Back to school

The combined NaHaiWriMo prompts for 10/5-10/7 (raven + walking to school + fan) really sparked some memories. First, my favorite season is the one with the wild skies and brilliant leaves catching stray sunbeams between torrential downpours. Second, heading back to school always came with a gut filled with fear — am I good enough? Will the other kids tease me until I cry? Or until I snap and punch one of ’em in the gut? Will math kick my butt again or will it finally click? Will my English teacher appreciate my short stories and poetry, or tell me I’m no good? Will I make it into the fall play? Will my parents stop packing my lunch and give me the .75 for hot lunch? Third, another school year meant a bit closer to full-fledged adulting — which after full-fledged adulting consideration, I wish I had enjoyed my “carefree” youthful years a wee bit more. Oh well — hindsight is always so clear.

black feathers/fan my flushed face/leaves crackle underfoot

New twists to old tales . . .

I love it when librarians stumble across new twists to old tales. Atlas Obscura invited me down the Arthur and Merlin rabbit hole this morning, and I delightedly dove in. I might have to climb out choking on the cost of the tome promising to reveal all the secrets of the manuscript fragments but perhaps my local or state library can help.

Growing up, I devoured Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy, revisiting it on at least an annual basis. Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series were revisited on an annual basis, and then read to my young son, as well. I discovered Patricia Keneally in college (she tacked Morrison on later) and her Tales of Aeron, Tales of Arthur and the Keltiad Books followed me along through young adult years. There was just something so very appealing with the notion of my ancestors fleeing Christianity and heading out into space — from whence they came, mind you!

As a young mother, I discovered Avalon: The Return of King Arthur by Stephen R. Lawhead. Truthfully, his Pendragon Cycle did nothing for me, but this version — this modern, gripping version of Arthur’s return shepherded by a seemingly ageless Merlin — pleased me greatly. (I’m still waiting for a sequel, Mr. Lawhead . . . pretty please — a returned King Arthur would certainly have his work cut out for him in today’s world.)

King Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere and the knights of the round table lend themselves to so many movies, some pretty “mehhh”, some intriguing and some are downright hilarious — it’s just a flesh wound, right?

Some are more thematic than “true to the myth” — but perhaps all the more poignant for that. Robin Williams’ search for peace and Jeff Bridges’ search for redemption in The Fisher King come together in a gripping search for the Holy Grail itself. I don’t care what Roger Ebert said — I loved it.

Fisher King in an illustration for a 1330 manuscript of Perceval, the Story of the Grail.

And of course, what about the classic children’s Disney feature length cartoon, The Sword in the Stone? MovieFone staff provide nine reasons why this cartoon is the definitive King Arthur movie. Check out reasons 5 & 6 — my personal favorites. You?

Stories that stand the test of time are treasures. Show you care and remember to share with friends and family. We need all the inspiration, hope and laughs we can get these days. Peace and health to all.

What the Ear Hears . . .

I remember so vividly my grandmother telling my sister and me that she would far rather lose a limb than her sight or hearing so she wouldn’t miss seeing our faces and hearing our voices. I don’t remember what prompted the discussion. I just know it made quite the impression and has stuck with me over the years. This week’s focused haiku prompts were all about the sounds we hear. I was surprised by how difficult this prompt ended up being despite the fact that music and sound has always been such an integral part of my life. I did manage to write to the daily prompt but am just sharing two this time.

April flowers brought May showers this year. . . wherefore art thou, Sun?

Along with COVID vaccination #2, May has brought weather designed to induce whiplash. Granted — it’s the Pacific NW and that’s how we roll here. But I was hoping for some outdoor time on the trails and preferably not with rain, wind and temperatures more reminiscent of March. On the bright side, during sunny warm days, I’ve been able to wander different trails and muse on the glories of life renewing itself. May these glimpses of Spring bring you joy.

Rhododendron at Tumwater Falls Park.
Trillium at Twanoh State Park.
Honeysuckle along the Chehalis-Western trail.

Still April? Why, yes indeed!

Continuing on with April’s dedication to poetry via the haiku and haiga framework, here is a twofer — two prompts wrapped up into one package of spring thaw. Enjoy!

PROMPT: Friar and Penguin — after months of/solitary confinement/east wind thaw

No April showers . . . does this mean no May flowers?

Don’t get me wrong — the sunshine and warmth are lovely after a long winter of housebound semi-isolation. But the “flowering” part of spring looks to be on track for a very short tenure with the daffodils already fading and the greenery already showing signs of drying out too much too fast. I am *fingers crossed* really hoping that we don’t have a fire season like last year. If April could send one or two solid showers this week? Drip, drip, drop little April showers . . .

Nonetheless, April’s dedication to poetry continues. Here’s one offering from this last week. Enjoy!

Prompt–trove: stellar jay alarm/we look for wisdom/in morning coffee

In like a lamb . . .

And so April, the month of poetry worship and writing, has blossomed like the pearlescent cherry trees, daffodil sun spots, I-love-thee tulips and pollen-driven sneezing. Normally, I carefully follow and respond to the daily prompts hosted on the NaPoWriMo site, but this year I am continuing with my haiku discipline and taking a weekly poetry workshop. So for these first 10 days in April, here’s a sample of both worlds:

Flight of the Hummingbird

Haiku Prompt: Balsam — soul peace/the smell of rain/after hot sun

March Madness: The End Game

Although March has a few more days left in it, I am off to enjoy some R&R and fun family time, so I won’t be responding to the last few days’ worth of March haiku prompts. But hopefully these have offered you something to muse over or nibble on and contemplate all the ways we can rise up to become our better selves in times of crisis, or at least find our inner snarky sense of humor. Enjoy!

Prompt:  portraits of lost cats – on display inside the local portaloo — his surprise/grafitti in a loo/pussy lost & found
Prompt: road workers — still under/improvement/labor wins
Prompt: road cones— new blossoms/guide shy steps/into adventure
Prompt: detour after detour — furry catkins/day to day choice/of a walking path
Prompt: container and prompt: filling the gaps — what goes in/must come out/love fills the gap