Friday, January 20, 2017

Poetry Postcard Exchange

The Poetry Postcard Xchange has been so much fun for me. Thank you, Jone, for coordinating it all! Throughout this month, I anticipated those small word surprises in my mailbox and each one was a delight. Besides the gift of  poems, I got to meet Poetry Friday poets from across the country -well, I only exchanged five poems, but received poem postcards from  Hawaii, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, and NY. They're a wonderful array of art, photography and creative handcrafted cards. I treasure them all!

Here is my fan of poems from Linda Bie, Irene Latham, Carol Varsalona, Joy Acey and Margaret Simon. Several poems expressed HOPE, which many feel the need for in this new year. Others encouraged me to be OPEN and to SAVOR life's moments. Each one fed my soul.

This newbie to the Xchange may not have followed the spirit of the exchange with my own poems, however. I chose five post cards from my collection and wrote poems using the image as inspiration. So most were not New Year wishes.

One did express hope, however, and I'm sharing that one today since I believe (hope) the recipient has received it. Hi, Linda Mitchell!

The former year has dropped away
like acorns and
Be still, listen
for new
Strength will come and
with it,

This woodblock postcard by artist Holly Meade of Sedgwick, Maine inspired the poem.  

Holly, a talented woodblock artist, author and children's book illustrator, lost a battle with breast cancer three years ago at age 56. 

A collection of Holly's prints may be viewed at She- Bear Gallery.

Violet has the Round-up at Violet Nesdoly/poems. Thanks for hosting, Violet!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Healing Haiku

Tabatha rounds up lots of wonderful poems today at The Opposite of Indifference. Thanks, Tabatha!

I loved the idea of #haikuforhealing that I learned about last week on Poetry Friday. I am not a tweeter or Twitter user, but I did try to hold myself open for some haiku thoughts this past week.

Lessons and carols at St. Paul's Chapel in Concord offered a healing place, indeed. Also, perhaps the snow that has arrived here in New Hampshire, whitewashing everything, can be thought of as healing. Certainly, watching the thankful birds and squirrels brings one back to basics - the world goes on.

lessons and carols
certain, true, comforting–
soul anchor

soften my edges
as snow pillows our landscape
that I may receive

sunflower feeder
fresh snowfall–
chickadees converge

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Haiku News

Jone has the roundup over at Check it Out .  She invites us to participate in a New Year Post Card Exchange!

Our local daily newspaper features a haiku poem inspired by current news. Sometimes I succumb to the challenge. Ordinarily, I write haiku with the "less is more" attitude and don't count out syllables totaling seventeen. But I adhere to the "rule" for these newspaper submissions. Perhaps the editor won't count it as a haiku if it doesn't fit the formula, I reason.

Here are some I have submitted, the last just this week. The first haiku was accepted last year.

Life jackets from refugees escaping violence in Syria and elsewhere lay strewn on the shores of Lesbos, Greece. (Photo: EPA)
life vests flung on shore
they step into Europe’s arms -
perilous journey

wave-tossed to Lesbos
blistered steps through Vienna -
flight to a future

America's bridge
to be closed to immigrants
exit lane open

On a different note, these haiku reflect our current New England landscape.

moon on snow
branches in silhouette

grass blades
genuflect to winter–
dormant green power

And one for the Christmas season paired with a painting by artist Harold Copping.

angels speak
stars quiver, mortals quake
hope births

Archangel Gabriel announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds ~ Harold Copping artist {c. 1920's}:
 Copyright Joyce Ray. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 25 - October 1 Banned Book Week

This week I’m reading The Lorax, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach to observe Banned Book Week. Yes, I’ve read this Dr. Seuss title before, but must admit that somehow I missed these two Roald Dahl books. Banned Book Week offers the opportunity to catch up!

Dr. Seuss’s classic story tells of the utter destruction of Truffula trees and its devastating effect on the environment.  In 1989, it was banned by a school district in California on the basis that it “criminalized the foresting industry.” Children might think logging was bad. But shouldn’t children be allowed to read and form their own opinions? What about Farewell to Shady Glade by Bill Peet, a book beloved by my own children? Did anyone challenge this book that showed the effects of development on the environment?

A Colorado library banned Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for this reason - it embraced a “poor philosophy of life.” The book was called racist due to the factory workers’, the Oompa Loompas, skin color. So Dahl changed the description making them white in a revised edition.

In the early 1990s, James and the Giant Peach was banned from an elementary school in Texas because it contained curse words such as “ass.” In 1986 some religious groups in Wisconsin took exception to a scene where a spider licks her lips. They argued this scene could be sexual and the book was banned.

What are some of your favorite children’s books that have made the banned books list? Exercise your freedom this week and read a banned book!