April 3 – #Verselove Word

What a Wonderful World of Words with Stacey Joy, April 3, 2024

Today I found a new word–apricity–in this rabbit hole of unique and beautiful words, as Stacey described it. When I saw that apricity means “the warm rays of sun in the winter” it brought me back to a homesick day during my first winter in frosty Iowa. I sat in the dining room in a beautiful ray of sunshine and may have felt warm for the first time in months. It was that moment I tried to capture.

Sprung into my soul, this apricity

Reminded me of hope in the cold

Brilliant snow reflected felicity

Sprung into my soul, this apricity

Here, frigid and warm duplicity

Image for lavish life takes hold

Sprung into my soul, this apricity

Reminded me of hope in the cold


National Poetry Month 2023

Here are some of the projects I’m involved in during this year’s National Poetry Month. I’m posting for two reasons:

  1. to help me keep track of my poetry month commitments, and
  2. to invite you to join in for any National Poetry Month events.
Ethical ELA #Verselove

Free Minds – Read and respond to poetry of poets who are incarcerated

Work on Milo’s first year book
The #kidlit Progressive Poem in progress here on my blog
Digging for Poems with Laura Salas and my posts on Google Drive

This Photo Wants to Be a Poem on Wednesdays with Margaret Simon
Classic Found Poem with Jone MacCulloch  My poem here
2-Day Poem Contest, beginning on April 22-23. My poem here
#ClimatePoemProject on my blog and all the prompts with Laura Shovan
Poetry Fridays hosted by:

April 7 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
April 14 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
April 21 Karen at Karen Edmisten*
April 28 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Poetry Friday – A Dying Joshua

Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup today. You can visit her post here and see how she has nailed down her National Poetry Month project (the cherita), is ready to start the Progressive Poem tomorrow, and is launching into more wonderfulness of NPM.

Recently I noticed a dying Joshua Tree in our yard. It wasn’t the dying of the tree that I noticed–I’ve seen this tree for years, and I knew it was dying. What struck me this time was the prominent bloom on top, one of the very first Joshua blossoms I’ve seen this spring. Here is my etheree in honor of this transforming tree.

A Dying Joshua

remains of this
Joshua tree are
not surrendering yet,
stretches, pulls up through dead wood
living crown blossom lifts upward
toward heaven, the life of the tree
persists with hope for another season

Happy Poetry Month! I wrote a poem about the National Poetry Month poster.

We were all meant for something










For something we were all meant


The Skinny is a poetry form created by Truth Thomas. Read more about the form here. 

It seems I just started a series by writing that Skinny poem, my second poetry month poster poem. Last year’s poster and poem:

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

You are invited to join ETHICAL ELA’s April #Verselove, which starts tomorrow.


April 2023 – Authors Take Action #ClimatePoemProject

I’m participating in the Authors Take Action #ClimatePoemProject. You can find links to climate poetry prompts from your favorite children’s authors, poets, and Poetry Friday bloggers right here. 🡠

Today, we’re going to write an invitation poem about something in nature.

Here is an invitation that Mary Oliver wrote asking her readers to take time to enjoy the goldfinches:

“Invitation” by Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

Read the rest of Mary’s poem here.

Choose something in nature. It can be outside (a favorite tree, an insect, an animal) or inside (a plant, a spider, a fly, a pet). Take a moment to really see it and be grateful for it. Then we’ll use part of Mary Oliver’s poem to get us started.

My poem

“The Ants”

Oh do you have time out of your busy and very important day
for the ants, the black ants in their colony
that have come up foraging for food
in a dart-dashing, run-rushing hurry


Your turn – You can copy the following and finish your poem:

Oh do you have time out of your busy and very important day
for the
that have


If you’re doing the #ClimatePoemProject with a group, be sure to share or post your rough draft, read other people’s poems, and cheer for their efforts. Or leave your poem here, in the comments.

Denise Krebs is an educator and writer who lives in the Mojave Desert in California, where she enjoys ants, quail, road runners, rabbits and squirrels in her yard. She has written poems with students from Kindergarten through adults. She is also the co-author of The Genius Hour Guidebook. She likes to hike, crochet, read, cook, bake, write, and play with her grandson.


