Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 24

The Marathon journey is in its fourth year. Just Enjoy Yourself is the current incarnation. Let’s do it!

On June 11, the Marathon was at home again. The day started off gloomy, rainy, and stormy – by the time I finished up in the afternoon it was sunny again, though more storms on the way. It’s been hot and humid. Thunderstorms, take note, it’s a perfect environment for you!

I’ll scatter some photos of my back yard throughout the post for you to look at.

Poetry 6-11-20 (6)

Here’s a bush I know nothing about (though I should, we planted it, some years back) and I have always liked the leaves, but I have no memory of these grape-like clusters being so prominent or luxuriant as they are this year. Really beautiful, I think.

More backyard:

Additionally, we have reorganized some of the rooms and/or their functions in our house. For one thing, I have moved my “office” into my art studio space and now have a combined room for all my work. We did this since my husband will be working at home pretty much all the time now and it made good sense for using the space in our house. Pay attention – this change is related to one of the poems I wrote today.

New view while writing:

PO 6-11-20 #3 (1)

OK, let’s get to the work.

I used a card with cut-out phrases today as inspiration for my work.

PO 6-11-20 #3 (2)

Here is a haiku.

Get to work
I say to my ghosts
Haunt me. I’m lonely.

Here is another haiku, inspired by the card, yes, but also by memories of a certain style of clay tile I used to make, that to me looked like it could have been taken from an archaeological dig. What if I took a few of them to a museum and said I found them in a cave in my backyard…???

a fresh artifact
among the ancient clay tiles
Who slipped it in place?

A tanka from the phrase card.

today would have been plain dull
but screams from upstairs
spiced up a sentence structure
bogged down in weak adjectives


And here is the poem involving the new studio/office arrangement. The cat really likes it, and he’s been coming down here to sleep on whatever table I’m not working at. I like it too. It’s companionable to have him here with me.

A shadorma.


the cat sleeps
sprawled on the sketchbook
open to
a blank page
claws curl scratch the thick paper
scrawling out his dream

I hope everyone is well and in good spirits. Thank you for reading!

18 thoughts on “Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 24

  1. Thanks. I know, it was a dull rainy day outside, and that made me think…what could pep things up around here? (I don’t know why I went straight to “screams”)

  2. Thank you. We are lucky to have such a nice yard and I enjoy taking care of it (to the level I do, I mostly mow the grass, trim a few things, and let it be…). And thank you for your kind comments on the haikus, I like writing them and seeing if I can get a few words to say more than the sum of their syllables!

  3. That’s a gorgeous mackerel rabble you have there! Don’t cat’s always love to sit on your work. I choose to see it as a sign of interest and approval. Your garden is looking lovely and lush! I love your card of word prompts. Do you select the phrases randomly from a collection and paste them down as they come?

  4. Obviously autocorrect is not in favour of cats. My phrase was originally “mackerel tabby”, although mackerel rabble does have a certain poetic interest to it.🤣🤣🤣

  5. This cat is a mackeral rabble all right, he is the most ordinary cat in the most extraordinary way, I think. The brightest spirit and very loving, he was a rescue cat and has only one eye, arthritis (can’t jump well) and damage to his nose meaning he snuffles. The story was he was brought to the rescue as a tiny kitten run over by a car. We got him when he was about 9 month old and he called out to us at the rescue. What a wonderful friend he is, he can do no wrong here!

  6. Thank you. We are really lucky with this yard, to have so much room, and it is very green this year because we have had the best spring ever, weatherwise – no freezes, enough rain, plenty of sunshine. As for the phrase card, I use the same books I use for snippets – abandoned by the library, usually where I get them, from their throwaway box, and I cut the phrases or words from them pretty much at random or else choosing ones I like. I make a lot of cards at once, mixing up the phrases from the different books at random, I don’t try to make anything make sense, just line them up. When I finish with them I turn them into these “works of art” I don’t know what to do with but I like making them and collecting them…https://claudiamcgillart.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/library-cards-and-library-books-and-art/

  7. Thank you. My mind seems to work in short bursts. No plot, lots of filling in the empty spaces needed, but I enjoy writing, and I appreciate my readers and am very grateful!

  8. I think the plant with the blue berries is a Mahonia (although I am not sure, I am not an expert, and I don’t know which species). There is another genus called Ilex that looks similar.

  9. I think you could be right. I am guessing it’s the one called Oregon-Grape. We planted this bush some years ago and I’m not good at remembering, or keeping the tags from the plants. I love the holly-like leaves and how it looks nice all year around. I think this year it has the most berries I’ve ever seen, and it was especially beautiful during the blooming season, too. Thanks for your help, I am glad to put a name to the face, as you might say!

  10. There was one in my parrents garden, although definitely a different species, with rounder berries, but I think it was the same genus. You sometimes see them here as garden plants but I think they are native to the Americas.

  11. I’m going to need to do some research. This bush has been a quiet member of our garden, always there, and admired, but never demanding attention as it has this year. So I feel it only fitting to understand it better! Thank you for your help.

  12. Thank you for the link. I had a vague recollection that I had read about your technique before, but I was just being too.lazy to look for it.😁

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