Summer Disappearing

Robin finished his first year at the Carlson School of Veterinary Medicine in June. We had a small staycation over at the Talking Stick Resort and the Arizona Boardwalk. We had a lovely time seeing the butterflies and the aquarium.

At the beginning of July, I reconnected with an old friend. She is selling color street dry nail polish and had a few patriotic sets. I asked if she could be my manicurist if I bought a set. It’s a little difficult for me to do my own nails. Of course she agreed, we had a nice time catching up while I got my nails done. Then I actually took a photo of my left hand to show it off.

4th of July nails with engagement wedding rings next to my new 25th wedding anniversary band.

After I had my nails done, Gretchen asked to see my wedding rings. Well the engagement ring came off without a problem, but the wedding band was a different story had to enlist Shawn to help me get it off. I thought since our 25th wedding anniversary is coming up a new ring would be nice. I saw the infinity knot on glityjewels.com not that long after writing a haiku for the haiku challenge.

Recall our first date
Young man in search of prom date
Finds forever ♾ love 

I think Shawn likes my new band. He did acknowledge it fits better. There is no mystery there; when I saw how tight my wedding band was I ordered a bigger ring size. This past April, Shawn and I had our first date anniversary. We have been an official couple for thirty years now. Then we got engaged in April 1992 since I was still a senior in high school, we had a long engagement while I finished high school and college. Of course I wrote about it during #NaPoWriMo.

After our staycation and while Robin was on vacation up in Yellowstone with a friend, Shawn and I were planning our 25th wedding anniversary trip in October. And so my haiku challenge tweets have been focused on us.

Before our first date
Watch him run around the track
Surreptitiously

Young couple in love
Settle into married life
Twenty five years pass

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Eight

My Nightstand

I Question Living with Cats

What can be found on my nightstand
Why must the cats walk across it
in the middle of the night; then
wake me up, jumping on my head
Do they enjoy prowling at night
interrupting my beauty sleep
Why am I tired all day as cats
sleep soundly anywhere they lay
How do they accomplish the same
feat night after night and deftly
keep everything on my nightstand

NaPoWriMo Prompt Our prompt today (optional, as always), is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. The questions could be a mix of the serious (“What is the meaning of life?”) and humorous (“What’s the deal with cats knocking things off tables?”), the interruptive (“Could you repeat that?”) and the conversational (“Are those peanuts? Can I have some?”). You can choose to answer them – or just let the questions keep building up, creating a poem that asks the reader to come up with their own answer(s).

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty eight of #NaPoWriMo where I question living with cats. They woke Shawn and I up before 6am this morning. I’m a little tired today. Two more poems to go before another poetry month is in the books.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Seven

Scar on Right Hand Surrounded by artwork by Mr. Tookles

Initial V

Scar
Between right thumb
And forefinger

After surgery
Giving hand ability
To grasp
Scabulous!

NaPoWriMo Prompt In today’s (optional) prompt, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem inspired by an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The entries are very vivid – maybe too vivid! But perhaps one of the sorrows will strike a chord with you, or even get you thinking about defining an in-between, minor, haunting feeling that you have, and that does not yet have a name.

Good Afternoon and welcome to day twenty seven of #NaPoWriMo. I’m feeling much better today; boy the second shot really does pack a punch. Yesterday I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Thankfully Gretchen was here to keep my water glass full and my cooling towel damp. She even made me soup while FaceTiming with Robin and I heard her ask, When it says lower heat to a simmer, how low do they mean? However it was accomplished, the soup was yummy. It may have been because it was the only thing I ate yesterday though. But after finishing one bowl I actually had enough energy to get up and serve myself a second bowl.

This morning I busied myself with all the chores that were not touched yesterday and so I started the prompt a little later than usual.

scabulous

adj. proud of a scar on your body, which is an autograph signed to you by a world grateful for your continued willingness to play with her, even when you don’t feel like it.

I’m not sure I am exactly on point with the definition of scabulous, but the word spoke to me especially after how I felt yesterday. I really do adhere to the idea that scars need not define us so I’m not sure if I’m particularly proud of my scar or have just learned to live with it.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Six

Tuck, tuck, tuck yourself gently into bed

Shivering, shivering, shivering, shivering wishing you were dead

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a parody. Besides being fun, writing parodies can be a great way to hone your poetic skills – particularly your sense of rhyme and sound, as you try to mimic the form of an existing poem while changing the content. Just find a poem – or a song – that has always annoyed you, and write an altered, silly version of it. Or, alternatively, find a poem with a very particular rhyme scheme or form, and use that scheme/form as the basis for a poem that mocks something else.

