{pf: the poetry peeps are piñata-ing}

Welcome to another Poetry Friday Poetry Peeps Adventure!

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge for the month of February! Here’s the scoop: We’re writing …love letters. Epistolary poetry in the form of a love poem can pull us in any number of directions. We’re writing our ways of seeing love as an animal, vegetable, mineral, emotion, decision – or anything else. Are you game? Good! Whatever way of seeing that you choose, you have a month to craft your creation and share it on February 23 in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

From Process…

Mere weeks ago, I can remember thinking to myself, “If I can just make it through December…” Hm. Well. January is proving to be its own special level of Hades so far. First, I got roped into just “beefing up the choruses” for a Pergolessi piece, and somehow ended up doing a solo and a duet on top of the chorus pieces. Then, I was given a draft deadline a week before said concert for next year’s middle grade novel, and I figured out one day that the act of opening the document for my draft made me physically ill, I hated it so much, so obviously then I started rewriting THE ENTIRE THING a week before said deadline… and, THEN one of my parents had the temerity to have a minor heart attack. Oh, 2024, you’re a special snowflake already.

You’d think this would mean I would a.) bow out, or b.) sensibly at least cut my research short for our first Poetry Friday venture of the year.


That would have made sense, wouldn’t it? ::sigh::

It’s been a joy to revel in the work of Roberto Benavidez, the South-Texas sculptor who specializes in the piñata as an art form. The color and light and movement in his work is a serious treat on these gray, soggy days. From poking around on the artist’s Instagram page, it appears that it’s done via layering the thin pieces of crepe paper. Some of the paper is impregnated with glitter, but a lot of the effect is simply light filtering and refracting through the thinnest layers of paper, and it is… *chef’s kiss* WOW. We Poetry Sisters gave ourselves the latitude to write an ekphrastic poem on any of his wide body of work, and that, in itself, was a little daunting. Initially I found myself fixated on his treatment of birds, and thought that’s the direction I was going… until I saw the Medieval Bestiary from his Illuminated Piñata show. The basilisk isn’t a bird… but it’s also a bird? Or something. I obviously needed a deep-dive into the medieval mindset on monsters, didn’t I. (I mean, what deadline?)

Before I get too distracted, you should see what Sara did. Or, what Laura came up with (when she wasn’t serving as the Poetry Princess Archivist, and updating all of our challenges since sometime in 2007. Thank you, Laura). Cousin Mary Lee’s way of seeing is here, Tricia’s piñata poem is here, and Liz‘s project is here. Denise K.’s poem is here, Linda M.’s celebration of the artist is here. Michelle K.’s sandpiper piñata poem is here, and Linda B.’s meditation on the Hieronymus Bosch piñata is here. (*snicker*) You might discover more Poetry Peeps checking in throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for the full round-up as I find them. Meanwhile… Poetry Friday is ably hosted today by Susan @ ChickenSpaghetti, who I “met” blogging sometime back in 2005. Here’s to the blogosphere, which, when it’s not giving us nonsense, sometimes gives us both good friends and good old friends.

I won’t bore you with all of my reading, but I had to share a few of the hysterical historical images I found, as well as a couple of significant points: one, a basilisk was mostly a basilisk in Europe. In Britain, it was referred to in the main body of literature as a cockatrice. It’s essentially the same thing, but the Brits have always strove for distinction, historically and to the present moment. It’s part of their brand. ☺ Secondly, from Pliny the Elder on down, no one could… agree quite on what a basilisk/cockatrice looked like (I mean, the CROWN. Jeez Louise, Pliny, how much poppy was in that wine???). Or, really, even what it did. Some swore that the beast was like a giant gastropod, dragging poison via its belly and even killing plants and soil beneath it, in a wide swath, while others say its mere breath did the slaying – not to mention its gimlet gaze. So much fear! So little… detail! That… got me thinking.

