Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Saying Goodbye

In our embrace,
your breath

a touch
of life and love.


the tear
you wiped away.


Prompt Inspirations~
Poetry Jam: Goodbye
PU Verse First: The Function of Freedom

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Mag 170

Ponytail by Last Exit
Pic prompt courtesy of The Mag 170
Flag Day--
the horse's tail
stirs the air

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Childhood Wishes

Lighthouse Dandelions by Jamie Wyeth
Courtesy of pic prompt, The Mag 169

Pollyanna had a thing for sun-
shine, alacrity enough
to ward off any storm.
I cried when she fell
from the tree,
hung my head
in yellow walls
wishing for
something cheery
in my life.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Terri L. French

Terri L. French
Today I'd like to share this interview with a dear friend of mine, Terri L. French. We met back in 2008 over at Robert Brewer's Poetic Asides and together with 11 others from all over the world, formed a private group we coined the Baker's Dozen. It's how most of us started through brainstorming of ideas, daily writing, sharing of poems, and critiquing with one another.

Terri is the SE Coordinator of the Haiku Society of America and new editor of the senryu journal Prune Juice.

Recently, I had some questions about haiku, which is much more difficult to write than one might think, and she graciously offered me some pointers. I asked if I could share them with my readers and she said, "Of course!"

full moon--
most of my days spent
only half there
-Terri L. French

*How long have you been writing haiku and what drew you to that particular form?

I guess I have been writing haiku seriously for about 7 years. I don't really remember when I was introduced to the form, probably in school. I googled "haiku" and found out more about the form, discovering it did not have to be in the traditionally taught 5-7-5 syllable form. I emailed back and forth with Michael Dylan Welch, former President of the Haiku Society of America and a fine haiku poet. He critiqued some of my "haiku" (they weren't very good!) and gave me some links and book suggestions.

*What is the biggest misconception about haiku?

The biggest misconception is that haiku must be written as a 5-7-5 poem. Japanese "syllables" are actually sounds called "on." The Japanese wrote in 5-7-5 "on." But "on" can be much shorter than our syllable, so a haiku written in 5-7-5 syllables is actually a long haiku. So it is best to say haiku are usually 17 syllables or less and usually written in three lines. I say "usually" because haiku have many guidelines though few of these are carved in stone. It is essential that haiku have a "kigo" or seasonal word and good haiku usually have a "kireji" or cut that divides the haiku (notice the plural of haiku is haiku!) into two parts. But I am getting a little too in-depth here!

bare birch limbs
the burled knuckles

of an old crone's hands

-Terri L. French

*What other forms of poetry do you write?

Besides haiku, I write other Japanese forms - haibun, haiga, tanka, renga, senryu. I particularly enjoy haibun because it combines prose with haiku. I write some prose and creative non-fiction. I'm afraid my attempt at fiction have not been very successful. My degree was in journalism. I think my degree has helped me with the concrete imagery in haiku.

People can always go to the Haiku Society of America website or email Terri at if they would like to find out more.

Now go write some haiku!

– Terri L. French, The Mulling Muse, first published Contemporary Haibun, Volume 12,
and Red Dragonfly

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When "Just Thinking About" Becomes "Real"

My lanky body a pretzel
as I wait for school's end,
windows rolled down, doors open
enough to feel the subtle breeze.

On my mind, this poem and bees-
the time I attracted them
during field day, my perfume
I thought strong enough
to cover up sweaty skin
a mere allure;
from peace to chaos,

A silly scene unfolded
as my students watched
their teacher

FrEaK oUt.

Fast forward: now.
A wasp inside the car;
dare I grab my camera,
a fleeting thought
as I stiffen up, jump out,
an ultimatum on my mind-
the wasp or me?

I won.


Prompt Inspirations:
Poetry Jam- The Buzz on Bees
3WW- destruction, lanky, ultimatum

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stranded in Galveston

One time I was stranded in Galveston, abandoned by a friend at a bar when she found a guy to suit her needs. It was Memorial Day weekend, and I was just another fun-loving college student out to party. I didn’t really want to go to Galveston during such a busy weekend, but she talked me into it because I had the car, which she took with her when she left. My purse was in the trunk and my keys  in her pocket since my outfit didn’t have pockets.

At first I panicked. I went back into the club thinking she'd return soon. She didn't. Fortunately, I ran into a guy I knew from my hometown college, Lamar. I had gone there my first year and then transferred to Texas A&M. I had finished all my classes and was waiting to do my student teaching in the fall. Over the summer, I was working full-time in Dillard’s lingerie department (that’s another story for later).

What were the odds of running into a familiar face in a strange town? It seemed as if an angel had appeared, but I was still fuming mad. He was a gentleman and didn’t want to leave me alone, so we set out to find my friend. I was staying at a condo of someone she knew. When the guy and I drove there, no one was home. When we called, no one answered.

The guy and I decided to wait at the beach and then go back to the club and condo later. We talked about all the crazy things going on in our lives… because at that age everything is crazy. His parents were getting a divorce, mine were thinking about it (which is why I hadn't moved back home for the summer). We sat on the seawall, dangling our legs over the edge, feeling the cool breeze on our face. The salty air was a sobering slap, and the sound of the waves crashing calmed me down. After awhile, we decided to search for my car. When we stood, we collided; the guy’s head to my eyebrow. At the time, we laughed. Little did I know what a fuss it would cause later.

The bar was deserted and the condo was still dark with no cars in sight at four o’clock in the morning. We had no other alternative but for me to crash in the cheesy motel room he shared with his fraternity brothers. Everyone was passed out in the beds and all over the floor. There must have been a dozen snoring, stinky beer-smelling male bodies in the ratty room. The guy apologized and offered a bed, but we couldn’t wake any of them up, much less move them. I snuggled with a pillow and blanket on the floor knowing I was in danger of a roach attack by morning.

What seemed like mere minutes later, I opened my eyes because I could sense people staring at me. In that awkward moment when I remembered what had happened, I felt like Snow White. They treated me as royalty after they heard my story (I’m not real sure what they thought at first and don’t want to know). By that time, my eye was black and blue.

To be continued... 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dandelion Dreams

Young Woman Picking the Fruit of Knowledge, 1892 by Mary Cassatt
Picture prompt courtesy of The Mag167

Wasted, the years
counting on a dream,
a wish to blow away
her life,
as if
 change came
through osmosis.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Mantra

Soak in God's sun, believe in the power of prayer,
pay tribute to each new day, find out why you're here.

A mantra that I live by now; it's not all about me.
I don't run the show, a path of pain made me see

if I live right, seek God's will daily,
I need not feel penitent or worry constantly.

Instead, a life of faith~ God will work things out.
As long as I soak in his love, I'll never live in doubt.

Poetry Inspirations-
Poetry Jam- Soak
PU Verse First: Authentic Life
3WW- believe, penitent, tribute