Friday, April 30, 2010

National Poetry Month: weed seed haiku


spent, empty
dandelion seed bed -
itself a flower
...-Andromeda Jazmon

This is what it looks like after a dandelion's seeds have all blown. That far flung emptiness is speaking to me today, at the end of a long month of outpouring poetry, at the end of a semester and a school year that has been both challenging and rewarding.  Spent, depleted, but drenched with blessings... it's enough to have the drops that cling, and to be left open.

Read more about this incredible plant, the common dandelion, here.

Today is the last Friday Poetry of National Poetry Month, so there is sure to be a big part at the roundup at Great Kids Books. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

National Poetry Month: fence haiku

fence rail

twist ties
topping the garden fence;
catching raindrops
...-Andromeda Jazmon

This fence that wraps around my backyard has seen some struggles & survived some pounding. As the boys arelearning to ride bikes, scooters and skates they continually crash into it. It's bent out of shape and has to be closed with a piece of rope. I have tried to get it repaired but so far have not found the right handyman to do the job. Still, it works well as a raindrop catcher.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

National Poetry Month - rain on new leaves haiku

rose leaf
the first time
it rained on these open leaves;
learning to dance
...-Andromeda Jazmon

wet rose bud

risen before
the ruby rose can bloom;
shocking red thorns
...-Andromeda Jazmon

It rained a lot the last couple days and I grabbed a few minutes in the morning to take photos. These new leaves have only been open a week or so; this is their very first rain shower. They're babies. By the end of summer they will be old pros, survivors of every chewing creature to ramble by. Today they are newly baptised and bouncing in surprise.

My blog is featured over at Jama Rattigan's alphabet soup blog in her Poetry Potluck series. Go see how nice a table she lays out! I am bowled over at her gracious hospitality.

Monday, April 26, 2010

National Poetry Month: garden haiku


rose leaves
rising in a flush of bloom;
aphids rejoice
...-Andromeda Jazmon

april 1 036

smooth stones;
openings on the path for

...-Andromeda Jazmon

Saturday, April 24, 2010

National Poetry Month: Chive Bud Haiku

chive buds

trim for salad
or wait and watch it bloom -
chive sprouts
...-Andromeda Jazmon

I spent some time weeding today and had the pleasure of a five year old companion. He's the kind of gardener who saves apple seeds from his lunch to plant them in the garden. When I unpacked his lunchbox yesterday there was a little sandwich bag of apple seeds carefully stowed away. He was fully expecting to get a tree right away. He was worried he messed it up by watering the dirt before he put the seeds in, instead of after. I told him that's not the trick; the difficult thing is the waiting.

Friday, April 23, 2010

National Poetry Month; timeless things that last only a brief moment

(I didn't get on to post a haiku yesterday so I am giving you two today.)

april 4 051

sunshine's wealth
held in the petal's cup;
spilled by the wind
...-Andromeda Jazmon

It's one of those thrilling April days when the sunshine is warm and the chill breeze makes you want to jump and dance. We have the first grade class picnic after school and the kids are like lambs coming out of the barn. I'm bringing my chair and hoping to find a spot in the sun to watch them play. Nothing else on my agenda for right now...

april 1 030

children leaping
and buds about to flower -
hold still a minute
...-Andromeda Jazmon

 The Friday Poetry round up is at Anastasia Suen's blog Picture Book of the Day. Go enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

National Poetry Month: hyacinth haiku

april 1 062

morning tea;
while the garden opens
holding still
...-Andromeda Jazmon

I found myself this morning with the gift of a little empty time. Time to sit in the backyard garden and just watch the light spill across the lawn. Watch the flowers nodding and hear the birds sing. It restored me and reminded me how blessed I am. I am hoping you find such a place today as well.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

National Poetry Month: new fig leaf haiku

figs & lilacs 013

green fig leaves
above the swelling fruit;
my empty bowl waits
...- Andromeda Jazmon

It's Earth Day week and everything feels full of potential to me. New green all around us and new possibilities... The semester is almost over and I am at the spot where I most enjoy it; the big research paper is turned in and only a few assignments are left, including the final. I actually like it better right before the end of the term than in the beginning of summer break, because none of the vacation is spent yet and the anticipation is at it's height. Does that make sense to anyone else? Reminds me of Wallace Steven's lines about the blackbird, only it's kind of opposite:

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after. (iv)

On the way to work this morning I saw a blackbird in a cherry tree pecking at the infant fruits. His slender branch hung out over the traffic.

