Seasons of Gold

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

…a time to ponder; a time to write down your thoughts, and a time to share the things that impress you.

Though I wasn’t specifically thinking of these verses when I chose the title for the new book of poems I’ve been working on, they are very fitting when it comes to verses about nature, the seasons, and human nature.

The book is pretty much compiled, but I want to organize the verses I’ve chosen then set up my file on Kindle Create and insert some graphics. I’ve obtained the ISBN for both print and e-book but will do only the e-book for now.  I’m thinking the title font should be the same as we used for Silver Morning Song; otherwise here’s what the cover will look like:

GA.Rain.largest flower

My next big question: How many poems make a proper-size book?

Capturing Their Feelings

I recently purchased and have been reading a book titled Write Like Issa: A Haiku How To, by David Lanoue.

The writer talks about the compassion Issa often showed for the creatures he saw. He seemed to  look through their eyes for a moment and express, in an understanding way, how they were reacting to heat, cold, pain, etc. Be it the fly in a hot stuffy room, the toad on a chilly morning, the chicken dragging a damaged wing, he could display through his verse, without actually stating, their physical feelings.

The sparrows we see in winter puff up when it’s cold and they must feel an icy wind ruffling their feathers. Or we may see a baby bird hopping after its harried mother, crying for more food. Issa wrote a famous verse identifying himself with the hungry chick, by throwing in the words “step-child bird.” Knowing that the poet was a step-child neglected and harshly treated by his father’s second wife, we get the picture of his own hunger and longing for affection.

One of the exercises Mr Lanoue gives readers is to recall a experience shared with a some creature and then capture that in a haiku. I think we can all recall instances when a creature, especially a pet, shows some “feeling” we can identify with. One day as I was walking to the mall, I saw a salamander alongside the curb, twisting his head this way and that in obvious distress as cars swished past not far away. The traffic wasn’t steady; but every so often another car would pass and frighten him, yet the poor creature couldn’t go up the curb to escape that way. Just observing him a moment, I caught his fear and bewilderment. I could easily imagine the desperate cry of, “Which way shall I go?”

I’m not sure I could condense that scene enough for a haiku — if you want to give it a try, go for it, and leave your verse as a comment. But here’s a quick and easy scene for a verse. I don’t know if it’s a great haiku or not, but have you ever noticed how a fly is attracted to a dish or jar that once held something sweet?

fruit fly explores
the just-washed jam jar
something tells him

Technology

technology
grannie’s new glasses
and she still can’t see

I’ve just looked through 284 themes and can’t see exactly what I want. I’d like to find something just as simple as the one I had, only better. But I’ll try this new theme, Penscratch 2, and see how I get on.

Here’s a cheery poem from the 1972 Friendship Book of Francis Gay, no author given:

My goodness, what a lot is wrong —
but what a lot is right;
the sky is blue, and birds sing, too,
as if with sheer delight.
A bad old world — but just a minute;
it has both saints and sunshine in it.

 

Blogs, Books, and Slough Water

Good morning everyone!

You will notice that my site looks different — and it’s not an improvement. This morning I sprang for the upgrade WordPress was offering … and somehow lost my ability to customize the background of my current theme — and my pale yellow background. Either that or I lost the “all across the page” choice of background. The center strip reverted to the default grey, so I changed the yellow side margins to match. At any rate, the pretty pale yellow has been replaced by plain old grey and I’m not happy.

The upshot of this is that I’m going to be trying out new themes and customization until I get the look I like.

I’m fussy about appearances, I guess. I’ve spent a week trying to get just the right title and the right cover image for my upcoming book of haiku. I finally settled on one Monday and it has been approved by friends & family. But then I was checking haiku books online last night and began to wonder if I was being too high-flying in my choice.

I came across a book titled The River Does Stink haiku and senryu. Intriguing, right? Quite down to earth — no birds and flowers.

My grand-daughters liked the idea of me using something prairie-ish, so how about a title like, Scum on our Slough? Our sloughs can look and smell pretty bad in late spring unless they’re replenished by fresh rain water.

Actually, Stars in the Slough could be a nice prairie-touch haiku book. What do you think? Mind you, after all I’ve bothered my family and friends for their opinion on titles and pics and we’re now all on the same page, they might be ready to toss me in the slough if I change my title again. As soon as I’ve applied for my copyright, I’ll post the cover design.

Our weather is improving every day. Last weekend we had a -34 morning and several days of bitter wind all day. Yesterday was milder, got up to -12. It was -24 this morning — and wind — but the sun has power now and warms us up in the daytime. Our cats take advantage of the sunshine and want in-out-in-out-in-out all day.

Hope you’re having a great week. I’m happy to report that, after the second antibiotic did its work, my skin infection has cleared up. Now I’m off to cook for the seniors at the Villa this morning. 🙂