August is a juicy piece of fruit with the seed of Fall at its center. In spite of all the lush growth of Summer, the brown of Autumn is at the heart of August. August marks the shift from the production of leaves, to the production of seeds. Life must go on, come Spring, and August see(d)s to that.
We had a nice turnout for the July meet-up of Ohio Women on the Fly. Spirits were high as we walked from the parking lot at Antrim Lake to the Olentangy River, which runs near the south and east sides of the lake. The clouds were building, but we weren’t worried — rain was not in the forecast.
We got soaked. Drenched. We were soggy, and by the time we got back to cars when it was starting to get dark, muddy up to our knees.
It was great fun. It was an adventure. When was the last time you had an adventure (the kind involving lots of water and mud)? I highly recommend it.
Every time I go fly fishing, the experience is new. No two times on a river are the same. That’s why fly fishing is a sport I love.
Catherine gave the Inklings this month’s challenge to write a poem about sports. Here’s what the rest of the crew came up with, and Molly has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup to boot.
This month’s Poetry Sisters challenge didn’t seem tricky when the idea was hatched. Phrase Acrostics are pretty much reverse Golden Shovels, with the striking line on the left rather than the right. But then er…uh..someone suggested using phrases from the iconic poem by Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise.” That’s when the challenge got tricky more complicated and interesting. How could we borrow phrases from this poem while still honoring the poet and the spirit of the poem without being appropriationist? Reading and rereading the poem with the intention to uphold Angelou’s purpose led me to these two drafts, which weave lines and meanings like a braided rug on a warm wood floor. Both of the titles, as well as the striking lines, come from Angelou’s poem.
A couple of weeks ago, Linda (A Word Edgewise) offered up her third annual “Clunker Exchange.” I chose the line “That’s what you wrote about the green beans,” and I couldn’t have been more surprised by the poem (and memories) those eight words were able to elicit. Thank you, Linda, for this beautiful not-a-clunker-to-me!
Now let’s see what you’ve been writing (or reading) these days! Are you getting ready to take part in the Sealey Challenge? Share your stack if you’ve made one! Can’t imagine reading a book of poetry every day in August? Children’s poetry books count!!
I’m going totally old-school with the roundup this week. Leave your link and a short description in the comments. That’s it. If you’re not able to comment for some reason, I’ll help: mary lee dot hahn at gmail
It’s Not Where We Draw the Lines, It’s How We Draw Them
Lines divide, cause schisms, rifts, gulfs, splits; circles create community. Lines emphasize mine and yours; circles encourage ours. Lines are discordant; circles are song. Draw more lines? What’s the point?
The entire time I was stitching this mandala, I was thinking about how lines divide, and where we draw the line. The line between love and hate, tolerance and intolerance, rights and responsibilities, morality and immorality, church and state, now and then, history and future, optimism and pessimism and apathy, courage and cowardice and apathy, action and inaction…and apathy.
All we can each do is our very own best. Every small thing we do counts. Less bark, more wag; less hiss more purr; fewer lines more circles.
And an aside. If you follow my mandalas on FB or IG, you have seen Views From the Garden, parts one (milkweed) and two (coneflowers). I intended for this week to feature zinnias, but they were shy and have only just begun blooming. They’ll get their five minutes of fame this coming week!
Heidi gave the Inklings our challenge this month: “There are so many ways in which we’ve all (but especially as women, as educators) had to be persistent, despite our weariness. Write a poem (for kids or adults) about PERSISTENCE. If you write for kids, maybe try a definito!” Little did she know her words would hold So. Much. More. Truth. in these past couple of weeks.
Here are the rules for writing a definito: “the definito is a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.“
And here’s how the rest of the crew met Heidi’s challenge:
The Poetry Sisters’ challenge this month was to write Welsh Byr a Thoddaid Poems. There are a ton of rules, but when you get right down to it, the form consists of lots of syllable-counting and attention to rhymes.
My first cat, Jennyanydots, achieved the status of Truly Old Cat. She passed at the age of 21 and was a tiny thing (maybe 6 pounds in the end) with a mighty voice for wailing when she couldn’t find her “tribe.”
Hemingway is a big guy (14 pounds) and not old yet — only 7-9 (he was a rescue) — so why is he starting the yowling-for-no-reason? Maybe just to give me a poem topic!
Earlier this week, I stood mesmerized by the water striders in a pool of still water at the edge of our little local wetland. Time stopped as I watched them go about their business in the six square feet of liquid neighborhood they call home. Oh, to be so small that my feet only dent the surface of water!
Michelle has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Michelle Kogan.
A few years ago on the original A Year of Reading, I did a series of “Bike Stories.” Now that the first ride of the season has been — Ahhh CHOO! — survived, it’s time to get out more frequently and see what lessons and stories can be found this year!
Molly’s challenge to the Inklings this month was “to write a poem about some sort of domestic task.” My loss of control in the garden is embarrassingly similar to my approach to housekeeping — tidy up just enough to get by until time and energy (and usually company coming) converge to inspire a deeper cleaning.
“The show” is in full force right now in my garden. I never cease to be amazed at the transition from the exciting first tentative emergence of spring green and bloom to summer’s (seemingly sudden) surge of exuberant (over)growth.
Here’s how the rest of the Inklings interpreted this challenge: