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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I've reached the end, alive and, well...alive









April 30, 2013


april showers have turned
from snow to rain
and our lawn’s becoming
green again
winter is cold and long here
so spring is always late
but we have rain again today
so we can celebrate
the lawn
the flowers
the trees
the shrubs
the greening of the land
 
although...

there might be snow again tonight
with temperatures colder than freezing
but the snow won’t be deep
and the freezing won’t keep
the lawn
and the trees
from their greening
by Kay Davies, April 30, 2013




I took these photos in our yard in southeastern Alberta, in the month of May in one or more of the past twelve years we've lived here.

A-Z challenge for last poem-a-day

Marian challenged us to write using words beginning with every letter of the alphabet, in order.
She even provided a link to a post where she had done it four times.
I have been struggling with it since midnight last night, waking up during the night, scribbling things in the margins of magazines in the bathroom because turning on the computer would wake the dog, who would want food, and want to go out, and all those doggy things.
Sigh.
So, this is the best I could do. I've written another poem for today, which will be posted to my blog but not linked to Real Toads because it doesn't meet the criteria for today's challenge.
Sigh again.
To read A-Z poems written by some real poets, please visit the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Photos by Richard Schear, 2013

above blue,
clouds divide
evening,
from
great heights.

I just know
long mornings
never open
perfectly.

queer red sunsets
tempt uncaring
viewers,
while Xavier
yells “Zap!”  
Kay Davies, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Second-last day of April is here


a poem a day
is hard, in a way
though some can say
it is easy —
if you’re Hedge or Shay
or Mama Z
it shouldn’t make
you too crazy,
but for me at my age
when I’ve reached the stage
of forgetting the date or the day:
I get very confused
and when I have used
up all of my brain,
it’s a chore
 ~
all in all
it’s been fun
and now there’s just one
Wikipedia photo
public domain
for tomorrow
and how hard
can that be?
a word here or there,
arranged in a pair,
to look like a rhyme
at least
some of the time:
blank verse
or free verse
I’ll call it.
and I’ll be delighted
yes, very excited
for the first day
in May
to arrive—
May Day
hooray!
no more
poem
a day!

Because this is Open Link Monday, there are no rules for the second last day of April's poem-a-day challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. I'm just so pleased to have come this far...Day 29...and extremely glad so many came with me.
Thanks, Toads, I love you!
See you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Feeling guilty about my poem-a-day promise

Today, in response to Kerry's choice of Harper Lee and her amazing book To Kill a Mockingbird, I could only respond in prose. One kind friend commented "Am glad you chose prose for this, Kay, it deserved the gravitas" which is a lovely compliment.
But a page of prose does not a poem make, so I considered the fact that today is Ms Harper Lee's 87th birthday, and wrote a verse about it.
Harper Lee in earlier years,
looking much like
her character Scout
My father, a writer with much of the wisdom Ms Lee attributes to her character, Atticus Finch, was 83 when he died, and he no longer recognized the books he wrote. When I read that Ms Lee is now in assisted living, I had to wonder how happy she is about the situation.




To Harper Lee, April 28, 2013


eighty-seven years old, Ms Lee
I hope you’re as happy as you can be
under the circumstances.

even if your royalties are only 10 percent
surely you would have enough for rent

your health is said to be poorly
and you’re in assisted living...
I hope you’re getting the assistance you need,
for instance, is there someone who can read
loud enough for you in your deafness
now that you are partly blind as well?
do you get to choose what’s read
or do they treat you as if dead?

is your food fresh every day
or does it come from far away?
in huge tin cans or else flash-frozen
being cheaper by the dozen?

do they put you in a tub-chair?
over in a corner where you
have no one to talk to?

eighty-seven is
a great many years, Ms Lee
I hope it’s not longer than you want it to be
Kay Davies, April 28, 2013

I saw this on Facebook. It makes me, an old editor, laugh.
It makes my friend, a retired teacher, laugh
about "the dog ate my homework"!
I hope it would make Harper Lee laugh as well.


She wrote a book and won a Pulitzer


The first book and, really, the only novel ever written by Harper Lee, has sold over 30,000,000 (thirty million) copies. It won her a Pulitzer Prize a mere year after it was first published.

In 1999, that same book, To Kill a Mockingbird was voted the most influential book of the 20th Century. Of the whole century!

The author of the century's most influential book, when asked in 2011 why she didn't follow it up with more best-sellers, replied, “I have said what I wanted to say and I will not say it again.”

