NaBloPoMo: When is a Tweet Not a Tweet or a Cormorant Not a Cormorant? When One is the Number of Syllables in an Elizabethan Sonnet and the Other is an Anhinga. (A 420 CHARACTER, 9-LINE POEM)

When is a Tweet Not a Tweet or a Cormorant Not a Cormorant? When One is the Number of Syllables in an Elizabethan Sonnet and the Other is an Anhinga. (A 420 CHARACTER, 9-LINE POEM BY PATTY)

Double-crested Cormorant

Names don’t matter as much as what things ARE:

So, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,”

a Tweet is also the # of syllables in a sonnet*–or IS a sonnet–

and a cormorant is really an anhinga

who tosses & juggles fish so as to swallow it headfirst,

which is what I do when I juxtapose disparate ideas within 420 characters,

a # that USED to be the limit on Facebook “Updates”

but now I them call poems.



* THIS IS BILLY COLLINS commenting on himself and SOCIAL MEDIA (it’s a quote I caught in the NYT and reminded me of the equality of numbers twixt the sonnet syllable count and the Tweet.): “I can proudly say that I’ve never tweeted, but I am struck by the apparent coincidence of the 140 characters — sounds like a Balzac novel — and the 140 syllables in the Elizabethan sonnet. Instead of tweeting that you had great pizza tonight, why not read some haiku byBuson? Doesn’t poetry seem just right for our ever shrinking attention spans?”




My neighborhood hotspot has small plates and long tables. Upbeat, hassle-free, welcoming. It’s where my writing group meets.




Throughout the winter months, those ferociously l-o-n-g winter months,


when the wind blows and the snow falls and there’s not a hint of spring in the air, picture windows draw in even the palest slant of light ~ the next best thing to being outside.



So bask in the magic, here’s how life is lived around the communal table ~


Mary, Patty, Sandy, Ency, Ronnie, Sue and Toni in spiritu


To talk about writing, chuckle, chortle, and guffaw





… and lots and lots of …





Droll well-informed discourse about almost drowning in a brook to save a dog, traveling with zip lock bags for underwear and barfing, migranes, bagels with peanut butter, Owl by Ellen Bryant Voigt, the word obligato*, Gertrude Stein who made a fetish of repetition, the word obligato*, (interlude ~ a swoosh of nostalgia), visual pixels, Medicine Wheel, Facebook, working at home, deadlines, lyrical responses to readings, the word obligato*, a writing course, sestinas, Isabel’s first chapter, Ted Kooser, poetry and porcelain thrones.

*At some point in the conversation, it’s appears that the group became fixated on this word. Anyone wish to contest this? My best guess ~ it probably happened.

Toni 3/13/13

 *obbligato |ˌäbləˈgätō|(also obligato )noun ( pl. obbligatos or obbligati |-ˈgätē| ) [ usu. with or as modifier ]an instrumental part, typically distinctive in effect, that is integral to a piece of music and should not be omitted in performance.ORIGIN Italian, literally ‘obligatory,’ from Latin obligatus, past participle of obligare (see oblige)

Our Country Could Fix What Needs Fixing Faster If the 113th Stayed in Washington; 90% of What It’s All About is Showing Up (Woody, did you say this?) Be like the birds; nap; don’t vacation. (Another 420 Character Bird to People 9-Liner)

Fearful of enemies, ye of the 113th?

Relax and you’ll produce more says NYT;

this means SHORT NAPS,

not “fact-finding” in Turks and Caicos.

1 hour’s nap helps brains as well as 8 hours sleep.

Be like the birds:

They do it all with short bursts of rest, heads just tucked on their backs,

always alert, and ready to move on, sleeping in the same area they work.

So, Congress, no snooze alarms, sleep lightly, have no fear.

PATTY 2/10/13

What Do Nuts, Ticks, Disease, and White-Footed Mice Have to Do with Global Warming and Republicans? Another 9-Liner in 420 Characters.

I watch acorns (and birds). The fewer the acorns, the fewer the white-footed mice,

so Borrelia burgodorferi-infected black-legged ticks roam further afield

so to speak

for their blood meal,

which explains why we birders are getting tons of tick bites and Lyme Disease this year.

It’s all connected, like with global warming.

Yet 70% of Tea Party Republicans say there’s no evidence of global warming.


so to speak.

Patty 8/25/12


ticks at different life stages



Toilet Training for the Red-Shouldered Hawks and How This Connects to 9 Straight 110 Degree Days in Phoenix: Another 420 Character 9-Liner.

5-day old Red-shouldered Hawks are toilet trained:

they shoot their feces over the nest edge.

So after days of hot,

I’m in the cooler woods

hunting for bird poop on the ground; sure sign of an active nest.

Instead I find scores of tiny deer tracks,

and I sit down to marvel at this world of ours

and worry about the string of 9 straight days of 110 degrees in Phoenix.

We need a toilet-training lesson from the hawks.

Patty 8/16.12

Joshua Lott for NYT


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