Haiku for the weeks: 10/30/14 – 11/11/14

10/30/14
skim-coated sunset
delicately tints soft air,
sweeping dusk sighways

This haiku was the first one after a bit of a break/fall off the wagon. I seem to keep needing to relearn to slow down in my day to day life – and keeping an eye out for a good image/thought to use in haiku usually helps me get there…unless I just stop looking. The image referenced above was so beautiful, even despite the sheer embarrassment of gorgeous sunsets in rural Kansas where nothing blocks the display, so touching that it made me stop for a minute and see instead of think.

I went to an AMAZING writer’s retreat in Truchas, New Mexico put on by Tupelo Press (if you haven’t yet, please check them out – they have lots of resources for writers of all levels!) and met fantastic people and learned good things about myself…it was after four weekends almost in a row of travelling: seeing the daughter in college; driving four hours to the rennaissance fair with the kids, my sister and her three kids; flying out of state for a long lost family reunion/grandmother’s 90th birthday; and this…I knew it was too much. I’m an introvert. I was tapped out. I was strapped for cash and I knew I shouldn’t do it. But it wouldn’t let go of me and the universe kept telling me to listen. And I’m so glad I paid attention.

I still have a lot to process about how to proceed with suggestions, more questions than answers, which is a good thing. I still have beginnings of relationships that I need to touch back with, people I’m eager to know more if I could just figure out how to jump back into the conversation again. And I’m still working too much. But I could breathe among kindreds, if only for a few days, and I know they exist. And because of them, I feel a little more centered, a little less squirrely with myself, and I find myself looking for those moments again. I guess, the point is, getting in a rut isn’t a problem. It’s the choosing to stay in one that’s a real drag.

After coming home and scrabbling for a few days to catch up with everything, I got up one morning with the sun and again was moved by the beauty I was met with:

11/08/14 sunrise
glimmering ribbons
streak color skywards to its
buttermilk edges

11/09/14
crows, like you and I,
use their wings to breathe, pumping
air like water in –

bullfrog caws thrust from
open beaks – shadows swimming
through snow burdened falls

11/10/14
your ashes trellis
laddering tree limbs, mingling
with the blowing dust

11/11/14
cold fronts plow flat air,
curry sand from empty lots
into churning plumes

I’ll keep savoring my experiences this past weekend and will hope that you and I will keep noticing beauty, pain, whatever the moment brings and pay attention to it.

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Haiku for the weeks: 10/02/14 – 10/22/14

How has it already been three weeks? It seems harder and harder to squeeze a moment of peace from these busy times as the daylight hours shorten…and they’ve been such mild, generous days for mid-October here: sunny and with such a deep blue. It feels like a sin to waste them in an air-conditioned office under the menacing buzz of fluorescent lighting. When I need it most, the slowing down of observing and writing, is when I’m least likely to make it a priority. We are foolish little creatures, aren’t we?

10/02/14
broken birds thrash
the viscera within:
enfeebled, moot

10/05/14
granite, bleached by sun,
pitted by tides, still surges
up to catch its breadth

10/07/14
a dream koala
clung snugly, needing me but
not weighing me down

10/08/14
in the beginning
none of us knew who we were-
it was all fire and ice and

breast milk. every
other thing: a magic we
could never fathom.

we would shape names like
tools: fashioned words to hold the
aching pains in our ribs,

strung up clear wires
puppeting the world: disguised
them with latin terms,

exclamation points.
in the end, we still murmur
questions in our sleep

10/08/14
his kind of vow is
a cheshire sunset, too
ruddy to last long

10/09/14
tin-can crumpled, these
souls come for recycling,
asking for refunds

10/11/14
cinnamon milo
sifting over turmeric
weeds and coffee grounds

10/12/14
spiraled, shedding bark,
bleached cottonwood bones leak white
to overcast skies

10/13/14
arthritis

corrosion crystals
mushroom up, fairy-circled
and peels spines from joists

0/16/14
blackbirds at recess
hands spread in jacket pockets
zooming playground skies

10/17/14
these darkened mornings
-pregnant only with delay-
scrape the horizon

10/19/14
pruning the autumned rosebushes

grey and brittle-pricked,
she didn’t ask to die but
resists uprooting

I apologize
and expose gnarled flesh once used
to defend her hips

her sudden release
no less sobering a task
as how to fill one’s whole

10/21/14
across dawn’s bright moon
scoots one fleck, scoots another;
flocks scatter like stars

10/22/14
literally

privilege is like
whiplash…realizing you
have it and how come

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Haiku for the weeks 09/20/14 – 10/01/14

This was one of the foggiest mornings anyone here in north-central Kansas could remember. But today, I travelled 20+ years back in time to when I would drive almost by touch morning upon morning in rural Michigan’s autumn trek to high school.  I tune back in and hear the radio telling me this will be one of the coldest winters they expect to have here; I can feel the truth of that, at least, in my bones.

