Monday, June 13, 2016

Lovely Little Visitors...and more

"Is that poetry?" Nina asked, flipping through one the inviting, fun-size editions of Hummingbird that she spotted on my counter.  "Why, yes it is," I responded piquing her interest even more.  "I love poetry", she said.

And so, I gave her a copy and explained how she could submit her own writing.  Cliff, Hummingbird's editor, stops by once a year to drop off the freshest edition of this charming poetry collection.  We chat, and he reminds me to share the poetry books as I see fit.  

Phyllis Walsh founded Hummingbird in 1990 and Cliff keeps its spirit alive and lively with two volumes each year.  Short forms, mainly haiku, fill the pages, but some poems stray from the perceived strict rules of the deceptively simple Japanese poetry.  As poetry should, these touch all levels of life and emotions - some are light-hearted, while others startle and inspire despite their brevity.

You can subscribe to Hummingbird by contacting CX Dillhunt at 7129 Lindfield Road, Madison Wi. 53719.  $10/year or $18/two years.  This is also the address you can send submissions to.  Info at the back tell us "While we admire the short poem in its many formalized incarnations, we are also drawn to experimental and contemporary forms and non-forms. We're looking for work that expands out understanding of the short poem."  So, writer friends, have at it!

I can't close today without commenting on the events in Orlando, although there will be many whose words will resonate with greater clarity and eloquence than mine.  In the next days and weeks, we will witness much head shaking and and be bombarded with powerful rhetoric.  My hope is that now...after Columbine, after Peducha, after Sandy Hook, after Orlando, after too many others...the rhetoric will end and action will be taken. When will the gun lobby open its ears and eyes to the painful cries of anger, fear, frustration and sorrow that we experience far too often?  When will our political leaders stiffen their backbones stand up against whatever it is the NRA holds over them  and do the right thing to protect people against the continued physical and emotional threats that exist at the end of assault weapons?  Of course this isn't a single part solution, but when, I wonder, will be the right time to begin making changes?  Let Orlando be the last time.

What am I reading?  At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier.  I joined a second book group - just five of us - and this is our first discussion title. Chevalier strays from her familiar art related themes by taking us to the life of early settlers in Ohio.  Main characters are a driven, abusive husband and his vindictive, conniving wife.

Thanks for stopping by.