I want my heat

I see my breath fog
brisk February morning
Canada geese honk

Okay this isn’t funny; I had to turn my heat on this morning. The jet stream has dipped and we’re only suppose to have a high of 60! I got Gretchen off to school and crawled under my bedsheets again. Then she texts me, I’m cold. My nose is runny. I ask, You have tissues, right? Ya, but I’m using my jacket sleeve. On her fortunate side, mom is still doing a ton of laundry to keep the germs from spreading so it won’t be too difficult to add her jacket to a load, but she still may get beaten.

Rachael did go to school yesterday and today. I asked her if she could skip today, but she has lab and if she misses it there goes her A in the class. She’s not going to mess that up so off to school she went. I did tell her to get her butt into the medical clinic. She doesn’t think they can help, but on the off chance she has a bacterial infection, they can at least give her antibiotics. While she was gone yesterday, I washed her bedding. She came home and wanted to know where it was. I told her it was decontaminated. Today I’m running the air filter as well.

While I was getting warm under my blankets this morning, I heard some Canada geese fly over. I told them to fly back to Canada and bring the cold air with them. I think it will work, right? The #haikuchallenge word is see today. And since Rachael had me venture outside to feed the cats, I may have seen my breath. Well the cats were fed; the coffee made; and I’m back under my blankets with a cup of hot coffee to help warm me up. Busy wasting time online and thinking about all the housework on my agenda today.

Before I go check out purehaiku 2-20. Freya posted my haiku for her ocean series today. Thanks! I’m glad to be included with all the other great ocean haiku.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

 

I heard Shawn playing this clip this morning. I thought I would give him a Valentine’s day poem to match.

Men read poems and duck
fervent
women release heavy objects

Honestly it’s not my fault, the #haikuchallenge word is release. My tweet was –

Tangled between sheets
beast with two backs in search of
climactic release

Actually these are not far off of previous Valentine’s Day poetry.

Penis Envy

Jackass Artist

Don’t you just feel the love between us. 😉 Shawn did make me a nice cup of coffee before he left for work today. ❤

WD – Distraction Poem

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Gretchen at playground Monday Afternoon

Park Distraction

Rest stop at the park

Meet 16 year old at late bus
drop off, just the two of us

walking home through neighborhood
distracted by playground equipment
brings back small slice of childhood

 

Robert Lee Brewer asked for a distraction poem as the 425 Wednesday Poetry Prompt. I decided to play with the cherita poetry form again. On Monday, my almost 17 year old daughter wanted me to meet her at the late bus drop off. She is getting to go see Hamilton at Gammage auditorium through her school. However the opportunity requires her to stay after school to learn more about the American Revolution before they go to the play. I honestly didn’t think she would do it, because it meant taking the late bus home and that is outside her comfort zone. Little did mom know she’d ask her to meet her at the bus stop, which is across the street from the elementary school. I haven’t made that walk in years. And yes, when I used to walk down there to pick up the girls after school (all the way back to pre-k), we would stop and play at the park. Over the years, the playground equipment has changed. They didn’t have the duck there when the girls were small.

Nasty Women Phoenix 2018

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Saturday February 3rd, I’ll be attending the reading for the Nasty Women Phoenix Unite. Shawn has some photos in the show again this year; I’m not sure if I’ll actually get to see them since opening night is Friday and it’s a cash and carry show. As I pointed out last year, they reopened submissions because of the huge success the first weekend. This year they are only open one weekend.

Nasty women will
not shut pie holes, voice discord
of chauvinist pigs

 

School Rings

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Mementos from past
Sit in jewelry box untouched
High school ring on top

Gretchen sent me a text yesterday: We got order forms for class rings. I replied, I forgot you get those junior year. She answered, the guy said you’re old because most parents forget they order school rings junior year. Well I didn’t really mean I forgot rings were ordered in your junior year; what I really meant was I forgot my baby is a junior! How did that happen?

