Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
Here's hoping you enjoyed International Haiku Poetry Day on Tuesday (April 17). Perhaps you joined in the worldwide Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaboration over at The Haiku Foundation? Jim Kacian mentions there that it was "another record-breaking showing" and that a "complete version will be made available shortly and announced on the blog."
Here is a pair of haiku of mine in the current issue of Frogpond:
of hospital halls
graduation cords our empty nest
Frogpond, Vol. 41:1, Winter 2018
poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
While I think a solid haiku resonates with a reader independently of its author's experiences - and sometimes for very different reasons - when I re-read my own haiku, I'm transported to the moment they came to me, or their first unedited versions anyway. Both of these are snapshots of my life in the last year.
Regarding the first poem, I made several trips back and forth to Florida beginning last summer as my mother was undergoing surgery and then months of chemo for colon cancer. Happy to report that she is doing well now, and has even been doing some cleaning and yard work of late. (Mom, if you're reading this - don't overdo! )
With the second poem, I was moving around some stuff in Seth's room (our youngest) and came across the bag of college graduation accoutrements from last May. (And also happy to report we'll get him home for several weeks this summer, after he finishes his internship and before he starts grad school/seminary in August. Yay!)
The pare part of this post is about two things: the paring of words and ideas involved in writing haiku, and sometimes the paring of responsibilities needed to meet life's curve balls. When my mother was diagnosed with cancer last year, I wanted to be free to make those trips, so I handed over the reins as HSA (Haiku Society of America) SE Regional Coordinator to the very able Michael Henry Lee (one of my favorite poets, by the way).
A few weeks ago I took a tentative step back into the volunteer world for a local Habitat for Humanity art project here, but then found out a friend might be facing a significant health challenge. Last year's lesson of being somewhat available revealed itself again, and I emailed that coordinator to bow out before fully jumping in. She kindly emailed back, "Wow, life does come at us fast- right?" My art business is small, but it takes loads and loads of time, not to mention writing, my first hat! I appreciate her understanding.
The pear I have tossed in here in conclusion. (And with a nod to IMPERFECTion, as you'll see at the end of this post and around Poetry Friday-Land today.) We have an old, not particularly impressive tree in the middle of the back yard. Did not even know it was a fruit tree, until one year I found some scraggly odd-shaped green orbs on the ground. Apples? They didn't quite look like the apples we used to have back on our little farm years ago. Pears? Didn't quite look like pears either. I even brought some inside and tried to see if I could eat or cook with them, but I still wasn't quite sure what they were. That was a couple-few years ago.
Then this week, I was paying better attention I guess, and caught them in an earlier state of being. The branches are dripping with them! Some branches, anyway. The surprise and delight of these pendulum baby pear drops just made me smile. I hope they make you smile, too.
Speaking of smiling, HUGE thanks to everyone who participated in our online SURPRISE Birthday Party for Lee Bennett Hopkins here last week. I know all your love and warm wishes touched our guest of honor.
Remember to check in with Jama's Roundup of National Poetry Month activities in the Kidlitosphere, and the Progressive Poem, too. Not caught up? No worries - read through line by line, with no delay of gratificiation! Unitl the current date anyway. I'm up - gulp! - on Saturday.
Check out all of TODAY'S poetic wonderfulness with the inspiring Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference - and keep those party hats out, because her IMPERFECT Mistakes Anthology hits online bookstores TODAY!!! I'm honored to have a poem included and can't wait to read everyone else's. Here's to life's imperfections!