Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 26

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

Marathon at home again on 6/25/20. I decided to celebrate the idea of being at home and I went around my house snapping some random photos to write about.

It worked out pretty well. You’d be surprised what comes to mind when you are looking at familiar ordinary banal sights – maybe the very triviality of them frees the mind?

Anyway, that is what I did. All the poems I wrote were in the haiku, tanka, or shadorma form, to give more focus to my writing and avoid just rambling along about the laundry room or the dust under the bed…


A haiku.

skylight to ceiling –
up view from inside lampshade.
light bulb eyes the sky.

Poetry Marathon 6-25-20 (13)m


A shadorma.

the pattern lose the
gain the soft
fleeting vagueness of what you
see and will forget


Poetry Marathon 6-25-20 (11)k


A shadorma.

The straight lines
divide up the view
the lackluster what is to
vivid what could be


Poetry Marathon 6-25-20 (10)j



A tanka.

Sharp nose set to sting
takes steady aim. Delicate,
then don’t hold back. Bite.
The drill cuts its precise mark.
Fine sawdust floats to the floor.


Poetry Marathon 6-25-20 (6)f


A tanka.


giant glassy eye
rolls in unfocused circles
a small orange speck
darts in and out of vision
floating past a bleary lens


Poetry Marathon 6-25-20 (4)d


A haiku.

Corrugated road
for a small spider on foot –
brown cardboard box flap


Poetry Marathon 6-25-20 (1)a


And here are all of today’s photos, just to show you the array of what I worked with.



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


Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 25

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

On June 19, the Marathon took place at home again. I will therefore show you more photos of my house and yard, right? Right. It was a beautiful day. Let’s pretend you’ve come to visit me in the Marathon setting. Park on the street and then approach the house one of two ways. From the driveway:


Or, come from the street sidewalk and take the other path:

Now to the day. I did short poems, haiku, tanka, and shadorma. For some of them I used one of my trusty phrase cards:

PO 6-19-20 Aa

For others, I was inspired by the surroundings here at home. I’ll give you some photos:

Now to some writing.

Here is a shadorma chain started off with the phrase from the card, “treading water”. You may remember that I have been a swimmer all my life, and so treading water for me is not stressful or to fend off panic in the water, but relaxing, soothing.

treading water
deep end of the pool
tiny tiles
on the bottom twelve feet down
my feet languid wraiths

my hands clouds
who float me. The gloom
I hover
in it with it above it
A fish breathing air

There is a dog in our neighborhood who barks a lot.

Nerves tensed up
we wait. Barking dog
quiet now
but will he
start up again? Oh I wish
he’d stroke out and die

A sparrow family has set up in the birdhouse next to the dining room door. I have watched the parents taking care of their children. A tanka chain.

Rush home oh the noise
that greets you they are so loud
your four new children
hinged beaks open up so wide
mercy you think can it be

that is your stomach
I’m seeing? Let me fill it
and you do. Again.
Again. Scrawny featherless
voices demand. You hurry.

Here are some more photos of flowers in our yard. I hope everyone is well and in good spirits. Thank you for reading!

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!

Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 23

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



On June 4 the Marathon left home. We had a vicious storm yesterday with winds of 75+ MPH. Our area was hard hit and trees on every street uprooted or split or splintered. One of these toppled electrical wires for my house. The electricity has been off 24+ hours and given the number of outages and the need to cut or remove trees at almost every break, I estimate it will be out for 4 days.

No scientific method here, just my guess. So part of today, my husband and I went to his office, which is still closed, and usually he works from home anyway, but today there was no other option with electricity. We will staying in a hotel tonight and I have resigned myself to the loss of all the food in the freezer  I have been carefully preparing and stockpiling these three months past.

I am grateful our house is fine and also that it is not a cold winter outage when we need to worry about the pipes.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m not in a writing mood, but it seems important to try.


I’ve been rereading some old favorite books. One is called Miss Pinkerton, by Mary Roberts Rinehart. I took a couple of sentences at random from the book to spark a little bit of writing.PO 6-4-20


I only did three poems today. Here is one:

…but you came up the stairs. You remember. You screamed.
Mercy what a racket you made! Now look what you made me do!

Thus rebuked and responsible for
the clang-slosh of the pail of dirty water hurtling down the stairs
(and I was sure there were others jolted too: I thought I heard
the startled skitter of cockroach feet on the wood floor
rushing to escape behind a baseboard)
The uproar died down
I let the insects be and tried to focus on what she was saying:

How you startled me and now look
what a first-class mess this carpet is. Come here.
Watch that squelchy area.
(Grabs my arm and pulls me.)
Tell me what’s the matter
her eyes focus on mine for a moment
in a suspicious way I don’t like. Tell me
she gives vicious squeeze to my forearm
near my elbow
that I knew would leave a bruise

She says it
Very calm very quiet
very much ready to take it further.

I tell her.