When Gretchen got home from school, she told me she wants a ring big enough to customize. I told her the ring doesn’t have to be big to personalize it. And yes I took out my high school and college rings to show her. My high school ring has a quill and paper for journalism. Gretchen even commented, You would have a book and pen on your ring. Did she really think her mother would stop loving to read and write? Silly child

This morning I asked Rachael, Guess who got her class ring order form yesterday. She answered, Gretchen who else could it be? I said, You. She said, They do college rings? Then she remembered looking at them. The cheapest one was about $600. I told her, Yeah college rings were always more expensive.

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Rachael’s high school ring class of 2016

Ekphrastic Haiku

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Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights

Callipygian
perfect canvas to display
aria from hell

Trish Hopkinson shared the submission call for this ekphrasis anthology. A friend shared a list of out-dated words we should bring back to our vocabulary and callipygian was one of the words. Of course I had to turn it into a poem. And yes, another “haiku” or really senryu; but since this month has started, I have made 5 submissions and they do include other poetic forms. Since Monday has rolled around again, and I’m trying to write a blog a week and I couldn’t think of anything else to compose, I decided to play with a new, old word.

If you want to hear how the composition is played, check out this article.

2017 – Year in Review

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For the last day of 2017, I decided to look at my yearly stats. This past year my blog views went down from 2016. The reason why, I simply have not posted as often. I noticed in March I wrote about Shawn’s 45th birthday. Wow that feels like it was more than a year ago. Still one of my favorite photos of Shawn and me; I can’t believe the canvas print has been on my wall for such a short time. Then at the end of March I started an honest to goodness job (you know something with more reliable pay than writing). Despite working in April, I finished another year of NaPoWriMo – go me!

Of course after that my posts really became sluggish, not sure where my muse went off to this year. It was a little disappointing Silver Birch Press went on hiatus and then decided to close. Melanie always came up with refreshing prompts. I did not write for all of them, but I enjoyed reading everyone’s work and recognizing names of poets who became regular contributors like me.

At the end of May, my job wrapped up and Gretchen began a new adventure, taking courses at the community college. Rachael finished her first year at ASU, working hard to maintain her 4.0 GPA. The hard work seems to be paying off as the honor society invites have rolled in this past semester. Then in July I flew up to Buffalo and then my family (Dad and three sisters) traveled to Germany. I learned about the elevenie (German elfchen) during NaPoWriMo this year and put it to good use when I got back from Germany. You know me, I like short pieces. Pecking on the keyboard with one hand, short and sweet is much easier.

And that pretty much brings us to today as my blog lacked many posts in September, October or November. At the midpoint of December I blogged about my November; I had a nice birthday dinner at the Wigwam Resort. Then we had a quiet Thanksgiving and Rachael finished her fall semester by the first week of the month. An early end means an early start, school resumes for both girls on January 8th and the routine begins over again in 2018. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. And to friends and family back East – stay warm.

Contemplate finish
Keep thrill alive; transition
See new beginning

Job Comes to a Close

Scored standardized tests
replaced grant money we lost
no lend to repay

 

At the start of the year, we learned Rachael did not qualify for grant money from FAFSA that she was given her first year at ASU. I also saw an article about a work at home job, remote reader for standardized tests. Well over 20 years ago I received a BS in English Secondary Education and it’s been collecting dust. So I whipped up a resume. I haven’t worked a “real” job in almost 20 years either so I asked a couple friends to be personal references and then what do you know? I qualified for the work. It was nice to be able to earn some money from home. Especially when I cannot drive. I did not have to worry about how to commute to and from.

Tuesday as Gretchen started her new adventure at EMCC, Mom wrapped up her own and did well as I earned more money than was given to Rachael in last year’s grant. We are hoping to be able to finance Rachael’s four year degree so she doesn’t have to graduate in debt. Both my parents and Shawn’s parents paid for our undergrad degrees and it’s great not having to worry about student loans when you graduate. Of course Rachael is doing her part earning her AA while she was still in high school and keeping up her GPA to earn the top academic scholarship from ASU.

