Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lemonade Stands, Retreats, and Writers and Lovers Cafe

The very last week before summer vacation, my youngest took off his training wheels and we started biking together along the harbor ten minutes to school, fifteen if I let him swerve the yellows of the path's divider line (barring oncoming riders). My heart breaks, yet soars with him: he can go wherever his legs will take him, fast and furious away from me into the sandy dunes where the jackrabbits bound away from his silver spinning spokes, their dual pale pink bunny ears laced with those arterial red lines like freeways marked on the old fashioned paper maps we used to use.

Another first this week: a lemonade stand undertaken with his friend who lives down the block. Us mothers sailed towards one another with our plates of cookies, mine, peanut butter, hers, oatmeal raisin, to the tiny folding table with its fresh squeezed pitcher of lemonade, two folding chairs, a long pocket of change taped secure along the back border of the table cloth. Then, all too soon for me (when did I get this prone to tearing up?!) after the admonition about counting change, the other mom winks at me, the cue to slip away to let them run the show.

When I return an hour later, just the dregs of lemonade swill below the spigot, nearly impossible to drain into a cup, the folding chairs empty, sprigs of lavendar and purple daises flying, the boys wrestling on the corner lawn behind their stand. They spy me, straighten their shirts, caps, and race back to their chairs as my husband rides up on his bicycle from work just in time to buy the last cup and second-to-last cookie.

Other news, poetry news: I snuck away for a modest mini retreat with nine fabulous women last month, waking to group writing exercises, breakfast littered with conversations about words, stories, places to send work, drafts in progress, u-turns, left turns, and the profound swervings of writing together in the present moment. Which lead me away from blogging and back to writing poetry, salved by walks along the ocean, a bobcat the size of the heftiest of my former feral cats yawning on the front lawn, a buck with a full velvet rack. And the nightly walk between the three houses supernally black to the soft lull of one more conversation and a shared flashlight, the radiance of stars over us.

This net of like-minded women, their warmth, support and mirroring, prompted me also to send work out again, which means a haibun is forthcoming from Writers and Lovers Café (Fall 2013). The editor/poet/writer behind Writers and Lovers Café  is Tad Wojnicki (along with haiku poet Iyja J. Cabrera). Wojnicki also formerly ran Haiku Pix where I first came across his How to Ginko series of articles that contain beautiful illustrations and ideas for how to write haiku (check out the latest one, The Technique of the Opposites, and be sure to scroll down to also read The Zoom Lens Technique). 

And thanks is also due to Liz Brennan for introducing me, not only to Haiku Pix, etc., but to the haibun form in one of her online Nature Writing Classes.  She's currently teaching a poetry writing workshop titled Animals Make Us Human for Story Circle Network. Liz and I have also managed to stay busy collaborating at her ongoing prose poetry site, Perhaps, Maybe. Here are the links to the latest collaborations and their first lines (and remember to join her with a perhaps or a maybe of your own if you wish). To summer! And words, blessed words....

Your Child

Perhaps your child meant at first to come through my body...


Perhaps as a writer the desire to tell the truth haunts you, as it should, yet at the same time all past events over which you previously had no control are at last subject to your decisions, your revisions...

The Guest

Perhaps the body in sleep unburdens its flock of questions, like so many winged sirens, into the sky of dream...

Forever New

 Perhaps nothing is worth as much as what may replace it, when any given thing is only the first in a series of increasingly better things...

Photo credits:

Artwork on cover of my journal is by Paloma Estrada--I cut and paste her beautiful image of lanterns to my temporary notebook (from a brochure for the Coronado School of Arts) that I took to the Sea Ranch retreat where I fell in love not only with my retreat companions, but the sun, windchimes, cherries, hot tea, and birds nesting under the eaves.