Here is a shadorma chain:

The doorbell
rings in the kitchen
the cook shrieks
the cake falls
the mop slithers in soap suds
the bucket chuckles

the pot blinks
at another slap
of green goo
dish soap. Bzzzz
the bell shouts. Chaos stands up
to answer the door.


I hope everyone is feeling well and in good spirits.

Thank you for reading!

Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 22

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

Once again the Marathon took place at home on May 28, 2020.

Here are some flowers from around the house. I ran out into the rainy cool day to snap these images.

I had written some poems earlier in the week, so I worked on them for a while today. Then I took some fabric items I’ve recently made and as a lark, decided to use them as basis for some poems in the format of haiku, shadorma, or tanka.

As for the fabric pieces, I don’t know what (if anything) I will do with them; I was mostly reviving my rusty machine sewing skills. I want to do something fiber art-related in my art life, but I don’t know what yet, so I’m just experimenting right now.

Anyway, the items did a nice job standing in as models for poetry today.

Let’s get to the poems.

The first line’s words “restless cat” set off the whole process resulting in this poem.

The restless cat underfoot
the truncated chiming of the clock
the paperwork you left behind.
Unaware and secretive
an interesting combination
Any chance you’ll be back?
I think not but just in case
I shoo the cat into the hall
I don’t need a witness.

Here’s a tanka for this fabric square.

PO 5-28-20 (3)

Crazy little boat
on a turquoise jewel sea
polka-dot sail breathes
in and out in and out and
crazy little boat surfs waves

Another fabric piece, another tanka.

PO 5-28-20 (2)

Tie a green ribbon.
Wrap all your fingers. Look now –
you have a green thumb!
Cheater-style, yes, but try it.
Plant flower seeds. See them grow.

PO 5-28-20 (1)

I hope everyone is feeling well and in good spirits!

Thank you for reading!

Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 21

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

On May 21 the Marathon took place at home. I’ve got some nice photos of flowers we put in pots this week to go along with this post. They really brighten up things – I love their happy look.

These are at my front porch.


Here’s a closer look.

I decided to work on haiku, tanka, and shadorma today. I chose ideas or phrases or words from a few news articles. I try to read the local news and then stay away from the rest, these days. It gave me a new way to manage the flow of information when I was also thinking about plucking out some poetry material!

More flowers. These are in pots out by the road, near my mailbox.

OK, here are a few poems from today. Thanks for your attention, and I hope everyone is well and staying in good spirits.

True life story, this haiku is. Only it won’t be tonight, as I need to get some ingredients from the store.


Tonight’s recipe
fished out from the newspaper:
Tuna casserole


The word “disagreements” started off this shadorma.


weary of
the disagreements
I slapped hard
at the fly
buzzing loops around my head
knocked myself out. Ouch.


The concept of disagreements (so prominent in every news story) continues  in this haiku.


Disputatious fish.
The brittle goldfish bowl cracks.
Who got the last word?

And a shadorma. “Fisticuffs” is the key word here.


in the parking lot
not so strange
around here
but folks throwing compliments?
What a great new sport.


Thank you for reading!

Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 20

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

Marathon at home once again.

Let me start off by saying I hope everyone is well.

Here are some photos from this week – different places I’ve been out to exercise in.

All right, let’s get to writing. This week, I mostly relied on some cards with glued-on phrases/words to spur my imagination.

PO 5-14-20 Cards with phrases

Here we go with a few selections.

This one, I didn’t use the phrase card. Instead, it was inspired by a couple of juxtaposed words from my notes: privilege needlessly.

I privilege needlessly and
I serial fake-praise and I mess with your head
and I suspend you unaware in lies
I gap you lap you slap you with pseudo-stories
I number my favorites in crayon using the system
I worked out in a bubble bath. I secret-smile
All the time. All the time. All the time.

A haiku (from the cards).

Two doors down the street
Why bother? said the old man
sweeping up fragments

And this little story, also from the phrase cards.

how long is he staying
when does he plan to leave
don’t we have enough trouble already?

He was standing by the window.
Something was always faltering
being laid aside
in that room.

The knitting needles twist
filling in patterns
gathering up fragments
not taking the slightest chance
of misunderstandings
Good morning, she said.
Gentle. Jarring. Sinuous.

The loudest sound the silence
painted in delicate small strokes
a gleaming white incomprehension
going in the wrong direction
wondering what was coming.

wanting to provoke
Because, you know, all the time
all of these things
run in concurrence
in that room

You didn’t say very much about your plans
you know

It’s quiet.
All quiet
in that room.

Thank you for reading!

Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 19

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

Yet another day of Marathon at home. It will be like this for a long time. I don’t anticipate getting to work in a library or a public space (other than maybe a picnic table outside in a secluded section of a park, if I can find one) for some months. In my area we are under a stay at home order just extended to June 4. Even after that, who knows. I admit to feeling dejected by this, though it’s not unexpected news.

