Poetry Friday – Sourdough Dansa Poem

Today is Poetry Friday and our wonderful host is Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe. She shares a treasure chest of poems by young poets–so inspiring!

This week, I have another poem inspired by Alan j Wright; it’s the dansa. Today I flew to my daughter Katie’s. I thought it was  appropriate to write on the topic of sourdough, since Katie and I have flown cross country with our sourdough starter, Stanley Beast. It was born in Bahrain during the Covid pandemic, April 2020 and survives today, thanks to some creative transporting. Read more about the dansa form at Alan’s post with his dansa, “Whistler in the Winter Wind”. More info on the dansa at Writer’s Digest here.


Living, breathing sourdough
Bacteria and natural yeast
Join for bread’s height increase
In French it’s levain. Hello,
Living, breathing sourdough!

Freshly baked bread, thick piece
Complex and worthy of a feast
Smell the bread, crust all aglow
Yum! Living, breathing sourdough!

Covid time birthed in the Middle East
Then to America you came, Stanley Beast
Two years later after a slight, deathblow!
No more living, breathing sourdough

But Stanley lived on, at least,
For I had shared it, so Katie beefed-
up my starter, mostly nouveau
again living, breathing sourdough

Stanley is again free to release
his magic—careful not to decease
It’s easier to digest, did you know?
It’s living, breathing sourdough

Here’s a little (read a lot) Sourdough Science that may have helped me a bit as I composed.

Clockwise: 1) Jar of Stanley Beast sourdough starter 2) 100g for a loaf of bread 3) Loaf of sourdough 4) Sliced sourdough

Slice of Life – Sourdough and Sad Thoughts

October 17, 2023 TwoWritingTeachers.org

The news this week is painful. So many questions, so much pain in Israel and Palestine. Pain for the past seven decades, and more pain in the future too. God, please help.

The slices in my life recently seem to include sadness and questions and worry about how to be a better global citizen, but here is a small moment that happened this morning. In 2020, for the first time ever, I made a sourdough starter in Bahrain, along with many other people who were home during the pandemic lockdown.

When I moved back to California, I brought a small bottle of sourdough with me in my carryon. I nurtured it, used it, and gave some to my daughter. Over the year in Minneapolis, she improved my process and products of sourdough bread. Meanwhile in California, inadvertently I let my own sourdough die.

When I came home from my daughter’s last month, I returned with a small jar of sourdough in my carryon. It’s from the same batch I started in 2020. Now it’s healthy again and living in my fridge. This morning I started a loaf of bread.

The sadness is getting into my Inktober poems…

October 15 – dagger
knocked, assaulted, choked, stabbed
dozens of times: mother and son
hate crime, unthinkable escalation
Gaza war exported to Chicago by a
monster of a man who once
built a treehouse

Read more about Wadea Alfayoumi with a gift article from me at Washington Post.

October 16 – angels
when times are oppressive
God’s protective calming cloud
peace in the world

October 17 – demon
Who will
cast out
the demon
of hatred?
How will
anyone be able
to pay for the
What will
bring justice
and peace?

more here