Happy National Siblings Day

Siblings
Form special bond
Know your every quirk
Always there when someone’s in need
Sisters

Siblings
Wonderful. kind
Loving, caring, nagging
Family grows strong together
Sisters

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 10 –Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is a portrait of someone important to you. It doesn’t need to focus so much on what a person looks (or looked) like, as what they are or were. If you need inspiration, here’s one of my favorite portrait poems.

Welcome back to day 10 of NaPoWriMo and Happy Siblings day! Since it is siblings day, I decided to compose a portrait poem about my sisters. And I like short poetry forms and decided the cinquain is a descriptive poem and wrote two poems – one for each cinquain form. Click on the links below to learn their slight variations.

Poem one

Poem two

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Phoenix ComiCon

 

Last year we skipped Phoenix ComiCon to attend Leprecon and to meet Dayton Ward. Yes, mom was a happy fan, but the girls found the other con somewhat lacking. This year we were back at the big ComiCon. I even got Rachael to answer questions about Frankenstein for a project by some people over at ASU.

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Gretchen and Rachael at Phoenix ComiCon

Phoenix ComiCon
Wheelchair will not slip through crowd
Dad abandons us

Both Rachael and Gretchen couldn’t wait to get dressed up as Attack on Titan characters. Rachael was able to attend two days of the con. On Friday they had an Attack on Titan cosplay meet up.

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Attack on Titan Meet Up Phoenix ComiCon

Meanwhile Gretchen was upset, because she didn’t have anything cool to wear on Saturday. Rachael told her she could wear the uniform and she’ll wear the suit. On Friday Rachael said a few people came up to her to ask where she bought her wig. They wanted to buy one, in a different color of course. Levi’s hair is black which if you were that well versed in Attack on Titan (Rachael is) why would one think she had the wrong color for a wig. Yeah, it’s her real hair.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 29

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Hometown Goodness 

Sahlen’s hotdogs sold
in Arizona, brings me
taste of Buffalo

Shawn and I decided to move out to Arizona at the start of 1999. Shawn was recuperating from losing his spleen back in November due to mono and we were living with my mom and dad. At the beginning of 1999, we had a lot of snow in Buffalo. Both Shawn and I were tired of dealing with snow and cold. We decided to move to warmer climes. When we first moved out here, we would fly home to visit family every summer and pack an extra box of hometown food to bring back to Arizona. We can now buy real hotdogs at our local grocery store. Yesterday Rachael and I went out to get an oil change for the car. A first for me – you know 42 is the meaning of everything; I guess it’s a good thing I learn how to keep the car maintained. Note – I do NOT have a driver’s license; it’s not as bad as it sounds. But since Rachael got her license at the end of last summer and she’ll be going to college at the end of this summer, I thought someone should teach her vehicle maintenance. Then we went out to Yogurtini for some frozen yogurt and to support 4 paws, the local cat shelter Rachael works at. She asked me what we were doing for dinner. Well Nonnie did say Fry’s had Sahlen’s hotdogs.

Remember summer
playing outside after dark
catch fireflies in jars

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other. You could start by adopting Brainard’s uniform habit of starting every line with “I remember,” and then you could either cut out all the instances of “I remember,” or leave them all in, or leave just a few in. At any rate, hopefully you’ll wind up with a poem that is heavy on concrete detail, and which uses that detail as its connective tissue. Happy writing!

Speaking of memories, Silver Birch Press is running a learning to drive series now. Lots of great poems and memories on how it feels to drive for the first time.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 18

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By The ad and program were produced by NBC. – NBC Radio ad-photo from 2 page ad “Monday Night Comes to Life” from Life Magazine, April 12, 1937. NBC Radio ad, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31086637

Fibber McGee

Mom,
Guess who
I am

Okay,
Fibber McGee
No, try again
I don’t know

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore. My grandfather and mother, in particular, used several phrases I’ve rarely heard any others say, and I also absorbed certain ways of talking living in Charleston, South Carolina that I don’t hear on a daily basis in Washington, DC. Coax your ear and your voice backwards, and write a poem that speaks the language of home, and not the language of adulthood, office, or work. Happy writing!

This is a combination as I say Fibber McGee to my children often. When I was young, my mother would say Fibber McGee, I can’t remember the context but she had used the name enough I remembered it. I remember giggling, too, because who is really named Fibber McGee. Flash forward and my girls are constantly being someone else and want their mother to guess the character. One time out of exasperation I said, I don’t know, Fibber McGee. The girls started laughing and said, that’s not a real name. I told them, I don’t know I just remember your grandma saying it. I knew they’d get a laugh out of it, because I always had. But one day I was curious enough to google the name (the handy dandy tool wasn’t around when I was a child) and sure enough grandma didn’t pull the name out of her… MOM.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 15

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Rachael at 4 paws

A Place for Hope

Stuck at halfway point, I sit in kitchen
contemplating poetry, my phone rings distracting me
daughter calls for help mother pulled in two

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Because today marks the halfway point in our 30-day sprint, today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates the idea of doubles. You could incorporate doubling into the form, for example, by writing a poem in couplets. Or you could make doubles the theme of the poem, by writing, for example, about mirrors or twins, or simply things that come in pairs. Or you could double your doublings by incorporating things-that-come-in-twos into both your subject and form. Happy writing!