Meanwhile even though I only worked for a little over two months it feels strange not to log in and read papers. I got an email from my company this morning thanking all of us for our hard work. Qualified readers will get an email at the end of this year to score for the Spring 2018 test period. I’ll definitely sign up again. It was nice to bring in a little extra money.

Poetry in Phoenix

Last night Shawn and I attended our first Caffeine Corridor poetry feat at {9} the Gallery. It begins with open mic poetry readings. We arrived late, because Shawn had to drive all the way home to pick me up. We missed the first few readers, but many of the poets we did see kept mentioning an article recently published in the Phoenix New Times. The print version is here in the house, Shawn had Rachael pick it up at ASU on Thursday, because Joe is a friend of his, and he wanted to read the article. But by last night, neither one of us read it yet.

I read it this morning. Wow, it really is electrically charged with negative feelings about the poetry scene in Phoenix. All I can think is, Okay not everyone who gets up to read an original poem is going to be Whitman, Sandburg, Angelou (poet of your choice here), but you never know who will be the next great American poet. The fact they got up the nerve to stand in front of an audience to read and grow deserves kudos. You never know, in a number of years you may be able to say, I heard them when…

A person cannot improve on their skill locked up and alone. I thought poetry readings were encourage not disparage. I don’t go to poetry readings with my ego on my sleeve. Mostly because you won’t see me stand up and read a poem. I do enjoy the isolation of a computer. I’m more like Dickinson, the amount of poems people will find I’ve tucked away when I’m gone, that is if I don’t burn them all first. Yes, folks I’m analog and still write out more poems than not on actual paper I can burn.

When I first started the whole I’m going to be a published writer journey, my first submission experience was great. Those who read my blog, know I started submitting stories to the Star Trek Strange New Worlds anthology. I joined a wonderful online critique group specifically for SNW writers and I met great writers there who encouraged us newbies. And I realized I was pretty decent at this writing game. My second year, I submitted a story elsewhere and saw my first published piece. The other writers in that anthology introduced me to ritro.com and I started writing articles for the site. I shared Peter Pan Envy on this blog. I also wrote, The Hunt and Peck Method to Novel Writing.

No I was not interested in writing a novel – still holds true. But I also was not serious about poetry. I felt poets were egotistical, pompous jackasses until I joined gather.com and met some lovely poetry people who took the time to read the few poems I posted and comment with well done and at the same time offering ways I could improve my work. This was the kind of environment I saw at {9} the gallery last night. And it is the best way to grow as a poet. I’m not sure why the New Times journalist wrote they were nervous and did not make eye contact. They have the courage to stand in front of people and open themselves up. Maybe he should try it once instead of just printing he words out on a screen. And as for the featured poet in the article…I’m glad I did not run into his ilk when I first put poems out for critique. It was bad enough I was comparing myself to a great poetic ghost.

check ego at door
devote time to encourage
poetry will thrive

Haiku Chat

Rain falls in desert
Standing under umbrella,
I wait for the bus

Late start Wednesday
Friend asks, where are you? D4
Wait… There’s school today?

Eating lunch outside
as raindrops pelt the table
my butt keeps chair dry

See writing haiku
is not difficult at all
Count – 5,7,5

Chatting in haiku,
I pause to count syllables
Boom! Still get it done

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Gretchen came up with six haiku last night despite her mother’s aggravating haiku texts. But the one in the text chat, here, wasn’t in the final cut. And I did have to help with some syllable count. She had nine syllables in one. I’m pretty sure one reason was she counted every as two instead of three.

Stop speaking to me
in haiku! I speak German!
Ich spreche Deutsch, Ja

She even told her creative writing teacher yesterday, My mom keeps speaking in haiku since I told her about the assignment. 😉 Never tell a poet you don’t like poetry.