Archive for April, 2010

Time once again for the weekly review of my three-haiku-and-one-limerick-a-day National Poetry Month challenge.  And for a couple days this week it was a challenge.

steamed tortillas / a baguette’s pillowy loft / chewy fleshiness
transformative wind / churns the placid reservoir / to a white-capped sea

From the crow’s nest he called out “Land Ho!”
But was met by indifference below
They’d grown used to the pranks
And the ploys and the cranks
Of their cabin boy Pinocchio

An old fisherman’s legend from Rye
Claims it’s best when the full moon is nigh
To bring nets into town
Knock the Baker’s door down
And take haul of landlocked Octopi*

Infant in a pram / ignores his father’s voice but / answers the crow’s call

televised baseball / windblown petals in puddles / newly skinned knees: spring

A fair Mermaid called out from the sea
“I wish someone would come rescue me!”
When they reached the fair maid
The sea dogs were dismayed
The Mermaid was an Old Manatee

breezy symphony / plastic bag snare drum tattoo / windchimes and birdsongs
above the window / pigeons bathe in rain gutters / drives the cat crazy

Whined the Serpent that came from the Deep
As another ship joined his junk heap
“It’s not my fault they wrecked
But what can they expect
Dropping anchor wherever I sleep!”

the wheel, the wood / the shallow ramp splits in two / the fracture, the cast
tiny plastic shoes / stomp and grind gravely dirt / tiny ant endures
gnarly grimacing / noodling on the a string / hair metal solo

creamy becomes glue / tongue fused to roof of the mouth / peanut butter pop
painted concrete owl / perched immobile on the roof / the pigeons aren’t fooled

An unholy alliance created
When a Werewolf and Mermaiden mated!
Then things got all twisted
As a Vamp and Shark trysted
And the Weremaid and Draculark dated!

finding an old friend / among the library shelves / dog-eared and foxing

pumpkin on the porch / three seasons, no signs of rot / that’s one hearty squash!
ruckus in the night / skunky odor, dogs barking / everyone home safe

That rapscallion Barnacle Pete
Was the toughest first mate in the fleet
He’d waltz into town
Decked in feathers and gown
Where he’s known as Miss Lulu Petite

hammering away / industrial woodpeckers / tackling old roofs

screen door gently swings / open, pauses, then closes / inviting the ghosts
again and again / like fishermen casting line / a writer’s query

Cap’n Rolf of the Salty Doubloon
Late at night like to play his bassoon
But still bears the scars
Of the night without stars
He instead played a whaler’s harpoon

routines, procedures / sitting at an office desk / running in circles

old uprooted tree / lays in state while it’s children / rustle and whisper
boy with a dowser / pretends like he’s found water / then pees on the spot

When loadin’ the cannons, beware!
Gunpowder’s a dangerous affair
Like a lass in the dark
Takes but one careless spark
And ye find yerself in disrepair

As always, anything marked by a * was revised after being posted on Twitter.

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by one of my favorite blogs in the whole wide world, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

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The first full week of National Poetry Month and an almost completely successful week of new haiku and limericks.  While I did manage (to varying degrees of quality) to Tweet three new haiku per day, the added limerick challenge had a few hiccups.  I was able to make up for one day I missed, but I didn’t get a limerick up yesterday, spoiling my otherwise perfect week.

Without further ado…

they howl for food / but don’t eat when you feed them / felines and children*
snacking and napping / free of guilt and refreshing / hours off the clock

When a Kraken takes over a ship
And has hundreds of scrubs in his grip
You can bet, to the man,
When the voyage began
They assumed it would be a round-trip

the little boy thinks / ground beef contains potatoes / the white in the red

once upon a time / fairy tales began with / How about right now
playing in the street / pretending not to show off / that’s how the boys flirt

Jean Lafitte was a pirate to fear
To his captives he was most severe
He’d eat beans by the buckets
While collecting their ducats
Shouting “Hoy! Attack from the rear!”

comfortable shoes / more fiber, a full night’s sleep / pleasures of midlife (measures of midlife)

no matter how much / they smell like easter candy / don’t bite the advil
buffed and bronzed teen boy / working in the yard shirtless / draws much older fans

The Captain from Killinaspick
Had the deadliest aim with a brick
Sailed the world, Cape to Horn
For his enemy sworn
A white whale he named Dobie Mick

hot, itchy wool pants / damnation and hellfire / sunday services

there’s nothing wrong with / babbling on like a fool / unless you are one
the flowers fight back / against human pollution / hay fever season

