Monday, October 31, 2011

Haiku On High

Checkerboard below beckons:
white houses, green fields,
freeways.  Another descent.
Flying many thousand feet toward heaven, after a couple glasses of wine in my pressurized tin space capsule, what better time and place to write haiku?  The best thing about air travel might be the opportunity it affords us to feel really, really small.  Flying from Seattle to Arizona in June:

Sandstone redder than sundown
Zion lies below
airplane-space diminished
From an airplane, the tiny houses, cars and bridges speckle the landscape like so many ants crawling up a sugar slope.  The mountains, rivers and deserts assume rightful proportions:

Snowfields stretch oblong, rest low
between gray-brown humps --
desert resisting springtime.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

DATE EXTENDED: Call for Submissions

Write Wing Publishing's first book project, "Surrounded:  Living With Islands," is calling for submissions -- see guidelines below.  The original deadline is now extended to February 10, 2012, in order to receive and review work from the greatest possible number of poets.  Keep those poems coming!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Poetry as Gift

Have you ever considered giving poems as gifts?  If you are not a poet, and have no desire to begin as one, a book of poems is a lovely tribute not only to the recipient, but to the poet!  If you are a poet yourself, you perhaps need no convincing ...

When I left Alaska in 1995, driving more slowly the further south I got, and starting to cry when approaching the Yukon border (I once thought I'd live in Alaska forever), I left behind a poem to my dear friend, titled "Goodbye Shelly."  She later told me she always hoped someone would write a poem for her.  When the poem was published in Seattle's "Bellowing Ark," I sent her a copy.

When my dad celebrated his 90th birthday, I wrote a poem for him.  This was a particularly interesting challenge, as Dad came from the old school that taught heavy end-rhymes as essential to poetry.  I wrote for him a poem in couplets with line ends rhyming so hard you would think 100-pound barbells were hitting the floor.  He loved it, and said "I knew you could do it!"  Dad died last Valentine's Day at age 91; he had told me on his 90th, when receiving my poem, "I will treasure this forever."

Now it is my mother's turn.  She will be 90 on October 11, and I have written a poem for her that is very different from Dad's -- no heavy end rhymes, only internal and half-rhymes.

What is your experience with poetry as gifts?  I'd love to hear ...