Poetry Friday

Coming Soon

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A flock of fat red robins
fly
not up to the sky
they fly
to the soaring sycamore tree
that flanks the field
across the street.

Lined up like overfed soldiers
birds bounce
feathers flounce
a branch dance
then they swoop willy nilly
down and around
into the seasonal creek
that puddles up after recent rain.

Sparrows sashay in to sip
then dart away
but the robins stay
and play.

Splash dunk drink.
Repeat.
I think
spring comes soon.

—Susan Taylor Brown

See the full Poetry Friday roundup via Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.

Friday, January 9, 2015|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems||10 Comments

Poetry Waits for Me

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Poetry Waits for Me

Poetry didn’t desert me
I deserted poetry,
left it to the elements of
popular opinion, negative reviews, and shrinking markets
until it faded to muted colors
that blended into nothing,
shades of gray left to whisper
save me
in a voice too soft to hear.

It frayed around the edges,
melting metaphors into
puddles of prose that froze my fingers
silenced a voice
I no longer felt original enough to share.

Similes refused to dance the hallways of my heart,
consigned, like rhyme,
to the dark
unmarked corners of my life

Poetry never came to me
begging for attention.
It never cared about being center stage
or cashing checks
or gold stickers guaranteed to land a book
on a special shelf at the library.

Poetry simply wanted
to be heard
to be remembered
to be consumed.

I wanted to be famous
or something close enough
to be remembered
if not for all time
for some time
time enough
to make my mark on the world.

But mark making is exhausting.

Eventually,
though I never said the words
give up,
I gave in
to popular opinion, negative reviews, and shrinking markets.
I shuffle-stepped sideways until
poetry and I were in different waiting rooms
without windows
waiting but not wishing
on endings that might or might not
be happy ones.

Poetry simply was,
simply is,
an experience
waiting to be shared
and in the sharing,
the consuming of poetry
both the poet and the poem
are remembered.

I give thanks to poetry
for being an expert waiter,
waiting for me to remember
how wonderful the world can be
when viewed through a poet’s eyes
and then shared
like a feast of favorite foods
for the world consume.

—Susan Taylor Brown

 

Want to see more Poetry Friday posts? Go check out the complete list of links at No Water River.

Psst. Want to get my blog updates right in your email in-box? All you have to do is hit the SUBSCRIBE button in the top right corner of this page. Then you won’t miss a post. If you haven’t subscribed in the last 6 months you will need to resubscribe as my database was lost. Thank you. Go on, you know you want to. And thank you, in advance.

Friday, September 12, 2014|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |13 Comments

Start Close in by David Whyte

I recently organized all my digital folders and finally gathered the poems that were scattered all over the computer into one place.  When I did, it was fun to see how many poems of certain poets I had saved in my favorites file. There were a lot of them by David Whyte. This is one of my favorites because it reminds me that to be a poet, to be a writer or an artist of any kind, you must first learn to be an observer of things that other people take for granted. For many years I bemoaned my lack of productivity and pushed myself to race back and forth doing things that I thought, for sure, would open the floodgates of my writing. How silly of me. The secret was to start where I was in that moment. I have this poem pinned up on my bulletin board near where I write.

 

START CLOSE IN

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Read the rest of the poem here, on David’s website (left column of page)

The oh-so-talented Robyn Hood Black has the Poetry Friday roundup today–enjoy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |22 Comments

Learning to See

Many readers here will remember the story of Lily, the hummingbird who built a nest in my backyard this past spring and set me off on a new life journey with my camera. I wrote some poetry about her at the time but then, after the tragedy with her eggs, I found it hard to go back and revisit the story. Now enough time has passed and enough new hummingbirds have crossed my path that I feel I can begin to try and capture more of that wonderful experience in word to accompany the many photographs.

Today’s poem actually had its beginning back in April when I was doing Kick the Poetry Can’ts for National Poetry Month. You can read the first draft which had its beginning in a poetry exercise that eventually led me to this poem, Learning to See.

 

 

LEARNING TO SEE

Outside my office door
an aging Japanese maple begins the garden
her dress trimmed in deep green
lady ferns and soft baby tears
edged with purple violets,
yellow-eyed grass
a wetlands wonderland bordered
by bubbling water rocks.

Beyond the maple tree
a toyon waits to grow.

On stormy days its stick-arms
bend, break, then bend again
like a skeleton
shadow dancing  against the fence.

Within the bush
(no tree itself, at least not yet)
branches zig zag toward the sun
a modern highway for ants and aphids
a picnic place for spiders
a sunny spot for birds to perch, to preen
after a midday bath.

Along the branch
dark green leaves cluster like a fan
protect the jewel nestled
oh so carefully
in the vee that meets the trunk
hiding a secret I could not find
without the help of a friend.

Behind all the leaves
there sits a tiny nest
woven with bits of spider webs
scraps of dryer lint
white downy feathers
a so-soft bed newly made
waiting to hold the tiny eggs
from the tiny dancer.

Now I understand
all those days
the dog refused to budge
from her post on the path
all those days she watched
the coming and going
of the ambitious architect
all those days she knew
something magical was happening
right before our eyes
when all I saw was her stubbornness
that made her refuse to come
when I called her name.

–Susan Taylor Brown, all rights reserved

 

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has the whole great big Poetry Friday roundup today at The Poem Farm.

Also a reminder that over in my Etsy shop, Poppiness,  (which has hummingbird calendars, prints, notecards and more) you can get a 10% discount on everything in the entire shop today just because you are a supporter of Poetry Friday.  Just be sure to use the coupon code PF2012at checkout.

Friday, November 30, 2012|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: , |29 Comments

Begin by Rumi & More!

One of the nicest things about being a part of the Poetry Friday community is that it doesn’t matter if you drop out of the loop for a while and then step back in with a fresh post weeks or even months later. Poetry lovers are always welcome. But that mean getting back into the habit is easy. This poem from Rumi reminds me that the first step to anything is just to start.

Begin
This is now.  Now is,
all there is.  Don’t wait for Then;
strike the spark, light the fire.

Sit at the Beloved’s table,
feast with gusto, drink your fill

then dance
the way branches
of jasmine and cypress
dance in a spring wind.

The green earth
is your cloth;
tailor your robe
with dignity and grace.

~Rumi

To be honest, beginning is something I’m pretty good at. It’s that finishing of things that often gives me trouble. One of my newest beginnings was setting up Poppiness, a shop on Etsy to offer my nature photographs and greeting cards for sale. Funny thing about trying to sell photographs and art, it’s just as intimidating as facing the blank page for a new poem or novel. Luckily I discovered I am not the only poet/writer/artist. My first day on Etsy I reconnected with the lovely and talented Robyn Hood Black who has a delightful Etsy shop of her own, artsyletters, which features many wonderful gifts for literary lovers. This week Robyn is also offering a fun giveaway over on her art blog Art Break Wednesday. All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog for your chance to win a cute little portable light to help you create your next masterpiece during those long, late, and oh-so-dark nights.

