Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving and Shutterfly Keeps Stopping My Heart

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I didn't mean to leave my sad Sydney post hanging here for the last three weeks. A sweet online friend wrote to me, worried because I hadn't posted since we lost Syd. We're doing okay — we miss her terribly, of course, but life has also just been incredibly busy. As I told my friend, we've been consumed with the following and more: 

  • I had the privilege of being on the training team again (I first got the opportunity in mid-2020) for new coaches at Brave Writer. We had an intense couple of weeks in early November, and now we've got a dynamic bunch of new coaches coming on board. I continue to be blown away by my colleagues at Brave Writer. 
  • We're finally getting some answers to some health questions/medical conditions for both my mother and one of my daughters. A fair number of appointments and meetings have been part of this month. 
  • I finished the final edits for my newest book! They arrived while I was deep into training so it was a busy few days. Whew. The book should be coming out after the first of the year. I don't have all the news yet, but here's a hint: you know I love the liturgical year. 

I'm feeling grateful for so many things right now, not the least of which is that my son-in-law recovered well and quickly this month from a very mild case of Covid and my daughter, whom we worry about a bit more due to her autoimmune disease, did not contract it from him. So grateful for vaccines! 

And I'm grateful for an overabundance of digital photos, even when they take you back and break your heart just a bit. You know when Shutterfly sends those emails? The ones that say, "Remember these memories from 15 years ago?" Then you brace yourself because you know that fifteen years ago your daughters were just wee things who looked something like this: 


When she was actually this age, in 2006, I never posted pictures of Ramona, or any of the girls, on my blog. Her little Flintstone feet were the only thing that made the blog in those days: 


So, thanks, Shutterfly, for breaking my heart about the fact that there are no more tiny people at my house. But thanks, too, for reminding me that I love the women my little girls have become. 
I'm so grateful for so much. 

Happy Thanksgiving. Hug your people. 

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Poetry Friday: I didn't know I was a dog person

Recently, my sister lost a beloved dog and I sent her Mary Oliver's Dog Songs. I hoped that it would comfort her, offer her a bit of solace and a smattering of beauty in the midst of grief. I was happy when she said it did all that. 

What I didn't know, in early September, was that as October ended I would be in sore need of Dog Songs, too. 

Mary Oliver was more than a dog lover, she was a dog chronicler, a dog bard, a recorder of all things dog-like and lovely. 

Oliver hung out with her dogs, talked to them, and extrapolated poetry from their existence. This is from one of her imagined talks with her dog Ricky, during which they were watching a dog show on TV: 


“If I ever meet one of these dogs I’m going
to invite him to come here, where he can
be a proper dog.”

Okay, I said. But remember, you can’t fix
everything in the world for everybody.

“However,” said Ricky, “you can’t do
anything at all unless you begin. Haven’t
I heard you say that once or twice, or
maybe a hundred times?”

You can't do anything at all unless you begin.

Eleven and a half years ago, we began something. We became dog owners (Dog adopters? Caretakers? Dog companions?) for the first time. I was fifty years old and I'd never had a dog, but my girls had always wanted one. Ramona was eight, Betsy was fourteen, Anne-with-an-e sixteen. Atticus had never wanted a dog. I was kiiiiiind of open to it, but unsure, so we played good cop/bad cop. I'd say, "Well, I'm open to a dog, but your dad will never say yes." That was my safety net. Then one day, the girls were looking at the shelter website, cooing over a pretty border collie/cattle dog mix, and Atticus walked past them, looked at the screen, and said, "Do you guys want that dog?" They responded with a resounding "Yes!" and he said, "Okay, I guess we could get that dog." 

Wait. I thought we were playing good cop/bad cop? Now the bad cop was on their side? 

We were getting a dog. 

She was living at a no-kill shelter. Her name was Sydney; she was about two years old, but no one knew for sure. She had been adopted once and then returned to the shelter. Sydney was a little neurotic, kind of OCD, and, well, maybe not quite as smart as the average border collie/shepherd mix, but what she lacked in smarts and go-getter attitude she made up for in sweetness. "She just loves to be with her people," the shelter owner told us. 