Well, moving on. I don’t have any photos from today but here are some from recent times, in my daily round.

And on to the poetry.

Here’s one prompted by the phrase sugar and cream.

a quiet sugar and cream
kind of day
the bite the bitter taken out of it
when I’m not that tired of anything
enough to worry at it
and then you wander in
for a visit with no idea of
when it’s my pleasure or convenient
two minutes past when I’ve opened a book
I’m very glad I know how to say
in such a way that
the muscles in your butt and legs
running you down the drive
it is a beautiful thing to see

Sometimes life is confusing.

leave right away
call this number
drop everything
oh look there she is
write it down in order
you need I could have
a cancellation
a deposit returned
the answering machine shrieks.
you knew that’s who:
working here is like
being the ball in the can of spray paint
I can’t think straight
I can’t even think crooked
I quit no I don’t
yes I do
I’m fired?
I’m not fired?
Maybe I’m fired? What?

I’ve been doing some sewing. It’s reminded me of making clothes when I was young. Hence, this haiku.


six yards of fabric
five hours of modular math
completed. New dress.

Thank you for reading!

Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 18

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


Another homebound Marathon this week, the session occurring on 5/1/20.

It’s been a busy week and sort of choppy. I’ve done a couple of days of yardwork (this year I am removing/renovating an ancient hedge) – Casualty count, one hacksawed hand (not too bad), one scratch across the face (ditto), one leg cut by a branch that went through my pants (ditto).

Yesterday I sprained my ankle in my annual trip and fall on a trail in the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust (totally my fault, I need to remember to watch my step, especially those larger cobbly kind of stones that litter sections of this particular trail). That one will take a few days to heal but it’s already much better today.

So poetry has squeezed in here and there. I decided to finish up the poems to accompany the images in my latest sketchbook, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020. I accomplished this goal and I will show you a couple of pages and their poems.

First, though, how about a couple of pictures from recent wanderings in parks and woods.

Now for the poems.

This one is for Image 29 in the sketchbook.


In the hectic city
a man takes a bubble bath
a pigeon watches on the windowsill.
A cat on the sidewalk
bewilders itself
with the many options the world offers
to a cat on the loose.
Someone drops a box of eggs in the grocery.
Limp sheets in frolic patterns droop from the clothesline.
That fellow who stands on the corner
performing scenes from Shakespeare
is doing Macbeth this morning. The traffic speeds by
heedless. Too bad. He is quite good in this role.

PO 5-1-20 (1)


This one is for Image 31. I am sure this shadorma is not the poem I would have written for this image at the time I did the picture, back in late 2019. No.


Well, you who
have come to my door
and for what
aim? What end?
What do you say? Is it safe
to greet you to smile

to ask you
to come inside? No.
I must not
and yet I
loathe the hostile aloofness
I sham. Forgive me.

PO 5-1-20 (6)

Let’s end on a happier note. Here is a chalked phrase I saw on a trail recently. I hope everyone is well and that we all stay that way.

PO 5-1-20 (2)

Thank you for reading!

Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 17

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

Before I get started, I hope that all of you are well and that you stay well.

Once again the Marathon took place at home this week’s session went on over April 23 and 24, 2020. I split it in half so that I could get some other things done. And a shorter session fits my distracted mind these days. The 23rd was a nice day outside, but today, as I am writing this on the 24, it’s a cold rainy day. My backyard is blooming, though.


Most of my writing work was done for my current Large Artist Sketchbook 2020. I got a few more pages lined up with their words.

Let’s hear from the poetry, then.

Here is one for Image 22. I was influenced by the written words incorporated into the picture. The poem first and then the image follows.


no it’s over shreds of and one other thing
just more cloud like in this romantic
just saying it the piece of how it feels
dream my night fossil solves the problem all right
never going to dissolve a second for me to think
you pay you back and a nasty cold to boot
Oh, I got lost in my thoughts for a moment
What did you say again, dear?

PO 4-24-20 #107

Here is a shadorma for Image 24. I wonder what I might have written in a different time to accompany this picture? I think it might have been something quite different, maybe about a goddess plucking a planet from the sky for her own personal jewelry collection.

Or maybe it’s a woman with her hands up, saying, No, I do not accept your flattery. I guess I could still write these, right?

But what I did write reflects my feelings today. The picture is what I need it to be, what I need it to express, I guess – that truth once again revealed about the process of writing in response to something outside yourself: You are never really outside yourself.

But I digress. Here is the poem and its image follows.


I hang back. I hide.
How did you
coax me out
and place this warm sun of hope
into my sad heart?

PO 4-24-20 #206

Here is a haiku for a little plant I have. I feel the plant is hugging me every time I look at it. Two photos – one in the window where it usually is, and the other a glamour shot so you can see what I mean in the haiku – follow the poem.

your outreaching arms
generous little green plant
all of you a smile

Thank you for reading!