AZ Matsuri Festival


2018 haiku ebook page 65

The AZ Matsuri festival is this weekend. They have been running a haiku contest to coincide with the festival the past four years. I have submitted every year and check out the ebooks when they become available. This morning I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my haiku included among the honorable mentions. This page will let you download and view all of the ebooks. Reading all the wonderful haiku is a great way to celebrate #NaHaiWriMo at the end of each book are the Japanese haiku. Shawn asked me if they were traditional nature, mora, kigo and kireji. I know the English haiku only had to be about AZ nature, but since I don’t read Japanese, I don’t know how traditional they are.

I hope everyone goes over to the AZ Matsuri website and downloads at least one of the ebooks. And any AZ residents, I hope to see your haiku and name in next year’s book. I’ve shared the submitting info every year, but I have yet to see a name and/or school I know. Well not exactly there are haiku by ASU students, but since Rachael is a biology major I haven’t asked her if she recognizes the authors.


Tau’ku Tuesday

Over the weekend, I read one of Ken’s posts and learned about the tau’ku. You can read it  here, as usual another poetry form involving math. I can’t seem to get away. The tau’ku is a shorter haiku though not as short as a lune.

Well after Shawn complained haiku were not worthy enough to pay honor to the trash bin, I of course decided to subtract a syllable and give him a tau’ku. Yes, my first attempt at the form was satirical since the subject was a trash container and not nature.

Taken away too soon
years trash bin earns retirement

But really the man asked for an epic for a trash can! He had to know his wife would go the opposite direction. Meanwhile winter has decided to make another appearance in Phoenix. It was cloudy yesterday and threatened to rain. I heard some places got a trace but nothing worth mentioning. It’s cloudy again today and our rain chances are suppose to pick up through tomorrow; we’ll see. As I was watching the news last night, they had a reporter up in Flagstaff, talking about the snow and the city’s lackluster winter. It’s been dry and warm across the state. I thought I’d try a more truer tau’ku.

Hot, dry winter longs for
Summer storms quench thirsty desert

Wow and I thought proper haiku were difficult, though I do enjoy satirical ones. The above tau’ku had several versions before I settled on this one. Still not sure I’m satisfied, but it’s a decent first attempt.

By the way, Shawn noticed I put the imposter (new trash bin) away. There’s nothing you can do; it’s the replacement and they even wrote our address on it. Then Shawn talked about the dented lid on the old one as the kids used it to climb over the wall and climb up onto our roof. The hole he drilled into the bottom, so it wouldn’t collect rain water. Yeah dude, it’s gone and it is just a trash can!

Out with the old

Old trash bin replaced
family makes big to-do
with final farewell


About 7 or 8 months ago, the city came around collecting all the old trash bins and replacing them with new ones. Ours was left behind, because I had already put it away. This morning they came and took our old one and gave us a new one right as Shawn and Rachael were getting in the car to head for work/school. I got a text from Rachael, They took the old trash can right in front of us.

I was thinking, okay that explains the ruckus I heard outside; I was too lazy to look out the window, but it seemed to me Shawn and Rachael were a lot louder than normal. She sent another text, Trash bin is gone 😦 I look out the window and reply, but we have a shiny new one. Did you say goodbye.

Then Shawn sent me a text, They took trashy! Oh good grief he gave the trash bin a name. I replied the same, Did you say goodbye. He also sent me back 😦 Only my family would enjoy lamenting the loss of a trash bin. Okay so it worked for inspiration today the #haikuchallenge word on twitter is make. And all I keep thinking is – Wilson! The scene in Cast Away when Wilson is lost made both Rachael and Gretchen sob.

lol! 😀

Haiku is too short
Trash bin older than daughter
Make goodbye epic

Hubby complained my poem was not good enough for a trash can older than our daughter; it was 18. He wants an epic or at least an ode.

Arizona Statehood – 106 years


Ferris Wheel at Block Party

Stand in line to ride
on top of the Ferris wheel
Spectacular view

Arizona became a state on February 14, 1912 and to celebrate the centennial the cities of Avondale and Goodyear had a parade back in 2012. Every year since then, the two cities have celebrated AZ statehood over at EMCC. Yesterday they had a festival at night; the past years it has been held during the day.

It’s been a pretty hectic week here last week. Gretchen is still doing the after school program to see Hamilton. Then on Tuesday, Shawn told me tomorrow’s going to be a long day. He failed to inform me he was flying out to California Wednesday to attend the machine show. He and Rachael were up at 4am, because she still carpooled over to ASU with Dad. He dropped her off at school was at the airport by 6am; spent the day in CA; then flew back. The two of them didn’t get home until midnight. On Friday Rachael got up early to go shadow the vet on surgery day. She was able to watch 4 surgeries: 1 bladder stone removal, 1 spay or neuter (I can’t remember), and 2 dentals. Friday was the opening night of the Exotic Show over at Alwun house. Shawn took off from work. Another thing he failed to mention. Once I learned he wasn’t going in to work and with Gretchen at school and Rachael at the vet office, I declared a lunch date.

