#PoetBlogRevival Part 2

BLOG BADGE 2019 Poetry Blogging Network

March also happens to be Cerebral Palsy awareness month and through the #PoetBlogRevival, I met Bekah Steimel, who was interviewing poets about their work as part of her blog. My interview appeared in March so I shared my poem Escape with her readers. And this brings us to April, National Poetry Month or better known to my readers as #NaPoWriMo where I insanely write a poem a day from the prompts at napowrimo.net

In 2017 I also got a job as a remote reader, grading the essays on standardized tests and I returned to this work in 2018, making April even more insane. Near the beginning of the month my poem. Pedernal, was published on ekphrastic.net. It was written back in 2011 when Shawn and I visited Ghost Ranch in New Mexico as part of our 15th anniversary trip. For anyone discouraged by rejections I can tell you your poetry will find a home somewhere. I actually got a rejection a couple weeks ago the same day I made the submission; and the editor said they send out quick replies so you can find the proper fit for your poetry. I know it’s meant to soften the blow of the rejection, but less than a day! Oh well, the poem went back in the queue.

Also in April, Patricia had a breakfast themed haiku podcast and despite the insanity of the month, I made a contribution. She also include a piece from my evil twin. Then we entered May and remote reading wound down for another year along with the school year. Rachael had a birthday – TWENTY; no longer a teenager and someone shared a quote by Sylvia Plath I found rather apropos. In July Patricia’s podcast focused on women; so you know me, one Sylvia Plath quote turned into haiku. The day the podcast was posted, I made my children listen to it while we were eating dinner. Hey, your mother’s a poet and you’re going to learn to like it.

AHHH… August the start of a brand new school year. Gretchen is now a senior in high school! How did that happen? It also happened to be the month I started not feeling well. One issue being the Cerebral Palsy, doing everything with one hand is catching up to me. My left arm/shoulder decided to spasm on me. I’m used to spasms on my right side due to the CP, but the left?! Come on I need that hand to work. A trip to the ER and explaining where the pain was located, the doctor swept his arm back and forth, Do you do this motion very often? Hmmm… let me think, yeah vacuuming,sweeping, mopping; chores I do everyday! So it was off to a physical therapist to learn exercises for my left hand. Ok that was new and different; I’ve only been to PT for CP related exercises.

At the end of the month three of my poems appeared in the summer issue of Unstrung. Then September, October and November were filled with doctor appointments I could have done without. I did not keep up with weekly blog posts for the poet blog revival 😦 But tomorrow begins a brand new year filled with new possibilities. And on a positive note, I do like my poetry short. It isn’t a huge strain to type out one-handed. Today’s #haikuchallenge word is place. And tying part 2 into part 1, I bring you another poem about the cold weather.

Freezing desert temps
Someone turn the sun back on
This place is too cold

My WTForecast app told me it was 31 this morning. Fortunately we had a bone-in ham for Christmas and split peas were set to soaking last night. I am off to make the split pea soup to keep us warm on the last day of 2018. Happy New Year!

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Thumb of a Tale

Tale of painful thumb
Recount cooking incident
Yearns for sympathy

As I was cooking dinner last night, I felt a shooting pain in my right thumb. I wasn’t even using my right hand. 96% of the time it is just a forgotten appendage. I’m not sure what I did to cause the pain, life with cerebral palsy; however, most of the time it is my right foot or leg causing me pain. As I need it to walk it’s a little harder to ignore. When Shawn came home, I was telling him the story. I was prepping dinner and oh… (small pause as I tried to remember exactly what I was doing when the thumb started hurting.)

Shawn looked over, Did your thumb just fall off? I start laughing; No, I was trying to remember what I was doing when it started hurting. If my thumb fell off wouldn’t there be blood spurting about? And how would one’s thumb just fall off? Well I guess I can pause for dramatic effect well when spinning a yarn. 😉

Saturday Stuck at Home

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John and Me – Casey Moore’s Tempe AZ

Rush Hour

Driving through Phoenix

in the HOV lane
enduring rush hour traffic

Idle conversation
reminiscing on our childhood
as we travel to Tempe

 

Hello all! Just a friendly reminder tomorrow is CP Awareness Day so wear your green again. Today is the day of the new AC install so we are stuck here until it’s finished. On Thursday my friend who has a home up in Sedona came down to Phoenix; he had to drop his dad off at the airport. While he was in town, he asked if we wanted to go out for dinner and drinks. In order for Shawn to tag along, John came over to the house and then we drove out to Tempe. It is easier for Shawn to drive to a restaurant close to work than it is for him to fight the rush hour traffic all the way back to the west valley. Otherwise Shawn would have had to leave work very early. Instead John and I got to drive through the mess of Phoenix traffic. Shawn picked the restaurant as I know nothing about restaurants out in the east valley. Casey Moore’s is an Irish Pub 😉 the food was great and it was a nice evening to sit outside and enjoy it while catching up. Though John was the other friend who visited in November when Rick and Charles were in town. It hasn’t been overly long since our last visit.

