Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The SILOH Tanka Contest

Check out Kirsten Cliff's blog for the results of her SILOH Tanka Contest, including the wonderful top-placing poem by André Surridge. This year's theme: Winter Dreams.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Radio tuned; the heartbreak

radio tuned
to Texas country,
its lonesome cowboys—
my nondescript accent
briefly switches to twang

red lights, June 2012

the heartache
in those country tunes—
whole cornfields died
before my own heart
would grow back again

—red lights, June 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I step right through

I step right through
a mad swarm of love bugs,
until now
unsure of my status
as a superhero

—Simply Haiku, Winter 2009

And there were masses of them, in the thousands, that summer during construction. Inside, they mostly were dead—heaped throughout the future living and dining rooms, in the AC floor registers, filling (and nearly discoloring) the brand-new tub. But outside they swarmed for weeks. It wasn't long before I stopped bothering to shield myself from them as I walked up the steps, bare-armed and bare-legged, to the side entrance of the house.

I had no idea then that those little bugs were harbingers of things to come over the next three or so years.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This room of theirs

this room of theirs
a mishmash of themes
and colors,
photos of us kids
anchoring the decades

A Hundred Gourds, June 2012

That day when we must begin going through decades of stuff and moving our parents to a different place may not be so far away.

photo copyright of Robert Curtis

Friday, July 13, 2012

Off the highway

off the highway
Old Potato Road
etched through the pines
like some kind of secret
no one ever told me

—Eucalypt, Issue 12, May 2012

When we first came across that road, on the drive to Round Rock, the inevitable question arose: "Where's New Potato Road?" We've looked and, not too surprisingly, have never found it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Never thought

never thought
a life could grow to be
this unadorned,
my daily pot of oatmeal
steaming on the stove

—Modern English Tanka, Autumn 2008; 
Take Five, 2009

Never thought I'd be wanting that routine back, but after a long stretch of semichaotic living I believe I do. Time to simplify again and even get a wee bit organized. . .while still keeping the infusions of fresh ginger (per the previous poem)?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Into steaming tea

into steaming tea
I release curls
of fresh ginger. . .
one in a while, my life
borders on exotic

Modern English Tanka, Summer 2007

photo copyright of Robert Curtis


Wednesday, July 4, 2012


What does a tea website have to do with my writing blog? Not very much. But my sister, who took all these tests to become some type of certified tea specialist, is assisting a friend with K'Tizo Tea, a new venture. So, if you're a lover or liker of tea, as I am, check it out. (And if you happen to live in the Chicago area, note that I believe there may be plans for a shop in the suburbs. They also sometimes have booths at local farmers markets.) I may know what I'll be receiving for my birthday and Christmas

Speaking of tea, it's so hot here now, iced tea is sounding kind of good.

Next: a tea poem.

P.S. Happy Fourth to those in the U.S.!