Archives for category: ME, IN A HAT

white
My Felt Hat
by Lynn White

Felt hats have a long history,
or so I’m told.
Back even to the Romans.
Back to St Clement.
Back to medieval Nurnberg.
Back to the Roaring Twenties
and the trilbies, bowlers and cloches.
Perhaps some creative enough
to be the product of someone’s
fired-up imagination.
Maybe some were made in Tallinn,
fairy tale hats from a fairy tale place.
Creativity without bounds.
Such hats are made there now
and as a hat fanatic,
of course I have one.
I thought the dye might run in the rain
and cause it to lose its crowning glory,
in woad-like streaks down my face.
But it hasn’t happened.
I thought it would fail to spring back
into its bowler shape when squashed.
But it hasn’t happened.
It’s still a crowning glory,
my beautiful felt hat.

PHOTO: The author at home on her return from Tallinn, Estonia, in 2014, wearing her felt hat!

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: On a visit to Tallinn while on holiday, I stumbled upon the shop and felt workshop of Elvira Liiver. It’s a paradise for hat lovers and is the inspiration for this poem.

white1-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition 2014. This and many other poems have been published in recent anthologies, including Stacey Savage’s We Are Poetry: An Anthology of Love Poems, Community Arts Ink’s Reclaiming Our Voices, Vagabond Press’s The Border Crossed Us, Civilised Beasts and Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones from Weasel Press, Alice in Wonderland Anthology from Silver Birch Press, and many other rather excellent online and print journals. Visit her on facebook and at lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com.

toque
Silken Pink Toque
by Amanda Eifert

Wearing warm hat, soft silk wool, deny twirls
Of snow’s sharp whirls; blizzard of snowflakes fat.
Cruel wind it slaps me, forceful bitter swirls.
Winter proffers ice kiss; my toque I clasp.
And my prospering mind alters.
Wind gives me welts; I sigh, offer
More of myself, facets which smelt.
Toque softness felt; cold melts.
Though morning dealt rough day, I belt
Tune that I felt inside; toque dwells,
On blond hair well, it’s suits pastel —
Silken pink hat, with bells.
You’ll hear me jingle, my soft smile compels.
I’m hear enough, with tired thoughts —mingling;
Crowded shop, singing their need for coffee,
Here too in hat, a silent voice ringing.
Outside it swirls snow, in pink toque feel “all that,”
Happy not flat or bored, mind always awhirl.
Drink tea, blond curls tucked under favourite hat.
Can just relax, my toque comfort unfurls.

PHOTO: Pink cap, found at asos.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The poem is a La Jemme poem. Visit shadowpoetry.com to find out more about the La Jemme form of poetry. Also, in Canada, toque is the word we use for a knitted hat or beanie. The word “welts” (line 6) refers to an allergic reaction I have to the cold and wind. I experience it often in winter. It doesn’t hurt so much as look bad, my face mostly feels numb. The welts eventually go away inside.

elfert-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amanda Eifert is a writer and blogger in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She has poetry and short fiction published online for SpillWords Magazine and SickLitMagazine. She has an English BA and has applied to an MFA program in Creative Writing. You can visit her blog at mandibelle16.wordpress.com to see where most of her work develops. She also conducts  writer/blogger interviews on her blog and does a variety of other writing.

gary_heath_1981
I Tip My Cap To Hats
by G. Louis Heath

I am not wearing a hat in my photo, but
a cap. So here goes my shot at Silver

Birch Press fame in contravention of the
diction of hat: A bright day over Lake

Superior bathes my dissident headgear in
brisk, fresh swaths of soft electric white

on the campus by that Great Lake. I stand
by a birch on the U of M campus. (My neurons

also stand here, not at ease like me, but at full
attention, saluting the rare nice day.) And by M,

I don’t mean Michigan, but the Land of 10,000
Lakes that vie for attention with the greatest of

them all. It is not a silver birch I stand by, just a
standard white birch whose bark the Ashinaabe

peel off and craft into baskets that express the soul of
a people. As the weather changes over Duluth, I must

forsooth take my birch curtain call and end this claim
to poetry by tipping my cap to all the hats of this land.

