Poor old blog – nobody loves you, apparently not even me. Having totally missed February, I guess I need to update things a little. There’s not a whole lot going on poetry-wise, although it looks like we’ve resurrected our old group, the Quick and Dirty Poets. Though we’re a small group of four at this point, it will be great to have a peer group again to share poems and critique. We are talking about resurrecting our reading series this year, too. I hope it will inspire me to write more and better poetry. I need to get cracking on submitting more, too. I have a bunch of baseball poems from November that I could submit to Spitball, for instance. One thing I have done recently was to apply to a juried workshop with Billy Collins at the Key West Literary Seminar next January. I won’t hear till late spring if I got in – fingers crossed!
Last week was interesting:. I found out on Monday that my caption won second place in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest (which can be found here)
and then a few days later I learned that I won second place in another cartoon caption contest, this one for the weekly Style Invitational contest from the Washington Post, which can be found here)
Then that same day I found out I won third place in the Poetic Asides sijo contest. (The “sijo” is a Korean poetic form.) So although I felt a little like a “bridesmaid”, coming so close to the top prize three times, it’s still a cool feeling to pull a “hat trick” like that.
St. Patrick’s Day was fun at our house this week. Of course I trucked out all my Irish and Celtic music to play through the weekend and into Monday. My wife dressed our little granddaughter up like a “St. Patrick’s Day fairy” in a green tutu and fairy wings. (She already loves “dress-up”.) And it was fun, too, sharing Irish-style food like corned beef and shepherd’s pie with the two Korean students who are staying with us.
Music: Still not much new stuff that has tickled my ears. So far I've heard the new Drive-by Truckers album and the new Real Estate album (both pretty good). My favorite so far, though, is Elbow's new album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything. Elbow creates some gorgeous, moving, anthemic songs that Coldplay only wish they could do as well. "My Sad Captains" may be the best song on the album - it just blows me away every time I listen to it.
Poem: In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here's a poem I wrote about a site we visited on our trip to Killarney a few years ago. This won a prize and publication in a journal called Shakespeare's Monkeys.
When Queen Victoria came to Killarney
and stayed at Muckross House, she sent us ladies
up the hill to find a picnic spot. Dutifully
we bounced along the road in one-horse carts,
carrying wicker baskets of paté, aspic, and sandwiches.
But when Her Majesty mounted the hill herself,
we were unprepared, so she rebuked
in front of everyone assembled.
How could we tell her we were delayed
by seductive nature? A glacier-carved valley
lay before us, spread between the thighs
and shoulders of the mountains, with the jewels
of Killarney Town in the distance, in the nape
of the neck of this land, the river and lakes
like fingers caressing it all. And as we stood
on the overlook, the wind lifted our petticoats
and loosened the bonnets from our hair.