Monday, April 6, 2015

po-emotion: sadness

Over at her Poetrepository, Mary Lee is writing a poem for each day of April either using an emotion word or evoking that emotion--this after writing a poem in March for each and every one of my Forward...MarCH CHallenge words!  I am humbled and could not possibly keep up this pace of writing and blogging, but I have promised myself that I'll join in where I can.

For example, I have begun a cleridoubledactylhew in response to Kwame Alexander's challenge over at Today's Little Ditty with Michelle--a wonderful post!  Kwame's challenge is to write a clerihew, the rules for which are quite loose, but yesterday at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Jane Yolen shared some very fun double dactyls, which, like clerihews, are written about people.  When I went to save my very difficult cleridoubledactylhew, I had a serendipitous thing happen: I caught sight of a doc called "Sadness made me keep a diary."  I'd totally forgotten about writing such a poem. It needed more work, but here it is.

Why I keep a diary

She was withering,
I was blooming. I visited,
sat in a familiar wing chair
in an unfamiliar room,
looked through a box of her papers:
calendars, church bulletins, a little locked
five-year diary marked 1943.

"July 14:
Fell down the basement stairs
carrying a bushel of peaches ($2.15).
Broke my ankle.
Tried not to cry in front of the children.”

“September 9:
Collected rents today (sunny, 79*).
Made black-and-white cookies
for the Ladies’Aid meeting.
Charlie & Lila growing awfully fast.

“November 21:
Find myself talking to Arthur’s
picture too much.
Took it off the piano today
and put it away.”

All my gramma’s sadness—recorded
in brisk, cheerful lines, hidden
under a bushel, now unlocked.
At home I began my own little
five-year diary, so that someday
my children might understand
why sadness is hard for me.

–HM 2015
all rights reserved

Other challenges I am visiting have produced this work:

For Jone's Double LL challenge, using the words "alluvium" and "elliptic":


after recess
cheeks bear
an alluvium
of shallow silt
carried by
fleeting tears

–HM 2015
all rights reserved

Elliptical Rainbow Mama

Every year this day
rolls around.
We turn the eggs gently
in their baths of color
but like Mama,
heavier at the bottom,
they spill off the spoon
and splash rainbows
on the gray newspaper.

HM 2015
all rights reserved

For Tricia's Jumping into Form challenge, this sijo, written on my phone while waiting to see my doctor:

Scarf Sijo

A wild, wide one with fringe wraps the wearer in animal drama.
Short stripes on silk knotted around a neck stand guard against slouching.
Field of Van Gogh flowers twists infinitely, lifting heart to face.

–HM 2015
all rights reserved

So much more to to Author Amok to check in with the "What Are You Wearing to NPM?" series!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks for joining when you can!

    That November entry is heartbreaking.

  3. Your grandma sounds like such a strong, strong woman. And her stories- such treasures. You leave me wanting to know more. And I love erosion, that shallow silt image. Gorgeous.

  4. Wow! You've been busy with poetry. I love the Elliptical Rainbow Mama with the splashing rainbows on the gray newspaper. The diary entries capture so much in so few words.

  5. That poem about your grandmother, amazing. I could have read those bits all morning. Diaries are riveting to me. Thank you for sharing that so beautifully.

  6. You posted 4 poems in one day! Your productivity seems fine! The one about your grandmother's diary is heart-breaking. Love the one about the tears too. I can picture those dirty tears.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!