I've always been a cat person. When I was growing up, cats were omnipresent. Tabbies and calicos, kittens, and big toms. I've always loved cats. When Sydney came to live with us, we had a cat. (We still have Mr. Putter. He's 18 and going strong, aside from a little thyroid medication. He can be so sweet, and also jerky, but we love him anyway.)  



I knew cats. They were quiet and low-maintenance. We could leave them alone for a day or two when we went out of town. They didn't demand to go outside in a blizzard. On the other hand, I didn't know how to live with a dog. Dogs, as sweet and cute as they can be, can also be gross and horrible and loud and sloppy. And there was just all that stuff that I'd never thought of. Every time we planned a trip, I'd forget to schedule boarding. We started buying food in 40-pound bags. Do you know how heavy those are? (I know. Forty pounds.) Everything about dog life was new, but Sydney began teaching me. We started walking together. She went with us when we did our version of camping. (A fully equipped cabin, thank you.) 



There isn't really much more to tell. I became Sydney's alpha, she became my dog. She was, of course, also Ramona's, Betsy's, and Anne-with-an-e's beloved dog. Atticus scared her at first — not because of anything he did, of course, but because she was frightened of men in general. It took her years to stop barking at him every time he headed to the basement. (What did someone do to this poor dog in a basement? I can't think about it.) It took her several years to stop protecting me every time Atticus approached me. (What did someone do to a woman in front of this poor dog? I can't think about that either.) She never got over her fear of fly swatters, so suffice to say that we simply didn't swat flies in front of her. We were patient with her and she was patient with us. I just didn't know I was a dog person until I was a Sydney person. 

Before any of us knew it, she was old. Her jet-black cheeks, her eyebrows, her lashes were gray. She moved a little more gingerly. Our three-mile walks hadn't been happening for several years. Now I walked her for a little while in the morning, dropped her off at home, headed back out on my own. 


But she was fine! Or so we thought, until she swiftly, suddenly wasn't. We had to tell our sweet girl goodbye last week. On Poetry Friday, October 29th, we held her for the last time. 

This next part is going to sound so utterly sentimental. If you can't stand dog stories, avert your eyes now and don't say I didn't warn you. Friday night, after buckets of tears that I never thought I'd be capable of shedding over a dog — gross, loud, sloppy creatures! — I had a dream. In my dream, it was snowing. The kind of exquisitely soft, fluffy snow Syd loved. I went to the front door and there she was. "Sydney!" I cried out, "What are you doing here? You're supposed to be at the vet! How did you get here?" I reached out but she was gone, happily bounding out of sight, out of reach, but calling over her shoulder, "I'll be back!" 

(I warned you.) 


You can't do anything at all unless you begin. 

~ Ricky, 
and Mary Oliver

I'm so grateful I began with Sydney. 

~~~~~~~~~~

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week by the incomparable Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading


Sydney, last year on Valentine's Day,
looking toward the future.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Poetry Friday: In Heaven It is Always Autumn


"In Heaven It is Always Autumn," how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. 

First, I love thee because any poem that links autumn and heaven is intrinsically right and just. 

Second, I love thee for lines such as these:


It is the last of many last days. Is it enough?
To rest in this moment? To turn our faces to the sun?
To watch the lineaments of a world passing?


Third, I love thee because thou art the brainchild of Elizabeth Spires, the author of The Mouse of Amherst, a book which holds the Emily-est of memories for our family. 

I hope this poem settles in your bones the same way a quintessential autumn day settles in, deep and golden and passing, but with the promise of warmth and unfolding regeneration in faraway days to come.


In Heaven It Is Always Autumn
by Elizabeth Spires

"In Heaven It Is Always Autumn" ~~ John Donne

In heaven it is always autumn. The leaves are always near
to falling there but never fall, and pairs of souls out walking
heaven's paths no longer feel the weight of years upon them.
Safe in heaven's calm, they take each other's arm,
the light shining through them, all joy and terror gone.
But we are far from heaven here, in a garden ragged and unkept
as Eden would be with the walls knocked down,

....

(Read the rest here.) 

