This feature was created by blogger Colleen Chesebro. Click here for guidelines. The following haiku was inspired by the dreary weather we’ve been having all week. I hope that wherever you are, unless of course you’re in the path of Hurricane Michael, your weather is brighter.
This feature was created by blogger Coleen Chesebro. For guidelines, click here.
Since this is the first week of the month, Colleen likes to encourage poets to choose their own words. The words I chose are “autumn” and “moisture.” The poem below contains synonyms and not the words themselves.
This time, I’m using a new form of poetry called an etheree. This consists of ten lines, each containing an ascending number of syllables. You can learn more about the etheree poem here. Click this link to hear me read the poem.
This was created by blogger Colleen Chesebro. For guidelines, click here. This week’s words are “vigor” and “energy.” and I created a haiku using only synonyms, which wasn’t hard, given that these two words have the same meaning. See what you think.
early fall morning
crows caw with vitality
start the day with vim
I’m trying something new. This challenge was created by blogger Colleen Chesebro. For full guidelines, click this link. The basic idea is to write a haiku, Tanka, or other traditionally formed poem without using the prompt words she provides. Only use synonyms of the words. This week’s words are “plan” and “finish.” My submission is a haiku. Enjoy!
at the end of summer
wildlife plots for survival
of brutal winter
This is the story of a want-to-be cowboy who decided to go west after graduating from college. He started in Breckenridge, Colorado, where he guided tourists on horseback rides. After two years of this, he moved with his wife to Montana, where, after dropping out of an MFA program in creative writing at the University, he worked on various ranches and eventually bought his own with the financial support of his parents. After several years in the cattle business, he became burned out, and after his son was born, he sold the ranch and started writing magazine articles about the lives of cowboys and was eventually hired as a hand at a ranch near his new home.
I like the way the author tells his story as if it were a novel instead of a memoir. His vivid descriptions of branding, castrating, and vaccinating cattle as well as mending fences and bailing hay took me right there and made me glad I wasn’t a cow. I’m not a fan of stories told in the present tense, but in this case, it works.
I have a couple of connections to this book. First of all, when I was in high school, I skied with my family in Breckenridge, Colorado, where the author first started working with horses, and realized skiing wasn’t for me when I landed flat on my back. On the other hand, the author’s parents eventually settled in Sheridan, Wyoming, my home town. They may still live here. Who knows?
This book portrays the cowboy life as it is, not as romantic or adventurous as it may appear in western movies or novels. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys watching such movies or reading such books. It will open your eyes to the west as it truly is today.
The following poem was recently published in The Weekly Avocet. This is a haibun, a poetry form that combines a paragraph of prose with a stanza of haiku. You can click the link below to hear me read it.
I stand on the sidewalk, a jet of cold water in front of me, my impaired eyes unable to find a way around it, as cars whoosh by on the busy street. The ninety-degree sun beats down. A tepid breeze caresses my face. I remember how fun it was to run through the sprinkler as a kid. Why not, I think. With a hearty “Yahoo!” I dash into the water’s inviting coolness.
a hot summer day
cold water sweeps over me
I’m a child again
What did you do to cool off in the summer when you were a kid?
Thanks to fellow blogger Alice Massa for inspiring me to post this again. It was published in Magnets and Ladders several years ago, and I posted it here at that time. In this recent post, Alice encourages her readers to write an abecedarian about summer. I wrote this one several years ago. It’s not exactly about summer, but it will do.
When my father died several years ago, my brother and I performed the song that inspired this poem at his celebration of life with me on piano and vocals and my brother on drums. Without my brother and his drums, I can’t re-produce that version, but here’s Nat King Cole’s rendition, which is a lot better.
Below the video, you’ll find the WordPress player application, and when you press the Play button there, you’ll hear me read the poem. The printed version is below that. This form of poetry is called an abecedarian because the first letter of each line starts with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. Needless to say, this poem is 26 lines. You’ll note that the beginning letter of each line is in bold. In my recorded reading, I emphasize the first word of each line. Enjoy!
On Straightening Up and Flying Right
A buzzard and a monkey wouldn’t fly together because a monkey wouldn’t be stupid enough to climb on a buzzard’s back, a buzzard being a dirty bird with no morals. Everybody knows that monkeys don’t fly–buzzards do. I would guess that monkeys associate with monkeys. Heaven knows why the song was written. What an imagination someone must have to justify writing it—but with knowledge of values, one would believe that there’s a logical message here. The monkey makes a point when telling the buzzard not to blow his top and to do right. Of course, not blowing your top and doing right are important. People who are angry blow their tops, but the question is do these people not do right? I’ve blown my top a few times. Still, I try to do the right thing. I think that even the best of us, under certain circumstances, blow our tops. It’s not very unusual, but back to the monkey and the buzzard. Why would a monkey allow a buzzard to take him for a ride? It doesn’t require x-ray vision to determine that a buzzard is smaller than the average monkey. You should realize that a monkey would be safer riding a zebra. He wouldn’t have far to fall.
If you’d like to try writing an abecedarian poem, check out Alice’s guidelines linked to above. The basic idea is to write a 26-line poem with the first letter of each line starting with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. This can be tricky. Good luck. I’d love to read what you come up with, either on your own blog with a link here or in the comments field below.