Sunny Desert Winter

Last Monday I was chilly; it only reached 60 here in the desert. But over the weekend, it warmed up nicely. Yesterday it was 80 and I went in the backyard to soak in the warmth.

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Selfie of me in the backyard

While I was out there enjoying my desert heat, I read Ken’s blog – Missouri weather He wrote a cherita. It was the first time I saw this poetry form and since it it short, I had to give it a try. I borrowed from Ken’s piece as we are both Buffalo transplants.

Arizona weather

nothing like
Buffalo

sun will shine
no need to shovel
soak in the warmth

This website as more info on the cherita poetry form.

Then when I checked my following reader page on WordPress this morning, I saw more desert pictures from a post by Jasmine, Driving through the Arizona desert. I agree; I love my desert. Can you believe by the end of this week it’s going to be February? Friday, February 2nd is my mother’s birthday and groundhog’s day, marking the halfway point of winter. My mother disliked the bitter cold and snow of Buffalo winters. Shawn and I moved out to Arizona 19 years ago now, and I have to admit I do not miss the snow and cold. Also the humidity all those things affect my CP and the Arizona sun and warmth keep me a much happier person.

Enjoying the sun
my little slice of heaven
sits in my backyard

The #haikuchallenge word on twitter today is slice.

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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

January – Week 3

Tuesday has arrived
write cringe worthy poetry
post one blog a week

My post is a day late. I spent most of yesterday hibernating under blankets. It only made it to 60 and I’ve acclimated to the desert heat; 60 is chilly to me. I did write a haiku for the #haikuchallenge on twitter yesterday, but then I just enjoyed my peace and quiet. As it was Monday, everyone was out of the house by 7:30am, and then Gretchen had to stay after school for Hamilton and didn’t get home until 4pm, leaving me with 8 hours of heaven.

On Saturday Gretchen had her Eng 102 class at EMCC and Rachael had volunteer training at the Phoenix Zoo. The house was devoid of people on a Saturday! I did 4 loads of wash. I prefer to do laundry on the weekends because of the cheaper electricity rates though it means more in the summer when we’re running the AC. Then Shawn went over to his Mom’s house; they’re working on a piece together for the Exotic Show at the Alwun House. Opening night is February 9th this year, they have to get the artwork done.

Friday Rachael doesn’t have any classes so she and I went grocery shopping at Walmart. They had the entire freezer section emptied for cleaning and inventory. Ugh! This morning Rachael was looking for breakfast, the go to frozen waffles have been depleted and we couldn’t replenish them. Even Gretchen was asking for waffles and I had to tell her, oatmeal or cereal are choices this week.

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.

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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