…To Poem

As I inarticulately tried to explain what I was working on in our Poetry Sisters Zoom meetup, Cousin Mary Lee said that my description of what the basilisk was – and wasn’t – sounded like politics. I kind of laughed at that, but then the thought returned insistently. So much of what we hear via the churn and spin of the news cycle regarding the Sturm und Drang of current events is like …well, like trying to swim by committee. Too many people are trying to manage the arms and the legs, trying to coordinate the strokes and the breathing as we beat the water into a froth, aerating our fears into some whipped up thing that we cannot see through. Boy, do we need to step back! Scoff. Doubt. Question. Interrogate. Take a moment and let things settle, and really look at what’s before us. Sometimes, when we truly examine circumstances, situations, and individuals which terrify us, we will find that they really are ludicrous… and then we can laugh.

This poem makes it sound pretty darned easy to do all of this – just pack up our troubles in our old kit bag, or some folksy nonsense. Friends, we are all well aware how easy it’s NOT. Fears are sometimes a serious, crippling business, and I will freely admit that this is just my first-ish draft of this idea. But it’s an idea to which I’ll be returning this year – because I am sometimes a person deeply in need of getting out of my own head. Doubting our fears is the first step away from them… and I hope it’s an one which gives you a different way of seeing things.

And if your 2024 is beginning with a seismic shift the likes of mine, take heart – we are in the year of the Dragon, and we can a.) start this New Year thing over and b.) immolate what isn’t working, and move on. Breathe fire, friends, and make your fears take wing. Who knows, you might be the basilisk.

{posting our january poetry plan}

I love this statement from Audre Lorde’s poem of the same title – poetry is not a luxury, but a necessity to remind of us thoughts and feelings and ways of seeing. This ‘ways of seeing’ is going to be a recurring theme for me this year, as the Poetry Sisters celebrate our unique and varied visions and our ability to all look at one thing and come away with seven different ideas about it. Viva la difference!

Welcome to another Poetry Friday Poetry Peeps Adventure!

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge for the month of January! Here’s the scoop: We’re writing ekphastic poetry on… piñatas. No, really. Those hollow-hearted paper beasts we love to beat might not be something you think are poem-worthy – usually – but you’ve NEVER seen piñatas like these. Featured on PBS’s fabulous Craft In America series, we’re celebrating the humble piñata as elevated by Robert Benavidez. Check out his work. Are you game? Good! Whichever of his creative creatures and absolutely out-there works of art that you choose, you have a month to craft your creation and share it on January 26 in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

HAPPY 2024!

May you offer art without apology as you celebrate YOUR way of seeing.

{pf: poetry peeps in the style of Valerie Worth}

Welcome to another Poetry Friday Poetry Peeps adventure!

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge for the month of December! Here’s the scoop: We’re writing the eleven-syllable German cinquain, the Elfchen. Unfamiliar? There’s plenty online about this brief form, which has often been taught in German elementary schools, so intangible bonus points wenn dein Gedicht auf Deutsch ist (if your poem is in German). Are you game? Good! The Poetry Sisters are continuing to throw our 2023 theme of TRANSFORMATION into the mix as possible. Whatever your topic or theme, you have a month to craft your creation and share it on December 29th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Poetry Friends! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving/Friendsharing/ChosenFamily/Family Day yesterday. I am putting this blog post together a week in advance, and might not ‘see’ some of your posts right away, but I will get there and add you to the Valerie Worth round-up! What with travel and meals and homes full of guests, those of us nearby may be a bit slower – so do pop back in for a full roundup later in the weekend. Meanwhile, it was delightful to meet with almost the whole gang at our Poetry Sisters prewrite last week. You must check out Mary Lee’s poem here. Sara’s poem is here. Laura is joining us here, while Liz’s poem is here, and Tricia’s poem is here. Laura’s poem flew in to land here. Michelle K.’s poem is here. Linda B.’s poem is here.