To celebrate Poetry Friday and the opening of my new shop, and well, lets just celebrate the fact poetry lovers are some of the nicest people you ever want to meet, Robyn and I are both offering  a Poetry Friday discount for holiday shopping. From now through Dec. 31, just visit either of our shops – Poppiness or artsyletters – and type in the Coupon Code: PF2012 for a 10 percent discount!  You can also find us on Twitter @poppiness, @susanwrites, and @artsyletters or “like” our Facebook pages, Poppiness on Facebook and artsyletters on Facebook.

But wait, there’s more! To help me celebrate even more, Robyn is sharing some of my hummingbird poetry on her blog for Poetry Friday.

Anastasia has the complete Poetry Friday round up.

Friday, November 16, 2012|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |19 Comments

Epitaph: In Memory of Rain

It’s been a long time since I participated in Poetry Friday but I’m getting back in the saddle again, a great prelude to National Poetry Month. I recently participated in the March poetry madness over at Think Kid Think where poets were challenged to create a poem in a short amount of time using an assigned word. I got the word “impaled” for my third round 3. Not exactly a word I use in a sentence every day. I took the challenge a step farther and decided to attempt to write a pantoum. So this is my first pantoum using my assigned word, impaled. (Note, the Think Kid Think tournament is still going on. It’s down to the final four so you can pop over there and read some amazing poems and vote for your favorite.)

Epitaph: In Memory of Rain

And when water freely flowed, we cheered
tiny seedlings impaled the crusted clay
giant sequoias stretched high to salute the sun
their roots anchored deep in the belly of the earth

tiny seedlings impaled the crusted clay
wildflowers carpeted canyons in a kaleidoscope of colors
their roots anchored deep in the belly of the earth
we danced at dawn to the music of birds and bees

wildflowers carpeted canyons in a kaleidoscope of colors
before the forest fell down around us
we danced at dawn to the music of birds and bees
until we squandered nature’s gift

before the forest fell down around us
giant sequoias stretched high to salute the sun
until we squandered nature’s gift
and when water ceased to flow, we wept.

–Susan Taylor Brown, all rights reserved

Friday, March 30, 2012|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Proof of Life

It’s been a while since I participated in Poetry Friday. I’ve missed it. Last night I attended a local poetry reading by San Francisco poet, Dean Rader. He read from his book Works & Days which I highly recommend. He’s a terrific reader and his poems are very accessible. And if you are looking for a kidlit connection, well he writes about Frog and Toad. Yes, THE Frog and Toad, but the poems are NOT for children.

The reading was hosted by The Willow Glen Poetry Project which is a terrific group that meets less than ten minutes from my house. I’m so glad I found them. After Dean’s reading it was an open mic night and I got to hear a variety of talented poets read their own and a few poetry lovers read poems by other writers.

I decided at nearly the last minute to read too. An original poem that wasn’t from my YA novel-in-progress, that wasn’t written with my normal kidlit world in mind. These simple facts shouldn’t matter but the thing is, they do. They do because I can’t remember the last time I had such an adrenalin attack and then adrenalin rush. I speak in front of people all the time with no fear (anymore) but this was a brand-new arena for me where I was a total stranger. No one knew I had been published or not. No one was there because they paid to hear me speak. It was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I love it!

This poem had it’s genesis back in April of this year when, after taking the month of March off to play, I tried to distill the experience in a poem a day for National Poetry Month. The original poem appeared here. The new and much revised version is below.

Proof of Life
by Susan Taylor Brown

I find it hard to take anything on faith alone.

I want proof, facts to nourish the idea that mindfulness
is worth the time it takes away
from doing nothing.

Easier to cave in to echoes from the past,
nodding as they aim ink-stained arrows
at my list of undone dreams.

I think I’m finally (okay, just beginning) to understand.
Be here now is not defined
by climbing mountains and vanquishing dragons,
it is a never-ending journey
away from
back to
face-to-face with
the me I can never trust
is good enough.

Today I shadow-step the dog on garden patrol,
down the path behind the hedgerow where unwelcome Bermuda grass
creeps under the good-neighbor fence,
along the side yard filled with dogwoods, leaves still clinging
to the almost-red-for-winter branches,
and past the pond where goldfinches gather for their morning bath.

Nose to the ground, she gobbles any bugs that cross her path,
bugs that will make her throw up in the middle of the night,
bugs she will happily eat again the next day.

This is her religion, her testimony to me.
She will keep me safe from all things,
even from myself.

We weave a new path through the overgrown herb garden
until the scent of mint and sage clings to us both
until she has finally sniffed everything that could be sniffed
until she is content to sprawl in a puddle of sun,
trusting I will not stray far.

She knows how brave I’m not.

A lone, but not lonely Ceanothus
hugs the fence, just beyond her shadow.

Industrious honey bees,
fuzzy bumblebees,
plump carpenter bees
and hover bees that look like flies,
all swarm the blue blossoms,
ignoring the now sleeping, snoring dog
ignoring each other
ignoring me.

Faith isn’t always found in stained glass cathedrals.

I let go,
let go of unclimbed mountains and dragons still breathing fire,
let go of everything that isn’t here and now,
let hungry, happy bees buzz all around me
and listen to the concert
I almost missed.

© Susan Taylor Brown
All rights reserved.

Jama has the Poetry Friday Round-up at Jama’s Alphabet Soup. Please check out all the great postings. And come back next week when I’ll share some of the poetry books I’m reading as a panelist for this year’s Cybils!

 

Friday, October 21, 2011|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: , |14 Comments

How to Listen

 
 
A few months ago, Laura Salas and I read and worked our way through Sage Cohen’s book, Writing the Life Poetic with a little blog-to-blog book club we called, Write After Reading. The idea was that we read a lot of craft books but we don’t often to the exercises. This way we read together shared the exercises that we did.

One of the chapters had an exercise about using the another poem as the jumping off point for a poem of your own. The title I chose to write to was “How to Listen”.

Here’s my version.

How to Listen

Put down that stinky cigarette,
the one you promised to stop smoking.
Quit fiddling with the piano
and no, you don’t need another drink.
You never need another drink.

Pretend if you have to —
you’re at work,
inspection time,
uniform neatly pressed,
just like all those lies you told me.

Eyes straight ahead.
Must. Not. Move.

Look at me, no, really look at me
in the eyes, those windows to my soul
you tried to crush.
I know I’m angry.
I want you to know it too.
I want you to hear what I’m saying
with my entire body.

I may not get this brave again.

Don’t look down
or away with that
“you just kicked a puppy” expression on your face.
It doesn’t work any more.

Focus on me,
the way you used to focus on me,
before vodka became your lover.

That pause between words
isn’t an invitation for you to interrupt and tell me
how the world is against you.
I don’t care.
Not anymore.

You don’t have to listen long.
Just long enough
for me to say goodbye.

© 2011 Susan Taylor Brown.
All rights reserved.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.

Friday, July 22, 2011|Categories: Listen to Me Read, Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: , , |4 Comments

The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3 by Mary Mackey

A friend pointed me to this today and it is one of those poems that spoke to me right away. No need to try and figure it out. I love every line, wished that I had written them all. This poet is new to me and I can see that I am going to have to look for more of her work.

The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3
by Mary Mackey

It’s easy to love
through a cold spring
when the poles
of the willows
turn green
pollen falls like
a yellow curtain
and the scent of
Paper Whites
clots
the air

but to love for a lifetime
takes talent
This is one of my favorite

but to love for a lifetime
takes talent

you have to mix yourself
with the strange
beauty of someone
else
wake each morning
for 72,000
mornings in
a row so
breathed and
bound and
tangled
that you can hardly
sort out
your arms
and
legs

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

Friday, February 25, 2011|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |17 Comments

The Rights by Denise Levertov

A friend recently shared this poem with me as one of her favorites and it has quickly become one of mine too. I want to give something I have made to people who matter to me and need to make a space in my days to do so.

The Rights

I want to give you
something I’ve made

some words on a page–as if
to say ‘Here are some blue beads’

or, ‘Here’s a bright red leaf I found on
the sidewalk’ (because

to find is to choose, and choice
is made.              But it’s difficult:

so far I’ve found
nothing but the wish to give. Or

copies of old words? Cheap
and cruel; also senseless:
Take

this instead, perhaps–a half-
promise: If
I ever write a poem of a certain temper
(willful, tender, evasive,
sad & rakish)

I’ll give it to you.

— Denise Levertov

Friday, February 4, 2011|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |15 Comments

Poetry Friday – The Poetry Push List Poems

This week I started a new poetry prompt series that will appear each Tuesday on my blog. The idea is to create list poems from the prompts I post. Here are this week’s poems.

GIVE BACK
I want to GIVE BACK all the times my father told me I would never amount to anything.
I want to GIVE BACK all the tears I shed when my Mother told me I could not play the games that my brother and sisters played.
I want to GIVE BACK all the times in the playground when the kids laughed at me because I was different from them.
I want to GIVE BACK all the hurt I felt when I could not go places and do the things other kids did because they were impossible for me even though they looked fun.
I want to GIVE BACK all the loneliness I felt in my heart because nobody ever really took the time to understand me and so left me out of most things.
All of these collectively made me who I am today
So I want these people to GIVE BACK all the confidence and the self esteem, they stole from me.
I can then go on with my life and be the person I can be, the person I should be.
If only people GIVE BACK.

– Anne Mckenna

Give Me Back…

Knees that don’t creak
Ankles less weak
Arms that don’t flag
Stomach sans sag

But please let me keep…

Football I played
Nights of charades
Daughters I bore*
Every last Skor

* And by bore I mean gave birth too, not make them drowsy with ennui:>)

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

Give Back

Give In
Give Out
Give Off
Give Up
Give Away

Give It
Give It Up
Give Me Five

Give to a Good Cause
Give at The Office
Give Some More
Give Til It Hurts
What Gives?

Give The Order, The Finger, Your First Born
Give Blood
Give a Toast
Give Consent
Give Your Hand

Give up the Ghost
Give Your All, Your Word, Your Right Arm
Give Thanks
Give a Damn

Kellye Crocker

Give Back?
silver mirror
black chair
silver comb
black hair

see it curl
down my spine
below my waist–
it’s all mine!

silver shears
shoulder shove
quick snip for
locks of love

–Emily Jiang

I no longer have her
in my life
give back
the one
you took away.

Janet

Give back
Shreds of tinsel
Ticket stubs
Seashells
Dried flowers
Strands of Easter grass
Bicentennial quarters
Chunks of fool’s gold

All the bits
I scattered through your house
& thought I didn’t need.

–Jennifer R. Hubbard

You took
my self-esteem
my laughter
my pride in how I dress
my ability to trust
and to see the good in most people

You took
my dog, my cat
my good credit rating and almost,
my car

You took
my trust
my friends
my music

You gave back
a broken heart
a shattered dream
and finally, freedom.

— Susan Taylor Brown, all rights reserved

Dori Reads has the Poetry Friday round-up for us all today. Pour a cup of your favorite beverage and poke around at some of the great poetry that’s being shared today.

Friday, February 4, 2011|Categories: Poetry Friday, Poetry Prompts|Tags: , |7 Comments

Zone by Louise Bogan


I had been thinking about Poetry Friday all week, trying to decide what to share but nothing spoke to me until this morning, when I came across this poem by Louise Bogan that made me catch my breath.
 
Zone
by Louise Bogan
 
We have struck the regions wherein we are keel or reef.
The wind breaks over us,
And against high sharp angles almost splits into words,
And these are of fear or grief.
 
Like a ship, we have struck expected latitudes
Of the universe, in March.
Through one short segment’s arch
Of the zodiac’s round
 
We pass,
Thinking: Now we hear
What we heard last year,
And bear the wind’s rude touch
And its ugly sound
Equally with so much
We have learned how to bear.

“Zone” by Louise Bogan, from Poems and New Poems. Copyright © 1941, 1969, 2005 by Louise Bogan Charitable Trust.

has this week’s Poetry Friday round-up!

Friday, January 14, 2011|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |3 Comments

When I Met My Muse by William Stafford

I am reading William Stafford’s book, YOU MUST REVISE YOUR LIFE and will have much to report on when I am through. But for now I wanted to share this poem of his that speaks to me while I look for the hand of own muse.

When I Met My Muse

      I glanced at her and took my glasses
off–they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. "I am your own
way of looking at things," she said. "When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation." And I took her hand.

William Stafford

Irene Latham has the Poetry Friday Round-up today. Why not head over and see what other lovely poems are just waiting to be discovered?

Friday, January 7, 2011|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |16 Comments

The Caterpillar by Robert Graves

It’s Poetry Friday! I love this “good worm” poem! I can just picture this hungry caterpillar munching his way thorough the yard to build his “leaf-green mausoleum”

The Caterpillar
by Robert Graves

Under this loop of honeysuckle,
A creeping, coloured caterpillar,
I gnaw the fresh green hawthorn spray,
I nibble it leaf by leaf away.

Down beneath grow dandelions,
Daisies, old-man’s-looking-glasses;
Rooks flap croaking across the lane.
I eat and swallow and eat again.

Here come raindrops helter-skelter;
I munch and nibble unregarding:
Hawthorn leaves are juicy and firm.
I’ll mind my business: I’m a good worm.

When I’m old, tired, melancholy,
I’ll build a leaf-green mausoleum
Close by, here on this lovely spray,
And die and dream the ages away.

Some say worms win resurrection,
With white wings beating flitter-flutter,
But wings or a sound sleep, why should I care?
Either way I’ll miss my share.

Under this loop of honeysuckle,
A hungry, hairy caterpillar,
I crawl on my high and swinging seat,
And eat, eat, eat—as one ought to eat.

Toby Speed has the Poetry Friday Round-up today.

Friday, October 29, 2010|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |3 Comments

Browning Decides to Become a Poet by Jorge Luis Borges

I’ve been thinking about my post the other day about claiming my poet self and went looking for a poem that might support that idea. This one by Jorge Luis Borges hit home for me.

BROWNING DECIDES TO BE A POET

In these red labyrinths of London
I find that I have chosen
the strangest of all callings,
save that, in its way, any calling is strange.
Like the alchemist
who sought the philosopher’s stone
in quicksilver,
I shall make everyday words–
the gambler’s marked cards, the common coin–
give off the magic that was their
when Thor was both the god and the din,
the thunderclap and the prayer.
In today’s dialect
I shall say, in my fashion, eternal things:
I shall try to be worthy
of the great echo of Byron.
This dust that I am will be invulnerable.
If a woman shares my love
my verse will touch the tenth sphere of the concentric heavens;
if a woman turns my love aside
I will make of my sadness a music,
a full river to resound through time.
I shall live by forgetting myself.
I shall be the face I glimpse and forget,
I shall be Judas who takes on
the divine mission of being a betrayer,
I shall be Caliban in his bog,
I shall be a mercenary who dies
without fear and without faith,
I shall be Polycrates, who looks in awe
upon the seal returned by fate.
I will be the friend who hates me.
The persian will give me the nightingale, and Rome the sword.
Masks, agonies, resurrections
will weave and unweave my life,
and in time I shall be Robert Browning.

Jorge Luis Borges

Liz Scanlon is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-up today.

Friday, October 15, 2010|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |13 Comments

Do Not Makes Things Too Easy by Martha Baird

It has been a while since I participated in Poetry Friday but it seems the right way to get myself back into the blogosphere. I went looking for something to share and, as I often to, I started poking around the Poetry Foundation dropping in keywords and names and waiting for something to grab me. Then I glanced at the sidebar and the title of the poem came up and it seemed to fit my mood for the day (week? month?) Some of you who know me well will see some of me within the lines. I do not know this poet but after finding this poem, I’ll looking to read more of her work.

DO NOT MAKE THINGS TOO EASY

Do not make things too easy.
There are rocks and abysses in the mind
As well as meadows.
There are things knotty and hard: intractable.
Do not talk to me of love and understanding.
I am sick of blandishments.
I want the rock to be met by a rock.
If I am vile, and behave hideously,
Do not tell me it was just a misunderstanding.

by Martha Baird

Here are the links so far for this week’s Poetry Friday:

shares a poem from  exquisite book, Borrowed Names here. Also check out
this week’s 15 Words or Less poems.

MsMac has “Learning in the First Grade”  by Jane Kenyon.

Amy at the Poem Farm says, “I have #15 in my series of poems about poems, “Her Voice”. Also, I invite teachers and students to share poetry or their favorite poetry ideas at The Poem Farm.”

Alison says, “I have walls on my mind today, with Frost’s Mending Wallover at Wistful Wanderings.

When you need to take a break and destress, pop over and check out the poetic cartoon Tanita shared. You’ll be snorting and laughing.

Tabatha Yeatts gets things moving with an educational rap.

Mary Lee has a perfect poem for Labor Day over at A Reading Year.

Ruth shares an original poem.

Random Noodling looks at haiku by famous writers.

Kurious Kitty features Shakespeare’s 27th sonnet. The quote at Kurious K’s Kwotes is by Jean Cocteau.

The Write Sisters has “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus.

Karen Edmisten shares Morning Song by Marcia F. Brown

Heidi Mordhorst perks things up with The Hello Song from PBS “Dragon Tales”

For Labor Day Shelly has some poems about some hard-working people

Jeannine Atkins says, “I wrote a post called Ways to Listen to the World about poetic inspiration.”

Over at on the Stenhouse Blog they have a great poem from Stenhouse author Charles Fuhrken.

At Wild Rose Reader Elaine Magliaro shares an original poem titled “Toasting Marshmallows.” and at Blue Rose Girls Elaine posts have a poem by Kalli Dakos titled “A Teacher’s Lament.”

Cassy says, “I’m on a campaign to create wonder over at my blog, and so I posted a poem called “Halleluiah” by Mary Oliver.

PaperTigers is in with a post about the poetry of Jorge Argueta.

Jeni Bell, aka,   shared an excerpt from the Tori Amos song “Winter” and offers thoughts on how it relates to Maggie Stiefvater’s new book LINGER (“Winter” was part of the playlist for the book).

Semicolon’s contribution to Poetry Friday is Young Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott .

“Rivers” is the topic for Ben’s Poetry Mix tape this week.

Janet Squires shares Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon: Poem, written by Ruth Forman with illustrations by Cbabi Bayoc.

At Bildungsroman today you can check out the lyrics and video for Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser.

Carol Wilcox at Carol’s Corner shares some football poems to get us in the mood for the season.

Please add your links to Poetry Friday in the comments and I’ll round them up throughout the day! Thanks for participating!

Friday, September 3, 2010|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |37 Comments

How poetry, Google, and Craigslist helped me find the family I never knew I had

And now, the rest of the story, or more specifically, how poetry, Google, and Craigslist helped me find the family I never knew I had.

In November of last year I wrote about finding my father’s obituary. It was an odd feeling to find him but to not be able to talk to him. Thanks to the Internet and Google I was able to use some of the information in the obituary to get a pretty good idea of where my aunts were living but I didn’t do anything with the information. They were old and I was scared. How do you suddenly drop into someone’s life and announce yourself as a relative? What if they yelled at me? So I decided to do nothing. I’m good at that.

Along came National Poetry Month and I had the idea to explore my relationship with my father through poetry so that I could finally make peace with it all and then move on. After I had posted the first few poems I was contacted by Diane Main, a local teacher, who had read my poems and been moved by my story. And it turned out that this teacher had a passion for something of her own, genealogical research. She offered to see what she could track down about my father’s family.

In no time at all she located my father’s half-sister living only an hour away from. She had been given up for adoption by my grandmother but had the opportunity to correspond with her mother/my grandmother, before my grandmother’s death. I sent my aunt a link to some pictures I had of my parents wedding and in the set was a picture of me as a toddler taken in front of the Christmas tree at the car dealership where my mother worked. My aunt recognized the car dealership because she had grown up her entire life living right next door to the owner! My mother, when asked, remembered my aunt’s parents but had no idea that their adopted daughter was related to me.

You can read more of Diane’s side of her research for me here.

Each night while I worked on my poems Diane worked on my family tree. She found one Webb after another. My aunts and uncles. My great grandparents. Suddenly I was surrounded by Webbs. But most of her research went backwards, toward the older and mostly dead Webbs.

That’s when I thought of those names and cities and states I read in my father’s obituary. And I finally felt brave enough to try and make contact. Thanks to Google, I found the phone number for both of my aunts. I called the one that I knew my mom had met. And yes, my heart was pounding, wondering what I was going to say. I ended up just blurting out, “My name is Susan and I’m Tommy’s daughter.”

It was a wonderful conversation. She’d had some health issues so her memory wasn’t as great as I had hoped for back when my mom and her brother were married but she never once doubted me and she told me so many stories about my father’s childhood, stories that helped me make sense out of the type of person he had become. When she ran out of stories about my father I asked her about her mother, my grandmother. She paused and then said, “Well, she loved to write poetry.”

That was when I burst into tears. There is no one on my mother’s side of the family that has any inclination toward writing at all so this small piece of information touched me to the core. The next day I was still feeling pretty brave so I called my aunt Kitty and again I was greeted with open arms. She was able to tell me even more about my grandmother and she stopped every so often to call out the name of another relative. The following day I called my father’s widow Ruth and she was able to fill in a few more pieces, but not much, about him.

Until I called them, none of these people knew about me.

Aunt Kitty gave me phone numbers for three people that, until I read the obituary, I never knew existed. My two half-brothers and my half-sister. I tried my sister first but the phone number didn’t work. Then I tried my youngest brother. She had given me his cell phone but he had recently moved and she wasn’t sure if it would still be connected. It wasn’t. But for some reason I decided to put his cell phone number into Google. I’m not sure what I was hoping for but what I got was something I didn’t expect, an ad from Craigslist. He was selling some furniture and it had has cell phone listed and another number that I assumed was the house phone. The ad was fairly recent and I knew what city he was in so I looked up the area code and added it to the house phone and hit the send button on the phone.

I think I gave him quite a shock when he answered the phone and I told him we were related.

We had a nice talk and then he gave me my sister’s phone number so I could finally talk to her. And that was the best conversation of all. We laughed. We cried. She said, “I took a nap and I was the oldest in the family and I wake up and I have an older sister.”

Lori and I have been piecing together our joint history. The most surprising discovery has been that her mom knew about me all my life but us kids were all kept in the dark. Since then I’ve made contact with my brother’s wife, cousins, second cousins, and a whole lot of Webbs. My brother sent me pictures of my siblings and my father’s widow and cousins have sent me pictures of my father.

Back in 2005 I wrote about a dream I had about my father and how in that dream, he gave me a gift. And now, five years later, I think I understand. It wasn’t in him to be there for me but through him I now have that family connection I’ve been searching for all my life.

All because I wrote some poems about something that mattered to me. Poetry can change your life. No doubt about it.

Friday, April 30, 2010|Categories: Family, National Poetry Month 2010, Poetry Friday|Tags: , , |59 Comments

I Have to Tell You

In honor of my new venture into the world of making art, I have an original poem which is a take off of This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams.

I HAVE TO TELL YOU

I have taken
the blank paper
you kept in your desk

and which
you were probably
saving
for masterpieces
of your own

Forgive me
there were colors
beautiful colors
waiting to escape.

Susan Taylor Brown, all rights reserved

The Poetry Friday round-up is here this week so please leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll round them all up through-out the day. (If you read this blog on Facebook, please come over here and leave your link so I don’t miss it.)

(NOTE: When you leave your link, please help me out by putting your name/blog name, name of the poem, and a permalink to the entry, not just a generic blog entry. It saves me the time of having to click through to every single blogger that left a comment. Thanks! I should have put this in the original message.)

The Round-up!

Barbara Turner warms us up with The Cremation of Sam McGee.

Julie at The Drift Record has two political clerihews.
In the innovative poem category, Greg Pincus shares an “original” – a poem made up of search terms people used to end up at my blog, with the twist being all the terms had the word “poem” in them. I Enjoy Popping Bubble Wrap with My Pinky Toe.

For a discussion of theme and poetry, read Mary Lee’s fourth installment in her series on they study of theme in her 4th grade classroom.Laura Salas shares a poem called Old Tongueby Scottish poet Jackie Kay.Irene Latham presents a video of Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays.“Susan Thomsen of Chicken Spaghetti is in with an original found poem, Altered Talk #1 and a link to a cool site of an artist/writer who has a book of blacked out newspaper poetry.

The Place Where Poetry Beginsis a very special anthology of 250 poems from kids in an urban school district brought to us by Carol at Carol’s Corner.

Diane Mayr shares two seasonal pieces by Christina Rossetti at Random Noodling and at Kurious Kitty’s Kurio Kabinet she posts a a poem that originally appeared in St. Nicholas Magazine.

At Wild Rose Reader, Elaine Magliaro has two original poems for a special holiday post: “Things to Do If You Are a Bell” and “Season’s Greetings from Jack & Rudy.” (Jack and Rudy are my daughter’s yellow lab and her cat, respectively.) I have also included links to earlier reviews of books of Christmas poetry and Christmas picture books in verse and at Political Verses, she has Stand for Christmas: A Song Parody & a Poem.
The yummy Jama Rattigan says she is rhapsodizing on plum pudding and mince pies with traditional reveling.

Douglas Florian shares Cats Sleep Anywhere at the Florian Cafe
You can find Snowby Emily Dickinson thanks to Deborah Freedman.Blue Rose Girls shares “Before Christmas,” a poem by Landis Everson.Jules at 7-Imp has one set of song lyrics ,Bildungsroman has the lyrics to the song Annie by Vanessa Carlton and Knocking from Inside follows it all up with an original song Blues for Absent Friends

Poetry Friday on The Stenhouse Blog is Snow-Flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Another original poem at Free2rhyme (or not)Fridays. Here is the link to today’s post: http://bit.ly/ChristmaspoemLiz Scanlon is in with a poem for peace.Tabatha has When You Go Anywhere by William Stafford.

A theme close to my heart, paper, is happening over at The Incredible Thinking Woman where Jet shares a poem by poet Marjorie Evasco, with a brief bit on why she writes (it started in her childhood in the Phillipines).

Kelly Fineman gifts us with an original poem Holiday Dinner To-Do List.

Jeni shares an original poem, Bless This House.

Sheri Doyle says, “I’m in with a post on another poetry book from our holiday box. I take a look at the various soundscapes found in Winter Poems.

You can find a little e.e. cummings with Karen Edmisten where she shares little tree.

Ruth offers us On Closing Anna Karenina by Billy Collins.

Jone MacCulloch shares an original clerihew.

Father Goosesposts The Perfect Love Poem.

Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect shares Longfellow and the poem Woods in Winter. 

Kelly Polark has holiday poems and recipes

Friday, December 18, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: , |48 Comments

Grocery Shopping With Mom

I had hoped to have a new poem up today but I didn’t quite finish it. So I went looking through my archive for something to share and came across some poems that were cut from my book Hugging the Rock. If you’ve read the book you may remember a pivotal time for Rachel, the main character, when she goes grocery shopping with her dad. In an early version of the book I had this poem of Rachel shopping with her mom to show the differences. But in the end it was too much of a flashback and didn’t add anything new to the story.

GROCERY SHOPPING WITH MOM

At the grocery store
mom stops to talk to everyone.

She scoops up new babies
sings them lullabies
nuzzles their peach fuzz heads.

In the produce aisle she spouts advice
races off to give her coupons to the old man in the wheelchair
then slips a quarter into the rocket ship
for a skinny kid in a baseball cap.

She tosses boxes of cereal
into the cart
then dances away
chasing a guy blowing a harmonica.

