Poetry Friday – Dictionary for a Better World

I wasn’t going to post for Poetry Friday this week, but look what I got my hands on this afternoon!

It’s Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. On Tuesday, Dr. Kim Haynes Johnson shared her plan for doing a study in August and September and invited others to join in “a time of deep personal book friendship, sharing insights on the words and the response opportunities that the authors create in the book.” Read more here on Kim’s blog, as she has been writing daily posts of introduction. Here is a Padlet page that Kim has created for us to share our blogs and insights.

 

I decided to order the book based on her blog post. However, now that I’ve seen the book in all its colorful glory, perfect size, and beautiful poems and ideas, I’m all the more excited to join Kim in digging into this beautiful book. Join us, if you would like!

Thanks to Marcie Flinchum Atkins for hosting Poetry Friday today. Read more at her blog about the Sealey Challenge for August.

Exchanging Poems with Tabatha

It’s Poetry Friday. Thank you, Mary Lee Hahn, for hosting us today. Enjoy Mary Lee’s poem entitled: “That’s What You Wrote About the Green Beans.” It’s been awhile since I’ve been here, so it is good to be here with you all. 

I was excited to participate in the summer poetry swap for the first time ever. I was paired up with Tabatha Yeatts. What a joyful experience!

Tabatha went to my blog and found inspiration from a poem I wrote titled: “What I Learned from the Birds and You.” She used my title for a golden shovel poem.

Photo by Tabatha Yeatts

YEAR TWO OF FEEDING THE CROWS

“You shouldn’t make friends with crows,” he’d told her…“They don’t have any manners.” ~Leigh Bardugo

The crows surprise me with what they know and what they don’t know. What
they don’t know: what it means when I hiss at them to be quiet. Stop it, I
say, as one rushes another, dagger-beaked and screaming. I learned
that they disgorge pellets –food less digestible than my oatcakes– from
watching one produce such a gift. Later, a second crow, spotting the offering, cast another. The
crows who aren’t brawlers strive to follow etiquette. It is these silent, solitary birds,
these sleek shadows willing to wait to be noticed, who stop me from putting the oatcakes away and
spur me to leave the curtains open. We can persist, trying to fathom each other– me and you.

Photo by Tabatha Yeatts

Do you believe it? She has befriended the crows, and though it seems true most of them lack manners, Tabatha feeds them anyway. I believe it is a good metaphor for loving the unlovable. I have crows in my town too, and I do look at them differently this week, striving to learn from them.

Thank you, Tabatha, for the wonderful gift. It was so fun to get it in snail mail and open it to see your beautiful poem, written for me, as well as the lovely postcards and stickers! My water bottle is enjoying the new decor!

Here’s the poem I wrote for Tabatha. You can click on each link to read ten of her poetry treasures!

Ten Things Found in Tabatha’s Poems

Tabatha, the poet’s friend,
Shares gifts, so our hearts can mend

 

July Open Write 2022

Saturday, 16 July 2022 – Realities and Possibilities with Jennifer Guyor-Jowett

The Bobcat

I see a bobcat
moving across the yard,
Tawny and whiskered.
It strolls in front of me.
At first I thought it was my neighbor’s dog.
Then when I realized it was a big cat,
I began fumbling
for the camera button on my phone.
It stops for a second and looks at me,
(A quick pose, maybe?)
I’m still mishandling the camera,
as it gives up and saunters on.
I stumble across the yard,
Finally getting the video going.
I capture 35 seconds of
the Joshua Trees,
the bushes,
the sand,
the sky,
the fence,
and, finally,
still waiting for me,
the bobcat.

Did I really see that bobcat?

 

Sunday, 17 July 2022 – Antonymic Translation with Jennifer Guyor-Jowett

All Debt Must Go
After Robert Frost “Nothing Gold Can Stay

Emptiness’s last red is debt,
Its easiest fade to free.
Its late root’s shriveled;
And commonly so for years.
Before root rises to root
So squalor rises to bliss,
So dusk goes up to night.
Everything debt must go.

Monday, July 18, 2022 – Celebrating Summer with Jennifer Guyor-Jowett

Summer is Corn
(After Seals and Crofts)

See the corn cobs grillin’ on the Weber
In the evening on a Monday night
Yellow butter sizzlin’ through the foil
Lets me know everything’s all right

Summer grillin’ makes me feel fine
Waftin’ through the heat and late sunshine
Summer grillin’ makes me feel fine
Waftin’ through the heat and late sunshine

Summertime and the corn is supreme

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 – Modern Haiku with Mo Daley 

my daughter said he smiled today
those very first smiles–
my favorite thing in the whole world–
now I’m left crying so far away

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 – Gogyoshi with Mo Daley

I Have No Ideas
Five lines I get to poem anything,
But my ideas are all second-string–
the ransom of a king? a tire swing? how to sing?
that bee sting? my made-up trip to Beijing?
Maybe next time the well will spring.

