Tag Archive | #TankaTuesday

#Tastetherainbow with Thursday Doors

doors by Susan Kelly

suspended
between, doors open
to flowers–
play of pink
mixed with marigold—thresholds
inviting blue skies

A shadorma for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Color Poetry writing prompt and Dan Antion’s Thursday Doors 2022 Writing Challenge. For today, I’ve chosen these colorful doors from Susan Kelly. You can see photos of all the doors available to write about here.

Here’s some colorful doors I saw recently at PS 84, on West 92nd Street.

And some blossoms in Riverside Park.

May 2022

we mark time
with numbers, naming
circles, lines–
converged
and then divided—each month
we begin again,

ending the
previous parcel
of days in
our minds—when
in fact they overlap—clouds,
sun, showers, flowers

A small shadorma chain for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme of beginnings and endings, picked by Yvette M. Calleiro. I meant to do something completely different with the circles of flowers I cut out, and perhaps I’ll explore that idea later. I got distracted with layering them in different ways.

When I was out walking yesterday I discovered a community garden on West 90th Street–full of tulips. I’ll be visiting it again, to see what’s in bloom in the coming months.

Touch of Gold (Thursday Doors)

Dazzled by the promise of gold
the touch of Midas casts its net–
a hand that remains always cold
locked in a prison of regret.

Segregated behind closed doors
accruing unpayable debt–
too haunted to go anywhere–
locked in a prison of regret.

Tarnished by jealousy’s blindness
darkness grows, becomes a death threat–
drinking and drugs lead to madness
locked in a prison of regret.

I took these photos of the entrance to 57 West 57th Street after a dactor’s appointment there–the building was constructed to be, and still is, primarily medical offices. I was especially taken by the griffin-like creatures at the top of the arch and the scale stonework surround. The patterning above the door is quite wonderful too. I couldn’t quite get the entire door into the close up–I would have had to step out into traffic, unfortunately.

When I looked for the history of the building, I found a number of strange tales were attached to it. Soon after the Medical Arts Sanitarium opened in 1928 on the 14th floor, a patient threw herself out a window.

But the penthouse, which for some reason contained living quarters, has had only tragedy attached to it from start to finish. The details are hazy–I found a number of slightly different versions of the story online–but the first owner, Edna Champion, was a gold digger whose old and very wealthy husband conveniently died in Paris after a violent altercation with her lover, Charles Brazelle. Edna and Charles moved to New York; Edna bought the entire Medical Arts Building with part of her inherited riches so she and Charles could occupy the penthouse.

Needless to say it did not end well. The relationship descended into chaos–and Edna was either murdered by Charles or died of drugs and drink (or both). One of her bodyguards then tossed Charles out a window to his parallel death.

A later tenancy by Carlton Alsop also ended badly. The place was said to be haunted, and his new wife left within a year. Alsop later had a mental breakdown himself, and eventually ended up as a patient in one of the medical facilities in the building below.

The penthouse had a new brief life as an art gallery opening in 2011, but it closed after several years. I could find no information on any current residents there. But the rest of the building still houses medical offices.

Here’s a bit of a happier gold–signs of spring in Central Park. Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt is once again a color theme. I chose gold, and wrote a kyrielle. It’s one of the prompt forms from Muri’s April Scavenger Hunt–I’m doing NaPoWriMo at kblog but thought I’d slip one of them in here.

You can read more about the history and see more photos of 57 West 57 Street here.

And as always Dan Antion is the host of Thursday Doors.

And I couldn’t resist including the great Shirley Bassey.

Drawing a Door for Thursday Doors

The paper waits.
There’s nothing on it yet.
I print the photo,
measure in my mind
where to place the door.
Is that the focal point of my drawing,
or is it the guardian, the mirror?

The paper waits.
With tentative lines,
my pencil begins.
Lines, circles and squares
fill in the details.
And then with pen in hand I scribble ink–
and gradually a form starts to  appear.

I’ll be the first to admit that architecture is not my artistic forte. Still, since Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt was to share a photo from your day and write a poetic accompaniment, I decided to give it a try for my Thursday Door. The poetic form I used was Duodora.

I don’t always pencil in things first, but in this case it seemed necessary if I wanted any kind of successful result. The proportions are off, but you can definitely tell it’s a door.

And you might even recognize it as the side door to the Lucerne Hotel, on West 79th Street. The entrance is quite wonderful too, but I’ll need to get up early to try to capture it when there’s not much traffic, as I need to take the photo from across the street. The Lucerne was used, controversially, as a shelter for the homeless during the Covid lockdown, but I think now it’s back to just being a hotel. You can read a bit more about its history here.

Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Volodymyr (Thursday Doors)

Stop war.  Help.
Where to go?
The life left.

Tried to flee.
Stop war.  Help.
For what?  What?

So much grief.
Can’t go back.
Stop war.  Help.