PHOTO: The author in his Duluth cap (summer, 1981).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  I wore my plaid “cabbie cap” during my three summers, 1979-1981, at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Viewing the photo set off a chain of memories about those summers. At first hesitant to write about a cap in the “Me, In A Hat” series, my first creative process was to re-define “hat” to include my “cap.” Then I harked to my rush of nostalgia by writing the above poem.

g-louis-heath

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, 1969, is Emeritus Professor, Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. He enjoys reading his poems at open mics. He often hikes along the Mississippi River, stopping to work on a poem he pulls from his back pocket, weather permitting. His books include Leaves Of Maple: An Illinois State University Professor’s Memoir of Seven Summers’ Teaching in Canadian Universities, 1972-1978, Long Dark River Casino, and Redbird Prof: Poems Of A Normal U, 1969-1981. He has published poems in a wide array of journals.

cunningham

Winged Helmet
by Isobel Cunningham

I got a bike for Christmas when I was ten years old. After a spectacular head-over- heels crash into a ditch full of stinging nettles I abandoned it. My bike was forgotten in the flurry of our family’s preparation for immigration to Canada. Montreal’s hilly terrain and city traffic made my parents understandably reluctant to get me another bike.   Years passed and in spite of lessons from friends and a sporty ex-husband, it seemed like a lost cause.

Last summer I met a man who heard my profound frustration at my failure. “I don’t know what it would take to get me on a bike again,”I told him.

We went for brunch one Sunday morning. “Hey a bike rental! With tandems! Let’s give it a try.” Was it the effect of two mimosas or his hopeful smile that made me fight down my panic? Joe introduced me to Maria, the young manager of the shop. They exchanged a few words in Spanish and she gave me a helmet.  “This is a magic helmet,” she whispered. “I’ll just adjust the strap.” I was shaking, but I decided to believe in the magic of the helmet. “Hermes’s helmet,” I silently dubbed it. How could I fall with Hermes’s helmet on my head? Joe’s broad back was before me on the tandem. I clutched the handlebars, we pushed down together on the right pedals and off we went!

I was on a bike, gliding along the path beside the Lachine Canal! I relaxed in the otherworldly protection of the shiny black helmet.  A long pleasant ride ended with warm congratulations from Maria and a photo shoot. Almost sixty years since I last rode a bike! There are all kinds of magic, after all.

PHOTO: The author in her Winged Helmet (September 25, 2016 at the Lachine Canal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When people saw the picture of me on a bike they gasped. My inability to ride a bike had always been met with incredulity from strangers and mystified resignation from friends. I could hardly believe it myself when I felt the wind in my face and saw the canal slipping by on that sunny Sunday this past fall. The “Magic Helmet” imbued me with courage, with confidence.  Later, I was delighted when my friend and the playful manager of the bike rental opened up about the kind ruse they had played on me. This is my first opportunity to explain how a long-standing fear was banished….as if by magic!

cunningham2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Isobel Cunningham writes poetry and short fiction. She published a book of poetry in 2015 and is working on a collection of short stories. A volunteer docent at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, she loves the outdoors and is a passionate gardener.

langer1
Skiing Attire
by Mary Langer Thompson

On that first Thanksgiving
with my new spouse,
I asked, “Don’t they stop this thing
to let you off?”
”No, you ski off,” he answered.
But I didn’t tilt those boards up fast enough
and my furry snow hat
that I bought to keep warm and look cute
never did provide padding in the right spots.

