Colleen at Wordcraft poetry suggested this prompt today: to write a tanka using our own inspiration.
Since I just traveled to Michigan to visit my mother and other family, I used something from that trip as inspiration. When I was a baby, a friend or coworker created a caricature of my father and me. It always hung in my father’s basement workshop. I spent a lot of time with him in that workshop; therefore, I saw it often. The last few times I have gone to Michigan, I have looked at that caricature and tried to figure out how to get it home to Arizona. Now my mother is moving from her duplex into an apartment in her retirement community, so I shipped it home to myself. I kept the chipped old frame because it is part of the experience.
In this old cartoon Daddy diapers baby me, the tweety bird babe, as if time is paralyzed by memory’s insistence.
I had a poem published today in a cool Australian lit mag. It’s called Trash to Treasure Lit, and the idea behind it is that “every writer has a piece of ‘trash’ that we can treasure.” Look through your drafts, your poems you figured you could never do right by, and if you can write something that explains why this “trash” can be a “treasure,” they might publish it. In my case, I wrote a love poem to my cat Perry, who as you may know, suffers from a couple of terminal illnesses (so far so good in case you’re wondering). I hope you can tell from this poem that Perry is the real treasure.
Colleen Chesebro’s prompt for #TankaTuesday this week is in celebration of her 65th birthday. (Happy birthday, Colleen!) We were to create a poetic form using 65 syllables.
I created a form I will call the aînée, which is the French word for a female elder. I was going to use the Spanish word anciana, but I didn’t like the connotations which seemed less positive. Plus I like that I am honoring the French language which is a language that has originated a lot of syllabic poetry. 65 syllables are arranged this way: ten lines of six syllables each, followed by a line of 2 syllables, and a final line of 3 syllables.
I had fun reading my poetry via zoom through the Well-Versed Words program, hosted by poet Alison Hurwitz. There was time to read quite a few poems from Rooted and Winged, as well as two from Our Wolves and to yak a bit about the poetry. Having to talk about my poetry taught me things about my poetry and my life. Alison is an excellent moderator and offers a reading every month. Check out her website at https://www.alisonhurwitz.com/events.
The video is 48 minutes long (eeks). It has the name of the wonderful moderator, Alison Hurwitz at the beginning, but you are in the correct video. And of course you can skip around if you want to check it out! As for me, no way can I watch it and see myself and listen to my voice hahaha.
My leg has been diagnosed as an inside meniscus tear and arthritis of the kneecap exacerbated by my primary lymphedema. Surgery is a very very last resort because of the lymphedema. Going to see a PA in sports medicine this week. Long waits for actual doctors. I hope to be able to travel because I have plans to see my mother in Michigan this month. I will be traveling with my daughter while the gardener stays home with the kitties. Yes, I’ve booked a wheelchair at the airport! If you’ve read my blog very long you know there is always a new physical problem ;).
A spot of good news. My son got my sewing machine fixed. It’s been broken for about 15 years. I want to use it for journaling, and now I just have to remember how it works. You would think that the granddaughter of the Head Fitter at The 28 Shop (couture at Marshall Field) would be a natural at sewing. But it was my cousin Leah who inherited some of that talent. Sadly, Leah has now been gone for twenty years.
“If you like interesting and thought provoking poetry, you will love Our Wolves.“
On another note, I looked for an African-American Red doll for my collection and found a gorgeous one on ebay by artist Stacy Bayne: $250! Here’s a link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/225374443246 While I can’t justify that (hah), it’s certainly beautiful. Here’s one of my $20 antique mall goodies.
Thanks to Editor Amanda Marrero, The Field Guide has published my poem “A Wash is Not a Riverbed.” This poem is about the wash that runs right past my house. I think this poem would have fit in Rooted and Winged.
The poem is in six sections. Here is the first one:
From overhead see a route
on an intuitive map. Scriven in earth, etched with blood and spoor.
The route is wash.
The wash is map.
A kingsnake slides its stripes
across the arroyo
in the way that a T is crossed to finish the planet. It tastes the chemical scent of its prey.
The stubbling of grasses amid stones optimistic in the hollow. We wish for custom monsoons
a steady large-drop rain and little wind.
Colleen at Wordcraft poetry suggested this prompt today: to write a shadorma using 3-5 selected words. Syllable count is 3-5-3-3-7-5. I think I used 8 of the words, but I am writing the poem on my iPad in this post so I can’t go over the word list again.
This spring month,
not yet hot, cloudy
I walk with a book and grapes
and wish spring to last.
I hope you enjoyed that, especially knowing how hot it will get here in Arizona by mid-May. I am lying on my back with this iPad because I am resting my legs. For over ten weeks my right leg has been a monster. Saturday I had an MRI, but I’ve had other tests with no diagnosis or idea of what’s wrong. So why did I write about walking? For one thing, it’s a word on the list. But I can and do like to do light walking with the leg issue. But then I have to rest it. And the leg prefers very limited sitting (at the computer).