What kind of book can do that? What did this woman, who studied literature and law at the same time, say in her book that she didn't need to repeat?
  
She believed in, but did not lecture or preach about, equality and justice. She believed in the lessons she had learned growing up, the same lessons Scout learned from Atticus Finch:

Harper Lee, born 1926
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus giving Scout the crucial piece of moral advice that governs her development for the rest of the novel.

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy...but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” This moral imperative, to protect the vulnerable, governs Atticus’s decision to take Tom’s case.



In a 1966 letter to a school board that wanted to ban To Kill a Mockingbird as "immoral" she offered to pay for any member of that school board to enroll in first grade, because of their problem with illiteracy.

“Recently I have received echoes...of (your) School Board's activities, (making) me wonder if any of its members can read. Surely it is plain to the simplest intelligence that To Kill a Mockingbird spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct, Christian in its ethic, that is the heritage of all Southerners,” she wrote to them.

There is much, so much, to be learned from a writer like Harper Lee:
1. Write about things you know well, and deeply believe.
2. Keep your writing simple.
3. Write so that everyone in the world can understand what you want to say.

I have spent 60 years not following these simple suggestions which I have extrapolated out of her famous book and out of Wikipedia's biography of Harper Lee.

I am a mere dilettante. I like to play with words, flex my once-hefty vocabulary, make my reader run to a dictionary. I love to play with rhyme and flow and symbolism. I might, and I use the word advisedly, some day finish the travel book which got this blog started in the first place. Or I might get distracted by a new pleasure or a new pain.

If, in 1960, when my brain was wide awake, flexible and capable of real learning and real thought, I had studied To Kill a Mockingbird, absorbed the lessons being taught by Harper Lee and her alter ego, Atticus Finch, I might have written a prize-winning book (not Pulitzer, but maybe some other prize). It isn't going to happen now, no matter how much I dream. 

For years I shrugged it off, saying "When I grow up, I'm going to be Dave Barry" who is younger than I am. A surefire line for a laugh. Duh.

I have learned a great deal from less than 24 hours of studying Harper Lee. Besides learning who I should have emulated, I know I should have used the lessons my father taught me. 

Thanks, Kerry, for choosing this amazing woman as our inspiration for Day 28 of our poem-a-day challenged at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. And thanks for saying "any style" because I had to choose prose.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Save the Frogs Day in the Imaginary Garden

(You might want to close your eyes for this first picture.)

Frogs

Some people eat them



Some people play with them 




Some people put them on a string

But if you ask your neighborhood frog

All they want to do is sing...





I met my little blue jeans frog
down by the jungle side
down by the jungle side
down by the jungle side
I met my little blue jeans frog
down by the jungle side!

Well, I asked her for a little kiss
down by the jungle side
down by the jungle side
down by the jungle side
Well, I asked her for a little kiss
down by the jungle side!


She said have patience, little man,
and I'm sure you'll understand
I hardly know your name.
I said if I can have my way, then, baby some sweet day
My tadpoles and yours will be the same!

Oh, I ain't gonna eat them frogs no more
ain't gonna eat them frogs no more
Eat them frogs no more!

ain't gonna eat them frogs no more
ain't gonna eat them frogs no more
Eat them frogs no more!






In an effort to raise awareness of the plight of amphibians, the scientific community has declared Saturday April 27th, 2013 the 5th Annual 'Save The Frogs Day'.


It is also Day 27 of our April poem-a-day challenge at

All photos on this page are from 


How many camera critters did you say?

ONE
TWO THREE
FOUR FIVE SIX
SEVEN EIGHT
NINE TEN ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN FOURTEEN

It's true. Our grandchildren in Medicine Hat are beaming from ear to ear because their dogs, Rajah, a boxer, and Jezebel, a mastiff cross, had fourteen puppies a couple of weeks ago. The pups are actually two weeks old in these photos, and they're all adorable. There are a couple of large ones, and a couple of small ones, and ten middle-sized pups with adorable scrunchy faces and, for now, blue eyes that are just beginning to see but don't focus well yet.
The children are very proud of them, but right now it's a lot of work for their mom, Monica, who oversees the feeding of 14 pups, 10 at a time, to make sure even the littlest get their fair share.

Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family in Mumbai.

Posted for
Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn.
(I told you it would be a special post this week, Misty!)