09/20/14
this expanding self,
yeast bubbled and foaming,
gives itself away

09/21/14
setting sun’s brined reach
spangles golden leaves, scrubs
tinsel from summer

09/23/14
grown comfortable
with prickly self-worth doubts,
she acted, at last

09/24/14
we stalked upright to
walk like tree trunks instead of
scampering branches

roots in earth, not air
stalwart stewards, we ignored
our joy for leaping

09/25/14
seaweed spirals lure
currents, unravelling
colonies of hope

And so, I went and visited my daughter. I sat in earshot of her barista-ing at the coffee shop waiting for her to get done with her shift and wrote like I’d been humming the words all along…

09/27/14
doodling ladders with
firstborn and her fauna mates,
schlepping for donuts

her boyfriend echoes
her father were he ever
content or hipster

her colleged misfit
making-do-ness feels like home
to this rag-tag heart

09/27/14
erasure poems

this morning I made
found object fragments from lists
of past weeks’ haiku:

from 09/06/14-09/19/14

moldy scattered cells
glitter feral sagas of
sunlit emptiness

geysered dormance lifts
with tangerine eagerness
breath orbiting shifts

from 08/29/14-09/05/14

mild ruseful truths,
snug kernels, tinted sky trills;
silk stitches inward

I wrote these haiku in the days following, while waiting for the big poem that’s knocking on my brain to come out, the one that answers how we’re supposed to be, the one that I’ve been searching everywhere else for, the one that lives tethered within and is so easily spooked…

09/28/14
circles from above
ladders from the side: helixed
wisdom ascending

09/29/14
if

we’d intuited
elliptical wanderings
not egocentric

orbits; if we’d seen
more spectrum in the night skies…
hearts would beat with tides

10/01/14
when I told you there
was nothing, I was speaking
in code – hiding loss

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The best thunderstorm of the year!

This morning, I was up at 3am with heavy rain which simultaneously stimulated my need to zombie through the house, closing all of the north-facing windows AND relieve my bladder. Running water will do that to me. Then, once the thunder and lightening hit, the toughest cat of the three begged for snuggles and spent the next hours huddled in my body heat, purring and drooling. I know. It’s not pretty. But it was the best thunderstorm we’ve had in a while (in our parched 7 year drought side of the state) with ear-shattering explosions and laser light shows I mostly dozed at though heavy lids and under feather comforters. Decadent and invigorating.

Now, to be honest, we all know that if I wrote about any of this, about anything, really, solely for the fame and glory I would be catastrophically disappointed by now. Truly, all my neurotic striving serves as my own weird release and attempts at playful wonder especially on those days when I’m taking myself a little too seriously. I share my writing because it wants a home outside of my head. However, when a little bit of recognition comes my way, I can’t help but pass it along, too…and like this morning, when it rained this week, it poured.

My photography and poetry feature in a beautiful anthology which supports an amazing cause: “Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence” is a sweet and salty collection that benefits the Sonoma County YWCA’s domestic violence programs. It just came out and you can purchase the book at  https://www.createspace.com/4958014

I met one of the co-editors, Michelle Wing, at the AROHO conference just over a year ago and she is doing amazing things – including her first book of poetry, “Body on the Wall” which is a bittersweet, victorious, compelling witness of her experiences. Check out her book at www.saddleroadpress.com/body-on-the-wall.html and her webpage at http://michellewing.com/

Speaking of AROHO, what an amazing space for women writers! They are accepting applications for next years’ summer retreat, it would be amazing to meet some of you there! http://aroomofherownfoundation.org/retreat/

BUT WAIT, that’s not all!

I also learned this weekend that my photography and poetry were going to be featured in an emerging online journal, ty(poe:tic)us, and they JUST CAME OUT!!! Won’t you please take a minute to browse through and let me know what you think of these mostly non-haiku works? You can find the journal in total at http://www.typoetic.us/issue-2.html   I’m delighted to be published at all, but feel proud to have had so many of my babies end up in one spot, if you like them at all, PLEASE share with others…maybe their homes will be found inside the heads of you or your friends…

Thanks again for all of your support, you quiet but faithful readers, followers, lurkers, and/or incidental visitors. Tune back in again, won’t you?

 

 

 

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Haiku for the week 09/06/14 – 09/19/14

The quiet presence of mind needed to haiku has been elusive lately…my poetry, like my mind, is mostly scattered, drawn to shiny bits in the moment instead of focused and piercing into the new meanings I am hungry for. so, here are these tidbits…souvenirs, if you will, of these lean weeks.

09/06/14
what if we’d stayed here
without all this we expect
and learned to accept

09/07/14
they’re really dead skin
cells, sneeze particulates, dust:
let’s call it glitter

(in this charming morning sun)
and pretend I’m pretty, too

09/08/14 evening’s golden hours

sun’s fall from zenith:
a mildewy ritual
endeepening air

09/10/14 as with most political sagas…

…the frying pan
becomes a dirty dish
feral cats clean

09/11/14 how I saw the destruction on TV thirteen years ago

shattered windows glint
arcing storms through acerbic,
thrashing emptiness

09/14/14
yellowstoned tourists
footstep on the boardwalks
like hallowed heart beats

ticking, tracking, our
typewriter clacked confessions’
pressured geysering

09/15/14
this choice snores, dormant.
how long till ambivalence
lifts, burnt off like fog?