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty six of #NaPoWriMo where I can assure Spock we are not having a good time. Last night Gretchen wanted to watch TOS Wrath of Khan. And I made it through the movie, but about four hours after my shot about 8:30, 9 pm I started feeling miserable. Then this morning I woke up with Row, Row, Row Your Boat stuck in my head. Don’t ask me how I jumped from Star Trek II to Star Trek V; I don’t know. Since the song wouldn’t shut up I rewrote it to match how I feel today.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Five

Masked and Ready to Go

Second Shot

My shot
Stop virus spread
Auspicious occasion
Help create herd immunity
Vaccine

NaPoWriMo Prompt Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is to write an “occasional” poem. What’s that? Well, it’s a poem suited to, or written for, a particular occasion. This past January, lots of people who usually don’t encounter poetry got a dose when Amanda Gorman read a poem at President Biden’s inauguration. And then she followed it up with a poem at the Superbowl (not traditionally an event associated with verse!) The poem you write can be for an occasion in the past or the future, one important to you and your family (a wedding, a birth) or for an occasion in the public eye (the Olympics, perhaps?).

Good morning and welcome to day twenty five of #NaPoWriMo. Today’s special occasion – this afternoon I’m off to get my 2nd shot of the Moderna vaccine. It’s an auspicious occasion worthy of a poem.

Other occasion poems – 8th grade graduation

Twentieth Wedding Anniversary

My Dad’s 70th Birthday

And last week marked thirty years since Shawn and I started dating and in less than six months we’ll be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary another occasion I’m sure I’ll commemorate in a poem. But for now I’ll be headed off to my local grocery store pharmacy for shot number 2 and if you don’t see a poem from me tomorrow you’ll know I’m probably not feeling well.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Four

Bee photo by Gretchen Hosking

Pollinators

Ground nesting
Insects
Bees
Burrow in dirt

NaPoWriMo PromptToday’s (optional) prompt is a fun one. Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.

Good Afternoon and welcome to day twenty four of #NaPoWriMo where I did not follow the prompt strictly. I did read an article on ground nesting bees. We have had them in our backyard as far back as I remember. They are attracted to the flowers Shawn grows out there and the fact we never laid down grass or gravel. There is plenty of south facing bare soil in our backyard. Well last weekend Shawn was putting in new brick to finish off the look of the new patio we had put in in February and the ground bees were not happy with him. He was disturbing their homes. Since then we have noticed one bee flying in and out of the topsoil bag left from Shawn’s gardening in the spring of 2020. Poor bee did not chose a wise relocation; he’s going to be disturbed again if Shawn uses the soil for more planting.

Backyard Seating Area

Photo of the brick work Shawn did on what is now Speedy’s side of the yard. We now have brick at the back of the new patio to match. And some of our lovely flowers the bees and hummingbirds love to frequent. And for those curious my poem today is a Teacup dictionary poem. Another short poetry I enjoy writing. Ostentatious

#NaPoWriMo – My History of Participation

The first year I participated in #NaPoWriMo was in 2010. One of the poems I wrote that year can be found in the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Anthology (September 2010). Tea Time was one of my first concrete poems, I wrote about the memory of my mom making us tea. I skipped 2011 – MaMaZinA was publishing its final issue that spring and I also went back to Buffalo for my dad’s 70th birthday. Shutterfly sent me my photo memories from 10 years ago. My dad’s photo collage for his 70th birthday was among them and one of the photos is his kindergarten portrait.

My Dad 1946

Father has gray hair
Frame kindergarten photo
Towhead little boy

When I was little, I actually thought my dad had gray hair as a kid not really knowing much about black and white photos. I used today’s #haikuchallenge word frame to write the poem. Then I looked up my kindergarten photo in my yearbook. Yes, I have my yearbook from kindergarten.

Kindergarten 1980

Man has four daughters
Frame kindergarten photo
Third born his junior

I added to my #haikuchallenge thread with my kindergarten photo and of course I had to include the fact I’m Ron jr. I skipped #NaPoWriMo in 2011 but ever since 2012, I’ve been writing poems every April. Unfortunately in 2012 and ’13 my poems were posted on gather.com so I don’t have all of them. I do have some as I do write a lot of my poems long hand in journals, but they are not available online to read. But as of 2014 all my April musings can be found on this blog. And as for 2021 there is one week to go. So far I’ve been writing at least one poem a day something I haven’t done the last couple of years. We’ll see how well I keep up my writing come May 1st.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Three

Pink Rose by Shawn Hosking

Pink Rose

Sweet dreams
She sleeps soundly
Wrapped secure in his arms
He breathes in her effervescence
Love drunk

NaPoWriMo Prompt = Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. This could be as simple as using a line or image from another poem as a jumping-off point, or it could be a more formal poetic response to the argument or ideas raised in another poem. You might use a favorite (or least favorite poem) as the source for your response. And if you’re having trouble finding a poem to respond to, here are a few that might help you generate ideas: “This World is Not Conclusion,” by Peter Gizzi, “In That Other Fantasy Where We Live Forever,” by Wanda Coleman, “La Chalupa, the Boat,” by Jean Valentine, or “Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm,” by Carl Phillips.

