to "camp"

no drawn-out

only time enough
to remove the laces from
the two-year-old's sneakers

To see a photo of a mother unlacing her child's shoes, click here and go half-way down the page. Then take a second to consider why shoelaces are required to be removed.

June 22, 2018

Poetry Friday--More Ekphrastic Cherita

My ekphrastic cherita this week were inspired by paintings of weeds! The moods of the paintings are vastly different as are the resultant cherita.

"Milkweeds" (1876) by Fidelia Bridges [1834-1923].

Asclepias in bloom

the landowner
sees a perennial weed

not the generations
that could delight his

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

"Thistles and Weeds" (1864) by Léon Bonvin [1834-1866].

the greys of winter

slowly all color disappears
from his world

he turns to the woods
to find the mosses still green
and waiting to cradle him

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

This week's Round-Up is being hosted by Michelle Kogan!

June 19, 2018

Haiku Sticky #458

I have a 2009 car, I've had no trouble with it, and thus, have not visited a dealership service department. Then comes a recall notice. Nice that a potential problem can be eliminated, for free, and that the government is actively working for my safety, however...

Yes, I will have the work done, and yes, chances are the car, being 10 years old, will soon start to fail, but there will be that little nagging feeling that in going in for "service," the service department will have conveniently arranged for me to have to go in for additional maintenance in the near future.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


recall notice--
ten years worry-free
now I have to start?

June 17, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

I won't lie--on Friday, when I got an alert on my phone that Paul Manafort was headed to jail, I smiled. He is accused of a number of arrogant crimes that led to this incarceration, but, an article on the CNN site gave me pause.

From: "Judge sends Paul Manfort to jail, pending trial"
by Katelyn Polantz
Three US marshals led Manafort out of the courtroom into the prisoner holding area immediately after the judge's ruling. He was not placed in handcuffs. Before he disappeared through the door, he turned toward his wife and supporters and gave a stilted wave.

Minutes later, a marshal returned to give his wife, Kathleen, still standing in the courtroom's front row, Manafort's wallet, belt and the burgundy tie he wore Friday.
I borrowed the words for this cherita:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


hearing ends

he gives a stilted wave
as marshals lead him away

wallet and belt
and his burgundy tie
returned to his wife

June 15, 2018

Poetry Friday--Return of the Ekphrastic Cherita!

For the entire month of April I posted ekphrastic cherita, that is, art (the cherita, a poem) about art (a painting or drawing). I love browsing The Athenaeum in a search for works that speaks to me, and I enjoy writing the poems they inspire. Here are two that imagine a story about the painting's artist:

"Cat Lying in front of a Bouquet of Flowers" (1919) by Suzanne Valadon [1865-1938].

artist paints her cat

she keeps up
a one-way conversation

'til a plaintive
meow lets her know
it's time

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

"Self Portrait" (1909) by Susan S. Watkins [1875-1913].

painting a self-portrait

great seriousness
or a smile

her internal dialog
over which one is
the least deceitful

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Karen Edmisten* will be playing hostess with the mostess for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

June 12, 2018

Haiku Sticky #457

I declare 2018 the "Year of the Baby Bunny." I can't tell you how many of them I've seen this year in my yard. On Sunday, I saw two little ear tops above the grass and found they were attached to a very small bunny. It made me smile!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


three-inch ears
on a six-inch body--
grass growing, too

June 10, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


spring weeding

which bit of green
is destined a flower?

someone once told her
gardening is relaxing
...she now knows better

June 8, 2018

Poetry Friday--T. C. Cannon

The PEM (Peabody Essex Museum) currently is showing work by native-American artist and poet, T. C. Cannon. Cannon fought in the Vietnam War; he died in a traffic accident at the age of 31.

In the photo below, the PEM explains the focus of the work and it stunned me to read this opening:
It wasn't until three months after his death in 1978 that it became legal for Native people to once again openly practice their religions.

Here are a few examples of his art. Poems were also included.

Being young myself during the Vietnam War, and aging through several subsequent wars, I felt compelled to respond to Cannon's words with a cherita:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


youth pose questions

to which they suspect
the answers

elders by a refusal
to hear what is asked
provide confirmation

If you'd like to see the exhibit, you'd better hurry--it closes Sunday, June 10.

Kiesha is hosting the Round-Up today at Whispers from the Ridge.

June 5, 2018

Haiku Sticky #456

How many of you grew up with bags of red pistachios? Nowadays, our pistachios come from California and the processing is done so efficiently the shells don't get splotchy. In the olden days, pistachios were imported and in order to make them more appealing, the splotchy shells were dyed a more uniform red. We all considered the dye, and the subsequent pink lips and pink fingers to be half the fun!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


salty pink lips
stained fingertips
piles of shells
summer hours spent with
a bag of pistachios

June 3, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

This photo was taken back in late February. It was a beautiful almost-spring day, and then we got three killer nor'easters complete with snow!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


sun and moon...
beyond smudged glass
a clarity

June 1, 2018

Poetry Friday--Mr. Twain

I started this in response to Michelle Barnes' Today's Little Ditty challenge for May from Julie Fogliano: "stare out the window and write what you see." When I looked out the window over a period of a few days, all I noticed was the variation in the weather. That led me to look for the expression that I always assumed to be about New England weather, "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute." In my research I found a great quote from Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens):
In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of twenty-four hours.

--Mark Twain from "New England Weather," a speech delivered to the New England Society, December 22, 1876
I was going to use it to write a haibun, which is a prose piece that includes haiku. But, it turned into a little rhyming ditty.

The photo I found to illustrate my ditty, has Mark Twain looking out a window in 1903, possibly in New England on a spring day.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.


In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of twenty-four hours
. --Mark Twain from a speech delivered to the New England Society, December 22, 1876

Mr. Twain Exaggerates
...Only Slightly

A wisp of mares' tails.
A bank of solid gray.

A breeze to tickle the hairs on an arm.
A wind to make flagpoles sway.

A mist to burn off in sunlight.
A torrent to wash frogs away.

A drip of sweat, a shiver of cold.
An average New England spring day.

I ended up writing a cherita to post on Michelle's TLD May padlet, because I actually did see something outside my back window (three rabbits). Michelle featured it on Wednesday (thanks, Michelle).

Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Buffy's Blog.