I put four boxes back on the shelf
and trail after her.

In the pet food aisle
mom talks fast
her hands pointing everywhere
and nowhere
until the guy smiles
cups the harmonica
close to his mouth
and plays a sweet tune.

The guy tucks a bag of dog food
under one arm
and they both walk off
still talking.

My mom marches beside him
right through the checkout stand
and out the door
and never once looks back at me.

I wait over an hour
watching the ice cream melt
and drip onto the loaf of bread
and a jar of pickles
wondering what is
in me
that makes me
so invisible
to her.

— Susan Taylor Brown
All Rights Reserved

The round-up is at Becky’s Book Reviews today.

Friday, November 27, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: , |18 Comments

Four-legged Love

Tricia had a great poetry stretch this week – love letters to the world. You can read all the results people posted over here. I was inspired by thinking of some of the pets I had had, dogs and horses, and this is what I came up with. Laura Salas has the Poetry Friday round-up this week.

Four-legged Love

Gyppy wasn’t mine
but I loved that dog
because Poppa did
loved that tail-less rump
that wiggled an alarm each night at five
when Poppa came home from work.
loved the way
he buried pancakes with fish heads
loved the way
he saved them for rainy days
when they had rotted just enough
to be doggie-delicious.

Lisa was mine
but I smothered her
with a child’s first love
so she loved my mother best
refused my bed
for my mother’s pillow
refused my treats my touch my love
waiting at the window
for my mother
or Poppa or the mailman
anyone but me to appear.

Lady wasn’t mine
but I loved that horse
her sleek black mane
her dainty hooves
the way she tugged a carrot from my pocket
the closest to a horse of my own
I thought I would ever get
until the day she threw me partway off her back
enough to catch my foot in her stirrup
dragging me for near a mile before
tossing me free to roll
down the hill in the rain
my eyes filled with mud
until I thought I was blind
crying in the ambulance
crying for that horse
who was too much horse for me.

Sparky was mine
but I never loved that horse
enough
never wanted that ugly Roman-nosed horse
never wanted him as much as I wanted
the idea of a horse that was mine, all mine
and he was
until the day we collided with the car
on Clayton road
until the day
they put 127 stitches in his back
until the day
he moved on
to belong to someone else
who had time enough to wait
for him to heal.

I made Boo mine
when I saw his matted fur
from months of neglect
tied out on a short chain
away from anyone who loved him
and when he let me comb him out
licking my fingers in thanks
I took him home to a safe place
with me
with love enough to overcome anything
I thought
but Boo was the only dog
who ever scared me
when he stole that turkey carcass from the sink
refused to back away
from my little boy, my son, inching closer
to pet Boo’s face
and Boo growling
as I turned the corner
and me screaming
as I swooped down
to grab my little boy, my son
before Boo
could grab him first.

Ceasar wasn’t mine
but I loved that German Shepherd
loved the way
he caught steel-belted tires mid-air
without ever letting them touch the ground
loved the way he caught a tennis ball
again and again and again
until I couldn’t bear to touch the soggy, slobbery mess
one more time but I always did
because I loved that dog.
He guarded babies
who sat on the edge of his tire
with his nose not quite touching them
waiting patiently for someone to pick up the baby
so he could pick up his tire
for another game of catch.

Baron was supposed to be mine
but he was his own dog
belonging to no one
and to everyone
except for me.
Neighborhood kids knocked on the door
asking if Baron could come out to play
and I would watch from inside
watch that beautiful dog
go from child to child
with his ball in his mouth
and his tail slicing the air
his body arching with each jump
filled with joy
and I wished
oh how I wished
I could play too.

Dakota was mine
and oh I loved that horse
loved his looks
loved his speed
loved that nice long quarter-horse pedigree
too bad I couldn’t
stay on his back long enough
to make him love me in return.

Sheikh was mine
the horse of my heart that found me
late in his life
late in my life
and let me live out those little girl dreams
of a horse who followed me everywhere
and loved me as much as I loved him
and went I went away
he loved my little girl, my daughter
and made her dreams come true too.

There have been other
four-legged lovers
other dogs
a cat
some birds
a rat
I miss them all
even those who couldn’t
love me back
except, of course,
for Boo.

© 2009 Susan Taylor Brown, all rights reserved

Friday, October 16, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: |4 Comments

October

For this week’s poetry stretch Tricia suggested an October poem. I think the one I left with her was slighty unfinished so I’ve been dinking with it some more. And still, I don’t know that it is done (is any poem ever truly finished?)  but I am sharing it anyway because I really want to encourage more people to give these stretches and some of the other fun things going on in the poetry universe a try. You can read many other terrific October poems inspired by the stretch on Tricia’s blog. Check in at The Miss Rumphius Effect every Monday for a new poetry stretch. Another piece of poetic fun is poems of 15 words or less which is every Thursday with Laura Salas. Laura posts a picture to get things started. I’m playing around with some ideas for a weekly poetic exercise of mine own. If you know of others that happen on a weekly basis, please leave a note of them in the comments.

October
holds the secret to spring
seeds tucked in soil blankets
buried beneath broken leaves
cradled by earthworms
rest in the
dark
damp
dirt
waiting for warmth
to tease them awake

© 2009 Susan Taylor Brown, all rights reserved

The round-up of all of today’s Poetry Friday posts can be found at Picture Book of the Day.

Friday, October 9, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: |9 Comments

Poetry Friday Roundup

The Poetry Friday round-up is here so leave your links in the comments and I’ll round them up through-out the day. (Note, I’m on West Coast so expect some delay.)

I had so much fun doing this audio of the first poem in my book Hugging the Rock that I thought I would repost it for Poetry Friday. It’s called, NO ROOM. I hope you like it.
Read about the evolution of the poem NO ROOM from its inception here or read about the $1000 schloarship contest for teens who create a book trailer for Hugging the Rock here.

CREDIT LINE: Posted with permission from Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown.  Copyright © 2006 by Susan Taylor Brown, Tricycle Press, Berkeley, CA. www.tenspeed.com.

NOTE: I have removed the played due to some issues with LJ Embed. You can listen to it by going here instead.

The round-up – a little later than I planned but life had other ideas for me today.

Nandini Bajpai has an original about an Itchy Dog at Notes from New England.

Jama Rattigan is celebrating Johnny Appleseed’s birthday with a poem by Marge Piercy and 4 apple cake recipes:

It’s a feast for the eyes and the ears over at Educating Alice where Monica Edinger shares about the forthcoming book Sweethearts of Rhythm.

Julie Larios offers us a poem by Margaret Gibson titled “Autumn Grasses” – it’s based on an Edo painting by Shibata Zeshin.

A Year of Reading has a poem about fall by Georgia Heard, along with information about her upcoming blog tour!

Today at My World/Mi Mundo the celebration continues for Hispanic Heritage Month with a poem by celebrating Gabriela Mistral, the first Nobel Prize Latina Woman winner in 1945.

