Thursday, July 4, 2024

wish you were here

We interrupt this hiatus to participate in the First Friday Inklings Challenge, a short and sweet one set by me during this time of travel and tasks, rest and recharge:

Write a short postcard poem with choice details of your vacation/holiday/ getaway/escape location and activities. Conclude with "Wish you were here" or some variation! Inspiration:
From "Postcards" by Bert Meyers

And who knew this existed?


Mine's a little home-sweet-home message:

Thanks to Jan at BookSeedStudio (who is bringing us WATERMELON SUGAR--so special to me) for hosting us this holiday weekend.  Let's see where else we're receiving postcards from...

Mary Lee Hahn @ A(nother) Year of Reading

Catherine Flynn @ Reading to the Core

Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone

Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche

Friday, May 17, 2024

hayhoe, hayhoe, hasta luego

Greetings, all, on this 3rd Friday of May!  It's Climate Friday at my juicy little universe, and I'm here briefly to mention that I'm taking a little sabbatical from Poetry Friday through September 13, when I'll return as host.  I have some (like 934) writing projects that require my undivided attention.

I'm also here to recommend a weekly read that makes a big difference in my life as a
climate communicator--it's the work of another, much more educated climate communicator, Katharine Hayhoe. She has a YouTube channel and writes a Substack that I subscribe to, TALKING CLIMATE WITH KATHARINE HAYHOE, a pithy three-point bulletin with sections titled "Good News," "Not-So-Good News" and "Inspiration/What You Can Do."  It's straight talk and very empowering, and full of links if you want to know more. She also specializes in talking climate action with Christian communities.  

You can find this week's piece and subscribe yourself here. (The photo depicts people using the Local and online "climate cafés" popping up that....facilitate open, frank discussions about the climate crisis and the emotions that living in this particular moment brings up, reports Katharine. They also help like-minded people connect, collaborate, and build community so we know we’re not alone.)

Batteries made of sand?! by Katharine Hayhoe

Sand batteries, extreme Asian heat wave, and Climate Cafés

Read on Substack

I'll leave you with a poem and this quote from today's Poem-A-Day author: 

As poets, we can practice holding delicate moments, human and inhumane nuances, and consider the possible beauty in all of it. - Kay Ulanday Barrett

Thanks to Patricia for hosting us today at Reverie, and I'll see you probably not until September...Be well, all, and enjoy the summer!

Friday, May 3, 2024

a miracle exchange

May starts off with an exchange-and-respond challenge from Linda Mitchell: each of us sent off a poem to another Inkling and received a poem from another Inkling. Then, we were tasked to “Fiddle with, play with, tinker, tear-apart, be inspired or stumped by the poem.” By chance, Mary Lee and I sent poems to each other.

She sent hers first--a golden shovel with a striking line from Jane Hirschfield's “‘It is night. It is very dark.’ " I sent her a golden shovel in return, with a Mary Oliver striking line. Mary Lee's poem left me speechless and kind of reeling with the feeling that I'd witnessed a miracle.

To begin every day with questions

is like leaving the house without an umbrella and

choosing to ignore the dark clouds. Answers

might speckle our glasses and plaster our hair, but are

not usually delivered by lightning, not

any more dangerous than the

bone-chilling business

of walking around the park, our hands free of

holding, free of grasping, simply open to the rain.

I got to thinking about how similarly the two of us do poetry, how helpful we are to each other with critique, how our tastes overlap and enrich each other's work (and that's before considering how alike we are as teachers, despite preferring opposite ends of the elementary age range). I thought about how suprising it is that two people who, without the internet and Poetry Friday would never have met, could end up so connected. I decided to combine our two striking lines and see what would happen. Here's the outcome.

Yep, a very fun challenge! Thanks, Linda, and thank you to my friend Mary Lee.

Here’s how the other Inklings met the exchange challenge:
Linda @A Word Edgewise
Catherine @Reading to the Core
Mary Lee @A(nother) Year of Reading
Molly @Nix the Comfort Zone
Margaret @Reflections on the Teche

Thanks to Buffy Silverman for rounding us up this week!

Friday, April 26, 2024

more April #elfchen

Greetings, all, and power to you as April draws to a close and many of us are beginning to feel a little poetryed out! Let's give ourselves grace--I want to post on this Friday but I know I'll need to limit my commenting if not my reading.  My goal is 11 eleven-word comments; what balance of creation/participation/rest do you need this week?