~~~~~~~~~~

Read more about Elizabeth Spires here, and head over to the Poetry Friday roundup, which is being hosted this week by the lovely Linda Baie at TeacherDance

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Poetry Friday: I'm in Bridget Magee's new poetry anthology

 




It's the book birthday of Bridget Magee's first poetry anthology! Happy birthday to:
10*10 Poetry Anthology: Celebrating 10 in 10 Different Ways! 

Bridget's clever idea was to feature poems in ten categories based on "TEN": 

TENtative
TENderness
TENacity
TEN More Minutes
TENsion
I Wouldn't Touch That With a TEN-Foot Pole
TEN Little Fingers / TEN Little Toes
Take TEN
TENth _____
I TENd To  

She called for submissions and chose poems from 58 poets, including: 

LINDA BAIE • MICHELLE HEIDENRICH BARNES • ROBYN HOOD BLACK • JAY BRAZEAU • SUSAN BRUCK • ELENORE BYRNE • CATHY CHESTER • KELLY CONROY • LINDA M. CRATE • MARY E. CRONIN • ANGELA DE GROOT • MEENAKSHI DWIVEDI • KAREN EASTLUND • DAVID EDGE • KAREN EDMISTEN • JANET FAGAL • DANIEL J. FLORE III • MARILYN GARCIA • DAVE GOODALE • MARY LEE HAHN • RUTH BOWEN HERSEY • CORINNE HERTEL • REBEKAH HOEFT • MOLLY HOGAN • MICHELLE KOGAN • MARTY LAPOINTE-MALCHIK • IRENE LATHAM • BRIDGET MAGEE • HELEN MAGEE • MAUREEN MAGEE-UHLIK • CARMELA A. MARTINO • KATHLEEN MAZUROWSKI • KAY JERNIGAN MCGRIFF • CHRISTY MIHALY • LINDA MITCHELL • COLLEEN OWEN MURPHY • ELISABETH NORTON • AIXA PEREZ-PRADO • LISA VARCHOL PERRON • MOE PHILLIPS • JENNIFER RAUDENBUSH • LAURA PURDIE SALAS • SHANAH SALTER • JANICE SCULLY • LAURA SHOVAN • BUFFY SILVERMAN • DONNA JT SMITH • EILEEN SPINELLI • LIZ STEINGLASS • STEPHAN STUECKLIN • SUSAN JOHNSTON TAYLOR • LINDA J. THOMAS • LINDA KULP TROUT • GERALDINE TYLER • CAROL VARSALONA • JANET WONG • ALAN j WRIGHT • TABATHA YEATTS

Why, yes, you did see my name nestled in among the others! I'm thrilled and honored that Bridget deemed my little offering worthy of inclusion. What a delight to be in such stellar company. 

My contribution for the category TENth__ was an etheree (a 10-line poem in which each line follows a syllable count that matches the line number: line one has one syllable, line two has two, etc.) from the point of view of a child who conquered a fear: 

Winning at Tenth
(an etheree for young poets everywhere)

I
came in
tenth place when
I entered that
contest at my school.
Some might say that I lost.
Not me. I was terrified
but I saw it through to the end.
I shook the fear, took the risk, and won:
I let them read my poetry out loud. 

Where to find the book? Visit Bridget here to find out more. 

She's also hosting Poetry Friday this week. 
and help Bridget celebrate her book birthday! 

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Poetry Friday: Jane Hirshfield's "I Would Like"


I just discovered Gwarlingo. Do you know it? (How did I not know it?) I was hunting down Jane Hirshfield poems and came across "I Would Like," which I had not read before. 

I would like to share it with you (because it's exquisite.) 

