The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.
This week’s Marathon took place at home and at Montco. Little Vines at home. Writing and beginning a little planning for 2020 at Montco.
School is pretty much over for the semester. Quiet. Just the campus and…shadow me.
I went in the back door
because I wanted to make sure the cafeteria was open in case I got hungry. Yes, it is.
Even the notice board is less populated than usual these days.
Up the stairs
and to my seat.
I have a list I made some time back of 5 syllable lines. Haiku material. I decided it might be nice to finish up this list. So I got to work. Now, I veered off the true definitions of haiku as to subject and so on a long time ago. I mostly like the idea of the syllable restrictions – I enjoy the discipline of expressing ideas within a structure.
These five-syllable lines were certainly not picked with classic haiku in mind. Just five syllables that make sense. So the haiku I wrote go all over the place. Very Little Vines in flavor, some of them. And some of them turned into tanka (my tanka living under the same definition as my haiku, except going on longer, of course!)
Never mind. I enjoyed myself. That is what Marathon is all about.
Here are some selections from today.
You may remember I spent much of my time at the pool when I was young. I was a competitive swimmer, yes, but I mostly just loved the water and swimming. We belonged to a pool when I was young. I can see it in memory today as clearly as I did back then. This tanka is one of those memories, from around 1964 or so. The prompt was in a swimming pool.
in a swimming pool
one summer too long ago
a woman swam laps
her chin-strapped white bathing cap
festooned with rubber daisies
The prompt for this tanka was big holes in the roof.
Big holes in the roof
of my world. To let me breathe.
To give my eyes light.
For stars to shine down on me.
For rain to water my roots.
This tanka, prompted by the line on the upper floor, is about Wanamaker’s department store (now long gone), a Philadelphia name for decades. I am envisioning shopping there around 1980 or 1981 – I went there a lot since I worked just up the block for some time. I was always intrigued by the names given to store departments and that is what gave me the inspiration for this tanka. Imagine yourself coming into the multi-floor store and asking directions.
On the upper floor,
Ladies Better Sportswear. And?
Foundations? Yes, yes.
You’ll need the basement level.
What? Of course it’s not a joke.
(as a note, Foundations was not in the basement of this store, the Bargain Shop was, as I remember it, but…this is how the tanka wanted to do things…)
the future where everyone knows everything
showed up at my door this morning
Eek! There I stand stark naked for all the neighbors to see
Miss Muffet my name for eighty-eight years and these days
enthroned on the wobbly tuffet of old age
I’m no longer terrified by the spider who sat down beside me
last night’s dinner for example:
a lesson in supply and demand economics
the undervalued meatloaf casserole surprise cake
the excess of leftovers in the refrigerator today
chattering daffodils on a windy afternoon
crowd up to the sidewalk
in the mood for some attention
the humiliations fell on me
settled in layers
I live on in the fossil record but as a failure.
no doubt you think he left an hour ago
hate to tell you
he’s lurking on the sidewalk right now
two houses down the street.
bought a lazy-afternoon
speedboat-and-skinny-dipping kind of lifestyle
when he moved out to the lake
over time the fish learned to recognize
the squeaking of your rowboat’s oars
no matter what bait you put out
who ever heard of buying worms
who ever thought of feeding them to fish
who ever thought the fish would go for it?
I’m in a big hurry this morning
you long tangly strands of hair hanging from my head
so get into your braids and shut up. Right now.
my lilac eyes
and their carelessly-told story:
whether it’s true or not is up to you
I think we both understand
you’ll just have to rely on your charm
and let the devil take the hindmost, as they say
clear-headed and resourceful
he wins all the games
but this time my money is on the poison ivy.
where did she go? where could she go?
looking into this kaleidoscope of a city
the missed phone call
the ticking of the clock
the dim light of a midwinter afternoon
Fly, in this cobweb,
I am your only friend
said the spider.
I’ve been making a few changes
said the portly man
cavorting across the dance floor
written in saffron yellow
emitting a soft steady glow at the end of the letter
Spotted that body part as fake right away.
In a very cool bit of thinking
I did not point it out. Let him have his fun.
Angry and jealous
did absolutely nothing.
It’s just a cabbage, after all.
I just love an irradiated-blue spicy pair of spike heels.
Enhancing my Bewitching. Emphasizing my Lethal.
That’s all I need to say.
The wind crooked its finger
Come here, it said to me,
Come here. I began to walk through the snow.
now what would you expect from
ultra-hot inferno salsa and Thai noodles
besides another argument inside your stomach?
We booked the amphitheater for the reenactment
commemorating fifty years of marriage between two gladiators
still struggling in the dust. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Thank you for reading!