June Open Write 2022

Making it Count: Syllabic Verse with Fran Haley

Today my daughter had a baby
Sweetest, most perfect ever, maybe

Anagram Poems with Fran Haley

Baaing Baas Vary Him
Ya Brim Abash Vagina
Via Babyish Anagram
Aha Baby Raving Aims
Maria’s having a baby

Sociably Best
Acolytes Bibs
Basic Boy, Lets
Solstice Baby

Things You Can Do With an Orange with Allison Berryhill

Things that Happen When Looking at the Horizon
Feel blessed
Find rest
Less stress
Less
Yes

Poetry Treasure Hunt with Allison Berryhill and Lauren Stephens

I am the green
that hurts your eyes,
brilliant and dazzling,
bright and ubiquitous.
Here in the Emerald City,
the sprinkles come in
a circadian rhythm of sogginess.
Moss carpets wood and stone.
Ferns pop and ivies creep
Green, the only color.

Word Association Poem with Allison Berryhill and Andrea Goes

The tangles of yarn
Are becoming a blanket.
Right now, they are sitting by
my Mother’s Day gift of
board booksChicka Chicka Boom Boom,
The Very Hungry Caterpillar,
and I’ll Love You Forever, (yes, I will)
that I will read to you,
Sweet baby, on Facetime.
But now we wait for your arrival,
Healthy and whole
Bearing life and
Bringing hope
To our world

#Verselove, Week 4

Congratulations, Verselovers with Dr. Sarah Donovan (my poem)

Pencil and paper
Dig out the broken rubble
Sing: I am Poet
I empty to become full
Poems pour onto paper

What a Poem Can Do with Glenda Funk (my poem)

A poem doesn’t know my name. 
It was composed time ago
and away from here
But that poem
whispers from the ages
From the pages
And finds its way
Swirling
Dreaming
Loving
Changing
Into my life
Today.

By My Self-Love with Jessica Wiley 

Me By Myself
After Eloise Greenfield and Katalyn

When I’m by myself
And I close my eyes
I’m content
I’m unbent
I want more
I’m a bore
I’m full of ambition
but short an ignition
I’m focused, but hazy
I’m the wind, I’m a daisy
I’m whatever I want to be
An anything I care to be
And when I open my eyes
What I care to be
Is me

Re-Encounters with Shaun Ingalls (my poem)

That year
I spent hanging out
with boys every recess,
I was one of two girls
“allowed” to play baseball
in the sixth grade lunch recess league.
Every day I wore
the same rag tag jeans
with patches on the knees.

When I went to our larger junior high school,
I decided to embrace my femininity.
I thought I had made
changes in my appearance,
that summer I started
growing my hair out. I
bought new girl clothes
and wore some that first day
of seventh grade.
But as Mrs. Sykes
called out my name
during roll call,
I came forward
to get whatever
she was passing out.
She said,
“No, this is a girl.”
Or something similar.
I said, “That’s me.”
Or something similar.

In a better world,
she would have known
my pronouns.

Found Poems with Amy Vetter

Found from “Bushwick Library,” in When We Made It, novel in verse, by Elisabet Velasquez.

Somebody Else in a Book

every Saturday
leaves us at the library
no time limit
A vacation from us
for one day
She doesn’t have to be
someone’s mother
miracle

I love her for this
for one day
inside a book
we get to be
somebody else too

Scientific Method with Linda Mitchell (my poem)

When
the weather
gods bewitch you
with heat and humidity
one day and freezing the next,
how do you always come up on top?

Or will you?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Found Annotations with Jessica Shernburn (my poem)

This is a found poem based on notes taken during Brian Keepers’ sermon at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa, on April 24, 2022. Dr. Derwin Gray is quoted within, as well. 

Racism and bigotry
Are they far from here?
No, they are here

Race is a construct
based on power
Forgive us our silence

God’s new creation
multiethnic
international
we are not color blind
we are color blessed
beautiful kaleidoscope
of humanity

God chose to create a
revolutionary gospel
of reconciliation

The love of Christ
compels us to act
mending
healing
restoring Shalom
(Can’t have peace without justice, for
peace and justice are married.)