Well since I’m stuck at home anyway, I thought I’d update on the poetry front. NaPoWriMo is closing in – one week from tomorrow. I got my poster from poets.org so I think I’m ready. I made a couple submissions this week, but otherwise all I’ve heard is crickets. The NaHaiWriMo Facebook page shared a submission call by Jacquie Pearce. Since we traveled by train on our honeymoon, I’m working on an entry.

 

Yes, I’m also working on other poetry forms today. I need to stretch my poetry muscle for NaPoWriMo – not sure if I’ll blog again before then, but I hope to see a lot of readers everyday in April.

Cerebral Palsy Awareness

emerald color
supports cerebral palsy
keep calm and stay strong

March is cerebral palsy awareness month and the 25th is CP awareness day. But you would never know I have not worn the Emerald Isle color in years. On St. Patrick’s Day I’ve been known to wear orange. 😉 I grew up Protestant and I enjoy poking fun at Shawn’s Catholic upbringing – not to mention his grandmother was Irish. How does a man with Irish roots spell his name Shawn and not Sean? That’s a funny story. His grandmother’s maiden name was Barry. When she was pregnant with Shawn’s dad, she wanted to name him Barry if he was a boy and Shawn for the middle name. Cele (Shawn’s grandmother) wasn’t sure about the Irish spelling for Sean. She asked her neighbor who was straight off a boat from Ireland. The neighbor told her, S-h-a-w-n. At least this is the story I’ve been told. I think the neighbor liked the anglicized spelling over the Irish.

Well I’ve known that green is the CP awareness color for a couple years now, but I haven’t gotten a green shirt until this year. It just came in the mail the other day. When I wear it, I’ll be sure to snap a photo. I have the SunDevils reward app from ASU. You can log on everyday and earn pitchforks. As the pitchforks accumulate, you can redeem them on ASU merchandise. I saw they had Pat’s Run t-shirts from a couple years ago in the reward store and they were green. It says, Live your dash. I like the message as dash doesn’t necessarily have to mean run. Just like Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – there are plenty of synonyms to pick. Okay but really for green there aren’t many I like probably another reason I don’t have much of it in my wardrobe.

#NaHaiWriMo – March On

hosking

My Buffalo Children’s Hospital Photo

Frail physique
mind like a steel trap
cerebral palsy

Hello and welcome to March – Women’s Herstory month and Cerebral Palsy Awareness month. Since I fall into both categories, this should be interesting. When I found out February was #NaHaiWriMo, I stumbled on the Facebook page; and they actually have daily prompts for haiku all year long. Finally figured out where and how to contribute my haiku. It is not one of the most user friendly pages I follow. But I saw today’s prompt was frail and thought it would make an excellent intro for #cerebralpalsyawarenessmonth

My Herstory – a long time ago in a city far, far away (40 years ago in Buffalo, NY), I was sent to the children’s hospital for physical therapy for my CP. According to my mother, the above photo was taken at the hospital as part of my patient record. I hate the picture, but it’s still here. The downfall of marrying your high school sweetheart; Shawn took a bunch of old pictures of me and made them into a collage for my high school graduation. It did offer inspiration for my Golden Pixie poem in the My Mane Memories series on Silver Birch Press.

Here are 31 Cerebral Palsy facts in an article written by Nicole Luongo

Accentuate the Positive

Welcome to #WorldCPDay. Sunday Shawn and I attended the Bare It All Expo at 9 the Gallery. It was well attended and the women who spoke about self love when confronted with impossible body ideals to live up to were quite inspirational.

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Me and My Poem 9 the Gallery

In honor of #WorldCPDay, please visit the website for the new United Cerebral Palsy center in the Garfield District, downtown Phoenix.

World CP Day

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Bare It All Hosted by Jaclyn Mo

The Bare It All Expo is this Sunday October 2nd at 9 the gallery from 4-6pm. So why is this post titled World CP day? Simple World CP Day is October 5th and my poem will be in the Bare It All Expo a few days prior.

