April 27, 2017

Poetry Friday--"The Question"

The Question

Before the development of a scientific method,
before there were books and libraries,
there was the question, "Why?"

To answer the question the elders made up
stories, and retold them, so that when a child
asked a particular "Why?" They had answers.

Hummingbird punched holes in the night sky.

Tien Mu flashed her mirrors while
her husband, Lei Shen, beat a drum.

God rubbed a lion's head 'til it sneezed two cats.

Today, for much that is in our world,
and in the worlds beyond our ken,
the question still remains, "Why?"

So, the answer we give is another
question, "Do you want us to tell a tale,
or, do you want us to seek the truth?

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
I attended the March for Science held at the Boston Common on April 22. The weather was miserable--cold and rainy--but the enthusiasm was contagious. I marched with a small group of public, university, school, and specialized librarians from our gathering spot at the Boston Public Library to the Common. When we arrived, thousands of people were gathered in support of science. Here are just a few of the photos I took that day:

Visit JoAnn at Teaching Authors for the Round-Up of poetry posts from around the blogosphere.

Click here for an article on the kids who attended Boston's march. I don't think the crowd estimate of 1,000 is right, but who am I to dispute The Boston Globe? If you look at the overhead view of the Common, seen here, it looks to be more than 1,000.

Let me close with my no-frills sign. It was approximately 8 1/2 X 11." Why so small? So I could hold it comfortably, so I could carry it on the subway without hitting anyone in the face, and, it was the only piece of plain cardboard I could find in the house!

I found three Thoreau quotes that I could have used. The other two are:

          "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

          "In wildness is the preservation of the world."

April 25, 2017

Haiku Sticky #406

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


she mentions thin mints
...I am immediately
eight years old

April 24, 2017

Ekphrastic Mondays, 2017--#4

This is the fourth and final Monday during National Poetry Month. This year I've been writing poems inspired by the paintings of Nicolas Tarkhoff. Today's painting is "Landscape with Fields under the Sun" (circa 1907).

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


Cher M. Critique

Why do you say the colors
in my work are unnatural?

Where do you think my
paints come from?

Flowers, minerals, vinegar,
insects, eggshells, vulgar
bodily wastes, oils--all have
been found in artists' palettes.

I have merely added my
thoughts, emotions, and,
dreams to the mix.
What is unnatural in that?

Gros bisous,

A few words about the poem. I don't speak French, however, I do know that the closing to the letter, "gros bisous," is something used in a closing to a casual email--sort of like signing "hugs & kisses." Tarkhoff would never have closed a letter in such a way. However, I do think he was sassy enough to have done so! A not-so-subtle "eff-you" to the critics.

He signed his work "Nic. Tarkhoff," an abbreviation of Nicolas, and so I had him signing "Nic." I don't know if Nic was also his preferred nickname amongst family and friends.

I did a little online research on what was used to pigment paints back before large companies mass-produced them through the magic of chemistry. Way, way, back, urine was used to achieve certain yellows! Other, rather off-putting, ingredients were used in producing colors. Not that I think Tarkhoff's paints were produced with all these ingredients, but, circa 1907, who knows? (Research for another time? Unless you know and would like to tell me in the comments.)

I hope you've enjoyed the four ekphrastic poems this month. If ekphrasis appeals to you, you really should check out Irene Latham's monumental ekphrastic, poem-a-day project ARTSPEAK!: Portraits.

April 23, 2017

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


all the dogs
with noses in the air
first spring day

April 20, 2017

Poetry Friday--Saint George

The feast of Saint George is celebrated on April 23, this coming Sunday. (April 23, 303 is the reported date of his death.) Saint George, is the patron saint of England, Portugal, Romania, and several other countries, and the story of his slaying the dragon has been told and retold over the centuries. Saint George and the Dragon: A Golden Legend adapted by Margaret Hodges from Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, is a modern children's classic. It was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1985.

My poem for today references the sainted man, but is not directly related to his story. It was really written as a woodcut project poem.

So as not to distract you by the vocabulary, let me explain that borborymus is a stomach/intestinal noise (plural = borborygmi). A great word, isn't it? (I believe I originally was introduced to it by Janet B.)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


A baleful growl at the edge
your consciousness? Or,
simply the borborygmus
of your also-dozing cat?

The air warm, rising,
quivering, with the energy
of a dragon's breath?
Or a fever of your brow?

A swamp crawling with
reptilian creatures hideous
and noisome? Or officious
expressions of power?

We are all of us St. George
daily faced with the task
of curing the imagined and
slaying the borborygmi.

Learn more about Saint George in this book published 110 years ago; click here.

I wrote another Saint George poem two years ago, see it here.

The lovely Tabatha is hosting the Round-Up at The Opposite of Indifference.

April 18, 2017

Haiku Sticky #405

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


first hot day
again having to google
that rain smell

By the way, the term is petrichor. Every year I have to look it up.

April 17, 2017

Ekphrastic Mondays, 2017--#3

Today's painting by Nicolas Tarkhoff is "Cat with Child" (1908).

Cats and children are two of Tarkhoff's favored subjects. I find this painting lends itself to cherita from two points of view.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.



it is a ritual executed
several times a day

lick paw, pass over ears
lick paw, pass over face
lick paw--damn! start again...

black kitty

Mama says, “leave
the kitty alone.”

pretty kitty!
I love you! let me pet
your...ouch! Mama!