Life sometimes surprises! My thrill of the week is having my Lady with the Mask selected for The Beauty Myth Exhibit which will take place in Milan, Italy in the merry month of May. While I may not get to Italy this year (another one of life’s surprises where “stuff” happens), my art will! Grateful thanks to Giulia Biata of Sardinia for organizing this event, and to the judges who selected the winners.
I’ve mostly been off Facebook during Lent, not because I’m religious, but because I need a break from the noise and the political drama. Also, both my parents died during Lent and there’s an underlying sadness that accompanies me throughout these early days of spring. My husband is going through some health issues and I am right alongside him, going on our 49th year together.
Grateful thanks also to #ig_artistry of Instagram and NEM RED for featuring my digital art the last week. And last but not least, switching gears, thrilled that “Destined to be Broke” haibun was given Honourable Mention – Ken and Norah Jones Haibun Award Honorable Mention (The British Haiku Society).
Destined to be Broke
She watches Oral Roberts, prays along with the television while she drinks a large bottle of Coke. She munches away while her husband hangs out at the pub. Her horror when she spots dead ants coating the bottom of the potato chip bag. But horror soon turns to optimism–could this be a sign? Is her ship finally headed toward harbor?
The North Wind fills her parka as she climbs the hill. She clutches the bag as though it were a winning lottery ticket. The mom-and-pop store where she bought the chips gives her the name of the manufacturer. Wishes her luck. Says they ought to pay her something.
A package arrives in a big box. A thank you card for being one of their many loyal customers and, for her trouble, a free bag of potato ships.
- no butterflies in the butterfly bush
And, lastly, thanks to Right Hand Pointing on line-journal for publishing this senryu in April :
Old age home
(Backstory: When my mother was in assisted living, she encountered fellow residents, some older than she, who played one-up-manship games. My mom was having a hard enough time navigating the twists and turns of dementia without having to endure the meanness of people who didn’t move through their own childhood traumas Whoever said this journey on Planet Earth was a piece of cake?)
And before I leave, just a reminder … UNSEALING OUR SECRETS (MeToo Stories written in short-form poetry forms), curated and edited by myself, is available on Amazon and Kindle. Women and a smattering of men share their secrets about sexual abuse. The writing is exceptional and I am so proud of this anthology. Here’s a review from Grace Cavalieri, Poet Laureate of Maryland (Amazon):
Some 47 poets, women and men, tell long-held secrets of sexual abuse.
The subject would be too much to bear had it not been formalized into
Japanese forms of haiku, tanka, senryu, halibun, and what
curator/editor Rotella says is a rare form, the “Cherita.”
Even so, it’s difficult reading and exactly why I suppose it needed
writing. The wounds cannot heal until the toxic infection is open to
air. Mass consciousness will not be changed by such personal accounts,
however strongly they shake the reader and the world. Sexual abuse
mostly to children occurs unspeakably and is nothing less than a
public health problem. All this is important and necessary to say in
words, but can be painful beyond words to hear. Those who have been
recipients of hurtful scarring behaviors have been treated like
objects or receptacles; this is a sin against all human experience,
the human being, and humankind, and this book is about allowing the
subject to be exposed. We who are lucky enough to be the readers of
such accounts, rather than the writers, can only bow to courage.
A poem by Sonam Chhoki:
Lies curled in a knot
her father’s child
in the morning shower
the feel of him,
the smell of him