Haiku Group Fountain Pen

From Generous With the Details, published in 2017.

Haiku Group Fountain Pen

i.
The fountain pen wrote
block letters on white paper
neat lines of tart prose
ii.
The ink flows. The stream
divides. The words form. Paper
sways in the current.
iii.
The pen and the ink.
The blank paper. The new words
lining up to speak.

3/19/17

Ink group 8-17 BW001

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Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018, Week 50

The Marathon journey continues. Search under the category Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018 for earlier entries.

I arrived at Brendlinger Library, Montco, on December 13. The weather was gray and the sky full of heavy clouds.

PO 12-13 #19

The forecast was for a little snow and some rain (although nothing happened, as it turned out). The school had prepared the walks with a brine.

On the way in I dropped off a couple of cat tiles. Look. A couple of tiles I left here on the concrete bridge abutment are still here. I put one cat tile with them

 

and left another on a bench in the middle of campus. By the way, when I left the school, they were gone…

I haven’t been here for some weeks. The Marathon has been on the road. I settled into my table with a real sense of relief, almost. It was nice to be back again.

PO 12-13 #82

Here is an update on my ongoing projects.

    • I have just accumulated enough Little Vines to create a new print book (I am now up to Vine # 2006. The addiction continues.) That book is very close to completion – just needing title pages and so on. I’ve been putting the body of it together as I go along.
    • I plan to put all poems written July -December 2018 into another print book, and I’ve been setting it up as I go along as well. It needs title pages, indexing, etc., however – plus the addition of whatever poems I come up with between now and year end.
    • I have finished my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 and will post it in 2019. A new Large Artist Sketchbook is in progress but right now, I’m still making the art – these books go as they go, no destination, no firm arrival times.
    • The Minuscule book is finished, in print, and on Amazon.

So today, I have some choices of work. Little Vines, of course. Devoting some time to thinking and planning for next year’s Marathon themes and activities. New poems. And some work on the two print books I mentioned above. Choices.

PO 12-13 #46



Here are some results.

Earlier this year my mother died and my father moved to an assisted living community. Now their house and its contents are being sold. My sister has done all the hard work to accomplish this, for which I am very grateful. I have viewed it through photos. It is with a mixture of emotions I revisit many memories and objects. In looking at the photos of items arrayed for sale, I was struck by the similarity they have to another tradition I remember (and when I got married, I participated in): wedding gifts arrayed for display. In my younger days that’s what you did – set out the gifts for visitors to see. I wrote this shadorma chain about this juxtaposition.

1.
wedding gifts
cover the table
dining room
full of glass
china silver. We are young.
Plates unchipped. We hope.

estate sale
glass china silver
tables full.
We are dead.
Plates missing from the set. Years
on years. Now we know.

As a child up through to about age 20 I was a competitive swimmer. Like many others, my parents invested in a stopwatch in the 1960’s when I started swimming. I mention the mechanical kind, with hands and numbers around the circle. It was heavy in your hand and worn on a lanyard. My mother usually ran the watch on my events to get my splits. I had no idea it was still around until my sister told me she had found it. Now she is going to send it to me and I will have it again in my life, however, not to time swim races – though she tells me it still runs fine.

The last lines refer to the way I was taught to finish a race, pre-touchpad swimming: put your head down, do not look for the wall, and drive in hard with some splash if you can – the human timers leaning over to record your touch might hit the watch just that little bit sooner and give you the benefit of an earlier finish.

4.
the stopwatch
and I we swam years
in rhythm
stroke for stroke
sweep hand and arm pull head down
a hard splash finish

Now, a poem written with the aid of one of my phrase cards. Nothing to do at all with anything, just imagination.

5.
A thousand and one ingredients to go
and you exaggerate but not so much, really, and
in disbelief tempered with pride
you view yet another truckload of those berries
pulling up to the door. Thank goodness
none of them prefer to fight
but instead they slip without a protest
into the silence of a baked cake’s interior
agreeably pureed and not seeming to mind
as you say
the change from street to chewed up asphalt to upcycled
petroleum product in a brand-new application
(I forgive the strained and unappetizing simile because
I know your mind is preoccupied with
finding a space on the refrigerator shelf for such a many of
beautiful berry super berry multi berry layer cakes
oh yes of which there seems to be a plethora.
Have you considered –
No. I see not. I did think you looked nervous).
Well, it’s time to count on those who can be counted on:
family friends neighbors people on your bus to work
the librarian the dental hygienist cleaning your teeth
guys pouring concrete people lined up to buy movie tickets
You know perfectly well there is not a person on earth
who does not need or want a
beautiful berry super berry multi berry layer cake
and as you say
what a blessing it turned out to be
the confluence of
a modest but meaningful inheritance from that second cousin
a bumper crop of berry available for quick sale
and your mania for cake baking.
Sit down and take a load off.
I will remove a few of these from the oven for you.

