#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 ironed on knee patches.

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 they call Good
All the more, 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.

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

Kidlit Progressive Poem 2022

For the second year, I have the honor of participating in the Kidlit Progressive Poem, originated in 2012 by Irene Latham, and organized since 2020 by Margaret Simon. I’ve been editing this post to add the next line of the poem as it is being built line by line, poet by poet.

Today, April 14, I get to write the next line. I made a couplet joining Karin’s line with mine. My line is adapted from a line in Bridge to Terabithia. Over to you, Carol, at The Apples in My Orchard.

2022 Progressive Poem

Where they were going, there were no maps.

“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today.”

“Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes!”

“We have to go back. I forgot something.”

But it’s spring, and the world is puddle-wonderful, so we’ll whistle and dance and set off on our way.

“Come with me, and you’ll be in a land of pure imagination”

Wherever you go, take your hopes, pack your dreams, and never forget – it is on our journeys that discoveries are made.

And then it was time for singing.

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain, paint with all the colors of the wind, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky?

Suddenly, they stopped and realized they weren’t the only ones singing.

Listen, a chattering of monkeys! Let’s smell the dawn and taste the moonlight, we’ll watch it all spread out before us.

The moon is slicing through the sky. We whisper to the tree, tap on the trunk, imagine it feeling our sound.

Clouds of blue-winged swallows, rain from up the mountains,

Green growing all around, and the cool splash of the fountain.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

a bright, secret, quiet place, and rather sad; and they stepped out into the middle of it.
Their minds’ libraries and lightning bugs led them on.

The darkwood sings, the elderhist blooms, the sky lightens; listen and you will find your way home.

The night sky would soon be painted, stars gleaming overhead, a beautiful wild curtain closing on the day.

Mud and dusk, nettles and sky – time to cycle home in the dark.

There are no wrong roads to anywhere

lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove.

Standing at the fence of the cottage,
I hear the new note in the voices of the birds.
I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the message of my heart upward.
I make up a song that goes on singing all by itself
Surfing rivers of wind way up high . . . calling zeep, zeep, zeep in the sky.
blinking back the wee wonder of footprints, mouse holes, and underground maps.
It was all so wonderful and so magical that sometimes I got a little confused by my adventures.
I feel like waving…like dancing around on the road
But, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

 

The sources of the lines are:

  1. The Imaginaries: Little Scraps of Larger Stories, by Emily Winfield Martin
  2. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  3. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
  4. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  5. inspired by “[in Just-]” by E. E. Cummings
  6. “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  7. Maybe by Kobi Yamada
  8. Sarah, Plain, and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  9. inspired by Disney songs “A Whole New World” from Aladdin and “Colors of the Wind” form Pocahontas
  10. The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor
  11. adapted from Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
  12. adapted from The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron
  13. adapted from On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer
  14. adapted from a line in Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  15. from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  16. from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  17. From The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
  18. The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo
  19. The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith
  20. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
  21. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  22. Dance Me to the End of Love by Leonard Cohen
  23. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  24. A quote from Terry Tempest Williams in Birdology by Sy Montgomery
  25. adapted from “When I Was a Bird” by Katherine Mansfield
  26. Warbler Wave by April Pulley Sayre with Jeff Sayre
  27. a quote from the poem, “Reading in the Dark” from the book, “Please Bury Me In the library” by J. Patrick Lewis.
  28. The Ship That Flew by Hilda Lewis
  29. “So This is Nebraska” by Ted Kooser
  30. adapted from “The House At Pooh Corner” by A. A. Milne

April Progressive Poem Schedule

1 Irene at Live Your Poem
2 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
3 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
5 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
6 Linda at A Word Edgewise
7 Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
11 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
12 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen’s Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing

Poetry Friday, Verselove, Week 1

Today is Poetry Friday and the roundup is being hosted by Janice Scully at Salt City Verse. She has a book review and author interview with David Elliott of At the Pond.

I just remembered about the 2-Day, 10 Words, 1 Poem contest that is coming up soon. The deadline to register is next Friday, 15 April. Last year I wrote a poem using the ten words, but I wrote it in July, after the contest. I’ve signed up for this year’s contest. How about you?

Today I am sharing the first week of Ethical ELA poems I wrote. The links go to the prompt, which are great for classroom or personal use.

Day 7 – (Song) Structures Speak with Chris Goering (my poem)

I’m the supple stick in the mud
That bends and bobs but doesn’t break.
I’m the thorn between two buds
Attempting to keep them awake

I’m the shovel that carried the sand
To plant bright hope rather than hate
I’m the peace promise made by hand
which was hard to keep and came too late

Day 6 – Cherita with Mo Daley (my poem)

My sister came from Arizona to Seattle yesterday.