Shawn and I went to Apple Bee’s Friday for lunch. Then the girls and I had Subway for dinner. Rachael was happy the next day was Saturday so she could sleep in. Hold the phone, Gretchen has to get to school. What? What about Dad? Well that silly man after staying out til 1am at the Exotic Show got up bright and early for the nurse’s book sale Saturday morning. But Rachael wasn’t going to have it; she works early on Sunday so Saturday would be the only day for her to sleep in for the week. She bribed Gretchen into riding her bike to EMCC. Then Gretchen got an email informing them about the street closure. She was all confused until I told her she could take her usual route to school. They are closing the street to cars not pedestrians.

Gretchen biked to and from school Saturday morning and saw the set up for the block party. At 6PM I asked the girls if they wanted to go with us, Rachael was onboard; Gretchen was a little hesitant until she remembered seeing the Ferris wheel, so everyone was off to the block party. Found out the reason Rachael wanted to go was because she was hungry. We hit the food vendors first, then got in line to ride the Ferris wheel. Glad we got in line when we did; it just kept getting longer. Gretchen wanted to know if we could eat on the ride. I assured her if she still had food, I would hold it. I wasn’t going on that thing. Mom doesn’t do rides or heights. Gretchen didn’t think I could hold all the food, but I told her, Rachael’s not going to have anything left to hold by the time we get to the front. And I was pretty sure I’d be done with mine as well, so only Gretchen’s burrito had to be watched.

Spectacular view

Celebrate Arizona statehood
at Culture Pop Block Party

Eating tamales and burritos
while standing in line
to ride the Ferris wheel

On the poetry front, I’ve written a haiku everyday since finding out it is nahaiwrimo. Today’s #haikuchallenge word on twitter is top. Good news first I received a couple acceptances for my haiku but with all the submitting I have also gotten some rejections. My poem for the Arizona panels during NaPoWriMo (April) was one of the rejections. Today I’m busy writing poetry while doing laundry. Last weekend I fiddled with a couple haiku on laundry.

After washer stops
I sit twiddling my thumbs
Dryer’s not finished

Only to check on the dryer to notice it wasn’t heating up. It’s been on awhile today, so I should check it, switching cycles last week did the trick, but we may need a new heating element – fun wow.

One Year Later – Nasty Women Poetry Reading


Reading order last night

After long first year
eclectic voices speak out
how we will survive


Last night the Nasty Women Phoenix poetry reading invited the women who read last year to come back and give their perspective on how the year went. It was not as well attended as last year’s reading, but this meant I actually could sit through it. I told Shawn I didn’t think it was as long as last year’s reading, being able to sit down may have been helpful. I’m not suppose to stand for too long. And almost all the poets returned to read again except one who moved out of state.

Shawn had a couple of his photos bought in support of Planned Parenthood. His mother’s art piece was still there. Shawn took my picture by it, but it’s still on his phone. Maybe I will share it here later.

I found out yesterday that February has been national haiku write month (NaHaiWriMo) for quite a few years as haiku is a short poetry form and February is the shortest month of the year. Today’s #haikuchallenge word on twitter is after. I’ve been pretty good at writing at least one a day so far this year. I’ve missed a couple, but I’ve written more than one some days. I also have been writing other poems, both haiku and other forms, for submissions. Here is a place to submit traditional (as in about nature not necessarily syllable count) haiku on AZ nature. Sorry it is only open to AZ residents and closes on February 9th. My AZ poet friends should have time to write something. Happy haikuing!

WD – Distraction Poem


Gretchen at playground Monday Afternoon

Park Distraction

Rest stop at the park

Meet 16 year old at late bus
drop off, just the two of us

walking home through neighborhood
distracted by playground equipment
brings back small slice of childhood


Robert Lee Brewer asked for a distraction poem as the 425 Wednesday Poetry Prompt. I decided to play with the cherita poetry form again. On Monday, my almost 17 year old daughter wanted me to meet her at the late bus drop off. She is getting to go see Hamilton at Gammage auditorium through her school. However the opportunity requires her to stay after school to learn more about the American Revolution before they go to the play. I honestly didn’t think she would do it, because it meant taking the late bus home and that is outside her comfort zone. Little did mom know she’d ask her to meet her at the bus stop, which is across the street from the elementary school. I haven’t made that walk in years. And yes, when I used to walk down there to pick up the girls after school (all the way back to pre-k), we would stop and play at the park. Over the years, the playground equipment has changed. They didn’t have the duck there when the girls were small.

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.


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

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.

School Rings


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.


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


Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights

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.