I would you to check out Gwarlingo. 

I would like you to know 
that Gwarlingo
offers "The Sunday Poem" every week, 
along with commentary, 
and 
a writing prompt. 

I would like 
you to know that 
Gwarlingo is, as the site tells us: 

"a Welsh word for the rushing sound 
a grandfather clock makes before it chimes. 
Gwarlingo is all about resonance."

I would like you to know that this word 
makes me ridiculously happy. 

I would like you 
to read this poem, 
and I would like to 
thank Jane Hirshfield for 
walking the planet, 
inhabiting the world, 
and adding to my life. 

Thank you, Jane. 
I would like 
to say thank you. 


I Would Like 
by Jane Hirshfield 

I would like
my living to inhabit me
the way
rain, sun, and their wanting
inhabit a fig or apple.

I would like to meet it
also in pieces,
scattered:

(Read the whole poem here, at Gwarlingo.) 

~~~~~~~~~~


Join the inimitable Irene Latham for the round-up this week. Irene just announced that she's creating a new class and it sounds marvelous. From her website: 

So, I have a secret I'm ready to share: I'm in the process of creating a digital course called Wild & Precious Writer. (Mary Oliver fans will know exactly where this title comes from!) 

My goal is to provide for others (you!) a path to higher joy and authenticity in your writing to create real change in your life and in the world. I'll be sharing things that have worked for me on my journey—ideas and practices that I've collected over the past twenty years from sources like The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop by Felicia Rose Chavez, and many others. 

With that in mind, I want to invite you along to help me create the course you would want. You can help me right away by answering the following question in [Irene's] comments:

If you could wave a magic wand to make your biggest writing challenge disappear, what would that be?


A simple and complicated question. 

May you have a marvelous Poetry Friday, and may all the things you would like come your way today. 

Friday, October 01, 2021

Poetry Friday: Last Minute Effort (and Taylor Mali's Metaphor Dice)


Busy. 
Teaching a Brave Writer class. Starting edits on my latest book. 
(What? I haven't talked about the new book? Details coming soon.) 

I didn't get a Poetry Friday post done, so I stole a past poem from myself, from a past busy day, a past frantic Friday. 

Be sure to visit Catherine at Reading to the Core for the round-up this week. 

~~~~~

Oh, and did I mention that Taylor Mali commented on last week's post? The always lovely Janet Fagal (Janet Clare F. in comments) is a friend of his and confirmed that it was the actual Taylor commenting on my actual blog when I expressed skepticism that Mali would ever actually find my blog. Whew. That's a lot of actuality. 

Anyway, in the second comment Taylor left (I call him Taylor now because, you know, I'm friends with all my commenters), he mentioned that he's testing a sale, aimed at teachers, (60% off!) on his Metaphor Dice, which I'll be nabbing for My Daughter the Teacher. 

You can find out more here. Just tell my buddy Taylor that Karen sent you. 

Last Minute Effort 

by Karen Edmisten 

Life is busy,
(as you know.)
So this week something
had to go.

Poetry Friday?
(Yikes! No post.)
I'll send you elsewhere,
to the host.

Simple solution.
(Brilliant, I know.)
Catherine's the best,
so go, now. Go!


Friday, September 24, 2021

Poetry Friday: Taylor Mali's "Undivided Attention"



It's time for some Taylor Mali

Because it's time for another ode to teachers. (If you missed the last one, by Pat Mora, it's here.) 

Because teachers are to the world what oxygen is to the lungs. 

And, if you need an additional Mali poem today (and anyone who is a teacher, loves a teacher, was a teacher, wants to be a teacher, or benefitted, ever, from a teacher, should read it), here is "What Teachers Make." 

And yes, may I always teach "like the first snow, falling." 