Poetry Friday is hosted by Ruth @There Is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town, long-distance from Uganda, so let’s take our time with Ruth and savor everything, along with a second helping of pie.

“Never forget that the subject is as important as your feeling: The mud puddle itself is as important as your pleasure in looking at it or splashing through it. Never let the mud puddle get lost in the poetry – because, in many ways, the mud puddle is the poetry.” (Valerie Worth, quoted in Another Jar of Tiny Stars, the second NCTE book of award-winning poetry, edited by Bernice E. Cullinan and Deborah Wooten

As I recall from our brainstorming session at the beginning of this year, we chose to write in the style of Valerie Worth first because many of us were less than familiar with much of her work, except her books for children, and secondly, because her poems are short(ish), small, plain-spoken (unrhymed), and specific. Note that when we say ‘small,’ we don’t mean an additional observation on length, but rather a topical observation on the dialed in, specific topics Valerie Worth judged worthy of poetry. Fence posts. Rags. Earthworms. Mushrooms. Valerie Worth was a poet who had, as Mary Oliver attributed to excellent writers, “an attitude of noticing.” I believe that observation lends itself to its own theme of transformation… In so many ways, when one is able to extrapolate the extraordinary from the mundane, it changes things seen, experienced, known, and understood. Inasmuch as Mary Oliver described that ‘noticing’ as a relentless and dynamic curiosity about the world, I believe that Valerie Worth’s unwillingness to exclude anything from observation is what enabled her to be a poet whose work is memorable and occasionally astonishing. To that end, in my own choosing, I purposefully looked for ‘small’ topics. I thought of my dead sunflowers, which I’ve left in place because the birds really love them, Himself’s giant clogs which I keep tripping over on the garage step, and the draft evader I fashioned from flat fiberfill stuffing and torn flannel rags. Sunflowers when they’re bright get plenty of ink – not so much when they’re dead. We might write poems to baby shoes, but not to rubber gardening clogs. Few find the wads of cloth we stuff under door and windowsills particularly poetic, and yet…

I started by hewing as closely as I could to one of Worth’s actual poems. Sparrow is one of my favorites about a dun-colored bird minding her own business, and not caring if you look at her. I transferred the sparrow’s ubiquity to the boxy rubber clogs that seem to grow on the back step – worn by anyone whose feet will fit, perfect for standing in the outdoor kitchen frying something, or chucking things into the compost bin in the rain…

Our garden is still quite lively, for all that it is considered functionally dead. The dry flower heads, yellow-browning speckles of mildewed stalks and fallen seeds are alive with an hundred thousand birds, chasing lizards, squabbling, pecking, rolling in dust, and scratching like hens. This is why we’re the WORST gardeners – we can’t bear to tear everything out and turn it under just yet because the birds are having way too much fun. May they all make themselves at home.

(This handsome specimen isn’t MY draft stopper, which is a scrappy, patch-worked thing in various shades of ‘dirt.’ Mine is in the wash just now and unready for its close-up, so we’ll just pretend I actually stitched something pretty.)

Mary Oliver’s famously succinct ‘Instructions for Living a Life’ admonishes us fussily to “pay attention.” Maybe in a less didactic tone, as there is nothing truly obligatory here, we might encourage ourselves to give attention to our lives, to see within our every day ordinariness a sheen of the extraordinary. As German actress and coach Uta Hagen once famously said, “We must overcome the notion that we must be regular…” As we tunnel out from stolid regularity into glorious irregularity, exchange our viewpoint on life as ‘usual’ for the chance to revel in the unusual, may we discover that life is more than we knew. May we, by being open, inventive, expressive, and questioning, live our uncertainty and questions into answers that change everything.

