Sunday, March 30, 2014

Love Soup

Love Soup:
the recipe book
I give her,
a former stranger
who warmed my path

—LYNX, 29:1, February 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Each time I wake

each time I wake
during this long night
of painkillers
a half-composed tanka
fading in and out 

kernels ("featured poet"), July 2013 

Now, more than two years later, I'm doing a variety of physical therapy exercises to strengthen my "core." Had a good workout today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My next home and other house tanka

Below, several poems from the first half of my tanka career, most of them written and published at different times. Grouped together, I believe they almost form a sequence. Of course, in a deliberately written sequence, I hope I wouldn't have two brand-news and five houses or homes. ;) (And of course, years after the fact, I see an edit or two I perhaps should have made.)

my next home,

built among lean pines ...
and thinner the desire
to make a name for myself


I imagine it ...
our rustic home
sprouting up
through winter ryegrass

our brand-new

home site and, already,
some visitors ...
in the sandy loam
fresh tracks of deer

half the rooms
painted yellow—
a sin that I can't take
this much cheerfulness?

the time we spend
choosing our new front door
as if nothing else
much matters
but entrances and exits

up high

inside the porches
of our new home
wasps and daddy longlegs
all settled in before us

brand-new house
and yet another leak—
the puddles
I've been sloshing through
on my way to contentment

—"my next home," Tanka Splendor Awards 2007; "squinting," Landfall: Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka (anthology), 2007; "our brand-new," Nisqually Delta Review, Winter/Spring 2007; "half the rooms," Simply Haiku, Winter 2009; "the time we spend," Ribbons, Fall 2008, and Take Five (anthology), Vol. 1, 2009; A Pebbled Shore (TSA 2009 members' anthology); "brand-new house," Simply Haiku, Winter 2009.

Wouldn't you know it, but after all that effort in choosing a door (long story), the builder gave us the wrong size door, with no apologies.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Announcement: Tanka Time 2014

Check out Tanka Time 2014, an event sponsored by Mandy's Pages. You have until the end of this month to submit a tanka on the theme of "march or March." Participants will vote on the submitted tanka, and the winning poems will be posted on the website.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Brick by brick

brick by brick
they build a retaining wall
behind their house
     sturdy enough to hold
     a couple of lifetimes

Ribbons, Fall 2013

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Announcement: 2014 Tanka Society of America International Contest

Be sure to mark your calendars for the 15th annual Tanka Society of America International Contest! The submission window will be open May 1 through June 30. Members and nonmembers alike are eligible to participate, and the entry fee is only $1 per tanka. For submission details, see the TSA website or the new issue of Ribbons, the TSA print journal (which will be mailed to members very soon).

P.S. The coordinator this year is ... me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

E-mail subscription issue

Well, it seems my FeedBurner e-mail subscriptions aren't working. I know I'm not the only Blogger experiencing this problem. I assume all twigs&stones e-mail subscribers haven't received my posts for several weeks. Sorry about that! If I knew how to fix the problem (and if it were quick to fix), I would. I'll continue to attempt to check into things as I find the time. Of course, if you're reading this notice, that probably means you're not an e-mail-only subscriber!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tanka prose: Progeny


My mother was witness. I see myself, as if looking from above. 

four years old
how the china doll
I held  
shattered on the floor 
. . .  still my empty arms

Though well cared for, most of them met with tragedy at some point: for example, the pretty one whose neck gave out; the "kissing" doll who broke when I gave her a bath in my grandparents' sink; the baby doll riddled with dart holes courtesy of a neighbor boy (brother to my best friend).

Polly, the doll
with long golden braids
and a gash
that allowed me to see 
her sawdust insides

I chose the names of my future daughters when I was just a child. From where does the nurturing instinct come?     

a girl whose dolls
were all neatly clothed
and coiffed . . .
not knowing then
that I'd have no children

Skylark, premiere edition, Summer 2013
"a girl whose dolls" was initially published in Simply Haiku, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring 2008), and subsequently in Take Five, Vol. 1 (2009)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

North wind

north wind
lashing my face—
I decide 
it's time to start
walking backwards

GUSTS, Spring/Summer 2013

Warm this morning, then another cold front roared through, at the exact time that my husband was pumping gas at the station. 

P.S. Walking backwards is good exercise. If you haven't already done so, try it.