Today is a big day. Rachael is giving her senior project presentation right as I’m typing this. Good Luck Kiddo! And meanwhile, Mom is pilfering her title. Yes, A Place for Hope is the title of the project. Rachael volunteered at a cat shelter. Their senior projects had to be something that helped the community. Rachael has to tell a panel of teachers this morning how cat shelters help the community and she has a powerpoint presentation for it. But the wi-fi is acting up and her google docs wouldn’t load so she wanted me to email her the presentation. I think everything is copacetic now. Talk about being pulled in two as I was trying to come up with a poem dealing with doubles. This is another cleave poem – two separate poems make a whole third poem. The two poems alone are kinda senryu.

This just in – They LIKED it!

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.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 7

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Gretchen wrote out mom’s haiku text and her reply

New Meets Old

Han Solo back home
in Millennium Falcon
New Star Wars meets old

How did mom get old
raising children, stays at home
tethered like falcon

Labeled junk, Falcon
sits on Jakku now Rey’s home
skeptical of old

myths about Millennium Falcon – home to old smuggler

This all started Tuesday night, when I realized The Force Awakens was released on DVD. I sent a text to my husband, If you truly love your wife, you’d buy Star Wars on the way home. I didn’t think he would, but he does love me. ❤ Wednesdays are late start for Gretchen. As she was eating breakfast, I came out with the DVD and said, The big question is: Will mom wait for you to come home before watching? She grabbed it and took it off to her bedroom. Later she sent me a text, I forgot my story. Will you go in my bedroom and take pictures of it?

Well mom went into the bedroom, but wasn’t exactly sure what she was looking for except the Star Wars DVD sitting right on the desk. 😉 No, mom did not wait for her child to come home. She started watching it and sent a picture of the opening and then haiku texts on the plot. The first stanza of the tritina above. My daughter kept replying with evil emojis.

After BB8
get map to Luke Skywalker
definite no myth

And no, Katryn, I don’t need a job, teasing one’s daughter with haiku texts in April is way too much fun. It’s what I know.

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Our (optional) prompt for Day Seven comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who challenges us all to write a tritina. The tritina is a shorter cousin to the sestina, involving three, three-line stanzas, and a final concluding line. Three “end words” are used to conclude the lines of each stanza, in a set pattern of ABC, CAB, BCA, and all three end words appear together in the final line.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 5

 

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Honey Glazed Baby Carrots Photo Credit    

 

Little girl tugs on
green leaves, astonished to find
long orange carrot

Green leaves in garden
pique curiosity, how
can a long orange
carrot be found dangling
root vegetable hid from view

True story. When Rachael was 3 or 4, Dad had a garden in the backyard. One of the vegetables he planted were carrots. Now I don’t know if they were heirloom carrots, but long orange fit for my poem. Plus to a three year old yanking on green leaves to reveal an orange carrot… I wish we got a picture of the look on her face.

She saw the green leaves and asked her dad, “What is that?”

“Carrots.”

Oh no, he wasn’t going to fool her. She knew carrots were orange. Dad told her to pull on one of them. She did and an orange carrot came out of the ground. Here is the website I used to find heirloom carrot names.

NaPoWriMo Prompt – April is a time for planting things (at least where I am, in Washington DC – you may still be waiting for spring, or well into some other season!) At any rate, I’ve recently been paging through seed catalogs, many of which feature “heirloom” seeds with fabulous names. Consider the “Old Ivory Egg” tomato, the “Ozark Razorback” or “Fast Lady” cow-pea, “Neal’s Paymaster” dent corn, or the “Tongues of Fire” bush bean. Today, I challenge you to spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities. To help you out, here are links to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Baker Creek Seed Company. Also, here’s a hint – tomatoes seem to be prime territory for elaborate names. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find something to plant in your garden! Happy writing!

Poet’s Family

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Frost family spring/summer 1910

Always annotate
Pictures, my mother would say
Who is the poet

Okay don’t strain too hard, because I don’t think Robert Frost is in the photo. My great-grandmother, Bertha Mae (Frost) Tiger, is one of the women with a child on her lap. She and Robert Frost were cousins. My mom assumed the photo was taken in 1910 because her dad is not in the photo and he was born in December 1910. For most of my life, when my mom would get photo prints, she would annotate them with the person/people name(s) and place and year. It does come in handy when looking at old photos. But the above photo was not annotated and there has been speculation for years whether or not Robert Frost is there. I’m doubting it, because I was told he only showed up for one family reunion.

I still order photo prints, but my children, grandchildren and so forth will have to conduct online facial recognition searches. No mom, I do not annotate my pictures.

Haiku Chat

Rain falls in desert
Standing under umbrella,
I wait for the bus

Late start Wednesday
Friend asks, where are you? D4
Wait… There’s school today?

Eating lunch outside
as raindrops pelt the table
my butt keeps chair dry

See writing haiku
is not difficult at all
Count – 5,7,5

Chatting in haiku,
I pause to count syllables
Boom! Still get it done

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Gretchen came up with six haiku last night despite her mother’s aggravating haiku texts. But the one in the text chat, here, wasn’t in the final cut. And I did have to help with some syllable count. She had nine syllables in one. I’m pretty sure one reason was she counted every as two instead of three.

Stop speaking to me
in haiku! I speak German!
Ich spreche Deutsch, Ja

She even told her creative writing teacher yesterday, My mom keeps speaking in haiku since I told her about the assignment. 😉 Never tell a poet you don’t like poetry.