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.

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Arizona Illustrated Celebrates Poetry

To continue my contribution to the online poetry community weekly blogs for 2018, Arizona Illustrated did a story on the Poetry Center down in Tucson. A place I have yet to visit.

Poetry Center
fifty thousand milestone
special fold out book

I wrote another #haikuchallenge for twitter. Today’s word is special. I’m starting slow in 2018, but I have written at least one haiku a day for the twitter challenge, better progress than last year. I also want to share the call for art for the next Nasty Women Unite show here in Phoenix – check out this blog. I’m sure my readers recall I attended last year’s show of course I quoted a well known female poet, Adrienne Rich. I’m sure she’d be a nasty woman, too. Write on poets and bloggers!

Enjoy Sunny Days

Hello from sunny, warm Arizona, watching and hearing about the cold snowy weather back east makes me happy to be living in the southwest. A few years ago, I submitted a poem to Silver Birch Press Where I Live series. Melanie posted my poem on my mom’s birthday – the first birthday we marked without my mom.

Now they are dealing with record low temps back east. In fact in Buffalo, they’ve closed some schools tomorrow for the extreme cold. Lol! My poor child was stuck in school in August in Arizona without AC already one day this year.

AC has broken
School sends students home early
Renew cool classrooms

 

August 23, 2017 #haikuchallenge. On day two of broken AC, I got a phone call around noon stating they were sending the students home early. It was a Tuesday; the AC was also not working Monday and you should have seen how wilted Gretchen looked walking into the house at the normal time Monday afternoon. Hey well over 100 and no AC, school no problem. Temps dip below 0 and apparently schools close their doors.

Of course I do enjoy #haikuchallenge poems focusing on Arizona weather. The word today is snap.

Forecast bitter cold
Snap back to reality
Valley of the sun

Hello 2018

Old rolls into new
marked by clock chiming midnight
Calendar not changed

 

Happy New Year! I am not a fan of resolutions to me one day rolls into the next and why let an arbitrary day mark a new beginning? If I want to make a change, I make it when it works best for me not based on a day in a calendar. Yesterday was the first day of the new year and the start of a new month. I was just in my kitchen, pouring my second cup of coffee for the morning; I looked over at the calendar and realized it was stuck in 2017.

Speaking of not following arbitrary dates, the City of Avondale issues free calendars every year that start July 1 and run through the end of June. There was no need to change my calendar; I just needed to flip to the new month. However I guess I was being a little lazy yesterday and didn’t think about the wall calendar. So welcome to the second day of January and hopefully a more prolific blog.

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

Early Start – Arizona Poets

Yesterday I reblogged how the online poetry community is going to try to write a blog a week in 2018 – about poetry, writing, inspiration, life – you know the all around things that affect poets and their writing. I decided to get a little head jump as the city of Phoenix is looking for micropoetry to feature in the city for April – national poetry month. The submission call is only open to poets who reside in Arizona. And I honestly don’t know how many of my readers actually live in the same state as me. Poems are due by January 19th, so I figured I’d share the info as soon as possible. Guidelines here

No excuse to work
on sustainability
poem for Phoenix

 

And now my list of excuses: No haiku, only AZ residents, no epics (under 50 words), it says no rhyming but I’m sure if it is pulled off well some rhyming could make it through. Yes, I’ve been working on a submission and no, I did not rhyme. The haiku above is for the #haikuchallenge on twitter today as the word is excuse.

It Feels Just Like Starting Over

2018 should be filled with great poetry and how to reading.

Put Words Together. Make Meaning.

It’s been a while, readers. It’s almost 2018, and I haven’t posted in over a year here. Which I miss. And I’m hoping you’re still there.

If you are, then stick around for what I hope you will consider good news. Many writers like myself found their first poetry communities online. By reading posts like this one and participating in forums (like ReadWritePoem), we built relationships and learned from one another. Since I do not have an MFA and have been primarily an autodidact when it comes to poetry, this was very important for me.  And, although I now use social media to connect with a large literary community, many of us have been mourning (for lack of a better word), the opportunity to have access to each other’s extended thoughts on the writing life and poetry in general.

So, sparked by a Twitter conversation with Kelli Russell Agodon, and…

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Merry Christmas

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Mom and Gretchen ready for Star Wars VIII

VHS release
Star Wars trilogy box set
Christmas memories

A long time ago… doesn’t VHS say it all, I wanted the first bundled release of Star Wars IV, V and VI. It was only a couple years after Shawn and I were dating. And I knew my boyfriend would get the hint. Well apparently so did my Dad (he actually went out and bought a Christmas gift). He told my Mom, Roni needs the box set. My Mom told him my Christmas gifts were complete already. I also think she knew Shawn was getting me the set. Imagine my surprise when I opened my gifts Christmas morning to find the VHS set in my parents’ gifts to me. Luckily my Dad brought home the box and gave it to my Mom to wrap; when Shawn came over later with his gifts no Star Wars. My Mom called him and told him he had to rethink his gifts. Actually I would not have minded having two sets.  Believe it or not, we still have a VHS player and Gretchen still watches Empire Strikes Back on it. Yes, we have the movies on DVD, too. But no one in this house likes the redos Lucas made on the original trilogy.

Twenty some years after getting the best Christmas gift ever, Shawn, Rachael, Gretchen and I went to see Star Wars The Last Jedi on Christmas Day! 😀 Merry Christmas to me.

December’s Midpoint

Hello readers, no I have not fallen off the face of the Earth (we believe it’s flat again, right?) It has been a busy couple of months. My friends Rick and his husband, Charles, along with another friend, John, all came out to visit the weekend before my birthday in November. Then for my birthday, Shawn and I went to one of the wine dinners hosted by the Wigwam Resort – excellent wine and meal. Thanksgiving it was quiet, only the four of us here at home. Then Rachael was done with her semester a couple weeks later and to celebrate another straight A semester, she got her wisdom teeth pulled the first day of winter break. As of today that was one week ago, and yesterday we drove over to pick Gretchen up from school. In the car, I turned to tell Rachael something and almost screamed. Her jaw had a big yellow bruise and it startled me because I couldn’t think who would have beaten her. Then I remembered she had her wisdom teeth pulled; it’s funny how I did not notice the bruising in the light of the house. It was the first time Rachael has ventured out since the procedure.

At the end of October, Rachael was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Gretchen has completed another class at EMCC through the ACE program and still has a week to go before the semester finishes at high school. Meanwhile we’ve been getting ready for Christmas. Last weekend Shawn, his mom and I went out to the German Christmas market at Frontier Town, Cave Creek. The three of us had a fun time. And yesterday I spent some time wrapping presents. Yippee my favorite chore.

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December outing
Festive family fun
Christmas lights shine bright