Thursday, November 09, 2023
Thursday, November 02, 2023
by Jane Hirshfield
To such a request, the world is obliging.In just the past week, a rotund porcupine,
who seemed equally startled by me.
The man who swallowed a tiny microphone
to record the sounds of his body,
not considering beforehand how he might remove it.
A cabbage and mustard sandwich on marbled bread.
How easily the large spiders were caught with a clear plastic cup
surprised even them.
I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended.
Or why each time a new fossil, Earth-like planet, or war.
Or that no one kept being there when the doorknob had clearly.
What did not surprise enough:
my daily expectation that anything would continue,
and then that so much did continue, when so much did not.
Friday, September 29, 2023
But then, who doesn't?
Saturday, September 23, 2023
Thursday, September 07, 2023
|Photo: Saliha Sevim, Pexels|
Her First Novel
by James Tate
When Connie finished her novel she came
over to my place to celebrate. I mixed up a
shaker full of Manhattans and we sat out on the
porch. "Here's to… What's the title?" I
asked. "Well, that's a problem. The title's
kind of awful. It's called THE KING OF SLOPS."
"Gosh," I said, "that's unfortunate. I think
you can probably do better than that." We took
a drink and reflected. "It's about a hospital
orderly." "Ouch," I said. "It doesn't sound
very promising, does it?" "Is there a love
angle?" I asked hopefully. "No," she replied,
"everybody hates him. He's a creep." "Then
The round-up this week is being hosted by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm.
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Happy Poetry Friday!
Thursday, August 10, 2023
We've been occupied by all-things-parents, getting my folks moved into an assisted living residence while also dealing with hospitalizations for my dad. There's been a lot of emotion around all of it, from a lot of corners, but that's a post for another time.
July passed in a blur. My daughters went to see Taylor Swift and we are still talking about it. (How did they get tickets? We still don't know. But I was so grateful to have one thing go so flawlessly in July. My Swifties had a nearly perfect experience. So happy.)
As I attempt to get back into reading, writing, and poetry rhythms, I thought I'd share something simple, lovely, and relatable. From Barbara Crooker:
In the Middle
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 you look out the window,
green summer, the next, and the leaves have already fallen,
(Read the rest here.)
Tabatha has the weekly poetry round-up at The Opposite of Indifference.
Thursday, June 29, 2023
This week's Poetry Friday host, Irene Latham, has invited everyone to a "Moon in June" themed roundup. She's encouraging us to "share a favorite moon poem (yours or someone else's), a moon story, a moon memory, a moon dream...or whatever your moon-heart desires!" Irene's newest book, Museum on the Moon, will be released on August 8th. Take a look at this gorgeous cover:
faintly ironical smile
if I should
buy a shirt
your color and
put on a necktie
where would they carry me?
(This poem is in the public domain.)
Thursday, June 22, 2023
Welcome to Monsterville, by Laura Shovan, with illustrations by Michael Rothenberg is a sweet, sometimes silly, moving, always charming collection of art and poetry that brings a variety of monstrous (in the best of ways) emotions to life.
The story behind this book is immensely touching. The seeds for the book were planted in early 2020, as Laura first mentions here. How did the book grow? Check out this post, "When I Cry," which is an explanation of the book's growth, a tribute to a beloved friend, and a farewell to that same dear friend who passed away much too soon (and before his collaboration with Laura was published.)
In the Author's Note, Laura tells us more about the spirit of the monsters that Michael drew and Laura brought even more fully to life through poetry:
We didn't know then, in January 2020, that the dark shadow of Covid-19 pandemic was about to overtake us. Michael and I sat talking at a wooden picnic table outside Wakulla Springs State Park. Decades ago, the classic monster movie Creature from the Black Lagoon filmed scenes in the springs' pristine water. But we had our own shadows and monsters to deal with. Michael had recently lost his only son, Cosmos, to addiction. My own college-aged son was clawing his way out of a years-long depression.
Michael began doing art therapy and one day sent Laura the first of many monsters:
...when it moved in, I wasn't surehow this strange being, round and tall,would squeeze in through a door so small.
Emotions are like that — surprising us when they move in, sometimes feeling strange and too big for the space we think they should occupy. That's the beautiful and subtle theme that's woven through this work.
Hunger is an "Eleven-eyed monster/banging on my door." A monster has a birthday ("They laughed and hugged each friend/and said, 'I never knew you cared.'") A "strange new breed of rooster" finds a way to break free, and a root monster "hums a sweet song/during long lonely hours/of purple-blue moonlight/and dancing with flowers."
One of my favorite poems from the book is "Green Cave," in which the speaker, wrestling with anger, seeks refuge in the comforting cave of a forsythia bush. The speaker is joined by a "monstrous bird" with blue feet:
The monster sang about being so angry
that it feels like a million arrows are prickling your skin.
Its wings beat to the song's rhythm like a soft, calm breath.
Ever since then, when I'm so mad I can't stay inside,
I go to the green cave and listen for the monster's song.
Michael's perfectly paired drawing:
Speaking of delightful, the Poetry Friday round-up this week is being hosted by the lovely and gracious Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise. She's not only welcoming us for Poetry Friday, but she's also hosting her annual Clunker Exchange. Details are in this post.
Next week, Irene Latham has invited everyone to a "Moon in June" themed roundup. She's creating educator resources for her upcoming book, The Museum on the Moon.
Irene says, "You're invited to share a favorite moon poem (yours or someone else's), a moon story, a moon memory, a moon dream...or whatever your moon-heart desires!"
More details are here.
Thursday, June 15, 2023
|Photo courtesy of Emily Hopper/Pexels|
I got busy last week and didn't get a post done but today I sat down and captured this moment from a recent walk. I try to walk most mornings and one route I take goes by a protected wetland area.
encounter, the impact as if
a piece of sky pounced.
Thwacked from behind,
His innocently cocked head
Red-winged blackbird thug.
Friday, June 02, 2023
Thursday, May 25, 2023
by Anis Mojgani
Sometimes when you start to ramble
or rather when you feel you are starting to ramble
you will say Well, now I’m rambling
though I don’t think you ever are.
And if you ever are I don’t really care.
And not just because I and everyone really
at times falls into our own unspooling
—which really I think is a beautiful softness
of being human, trying to show someone else
the color of all our threads, wanting another to know
everything in us we are trying to show them—
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Love After Love
by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
Friday, May 12, 2023
Throwing Childrenby Ross Gay
It is really something when a kid who has a hard time becomes a kid who’s having a good time in no small part thanks to you throwing that kid in the air again and again on a mile long walk home from the Indian joint as her mom looks sideways at you like you don’t need to keep doing this because you’re pouring with sweat and breathing a little bit now you’re getting a good workout but because the kid laughs like a horse up there laughs like a kangaroo beating her wings against the light because she laughs like a happy little kid and when coming down and grabbing your forearm to brace herself for the time when you will drop her which you don’t and slides her hand into yours as she says for the fortieth time the fiftieth time inexhaustible her delight again again again and again and you say give me til the redbud tree or
Thursday, May 04, 2023
Happy Poetry Friday! I missed last week again due to some family medical stuff but I'm here now, it's Friday, and there's poetry out there that's demanding to be read. Let's read it.
Here are two short poems by Mary Oliver about morning:
by Mary Oliver
Salt shining behind its glass cylinder.
Milk in a blue bowl. The yellow linoleum.
The cat stretching her black body from the pillow.
The way she makes her curvaceous response to the small, kind gesture.
(Read the rest here.)
A Thousand Mornings
by Mary Oliver
All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
(Read the rest here.)