Dreaming for N & L

It’s been 57 years since my father died too young. I remember Thomas today by thinking of his children and their future fullness, which right now may seem impossible.

when a father dies too young
our world stops and trembles
emptiness around and among
when a father dies too young
our favorites left unsung
but life’s fullness reassembles
when a father dies too young
our world stops and trembles

Poetry Friday – For Milo and Jane

Thank you Tanita S. Davis at {fiction, instead of lies} for hosting the Poetry Friday community today. Read her post about the seed of hope a garden can bring even during these tough times, her developing process of writing poetry and their changes, and a poetry challenge for the end of March.

I tried a haiku in Spanish today, written about my dear baby’s baby, who has been visiting us this week, but will be leaving Friday:

Ay, mi nieto
precioso, hoy no quiero
decirte adiós

Oh, my precious
grandson, Today I don’t want
to tell you goodbye

~Denise Krebs

I read a poem this week by Kate Rushin: “Meditations on Generations.” The first stanza reminded me of my sweet grandson (as well as so many other babies and toddlers I have loved over my lifetime).

However, Kate Rushin’s poem goes on, after this stanza, to describe something so deplorable that I can’t quit thinking of Jane. I find myself grieving for her and “all of the girls and women who were bought, sold, lost, forced, coerced, confused, misnamed…” Because of Rushin’s matter-of-fact language, piercing questions, and rich details, I will keep thinking about Jane long after today. What a world we live in, what a history we have! We must not neglect to talk about it and teach it to the next generation. Read the rest of “Meditations on Generations” poem here.

February Open Write Poetry

Fables, Fairy Tales, Folktales–Oh, My! with Stacey Joy

All dressed up
And no one knows
The foolishness inside.
Interim wisdom shows

But once mouth opens
And words tumble out
The ass is revealed
Stupidity, now no doubt
Inspiration from: The Ass in the Lion’s Skin and a proverb:
Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
Proverbs 17:28


Me, Too with Britt Decker

I’m sure I’m not the only one who

  • chooses the front row at conferences
  • raises my hand to be the needed volunteer
  • does a double take when seeing a sunset
  • cleans my plate at every meal
  • doesn’t drink coffee or alcohol (that makes me the permanent designated driver)
  • can be interrupted and switch gears automatically
  • edits anything and everything I read or see
  • can listen to one thing while reading another
  • thinks some people talk too much
  • lives life as a young person in an old body


Lift and Line and Make it Golden with Stacey Joy

I loved reading Giovanni’s “Kidnap” poem–those last lines where kid and nap are separated is fun. James Weldon Johnson is a favorite; he lifts my spirit, even with this line I chose, “God of our silent tears” from James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

God, are you there? It’s me, Denise
of endless hope, but thinking
our world teeters on the brink. Do not be
silent. Please, come and change our
tears into joyous laughter.

Another golden shovel is from Jimmy Carter’s “Considering the Void”: “an infinity of suns”

an earth of time brings an
infinity of stories–pleas
of possibility,
suns of soul


Written on a Shirt with Britt Decker

Why does this sweatshirt say Alcaraz?
It’s Alcatraz Island–the prison,
you know, in San Francisco bay.
Oh, I thought of Albert Alcaraz,
grade six, my first crush.
Ok, that’s fine. I’ll take it.


Etheree with Stacey Joy

Sense and know–
Wild and loathed things,
Turn to the sun and
Dance on the rainswept days,
Someday you’ll see those who have
No voice, they’ll need someone, and you’ll
Remember your loves, all your years of
Tending the fragile; you will be the one.

Inspired by Nicolette Sowder’s poem “Wilder Bond

Poetry Friday – All Three Homes

Today the Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.

Last week, I enjoyed reading Ruth Bowen Hersey’s poem “Snow Moon.” She speaks of viewing the Snow Moon, knowing that her grown children were seeing the same moon many time zones away from her place in Uganda. In case you missed it, you can read her poem here. Her poem inspired mine today.

All Three Homes

Three homes far away
My two grown daughters
Living well
Building their families
In Minneapolis
In Seattle
And us in southern California

We miss the privilege of proximity
No Stop-by-for-coffee-s
No Can-you-help-me-this-afternoon-s

But some days we inhabit a small world,

Like when we all fear for and pray for
Syria and Türkiye,
Palestine and
East Palestine, Ohio.

Or when we all see the same Snow Moon in February.

Or, like today, when we all have snow
At three homes far away.


To close, here is a sweet poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, “Famous”:

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

Read the whole poem here.