Love makes us courageous
We must become extremists of love

Racism isn’t far away from here,
But the living Jesus is not far
away either.

It won’t be easy
we have to do this
I know of no other Gospel

Rolling the Dice with Stefani Boutelier (my poem)

The past is a glorified gauntlet,
Where one side of the challenge
is a ready stream of if-onlys and wishes
beyond the hope of tomorrow
But on the other side is
a source of joy and pride in
a life well-lived, strength
sustaining me into the future
Which is to say, it is punishment
only if I walk the gauntlet
letting that side beat me up
with its
glorified
regrets

#Verselove, Week 3

Today is Poetry Friday and time for another roundup of my #Verselove poems from this week. Thank you, all, for the lovely April poetry showers. you’ve been sharing at your blogs. Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Margaret Simon’s Reflections on the Teche. She is sharing news of the Kidlit Progressive Poem for 2022 and adding her own safe place, mysterious and magical line to the poem.

All Things Cheese with Tammy Belko

Ode to Cheese?

Shakey’s Pizza
Ooey gooey
Stringy, cheesy…
And chop suey

Yes, and dumplings
Plumpy and filled
With spicy veggies,
Brats and corn, grilled

Thick Greek yogurt,
olives, gyros,
so many more
(The Greeks, such pros)

Which brings me to
The Middle East
Savory rice,
Felafel feast,

Cream Kunefe
And all things sweet,
Fine baklava,
Ice cream treats

What was I talking about?
Oh, cheese! But I’m reminded
All foods tend to make me
hungry, meal-minded

When You Need a Break Go to a Place of Comfort with Leilya Pitre

Small Town Walking
Go from here to there in a small town
and you are likely to run into people.
We stopped at the outlet store and
bought an umbrella and a bag for my
crochet projects. We talked a long time
to the clerk we hadn’t seen in five years.
We went across the street and had coffee,
chatted with our friends, proud owners of this
new establishment. We drank chai and
espresso and ate complimentary macarons
because we were back in town.
We chatted about the brokenness in
politics and church politics.
We walked to Ace Hardware to buy
a hairdryer to replace the one I forgot.
We stopped in the entryway there, hugging a
person we knew, but what was her name?
I finally came up with it.
As we talked, I called hello to a passing mom
of a second grader I taught 35 years ago.
How’s he doing?
What’s he up to now?
Then the eye doctor came in and my husband
talked about eyes and how he was
the best eye doctor he’s ever had.
Then we walked to the grocery store and
bought a few things for dinner.
We were gone for four hours.
Grateful our minds didn’t fail us
as we remembered names,
our hearts full of good people.

What I Didn’t Do with Tammy Breitweiser (my poem)

Shadowing efforts
Tested by fire, what remains?
So little is a stone


The last line  of my haiku is taken from Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Burning the Old Year“.

How to Be Poem with Sheri Vasinda

How to Be A Yucca Brevifolia

Embrace those short leaves.
Don’t try to grow anywhere but the Mojave Desert.
Grow just 2 or 3 inches a year.
Tangle your arms and legs into a giant Twister maze.
Enjoy a long 500-year life.
Feed and shelter your animal neighbors.
Show off your springtime flowers and summertime fruits.
Don’t hang your head when others say you are from a Dr. Seuss book.
Stand up as tall as your potential three stories,
And tallest among all yuccas.
Don’t be prickly, but wield your desert dagger with zeal.
Keep breathing.
Treasure your protected status.
Get healthy.
Pray for the humans to stop ruining the world.

Succinct Truth Inspired by Lucille Clifton with Maureen Young Ingram (my poem)

i wish them to have
empathy for the oppressed
i wish them eyesight
to see the truth

i wish them to let go
of their lust for power
i wish them to see behind
the curtain of their wizard

i wish them to
take down their
damn trump-pence sign

Choices We Make with Gayle Sands (my poem)

My Mom
She was born a century too soon
to have the right to an education
without a serious fight for it–
working class and female
worked against her dreams
She wasn’t a scrappy seizer of opportunities
or she may have had a different life, following
her passions–
drafting class in high school,
(she aced it, the only girl)
college and a degree in architecture
(No, how could I?)
She followed culture’s expectations
“I always just wanted to be a wife and mother,”
she said many times,
trying to believe it for herself.