Blackbird dangles,
pecking at green cherries
above the traffic 
...-Andromeda Jazmon 

No picture of the bird so I am giving you another one of young leaves, still unchewed.

figs & lilacs 012

Monday, April 19, 2010

National Poetry Month: crayon haiku

april 4 006

their work in papers
brought home crumpled, in drifts;
making the world

...-Andromeda Jazmon

All the papers that come home threaten to overwhelm the house. They cover the tables, the shelves, the refrigerator. It's not the paper or the product that I treasure. It's the process. The progress from scribble to faces to letters to stories; messages left along the way, marking where they're going. With their crayons and pencils and crumpled math papers they are constructing the world all over.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

National Poetry Month: lily haiku

old easter lily

lily fades
into tired parchment;
pollen scattered

...-Andromeda Jazmon

Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Poetry Month: Dandelion Haiku

figs & lilacs 017

neighborhood kids
spilling from yard to yard;
dandelion gold

-Andromeda Jazmon

My youngest is sick with high fevers and a vicious cough. I have a major research paper due for a grad school class and we found ants in the kitchen last night. I am really grateful for the neighborhood kids keeping my 7 year old entertained today. Neighbors share the news, the snowstorms, and the backyard grill smoke with each other. The dandelions on my yard came from next door and they have to listen to my occasional shouting. But still, it's nice to have them around.

Friday, April 16, 2010

National Poetry Month: Wisteria Haiku

evening tea;
rain on the wisteria
until sun breaks through

...-Andromeda Jazmon

I love my porch swing. It is one of my favorite spots to sit and watch the world rush by. A couple years ago I started training the wisteria that I didn't know was growing beside my porch. That story is here. Tonight I sat on the porch while waiting for the gluten free pizza crust to rise. I was just listening to the rain and watching the pitter patter of raindrops land on the wisteria blossoms. The buds are a dark purple until they start to open, when lighter lavender upper petals fold back tenderly. The centers are a wash of lightest yellow. They drip from folded stems in a pouring of lusciousness. When the sun came out and the church bells started to ring it is pure joy.

The Friday Poetry roundup is at 7-Imp today. She says it's her first time ever hosting. Can you believe that? Go see!

porch wisteria

Thursday, April 15, 2010

National Poetry Month: lilacs

figs & lilacs 010
after dinner chores
when the lilacs are in bloom;
stop a while & breathe

-Andromeda Jazmon

Last night we ate out on the patio and then had a fire in the chimenea. The kids had been skateboarding, biking and scooting all up and down the street in the late afternoon. We gathered around the table to share a quick meal and catch up on our day. It is such a pleasure, after a long day of bustling and taking care of details, to slow down and just watch the light slide across the grass. I kept needing to wander by the lilac bushes and stop to breathe. Mercy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

National Poetry Month; maple key haiku

red maple keys blue sky

vermillion keys
floating through azure skies;
seed green rising

...-Andromeda Jazmon

There is always something changing with trees. Something rising, something falling, something opening or splitting or bursting. These days of April the trees seem to change minute to minute. One day is cold and rainy and all the world huddles close. The next day sunshine and everything pops. The maple trees go from stick to green in a day. First these red maples flame in ruby keys, if only for a day or two, then rock the brightest green. I had to go look up new color words for this day.

Since the beginning of the month I've been posting haiku and photos every day. Some of my friends and family have started making up haiku in answer to them. I'd love to have folks share their haiku for the photos I'm posting. Just leave a comment with your haiku-ish thoughts...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National Poetry Month: what to do when you find a bug in the flowers

april 4 064

gracing the table
narcissus full of sunshine;
and one small bug

april 4 062

a well of sunshine
the heart of golden narcissus;
stick bug's joy

april 4 060

our dinner party -
among the food & flowers
uninvited guest

Monday, April 12, 2010

National Poetry Month; shoe haiku

Soccer 017

clean for a day,
he will run faster, jump higher;
new sneakers for spring!

...-Andromeda Jazmon

My 7 year old, Buddy, has his first pair of "high tops". It's also his first pair of shoes that are about the same size as my shoes. From here on out his feet will be bigger than mine. How did we get here so fast? Of course, since they are high-tops, we had to get new socks that would reach above the shoe top. He picked out the red stripe ones with skulls on the side. There is nothing like facing a new day with sharp new shoes that are going to make you run faster and jump higher than anyone in the world... I wish that joy for you today my friend!

National Poetry Month; soccer haiku

I missed posting this on Sunday so I'm playing catch-up this morning.

