AZ Matsuri Honorable Mention

So far I have not written too many new poems in 2019. I’m slowing up too early in the year, but back in February I did write a “sportku” for the poetry pea podcast (look at my only February entry for the link to listen) and I wrote a couple for the Arizona Matsuri Haiku contest. The festival was the last weekend in February; it seems even they are running a little slow this year because I just got the link to this year’s ebook today. And I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my haiku made honorable mention again this year. After I submitted the haiku they included on page 58, I recounted my syllables – oops… I didn’t think the haiku would be chosen. I put eight syllables in the second line, but maybe due to the fact it’s 17 total syllables and English and Japanese syllables aren’t equivalent, it works. My haiku in the 2018 ebook.

Meanwhile Shawn and I had our 2018 taxes done yesterday. Today’s #haikuchallenge word is ghost.

Tax season haunts me
as I watch my refund shrink
face pale as a ghost

At least we did get a refund but it was significantly smaller than previous years; still better than owing. My return to work paperwork was accepted so now I’m just waiting for the invite to grade essays. Then my afternoons will be busy reading though it hasn’t impeded my poetry writing before this year I just seemed to have lost momentum.

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#HaikuChallenge Monsoon

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Palo Verde in Frontyard 

Destructive monsoon
Creates hurricane force winds
Treetop tips over

I posted how the haboob Monday night took the top off our tree in the front. Because the bottom branches are thick, the tree caught itself. Probably a good thing, as it tipped towards the driveway and may have landed on top of Rachael’s car if the bottom branches weren’t there. Well Tuesday Rachael was off from work, so we went out to do back to school shopping; and wow there was a lot of storm damage to clean up. I called a tree company on Wednesday; they could not picture how the tree could catch itself. I told them there is no rush. The tree isn’t blocking the road and there is no other damage. Thursday morning they came out to look at it. Unfortunately they are very busy and can’t get to it for awhile plus Shawn did not like the price. So the top of the tree is still dangling from the top.

Then last night the West Valley was hit with another intense monsoon storm. An entire house out near Buckeye was destroyed. When I noticed the wind picking up, I told Rachael to move the car out of the driveway. The above picture was taken today, so the storm last night did not create any more damage to the tree. Hopefully Shawn can get it trimmed up tomorrow. The #haikuchallenge word today is tip. I knew this would be a perfect photo to go with my haiku. Monsoon season really likes to show off in August. This was the same palo verde tree last year (the photo on right; wall was in neighborhood but not our property).

Palinode Haiku

Doctor appointment
Resist laughing my ass off
at husband’s faux pas

Confuse appointments
Ends up at dentist’s office
Give husband away

Appointment mixup
Cannot give husband away
Too entertaining

Yesterday Shawn was suppose to go to the doctor’s for a followup on his high blood pressure. I figured I’d make Gretchen’s well check for the same day, but they didn’t have appointment times back to back so I had to schedule Gretchen for the afternoon when Rachael would be available to drive. Monday night I tell Shawn he has a doctor’s appointment. Tuesday I get up and sit with him on the couch; we’re talking as Rachael heads off to work. I ask him about his BP and remind him of his appointment time. He leaves for the appointment right at the time of the appointment! A few minutes later I get a text, Did they call yesterday? Yes, 8:20 appointment time. Ten minutes later he’s back home and aggravated. The appointment is August 7th. Yes, your dental is August 7th; you had a doctor’s appointment today. He argued a dentist is a doctor too. True but how often do you tell someone they have a doctor’s appointment for a dentist visit? He went back out in a huff and no, I could not resist laughing. Yesterday’s #haikuchallenge word was resist so I had to find a way to write about my entertaining morning.

Needless to say by the time he got to the doctor’s office, it was well past his appointment time and he had to reschedule. Ugh! Rachael did get home from work and we managed to get Gretchen to her doctor appointment without issues. The #haikuchallenge word today is away and I would give Shawn away but then I would miss all the fun. Gretchen asked if Dad would have missed his appointment if he and she had back to back times. Yeah, no because then I would be going too and I would have made sure we left earlier and which doctor’s office to go to.

May Celebrations

 

Last weekend Shawn and I enjoyed the wine and jazz walk in Phoenix and the last photo is my Mother’s Day fondue dinner. Shawn made an excellent fondue though I told him I wasn’t a fan of his photo. Despite how the wine looks, it was also very good. This weekend we are celebrating someone’s birthday.

Mother’s Day dinner
give credit for excellent
fondue recipe

Celebrate birthday
credit daughter ten more years
watching Great Gatsby

Last night Rachael, Gretchen and I were watching the most recent Great Gatsby, as Gretchen was watching it at school since they read the novel earlier this year, but they did not finish the movie. Near the end, Nick realizes it’s his birthday and he’s 30 years old. I turn to Rachael and ask, “How does it feel to be ten years away from 30?” 😉 Yes, she will be 20 tomorrow. And I can now share this quote:

Sylvia Plath

“You are twenty. You are not dead, although you were dead. The girl who died. And was resurrected. Children. Witches. Magic. Symbols.”

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Rachael’s 19th Birthday at Blu Sushi Litchfield Park, AZ

Reading, Reading and Even More

Reading. 😉 Yes, it’s that time of year again. I’m doing remote reading and scoring tests. I have officially made up Rachael’s lost grant money with the hours I put in by the end of shift today. The rest of my time scoring this season is nice cushioning.