09/16/14
she kept saying things
like how our puppy was a
tangerine, rolled on

tables to loosen
the skin, ready to be peeled,
starting at his neck

09/18/14
ragged wings outstretched
trusting thermal breaths; I catch/
orbit fractal selves

09/19/14
Rashomon’s theorem:
when we protagonize, the
antagonists shift

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Haiku for the week: 08/29/14 – 09-/05/14

Once we walked into September, its sudden portal gave us autumnal mildness we couldn’t quite trust. We wander as if we’d always worn layers, furtively comparing our ruse with our neighbors’ purposeful strides down enleafed sidewalks. The heat bugs (whose sirens drown the crowded cricket chorus) will  give their two weeks’ notice once these freshly polished saturated colors fade with dust and wear.

08/29/14 for a freind who asked if illness was her way to avoid joy:
to cautious, to keep,
to duck joy’s roughhousing ways
to trust ones’ guts’ truths

08/31/14
Snug as wombs we coiled
lapping at each other’s fires,
nestled deep within

this cove of tramped-down
wheat stalks-helixed crop circles
of our own heelings.

You taught me to pluck
fat kernels, kneading warm grains
to bread in our mouths.

09/01/14
crisp apple air spans
aqua-tinted metal skies,
glinting cricket trills

summer’s scatterings
sift gravel road dust over
straw scented leaf drifts

spider silk stitches
your greenery together,
plucked of ripe peaches

09/02/14
as I dug in dirt
for miracles with a stick;
eagle-winged sun rose

09/03/14
dreamt of AROHO;
playful ritual and joy -
my heart brought me home

09/05/14
hunger sucks inward
belly-button to backside
head-clearing focus

 

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Haiku of the weeks 08/16/14 – 08/28/14

These past two weeks (and their resulting poems) have been full of promise and fear; sort of like a caffeine overdose – jittery exciting and wearisome all at once. Instantaneous furious flurries of anticipation  flushed with hope are hummingbirds that swoop in,lively thrumming, feed and speed away. I’ve been pendulummed between that glitter-eyed giddiness and it’s flip side, the anxious exhaustion of analytic dream-squashing pessimistic realism. I will be doing so until some of these unknowns begin to manifest themselves.

The good news is no knee surgery is required; the bad news is, there’s no fixing it until it’s so bad it needs replaced, and insurance is done with PT for this year so we’ll just have see how much activity I can tolerate. The good news is the offer was accepted on a new house; the bad news is, ours hasn’t yet sold; the good news is we can fix it up; the bad news is we’re tired of staying up late working on it; the good news is the guy can come refinish our hardwood floors this week; the bad news is it’s taking twice as long and we’re homeless in the meanwhile…

Oh, I suppose stability would become irritatingly boring after a while…but I think I’d be willing to give it a try at this point!

08/16/14
caterpillars must
become defensive to first
raise their cocoon walls;

to squeeze rubbered lungs
into tight, glossy segments,
stretch growing-pained limbs;

to shift from plodding
chewing to nectar-licking;
from plant death to sex.

08/17/14
what if I treated my soul like my house plant?

wilted, thirsty leaves
wait patiently for me to
save my captives’ lives

08/18/14
empty window creaks,
plucks my soul, syncopating
my inner clamor

08/19/14
smooth haiku chortles
as it’s smoked thru hookah pipes
shared amongst us all

08/20/14
eyes enfleshed, focus;
we’ll exhale through our pupils,
soften our gazes

our lungs are redwoods;
rootings gnarled towards vast skies
large enough to live

“now” finds us enoughed;
if we could only stay here -
soft, strong, and enlarged

08/21/14
wan skies seep towards earth:
the scent of destiny wafts
like cottonwood fluff

floats upward/away
just how glitter disperses
when we shake the globe

08/23/14
country yard work

snapped twigs twang loam-some
sorted/sordid pasts become
trailering piles

08/23/14
second verse

dumped in a shiny
pickup as skittering sticks
lift like strands of hair

08/25/14
perhaps we were birds
cooing and preening on lines
in between our flights

08/25/14 reprise
what if, like cheetahs,
we had only enough sprints
to eat for today?

08/27/14
husked, heavy-eyed,
hurtled hurried urgency
recedes – fatigued

08/28/14
drippy clouds plastered
to blurred distances came loose;
(unfastening time)

cast their barbed hooks on
boulders we’d hoarded; stacks of
dark, crawdad regrets -

pebbles once skipped
across skybound reflections
from those ancient heights

now ruminated,
they plunk like lost tooth anchors
swallowed, rippleless

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