Soccer 009

Younger brother
eager for opening day;
first pair of cleats

Yesterday was the first day of spring soccer. Both of my younger boys were playing in two different games. We were at the fields all afternoon. The weather was perfect and the engery was high. I really love sitting on the sidelines watching the children running across the green, chasing those colorful soccer balls. To me it is peace and contentment. To them it is exuberance, challenge and hope.

tumbling over the green grass;
boys chasing the goal

...-Andromeda Jazmon

Saturday, April 10, 2010

National Poetry Month: Tulip Haiku

april 4 103

holding the sun
if only for one day;
tulip cups

...-Andromeda Jazmon

april 4 078

Friday, April 09, 2010

National Poetry Month; pear trees in bloom

spring trees

up and down the street
ornamental pear trees in bloom
over hopscotch game

...-Andromeda Jazmon

We were talking in the faculty room about how early the trees have jumped into bloom. Each person had a story about a street in their neighborhood that is lined with ornamental pears. One day they were sleepy brown sticks; the next day - whoosh! - a cloud of fragrant blossoms. I had a vision of  some developer's dream of suburban America.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

National Poetry Month: sorbet haiku

Yesterday after school. I had a free half hour to just sit on the porch swing and daydream before I started dinner. What a treat! I had a bowl of strawberry sorbet that had been stashed in the freezer by my thoughtful, darling oldest boy as a birthday present, and listened to bird song and church bells. Cherry blossom petals were dancing in the breeze.

april 1 049

strawberry sorbet
and evening church bells ringing -
blossom sweetness!

...-Andromeda Jazmon

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

National Poetry Month: leaf haiku

april 4 018

on the porch swing
watching kids on scooters;
silent green unfurls

...-Andromeda Jazmon

On these long, warm spring evenings we finish dinner and go outside for another half hour of playtime. The kids have pulled out scooters and bikes and baseballs, and have the run of the front lawns. I'm in my porch swing, taking it all in. These precious few days when the world is flowing with sap and nothing is chewed or broken... I want to slow down and float here a while.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Bees in the vinca; haiku for National Poetry Month

bee in vinca 4

bees among the Vinca;
buzz, quiet... buzz, quiet... buzz...
children squabbling

...-Andromeda Jazmon

bee in vinca

The other day I was sitting in the backyard watching the bees buzzing around the garden. They love the sweet little Vinca flowers that are so full of nectar. In the background I could hear my kids playing with the neighbor kids. Moments of peaceful digging and driving toy trucks around, interspersed with moments of squabbling over who's turn it was to have the biggest or the brightest. The bees hovered anxiously over the flowers, looking for the best spot to land. Then a moment of bliss, when all is sunshine...

bee in vinca 3

Monday, April 05, 2010

National Poetry Month: Daffodil haiku

april 4 053

playful breezes
pulled me over the fence;
stolen daffodils

...-Andromeda Jazmon

We have daffodils blooming all around the yard, but the ones I wanted were just over the fence. A scrubby woods runs behind our yard between us and a church parking lot. Clumps of daffodils have established themselves in this borderland, on a little hill that gives us a charming view from the kitchen window. I like to think the previous owners planted them just to give us pleasure... Or the daffodils have escaped from gardens and are wandering the world...  Yesterday I climbed over the fence and picked a fistful.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

National Poetry Month; Easter Haiku

april 4 040

sorting baskets,
bringing out the bunnies;
thumbs dyed purple
...-Andromeda Jazmon

We spent a truly peaceful, relaxing day yesterday, dying Easter eggs, playing in the dirt in the backyard, and preparing to celebrate a joyful Resurrection day. The cherry trees in the front yard are in all their glory, which always reminds me of the Easter weekend seven years ago when we brought home Buddy, my second son. Yesterday we sat on the front porch, coloring and listening to birdsong. My cup of blessings overflows.

easter eggs

Happy Easter! May you find joy & a new burst of life and hope in this season of renewal.

april 4 032

I am celebrating National Poetry Month by posting haiga (original haiku + my photos) every day. Check out the wealth of poets & bloggers doing similar things listed at Kidlitosphere Central.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Holy Saturday

april 1 029

to see death
as merely a resting place;
what kind of Sabbath?

...-Andromeda Jazmon

"It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee went with Joseph and saw the tomb and how Jesus' body was placed in it. Then they went back home and prepared the spices and perfumes for the body. On the Sabbath they rested, as the Law commanded." Luke 23:54-56

The time from Good Friday, when the church is stripped of all decoration and the alter is empty of sacraments, to Holy Saturday evening, when the Great Vigil of Easter bursts from the church bells and the organ explodes with a new Alleluia, this is the greatest tension in the church year. Growing up I didn't go to a church that celebrated this way. Learning the pace of these rituals was new to me in my late twenties & early thirties. It still feels startling to me to hold back the reins and go down into the valley of the shadow for a time before coming back up to the sunshine on the mountaintop. Part of what religion gives us is this pace; a time to mourn, a time to dance. This morning we are still in the dark... but Sunday's comin'!