Since I’ve been reading, I haven’t really spent much time on poetry. But most years I’ve used May as a destress from writing 30 poems in thirty days in April. On the school front, Gretchen got an A in Eng 102 and Rachael got an A+ in OChem 2; she’s signed up for 20 credits this coming Fall semester. Gretchen took her AP US History test today; next Wednesday is her AP English test. The day before Rachael will be interviewing over at ASU to help out the veterinarian (one of the job opportunities I stopped waiting to hear on before I bought airplane tickets). Rachael is also signed up to take the GRE in August before the fall semester begins.

Tomorrow is the #Urbanwinewalk in downtown Phoenix, hopefully Shawn and I will be able to spend some time over there. And of course Sunday is Mother’s Day and then Monday is back to work. Gretchen has only two weeks left for high school. Then Tuesday May 29 her ACE summer courses start – Public Speaking and Sociology!

April Survivor

 

Verse may drive her mad
Desperate poet’s story
April survivor

Good Morning! And welcome to May, aka decompress month. Yesterday was May the 4th and Shawn and I went to the party at the Arizona science center. As we were getting in the car, Shawn asked me for directions to the science center. I don’t know; it’s downtown. It’s not like we haven’t been there before. Shawn looked it up and it said, now closed. I laughed, I know it’s an after hours party for old geeks. You had to be over 21 to attend. I had the Romulan Ale (not Roman autocorrect) and Sonic Screwdriver. Shawn had a Butterscotch Wookie (I think) I can’t remember now. And we basically got to roam the science center without little beings running all over the place. Then we went over to Grand Ave. It was first Friday. That is where I printed the May the 4th be with you poster. Yes, I rolled the printing press myself.

And as you can see, the verse did not drive me mad. I wrote over 30 poems in April, counting the #haikuchallenge poems for twitter. I missed one prompt. But I did more than one poem for a couple of the prompts so over all I’d say it was a successful month. Arizona schools got back to work yesterday. Gretchen had a full day of school again. Yay! But Thursday was Rachael’s last exam for her semester, and still no word on her summer gigs. She is now home. Which will be a good thing for a little while anyway as Gretchen has to take the math placement test at EMCC for her fall ACE course. She was going to take it today after her final Eng 102 class, but she looked it up and the testing center is only open Monday – Friday. Rachael will have to bring her over one day after school. I told Gretchen she should have taken it on one of her days of no school, but did she listen to her mother?

May the 4th story
Doctor, Captain, Wookiee meet
Science with a twist

 

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Thirty

Dynamite Rabbits

1807 – France signs the Treaties of Tilsit, ending war with Russia.

Napoleon and his men arrange a hunt to celebrate
Chief of Staff Alexandre Berthier decides on a massacre

Berthier collects thousands of rabbits from local farmers
Once the hunters are assembled, the rabbits CHARGE!
Domestic rabbits, not afraid of men, are carnivorous little beasts.

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And for our final (optional) prompt, I’d like you to take your cue from Borges, and write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.

Good Evening and welcome to day thirty of #NaPoWriMo and we are finished for another year! Lol! When I read Napoleon was once attacked by rabbits, I immediately thought of Monty Python; perhaps Napoleon could have used a holy hand grenade. 😉 Or he should have read Watership Down; he would have been warned how vicious rabbits can be, especially hungry domesticated rabbits who thought they were getting fed not hunted. This was a fun little cherita (story) to write. I’d like to thank all my readers for tuning in for my ramblings for another year.

#Haikai Challenge 31 – May the 4th

Ancient Jedi tomes
possess no further wisdom
Luke seeks horizon

Yoda confesses
Page turners they were not, as
he burns ancient texts

 

As I’m looking through my reader, the theme of Frank’s next Haikai challenge catches my eye, how can I pass up a May the Fourth challenge. You know I write sci-fi themed poetry as much as possible. Here is a string of Star Wars poems written a couple years ago for #NaPoWriMo. Astonishingly enough a copy of The Last Jedi has yet to find its way into this house. And yes, I took full advantage of the #haikuchallenge word – ancient. It works well for poems written about “A long time ago…”

#NaPoWriMo 2018 (Day 29) Take Two

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Desert Botanical Gardens Phoenix, AZ

Shivering Souls

Blackness surrounds us, crossing the lake
A little light penetrates through
And wishes us to linger
We shiver in the cold
Valedictory
Shadows are cast
Across stars
Lilies
Weep

Okay I missed Thursday’s prompt so I thought I’d give a go at today’s prompt again. I’ve been chewing on the other prompt, but have not been successful at getting all five senses into one poem. May not totally abandon the prompt, yet. But thought I’d offer this for now and because my first try at this prompt was lacking, though I’m not sure if this attempt is any better.

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty-nine

 

Passage dans l'Au-delà (Louvre, OA 9097)

Passage to Hades, with Charon and his boat on the Styx river. 15th-16th century. Louvre museum (Paris, France)

CROSSING THE WATER
By: Sylvia Plath

Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here?
Their shadows must cover Canada.

River Styx

Ancient black tomb stands
Reflective of the life lost
Absorbs all color

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way.
Happy writing!

Good morning and welcome to day twenty-nine of #NaPoWriMo not sure where I was going here and yes I titled a haiku. The #haikuchallenge word today is ancient and reading Plath’s poem, I thought of the River Styx not that there is any surprise there most of her poems make me think of death. I used the haiku challenge word to respond to the poem. I picked Crossing the Water because it was posted on April 4th, Gretchen’s birthday.