Here are my 🌎rescue🌍elfchen, intended for kids, for the last couple of weeks.  You can see them all on Instagram, but here they are all gathered for ease of enjoyment, and I hope you do.

brought to you by Wm Shakespeare, King Richard II:

in honor of BuyNothing groups organized on Facebook:

This last one received a lot of support but not much in the way of ideas, because like me, other Instagramming poets are running dry too! But never fear: I left my writing sofa and rode to school on my bike, and as someone I follow says, #natureneverdisappoints.  So here's today's elfchen, fresh off the saddle:

lawn unmowed,
untidies the block:
multitude of buttercups! thanks,

Thanks to our lovely host today, Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town, who comes to us from Kampala and keeps us mindful of other life experiences--rather like our Progressive Poem is doing this year. Visit Ruth and also Karin Fisher-Golton, who is progressing the journey of two young migrants today. May we all be well and safe, and may we all help someone be weller and safer today.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

all join in: the poetry friday round-up is here!

Greetings once again to all who keep Poetry Friday, to all who mark National Poetry Month, to all who care about Poetry and Justice for All!  I'm thrilled to be your host today, this Earth Day weekend, and to remind us all of our ancestral roots in the Kidlitosphere by bringing you some number of poems written and composed by kids of my acquaintance.  

You don't need me to remind you that the future of our planet belongs to these our youngest poets. You need THEM to remind you.

and, in conclusion:

Diversity.  Unity.  Wonder.  Belief.   

Now you bring YOUR diversity, unity, wonder and belief to our Friday!  InLinkz will collect your links below.  HAPPY EARTH DAY!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

2024 progressive poem


Today this year's Progressive Poem lands with me. As an ever-changing but pretty consistent group, we've written journeys before--quite a few--but never one that could literally mean the difference between life and death. I'd like to thank Janice who, on Day 3, introduced this whole new dimension with just 11 carefully chosen words.  This poem has STAKES, the kind of stakes that many of us have never had to live through. Today I've tried to give our narrator some more of what they need to make it through, and my lines of four beats have gone double-time in recognition of the urgency.


Cradled in stars, our planet sleeps,

clinging to tender dreams of peace

sister moon watches from afar,

singing lunar lullabies of hope.

almost dawn. I walk with others,

keeping close my little brother.

hand in hand, we carry courage

escaping closer to the border

My feet are lightning;

My heart is thunder.

Our pace draws us closer

to a new land of wonder.

I bristle against rough brush—

poppies ahead brighten the browns.

Morning light won’t stay away—

hearts jump at every sound.

I hum my own little song

like ripples in a stream

Humming Mami’s lullaby

reminds me I have her letter

My fingers linger on well-worn creases,

shielding an address, a name, a promise–

Sister Moon will find always us

surrounding us with beams of kindness

But last night as we rested in the dusty field,

worries crept in about matters back home.

I huddled close to my brother. Tears revealed

the no-choice need to escape. I feel grown.

Leaving all I’ve ever known

the tender, heavy, harsh of home.

On to maybes, on to dreams,

on to whispers we hope could be.

But I don't want to whisper! I squeeze Manu's hand.

"¡Más cerca ahora!" Our feet pound the sand. 


Thank you very much to Margaret Simon for following in the footsteps of Irene and continuing to organize this project for the last few years. Catch the next couplet tomorrow with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference--we're more than halfway through this list of intrepid contributors!

April 1 Patricia Franz at Reverie
April 2 Jone MacCulloch
April 3 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
April 4 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
April 5 Irene at Live Your Poem
April 6 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
April 7 Marcie Atkins
April 8 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God Forsaken Town
April 9 Karen Eastlund
April 10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
April 11 Buffy Silverman
April 12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
April 13 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
April 14 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
April 15 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
April 16 Sarah Grace Tuttle
April 17 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
April 18 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
April 19 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
April 20 Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
April 21 Janet, hosted here at Reflections on the Teche
April 22 Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading
April 23 Tanita Davis at (fiction, instead of lies)
April 24 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
April 25 Joanne Emery at Word Dancer
April 26 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
April 27 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
April 28 Dave at Leap of Dave
April 29 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
April 30 Michelle Kogan at More Art for All