There are many other poets and bloggers celebrating National Poetry Month. Here is the full list at KidlitosphereCentral.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Scattered petals

april 1 051

in the vibrant grass
scattered blossom petals;
cookie crumb sweetness

....-Andromeda Jazmon

Every spring when the cherry trees burst into bloom I go a little crazy with my camera. I can't stop trying to capture that delicate beauty. But after hundreds of photos I start to think there is nothing new to shoot. I worry that it will become redundant. Then when I take up the camera and go out under the trees and start really looking through the lens I find a new angle, a new slant of light. Yesterday I was entranced by the scattering of petals in the newly green spring grass. Up close, through the lens, they didn't look that special. But in the background, blurred through the bokeh effect, they start to evoke the feeling of transience and mystery that such brief beauty brings me. That kind of sweetness also found in the special cookies that only come after considerable effort - the ones rarely but intensely enjoyed. When even the crumbs that fall down your sweater are mourned...

One of the styles of haiku that I really enjoy is called "haibun". Sometimes it's a travel  journal, like Basho's Narrow Road to the Deep North, with description of the travels of the poet and little stories interspersed with haiku. In my case I am thinking of adding a little background to each of my haiga this month, to share where the inspiration comes from. It's not my usual MO, as I like to be brief and let the haiga stand on its own, but I am discovering it can add to the richness of the conversation with readers when the backstory is shared. I really love hearing your reactions, thoughts, shared stories... so I'll see where this takes me.

There are many other poets and bloggers celebrating National Poetry Month. Here is the full list at KidlitosphereCentral. Take some time to enjoy the celebration!

Today you can check out the Friday Poetry round up at Book Aunt.

Since it's Good Friday I'll be taking some time out for quiet reflection, but remember that Easter Sunday's a-comin' - grab some of that joy!

Review: ¡Muu, Moo!

Rimas de animales Animal Nursery Rhymes Selected by Alma Flor Ada & F. Isabel Campoy. English versions by RosaIma Zubizarreta. Illustrated by Viví Escrivá. HarperCollins 2010. (Review copy). Here is a sweet poetry book full of light and sunshine just in time for spring. Excrivá's wimsical paintings in a soft palete fill me with delight. Ada & Campoy have chosen traditional animal poems from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Central America which they remember with joy from childhood and to these they have added a few of their own.This is a delightful collection to share with the young ones in your life. I'll give you a sample here of one of my favorites:

A White Turtle dove

A white turtle dove
flew down from above.
In her beak was a branch;
on the branch was a flower;
on the flower was a girl
who held a lemon in her hand
and whose eyes shone more brightly
than the rays of the sun!

Una paloma blanca

Una paloma blanca
desde el cielo bajó
en el pico una rama,
en la rama una flor.
En la flor una niña
en su mano un limón,
son sus ojos más lindos
que los rayos del sol.

The Friday Poetry round up is hosted by Kate at Book Aunt. Stop by and enjoy some great poetry this weekend!

And remember...Although it's Good Friday when this is posting.... Easter Sunday's a coming!!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April is National Poetry Month!

To celebrate my favorite month of the year right here on a wrung sponge I will be posting a haiku + original photo; or haiga every day this month. I've done it for the last three years and it continues to challenge and amaze me. The discipline of slowing down to take just one moment in the day and capture it in the form of a haiku which in some way seems to fit with a photo I've taken; that is a deeply centering experience.

When I am composing haiku I look for an image that captures one moment in time. Then I look for another image to contrast it that is in some way connected. The contrast of the two is what allows the reader to make a jump - an "Aha!" moment as some haiku masters have termed it. It should be about nature; but sometimes it's about people in relation to nature. It never rhymes, but sometimes it amuses me to use alliteration and assonance.

Today we had a luncheon for the teachers at school. Some of the eighth grade girls served as wait-staff. I couldn't help comparing them, in their bouncy spring skirts, to the cherry blossoms nodding in the bright sunshine.

cherry buds

young girls
in swirls of springtime skirts;
trembling blossoms

.....-Andromeda Jazmon

There are many other poets and bloggers celebrating National Poetry Month. Here is the full list at KidlitosphereCentral. Take some time to enjoy the celebration!