 

 

Bare it all poem
did not try to reflect self
living with CP

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 9

Saturday morning
slow as a sloth
I

Slept past
10am
now I feel
spry

NaPoWriMo Prompt – for our prompt (optional, as always). This one sounds simple, but it can be pretty difficult. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write. This might be because it expresses something very personal that makes you uncomfortable – either because of its content (“I always hated grandma”), or because it seems too emotional or ugly or strange (“I love you so much I would eat a cockroach for you”). Or even because it sounds too boring or expected (“You know what? I like cooking noodles and going to bed at 7 p.m.”). But it should be something that you’re genuinely a little scared to say. Happy (or if not happy, brave) writing!

A line I’m afraid to write. Hmmm… I’ve done this in the past as recently as yesterday. When the prompt said, write about a flower, I didn’t want to get melancholy but looking through pictures, the blue daisies were the first to say something to me. And then there is the line, living with cerebral palsy.

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Me and Jennifer DuVal

Shawn posted this picture to Facebook, after we went to a Fred DuVal fundraiser saying, you’re going to hate me. Ugh… he knows I try to hide my hand and usually feet (as I mostly wear sneakers) in pictures.

Well now that I’ve shared something I don’t like about myself, the wonderful thing about a house with two teenagers and Saturday morning. They both sleep in too, and Rachael just finished cooking bacon…P.S. the bacon was yummy.

Laceless Sneaker

Under watchful eye
Night before kindergarten
Struggle to tie shoe

This morning as I was tying my sneakers, I was thinking about when I was 5 years old. It was the night before my first day of school and I was terrified I was going to fail on the first day of kindergarten, because I couldn’t tie my shoes. I remember sitting up in bed, a sneaker in my lap, and trying over and over to tie the laces. When my mom came in to check on me, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was finally successful and I showed my mom I could tie laces. Much to my relief I wasn’t going to fail the first day of kindergarten. Never mind the five year old logic that said inability to tie sneaker – FAIL. Inability to zip zippers gets a pass.

Day 6 of NovPAD, Robert Lee Brewer mentioned the innovations humans have created. And I was just thinking Nike needed a laceless sneaker with good ankle support 35 years ago. By the way, I am pretty good at tying laces now, but I still struggle zipping zippers. So I’m really keeping an eye on this innovation – Auto Zipper.

Playing Catch Up

I’ve been visiting family back in Buffalo, NY the past two weeks. It was just me and the girls. My husband stayed home alone for two whole weeks. I knew I would have catch up chores to do, but I thought he would do some cleaning. His excuse, I made sure the animals didn’t die.

We got in at 9am yesterday and the first thing I decided to do was tackle the vacuuming. While I was doing this, the little one came up to me and asked what the date was – July 24th why? I knew it; the milk says July 21. She drank most of a glass until she noticed chunks in the bottom. Ewww… After I vacuumed, I cleaned the cat litter and noticed the toilet was not cleaned in two weeks either. We have hard water build up. I scrubbed but it was not completely coming off. I usually clean my toilet twice a week to help keep the hard water stain in check. I put some white vinegar in the bowl to sit over night. It looks better, but it’s still going to need more scrubbing. I was worn out from travel and cleaning so we only did soup for dinner. Then I went to watch the 6pm news. By 6:30 I was snoring and didn’t wake up until 7 this morning.

Today I’m working on more cleaning and catching up with the lessons at How Writers Write Poetry. Yesterday Rachael brought her suitcase into my room. I thanked her for bringing my suitcase over before I noticed it was the wrong one. Then I noticed she was unpacked already! She brought it to me to put away. This morning I unpacked my suitcase and Dad was able to put two of them away before heading to work. Then I worked on bills. I paid everything that came in before we left and told hubby he shouldn’t have to pay anything unless something comes in I’m not aware of. Well doctor bills came in and were due July 22. Hubby said, I told you they came in. I said, And you didn’t notice the due date? Oh well if he was on vacation with us, the bills would be late anyhow. A few days won’t hurt anyone.

Exercise 4 – Mindful Poetry

I actually did this poem before leaving on vacation, but did not have an opportunity to post it.

Escape

Escape within
living with cerebral palsy
Escape within
writing poetry I begin
to lose constraints my mind is free
words give me possibility
Escape within

I’ve watched the video lessons for Meter and Containing Multitudes this morning. I enjoy working with meter. I write a tweetku for the #haikuchallenge on twitter as often as I can. Because I’ve been out of the writing swing for a couple weeks. I went over to see what the haiku challenge word was today, left. I wrote a senryu but so far that is the extent of my poetry writing today.

Poetry seeps out
CP affects my right side
Left handed, I write

And my dryer just called me so I’m off to switch the laundry over.