diane mayr, the cat’s meow

#6 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2011.


Meow, meow, purrrrrrrrrrrr . . .

The one and only Diane Mayr, Kurious Kitty herself, has just padded into the kitchen! Lithe and sleek in her silken coat, this fastidious feline, who loves a good haiga as much as prime albacore tuna, is treating us to a mini feast — a little sweet, a little piquant.

Her poem was written during the football season in the fall of 2009. You know how sometimes you’re suddenly reminded of something from the past you thought (or wished) you’d long forgotten? Yeah, that. There all along, whether you like it or not, popping up when you least expect it.

Diane’s high school yearbook photo — what a beauty!

by Diane Mayr

I know I wrote a poem about that
thing that happened back when I
was in high school, you know —
"that thing." I’m sure it happened
to you, too, some comparable
humiliation, violation, embarrassment,
which has stuck with you for more
decades than you’d care to admit.

I’ll find that poem and share
it with you if you’ll share your
poem with me. What, you don’t
have a poem? Oh, I bet it’s there.
Just like a girl in a birthday cake
who waits for the right moment
to jump out and yell "Surprise!"
Think of yourself as the cake.

© 2009 Diane Mayr. All rights reserved.

Diane: High school was a long time ago, and yet, I can still feel that hand, from under the bleachers, that grabbed a part of my anatomy. ‘Nuf’ said.


Oh, the joys of high school! Personally, I would not like to repeat it, but embedded memories (especially unpleasant or painful ones), trigger poems or stories that prove especially cathartic for the writer and quite often, reassuring for the reader.

Now that she’s closed her yearbook, Diane is happy to share the recipe for those yummy cookies pictured in the haiga. They’re her favorite!

Diane: The recipe originally came from a local cookbook. I changed it from cake-like to chewy, so I guess it’s been mine for the past 20 years. Sometimes I use brown sugar for half the sugar, vanilla extract instead of almond extract, and chopped pecans instead of almonds for more of a butterscotch bar. Other times I mix in mini chips and some coconut. It’s so very versatile, super simple, yet good!


2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup almonds (slivered, chopped, or sliced), divided

Mix together the first 6 ingredients (batter will be very thick). Mix in half the almonds. Spread evenly in a 9 x 13 inch, lightly greased pan. Press remaining almonds into the top. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

And just because she’s a totally kool kitty, Diane made another haiga:


Well, I can’t very well let that go without serving up these. Don’t you just love the word, "snickerdoodle"?

Pinch My Salt/flickr


Diane Mayr is a public librarian from New Hampshire (cold country!) who writes picture books, poetry, nonfiction, and magazine articles for adults and children. Her recent picture books include Run, Turkey, Run! (Walker, 2007), Out and About at the Apple Orchard (Picture Window Books, 2003), and Littlebat’s Halloween Story (Albert Whitman, 2001). With The Write Sisters, she’s working on the "Women of — " Series published by Apprentice Shop Books. Her magazine pieces for children have appeared in Boy’s Quest and Ladybug.

Diane is especially fond of writing haiku, which she regularly shares at Random Noodling (is that the best blog name or what?). Some of her haiku have been published in The Christian Science Monitor, the annual Haiku Society of America member anthologies, and in the anthology, Stories from Where We Live: The North Atlantic Coast. Besides Random Noodling and The Write Sisters, this Blog Queen can also be found online at Kurious Kitty’s Kurio Kabinet (her library blog) and Kurious K’s Kwotes. Her official website blog is here.

Kool Kat tidbits: Diane’s parents owned an ice cream store, so she scooped a lot of ice cream and made a lot of shakes growing up. Yum! And, how much do I love that her favorite childhood book is
Eloise in Paris? Très bien! Diane and her cats, Smudge and Skippy, also like Millions of Cats. Purrfect!

Thanks, Diane. It was fun having a random noodler snickerdoodling with us today!

♥ Previous Potluck Poets: April Halprin Wayland, Carol WeisJoAnn Early Macken, Heidi Mordhorst.

Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

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