Wind eye dazzled

tanka with kigo
Annette Marie Hyder

sunset paints windows
of the apartment building,
transforms rows of glass

into art on the tall walls:
a reflecting gallery


Windows: for climbing as well as looking out of, for closing against the cold, for fastening against the night, for surveillance out of and for peeking into. When the colors from a sunset dazzle windowpanes, transforming them into works of art hung on the sides of buildings, I always think of the origin of the word window:

From Wikipedia

The word Window originates from the Old Norse ‘vindauga’, from ‘vindr –wind’ and ‘auga – eye’, i.e. “wind eye“. In Norwegian Nynorskand Icelandic the Old Norse form has survived to this day (in Icelandic only as a less used synonym to gluggi), in Swedish the word vindöga remains as a term for a hole through the roof of a hut, and in the Danish language ‘vindue’ and Norwegian Bokmål ‘vindu’, the direct link to ‘eye’ is lost,just like for ‘window’. The Danish (but not the Bokmål) word is pronounced fairly similar to window.

Window is first recorded in the early 13th century, and originally referred to an unglazed hole in a roof. Window replaced the Old English‘eagþyrl’, which literally means ‘eye-hole,’ and ‘eagduru’ ‘eye-door’.Many Germanic languages however adopted the Latin word ‘fenestra’ to describe a window with glass, such as standard Swedish ‘fönster’, or German ‘Fenster’. The use of window in English is probably due to the Scandinavian influence on the English language by means of loanwords during the Viking Age. In English the word fenester was used as a parallel until the mid-1700s and fenestration is still used to describe the arrangement of windows within a facade.

From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, Window, n. [ G. The vulgar pronunciation is windor, as if from the Welsh gwyntdor, wind-door.] 

Links of interest

Throughout history, whether primitive holes in the wall,  mullioned lead and glass windows, paper windows (China, Korea and Japan), flattened pieces of translucent animal horn (14th century Northern Britain), or plates of thinly sliced marble, windows have protected the inhabitants from the elements and transmitted light. Wikipedia

The stained glass windows of a certain church came to life at night in George Macdonald’s At the Back of the North Wind. Click here for free (in the United States) At the Back of the North Wind eBook formats at The Gutenberg Project, or here for editions through

According to Acts 20:7-12, during Paul’s third journey he preached an exceptionally long sermon in Traos. A young man, sitting in an upstairs window sill, went to sleep and fell out the window. He was thought to be dead, but Paul revived him.

The nine most famous windows in history
Windows on the World Restaurant
Images of famous windows

April issue of Empowerment4Women Magazine

Artwork by EmilyHabermehl

The new issue of Empowerment4Women Magazine is up! Check out this awesome issue filled with wit and wisdom from poets and writers and art that kisses your eyes.

I have four poems in this issue: Branches fret, Dark Wings on White Skies, Spirits on the Wind and Skeleton Keys (photo credit Jasmine Rain Hyder), and a photoem entitled Spring Tanka.

There are new Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know photoems up:  78. Jessie, 79. Helen, 80. Nicole, 81. Michelle, 82. Ren, 83. Belinda, 84. Marysia, 85. Jane.

In addition to viewing their photoems at the Photoem Gallery at Empowerment4Women Magazine, you can view them at the project site at (just click on any photoem to enlarge and search by number) and check out these contributor’s websites:

Jessie Carty’s blog and Referential Magazine
Helen Losse’s Windows Toward the World and Dead Mule School of Southern Literature

Damp spring

Image Public Domain, Gutenberg Project

Annette Marie Hyder

this weather — so damp —
it’s a postage stamp licked a little
too enthusiastically
and affixed to the envelope
that holds the letter
just begging Spring to come
her presence is sorely missed

roots are the sprawling cursive
writing that spells out her address
the smudges are impatience
red wax of hope’s been sealed
and pressed

Link of interest:
Do I Need an Umbrella?

little match girl

By Annette Marie Hyder

little ragamuffin girl
selling matches in the cold
each match a story that flares briefly
against the bold

if matches are stories
in this analogy
it doesn’t mean they don’t have
starving for her art
she watches

light their cigarettes,
their candles and lamps
and fireplace kindling
with her wares

she has all she needs
to start a fire of her own
but can’t get past peddling
her gift
down to the bone

she imagines pinching
blue, pinching orange
off the match heads
like pinching daisies off
their stems

tossing lit ones like small
gem-struck birds
to spread their ember wings
and float up
or sizzle on the ground —
taillights of afterthought

she lights the nights
in other’s lives
while window pressing with her nose
and standing on her tippy-toes

while she is living vicariously
her own spark blows out

205th Birthday of Hans Christian Andersen

Photo by Franz Hanfstaengl, Public Domain

Benjamin W. Wells described Hans Christian Andersen (rather unkindly I think) thusly:

In personal appearance he was limp, ungainly, awkward, and odd, with long lean limbs, broad flat hands, and feet of striking size. His eyes were small and deep-set, his nose very large, his neck very long; but he masked his defects by studied care in dress, and always fancied he looked distinguished, delighting to display his numerous decorations on his evening dress in complacent profusion.

But it is not for the size of his nose or the cut of his suit that he is remembered. It is for the many stories and characters he created: The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Ugly Duckling, The Nightingale, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Match Girl, The Little Mermaid,Thumbelina,The Snow Queen, and many more — Hans Christian Andersen’s literary creations have become bywords and symbols that immediately convey such diverse  archetypes as the outsider, the brave and noble warrior, sycophantic yessing subordinates, unattainable perfection and the self-sacrificing heroine.

Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday is also celebrated as International Children’s Book Day. You can read about  ICBD here

Here’s a poem in celebration of the 205th birthday of Hans Christian Anderson and some great links that give a closer reading of the page that was his life.

Image courtesy of toomuchcoffee at DevianArt

Ugly Duckling
From the book The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow (and Other Stories)
Annette Marie Hyder

It never stops
amazing me
how my insecurities
and needy-needs
work magic
every time and always
on the worst —
feathering regal prime prince swans
before my myth-taken eyes
from the ugliest Ugly Duckings

Links of interest:

Hans Christian Andersen: Father of the Modern Fairy Tale (Excellent article by Terri Windling)
Hans Christian Andersen stories at The Gutenberg Project
Wikipedia entry for Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales on postage stamps (From around the world and quite beautiful. Click on country link and then on stamp to enlarge.)
The Home of Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen Books at

Happy National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month and here is a poem to celebrate that and the cheerful sunshine streaming through my windows:

lemon juice invisible ink
Annette Marie Hyder

kittens play in yellow bars of sunshine —
the heat shows up all the faintest squiggles and spots
on their
glossy, secret-code fur

Links of interest:

How to make invisible ink
The color yellow
National Poetry Month

Poem a day

Interested in writing a poem a day? Over at the Poetic Asides blog there’s a month long project with the aim of participants doing that very thing (or at least to have fun trying).  From Robert at Poetic Asides:

basics: I provide a prompt and sample poem each morning (Georgia, USA,
time). Then, poets write their poems in response to the prompt. Poets
from all over the world can (and have in the past) participate. There is
no fee, no registration, no pressure. This challenge is all about
writing poetry and having fun.

Those who have participated in the
past have ranged from poets who have published multiple collections to
writers who have never written poetry before. It’s also included many
poets who haven’t written poetry in years. And many poems written for
these challenges have then gone on to be published in poetry journals
and magazines.