PHOTO: The author in her fur hat in Big Bear, California.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Langer Thompson writes poetry, articles, short stories, and children’s books. A retired school principal, she now writes daily in her home in Apple Valley, California. She’s been married to her “spouse,” Dave, for 45 years, but has never learned to ski.

banning2.jpg

DIY Bride
by Sheila Scobba Banning

The first hat I ever made was the one that I wore to be married. There are plenty of frothy bits of net and feather on the market now, but in 1993, the only bridal hat available was plain white straw with a flipped up cowboy brim. Since my wedding would be held on a beach in Southern California, that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

I wear hats most days, and always for special occasions, so it was unthinkable that I would be hatless for my own wedding. Hats and fascinators are more than accessories to me, they are a celebration of life. People who know me are perplexed and disappointed any time my head is unadorned. From my childhood daisy-covered Easter hat to the black beret with ostrich plume I wore for my college yearbook photo, hats have always been with me.

Channeling Scarlett O’Hara, I decided to use the pieces left over from the alterations on my wedding dress to make a matching hat. The foot of tulle and ribbon-trimmed train cut from the bottom of my dress and the crocheted lace trim I had removed from the sleeves provided most of the material. I began with my vision of a medium-brimmed portrait-style hat set at an angle with a partial veil that could be lifted. Pinning the white sinamay oval to a styrofoam head, I started building, using the lace to outline the open-weave base, adding a ruffle and fan at the back and crafting a tulle rose for the up-tilt side.

For the ceremony, I added a fresh pink rose beside the one in tulle. At my musical cue, I adjusted the hatpin and walked toward my husband, the veil ending just above my smile.

PHOTO: Here comes the bride. Newport Beach, California, 1993. Photo by Figge Photography.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I love hats! I collect both vintage and modern hats, and I make fascinators and hats for weddings, parties, and charity events. I really do wear a hat or fascinator almost every day, with enough in my closet (or spilling out) to fill out nearly a full year without repeating. This was a tough prompt mainly because of all the hats I might have chosen to write about.

banning1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Sheila Scobba Banning
 is the author of  Terroir,  Intersections, and the YA Carter Bros mystery series as well as award-winning short fiction and  essay. She throws fabulous parties, wears vintage clothes, and creates and collects hats and fascinators. Sheila lives in California with her husband, sons, cats, reptiles, and the occasional stray.

rohm
Trying on Hats
by Esther Rohm

What we need is a proper tea party,
she says. Feather toques,

candle shades, crystal bowls of white flowers
to take some time off from our roles as young wives

playing house with our ill-fitting husbands.
She says we’ve arrived at the wrong spot in time,

Victorian times would suit better.
I float through her measurements,

learn antique etiquette,
go by the name she says suits me the best,

look backwards to meet with her camera’s approval,
play dress-up in an ill-fitting hat.

PHOTO: The author dressed for a tea party (Medway, Ohio 1998).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Young adulthood doesn’t know it’s a close cousin to childhood. This call for submissions reminded me of when I dressed up for a tea party with my friend, and what I notice from this distance is how young we were and how little we yet knew about ourselves.

rohmcurrentbw1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Rohm is fascinated by human beings. She writes poetry, fiction, and fantasy while undercover as an office worker. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she was kidnapped by mischievous sprites and deposited in Ohio, where she continues to live. Her work has appeared in Silver Birch Press, Dime Show Review, and A Journey of Words (Scout Media, 2016). Follow her at facebook.com/esther.rohm or read her and her husband’s joint blog at gypsyhobbit.blogspot.com.

hat
Akin to a crown
by Vijaya Gowrisankar

The big day for the school play dawned
The stage was all set, the chairs arranged
The costumes were given to each of us
I was dressed in my princess dress and
I was handed a pretty, pink princess hat

It was a play that showed the essence of cultures,
as an Indian princess met an English princess
The hat transformed my character – It made me
feel demure, yet proud. It was lightweight,
a snug fit, a perfect match with my pink frock

