Featuring cherita!

September 30, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

If you have a vacation planned during the week of a SCOTUS nominee hearing, cancel your plans. Guaranteed the weather will be lousy and you'll be easily swept up in judiciary committee proceedings. After your holiday is over, you'll be more stressed than you were when you left work.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Adirondack chairs
without occupants
...senate hearings

September 28, 2018

Poetry Friday--Busman's Holiday

On September 15, I attended the 4th annual New Hampshire Poetry Festival. The first three years it was held in downtown Manchester, this year it moved to New England College in Henniker. During the lunch break I took a walk in the picturesque little town. In typical "busman's holiday" form, I visited the local public library. (For those who don't know, I've been a public librarian in NH for 32 years.)

The Tucker Free Library, built in 1903, has typical classical lines. A look inside, though, was breathtaking. The well-preserved architectural details, and displays of town history, had me snapping photos with my iPhone. The woman at the front desk (whose name I neglected to get) answered my questions patiently, for which I am grateful.

Here are more photos, two of which I've enhanced with cherita. Enjoy!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


aware of her friends
who are miles away

totally unaware
that at any time
the sky could fall

Even the screen doors are a delight!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


sun-kissed Saturday afternoon

ponders the lack of readers

the children's librarian
sighs and counts the minutes
'til closing

The cherita above was written as if I were sitting in the children's room--it is no reflection on the young woman who worked in the children's room that day.

The happily retired Jone is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up at Deowriter.

September 25, 2018

Haiku Sticky #472

A cherita squeezed onto a sticky!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


finally vacation

sunscreen packed
flipflops pail and shovel
check check check

clouds roll in
weather reports studied
Monopoly check

September 23, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

I love taking pictures of architectural details and writing poems to go along with them. The ceiling in this haiga is found at the Tucker Free Library in Henniker, NH. Come back on Friday when I'll have more library photos.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


look up!

intricately designed
old ceiling of tin

how was it made?
elves with hammers are
not beyond imagining

There is a brief description on Wikipedia of how old tin ceiling were made, but it sounds so inherently dangerous that I'd prefer to think of tap-tap-tapping elves!
Sheets of tin were stamped one at a time using rope drop hammers and cast iron molds. Using this method of production, metal was sandwiched between two interlocking tools. The top tool, or "ram," was lifted up by a rope or chain, then dropped down onto the bottom die, smashing into the metal that was underneath and permanently embedding intricate patterns into the tin.

September 21, 2018

Poetry Friday--"In the Wood"

Two weeks ago was the conclusion to Spark #38. This round, I didn't take part as an "artist." It was requested that I fill a role as "writer"--not too much of a stretch!

For an inspiration piece, I sent my Spark partner a short poem from my files, and he sent me a photo of a 3-dimensional piece he created titled, "Galileo" as my inspiration (see it here).

Immediately, upon viewing "Galileo," I thought of shelf fungi and that's what I began with. If you aren't familiar with shelf fungi (also called shelf mushrooms or brackets), here are a few photos from my files, all taken in NH or MA.

I had a fourth one that I've used for this post. I combined it with my response to "Galileo," a poem titled "In the Wood," simply because illustrating poems is my favorite thing to do!

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


In the Wood

Diseased and dying
it leans southward
ruffled with brackets
laced with molds.

What was once vitally
green now has a
vividly colorful life
of another kind.

Hollows hold newly
birthed chipmunks.
Bats beneath loosened
bark roost by day.

Processes of propagation
and elimination
attract multitudes
of creatures to this oak.

continuously consume.
Jack o' lantern
mushrooms illume by night.

Finally, wee fairy folk
move in to provide
make-believe for those
who eschew reality.

I think perhaps the six stanzas are a bit much and I should have confined myself to shelf fungi and fairies. I will probably rewrite it as a haiku or cherita!

Erin at The Water's Edge is playing Round-Up hostess this week. Do stop by!

September 18, 2018

Haiku Sticky #471

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


today the air
has a new taste to it

September 16, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.



sultry heat and trees
persistently green

a false sense of time
suspended 'til overhead
the honking of geese

September 14, 2018

Poetry Friday--I Am From Project

Several Poetry Friday bloggers have mentioned the "I Am From Project" in posts over the past few months. Read the origin of the project here, and find George Ella Lyon's inspirational poem, "Where I'm From<" here.