Undivided Attention 
by Taylor Mali 

A grand piano wrapped in quilted pads by movers,
tied up with canvas straps—like classical music’s
birthday gift to the criminally insane—
is gently nudged without its legs
out an eighth‐floor window on 62nd street.


~~~~~~~~~~




                                                                                 (Image by dietcheese from Pixabay

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Partly Cloudy, by Tanita Davis, is here!

 


I love Tanita and love her writing. 
This is her latest; my copy just arrived. I'm so excited! 

For a rundown of Tanita's upcoming book launch activities and events, visit her website here

Friday, September 10, 2021

Poetry Friday: Ode to Teachers by Pat Mora


Atticus and Betsy Ray have been back in their classrooms for a month. (Can I still call her Betsy Ray now that she's grown up, married, moved away?) As of last week, I'm back in the Brave Writer classroom, too, currently teaching "Passion for Fiction." And Ramona has been meeting new teachers now that she's started college. 

Obviously, it's time for an ode to teachers. 

This one, from Pat Mora, is so touching. The teacher in this poem is the teacher who made a difference — who listened, encouraged, and said, "Come on!/Join our conversation/let us hear your neon certainties/thorny doubts, tangled angers....”


As Clint Smith once put it, "I’ve said this before, but one of the only reasons I’m a writer is because I had a teacher in 3rd grade who looked at my poem about clouds & said 'You can be a writer when you grow up.' It stayed w/me forever. Teachers, don’t underestimate what your words can do for your students." 



Ode to Teachers 


 I remember
the first day, 
how I looked down, 
hoping you wouldn't see 
me,
....



~~~~~~~~~~


The round-up is being hosted today by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Poetry Friday: September 2 by Wendell Berry

 
 
It's a Wendell Berry kind of week. I'm reading Jayber Crow, which I'm liking and expect to love, as I adored Hannah Coulter. 

This week, I'm sharing Berry's "September 2." It's an observation of the season, but also a poignant meditation on the inevitability of time and change, and the value of what we've invested. He has such a deft hand, wielding precise words in all the right places and ways: 

"... there grew an acceptance of decline." 

I read him, I nod, I exhale, I scribble his words in my journal. 


September 2 

In the evening there were flocks of nighthawks
passing southward over the valley. The tall 
sunflowers stood, burning on their stalks
....

~~~~~~~~~~

Heidi Mordhorst has has the round-up this week at My Juicy Little Universe

Friday, August 20, 2021

Poetry Friday: I Am From


Carol, at The Apples in My Orchard, is hosting Poetry Friday this week. She and her workshop students have been looking at various kinds of "I am" poems. So this week I decided to share the latest incarnation of an "I Am From" poem that I recently had to write for a conference. 

I've written a few versions of this, some shorter, some longer. But one thing that never changes? That laughter with my sister. (I didn't get her permission to share her picture, thus her lovely smile.) 😀


I Am From

by Karen Edmisten 


I am from knee socks, Hostess cupcakes, and patent leather Mary Janes worn home from the store, from hollyhock dolls, dandelion bouquets, and lightning bugs in the backyard at dusk. 

I am from Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and a squishy pillow at the drive-in, a six-year-old’s comfort in the dark cocoon of the car.

I am from “I’m rubber, you’re glue,” and “Nuh-uh is not a word, Karen.” (“Nuh-uh,” I’d retort, “I can make it a word if I want to.”) 

I am from Alaskan glaciers, and the sunrise on the Florida coast, from everywhere and nowhere, the child of a pilot and his bride.

I am from Air Force brats bonding through a shared, strange life, from always being the new kid in class. 

I am from laughing with my sister so hard it makes my stomach hurt. 

I am from the shock of having life turned inside out and upside down, from learning that sometimes things have to be deconstructed before they can be rebuilt. 

I am from celebrating the rebuilding. I am from being remade again and again. 

I am from Tom, and from Emily, Lizzy, and Kate. I am from five other babies I never met (but whom I feel cheering me on daily.) 

I am from bewilderment at the idea that marriage and motherhood could make me happy.

I am from that happiness. 

I am from my discovery of home education. 

I am from Anne-with-an-e, Betsy-Tacy, and Ramona Quimby, from George Eliot, Madeleine L’Engle, and Rumer Godden, from endless authors and perennial poets, from read-alouds, and verse, and the joy of the book log. 

I am from the simplest of pleasures, from dark chocolate, steaming coffee, iced coffee, walking, friends, talking, theater, autumn and spring, and letters. Still letters. 

I am from words, paper, typewriters, desktops, laptops, manuscripts, and books. 

I am from nomads, from possibilities, and from imagination.

I am from a longing for roots, found finally, magically and forever, in everyone and everything I love. 