The beautiful bow complimented the frills of my frock
Every movement of the hat made me feel carefree
It felt like a crown and boosted my confidence
I felt loved and cherished from beneath the brim
I forgot my nervousness and the lines flowed

For a girl, who struggled with her script at each
rehearsal – The amazing feeling of wearing a hat
transformed my anxiety into excitement and took me
to a different world. As I received compliments for
my performance, I touched my hat and whispered a thanks

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I do not have that hat with me, after all these years — but this one is similar.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was an English princess in my school play. It was the first time that I had worn a hat. Since then, I love seeing hats. I stop at shops selling hats and touch them to feel their texture and recollect this memory.

gowrisankar1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Vijaya Gowrisankar
 released her second book of poems Reflect in December 2015. Her first book, Inspire, published in December 2014, reached bestseller status. She was announced as one of the winners of Inspire by Gandhi competition, organized by Sampad, a UK organization. She has been announced as the Winner of AZsacra International Poetry Award (Dec. 2015). Her submissions have been published in Forwardian, Triadae Magazine, iWrite India, Dystenium Online, Taj Mahal Review, and Silver Birch Press. A participant in the Poetry Marathon 2016  (24 poems in 24 hours, 1 poem per hour), she has also reviewed and edited poetry and fiction books. She participated in NaNoWriMo 2016 and completed her first novel in November 2016.

duncan
Pioneer Children
by Steven Duncan

We panned
for gold in the
sand. The brim of
my hat stretched
across California,
outsourcing shade
to Joshua trees.
As the heat churned
through dusty porches,
my sister
curled into
a paper doll.
Her bonnet strings
hung crossed,
twill cotton
collecting
words we whispered.
We caught summer
off guard,
playing out a memory
that wasn’t our own.
Then came
plans to
pan for gold
in the bedtime sky.
That night,
our borrowed hats
were a eulogy.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This photo was taken at the Mormon Battalion Museum in San Diego, California, circa 2004.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a poem about a farmer’s hat I wore to pay tribute to my Mormon pioneer ancestors. At the time, I knew very little about their story; many were driven from their homes, separated from their families, and sent to cross the plains marching for the United States army. Some of these men were the first to strike gold in California. I appreciate better now why my mom wanted us to dress up. Back then, I just thought it was cool to hold a musket.

biophoto-duncan

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steven Duncan grew up in Utah Valley and served a full-time mission for the LDS Church in Siberia. He is currently studying microbiology at Brigham Young University, with plans to apply to medical school. His poetry has been published by Teen Ink and Rock Canyon Poets.

sittner_1
Hole-y Happy Hat
by Leslie Sittner

white
straw
perforated
brimmed
floppy

protects from the sun
cools the head
hides bad hair

white
straw
perforated
brimmed
floppy

packs easily
always in style
matches everything

white
straw
perforated
brimmed
floppy

elevates my mood
makes me smile, laugh
makes me languid

makes me feel beautiful
                              graceful
                              elegant

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION:  This prompt had me rooting through old photographs looking for this one of me in this hat in 1968 at the American Academy in Rome.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: While we were the spouses of our “Fellows” at the Academy, my friend and I were eager to learn and try new things. She was a model for Valentino and I was messing around doing “extra” work in Italy’s film industry. It was a hoot. She decided she was also a photographer and I need to have a head shot book. We spent a day shooting me is various scenarios. The minute I put this old hat of mine on, I truly felt like a star. (Even with a face full of freckles.) We developed the selected shots ourselves and I’ve kept them all these years. They always give me wistful memories of my young adventures.

sittner_2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Leslie Sittner has been turning to the written word as a form of self-expression and reflection. Two of her stories are now available in print in The Apple Tree by Third Age Press, and on-line prose at 101Words, 50 Word Challenge, and 50 Word Stories. A variety of other prose and poetry can also be seen on-line at Silver Birch Press. She is finishing a book about travels with her ex-husband and hopes a publisher will find it as humorous as she and her writer-friends do.