Monday, May 27, 2013

Two Views of Hail

So this is likely the last Poetweet post for the May topic of Spring.  Soon June begins the next topic for tweets - Parks and Recreation.  Tweet me your thoughts, insights, experiences about how you re-create yourself out of doors in the Heights in the early days of summer.

Now, two very different poems prompted by a short tweet about the hailstorm we had a week or so ago.


Pierced by the grape-shot ice
of a late May hailstorm—
fury after unsuspecting calm—
the hostas’ green and chartreuse hearts
lay open, like stigmata-ed palms. 

The sudden shift in temperature
should have been the clue
that all the shadowed days ahead
would open onto emptiness
as the door closed, soft, behind you.

And, on a completely silly note …

Hail the Hail! 

The rake and hose still hang by the pail
all neat on their hooks by the mower. 

And there they will stay for a week and a day
for the sky has begun now to shower.

“Get off of your duff!” says my wife, with a cuff
of her hand—powdered in Gold Medal flour. 

“There’s work to be done! Nevermind there’s no sun.
Don’t sit on the couch and just cower.” 

But then came the sound of the hail pounding down
and I knew I was safe in my bower— 

my man cave and La-Z-Boy beckoned to me
while the hail went and knocked out the power.

OK - not great literature. But sometimes its just fun to play with words.  And my guess is there can be some minor truth even in silliness.

More in June (maybe silly, maybe not) - but only if you tweet to #htspoetweet

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Frog Love

Thanks for the tweet from Virginia Beach that inspired this haiku.  Now, Heights-ers, I'm counting on you to keep me going!
Tweet your impressions of Spring (through May 31) and recreation (all of June) to #htspoetweet.

Here's a haiku.

The lush, ferned shore-line

hides the amorous bullfrog.

Still, his trumpet sounds.

Haiku, is a Japanese poetic form which attempts to capture a fleeting moment of experience of the natural world - a dramatic moment in an everyday occurrence.  The rhythmic, or metrical speech patterns of the Japanese are vastly different than American speech, so we cannot hope to replicate exactly the syllabic 'rules' of haiku as practiced by the great Japanese masters, Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa and Masaoka Shiki.  So, American haiku generally are written in seventeen syllables (yes, syllables) and arranged in three lines of 5-7-5 syllables.  A reference to nature and/or a season is obligatory, but the meaning of the haiku should go beyond a simple  recounting of an event experienced by the poet to comment on something resonant of human nature as well.

Kathleen Cerveny
2013-14 Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My thanks to a rare books librarian who tweeted me her thoughts on walking Lakeview Cemetery in the lush and verdant green of early May.  Her tweets inspired this poem.

Streaming Time 

A field of polished stones
cushioned in spring grass;
a blanket of renewal pulled
up snug against eternity. 

These people are not mine.
But I am reminded of those
now gone; their fragile bones
lying quiet under Prairie corn
or under other stones - an age,
an ocean or a continent away. 

In this garden, lush with memory,
the river of the grassy blanket runs
between the stones.  These lives
have had their moment in the stream
of time - and now it's ours.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fertility Dance

Thanks to several who tweeted me their thoughts (including some very poetic tweets) on the glories of this amazing spring.  Here's the next poem, inspired by YOU.

Fertility Dance

The ruffled arms
of cherry and pear,
shimmy in the breeze
like Carmen Miranda’s sleeves.
They cast their net of scent
into the blue sea of May,
fishing for bees.

And a beautiful photo of a crabapple tree that accompanied a tweet.  "Crabapple" just didn't fit the rhythm or linguistic aesthetic  of the poem so I changed it to "cherry and pear."  Poetic license, don'tcha know!
Now how about some tweets about that hail storm?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Poetweet Project Launched: First Spring Tweets Poem for May

The Poetweet Project is on its way!  Thanks to all who joined me to launch
the project.  A small but enthusiastic crowd gathered at the foot of Daffodil Hill in beautiful Lakeview Cemetery this past Saturday morning (May 4) to help me get this fun project out of the ground and blooming. 

See some photos from the day below and here's the first poem inspired by tweets from those who attended the event.  Send your spring tweets - impressions of the season, your yard, what spring means to you, etc., to #htspoetweet.  I'll make poems so long as there are tweets to inspire me.


All around the cemetery,
stone monuments to temporality.
And yet, fresh green and pink pop
from cherry, dogwood, Cleveland Pear.
Venerable magnolias bloom, impossibly again.
Chipmunks vault the marble markers
and woodpeckers churr the bugs
from old trees to feed new young. 
Kathleen Cerveny, Lakeview Cemetery