The maroon who set off on a raft
Left behind his man Friday who laughed:
“Your escape’s doomed to fail,
You’ve no oar and no sail,
And you don’t know your head from your aft!”

at sunset’s flashing / birds and trees holding their breath / evening spilling in

heads stretched up and out / solar panel plated shells / two turtles sunning
lemondrop sunbeam / blanket for afternoon nap / with salt-scented breeze
rusted out trash can / like a garbage soaked wino / who’s soiled himself*

worms in a tin can / the pond, neutral between / oblivious fish
the zen of soil / blows in the wind, drifts with tides / no firm commitments

Said the Cook in the hold of the ship
While he rested his knife on his hip
“These pirates be tough
But they’re plenty enough
And they taste great served a la French dip.”

It’s been quite a hard day for the Squid
(Who went by the name of El Cid)
He caught dozens of man
Who were packed in a can
But has yet to pry off the sub’s lid*

shirtless disco king / sucks in his leathery gut / past hardbodied teens

Two items were edited post-Tweet, as marked by * above.  The worst error in need of correction was the limerick whose original second line read “That lived off the coast of Madrid” which sounds okay until you remember that Madrid isn’t a coastal city.  I originally considered replacing it with the Egyptian town of Port Said, a forced rhyme if ever there was one, but not unusual in the history of limericks.  After a bit of back-and-forth “talking cure” with Sarah Stevenson I finally came to recast the line with the equally acceptable naming of the main character.

Poetry Friday is hosted this week over at Paper Tigers and features a poem by David Bouchard from his recent book The Secret of Your Name/ Kiimooch ka shinikashooven. Good stuff.

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Every year it’s always the same.  I vow I’m going to not only find a way to participate in National Poetry Month but I’m gonna carry that spirit beyond April and throughout the rest of the year.

But I don’t.  And because I can’t I have decided I am not really dedicated enough to actually consider myself a poet of any grade. That doesn’t stop me from trying again year after year.

Last year I used npm as my testing ground for signing onto Twitter.  My goal was to post one new haiku a day and sort of get myself up to speed in social media and that went well enough so I’m going to try again this year.  Like last year I’ll be collecting the week’s Tweets into a Poetry Friday post, but since this first roundup comes only a day in I thought I’d do a little behind-the-scenes with these Tweets.

impatient saplings
force frost-burnt buds and brown leaves
elderly trees wait

A few weeks back we had a burst of spring coming straight out of some bitter cold.  I couldn’t help notice that some of the younger trees and bushes in the neighborhood couldn’t wait to send out new buds and baby leaves.  Five days later we got a bitter cold bunch of rain that caused flooding and over-saturated ground and those buds started to get freezer burn.  The haiku wrote itself

lost school craft knowledge:
white glue and rubber cement
fingerprints and snot

I was thinking about how we used to paint desks with rubber cement, let it dry a little, then ball it up into fake snots that we would hang from our nostrils.  Which reminded me of how we used to put white Elmer’s glue on our fingertips and peal it off when dry and study our fingerprints.  What I wasn’t able to include in this etude for adhesives was how we liked to take peppermint scented paste and smear it on our teeth and then lick it off.

By midday yesterday a friend from school through down a challenge: “What, no limericks?”  Hmm.  Would a limerick fit the 140 character limit of Twitter?  Could I also write a limerick a day for a month?  I thought of Edward Lear, and “The Owl and the Pussycat” (not written in limerick form), and the image of a man and a cat at sea bobbed around my mental ocean.  An idea struck, a twist, then the cat disappeared and the following emerged.

There was an old salt name of Plum
Who drank rum ‘til his innards were numb
Took to sea in a scow
Taunted sharks from the prow
And now everyone just calls him Chum

It took two Tweets to make it fit, so maybe Twitter isn’t the best place for a limerick, but I enjoyed the challenge.

Finally, a biographical haiku, fitting for April Fools Day.  And totally true.

the joke is on me
all day my underwear was
inside out, backward

Don’t ask me how I didn’t figure this out earlier.

So here we go.  National Poetry Month and twitku and maybe the occasional limerick.  Follow along on Twitter, or join in by adding your own haiku with the #twitku tag.  And for the first time in a long while I’m participating in Poetry Friday which is hosted this week at Book Aunt.

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