Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 3

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

 

On January 17, 2019, I headed to Montco. Were the students back in school? Yes, they were. Parking lot shows the proof.

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It was a cold day but sunny. We are expecting snow and ice tonight so they have brined the sidewalks in preparation.

I set up on the main floor of the library. I changed my work order today – I did Little Vines first thing. That took until lunchtime.

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I was hungry today and thought about eating in the cafeteria but – the water in that portion of the building was off so the cafeteria was closed. I headed for my other lunch spot – the grocery store café.

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There I wrote a variety of things. I focused on haiku today – I had a miscellaneous-subject list of 5-syllable lines that I used for inspiration. Now, in my world, haiku (and tanka, too) focuses on expressing a feeling or thought inside the syllable count – I know it’s not traditional, but I just don’t care. I like the challenge of expressing myself inside a structure, that’s what I like, I think. Anyway, now you have been warned!

I did not write any stories today because…I gave them their own afternoon earlier in the week. It fit my schedule and maybe it fit my mental processes, too. I don’t know if I need a separate time to focus on them…I am thinking maybe I do. Well, we’ll see.

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The sky is clouding over. Snow coming.



 

All right, here are some samples of today’s work.

This tanka relates an actual experience – it happened at my house earlier this week and the incident has stayed with me.

1.

little mouse curled up
in the corner by the door
left for dead. The cat
done with you when you could fight
no more. Now you count your breaths.

At the café, I overheard someone mention golf… When I was young my family belonged to a golf club. Since then, I’ve played off and on all my life, though not recently, because…I do not belong to a club, and golf is expensive, and I like a lot of other activities a lot better… Still, the skills I learned are there, I am sure, though rusty… but the memories I formed are clear. This shadorma chain is based on experiences when I first learned to play.

4.
Golf clubs and
you remember those
mornings in
mid-summer
fifty years ago we played
six holes at seven.

Inept shots
slow play. Nine years old
lost balls and
steaming grass
in the rising summer sun
Our chaperone game

but helpless
someone’s mother who
did her time
for the kids
avoiding wild tee shots and
swinging seven irons

while we walked
the dew-drenched course with
squelching steps
in soaked sneakers
flailing at an inert ball
that sometimes we hit.

How about a few of those haiku I mentioned? The first line of each is the one I plucked from my notebook.

6.
come in the window
crawl along the wool carpet
lay your eggs in it
7.
adjectives failing
or occupied somewhere else:
naked nouns shiver
8.
After a few drinks
recharged zinnias perk up.
Pick fights. Clash colors.

11.

Removing your head
at night. Let the bats fly out.
Let their radar hum.

15.
A human being
gossiping with another
exchanging snide smiles

Now, Little Vines.

a.
The headache
takes a look around
chooses the lady with red hair and glasses

d.
and suddenly the stranger
was a friend
a souvenir of that long-ago vacation

e.
the nurse just making sure
you still looked nervous
as a patient awaiting a double root canal should be

f.
the glue
an enemy
to unfast and loosened

g.
so it’s all wrong
this silence
interrupted by the ringing in my ears

j.
after that time last winter
when a thousand and one
icicles hung on the eaves

m.
as for veering off into serious double vision –
it’s not worrying over nothing, is it,
to see two giant lizards reaching for your steering wheel?

n.
oh that poor fellow
went out through the cat flap
anything to avoid babysitting for those kids tonight

q.
I hear you breathing
holding your breath
breathing again

t.
you know perfectly well
a green person with green eyes
shouldn’t be swimming in the fountain at the park
it’s just too cold for it at this time of year

u.
interesting first day at work
it turned out to be
take the money and drive away fast with a great group of guys

w.
The loyalty that is colored in deep blue shades
I don’t want to be blamed
for the fading that occurs over time

z.
in the dark
I was quite certain
this street was not entirely free of ectoplasmic skid marks

bb.
because I specialize in contemporary work
the medieval monk scam was a stretch for me
short order cook dishing up contraband chili, no problem

cc.
my apologies for interfering
but that semi-dead body in the front hall
what are you going to do about it?

ee.
not doing anything illegal
but I am living with a secret
a lonely echoing voice that only I can hear

hh.
societal upheaval
some of it I like
most of it I’m indifferent

Thank you for reading!

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Involvement

From Enough for a Book, published in 2016.

Involvement

The chair set askew.
The table aligned
with the bookcases
full of volumes leaning on each other and some
more than others. The lamp unlit
its cord twisted beneath
the table
arriving at the floor outlet.
Associates by necessity.

The square of sunlight
on the carpet moving
each minute adjusting itself to
the table and the chair and
bookcases and lamp and cord.
Associates by choice.

Which ones will it choose to befriend and which ones
to snub
if any of them?

Poetry 7-11 #117

Sunlight, Montgomery County (PA) Community College library

 

 

 

Collage Poem for a Sketchbook I

 

Collage Poem for a Sketchbook I

Upstairs. This afternoon.
She wasn’t talking,
the bed was yesterday.
Floor. He stood at the door.

2/15/18
Image 22

Small Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image #22001

 

 

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!

 

Swell

From Enough for a Book, published in 2016.

Swell

Yellowhammer
traveler in yellow pants
standing in the aisle on the train
taking a seat wherever one opens up.
Sociable fellow
picks up a group of guys
and they are playing cards
passing around a bag of chips
and singing out well-worn stories
before you know it.

Paperdolls #2 10-13-14 small

Paper dolls, 2014.

 

 

 

Willing to Overlook

From Enough for a Book, published in 2016.

Willing to Overlook

In the aisle seat and my curiosity
is about to kill me as I listen
to my seatmate
lady in the window seat
rattle and shake and rummage
digging into the interior of
the too-big purse or mini-tote bag
I don’t know what you call it
but it’s getting a workout.
I look straight ahead because
you know
it’s rude to act as if you have any comprehension
that a person is even sitting next to you
never mind what can she be doing with that
bag. That bag she’s shaking now
her elbow in my ribs. That gives me permission
to turn my head. A glare would also be
within the rules but
I waive that right
I just want
information.

Quilted Purses small

Long time ago, back in the 90’s when I first started doing art, I made these small quilted handbags. It’s been a while since I thought about these little guys…

 

 

Shadorma 19

Shadorma 19

The gray beach
The orange morning
No silence
more welcome
than the absence of voices
The waves rolling in.

2/15/18
Image 21

 

Small Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image #21021

 

 

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!