Friday, April 26, 2013

I otter be me, I just want to swim in the sea

 Wikimedia pictures


In the waters of Monterey Bay
I swim and I float and I play
at least for most of the day,
until John S. and the doc
come out of the lab and then lock
the door and go out for a beer.
At this point I’m filled with fear:
I’m supposed to be on the land
walking full uprightly and,
taking the clams I have found,
I’m supposed to go 'round
to a house on the next street
and there, for “a nice treat”
I’m to feed them all to a man.
When I look in that thing called a mirror
I almost scream from the terror
that body’s not me
I live in the sea—
old lady, please, I’m an otter,
no, I am NOT your young daughter
I don’t want to learn cooking
lady, please, just try looking
at me as I really am
as I am,
as me
from
the
sea
Kay Davies, April 26, 2013

Today, for Fireblossom Friday at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Fireblossom has asked us to write from the point of view of an animal trapped in a human body. Not "I want to be an otter" but "I am an otter, and when I look in a mirror, I see a young woman."
I have tried to do precisely that for Day 26 of our April poem-a-month prompt challenge exercise struggle.
The first time I saw live sea otters was in early 1989, when I travelled with two friends down the west coast (yes, Highway 1, on the coast, not on boring old high-speed I-5) and we stopped in Monterey for a bit of a Steinbeck pilgrimage. I was entranced by the delightful creatures with their too-cute faces, romping in the ocean waves.
I love the animal pictures FB used with her challenge, and couldn't resist snagging one to help differentiate my final lines, even though I'm pretty sure it's a river otter, not a sea otter.
K


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Izy asks for favorite story in 10 lines

Whoa! Izy has asked for the Cliff's Notes or (in Canada) Cole's Notes version of a favorite story. Cole's Notes and Cliff's Notes were student study guides half a century before the internet, by the way.
Izy isn't just restricting us to one page of prose, however—we have to tell the whole story in a mere ten lines of poetry!
Sigh.
This story, for reasons I won't reveal here, had an enormous impact on my life. I memorized the entire thing and have kept it, more or less complete, in my head ever since. And it was already a poem!
A real toad
I wish I could tell the story in ten lines of the perfect rhyme and rhythm I loved in the original, but I just can't. Not in one day, and this is Day 25 of our April poem-a-day challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, so it's submit now or perish.


Here, then is one of my all-time favorite stories, distilled into ten lines of very bad verse, but still, I hope, recognizable for what it is.

For those who know nothing of Kipling (egad, do such bounders exist?) this is a short summary of his long poem "Ballad of East and West".




Uh-oh, my horse is stolen! I’ll get it back for you, Dad!
officer’s son rides big old horse to chase his father’s mare
rocky terrain makes overnight ride difficult
big horse, tired and thirsty, falls beside a stream
thief comes back, knocks gun out of son’s hand
much talk about pistols, horses, sons and rocky terrain
son says, “You’re OK, man. Take my other gun.”
thief says, “One for one, you can take my son.”
thief’s son is like buck in spring: no women to see or swoon!
both sons, east and west now equal, return to army
THE END, by Kay Davies, April 25, 2013


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Susan posts a challenge, again!

I, unfortunately, mistakenly, attributed yesterday's Shakespeare challenge to Kerry (who is sort of Lead Toad in our Imaginary Garden) but it had really been Susan who offered us The Bard as inspiration. After apologies all over the place, and much groveling on my part, Susan said she was flattered to have been taken for Kerry.

I changed it, to give Susan her rightful due.
All's well that ends well, as Shakespeare once said, at some length.
 
Today, Susan challenges us to write a hello/goodbye poem. This is particularly difficult for me because it is an emotional time of life for me. It is 50 years this spring since I graduated from high school and, although it was a very small graduating class, some of us are no longer alive. And of course we all knew one another, many from early childhood. Very few, if any, of us have parents now.

Things are happening to my friends and to their spouses and I do not like it, Sam-I-Am. I do not like it in a box, I do not like it with a fox, I do not like it in the air, I do not like it on a chair.
I do not like it with a fish.
I do not like it, and I wish
we didn't have to say goodbye at all.

Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name?

Hello, world, won't you please stop? I want to get off.

Hello, walls, perhaps, in you, I won't have to say goodbye.
 
Goodbye, Mom. Goodbye, Dad. There was a time
I couldn't imagine the world without you,
and now I have to live in it
with so much joy gone.

Kay L. Davies, April 24, 2013, for the 24th in the April poem-a-day challenge.