Tankas with Cara Fortey (my poem)

A step closer and gasp. Each day, new blossoms
welcome the bumblebees and surprise me.
Today fuchsia fireworks call, “Look at me!”

Flowers this morning.jpg

#Verselove, Week 2

Why Thursday? with Anna J. Small Roseboro (my poem)

Flirty Venus’ namesake day
Relinquishes the work week
Into reassuring rest–
Day of finis. This Friday we call Good
All the more, Jesus, when
You proclaimed, “It is finished.”

Image by AlexandruPetre on Pixabay
Tumble Down Poetry with Andy Schoenborn (my poem)

Mother Goose Shoes

There was an old woman
who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children
she didn’t know what to do.
Mother Goose, that is,
not my mom.
She wasn’t old—just a young widow,
and we didn’t live in a shoe.
We lived in a small house
with a lot of kids.
We shopped for one pair of shoes,
just one pair of shoes,
at the beginning of each school year.
We’d drive down to the shoe shop
next to McCoy’s market, and
start browsing the Mother Goose shoes.
We would then sit, ducklings in a row,
as the clerk measured our feet.
Then they’d bring out the footgear
we wanted to try.
The little leather Mary Janes…oxfords…loafers…
I didn’t know or care what they were called.
I had found my favorite pair.
It didn’t matter to me that
they needed to be a half size bigger,
and that the store didn’t have that size,
nor did they expect to get it before school started.
School was starting, and I was ready for
these shoes,
these shoes,
these shoes
to go with me in the dresses
I would wear to second grade.

She bought them for me,
this stressed-out mama,
but she did say to me,
“If you outgrow them
before you wear them out,
I’ll cut the toes out to make room.”
She never had to,
I just scrunched up my toes
as needed.

MotherGooseShoes.gif
Liberation and Joy with Stacey Joy (my poem)

yesterday I was invincible
today I realize I won’t last forever
so the flowers smell sweeter
the bird song more melodious and
the lunch you served extra delicious

The News with Susie Morice

Possibilities
From remarks by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
April 8, 2022

Meaningful notes from children
speak to hope and promise of America.
232 years for a Black woman to be selected to
serve on the Supreme Court of the U.S.
We’ve made it,
We’ve made it,
All of us,
All of us.
Here in America anything is possible.
Inheritor of the dream of liberty and justice for all.
All Americans can take great pride in this moment,
A long way toward perfecting our union.

Quirky Poems with Kim Johnson

Calling things by their 18th century names
How about the quirk you have
of calling things by archaic names? Like
Chest of drawers
instead
of dresser
Ice chest
instead
of cooler
Bathing suit
instead of
swimsuit
How was I supposed to know?
At least I don’t call a sofa a
davenport.

Definito with Margaret Simon (my poem)

Felicity is a friendly word,
Four syllables of fabulous–
Felicity is a jubilant songbird
Fortunate enough to have lungs
to be heard above the heartache
Fruitful and fertile,
He willingly warbles
a skillful tune of trust
Adroit in his happiness
Felicity

Birds are So Smart with Dixie Keyes 

What I Learned from the Birds and You

The way the Oriole serenades with no busker box
And keeps singing when no one listens.

The way a murmuration of starlings flies
across the sky with coordination and
grace, not hurting one another.

The way robins build nests for future
generations, without bragging
or competing with their neighbors.

I learned these things from you today, too–
the way you serve, love, and live life
without demanding credit for yourself.

Tell Me Without Telling Me poem with Scott McCloskey

Sleep in a crib in my parents’ room until old enough to know it was weird.
Scootch over in the big bed, so as not to lie in my sister’s nighttime accident.
Watch Mom sledgehammer a hole in the wall.
Watch her frame the hole into a doorway to the garage to make another bedroom.
Help make nine salads on individual plates for dinner.
Dry the dishes my sister washed when it was our team’s turn.
Always have someone my age to play, fight, and ride bikes with.
Always have someone older to teach me to read, do my nails, and comb my hair.
Never be home alone.
Never feel unworthy of love.

Poetry Friday and Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, and thanks to Anna J. Small Roseboro’s #Verselove prompt today, it made me think to write a Good Friday poem.

Flirty Venus’ namesake day
Relinquishes the work week
Into reassuring rest–
Day of finis. This Friday they call Good
All the more, when
You declared, “It is finished.”

Today is Poetry Friday, as well. Thank you to Matt Forrest for rounding up all the Poetry Friday posts here, with an interview with children’s author and poet, Leslie Bulion.

Image by AlexandruPetre on Pixabay