PO 12-13 #91

Little Vines.

b.
the beach covered with sand
the ocean full of wet salty water
the beach towel wiggling its terrycloth loops

c.
the ocean pushing up wet salty waves
it was an eerie green scene that I saw
after I drowned and lay on the bottom with sand in my hair.

d.
I said I had sore muscles
He said run them through a copy machine
you can get yourself some new and better ones that way

f.
fingers curled around the yellow pencil
can we follow them
see what they write?

g.
Of course I am certain she is holding a grudge
she has forty-five acres full of them in fact
she’s won ribbons at the state fair for grudge production

h.
the doctor removed the stitches
said she’d be out to sea for a couple of days
just be patient she’ll drift back in eventually

j.
pretend you are not a chair
in the attic
promising nothing

o.
we are not used to such goings-on at the office
the poisoned spike we keep in the break room
has always worked up to now

p.
it turns out he is one of the less than semi-good people
living in apartment 310
she is the bellicose occupant of 314
Meanwhile here in 312 we cower

r.
a free plane ticket in my pocket
and here I was
waiting at the bus stop

s.
We don’t have much sugar.
Traditional values in culinary activities of this sort
demand a sweeter outcome. Time to visit a neighbor.

w.
dude, how was life
the booming voice asked
from somewhere out in the mist

z.
one great big ten-layer chocolate cake coming up
of course not at a moment’s notice
I’ve got to translate the recipe from Norwegian
first I’ve got to learn Norwegian

aa.
the plumber is asleep in the bathtub
the carpet installer set tack strips along the driveway
the first words the postman said to me were: don’t worry your face is clean.
it’s a little unsettling.

bb.
so you are finally awake
I can tell by the power surge and exploding lights
let me call the electrician before you try to sit up

dd.
come out zombies and conquer your new world
late last night after so much planning the papers signed
the taxes paid. It’s all yours.

ee.
three months in the same room
talking business with that woman non-stop
it all seems to go back to one enchanting memory.

gg.
en garde you arthritic turtle
step up here and show me what you’ve got
though I have time to wait for only so long

Thanks as always for reading! See you next week.

Tanka 94

Tanka 94

a random pattern
it is not, but set in place
completed just now
as we came along the path
and took our places in it

1/25/18
Image 13

Small Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image #13013

This poem is from my Small Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2016-2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. This book contains only haiku, shadorma, or tanka. All poems were published in the collection Clean Canvas in spring 2018 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each illustration – here I am only showing you the illustration, with the text beneath it. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!

Weight Lifted

From Generous With the Details, published in 2017.

Weight Lifted

Just between us
you say
Between us.
In between us.
Dividing us.
As soon as a secret is told
it’s a weight
a lump of lead wrapped up in gift paper.
If I drop it
that’s the end of my foot
and our friendship.
No, I say, and push it back at you
Too late. You let go and I caught it
by reflex. It’s heavier than I thought it would be.

11/15/16

Feet KP 2-25-18 small

The Color Red Is So Brash

From the collection Generous With the Details, published in 2017.

The Color Red Is So Brash

Striking out into the stream of traffic
your two feet mark invisible signs
on the concrete sidewalk
with each step
Success
Confidence
Self-assurance
Bad Judgment
as
Stiletto heels send you into a stagger
at just the wrong moment
Broken ankle
and whose fault is it?
The sidewalk records
a confused muddle of traces
plus the heel broken off
a red stiletto shoe.

11/15/16

Sun looking at a triangle tree on a red hill small

Artist trading card, 2013.

Office Building Guerilla Fighter

Office Building Guerilla Fighter

The hum of fluorescent lights
ever-present
The sound no longer irritates. In fact
some people find it soothing.
Certainly not the effect desired. Therefore
it’s necessary to escalate the conflict
to flickering. at. irregular. intervals.
That hurts.
A loud buzz every so often
frightens
and is a useful addition. Susceptible populations
take it as a signal of
electrical mayhem in process
leading to
the building burning down
lighted to the last
by fluorescent bulbs
flaring out one by one
glass popping in the heat of the flames.
An instrument of torture can be found
anywhere.

11/15/16

chc 7/27/17 lights on

Shadorma 12

Shadorma 12

And will I
reach out a shy hand
leave anger
narrow minds
the cruel impulse to grind down
and meet you in peace?

1/25/18
Image 12

Small Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image #12012

This poem is from my Small Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2016-2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. This book contains only haiku, shadorma, or tanka. All poems were published in the collection Clean Canvas in spring 2018 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each illustration – here I am only showing you the illustration, with the text beneath it. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!