She can’t stay until the baby shower on Saturday,
so she took us out for dinner. Tears were shed

over the deaths of her husband and eldest son during
Covid. But she laughed y hablaba español with our camerero
and loved us, fully present, full of life and hope.

Day 5 – 4×4 Poems with Denise Krebs

On Day 5, I was busy reading and commenting on poems (and also flying up to Seattle for my daughter’s baby shower on Saturday). Here are some 4×4 poems I have written over the past few months.

Our Baby Boy

Day star dawning
Sunshine beaming
Precious brilliance
Of toasty warmth

Rise in the east
Day star dawning
Warming the earth
With joy and hope

Rising round womb
Growing bundle
Day star dawning
The world awaits

Grandson coming
Family grows
Into sunshine
Day star dawning

Who is Denise?

Denise Reed Krebs
Friend, mother, wife
Teacher, learner
Christian and me

Wasn’t always
Denise Reed Krebs
First Denise Reed
Then married Keith

I added his
Last name to mine
Denise Reed Krebs
Together now

So many years
One united
Keith Lewis Krebs
Denise Reed Krebs

Voting Questions

Ask the questions:
Is voting a
right? Or is it
only for those

we agree with?
Ask the questions:
MAGA members?
Progressives? All?

Do citizens
all get to vote?
Ask the questions:
Or just those who

preserve ballot
box “purity”?
Jim Crow reborn?
Ask the questions.

Ukrainians

Ukrainians
Resilient, proud
fighting for peace
freedom is sweet

Blooms for Russians?
Ukrainians
send Molotov
cocktails instead

Brave president
Averts world war
Ukrainians
battle alone

Chaos and dying
as world watches
on Instagram
Ukrainians

Day 4 – Burrows and Seeds with Jennifer Guyor-Jowett (my poem)

What was lost is now found
Or a hope God’s not bound

In amaryllis and holey toast
Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Each reflects the image of God
So, is patriarchy a fraud?

Mother, Daughter, Holy Hen
Women in God’s image, not just men

Invisible, yet present
I wait for Your good Advent

Day 3 – Collaboration Poem with Gae Polisner and Lori Landau (my poem)

the doves were active today, the
way they flitted, leaving their twin seeds unattended.
forgiveness lives in the hearts of parents and
arrives each spring because eggs
with cracks too early won’t hatch, but
the fissures of a future bright with
promise mean the fledglings are coming, legacy
of new life, a gift of
hope

Day 2 – Core Memories with Emily Yamasaki 

“Things I Have Memorized”

the recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies
the place my head fits on your chest
the way the hummingbirds whip the air as they drink
the sound of the mourning doves in the evening
the smell of the books in the old library in Hollydale
the “indeed you were a finalist” in my rejection letter
the love and mercy and grace God pours out
the scent of plumerias on a hot humid evening
the long limbs of the Joshua trees pointing to hope

Day 1 – Verselove Begins with Bryan Ripley Crandall (my poem)

For sitting and staring
I really can’t think of anything
Remotely as mesmerizing,
Enjoyable, and relaxing as these
Lingering moments around the fire.
It was what kept me this evening.
Good night, welcoming #Verselove.
Here even though it’s late.
Thank you, friends.

Poetry Friday – Happy National Poetry Month

2022 NATIONAL POETRY MONTH POSTER from Academy of American Poets

There’s a poem in this place
and a hope for humanity
in the cleaving of brokenness
the loved become whole
in this place of poems

Happy National Poetry Month. This is my first April being in the Poetry Friday community during this special month. I look forward to all the delicious poems being written and shared this month. Heidi Mordhorst, at “my juicy little universe”, is the host for Poetry Friday on this good first Friday of National Poetry Month. She has a wealth of poetry opportunities for your perusing pleasure.

Poetry Friday – Cardiologist’s First Pitch

I read an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post this morning. Philip Bump made an interesting comparison after Tucker Carlson micked Kamala Harris’s speaking skills. Tucker while reading his teleprompter (by the way) judged Harris’ occasional gaffes during off-the-cuff remarks. I was struck by Bump’s quote: “It’s like a minor league middle relief pitcher mocking a cardiologist’s first pitch.” ~Philip Bump in “Tucker Carlson says it’s Kamala Harris’s fault he carried Putin’s water

The Cardiologist’s First Pitch

it’s not the most important part of the job,
like the NIAID director’s first pitch.
A bad first pitch has
minor impact–actually absolutely no impact–on
league play and especially no impact on
middle-of-the-night emergency surgery,
relief from an imminent heart attack. The
pitcher who uses jeers and
mocking to judge the doctor’s pitch is
a fearful egomaniac. The
cardiologist’s throw is just a throw, the
first ceremonial lob. The real first
pitch will be fired in by a professional.

Today is Poetry Friday. Kat Apel is hosting us today here all the way from Australia. Thank you, Kat. Stay safe during the storms and congratulations on your release week of What Snail Knows.