#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.

Hummingbirds – Sure sign of spring

Sitting on back porch
Hummingbird buzzes my head
Sure sign spring is here

Good afternoon readers. Yesterday I got a text from Gretchen while she was supposed to be in German class; There’s a hummingbird outside my window. I think it was distracting her away from the computer screen. I just laughed wasn’t anything I could do about it. Later in the afternoon I went out into the backyard to enjoy the sunshine and as I was sitting on the back porch I heard a loud buzzing. I turned my head slowly and said, I hope you’re a hummingbird. Sure enough a huge hummingbird was hovering right near my ear. And of course I had to ask, You wouldn’t be the same hummingbird bothering my child earlier, would you? The bird didn’t answer me and flew off.

It seems every spring the hummingbirds enjoy our aloe. Here are a couple haiku I wrote two years ago about the birds and spring. And last year Patricia shared my hummingbird haiku on her Pea TV moment (once again hummingbird capture credit goes to Gretchen). This year is no different the aloe and hummingbird are once again a favorite subject in my haiku.

Thank you to the Arizona Matsuri haiku expo judges for selecting one of my haiku for honorable mention. My other entries were:

Cactus shadow grows
Sun sinks below horizon
Ochre sky above

Canada geese honk
Flying over winter home
Snow covered cacti

#NaPoWriMo Flowers

 

Girl no longer chaste
Plucks a rose from his garden
Red as her cherry

NaPoWriMo Prompt – For today, I challenge you to write a poem in which one or more flowers take on specific meanings. And if you’re having trouble getting started, why not take a gander at this glossary of flower meanings? (You can find a plain-text version here). Feel free to make use of these existing meanings, or make up your own.

Good morning and welcome to day eleven of NaPoWriMo where I have found inspiration in our rose bush. I have taken pictures of the roses before; I love when the buds are in bloom. This year it has really flourished. Early this week when I went out to check the mail, I decided I wanted to snatch a bud to adorn my table. My kitchen table is a mess right now, so I snapped the photo in front of my bedroom window.

Yes, I deflowered my husband’s rosebush. 😉 Turn about’s fair play, right? Not to worry, the bush has over half a dozen buds this year, as I said, it has really flourished this spring. I hope everyone enjoys their Easter weekend and has the chance to go out and smell the roses.

March Draws to an End

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Hummingbird and aloe bud picture by Gretchen Hosking

Pretty small creature
Flitting about aloe blooms
Spring is in the air

Hello Readers and welcome to the last day of March #NationalCerebralPalsyAwarenessMonth and the unofficial start to #NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt at NaPoWriMo.netAnd now for our early-bird prompt (optional, like all our prompts!) Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poetic self-portrait. And specifically, we’d like you to write a poem in which you portray yourself in the guise of a historical or mythical figure.

And no the above haiku is not for the prompt. The haiku challenge word on twitter today is pretty and after reading the self-portrait poem by Mary-Kim Arnold, I was thinking about birds. We have had several (or maybe one several times) hummingbirds visit our aloe this spring. They are quick little creatures and I haven’t been able to photograph them, but lucky for me I borrowed a photo without permission.

Playful zephyr lifts
away winter blues, touting
how lovely is spring

 

 

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twelve

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Palo Verde in Backyard

Backyard Oasis

Temperatures soar in Phoenix and like the bird, I rise out of the heat. In my backyard, the palo verde blooms. I sit outside soaking in the beautiful spring day. Where I was raised is seeing snow in April – too cold for me. My desert home may not be lush in green, but the springs are bright. When I head outdoors, I am able to stay cozy in shade.

Welcome warm sunshine
Green tree boasts yellow flowers
Snow long forgotten

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s (optional) prompt picks up from our craft resource. We’ve challenged you to tackle the haibun in past years, but it’s such a fun one, we couldn’t resist again. Today, we’d like to challenge you specifically to write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. It may be the high sierra, dusty plains, lush rainforest, or a suburbia of tiny, identical houses – but wherever you live, here’s your chance to bring it to life through the charming mix-and-match methodology of haibun.

Good Morning and welcome to day twelve of #NaPoWriMo remember it is DEAR day in honor of Beverly Cleary. Drop Everything And Read. My readers may remember at the end of January, I was complaining about being chilly despite our Sunny Desert Winter. It doesn’t take a huge temperature drop to make me cold as I’ve acclimated to the desert heat. Well this past Tuesday, Phoenix recorded its first official 100 for the year. Yay! I still think it’s better than the snow they’ve gotten in Buffalo this month. Well I hope I was able to bring the desert to life in my offering today. I am off to get some housework done before I have to log into work. Then hopefully I’ll be able to dear.