All poems ©2023 Tanita S. Davis

{11•19 gratitudinous}

The sun is shining mightily today, after Friday and Saturday were dull and gray with rain. November is so dark and seen as so dreary that whenever the sun shines, it seems like it tries to do it a bit more brightly, just to make up for the inevitable indignities of winter…

clear, blue morning
breath, hanging, shivering
clouds holding possibility
of more

{11•9 gratitudinous}

I was a late and uncertain bloomer in many things, and when I finally got crushes, they were… intense. Yeeeeears later, I still remember that today is the birthday of a boy whom I thought was wonderful and perfect. Looking back, he was obviously …not. College junior to my high school, patriarchal and condescending, and probably six kinds of narcissistic. But I worked with him, and was sure he was the pinnacle of personhood. I remember spending forty bucks on a classic SWATCH for him – in the nineties, so considering inflation, that’s $90 now, which is a chunk of change for a kid. I was serious in my admiration for this boy — who wasn’t at all serious about me, and who honestly shouldn’t have accepted such an expensive gift, but what do teens, even older teens, really know, until they make mistakes?

So, thanks for that – for the mistakes that are only monetarily costly. For the course corrections that don’t require stitches and scars. For big, dumb mammals, and for youth, which bumbles its way through life like a bluebottle fly, to make its ramshackle way into adulthood.

the fuel of youth

bright, the future
beckons in firelight,
illuminated by burning

{11•2 gratitudinous}

November is, for so many, the month of ramping up for all the holiday food… unless you can’t. Have you ever heard of FODMAPs? I hadn’t until a few years ago. FODMAPS are to do with Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides And Polyols, which are, if you didn’t groove on food sciences in college, short chain carbohydrates found in common foods which resist digestion in the small intestine. Basically, eating things like certain fruits, onions and garlic, certain grains, etc., caused the food to sit… rot… which can cause eight hour stomachaches. All you have to do to avoid that pain is watch what you eat. The lactose intolerant, celiacs, people with IBS from various other sources – all of them know how easy that is. Please note my sarcasm.

FODMAPs are a literal pain, but I’m grateful for the myriad people who have had dietary restrictions before me – the kids I knew who were born with kinease allergies, the students I had on all-protein epilepsy diets, the diabetics counting carbohydrates, and the dialysis patients avoiding salt, phosphorus, and potassium. Dear ones, I watch, and I see you still enjoy you food, still find flavor and joy without gluten, see you enjoy the clatter of pots and more with less — less salt, less sugar, less of what I thought I absolutely had to have to be happy. This is not a small thing.

So, thanks for that.

may it be abundant

not less –
no workaround
nor wan substitution
but packed tight and bubbling over –
your life.

{gratitudinous: a november exercise}

“so, thanks for this…”

When it finally decides to stop lollygagging, time does not play. September dragged her limp skirts in the dust, and then, record skip, all of a sudden, November, and I’m groping in the dark velvet bag of early evenings and late mornings, desperately fumbling after gratitude.

To paraphrase a line from a TV show, this past summer has been “a bully of a season” which won’t stop trying to step on the back of my shoe, give me wedgies and fling spitballs into my hair. I would really like to hip-check said bully into traffic, but it keeps changing faces, and it keeps coming back. I hear it’s the same with you, in so many tiny, vicious ways.

And yet, there’s gratitude to be found in the dissection of our annoyance, in the intersection of our drowning and our fear. There’s gratitude to be found in the CPR we perform on our souls, restarting our hearts, restoring our breaths. It’s here, in the last bitter draughts of the thing we thought we’d never choke down. It’s here, in the 3AM wakefulness, in the fretful twisting of the soul as we wonder when, where, how we’ll move past this moment. It is here – and thus we will stay here, we’ll stay in the moment. We’ll find it, this gratitude that sometimes eludes us.

Not everything is a grace, not everything is something we can look on with pride, with joy, but this very choice is left to us – and the final choice, the one in which we choose… In the words of Victor Frankl, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” That we have – that is always with us. So, we choose our act, and choose to act, in gratitude.

So thanks for that. For the exercise and the observation. For the necessity and the need, creating the practice. We’ll take it.