~~~~~~~~~~


Friday, August 06, 2021

Poetry Friday: In the Middle, by Barbara Crooker


The leaves haven't fallen, as Crooker's have in this poem, but a season is turning at our house. 

Atticus has a meeting for school today and returns to work next week. How does August barrel in at such an alarming speed every year? Couldn't it, just once, take its sweet time and meander into town, instead of plowing through and uprooting everything? Time is that strange, wibbly-wobbly* thing and we are somehow always in the middle of it. In honor of Barbara Crooker, this poem, and the arrival of August, maybe today would be a good day to steal some hammock time from Time. 


In the Middle 
by Barbara Crooker 

of a life that's as complicated as everyone else's, 
struggling for balance, juggling time. 
The mantle clock that was my grandfather's 
has stopped at 9:20; we haven't had time 
to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still, 
the chimes don't ring. One day I look out the window, 
green summer, the next, the leaves have already fallen, 
...

 (Read the rest here.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Be sure to catch the entire Poetry Friday round-up this week at 
A(nother) Year of Reading, where Mary Lee is adjusting to August and the passage of time 
in her own way, as a newly-retired teacher. 

(Photo thanks to Pixabay.) 


*Thank you, Tenth Doctor, for "wibbly-wobbly": 


Friday, July 23, 2021

Poetry Friday: "Books" by Billy Collins



I'm in the middle of a buddy read. Well, to be more precise, I'm a third of the way into a buddy read. My daughters and I are reading this trilogy (a reread for three of us, a new read for Ramona): 




Ramona has never read this series. What?? 

But she decided this was the summer to dive in. So Anne-with-an-e, Betsy, and I decided to jump in and reread them, too. Not that we need an incentive to stay in close to touch with the now-married-and-living-elsewhere Betsy, but we all decided that buddy reads would be a fun aspect of our in-touch-staying. And we're just about ready for our discussion of the first book. I can't wait! 

The Hunger Games series has a long history in our house. Some of my thoughts on the entire series are here



Ramona here, dictating to Betsy:

I personally have never read The Hunger Games, but, I don't want to have anything to do with it. At all. Whatsoever. Because I do not want to have anything to do with it, I very much loathe Karen Edmisten. So I say farewell to all of you, and I love you very much.

Dramatization. I really actually love Karen Edmisten.


Obviously, she was not allowed to read them at that age, so she greatly disliked how much everyone else was talking about them. I can't blame her for feeling like she wasn't part of the club. But now, she's in the club. She's almost finished with the first book and can't wait to get to Catching Fire. And I can't wait to have all sorts of rich discussion again. 

As Stephen King said, "Books are a uniquely portable magic." 

Billy Collins captures the magic, too, in his practically-perfect-in-every-way poem, "Books." 

Books 
by Billy Collins 

From the heart of this dark, evacuated campus
I can hear the library humming in the night, 
an immense choir of authors muttering inside their books 
....

