Twitter poetry 2021: Week 9

My blogger-poet-friend Ingrid inspired me to create a Twitter account and start writing #APoemADay, which I began on January 1, 2021.

I don’t have much in the way of insights regarding this challenge of ours this week… I continue to feel that I’ve hit my stride (largely by taking it easier by aiming to write haikus and cross-posting from blog to Twitter). Actually, now that I think of it, I do want to make note of the fact that I wrote some tankas this week, rather than haikus. That’s somewhat more challenging for me, particular with Magnetic Poetry.

Also, now that we’re at the start of week 10 (a nice, round number), I want to say that I am very impressed with Ingrid for having come up with this idea in the first place – I think it’s a fantastic exercise.

Anyway, below is my 9th week of Twitter poems:

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem,
David

Mailwoman, or: Policewoman

My response to d’Verse’s prompt for Haibun Monday:

‘Walk with me down Memory Lane’

I have poor long-term memory, but an amusing recollection came to me as I was perusing my limited memory banks for this exercise.

Between the ages of 1½- and 3-years-old, I lived in Columbus, OH, while my father was a visiting professor at Ohio State University. That was our first home in the USA after we’d left Israel. I hardly remember anything at all from that time, but, strangely, I do recall opening the door to our apartment to receive a letter or package from a mailwoman (I’m pretty sure it was a woman, but I could be wrong about that).

I knew that she was either a mailwoman or a policewoman because she was wearing a blue uniform, but I wanted to be sure so I asked her. She smiled and said, “What do you think?” which made my little self feel silly, as I scanned her and ascertained that she was delivering mail to our home. “A mailwoman,” I responded, feeling rather foolish. It is that feeling of childish foolishness that remains stuck in my mind.

that blue uniform...
woman delivering mail...
not from the police

The haibun above is my response to the d’Verse Haibun Monday prompt.

We were instructed to do a memory exercise BEFORE writing our haibuns:

Get a few pieces of blank paper, have pen in hand, close your eyes for a minute and go back as far as you can in time… to your first memories not triggered by a photograph or by family lore. Maybe it’s what your very first house looked like. Maybe you suddenly remember your dad teaching you to ride your first bike. Or what your yard looked like – or the inside of your very best childhood friend’s house. Now for your haibun, pick one memory you’ve written down and relay it to us.

Twitter poetry 2021: Week 8

My blogger-poet-friend Ingrid inspired me to create a Twitter account and start writing #APoemADay, which I began on January 1, 2021.

To make this challenge easier for myself, I have recently taken to using some of the poems that I share here on my blog on my Twitter account, and I’ve also taken to writing more haikus, which are short. To be honest, I somewhat feel that I am hitting my stride with this daily challenge, and I am enjoying haikus more than I would have expected 😊

Below is my 8th week of Twitter poems:

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem,
David

Sea, or: Sky

Today marks the Jewish holiday of Purim, one major theme of which is the Hebrew phrase ‘nahafokh hu’ (נַהֲפוֹךְ הוּא), which, loosely translated, means ‘it was turned to the contrary’. This comes to us from a particular verse in the Book of Esther (9:1):

וּבִשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ הוּא-חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר, בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם בּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר הִגִּיעַ דְּבַר-הַמֶּלֶךְ וְדָתוֹ, לְהֵעָשׂוֹת: בַּיּוֹם, אֲשֶׁר שִׂבְּרוּ אֹיְבֵי הַיְּהוּדִים לִשְׁלוֹט בָּהֶם, וְנַהֲפוֹךְ הוּא, אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁלְטוּ הַיְּהוּדִים הֵמָּה בְּשֹׂנְאֵיהֶם. Now in the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have rule over them; whereas it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;

In short, the Persian king’s advisor Haman (the villain of the story) convinced him to establish a date (the 13th of Adar), upon which all who so wished could kill Jews with impunity, and the Jews would not be allowed to defend themselves.

Without getting into the story, suffice it to say that the king’s decree could not be repealed, for it had been issued with his seal. Rather, the decree was reversed such that the Jews would be allowed to defend themselves against their enemies, as we read on in the following verse in the Book of Esther (9:2):

נִקְהֲלוּ הַיְּהוּדִים בְּעָרֵיהֶם, בְּכָל-מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ, לִשְׁלֹחַ יָד, בִּמְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתָם; וְאִישׁ לֹא-עָמַד לִפְנֵיהֶם, כִּי-נָפַל פַּחְדָּם עַל-כָּל-הָעַמִּים. the Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt; and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them was fallen upon all the peoples.

Now, ‘nahafokh hu’ is somewhat more precisely translated: ‘it was turned over’, and Purim has come to be the topsy-turvy Jewish holiday of reversals, in which everything is not what it seems, but rather its opposite. Purim represents the impossible becoming miraculously possible.


The Jerusalem winter skies

In Israel, the winter season is rainy, and the Jerusalem skies fill with clouds, which, in turn, produce some majestic sunsets.

Several weeks ago, my six-year-old and I were returning home from the store in the early evening and Jerusalem’s creamy clouds caught our attention. Not much for photography, I nonetheless put down the groceries and pulled out my smartphone to capture the moment.

The most fantastic aspect of those particular clouds in that particular sunset for me was what they looked like upside down. With a bit of fiddling in Microsoft Paint, I managed to flip the photograph upside down and zoom in on the clouds between the building and lamp post. To my eye, the picture looked just like the setting sun reflecting off of a foamy sea.

sun sparkles on clouds
sea foam glistens overhead
one need only see

d’Verse

Middles & Turns

The d’Verse prompt was to look to our [poems’] middles and see if we can build in dramatic turns, open a new window, pick a sonnet or a haiku, write in blank verse or pentameter, just show us your best turns.

Green, Brown, or: Blue

A ‘Magnetic Poem’ haiku

Wanna try? Click here.

green moss river winds
over earthly ancient brown
for bright breezy blue

Notes

  • For this poem, I stuck with the ‘Nature Poet’ virtual magnet set and with the haiku form again because they are outside of my wheelhouse;
  • Still, having said that, this is definitely getting easier for me;
  • Also, if the virtual magnets do remain the same every week, I might switch to another set and/or form… we’ll see.

Wind, or: Sun

A ‘Magnetic Poem’ haiku

Wanna try? Click here.

winter wind rustles
full freshly frosted flower
in the soon spring sun

Notes

  • I am still sticking with the ‘Nature Poet’ virtual magnet set and with the haiku form because I remain uncomfortable with these;
  • Having said that, this particular haiku came together fairly quickly for me (well, relatively);
  • It seems (although I could be mistaken) that the magnets available in each virtual set remain the same every week…

Twitter poetry 2021: Week 7

My blogger-poet-friend Ingrid inspired me to create a Twitter account and start writing #APoemADay, which I began on January 1, 2021.

I do think think that I’m growing as a result of this challenge, but part of the challenge is the repetitive the repetitive the repetitive nature of the daily goal that Ingrid and I have set for ourselves. I think we’re both getting a bit weary of this, but so far we’re both still in the race!

I’m not sure if I will stick to the following or not (probably not), but it has struck me that writing haikus might be an easy[er] way of keeping pace in this marathon. Also, since I’ve started writing haikus with “Magnetic Poetry”, I’ve been including them on my Twitter account too. Anyway…

Below is my 7th week of Twitter poems:

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem,
David