Laura Salas shares an original poem called “Without” (not the same as last week’s Without Rancor):
And this week’s 15 Words or Less poems are here.

Heidi Mordhorst is pointing everyone toward the important not-exactly poetry book If You Find a Rock  by Peggy Christian.

Gisele LeBlanc gives us an original poem for children, titled, “Magic Cure“.

Kurious Kitty shares “Invictus” and Random Noodling celebrates the International Day of Peace.

A Sleepy Elf is in with a poem about sleeping (and other things), called “Things” by William J. Smith

Linda is in with four original tanka.

Sara Lewis Holmes blogged about Sherman Alexie yesterday and today she is featuring his new collection of poetry, FACE, and one of the poems in it, “How to Create An Agnostic.”

Laura @ Author Amok says, “Donald Hall is reading here in central Maryland next weekend. I’m sharing his seasonal poem, “Ox Cart Man,” to welcome fall.”

You can find a little bit of Eugene O’Connell posted here.

Tabatha A. Yeatts offers some ancient Greek poetry by Sappho today.

An original cinquain for dog lovers by Kelly Polark.

Poetry Friday on The Stenhouse Blog shares “The Light of September”  by W. S. Merwin.

At Wild Rose Reader, Elaine Magliaro has a poem for Banned Books Week. It’s a revised version of Book Talk 2007, a poem about censorship that she wrote because of the kerfuffle caused by a certain word that Susan patron included in her book THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY. At Political Verses, Elaine has another original–“Dirty Dancing with the Stars: A Poem about Tom DeLay.” And at Blue Rose Girls, Elaine shares a poem by Elaine Equi titled “Ciao Bella Chocolate Sorbet.”

Semicolon is highlighting Felicia Hemans’ poem: “The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck and its imitators.”

Karen Edmisten brings us Taylor Mali’s “Undivided Attention” this week.

Today at Teaching Authors April Halprin Wayland shares a lesson in writing about uncomfortable feelings and an original poem about jealousy.

Lectitans is in with “Against Cinderella” by Julia Alvarez.

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti chimes In with a post that links to poetry by Colin West, including two tongue twisters.

In Honor of Fall the Write Sisters share a favorite from Robert Louis Stevenson at

After reading The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker, an enjoyable book about a poet with writer’s block who has to write an intro to an anthology of rhyming poetry, Emily Cook looked up Sara Teasdale and found a poem perfect for her day.

Jules from 7-Imp says, “I’m in today with a poem from a friend, Shannon Collins“(And some picture book art, too.)

Father Goose shares his original poem “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis“.

Jiill Corcoran put together Poetry for the Classrom: 6 fun poetry lessons for teachers and visiting authors.

Tracy Marchini has an original about a prom date related break-up.(not autobiographical! 🙂 )

Lorie Ann Grover has the I’m missing-my-daughter-blues and shares an original poem titled “Off to College” and at readertotz they have “There was a Little Guinea-Pig”.

Bildungsroman posted lyrics from the song More than Fine by Switchfoot.

Jone at Check It Out has some fun haiku riddles inspired by Tricia (The Miss Rumphius Effect)

Carol of Carol’s Corner is in with a review of Georgia Heard and Jennifer McDonough’s new book, A PLACE FOR WONDER

Friday, September 25, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , , , , |44 Comments

Snapshot

I’ve not been participating in Poetry Friday of late and that’s mad me sad. So I have given myself the personal goal to address one of Tricia past Poetry Stretches each Friday for a while. For those of you not familiar with these wonderful poetry challenges please go check out

This particular challenge was prompted by the idea of having your picture taken.

And here’s my original poem.

SNAPSHOT

Before
the shutter snaps
I am still beautiful
hair, long and blond
draped around my shoulders
just like it did in high school
when boys wrapped their fingers in its strands
and pulled me close between classes
making promises
they would never keep
skin, peaches and cream
Noxzema fresh
a single chin
eyes lit from within
with a confidence
I rarely share
anymore

CLICK!

After
thirty tries
I do not know this
stranger
with my face
I do not like her
much
rosacea induced
zits
freckle her cheeks
two chins, now
eyes filled with fear
of what the world
might see
might say
might judge
but the hair,
the hair is still
long and blonde
and my husband twists his fingers in its strands
and pulls me close
whispering promises
he always keeps

Have I always been this shallow?

Perhaps
but what woman doesn’t want
to feel beautiful
for all time?

—Susan Taylor Brown
all rights reserved

The Poetry Friday roundup is over at Becky’s Book Reviews.

Friday, September 18, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: |26 Comments

Poetry Friday – The Poems from July 30, 2009

This week’s Poetry Friday entry are the terrific poems from yesterday photopoetry of 15 words or less. Here was the picture:

And here are the poems.

Clinging precariously
Dancing in the sunshine
One big wind could mean the end
Such tragedy
~Anne McKenna

 

Like peas in a pod
They followed Bob
They, too, loved the magic of grass

~slatts

 

Attachment

One fine thread,
that’s all,
but it’s enough,
my friend
across space, across time.

~Kathy Q.
wordsrmylife

 

Fringe on the curtain,
swaying in the breeze.
Wait, those are lacewings
traveling by trapeze.

~Cindyb

 

Eggs waiting
to be hatched
to live
to kill
to love
to lay
to die

~Christine

 

BLIND DATE

“Me…Me…Me…”

She gazes
at the pendant
lighting imagining
him hanging
by his nose.

~Diane Mayr

 

Green Invasion
We disguise our ship
as earth-grass,
extending traps. Soon
we will capture aphid-beings
to interrogate.

~Kate Coombs

 

Swinging in a warm breeze
Faster
Higher
Stretching toward the sunshine
Suspended paradise

~Celeste Ribbins

 

Tiny Jewels

tiny jewels
don’t be fooled
hanging free
disguised as peas
waiting for their enemies.
~Sue Douglass Fliess

 

Safekeeping
Mother Nature
hangs lacewing eggs
like my mom
tied mitts on a string

~Violet Nesdoly
(http://line-upon-line.blogspot.com)

 

Deep into a fairy world of green
sliding
swinging
laughing
playing
loving
life.

~Linda Covella

 

Swamp plants upended,
cling to milkweed shores,
reaching with poised
buds to waiting water: home.

~Brenda Stokes
www.brendastokes.com

 

Fragile.
Delicate.
Wonderous.
Life hangs on
by a thread
in spite of us.

Tantinizingly Tenacious

~stu pidasso

 

How many greens
can be found-
values criss-cross
on the ground,
summer soup
of color.

~Diane M. Davis

 

Friday, July 31, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |2 Comments

15 Words or Less – Photopoetry

Laura Salas  is taking the month of July off from blogging. She asked if I would like to host 15 words or less photopoetry for the month and I said sure! This is no pressure, lots of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read the guidelines here.

Here’s this week’s picture. Do you know what they are? This is from my garden and I was so excited to find them on the milkweed plants today. They are lacewing eggs. Soon they will hatch and devour the legions of aphids that are waiting for them all over the plant.

What does this make you think of?