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Old Will meets old Kay on a spring day

William Shakespeare
April 23, 1564-
April 23, 1616
Wikipedia photo
Our prompt for the 23rd day of our poem-a-day for April is a familiar fellow who was born, and later died, April 23.

Alas, poor Will, to on his birthday die
I hope it ne'er shall hap to such as I.

At the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Susan has provided us with plenty of familiar Shakespearean quotes, along with links to many others. There are thousands, of course, from which we can choose.

The most fun I ever had with Shakespeare was the year my much-younger brother turned 14. I was helping him study English because he'd had more than half of his schooling in Spanish, thanks to our parents' early retirement in Baja. My idea of teaching was to help him rewrite Shakespeare's Macbeth into the early 20th century, with gangsters and gun molls, good guys and bad guys. We both enjoyed it.

So, I have a passing familiarity with Will S. (more passing, less familiarity as the years go by) and see this challenge as an opportunity for more fun. The following non-sonnet consists of one line from Shakespeare alternating with one from me.

To a lover while waiting for warmer weather


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,
Long unseen and so very far away?
What is your substance, whereof are you made
That you leave me here, so long in the shade?
For sweetest things turn sour by their deeds,
Like you, who never, ever, my love heeds!
The course of true love never did run smooth
What then, from you, will all my heartbreak soothe?
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds
Impeding, thus, our marriage of true minds.




Monday, April 22, 2013

People who often "made" scenes


This week over at Madeleine Kane’s Limerick-Off, the fun starts with the line “A woman who often made scenes” or “A fellow who often made scenes" or even "An artist was working on scenes."

The last one brought to mind the scenery my father painted when he was a member of the Canadian Army Show overseas in World War II (official name Canadian Auxiliary Services Entertainment Unit).

He was a musician in a Canadian Army uniform, and, because musicians didn't appear busy all the time, they were co-opted as scenery painters. Dad had a lot of artistic as well as musical talent, and he was happy doing either job.

March 7, 1946
He wasn’t an extraordinary soldier. He was a private, promoted to lance corporal without much chance of further advancement.
But he hadn't been issued a gun, nor had his friends. Then one day a clerical error in England saw the musicians and artists, actors and singers, comedians and dancers, given weapons and put on the boat train, their destination: the French front. An uproar ensued, during which someone somewhere figured out these entertainers really didn’t know one end of a machine gun from the other, and took them off the train.

Their role in WW II was far from insignificant, however, as they kept up the morale of the troops with whom they were stationed: Canadian, British, American, and other allied countries.

So, for Madeleine's limerick-off, and also for Day 22 of the April poem-a-day challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, I give you the following, in memory of Gordon Davies, 1924-2009. A bit of a renaissance man, my dad.

September, 2001

My father was painting some scenes
using yellows and blues and greens
while over his head
bombs exploded red:
which he said he just hadn’t seen.

 Kay Davies, April 22, 2013




A fascinating article about behind the scenes action in the Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force entertainment units during the Second World War. With many photographs of participants and entertainment venues. From the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies.
Note: a very large file, but some of you might find it very interesting, even heartwarming.

Here's a sample from the file:

You’ll get used to it, you’ll get used to it
Molto Vino, Quanta Costa, you’ll get used to it
You get a panoramic view, lots of mutton in your stew
Mepacrine and margarine, dysentery to make you lean
It’s wonderful, it’s marvelous, dehydrated spuds and carrots you’ll adore
You gotta get used to it, and when you’re used to it
You will find that you are lining up for more
You’ll be so whacky, you’ll be glad when we have won this ruddy war.

To keep stage material fresh and relevant, old stand-bys were modified to better suit the circumstances of any particular audience. Pte. Weinzweig wrote these new verses of a famous WW II song for troops stationed in Italy. The original, copyrighted in Canada in 1942, featured words by Victor Gordon and music by Freddy Grant.
 Source: June 28, 1944. No. 1 Detachment Canadian Army



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sadness for pets who have met in blogland


Lindy and her mom are very sad about losing our friend Sam Schnauzer, and we are 'specially sad for Sam's mom, Sylvia from Over the Hill, who has lost her very best friend and constant companion.

Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy and Sam's friend Bozo
and his family in Mumbai, India, at their Pets Forever blog.

Lindy says: "Bozo, I sent you a note. I hope you got it."


Lunar events

Richard Schear photo


Grace has introduced the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads to the short haiku-like poem called the Lune (French for moon) which is sometimes called the American haiku.

