Tuesday, September 26, 2006

windows and doors ... haiku for One Deep Breath

Ginger Cat Dreaming

This week's prompt on One Deep Breath was to write haiku using images of windows and/or doors. Here is my contribution. For more go to One Deep Breath.

stormy day
rain spatters leaf strewn path
windows rattle

smell of baking bread
gust of wind blows
the door ajar

ginger cat dreams
sparrows feeding just beyond
the window pane

the river flows without end
inside I cannot hear it


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Instructions ... for Sunday Scribblings

Doll, Polaroid Transfer, © 2000

The Studio clean up is well under way and is feeling so good, I had time to get inspired by Sunday Scribblings' prompt , simply called .... Instructions! See more takes on the prompt here!


I’m sick and tired of ....

Release it!

Yes, but I ....

Let it go!

But who will ....?

It doesn’t matter!

Well, somebody has to ....

Release it!

I can’t!

Then live with the consequences!

But, you see if I don’t, then ....

I can’t hear you!

Yes, you can! You just responded!

I can’t see you!

Well, what if I ....?

See ya!

Where did you go?


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Daybreak ... for Poetry Thursday

This week's Poetry Thursday prompt is to go deep inside to see what's going on in there ... to write from our authentic self. This is not hard to do for me right now, as I have the poem below, written a number of years ago that fits as well today as it did when I wrote it.

I'm feeling crunched for time. I have too many things on my plate, all of which I delight in ... but there just aren't enough hours in the day to do them all. As if I needed another something on my to-do list, I signed up and am taking a 4 part pattern alteration class which meets once a week. I used to sew most of my own clothes and when my kids were little, all of their clothes. I've lately had the urge to do a bit of sewing again and that's how I've found myself in this predicament. The class is exciting ... this week I learned how to make the perfect pants pattern ... just for me ... and the fabrics available are more beautiful than ever.

Of course if I could get my studio organized I'd save myself lots of time. I think for now, I'm going to cut back on my blogging a bit to a couple of times a week, until I get my studio in order so that when I'm ready to work on a project, it's easy to access the space and the tools. I will naturally continue with One Deep Breath and Poetry Thursday.

Time managent is not a strength of mine. It's a nightmare ... like this poem!


A tranquil pool reflects
as only water can
the confection of moon
star lanterns
show the way down
to the mouth of a cave

A tattered moth
hands me her flame
tells me to wait
just inside at the edge
for a ferry to deliver me
to the middle of the night

Aboard the vessel
the oarsman leers
with eyes that glow
in burning sockets
his mouth overflowing
knots of squirming eels
I hold the flame close
easing my fear
a solitary owl hoots
at the sight of land

I am lifted to shore
by rigid talons
left on the sand
where a porcelain clock
elephant high
stands guard
naming the hours
as they race around
an eroding track

The clock strikes twelve
spills sleeping cuckoos
severed hands
left without time
frantic numerals gather momentum
lifting the flame to possibility
I ignite the ticking sky


Monday, September 18, 2006

Autumn Haiku ... for One Deep Breath

Migrating Monarch stops to sip nectar on Autumn Joy Sedum

Saturday will be the first day of autumn. Days are already shorter and my energy and attention span are waning. I have the urge to go to bed when it gets dark and not get up until the sun is well up in the morning. For me it's a sleepy time, curling up with a good book time, steaming hot cider or tea time, a walk in the crunchy woods time.

Here are a few haiku to set the scene. For more, go to One Deep Breath

leaves drop
scratch the window pane
wind from the north

tea grows cold
book open on the bed
afternoon nap

turns the field bright yellow
the moon is full

cool night air
trace of frost on grass
toad sleeps well

from the chimney
smells of oak and poplar
fox hunts nesting mice

feather quilt
pulled over my head
bear hibernates


Thursday, September 14, 2006

my name is sally ... for Poetry Thursday

"coins in my cup"

This week's prompt for Poetry Thursday is to write as if you are someone other than yourself. Besides mrs heartwell, I've gotten to know a woman I call crazy sally. I've written about her but never in her voice. So, I thought I'd give it a try ... this is what I got.

my name is sally

i’m sixty-three
found two dollars
in change not enough
for coffee a sandwich
tuna on rye
lettuce a slice of tomato
i’ll wait
a few crusts here
and there collect
coins in my cup
watch for the cop
no loitering
in doorways
on grates
it’s winter
i’m tired
almost out
of aspirin my knees
the pain so sharp
it’s hard to move
fast when
big john
he scares me
yells and shouts
tries to grab
my hair
when he’s
i lost my comb
the other day
when i fell
in the street
cars kept coming
no one stopped
it’s cold
i need
a place
in the sun
no wind
it could


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tanka ... for One Deep Breath

December Cold, 2005

I'm not exactly sure that this is Tanka, but judging from some of the examples that the gals at One Deep Breath provided, it well might be. It does fits the "emotional" style of such poems, but the rhythm is its own. For more Tanka and links to Tanka sights go to One Deep Breath.

somber memories
eyes filled with tears
i lift my umbrella
wind blows in bursts

a plain pine box
the coffin
your son made
as his soul raged
hammer striking nails

remember your joy
finding me
when i was lost
in a snow storm
hands blue with cold

i am the daughter
warmed by your love
he the forgotten one
who bruised your ego
breaking his heart

in december cold
rain turns to snow
wishing you safe journey
he stands in shadows
your steel heart just now still


Monday, September 11, 2006


Ground Zero Today, Sunday New York Times Magazine, September 10, 2006

I wrote the following poem several months after the event that changed all of us forever.