{pf: peeps are talkin’ about bouts-rimés}

Welcome to another Poetry Friday Poetry adventure!

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge for the month of November! Here’s the scoop: We’re writing in the style of Valerie Worth. Unfamiliar? Renee LaTulippe shared poet Lee Bennett Hopkins’ NCTE reminiscences on her as a poet, and Renee wrote a great post highlighting her. And, now that you’ve read a bit, are you in? Good! The Poetry Sisters are continuing to throw our 2023 theme of TRANSFORMATION into the mix as possible. Whatever your topic or theme, you have a month to craft your creation and share it on November 24th – yep, that IS the day after Thanksgiving, so plan accordingly – in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

We’re grateful to our Poetry Friday host today, Carol Labuzzetta Tricia’s poem right here, and Sara’s poem here. Liz’s poem is here. Mary Lee’s is here, and Laura’s popped in here. Michelle K. borrowed lines from Emily D. here. You might discover more Poetry Peeps checking in throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for the full round-up as I find them. Meanwhile… on with the poetry.

The original tale of the Bouts-rimés form has to do with a nobleman complaining of having some three hundred sonnets stolen from him. As it turns out, it wasn’t sonnets at all, only the rhyming end words. Our rhyming end words were A: profuse/abstruse/chartreuse/truce; B: incline/shine/resign/supine; C: various/gregarious/hilarious/precarious, D: ceasefire/quagmire/higher/dryer, E: transform/barnstorm/uniform/conform, F: humility/futility/nobility/tranquility; G: perturb/superb/reverb/disturb. With a couple of (horrifying) exceptions, the word list isn’t really that bad – and for once I gave myself permission to use forms of the words like inclined instead of incline. However, as there are several types of sonnets, I couldn’t really decide which would work best. I dabbled a bit writing three sonnet forms, but I found I really disliked the Terza Rima with this word list, so that one won’t ever see the light of day. Instead, here’s a Shakespearean sonnet, and a semi-Spenserian. I’ve made it a s/he poem for your amusement, but I defaulted on my illustration to HE, because we live in a sexist world, and I only found two graphics of MEN yacking, and HUNDREDS of women. (This is me, doing my bit for… equality. Or something.)

The Yack Attack
A waterfall of facts profuse
In detailed minutiae s/he shines;
The more perplexing and abstruse
Towards peak verbosity inclined.
Beyond the mere gregarious,
That tongue admits to no ceasefire.
Pleas for peace, often, various,
Unheeded. A social quagmire!
What if relentless talk transformed
To listening humility?
Could need to air one’s wit, barnstorm,
Be seen as gauche futility?

If such a thought serves to perturb
Sit with it. SHH! Let it reverb.

I think the funniest thing about the next poem is that I rarely drink coffee… it’s a “Oh, sure, I’ll have some,” drink that I have maybe once or twice a week, if that. And I know that’s not other people’s experience with coffee (I’m reminded of my friend Jules’ mug that reads “Coffee! Do stupid things faster, with more energy!), so if you’re a coffee person, this one’s for you.

La Belle Dame Sans Coffee
My day begins with apologies profuse,
Decaffeinated brain cells whine, crying ‘truce!’
Whilst wincing through faux pas, who among us shines?
To ‘grit-your-teeth-and-grin’ we become resigned …
Flubs and mistakes pre-coffee are various,
We hold as we can, our grip precarious.
A few sips of brew won’t relieve the quagmire
A FULL cuppa’s all that will create ceasefire.
Then Monday, a day full of headaches, transforms
To calm – since caffeine makes moods more uniform.
Vicious conceits give way to humility,
Soothing savage beasts back to tranquility.

Indeed, it’s a powerful brew that’s superb!
So, until we’ve had some? It’s DO NOT Disturb!