Ghazal Day 13 Late

Springtime celebrates new life – happy birthday
The Earth grows green again. happy birthday!

April 12th Drop Everything and Read
It’s Beverly Cleary’s happy birthday!

April 22nd go plant a tree
New life sprouts up to wish happy birthday!

Everything starts to bloom in the spring
And birds begin to sing, happy birthday!

Easter Sunday we celebrate rebirth
Sins are forgiven a real happy birthday!

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 13 – Today’s is an oldie-but-a-goody: the ghazal. The form was originally developed in Arabic and Persian poetry, but has become increasingly used in English, after being popularized by poets including Agha Shahid Ali. A ghazal is formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lined of the first couplet end with the same phrae or end-word, and that end-word is also repeated at the end of each couplet. If you’re really feeling inspired, you can also attempt to incorporate internal rhymes and a reference to your own name in the final couplet.

Welcome to the day 13 prompt for NaPoWriMo. I’m not completely satisfied with this attempt, but at least I can say I gave it a try. When I sat down to think about the prompt, the first thing I thought was oh, I missed Beverly Cleary’s birthday yesterday. And I got stuck on birthdays. Then I continued watching Th1rteen R3asons Why. I left off on the poetry episode. I think the world was trying to tell me something.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium-Tropaeolum

CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Wikipedia

Nasturtium leaves
add some zing to salad greens
with hint of radish

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 5 – In honor of Mary Oliver’s work, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often. Try to incorporate specific details while also stating why you find the chosen place or plant/animal meaningful.

Here we are on day five of NaPoWriMo. On the first day I told you Rachael is taking an outdoor eduction course at ASU. She is also taking a garden class. She learned about the nasturtium flower and told us how it tasted like radishes. Well Mom wanted a taste and she brought home a couple leaves last week. Whew! They definitely have a kick.

Meanwhile Gretchen is not feeling well and stayed home from school today. Poor girl has slept the morning away. I need to get set up to work, the new adventure I told you about the last day of March. It is online so I am able to work from the comfort of home. Great gig for someone who can’t drive. I need to check on Gretchen to see if she needs anything before my work day begins.

If the little American sentence was not enough poetry to satisfy your nature needs, here is one I wrote on Desert Spring Silver Birch Press published a couple years ago. Enjoy the rest of First Contact day.

Countdown – Last Day of School

April is in the rearview mirror now. I was quite pleased I only missed two days with everything I had to deal with last month that was an achievement. Plus I wrote more than 30 poems since I did write more than one poem on a few days. Shawn has been taking a lot of time off to deal with family issues. Unfortunately this meant he could not make Gretchen’s final concert for middle school. The great thing about Nonnie living in town; she came over after work and took us. It was a lot of fun.

The #haikuchallenge word today is roar. The choir did sing Katy Perry’s Roar but I did not get video of it. The theme for the spring concert this year was music through time. They started with Gregorian chant and worked up to modern day music. Here is a clip where they got the audience roaring.

Final spring concert
Eighth grade champs go out with roar
Don’t Stop Believin’

No worries they stopped and reset, singing it well on the second go round. And the last song the 8th graders sang as part of the Jaguar choir –

Thanks, Mr. Moore!

NaPoWriMo Day 22

Spring Colors

Orange
Petals caress
Blue sky – stretch out in praise.
Springtime flowers bask in sunshine
Yellow

Artist Gail Goepfert. Sulphur Cosmos “friendship flowers”

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for (as always, optional) prompt! Today is Earth Day, so I would like to challenge you to write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature. One great way of going about this is simply to take a look outside your window, or take a walk around a local park. What’s happening in the yard and the trees? What’s blooming and what’s taking flight?

Taking flight around here? My sanity. Real life is rather chaotic at the moment. But never fear Rattle Magazine has an ekphrasis challenge and the last one was about flowers. My entry did not win. Last Saturday Rattle posted the Artist’s choice(here). This Saturday they will post the editor’s choice.

Hopefully things will settle down here soon. In the meantime, Rachael is raising money to feed hungry children. Check out the fundraiser here and please consider a donation. Thank you!