Saturday, March 30, 2013

Faint pine scent

faint pine scent
from the Christmas candle
left out through March . . .
I like to believe
in peace a while longer

Wisteria, January 2007

This blog is looking kind of dull. I meant to include a photo here of the original candle, but I can't find it (the candle, that is). Maybe I'll uncover it by next Christmas, in which case I'll repost this one then!

To those who celebrate the holiday: H A P P Y  E A S T E R ! (And happy my-sister's-birthday too!)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I never planned

I never planned
on using grandfather's cane
its handle
suddenly resembling
the neck of a swan

—Ribbons, Autumn 2012

After retirement, my grandfather worked a small farm and was fit and spry until his 90s. I used that simple cane of his for a short while to steady myself on daily walks and outings to grocery stores after my back injury 13 or 14 months ago. 

By the way, I can't (yet? or maybe ever?) work out vigorously on the elliptical, lift weights, cut down large tree limbs, or yank out 20 ft strands of thorny vines—all things I took a certain amount of odd pleasure in doing—but I'm amazed at how relatively strong I am. And that's without any surgery.


Friday, March 22, 2013

We miss you

we miss you 
he writes in an e-mail
for the first time
my mouse-hand freezes
......unable to click delete

—A Hundred Gourds, 2:1, December 2012

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Winter sky

This tanka of mine was published at Haiku News recently (week of March 4), paired with the following headline:

Polarized Politics at Heart of US Budget Impasse

winter sky
blanketed by clouds—
it’s not the gray
that distresses me
but the black-and-white


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Not another death poem

—for Judy

This poem is not about death;
there are too many of those.
It is about everything else:
the long discussions of when
we were seven or twenty-two;
how we fancied being “great writers”
(both of us, even then);
how we were otherwise unalike,
you protesting in the streets,
      me watching,
you flirting with any and all
who would flirt back,
      me blushing,
you with the wild hair and umber eyes. 


It is about anything but now;
anything but the slow fading,
anything but the white lilies
that will cover you before
the next hint of frost on the meadow. 


—Loch Raven Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall 2005


This poem was republished in January at Juliet Wilson's Bolts of Silk; check out her fine 'zine.

Judy, who served as inspiration here, was a spirited "hippie" and somewhat-tragic figure from California; I got to know her a number of years ago at an online health-related forum. We had conversations about all sorts of things via e-mail and a time or two by phone. She grew up around music and had been a freelance writer (among other professions) who sometimes covered the L.A. music scene.


Judy helped and encouraged me with my first serious attempt or two at poetry. She said we'd have a fun time if I were there. However, she died too early, from an excrutiating illness—before, it would seem, she could finish living. (Neither of us, of course, turned into "great writers," but dreaming is easy!)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Crystal droplets

crystal droplets
and leafless branches
of dark bronze . . .
this chandelier becomes
a winter garden

— a tanka I posted at Kirsten Cliff's blog for her Siloh Tanka Contest 2012 ("Winter Dream") 


Though I may be very sensitive to allergens such as pollen—which we do have a lot of around here, even in winter—design-wise I like bringing the outdoors inside. My preferred aesthetic is rustic and old-looking with a small amount of bling. Thus, the above chandelier is perfect for me (and I managed to snatch it up for a decent price too). My significant other was lukewarm to it; however, on this item I wasn't going to compromise (smile). Alas, my winter garden!

P.S. In reality, the actual chandelier branches aren't completely "leafless." ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ekphrastic tanka: break, break, break

The subject of my tanka here is a Monet painting (see link to painting underneath poem).

break, break, break,
a cold sea’s crashing waves . . .
the grief
painted into
these rocks at Belle Île

Allusion to Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Break, Break, Break”
Claude Monet, “Rocks at Belle Île (The Pyramids of Port Coton),” 1886
Atlas Poetica ("Ekphrastic Tanka" special feature), Nov. 24, 2012

Read about ekphrastic poetry at Atlas Poetica and The Music In It: Adele Kenny's Poetry Blog (which focuses on the craft and enjoyment of writing poetry).