Can we agree together to dispense with quagmire, ceasefire, barnstorm or abstruse in our poetry? Those are such delicious words, of course, and the point of this poetic game is to actually make your fellow poets work pretty hard by CHOOSING the more outré vocabulary, but oy. Barnstorm. It’s just somehow unwieldy!

This time of year is just the best time for table games – sitting inside, cozy, while the weather does what it will, and we keep our brains busy. (I promise you that sitting inside, being cozy still works even if the weather doing what it will requires an air conditioner or fan to combat it.) I hope that you’re able to try this poetry game with a class, or a group of friends – even if the poems you play with aren’t as long as sonnets – admittedly those are a lot for first-timers – I know that almost everyone can write a limerick. Giving people end words for them to compose their own limerick will be… enlightening, at the very least! Never forget that DOGGEREL is also a poetic form with a long (from the 14th century!) and storied history.

(For more on the cartoonist, Mickey Bach, visit the GetWords archive.)

And thus we come to the end of October.

The summer seemed briefly endless, and now we’re free-falling through autumn, plunging towards winter. In the month of November, that traditional time of pause, I’m going to try a daily exercise of poetic gratitude. It has been a grinding summer for me personally and physically, as well as for members of my family, for those of us nationally who love books and have deep concerns for inclusivity and freedom, and then globally – oof. I’ve gotten out of the habit of journaling over the years, so a daily poetry practice is for me one way to slow down and reflect on things which are happening, to recall what I’m meant to be doing right now, which is to be present in the moment, and then to also remember what I have done in previous years during this time. This reflective practice reminds us how troubles, though seemingly endless in the moment, always pass with time. This is an especially important message now, and I hope some of you will find a gratitude practice for yourselves in the days to come. This, too, shall pass. This moment, this place, this You is right here for a reason. You will find it. You will embody it, and you will shine. ☆You are made of stars.★

Happy Weekend.

{pf: poetry peeps pruning poems}

Welcome to another Poetry Friday Poetry adventure!

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge for the month of September! Here’s the scoop: We’re writing Bouts-Rimé, which in French means literally ‘rhymed-ends.’ Bouts-Rimé is a poetry challenge wherein you supply a set of fourteen rhyming words, like June, stress, moon, obsess, snake, moot, cake, beaut, Garbo, play, hobo, day, rhinestone, cologne (from Columbia College’s journal, 2006), exchange them with a friend or poetry group, and then write a poem to the rhymes in the same order that they were placed upon the list. Great ingenuity is required to create something coherent – which is, of course, 90% of the fun. Are you in? Good! The Poetry Sisters are continuing to throw our 2023 theme of TRANSFORMATION into the mix. Whatever your topic or theme, you have a month to craft your creation and share it on October 27th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Poetry Friday today is brought to you by the word ‘WITTY’ and is hosted by the generous, lovely, and delightfully witty Jama-J at Alphabet Soup. Do pop on over for poetry goodness that is not these rather silly poems of mine!

Oh, my goodness, poets, buckle up. Diminishing or Pruning Poems appear to be simple – but of course, you know the Poetry Sisters drill by now. Nothing we ever attempt – despite our best efforts – can ever just be easy. A poem built around a single rhyming word which diminishes by a single letter per line? Now, how hard could that be???

::insert eyeroll::

In order to find words to prune, I started with digraph and trigraph consonant blends, imagining that more consonants on the beginnings or ends of words would help. They did, kind of… however, the words I found somehow just did NOT seem to lend themselves to anything poetic. Scrump? Relapse? Paeon? Feel the poetry there, folks. I asked Himself to dig into his lists of words (yes, he keeps lists of words for fun, yes, you knew we were word-loving nerds in this house) and I pulled quite a few I could work with, but… even so, I started feeling like I was writing middle school assignments with these three line little… ditties. I don’t know, it didn’t feel very poetic, but you know, I started to lean into the brevity and the simplicity of idea, and the playfulness. Not all of them are worth sharing, but I have a few…