I wanted to wait until the scaffolding on the left side came down to photograph St. Volodymyr, but now seems like the time to look at its front door, scaffolding or not.

The door is a simple one, of plain wood with lace curtains, in contrast to the ornate building itself. The interior is quite spectacular, to judge from the photos here. St. Volodymyr “was first constructed in 1894-96 to be a synagogue by noted New York architect Arnold W. Brunner and became a church in 1958.”

There was an interfaith prayer service held at the cathedral yesterday, attended by Gov. Kathy Hochul and other religious and political dignitaries.

Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt this week was to Create Your Own Syllabic Form. I’m calling mine “333”:
3 verses/3 lines in each verse/3 one-syllable words in each line
Line one repeats as line 2 in second verse and line 3 in third verse

The words in my poem were taken from interviews with Ukrainian refugees and inspired by the signs on St Volodymyr’s door.

Dan Antion hosts Thursday Doors here.

Green (Thursday Doors)

Childhood doors–
half-remembered in
side faded
memories–
innocent of the leaving
that has no return.

You know the
adage—when one door
closes
…but
it’s true, this
world contains millions of doors–
they are everywhere.

I still greet
each new door with hope–
a portal
surrounded
by unjaded promises–
freshly painted dreams.

Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt of the color green led me to look through my files for green doors. I love the detail on both the entrance to the building above, and its door.

I’ve never lived behind a green door, but this one, a few steps down, in inviting.

I like the grand surround to this door, especially when contrasted with the simplicity of its brick house.

Dan Antion hosts Thursday Doors here.

My poem is a shadorma chain. I can’t help it, it’s my favorite form.

Recessed Transitions (Thursday Doors)

in and out
linger in passing–
thresholded

direction hinges
on destination

This week I’m showing some recessed doors. They make for handsome entrances. I’m not sure what the turquoise stripe at the top is in the doorway above. It looks like a reflection of some sort–I’ll have to look for this doorway again.

The doorway below has interesting brickwork.

The poetic theme this week for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday is transitions, selected by Ken Gierke (Rivrvlogr). Perfect for any doorway.

Here’s some information on the organization that owns The Three Arts Club building, above. “West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH) was formed in 1976 by a coalition of social service agencies, religious institutions, and community organizations. Together we worked to create a new form of housing – one that would meet the diverse needs of older people and persons living with special needs.” I like the way their buildings are integrated into the neighborhood. There is certainly a great need for this kind of housing.

You can see more doors, hosted by Dan Antion, here.

Enchanted (Thursday Doors)

It looks like
long ago and
far away,
waiting for once
upon a
time—shall we?—it
seems to be expecting us.

Diana Peach provided the above image for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday which, of course, was perfect for Thursday Doors. I wrote my poem, a Whitney (3/4/3/4/3/4/7) to her image and then looked in my door photo archive for suitable doors to match. I was enchanted by the way the top door matched so beautifully its gate.

This door has always seemed mysterious to me. Where does the shadowy staircase inside lead?

And for some reason this door always makes me think of Hobbits. Plenty of enchantment there.

Dan Antion is the host of Thursday Doors–you can visit them all and add your own here.

Rufous Treepie (Draw a Bird Day)

In your native landscape
they call you taka chor
always wanting more, more–
objects, glitter

Filling trees with loud calls,
attention-seeking mein–
to be both heard and seen–
crow to the core

The rufous treepie, a long-tailed bird native to India and southeast Asia, is known locally as taka chor, or “coin stealer”. Like all corvids, it loves shiny objects, and has no misgivings about taking anything that catches its eye.

Also, like all crows, it will eat pretty much anything, and is intelligent, adaptable, and opportunistic.

Primarily arboreal, it feeds mostly among the forest cover, and will often hunt with other bird species to flush out more insects from the trees. As its woodland habitat decreases, however, it has learned to live in urban parks and yards, and has no problem eating discarded human food or road kill, if that’s what’s available.

I chose the rufous treepie while looking for orange and black birds in honor of the Year of the Tiger. That may be my bird theme for the year–there are many to choose from.

The poem is an abhanga for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. Appropriately, an Indian poetic form.

The top bird was done with brush and ink, the middle one is neocolors, and the bottom one is colored pencil with ink outlines–I found a feather quill pen I bought years ago in a box. It’s a bit tricky to use, and I’m out of practice. But I enjoyed working with it again.

Lions in Winter (Thursday Doors)

touch of red
a circle of warmth
offsets grey

I haven’t been taking many photos in the last month–it’s been rainy and gloomy–but this door caught my eye. I also took a few photos when I walked through Central Park to the dentist the last week in December. Luckily I made it home just before it started to rain.

black branches
pattern across clouds
wintering

paths become
unfamiliar, raw,
reseasoned

Haiku written for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday challange.

You can see more doors and join with your own here.