The Last of March, Waiting For April

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out March! Been real, now get outta here!

It’s blowing and howling and sleeting and icing… all because it’s the end of March.

That means tomorrow is April first, the first day of National Poetry Writing Month and National Poetry Month. I hope to again write at least a poem a day and as is traditional, I’m full of anticipation about what to do and whether there should be a little side project.

It’s just that moment of waiting and wondering. Tomorrow it will be what it will be. Thirty days of writing. And maybe a side project.

Here, you can have a little Emily Dickinson while we’re waiting for April.

Thursday, Happy Birthday Vincent

Last night brought a return of the cold that knocked me down not so long ago… Not even the Quils seemed to touch it. This morning – no voice at all for awhile. What can you do other than be glad for spare boxes of tissues and a hearty supply of tea and a speedy electric kettle?

Did this one the other day.

Today would have been Vincent Van Gogh’s 164th birthday so here’s a painting to thank him for the inspiration.

This was done using a photo I took recently while driving a back road that well, if I’d known it was a bit of mud-season going on, I would not have gone anywhere near it. Took a long time to get rid of all the mud. Wasn’t it nice though of someone to put up a bright snow fence?

Wet into wet on a wet day

Wet and drying

Another Tuesday, Another…

Grey rainy Tuesday. I’m tired of having a scratchy hoarse throat. But, I got up, took care of the cats and headed out. Two missions: to get a few of the colors that one watercolorist/vlogger keeps touting and maybe some William Carlos Williams.

The color I most wanted to get, Azo Green was nowhere to be seen but I did get these:

The white-handled brush in the photo is one I use all the time and love. I decided that bigger is often better so the other one is new.

I keep a sheet of paper with my palette colors and new colors as I get them, so I put a bit of each out on the cover of the palette. The Quinacridone Red GUSHED out of the tube… The other colors are Red Oxide, Prussian Blue and Sepia.

I sploshed some around on another bit of scrap paper just to see what they would do.

Cleaned off the bottom part of the palette so after some soup I can actually do something.

Afterwards I went to see about the book and while they didn’t have the one I wanted I managed to come home with much more than I intended. Oh dear – retail therapy anyone? These days the painting and poetry are big-time therapy.

Tonight’s Small Painting

Last night’s poetry discussion

Had a great time at the East Greenbush library last night discussing poems by Emily Dickenson and a little bit of Wallace Stevens. What a joy to have a real conversation and study of some superbly crafted poems. This is a view of the papers I came home with. I really need to get a collected works of Stevens. Next week: Robert Frost.

And PS: I’m listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I’d started to read it before but it just didn’t click with me. This time I took a chance on the 10th anniversary audio version with multiple actors (including the author) and it’s great. Could be helped by the recent reading/listening to Norse Mythology so I’m more up to snuff on what’s going on. Just saying. Also, it’s chock full of great quotables like this:

If Hell is other people, thought Shadow, then Purgatory is airports.

I got to tell you, you don’t look too bright. I got a son, stupid as a man who bought his stupid at a two-for-one sale, and you remind me of him.

Happy World Poetry Day

I holed up today with my laptop working on a project I started a day or so ago.

Every month since I started doing National Poetry Writing Month, I’ve made a new file with the month name, each file going into a folder with the year, and each holding all the poetry shiny and dregs for that month. Plus whatever other projects fell into that year.

I got this idea that it would be good to go through and round up all the haiku into one file and then collect all the non-haiku poems that I thought worthy of a second look or edit into another.

Pretty silly little project if all you’re doing is cutting and pasting but of course you can’t help but read and wonder along the way. By the end of today I sort of regretted deciding to be editorial about the non-haiku so I might have been more generous towards the end but still everything didn’t make it. There was just more I liked.

Anyway now I have two files that contain stuff from 2012 to 2016. That’s a good stopping point I think – wait til summer or so to look at the current stuff.

Just now I found another couple files that were pre-having-a-system-for-all-this. That added quite a number of haiku, plus the mage haiku. Without the Gnomic Saga which is 300+ haiku by itself, that’s a big pile of haiku. Keeping the dates separate and with some explanatory notes and links, there are a lot of blank lines and spacers but even so, the total number of lines in my text tile is 8726.

Now I’m ready to write a few new poems for today and to put on my editing hat. And let’s just say there are some themes.

Here’s a haiku written today as a comment to Paul Nelson’s FB post re World Poetry Day:

Where go all the words
When the spring comes rushing in,
Sparkles in her eyes.

I’ll just go ahead and edit this one now:

Where go all the words
When the spring comes rushing in,
Sparkling, her eyes.

Tonight’s Version of Doing The Work

Tonight at the Sunday Night Writing Group, while everyone else was sprinting away on their fiction, I was plowing through files full of poetry. I made two new files: one for haiku and the other for poems which struck me as worth revisiting/editing. Perhaps I should have just dumped all non-haiku poems in there but oh well.

Anyway, I managed to do two years, 2013 and 2014 and was glad to revisit some poems and a whole lot of haiku. Stripping out all the returns and dividers there were about 1400 lines of haiku (there were a few lines of links/inspirational material and quotes etc in there too).

Phew. Two down, at least three more to go. And National Poetry Writing Month is out there on the near horizon!

In Other Neighborhood News

I have freed the mailbox!

adventures in blue and yellow – now dry

but this time in paint. They change so much in the first 24 hours and of course scanning is better than handheld photos. First one is a quarter-sheet size – 12″ x 16″, second an eighth or so. Third one is still being experimented on.