I’ll have you know, today’s poetry reveal is a reveal for all of us – due to several unforeseen circumstances only two of the Poetry Sisters met for our usual co-writing hour last Sunday, so we have the added amusement of not knowing anything about what anyone else is posting! But, if you check out Tricia’s poem here, you’ll get your first idea. Liz’s poem is here. Mary Lee’s is here. Michelle K’s poem is here, along with an offering of art, and Denise Krebs is writing poems of presence here. Linda B’s poem is here, and Carol V.’s seasonally perfect poem is here. Kelly, Laura and Sara are sitting out this dance, but more Peeps rising to the poetry challenge will be checking in throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for the full pruning poem round-up.

(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE) Thematically, these poems are eccentric (#transformationfail), so… enjoy.

I had to include this one, even though TECHNICALLY this one doesn’t “count.” The rules of the Pruning Form describe the word that you choose to prune as “rhyming.” Morally, orally, rally, and ally sadly do NOT. However, I couldn’t pass it up.

Notes On Sixth Period Lunch Period, or “No One Wants to See Chewed Food, Guys”

MORALLY, it’s the right thing to do.
ORALLY, it’s tasteful and smart when you chew, to
RALLY your manners, whatever you do, and
ALLY yourself with a mannerly crew.

After having my LIFE changed by Nikki Giovanni’s poem, “Allowables,” I’ve tried to be a bit more Zen about all the life around me, even those bits of life I really despise. So, um… fleas are the longest/highest jumpers in the world? Yay? Still want them and mosquitoes to stay away from me, though. Shoo them with fire!

Yes, They’re Cool and All, But…

That ABLEST of jumpers, the house
flea is BLEST with thirst
like a vampire’s, LEST any forget!

As you can see, I may have a ways to go with the Zen thing…

Incidentally, I’ve begun to ask myself what it is about this form that brings out… the wildlife for me. I hadn’t honestly even realized I was writing zoology poems until…now? Anyway, this little ditty almost felt like it was cheating because of the palindromic poem “Madam, I’m Adam” which made me think of madam as a word choice – but I’ll take it anyway:


MADAM, we’re strangers: you don’t know me from
ADAM, however, your beaver has built me a
DAM. He’s billed, so I’ll pay him. That’s just who I

Look, I WARNED you they were a little goofy.

Shout out to the people who want to take libraries back to the days when the only books were to their tastes (perhaps – we’re not sure they ever actually, you know, read whole books), the only patrons were controlled and silent, and the only senators of note were named McCarthy. That era is aspirational for someone out there, but brace yourself, it’s not gonna happen, folks, so beware…!

Reminder: The Library Is For Everyone

SHUSHERS in the library whose
HUSHERS silence crave, you
USHER in the urge to make some noise and misbehave!

And, it’s back to the natural world – and a stop by the garden for a final salute to the beauty and peace I’ve found with my little DIY meadow this summer. Happy Friday to all, as the last vestiges of summer diminish and we welcome in the crisp and chilly – the fading, the falling, the fallow, the mist and the moss that means autumn’s arriving, amplifying and approaching its peak.


ASWARM in the garden aloud with their wings, a
SWARM of striped, bumbling, honeybees.
WARM thoughts of summer days bring to me:
ARMs and legs and feet bare. Free..

I’d LOVE to see you try your hand at some Pruning poems with some of the words I’ve chosen, or others. Uneaten. Abraid/Abrade (the first archaic spelling is still a word, thus legal for Scrabble, FYI). Slabs. Prelate. There’s got to be a poem somewhere in these most mundane of words!

Here’s to making a little time for wordplay – and even if your efforts are not the wittiest, the English language is such a rich, deep well from which to draw that it keeps our thirsty brains busy being smarty-panters. And, cheers to those bi or trilingualists who can riff in multiple languages, or with fingerspelling! Here’s to the world of words – and long may it do anything but diminish us.

Happy Weekend!