Poetry Friday – Mary Lee’s Poetry Swap

I got to participate in three poetry swaps this summer. It was a unique and lovely experience. My last swap was with Mary Lee Hahn. She has been embroidering this year, and I had the pleasure of receiving an embroidered gift made especially for me.

I’m using the bookmark she made in my Dictionary for a Better World, which I’m reading each day. So I also read the haiku each day:

Inspired by my blog posts, she wrote:

after the monsoon

hearts and flowers bloom again

a window opens


This morning I was sitting on my back porch, and I noticed a bloom on a plant that had been all but dead:

Now, I just have to determine if this is an oleander! Why would someone plant that poisonous plant in their yard?

And the window she is referring to is my new favorite feature of my house–this window recently opened between my kitchen and living room.

For Mary Lee,  I wrote a cento poem based on Mary Lee’s April 2022 poetry collection. If you haven’t already read them, you are missing out.

Doing the Work

Your hope must be a verb

for change

holding everything in balance

many small acts

make a big difference

They give life, rather than taking it.

Our work done best, is done en masse.

This spring we’re planting, saying please

We’re Cheering for you! Be Courageous!

A cento poem

From Mary Lee Hahn’s April 2022 “Hope in a Time of Climate Crisis” poetry collection

Poem titles from lines 1-9

  1. The Thing Is
  2. The Truth
  3. What If
  4. A Small Patch
  5. A Small Patch
  6. What I Know About Farming
  7. Dandelions
  8. Daily Alchemy
  9. Dear Generation C


Mary Lee wrote a post today, as well, about my poem swap with her. You can read it here.  Kat Apel is hosting Poetry Friday today. Be sure to visit and see what is happening Down Under with her two most recent book releases.

6 thoughts on “Poetry Friday – Mary Lee’s Poetry Swap

  1. I don’t know about oleanders, but I do know that I have window-envy, in the nicest possible way. What a gorgeous warmth is captured in that photograph! Beautiful. I too have shared one of Mary Lee’s stitched gifts today. She is amazing! I love the cento that you have gifted back to her. Very special – and beautifully crafted.

  2. Thanks for sharing my little haiku and your AMAZING (now finished) indoor window! I wish I had chosen a more readable color for your bookmark, but oh well. Live and learn!

  3. Mary Lee shared your beautiful creation, Denise & the link that didn’t work for PF. You might want to post it again! I love your window & if my memory is correct, that is an oleander that I had to get rid of long ago when I had children. Have a lovely weekend!

  4. Hooray for a great poetry swap! I love how both of you shared gifts that enriched each other.

  5. What an artists’ community this poetry swap celebrates! Thanks for sharing! I loved your project for Mary Lee!

  6. What a wonderful swap. I love the embroidered book mark poem. And your cento poem highlights the fabulous collection she wrote in April.

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