I've seen poems by several P.F. peeps on the Project's "Poems" page. (There's also a Facebook page here.)

My recent contribution to the Project is an illustrated cherita.

It is only a single aspect of where I'm from, but, it's an important one--my immigrant roots. I may have taken some liberty with the neighborhood, since I don't know for certain that any of my Polish grandparents lived in tenements, but, the laundry-hung-across-alleys memories are real!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Library of Congress, circa 1900-1910, Detroit Publishing Co.


I am from

laundry lines crisscrossing
New York's tenement alleys

starched shirts gotchies skirts
babushkas pants all in a tangle
of mamas' apron strings

A bit of explanation: gotchies are underpants. When I was a child, in my grandmother's home, we called them "gitchie-gotchies." A babushka is a head scarf that ties under the chin.

Here's a poem from a P. F. post in 2014 that also touches on where I'm from:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. "Apples and Pears" by Carl Eduard Schuch courtesy The Athenaeum, cropped to fit the poem.


Apple Pie

Her baking repertoire was
limited and rarely used,
but her apple pie was
memorable for its simplicity.

Sour apples sliced, with
only a hint of sugar and
cinnamon to coat them
made a pie unlike others'.

Did her pie turn me away
from the gaggingly sweet
or did it merely validate
the acerbic already in me?

Was it more basic--a genetic
predisposition to disdain
sugar since we had come
from Polish peasant stock?

Sweet was never freely
available, nor ever expected
to be a part of our lives, so
we came to love the sour.

I hope you all will take part in the I Am From Project, and I look forward to seeing your contributions!

Amy is hosting the Round-Up at The Poem Farm where she has a bumper crop of poetry waiting to be picked!

September 11, 2018

Haiku Sticky #470

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


17 years we've learned
nothing but fear

September 9, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


political fundraiser

a monarch butterfly
feeds in the sunlit garden

we, though, have become
comfortable standing
in the shade

September 7, 2018

Poetry Friday--Movie Recommendation

Last weekend I watched the documentary, RBG, which has just been released on DVD. I LOVED it and recommend it highly. I wish everyone, especially teens, would watch it. It is most of all a love story, and then a story of tenacity and clarity of thought. The way Ruth Bader Ginsburg was able to compartmentalize her life, is nothing short of amazing. [CNN is airing it on September 9, click here.]

Ginsburg was able to have a long and enduring friendship with the late justice Antonin Scalia despite their ideological differences. It is something I find difficult to do myself. If I learned anything from RBG it is that if you can find an interest in common, one that has significance to both parties, than a relationship can be built. Here's a short CBS Evening News piece from 2016:

I want to share a portion of a poem by Paul Zimmer titled, "Dog Music." It might seem a bit strange, but I find it fitting:
Dog Music

Amongst dogs are listeners and singers.
My big dog sang with me so purely,
puckering her ruffled lips into an O,
beginning with small, swallowing sounds
like Coltrane musing, then rising to power
and resonance, gulping air to continue—
her passion and sense of flawless form—
singing not with me, but for the art of dogs.
We joined in many fine songs—"Stardust,"
"Naima," "The Trout," "My Rosary," "Perdido."
She was a great master and died young,
leaving me with unrelieved grief,
her talents known to only a few.

Now I have a small dog who does not sing,
but listens with discernment, requiring
skill and spirit in my falsetto voice.
I sing her name and words of love
andante, con brio, vivace, adagio.
Sometimes she is so moved she turns
to place a paw across her snout,
closes her eyes, sighing like a girl
I held and danced with years ago.

Read the rest here.

Carol will be hosting the Round-Up this week at Beyond Literacy Link. Please stop by!

September 4, 2018

Haiku Sticky #469

I know it's just the day after Labor Day, but late September will be here in a flash. I've already heard geese flying in the night, and as days grow shorter, I'll be hearing it often. There is a sadness to the sound at night, don't you think?

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


late September...
a wedge pushes through
the night

September 2, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Labor Day sales

standing eight hours
at the checkout

hot dogs ice cream
and three-legged races
pepper her daydreams