Two versions exist, one created deliberately, one accidentally. We will look at and experiment with both of them for the 21st day of Real Toads' poem-a-day challenge for April. Many Toads are also posting to NaPoWriMo as well.

1. The Kelly Lune
Robert Kelly, an American poet, felt that adhering to the strict form of Japanese haiku (5-7-5 syllables) in English, creates a different poem than the Japanese intention. He invented the Lune to remove these differences, and the only requirement is a 5-3-5 syllable count: thus each lune has thirteen syllables: one for each month of the lunar year.

2. The Collom Lune
Jack Collom created his version by accident. He misremembered Kelly's 5-3-5 syllables as 3-5-3 words, and as he was teaching children, it turned out to be a good thing. "As a happy coincidence," says Grace, "this variation made it easier for kids to create Lunes, since words are easier to count than syllables."

*

a) The Kelly Lune
Never one to follow orders, I have taken Kelly's thirteen syllables, minus his per-line count, and played with Lunes to resemble (slightly) a half-moon or a crescent moon shape.




thirteen months in a
lunar year, or so
I hear here
25th day 
of this april, a
full moon we’ll see


Properly, however, the Kelly Lune should be 13 syllables arranged thus:

melancholy babe
come to me,
see what we can be



b) The Collum Lune
Richard Schear photo
As it is for children, so it is for the elderly: words are easier to count than are syllables.
For example:
one sad and sorry Sunday
she reclined alone
and thought of lost love


And, like one of Collum's students, I am more interested in playing around with the new things I've learned today than I am in writing serious poetry.

one bright and sunny Sunday
she walked alone
and thought of white clouds


and then it was pointed out to me that I misremembered how Collum misremembered the Kelly Lune. Collum's should be 3-5-3, which doesn't add up to 13 at all, so here goes another try...

she reclined alone
one sad and sorry Sunday,
without her love

she walked alone
one bright and sunny Sunday
beneath blue sky
Kay Davies, April 21, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Folktale and Fairy Tale illustrations

Virginia Francis Sterrett
“Blondine”

The Lark and the Toad, as reinterpreted by Real Toads member, Kay L. Davies


the lark and the toad
were out one night
when the sky was dark
and the moon was bright.
when the lark said “hark!”
and the toad said “hush!”
as a maiden appeared
with a white mule deer
and a big white cat
who wore no hat.
“that’s a cat,” said the lark
“I knowed,” said the toad
“as soon as I heard it mewl.
 but what of the deer?
 is it true what I hear?
 that deer eat toads for lunch?”

*
Virginia Francis Sterrett
"Europa and the Bull"

at this point in the tale
they reached the sea
where a big white bull
was carrying She
upon its back through the waves.
“ahoy,” cried the toad,
“you’re the loveliest load
 I’ve ever seen on a bull.
 please come to the land,
 or at least to the sand,
 and have a wee chat with we.”
so She dismounted
and floated ashore
while the bull carried on to see
and She sat on the sand
just as if it were land
and talked to the lark and the toad.

*
For the 20th day of our April poem-a-day challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kerry has introduced us to the charming and enchanting art of American illustrator Virginia Francis Sterrett. I have seen her work often, but have never known anything about her until now. Hers was a short and tragic life in the early 20th century. Most widely known for illustrating folktales and fairy tales, she died of tuberculosis when she was only 30.
*
The folktale is a story, passed down verbally from generation to generation. Each storyteller told the stories a little differently, making them more interesting and fascinating as the ages passed. Different folktales bear the characteristics of the culture, folklore and customs of the people from which they originated.
The fairy tale has its roots way back in ancient times. A very significant literature genre, fairy tales are present in all cultures worldwide. In contrast to folktales, which are spread form mouth to mouth and have no author, the author of fairy tales is known and they are written down.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Reflections in a Venice window

Photo by Richard Schear, February, 2013
A lovely building in Venice is reflected in a window
exhibiting different kinds of ornate and colorful Venetian glassware.

Posted for
Weekend Reflections
hosted by James, the fabulous photographer
whose work can also be found at Something Sighted.

A Friday Out of Standard Challenge with Izy

Izy teases us, and flatters us, and asks us to write about melting without using the words hot or cold, fire or ice.
She says she knows we can do it.
And here I am.
This is the 19th day of our own poem-a-month challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, either in conjunction with or separate from NaPoWriMo which is also going on. Each poet can decide whether to post to one or to the other, or to both.

