When you blink your eyes, you never know what you’ll see next. I can attest. Once I was with friends, driving to see the spring jonquils at Wye Mountain. Margery was the driver and I sat beside her in the front seat. The whole group of us had stayed up late the night before, visiting, and I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. In fact, I let my eyelids fall… and close… for a second… or two. When I opened them, the road had shifted—astounding!—and we were driving down the wrong side of it! Margery’s eyes had closed in tandem with mine; we had both blinked. And the world could have changed much more dramatically than it did. I’ve told you that story as a lead-in to sharing what just happened at the local boat ramp. Don’t worry, nobody got hurt..
APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH. In celebration, this little hidden-away blog of mine is opening its doors to friends old and new via a Poetry Book Giveaway. Missy Frye, a fellow member of Poets Northwest, alerted me to this annual event hosted by Kelli Agodon, a west coast poet, writer, and editor. Enter to win!
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BULLETIN [5/1/15] – And the winners are…
* The Essential RUMI: Ann Hart
* WORDS for Hard Times: Dhyan
Thanks for participating and congratulations on your wins!
Winter has finally been put to flight here in Arkansas. And it’s about time; that frigid season’s departure is long overdue. Where are the crocuses this year, still waiting? Heavens, it’s mid-March… St. Patrick’s Day usually does more wearing of the green!
Phoenix designs are my latest affirmation-oriented passion. The first series of designs consists of these four eggs, each with an affirmation printed on the back side. The affirmations derive from my daily writing. Most mornings, I start the day by searching inwardly for an affirmation that fits my my orientation… then I find a picture that corresponds. I post these to my journal.
These are some of my favorite poems this month. (They are still drafts, not final versions, and may not be shared outside this website without permission. Thank you.)
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My neighbor’s lady scarecrow has actually been crying, judging by appearances today.
Using My Noodle
What do you do with the unrelenting procession of thoughts that traipses through your mind? I scan the queue and select the most intriguing candidates for interview and audition.
Tonight’s quick-dinner preps attracted a quirky refrain and, when I cocked an inner ear to listen, it turned into silly lyrics: Continue reading
Buzzards and Poems
I am beside myself with wonder. Which causes me to wonder if Lynn Sciumbato, the local vulture expert will be there. I also hope I’ll be able to locate the extensive vulture research I once did. Otherwise, I’ll start from scratch.
The correct term for what most Americans call “buzzard” is actually “vulture.” So I’m counting on the Audubon audience to be indulgent with my use of the incorrect common name. The word “buzzard” actually refers to a type of hawk. Scientists and Europeans are sticklers for this distinction.
This invitation to speak didn’t come completely out of the blue … sky … like a buzzard. One morning I saw a glimpse of a bird that I couldn’t quite identify; it was large and dark with white wing-tips. So I looked up the Arkansas Audubon Society on Facebook and asked questions. A long discussion followed. In it, I mentioned my love of buzzards and the related poetry. And now … voila! A chance to share.
Let’s see. I’ll dredge up a buzzard poem for you …
Every day, a buzzard
comes into my view—
flying solo overhead
or swooping down, quite low,
or stationed in some untoward place.
It seems to say, “Hey, you!”
There’s nothing that I dread
or worry I should know.
I simply view it as a grace
and I reply, “Hey!” too.
My affinity for buzzards grew out of several moving and meaningful encounters. Maybe you know of a group that’s hot to hear these stories in a presentation on “Buzzards and Poetry”? Not likely, I know, but I’m ready when the group is. ♥ ~Jo
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Photo Credits: Images cropped from a couple of my recent snapshots.
“Pomes 5¢” is the booth title I dreamed up for my version of Lucy’s version of a lemonade stand. In visualization, my stand is full-sized and the poet is swamped by purchasers.
The Dreamy Reality
Yesterday, I experienced a modified version of this idea at my hometown’s end-of-summer festival. Lucy was portrayed by a doll my niece gave me. The lemonade stand was made from an inverted patio footstool and some small cardboard boxes. “Pomes” (so-called because my everyday poetry is not very refined) became “Poems” (so as not to confuse customers). “Pomes” also relates to apples, an everyday wholesome nourishment.
The real was better than the imagined. Along with a half-dozen other Arkansas authors, and at the invitation of owners Myra and Pat Moran, I shared booth space at Trolley Line Bookstore in downtown Rogers. At other times during the day, I filled in at the Lions Club chili contest booth and handed out flyers for an upcoming car show.
I wore a pocketed apron under my Lions t-shirt so I could carry poems with me and offer them freely to people who looked like they might be interested. My approach evolved as the day went on: “Hi! Have you had your poem of the day yet? No? Well it’s here in this spread somewhere.” I would then fan out a brightly-colored assortment of slips of paper, just as a Las Vegas dealer would fan a deck of cards. “Pick one. The one you pick is the one that’s meant for you … or for somebody who means a lot to you. It’s like a fortune cookie and, when you read it, you’ll know why it came to you this way.”
One man was reluctant to participate. “No. No. I’d rather not.” So we talked awhile about his t-shirt. “Fly Fishing in America” it announced above a related graphic. “Fly Fishing in America” is the name of a band that had just participated in a music contest. We talked on, about family, and eventually the man allowed that his wife might want to try the fortune cookie thing because she likes to read. So we went to her and, as it turned out, her poem was about books.
“Sure you don’t want to try?” I asked. He took one, read it, and was shaken. “How did you know I like trees?” he wondered. “I didn’t,” I answered, “something else did.” The man even knew Joyce Kilmer’s poem by heart. Here is the poem he picked:
TREES THAT PLEASE
beneath bold blue—
we’ve pined for you.
It kept happening again and again, that syncing. In one instance, the recipients were a couple. He drew first and got a disappointed look on his face. Same with her. Then they read the poems aloud—and each said, “You got mine!”
All this interacting happened during my wandering around. When I arrived at at the bookstore for the authors’ time-slot, I reviewed the small “lemonade” stand I’d set up earlier and its sign mentioning five cents. By then I knew enough to tell people, “Oh, the first poem is free. Just pick one. The one you pick is the one that’s meant for you…”
The story of the Lucy doll is a very special one, to be saved for a future time. I hope all your days are at least as delightful as mine was yesterday. ♥ ~Jo
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