We’re All Born Naked
thoughts after 9/11

People are the issue
crudely beautiful
we temper intelligence
with obsession and fear

Build dreams on recycled
foundations aspire to bold heights
transformative possibilities
variations on ancient creeds

The poetry of patterning
woven in caustic silence
the resonance of thunder
the force of wind

We cling to the planet
standard earthly forms
playing eccentric roles
the face of violence
concealed within our genes


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Homecoming ... For Poetry Thursday

Tree Peony, Joan Z. Rough © 2005

A while ago Poetry Thursday put out a prompt for a poem about ... ahem ... sex! I started one for that prompt but as everyone knows one cannot often just write a poem in a few days about such an important subject. So, I let it sit and went back to it now and then, not realizing it really was finished. I took it to my poetry group the last time we met and they put their seal of approval on it. So here it is. It is another "mrs heartwell" poem and I hope you all enjoy it!!


mrs heartwell dons a negligee
sheer and flowing
for mr heartwells’s homecoming
he’s been gone for days
visiting the city
where neon lights
paint evening clouds
brilliant stars dribble
balls across a court
to thundering applause

she lights candles
plugs in dreamy voices
mathis sinatra
nat king cole
imagines his arms
around her melting
the chocolate she offers
tucked between her breasts
his hands exploring her body
searching for more

breathlessly she awaits
his arrival
a car approaching slowly
footfall on slate
the neighbor’s howling dogs

the evening throbs
shrill cicadas lightning flashes
rain on the roof
gurgles through gutters


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy New Year!!! It's September!!

The sweater I've been knitting for years!

Unlike most people, September is the month in which I celebrate the New Year! It goes back to when I was in elementary school and the first day of school arrived.

I always wore a new dress and new shoes. I remember my saddle shoes and the first pair of patent leather Mary Jane's I ever had ... but those were saved for Sundays. I remember my dresses as well. I loved gingham and big collars. I also loved school, my friends and being out from under my parent's prying eyes! We'd have field days, when we got to spend all day outside playing games, competing in sack races and just having fun. I remember the smell of the school and the cafeteria with it's trays of "interesting" foods. My favorites were Jello, canned corn and chocolate milk.

I loved selecting notebooks, pencils, pencil boxes, erasers. It was the important business of getting ready for that big first day of school! I still find it exciting to pick out new journals at this time of year and very special pens for filling their pages.

January, though the traditional time to celebrate the turning of the year, is usually dark and somber. There is just not enough excitement for me. At the ripe old age of sixty-something, I still celebrate and rejoice in September. Here is poem I offer to you.


That yellow bus is back
all shiny and clean
beeping 'round the circle
every morning at eight
then again in afternoon
Monday through Friday

I recall chalk dust days
blue gingham stained with chocolate
climbing trees and jump rope
books whispering dreams

Hours slip away
dropped stitches
in a Christmas sweater
I've been knitting for years
return to every fall
rows of raveled days
purled again to perfection


Happy New Year Everyone!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Solitude ... For One Deep Breath

Lotus, Joan Z. Rough, © 2006

Alone with myself
I open my heart to sun
A happy flower

Sitting in silence
I hear the wind moving sand
A happy stone

In the dark of night
I hear lonely hearts crying
I send them prayers


For more haiku go to One Deep Breath.

I'm Back!

Resting Swans in Stratford, Ontario

We're back from a lovely vacation in Toronto and Stratford, Ontario. It's been a long summer and this was the first real opportunity I've had to unwind. We saw two shows in Stratford ... an excellent production of Ibsen's, Ghosts, and a so-so version of Shakespeare's, Twelfth Night. We wandered the banks of the Avon and sat in the gorgeous garden at our B&B just enjoying the cool air. In Toronto, we took a city tour, visiting fascinating ethnic neighborhoods. Everyone is so friendly and I loved the international flavor of it all. We ate really well, too! Toronto is a really great place for "foodies!"

As I get older, I'm finding that vacations aren't all about packing in the sights and being constantly on the go. Now it's more about really resting, like these swans ... if I don't see it all it's okay ... I just want to relax ... let the mind and body off the hook and enjoy every sweet moment. So we read, talked, day dreamed and had time to just be.

Overachiever that I am, I'd set myself a task before I left to record a moment every day with a photo and a haiku. Well, it didn't happen and I'm just as happy. Why must I always be "doing?"

The following are simply a few snapshots of things that caught my eye ...

Artist's Garden, Toronto

Mechanical Billboard, Toronto

Tourists At The Rogers Center, Toronto

Toronto Skyline

I'm happy to say that here at home, Tropical Storm Ernesto blessed us with 6 1/2 inches of rain while we were gone! The river is almost full again and everything is once again green. We're still not out of the woods but it sure does help!!