If you’d like to play, just choose any topic this image makes come to your mind and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. Your poem doesn’t have to describe this photo. The picture is just a jumping-off point.  Basically look at the picture and write a poem of 15 words or less inspired by the photo. Please add your byline to the poem so I can include it in the poetry Friday roundup.

Go on. You know you want to.

 

Thursday, July 30, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |35 Comments

Poetry Friday – The Poems from July 23, 2009

This week’s Poetry Friday entry are the terrific poems from yesterday photopoetry of 15 words or less. Here was the picture:

And here are the poems
Tethered Lives
cornflakes and scales
hay bales
rabbit trails
bone rails –

we live in chains.

— Allen Taylor
@WorldClassPoet

Don’t know what it’s for
But over by the door
Hole there in the floor

— slatts

Break through.
Peer
Into the Darkness.
Or climb in
And find out what’s really there.

— Becky Levine

 

Trust, Adventure, Imagination
No one knows
what’s inside a hole,
emptiness
or a world of
jabberwockies
and hobbits.

— Diane M. Davis

 

CRAZY ARITHMETIC

one minuscule crack
+
one infinitesimal drop of moisture
+
one process of oxidization
=
one unexpected delight

— Diane Mayr

Sunburn
Dry peeling skin
made him groan
low and eerie
like midnight’s moan.

— Cindyb

 

Aim for the next
level–
Ready?
Set?
Leap!

— Kathy Q.
wordsrmylife

If Willy Loman Had a Sex Change
Death of a Suburban Mother and Saleswoman, circa 1950s

That iron did
me no good
I threw it
down

Done

To hell with
you

— Pamela Ross

Never listen to sixth grade kids –

“Put your nose here,”
they said.

Sucked in!

— Susan Stephenson

Fix – now please
For you never know
how big I will become
Maybe eternal ugliness

—  Anne McKenna

Friday, July 24, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |4 Comments

15 Words or Less – Photopoetry

Laura Salas is taking the month of July off from blogging. She asked if I would like to host 15 words or less photopoetry for the month and I said sure! This is no pressure, lots of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read the guidelines here.

Here’s this week’s picture.

What does this make you think of? Which side are you on? Did you just drop something in the hole? Has someone dared you to put your hand inside? Where does the picture send your imagination?

If you’d like to play, just choose any topic this image makes come to your mind and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. Your poem doesn’t have to describe this photo. The picture is just a jumping-off point.  Basically look at the picture and write a poem of 15 words or less inspired by the photo. Please add your byline to the poem so I can include it in the poetry Friday roundup.

Go on. You know you want to.

Thursday, July 23, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |23 Comments

Poetry Friday! Here are the poems from 15 words or less July 16th 2009

This week’s Poetry Friday entry are the terrific poems from yesterday photopoetry of 15 words or less. Here was the picture:

And here are the poems!
Lolipop
of lint and life
waits for wind
to disseminate
procreation.

~~~ Diane M. Davis

 

Shared Desire
Gray hair, untamed,
just like mine.
We hope for a breeze
at the clothesline.

~~~ Cindy Breedlove

 

This is proof–
even a flower
can have
a bad hair day.

~~~ Cynthia Cotten

 

I
am
so
beautiful.

Why do you
revile me,
repulse me?

~~~ mlyearofreading

 

A DANDY PLAN

She fastens
her children
to parachutes
preparing them
for an inconspicuous
invasion of
cultivated lands.

~~~  Diane Mayr

 

Helen meant to blow,
but instead she inhaled.
Then she spat and coughed.

~~~ jennifer-d-g

 

Sunships of wonder
waiting to ride
the breeze,
to create their own worlds.

~~~ Kathy Q.
wordsrmylife

 

together we grew
then the winds came
scattering us afar
it’s time
to bloom apart.

~~~ melissa

 

Wishing to be 5 yrs old again.
With wisdom
to know how great 5 is.
~poof~

~~~ Amanda

 

Wish

A hundred tiny wisps of hope
Waiting to be sent into the world.

~~~ Sue Douglass Fliess

 

Just one big blow
Fly away fairies
Bring back wishes
of hope,
happiness and love

~~~ Anne Mckenna

 

Sphinx Sperm?
Soft, white and tiny
dandelion seeds twirl gently on
a mythical breeze.

~~~ John Mutford

Friday, July 17, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |5 Comments

15 Words or Less – Photo Poetry

Laura Salas, aka[info]laurasalas  , is taking the month of July off from blogging. She asked if I would like to host 15 words or less photopoetry for the month and I said sure! This is no pressure, lots of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read the guidelines here.

Here’s this week’s picture.

What does this make you think of? Are you holding it in your hand, waiting to make a wish? Are you yanking them out of your yard before more can grow? Where does the picture send your imagination?

If you’d like to play, just choose any topic this image makes come to your mind and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. Your poem doesn’t have to describe this photo. The picture is just a jumping-off point.  Basically look at the picture and write a poem of 15 words or less inspired by the photo. Please add your byline to the poem so I can include it in the poetry Friday roundup.

Go on. You know you want to.

Thursday, July 16, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |28 Comments

Poetry Friday! Here are the poems from 15 words or less

This week’s Poetry Friday entry are the terrific poems from yesterday photopoetry of 15 words or less. Here was the picture:

And here are the poems!

Watch your step
you never know where they go
way down
into depths of despair
— Anne McKenna

Watch Your Back
Planks remain bare

Poisonous vines
don’t tread visible paths

They climb directly
into your heart

–Laura Purdie Salas

Conquering
Breath catching
Heart palpitating,
searching depths
Mastering fear,
Take a step!
been afraid too long

— melissa

 

I’m so glad
I’m not Jimmy Stewart
In that movie
VERTIGO
Instead,
Here I go!

— slatts

 

The view–spectacular!
But now….

Spinning, spiraling….

Where’s Jimmy Stewart
when you need him?

— Kathy Q.
wordsrmylife

 

Round
and round
redwood tight-gripped
I wish
life
had so graceful
a bannister.

— sartorias
Wasn’t sure
where I was headed.
Pick a card,any card.
Life’s a gamble.

—  Martha Calderaro

Round and round
One step down.
Round and round
Two steps down.
All around. Ground.
— Louise Henriksen

July 9 Post – 15 word poem
Cycles, circles go around,
Until the way of dusty death and ground.

— G Grenley

Each day
fans out
from Summer
separate
but connected
in their uniformity
of season.

— Diane M. Davis

Steps too narrow.
Feet too long.
Thanks–
I think I’ll stay
up here.

— Cynthia Cotten

 

Board

Board, so bored,
with the same steps.
Time to stop looking back and go up.

— Sue Douglass Fliess

 

The Board Monster
Board monster’s here.
Couldn’t nail him down.
It spins wooden paddles
spanking kids in town.

— Joyce Lansky

Here I stand at the top of the stairs
Wondering which way to go.

— Barbara Van Deusen
the body falls
into an upturned truth
its been waiting to meet
all its life

— Shutta Crumm

 

Friday, July 10, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |9 Comments