January 19, 2018

Poetry Friday--Haiti

Last week I was incensed, and embarrassed, by the racist remarks of someone who holds a position of leadership in our country. I wanted to climb on the roof to yell an apology to the people of Haiti and those in the 54 nations of Africa. And, also, to the world at large, which before November 2016, may have believed the United States to be a beacon of freedom, justice, kindness, and, a place of refuge.

Many librarians and writers on Facebook, feeling as I did, reacted by posting lists of books about Haiti and other nations, diversity, immigration, etc. One book I saw mentioned a number of times is a slim book of poetry titled Haiti my country: Poems by Haitian Schoolchildren, illustrated by Rogé, with translations by Solange Messier.

The poems paint a picture of a country that no way resembles the vile description so glibly spoken by the POTUS.

Here is one:
Everyone is fine in this rustic setting
Where we can lie out in the shade of the coconut trees
Savouring the pleasures of the golden fruit on the mango trees
Away from politics

From the azure sky scattered with small white clouds
Arises the morning sun
There, where no evil exists
We live peacefully

That's where we find genuine life
Where we breathe in clean air
Where cabins surrounded by beautiful greenery
Embellish the multicoloured flowers

Ricardo Jocelyn

Beautifully rendered illustrations of the fifteen young writers, and their teacher, accompany the poems.

My copy of Haiti my country will find its way to a nearby classroom where a number of Haitian-American students attend 4th grade, but it will not be enough to atone for the sins of MY COUNTRY. For that I am sorry.

Here's a little therapeutic poem from me:


1. something without use or value; rubbish; trash.
2. nonsense.
3. obsolete: deceit, fraud.

1. Trumpery
--this wall
he wants us to build.

2. Trumpery
--this OTHER-ness
he tries to make us fear.

3. Trumpery
--this empty man
full of delusions.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Take A Journey through the Pages to find Kay hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

January 16, 2018

Haiku Sticky #442

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


winter weather
her face beclouded by
news of snow

January 14, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

Many thanks to Norah Fallat who allowed me to use her photo of Quigley and Shiloh for today's haiga.

Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading. © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


winter sun
"dashing through the snow"
will not be sung
today the warmth on our backs
provides us laughter enough

January 12, 2018

Poetry Friday--An Illustrated Cherita

Here's a cherita that I enjoyed illustrating. A brief cherita definition: a three-stanza poem that tells a story. The first stanza has one line that sets the scene, the second stanza has two lines, the third has three lines.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. All images used are in the public domain.



only stars
truly bridge distances

our words are riprap:
nothing as strong as
a heaven's foundation

I'm not exactly sure what the story is here, I'll leave it up to you, the reader, to fill in the details!

I like the word "riprap." It's a term that relates to bridges in that it is a not-necessarily stable foundation of stones. If you take the "rap" part, rap also relates to words.

Dictionary.com definition of riprap:


1. a quantity of broken stone for foundations, revetments of embankments, etc.
2. a foundation or wall of stones thrown together irregularly.

Dictionary.com definition of rap:


15. Slang.

        a. a talk, conversation, or discussion; chat.
        b. talk designed to impress, convince, etc.; spiel:
            a high-pressure sales rap.

Visit Jan at Bookseedstudio for this week's Round-Up!

January 9, 2018

Haiku Sticky #441

Not much explanation needed here--we've just finished a three week run of extremely cold temperatures!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


hoping to find
the word's opposite:

January 7, 2018

Happy Haiga Day!

Last year, a writer friend, Jan Donley, posted a photo that she had taken outside her home in Boston on January 7. The photo made me smile and it inspired the haiku below. Many thanks to Jan for permission to use the photo!

Haiku © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo © Jan Donley, all rights reserved.

January 5, 2018

Poetry Friday--Nengajo

This past Monday, New Year's Day, post office workers in Japan scurried to deliver billions (yes, that is correct, billions) of postcards with the greeting, Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu, Happy New Year.

I've been participating in a haiku postcard exchange, nengajo, since 2010 (click here for past years' posts). Nengajo is basically a New Year's card. Back in 2010, I belonged to a group of haiku poets who agreed to send postcards, with a haiku, to each other. Some of my postcards went halfway around the world. Sadly, the people who organized the exchange could not continue. I wanted to make it through the 12 years of the zodiac, so I've recently sent postcards out rather randomly to relatives and friends to keep going. I've got three more years to complete the cycle!

Last year and this, Jone Rush MacCulloch, also a haiku poet, invited Poetry Friday participants to exchange New Year's postcards. This exchange does not require a haiku, but I've continued in the nengajo spirit. What with the weather (extreme cold and some snow), I've been slow in sending out all my cards. I ask the exchange folks to forgive the delay.

2018 will be the Year of the Dog. And, it is also the elemental year associated with Earth (the others elements are Gold, Wood, Water, and Fire). So, this is the Year of the Earth Dog. (I've also seen it designated as the Year of the Brown Earth Dog.) The Earth Dog is communicative, serious, and a responsible worker.

Here is my postcard for 2018:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image CC BY 4.0, Wellcome Collection.


first walk...
following the dog into
the new year

Note: if I had been sending my postcard to an audience primarily made up of haiku poets, I probably would not have used the above poem. It leans heavily toward the figurative. For a haiku poet, a dog can lead down the road, or through a puddle, but not into a year. A dog is a dog, not a metaphor!

I might have used this:

first walk...
following the dog into
the deep woods

The reader can read his or her own meaning into "the deep woods." A chase? A fear-inducing situation? Contentment? Natural wonder? All of these are dependent on one's own experiences with a deep woods. My use of "first" is a kigo, short-hand for "new year." In the haiku below, I use "first morning walk," which to a regular haiku reader would trigger the idea that the setting is New Year's Day.

I wanted to have two postcards to send, but the image resolution on the card below is too low to reproduce well in print. It reproduces fine on a screen. (I used it as a Happy Haiga Day! post on November 26, so you may have seen it before.)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Gracie, my granddog, is the star!


first morning walk
the expectation of
meeting a cat

If you would like a 2018 postcard, please send me your address at d(dot)mayr(at)comcast(dot)net. I'll send postcards as long as my supply of cards (I bought extra this year) and stamps lasts.

Catherine will be rounding out the Round-Ups for 2017 at Reading to the Core. Have a great 2018!