There was a dessert on the final voyage of the Carnival Destiny this year, a featured dessert called "Warm Chocolate Melting Cake". The men at my table had it every night, sometimes twice. So I am dedicating this poem to my husband Richard Schear, and to Professor John Scott Grey, and sending my sincerest empathy to John's wonderful wife Jo. We miss you both, especially at dinner time.



chocolate runs softly
smoothly down
my throat



like
butterscotch sauce

custard cream
Public domain photos
brown sugar dream

melting 
my
hard
old
soul


Kay Davies, April 19, 2013




Thursday, April 18, 2013

Stromboli against the sky

Richard Schear photo, February, 2013

Looking like steam from a kettle, a stream of smoke issues from Stromboli, an active Italian volcano we passed on our way to Venice aboard the Carnival Destiny in February.

Posted for
Skywatch Friday
Click here for more skies from around the world


Susie asks us for encouragement

Susie has challenged us to write something encouraging for the eighteenth day of the poem-a-day challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.


Scratch any normal citizen in the civilized world and you'll find one of two things: that person believes, deep down, he or she can write a book; or that person believes he or she is secretly overflowing with unwritten poetry.

  

To all poets unrecognized because they can't write haven't been taught


come on, baby, you can do it
you can set the world on fire
you can be a perfect poet
now a rhyming coach is hired
a rhyming coach
a spelling coach
a punctuation coach, as well,
they'll help you to find them pomes that lurk in every skull.
  
a confidence coach
a lifeskills coach
a basketball coach
and a yogi
(got a real good deal on an elderly basketball coach)
a swimming coach
a diving coach
a warm-up coach
and a pool
on your way to becoming a poet, you’ll have every tool.

he who hesitates is lost
she who hesitates is, too,
take up our quarrel with the foe
to you from failing hands we throw
the computer and the mouse
the keys to car and house
the debit card and PIN
and all the dough that’s in
your education fund
come on, baby, you can do it,
make your mom and daddy proud!
Kay L. Davies, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day 17 brings double dactyls

Aprille has encouraged us to write double dactyls for the 17th day in our poem-a-day-for-April challenge. Seems somehow fitting she should do so.
A dactyl is a word with the EMphasis on the first SYLlable: for instance, the word APril seems self-evident.
But what of Aprille? Is that her mother's choice of spelling for the name April? Or is it pronounced in the European way: Aprille?

This is what we like at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: a challenge with a quandary in it, accompanied by encouragement.

Another thing we like is an illustration of the form, which Aprille gives as follows:

ONE two three ONE two three
ONE two three ONE two three
ONE two three ONE two three
ONE two three DONE

and a brilliant idea: "Just think of a waltz," she says.

Don't forget a statement of requirements...
a double dactyl has two stanzas (i.e. two of the above)
and contains one proper noun/name
plus one 6-syllable word,
with no particular rhyme scheme.

Aprille provided a handy list of dactyls and another of 6-syllable words which are double dactyls. Of course, I just had to play around with some of those:

authoritarian
octogenarians:
conspiratorial,
unconstitutional:
dubious Senators all

So, I overdid the 6-syllable words and didn't get anyone's name in, but Senator with an uppercase S is arguably a proper noun? Isn't it? Anyone want to argue? Or do I have to argue with myself? (Not impossible.)

Fortunately, Aprille included two of her paintings of England in the 70s when infrastructure was breaking down. One contains a dog who looks like a Golden Retriever, so I definitely had to write to that.

Copyright. Used with permission.

bicycle is useless
overloaded, tires flat,
humanitarian
dog can tell that

hazardous woodlands here
helping hands not so near
he’ll guide you til you reach
Hill Farm ahead

Kay Davies, April 17, 2013










Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16th, time for a form challenge

Marian has offered two forms, which the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads has seen before, and is letting us choose our favorite for a "brand new, fresh-as-spring poem".
I've been thinking of roundels and rondelets for 24 hours, for my April 16 poem, but nothing resembling poetry issued from this keyboard.
Hmm. "Palatable" Marian calls these forms. That's rather appealing to my food addiction, so maybe, after my recent travels with my husband...





So here is my rondolet, entitled
Eating in Italy


Love may be the king
but food is for certain the queen,
love may be the king
as Dean Martin once used to sing,
but everywhere there we have seen
pasta dishes fit for a queen,
though love may be king.
Kay Davies, April 16, 2013       

Pasta specialty shop, Venice. Wikipedia photo.