A few months ago I stumbled upon this great haiku contest sponsored by Whole Life Soaps. Write a haiku for a chance to have your words printed on a line of soaps! How cool! Poetry in the shower, baby!
Well my words won’t be washing anyone this year, I was so pleased to see that I cracked the top 15 out of 500 entries, which earned me an honourable mention.
This is my poem:
in a stranger’s bathroom
To see the other honourable mentions, runner up, and the excellent winning poem, check out the Soap Blog here.
Today is Haiku Day, planted on the 17th day of National Poetry Month to note the (traditional) 17 syllables in a haiku. The Writer’s Digest prompt today called for a dancing poem, and the NaPoWriMo site suggested writing a nocturne. My micro poem today is neither haiku nor a nocturne, but maybe reminiscent of both. I did get the dancing in there.
Clear August night
dancing under the stars
Because it’s Haiku Day, it seems a like a good time to mention the wonderful online journal Daily Haiku. Though the site is currently closed to submissions, the archives are a treasure trove of some of the best haiku from contributors around the world. The journal was created and edited by Edmonton poets Patrick M. Pilarski and Nicole Pakan.
Discovery is the theme of the Writer’s Digest prompt today. There’s a thick fog outside today, and one in my head too after a night of restless sleep, so not sure how coherent these mini efforts are, but maybe I can discover something bigger from them later.
unearths the worm
on the x-ray
Edmonton poet Ray Rasmussen is a master of haiku, senryu, haibun and haiga. If you love the Japanese forms as much as I do, I encourage you to explore his wonderful website.
This week’s Haiku Horizons word prompt is “search.” It’s been awhile since I played along, but the first day of spring (on the calendar anyway…still wintry out my window) seems like a good reason to plant some words.
first day of spring
magpie searches the snow
for a sign
her searchlight smile
from the red carpet
searching for answers
in moon shadows
Today’s Poetic Asides prompt asked lost and found. I found myself a little lost for words, but did squeak out a few micro-minis.
lost art –
the squirrel’s stash
so easy to lose
so hard to find —
but so much gained
This Is Not A Literary Journal suggested writing a poem about who or what you dreamed of last night. I have mined my dreams for poems before, but this morning I couldn’t remember any specific details. When I do remember my dreams, they are often about the people I love, and sometimes people I’ve lost, which is maybe why I am so drawn to “Dreaming About My Father” by Ed Ochester, The details about the garden are my favourite part.
Today’s Poetic Asides prompt called for a poem about footwear. I cheated a little, and morphed something I had previously started into this haibun of sorts.
I’ve accepted that the oceans will grow to gobble cities — mostly the too-big, grimy ones. Polar bears will be drawn like unicorns on children’s stickers with rainbows and hearts. Mangoes will grow in Canada. I guess what I’m saying is, it’s not all bad. Sure, the ancient Greeks never dreamed of globalisation. Twitter. 24-hour Wal-Marts. But wouldn’t they be dazzled? Wouldn’t they gape at our toys, the parasitic progress? Say: this isn’t what we meant when we talked about Beauty and certainly not Justice but we know you’re trying to mime Good. We applaud your effort. Maybe they’d tell us that when we’re long gone, circles will still be imperfect. The sky will still be blue. Nothing changes that much.
Sneaker sale —
whose soul’s been sold
for this sole?
Sonnets are the theme of the day at NaPoWriMo. I’ve attempted sonnets before with little success, which is perhaps why I am so enamored with the ones that work — both classic and modern style. One I am especially fond of is “Blank Sonnet” by George Elliott Clarke, our current Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate (with darn good reason!)
Happy Earth Day! The NaPoWriMo prompt today asked for poems to Mother Earth, and the Poetic Asides prompt suggested starting or titling poems with Star____. I decided to do some micro mashing with these:
in his new condo
of the spice cupboard
a taste of heaven
in my smoothie
in the aspen
I liked the prompt suggested by This Is Not A Literary Journal to take 8-10 words from your favourite recipe, and mix it into a poem. Short on time today, so I will have to bookmark that for another day. However, I did decide to see what came up when I searched other “recipe” poems, which led me to this celebratory poem called “A Recipe For Whisky” by Scottish poet Ron Butlin.
Hooray, it’s haiku day! The Poetic Asides prompt calls for a haiku, or a poem about haiku (which could be fun to write). This Is Not A Literary Journal suggests a weather poem in the first person. I’ll took a little of that inspiration, to incorporate weather/seasons in these:
the wasps pelt
on patio chairs
in the boot prints
On of my favourite places to read haiku is on the DailyHaiku site, edited by Nicole Pakan and Patrick M. Pilarski. Though they’re from Edmonton, the site features the best work of renowned haiku poets from around the world.
The NaPoWriMo prompt today calls for picking words from a specialized dictionary to incorporate into a poem. A cool idea for some unique inspiration another day.
One final note: Today is the start of The Edmonton Poetry Festival. If you live in the area, take a minute to check out some of the great events, workshops and readings…many of which are completely free! And if you have some time this afternoon, come by Thresholds, an event I’m proud to be a part of.
Who doesn’t love thinking or talking about food? And writing about it is almost as good as eating it. Today’s Poetic Asides prompt calls for a poem about your favourite restaurant. The first place that came to mind for me was this quaint diner in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where the portions were almost as big as the servers friendly smiles.
Faster food —
or coconut cream?
Life of pie.
brings a date
There’s rarely a Margaret Atwood poem that I don’t love, and “They Eat Out” is no exception. The scene is set so well here, the characters alive in a few short lines, and that last stanza is awesome.
The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to write an almanac poem using your own answers to a quick survey. I think this could result in some truly interesting poems, and one I will surely try another, less hectic, day.
Time-outs are important, and not just in the last two minutes of a tense playoff game. Today the Poetic Asides prompts asks for a “time-out” poem. I went tiny again with this:
brown hare hunkers
in my shadow
I’m fascinated, but intimidated, by the NaPoWriMo suggestion to try a san san. Perhaps I need to devote a different month to trying out all these exciting forms.
I do believe beautiful things could come from the prompt over at This Is Not A Literary Journal, which asks you to think about naming ordinary things or objects, like trees, cars or birds. It brought to mind this wonderful (like they all are…) poem by Don McKay called “Song for the Song of the White-throated Sparrow.“