Tuesday, April 01, 2014



Hola everyone, and welcome to April, aka National Poetry Month!
For the second year in a row I am going to attempt to post something poetry-related every day. 

It will be quite a month for me. I'm starting it in La Manzanilla, Mexico, sitting out on our deck writing this and listening to all the noise that is Mexico—birds singing, wind strumming the palm fronds, loud-speaker announcements from various drive- or walk-by vendors. I will end it in Seattle where I'll be attending the 2014 Cascadia Poetry Festival

In between there will be book launches to attend, readings to savour, a long day of travel to get back to Canada (you can expect a really short post that day!), and reentry into life in what I'm starting to think of as my other home, for spending another three months in this sweet, incredible town has made it a part of me, and hopefully me a part of it.

I signed up for the the daily NaPoWriMo prompts and am already doing my own thing in that I'm responding to yesterday's early bird prompt which was to write an ekphrastic poem. If you've been reading my blog for very long you'll know I have twice appeared on The Light Ekphrastic's collaborative website where the wonderful editor, Jenny O'Grady, matches word painters with image makers. Most recently, I provided the image and Lyzzy Redd wrote a poem based on it, and in turn, I made a piece of art based on one of her poems. I call the things I do "haikuscapes", although the words included are not necessarily haiku. 

So, for today's exercise I went looking for a piece of art to write about and had to go no further than my new friend, Judy Dykstra-Brown's blog. I met Judy at the weekly writers' group that meets here in La Manz. As well as having written a perceptive and moving memoir about her process of grieving the death of her husband, Judy makes retablos, an art form which kind of reminds me of my haikuscapes. I found a picture of this one on her blog, under the heading "What Do You See?" 

Here's what I saw, in the form of an ekphrastic poem that is also an acrostic one as I couldn't figure out how else to insert that particular image!

Rules of the Game

Maybe belt yourself in. Should be
a rule not to take a pass on the up-down slide, the
how-much-is-enough cash register of life. We are

jammed together, alien as Catwoman on a circuit, bored
old transistor-sister. We throw the die, scrabble for it. If this is
not a ride, what is? Fly a kite. Write a letter. Somebody’s
got your number.


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