Late Summer — What is it Good for?

Late Summer started  about 10 days ago and when I felt it arrive, I felt like something inside me unplugged . The intense blazing heat of summer was gone and I felt so relieved to once again be done with the craziness of July.

It felt good to lounge around, to eat plums and enjoy tomatoes that are jam packed with the earth’s sweetness. It was time to pull out the vines from the garden that had turned yellow and to weed from the flower patches the artemesia that had taken over. But more than just weeding the garden, my closet with all my old poetry books from the 90’s were just sitting there doing nothing. And all those art cards that I no longer liked were grist for the recycling mill. Bags and bags of what once were considered treasures were being carted away on trash day.

Cluttered closets equals cluttered mind. I feel so much lighter and am using the goodness of late summer to help me nurture myself in letting go of stuff that no longer serves myself or the Highest Good.

In July I spent time at the Blue Deer Center way up in the Catskills attending an advanced course in Plant Spirit Medicine with Eliot Cowan, author of Plant Spirit Medicine. It was wonderful to be with like minded people again, who use the spirit of plants to heal others. The wild flowers and plants are generous with their knowledge and this medicine is more important now than ever in a world where people are so out of balance.

Santa Fe where the Haiku North America conference will be held is looming. In mid September my husband and I will attend. Robert will  give a talk on copyright law. I’ll be on a haiga panel, sharing some tips with attendees as well as giving a presentation on the Five Seasons and how they impact our lives in ways that may surprise.  But most of all, I’m looking forward to just being in New Mexico again, to enjoy its smells and earth-tones as well as to connect with new and old friends alike.

My latest book, The Color Blue, was just released by Red Moon Press. It’s a collection of short poems that includes haiku, haiga, haibun and experimental work.  Cost of the book is $20 available from RedMoonPress.com or directly from me.

Little by little my out-of-print books are being uploaded to Kindle. In the near future, I will be sharing my three latest books there. I ‘m becoming fonder of  Kindle and e-books as we’re  running out of shelf space. For now, you can read my meaty collection of tanka, LIP PRINTS, as well as BLACK JACK JUDY AND THE CRISCO KIDS (Growing Up Italian in the Bronx) which is really my husband’s stories of his colorful New York childhood when much of the place was still wilderness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So, Summer is Here Again

And things are blooming in the on-line haiku and Japanese poetry forms world. We have Caroline Skanne tirelessly bringing us a weekly Hedgerow on-line journal. Then there’s Michael Rehling who lovingly edits his monthly senryu journal, Failed Haiku. And then the great surprise of ai li’s cherita monthly flipbook. So glad she’s back in town. I musn’t overlook Larry Kimmel who is ai li’s co-editor. We have so much to look forward to.

It’s hard enough to devote one’s energy to a quarterly, let alone a monthly or a weekly. My baseball cap off to these three musketeers.

Meanwhile, the perennials are blooming although the sun is merciless. And the thistles and other weeds are having a swell time. We have been having our pond worked on for two months. Last year’s fish all but disappeared–I have a feeling the frogs that were bigger were having a feast. My pond guy has relocated a number of frogs but when I went out to feed our dozen goldfish this morning, two fat ones jumped into the water. Where they’re coming from, I don’t know.  With each ripple, a new Basho  replicates.

In the frog’s croak

the beginning

of summer

 

 

 

Starting Spring off the Right Way

Recently I had digital art pieces exhibited in Florence, Italy and Porto, Portugal — although I couldn’t attend either venue, it was a delight to be included with so many other gifted artists at the NEM Equinox Exhibit at the Church of San Stefano and at the Mira Mobile Prize Exhibit.

Last month five of my digital paintings were exhibited at the Melange I exhibit at the Circle Gallery in Annapolis. My work has appeared on numerous banners in the last year, most notably iColorama and theappwhisper. Always a great honor.

I finally bit the bullet and bought an iPhone7+ which is an absolute joy. My Android was a good pal for years but it was time to upgrade. I’m also now the owner of a refurbished Apple laptop, thanks to Charles Trumbull, former editor of Modern Haiku, who helped move me in that direction.

I’ve been asked to do a solo reading April 16, Easter Sunday, at Spiral Staircase starting at 4 o’clock. If you’re in the area, stop by and bring your house guests (or leave them home if you need a break). April is international poetry month and the 16th is International Haiku Day. I will be reading haiku as well as haibun–hope to share new unpublished work.

Meanwhile, I’m working on a new poetry book and have promised myself that I will buckle down and do the exercises in the three on-line art courses I signed up for. Something always seems to get in the way.

I share my poetry and art every day on Facebook. Friend me if you wish.

May you blossom this spring…..

 

 

 

 

After the Inauguration

It has been a wild ride for the whole world. I personally have been tossing and turning at night. Last night I had a dream that Trump was depressed. I offered to make him bacon and eggs for breakfast which he accepted but before diving into the meal, he threw on top a square of crumb cake.

Dreams are amazing — it wasn’t until later in the morning did that grand finale of the piece of cake remind me of the famous line from French history, “Let them eat cake” (meaning the struggling masses). In other words, let those who voted for me eat crumbs.

Dreams are, afterall, art from the Dream Maker herself.

 

On a brighter note, I thank Andrea  for choosing one of my Venice scenes for his NEMStreets site:

https://www.facebook.com/Neweramuseum/?fref=nf

This lovely man does so much for mobile art and artists.

Practice Practice Practice

Ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to draw. For years I thought I had no talent in that area, that drawing was something my brother was gifted in, not me.

In a week I will turn seventy. They say age can bring wisdom and in my case, I have the wisdom to know I wasn’t a born artist, that it’s something I have to practice. One year ago I began taking on-line courses with a number of gifted artists, Ivy Newport being one. My attempts at drawing a face were lame indeed but with a minimum of practice, I can do a decent portrait. But like any skill, drawing takes practice and I have miles to go, to quote Robert Frost.

Drawing for me is painful and frustrating. Learning how to really see is a discipline (vs. focusing so much on how I look).