(Read the whole thing here, at the Poetry Foundation.) 

~~~~~~~~~~

Friday, July 09, 2021

Poetry Friday: My daughter got married!

The bride at age ten. 

This global pandemic brought lots of "firsts" into our lives. Anyone on board for planning a wedding?

From the masked gown-shopping last fall ... 

From the moment she put it on, she
knew this was the dress.


... to the wedding day, it's been another experience of being "a new mom."  No, no, it's not about me, of course, but a mother can't remove herself from these equations entirely, nor should she. I did not, as Janice Mirikitani's perfect poem mentions, weave my daughter's wedding slippers, but my girl is woven into my life and I into hers. 

My daughter's wedding slippers (along with her bridesmaids) were pink Converse: 



No weaving required. But I did pack an emergency sewing kit, just in case, and I helped with all those tiny, silky buttons: 

I was indebted to the seamstress for suggesting
I bring a tiny crochet hook with us. Also? I 
was really glad I didn't change into my heels 
until later. 


My sister-in-law caught this moment at the reception: 

I did a lot of gazing, marveling, enjoying, talking, and living the day,
but pictures? Not so much. I mostly forgot to take any, but I know
the photographer had it all in hand.  


The same sister-in-law caught this moment for me:


Atticus and our Betsy Ray (whose real
name is Lizzy) dancing to "My Girl." 


And here's the beaming couple later, watching a fireworks show (a fringe benefit of getting married over the 4th of July weekend): 



It's time for Atticus and me to let go of the little girl we raised, but we will never stop embracing the wonderful woman she's become. 

Zech, welcome to the family. You joined us too late for me to assign you a blog name. Can I just call you son? 



For a Daughter Who Leaves

"More than gems in my comb box shaped by the
God of the Sea, I prize you, my daughter. . ."
 ~ Lady Otomo, 8th century, Japan

A woman weaves 
her daughter's wedding 
slippers that will carry 
her steps into a new life. 
... 

[I'm skipping to the end of the poem, but you absolutely must read it in its entirety, especially if you are a mother, a daughter, or just a human being with a heart and soul and tear ducts. The next line will wreck you, in a good way.]

... 

Now she captures all eyes 
with her hair combed smooth 
and her hips gently 
swaying like bamboo. 
The woman
spins her thread 
from the spool of her heart, 
knotted to her daughter's 
departing
wedding slippers.

(Read the whole poem here, at Poets.org.) 

~~~~~~~~~~

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

Friday, June 25, 2021

Poetry Friday: "In Summer Time"



I haven't had much time this summer to "simply be" but this poem captures the feeling of summer so vividly that I've made it a goal to lean into the feeling when life settles down a little. I look forward to "... drinking in the summer air/The summer sounds, and summer sights/That set a restless mind to rights." 


In the meantime, I look forward this weekend to joining the lovely Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise for the Poetry Friday roundup. Enjoy!  


In Summer Time
by Paul Laurence Dunbar 


When summer time has come, and all
The world is in the magic thrall
Of perfumed airs that lull each sense
To fits of drowsy indolence;
When skies are deepest blue above,
And flow'rs aflush,—then most I love
To start, while early dews are damp,
And wend my way in woodland tramp
Where forests rustle, tree on tree,
And sing their silent songs to me;
Where pathways meet and pathways part,—
To walk with Nature heart by heart,
Till wearied out at last I lie
Where some sweet stream steals singing by
A mossy bank; where violets vie
In color with the summer sky,—
Or take my rod and line and hook,
And wander to some darkling brook,
Where all day long the willows dream,
And idly droop to kiss the stream,
And there to loll from morn till night—
Unheeding nibble, run, or bite—
Just for the joy of being there
And drinking in the summer air,
The summer sounds, and summer sights,
That set a restless mind to rights
When grief and pain and raging doubt
Of men and creeds have worn it out;
The birds' song and the water's drone,
The humming bee's low monotone,
The murmur of the passing breeze,
And all the sounds akin to these,
That make a man in summer time
Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.
Joy springs all radiant in my breast;
Though pauper poor, than king more blest,
The tide beats in my soul so strong
That happiness breaks forth in song,
And rings aloud the welkin blue
With all the songs I ever knew.
O time of rapture! time of song!
How swiftly glide thy days along
Adown the current of the years,
Above the rocks of grief and tears!
'Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.

(This poem is in the public domain.)