nature


The hawk
must also eat
but seeing bloody feathers
drifting down to earth rips up
my heart.

 

 

 

*For a definition of what constitutes haiku, tanka, and cinquains, and for an explanation of this poetry project, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

My little cat cries
to go outside. She’s right: the
sunshine’s glorious.

 

 

*For a definition of what constitutes haiku, tanka, and cinquains, and for an explanation of this poetry project, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

 

The Barber stuffed chicken breast box.
I’ve been struggling to come back online as an artist. I’ve been doing a found-paper box-folding project since June 1, 2017: one box a day for a year, little things, until May 31, 2018. Then I shall assemble them into something. Not quite sure what yet, although I have ideas.

But the writing…fits and starts, can’t keep going on anything, things bubbling below the surface, but they won’t come out. I need to write. I long for it so hard, so deep. I think I need to force my own hand, so I’m going to try doing little things with that, too. I remember a writing teacher many long yarns ago who made us do five weeks (out of 20) of nothing but haiku, tanka, and cinquains before he’d let us do any other kind of writing. We chafed at that, some dropped the class, but for those of us who stuck with it this discipline turned into an amazingly freeing exercise. So…

Haiku
Poems of 3 lines and 17 syllables:
Line 1, 5 syllables
Line 2, 7 syllables
Line 3, 5 syllables

Tanka
Poems of 5 lines, 31 syllables:
Line 1, 5 syllables
Line 2, 7 syllables
Line 3, 5 syllables
Line 4, 7 syllables
Line 4, 7 syllables

Cinquain
An American form in imitation of the Japanese forms above. (Some cheat and title these poems, allowing themselves an extra line.)
Poems of 5 lines with iambic accents:
Line 1, 1 accent
Line 2, 2 accents
Line 3, 3 accents
Line 4, 4 accents
Line 5, 1 accent

Can I keep up the discipline? What discipline should I set myself? One a day? One a week?

I’ll try one a day, but that may be ambitious. One a week seems too little. So maybe I’ll compromise. I have to do at least 3 a week. If I do more, that’s great, but at least those three. So, here we go.

Edited to add: I started this on a Thursday, so my week runs Thursday to Thursday.

Day One – Tanka (with a thanks to mountoregano and a side thanks to Billy Collins)

The daffodils hold,
their green ranks standing silent.
The peach tree, chafing
with impatience, holds forth in
full spring, laughing pink blossoms.

Random quote of the day:

“Almost every haiku says the same thing: it’s amazing to be alive here.”

—Billy Collins, The Paris Review, No. 159, Fall 2001

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

My morning commute is seven miles from front door to workplace garage. Being Los Angeles, that seven miles is fraught with many traffic headaches. Most mornings it takes about forty minutes—but there have been many notable exceptions.

Today was one of those. My commute took one hour and fifteen minutes. For much of that time I was stuck on the Lincoln Boulevard hill down from the Westchester plateau. There really are only three ways down from the plateau and I was on the wrong one. Construction on the Ballona Creek Bridge near Marina del Rey had reduced four-lane Lincoln to one-lane Lincoln. Even at the top of the hill I couldn’t tell where the problem lay as I was behind a large truck and in the lane next to me was a bus, both effectively blocking my view. I was stuck in the second lane because I knew the first lane was blocked ahead from previous commutes, and I couldn’t get over to the right because everyone in those lanes was just as blocked as I.

So I called work and told them I would be seriously late and tried as hard as I could to go with it and remain calm. Mostly it worked. I thought thoughts, I listened to music, I tried to stay positive, I amused myself by thinking of a guy on the elevator last night who escaped with his life because I didn’t possess an ice pick.

And so I sat for close to an hour. About a half hour in, I noticed a dragonfly, about five inches long. It flew back and forth over the hood of my car six times, not more than a couple of feet from my windshield. Knowing that dragonflies are very symbolic critters, I wondered if it had some message for me?

“This too shall pass.”
“Hello from Mom and Dad.”
“Pay attention, mortal.”
“Concern yourself with what’s important.”
“Which way to the wetlands?”

And in fact when he flew over my car the last time he headed purposefully west, towards the wetlands.

According to http://bit.ly/1RnTHQA

“The dragonfly totem carries the wisdom of transformation and adaptability in life. As spirit animal, the dragonfly is connected to the symbolism of change and light. When the dragonfly shows up in your life, it may remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Those who have this animal as totem may be inclined to delve deep into their emotions and shine their true colors.”

Okay. I wouldn’t necessarily count on that. And don’t even get me started on that whole “spirit animal” thang. I mean, I do acknowledge that I’m in sore need of transformation. But the ways of the world are strong.

It is, however, interesting that this should come up now. I was just having this conversation with myself last night. It was a little less poetic, though. More along the lines of “You better get your s**t together, girl, and stop acting like a baby. Things need to change.”

Maybe the dragonfly was a reminder of that, a reinforcer of my own soul’s message to Self. Maybe a coincidence, but it’s no fun thinking like that, unless you call it a synchronicity.

So, a synchronous message of soul to Self, or Self to self, or…

It was a very beautiful dragonfly, all blue and gold. I loved watching it fly.

Random quote of the day:

“We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that the savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into the matter.”

—Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“To me dreams are a part of nature, which harbors no intention to deceive, but expresses something as best it can, just as a plant grows or an animal seeks its food as best it can.”

—Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but Nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.”

—R. Buckminster Fuller, interview, Minneapolis Tribune, April 30, 1978

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“I said to the almond tree: ‘Speak to me of God,’ and the almond tree blossomed.”

—Nikos Kazantzakis, The Fratricides

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“Because it is such a powerful force in the world today, the Western Judeo-Christian tradition is often accepted as the arbiter of “natural” behavior of humans. If Europeans and their descendant nations of North America accept something as normal, then anything different is seen as abnormal. Such a view ignores the great diversity of human existence.”

—Walter L. Williams, The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity In American Indian Culture

 diverse4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

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