Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wine tasting; taking sips

wine tasting:
his usual gruffness
into a bouquet
of oak and berries

a winery outside Fredericksburg, Texas

taking sips
of prickly pear wine ...
subtle swirls
of sweet and biting
together in one glass

—both of these, Atlas Poetica, Issue 14, Spring 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Railroad arms

railroad arms
rise up as I approach ... 
on the long drive
to the hospital
I hope for an "all clear"

—American Tanka, June 2013, Issue 22

Between the two of us, we've had three trips to the ER in the past year-and-a-half. One of those visits, almost exactly a year ago, resulted in a hospital stay—for "him." Long story, but he made it through fine.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Each morning

each morning
outside the bedroom window
the redbird
trills triumphantly—
but where, oh where is his mate?

—Megaera ("Taking Form"), Vol. 8, Issue 4, No. 27, Fall 2006

I had forgotten about this quirky poem until I found it recently when paging through an eclectic (and fun) journal packed away in a box. The new editor wanted to focus on different poetic forms and asked me to prepare a brief tanka write-up. I doubt I was the most qualified spokesperson, since I was pretty much a newcomer to tanka, but I was glad to help spread the word. :)

We had a lot of cardinal activity at the old house. I'm glad to say that cardinals frequently visit here too, though none of them seem to be as loud as the one described above!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I trace them; somewhere

I trace them
clear back to Jamestown—
of the grandfather
I knew little about

—Simply Haiku, Winter 2009, Vol. 7, No. 4

among mountain wildflowers 
like these
the grandfather I never met
both lived and died

—Modern English Tanka, Vol. 1, No. 1, Autumn 2006

Of course, these aren't "mountain wildflowers" (or, specifically, Colorado wildflowers) pictured above. The photo is one of a thinning summer field of blanketflower (that is, I think!) beside a winery not quite an hour's drive from us. Blanketflower, I've found, pop up "everywhere" around here, including along the ditches where we live. 

About the grandfather, my father's father: there's an interesting story or two related to my father's discovery of his whereabouts and death. 

sharing with Poets United, 7/21

Friday, July 12, 2013

How to prune a poet

I'm not prolific.
To get more lines from me
you'd have to prune me first—
grab your hand shears,
cut my creaking, errant excess out.

But do it right, at the right times,
never in winter,
during my hibernation.
Trim me with a cultivator's touch,
after lavishing me with water,
nourishing me, tending my petals
as if you were in love.

Don't hack, how brutal.
You could leave wounds
that would never heal.
I could become infected;
then I'd lower my limbs
in a defeated poet's stupor.
And at the most, I'd write of throbs,
an egregious injury
the likes of which you,
grimy gloved, would never feel.

Megaera, Vol.8, Issue 3, No. 26, Summer 2006

sharing with Poets United 7/14

Monday, July 8, 2013

The wildlife

the wildlife,
are they getting used
to me? 
I who bombard their space
with my garden statues

—Atlas Poetica, #13, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The brimming bowl

the brimming bowl
of potato salad
she made at home tub of store-bought
.....shriveling beside it

red lights, Vol. 9, No. 2, June 2013

To those in the U.S., Happy Fourth! Eat a lot of potato salad.