Good morning and welcome to day twenty three of #NaPoWriMo. Okay I wasn’t exactly getting into this prompt. I’ve replied to other poems before and didn’t really know who I wanted to read and respond to today. When I checked Facebook, I was reminded it’s Shakespeare day. But he’s a little over done. Then I checked my blog stats and saw someone read a post from #NaPoWriMo 2018; I started going through those posts and right near the start of the month Day Two I see I wrote a poem using Romeo & Juliet and responded to a poem Shawn wrote. So it hasn’t been six years since Shawn wrote me a poem; I’ve cut it down to three. The title of today’s poem comes from the photo and one of those silly games – Every Woman is a Flower. Apparently I’m a pink rose.

Love’s in the Air  2018

In the soft light of the night
It’s exciting to see you breathe
In effervescent waves
The rise…
The shudder…
The fall…
Of lungs full of love
Drunk with pollen’s pleasure

© Shawn Hosking 2018

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Two

Tortoise’s Summer Residence

Backyard Oasis

Backyard trees grow tall to offer shade throughout the spring and summer
Children play digging their way to China before vacation ends
Palo Verde – green stick bursting with yellow flowers in April

Palo Verde in backyard

NaPoWriMo Prompt In a prompt originally posted this past February, Poets & Writers directs us to an essay by Urvi Kumbhaton the use of mangoes in diasporic literature. As she discusses in her essay, mangoes have become a sort of shorthand or symbol that writers use to invoke an entire culture, country, or way of life. This has the beauty of simplicity – but also the problems of simplicity, in that you really can’t sum up a culture in a single image or item, and you risk cliché if you try.

But at the same time, the “staying power” of the mango underscores the strength of metonymy in poetry. Following Poets & Writers’ prompt, today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.

Good morning and welcome to day twenty two of #NaPoWriMo. I’m not exactly sure if I’m on prompt but when I read it last night the palo verde came to mind. Gretchen wrote a lovely poem about sitting in the backyard for her poetry class and the professor commented that her shade was generic and could be anywhere. I told her we have a lovely palo verde tree in the backyard, if you mention the tree by name he can’t fault you for being generic. So I think having a palo verde tree in my poem invokes a specific place. Also Gretchen and I were sitting in the backyard yesterday and it was very windy. I told her, you could have yellow flowers raining down on you in your poem. She wasn’t particularly impressed with that; Yellow flowers are shitting on us. Well okay (yes it was very windy) but I told her that’s not very poetic.

The middle part of my poem is a memory of when Robin and a friend dug a big hole in our backyard one summer. Pretty much in the same locale as Speedy’s summer residence. I’m not sure if their goal was to reach China, but I remember as a kid thinking it was a possibility if one dug straight down through the center of the Earth. Robin’s friend just thought it was cool they were allowed to dig in the dirt. The other reason for this poem besides trying the sijo form again is I told Gretchen yesterday I write poems about the backyard every April but haven’t written one yet this year. Oversight corrected Lol! If you read the link to my previous backyard oasis poem, I talk about how they are getting snow in April back east. Yesterday I saw all the lovely snow pictures from Buffalo. If you ask me that would be the proper usage for shitting on us.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty-One

Partial View of My Window

Outside My Window

I watch the world pass by outside my window
Outside my window cars drive by with purpose
Outside my window people have places to go
Outside places to go while I stay home all day
Home all day doing laundry, mopping floors
Home all day cooking meals, washing dishes
Home all day scrubbing toilets, watching TV
Home all day reading books, passing the time
Home all day imagining life outside my window

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for our (optional) prompt. Have you ever heard or read the nursery rhyme, “There was a man of double deed?” It’s quite creepy! A lot of its effectiveness can be traced back to how, after the first couplet, the lines all begin with the same two phrases (either “When the . . .” or “Twas like,”). The way that these phrases resolve gets more and more bizarre over the course of the poem, giving it a headlong, inevitable feeling.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like this one, uses lines that have a repetitive set-up. 

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty one of #NaPoWriMo where maybe being stuck inside for the better part of a year is starting to wear on me. Sunday I get my 2nd vaccine shot and I’m hoping the world can return to normal sooner rather than later. Not that I get out a lot in normal circumstances, I do watch the world outside my window more often than not but I’ve never been cooped up this long nor have we had such a decline of people visiting us. A little interaction with the outside world would be nice. Just be advised despite what the poem says, little housework is accomplished in April so it would be best to wait until May to pop in for a visit.