Friday, December 31, 2021

with bells on

Santorini -photo by Yuri Lev

Greetings to all who land here as we ring out the old year and ring in the new.  The Seven+One Poetry Sisters aka Poetry Pals have invited us to feature bells today.  In the spirit of collabellation, here's my blitz:



if a clod be washed away by the sea


coral bells

coral reef

reef or island

reef or atoll

toll the bells

toll the road

road to ruin

road to nowhere

nowhere else

nowhere man

man no island

woman be

be the bell

be the ring

ring me up

ring a rosie

rosy glasses

rosy future

futures stocks

future shock

shocking data

shocking news

Alexander Graham Bell

calling on the Batphone

phone me up

phone it in

in a minute

just a second

second thoughts

second chances

chance encounter

chance of rain

rain of ashes

rain of fire

fire alarm

fire fall

all fall down

all wrung out

out of luck

just in time

time's a-wastin'

time’s a ship

a sinking ship

a sinking feeling

a feel for it

it takes a toll

atoll an island

rings it tolls



draft ©HM 2021

Many will notice that I'm leaning heavily on John Donne here, his famous you-can-call-it-a-sonnet-but-really-I-wrote-it-just-the-way-I-wanted "No man is an island." Like John, I had a hard time following the rules of the blitz this time and finally I've just had to give in and ring this bell my own way. Thanks to the sisters, among them Tanita Davis, for the opening the challenge.

In other news, Tanita was my Winter Poem Swap partner, and in the spirit of pacing myself and making that holiday feeling last as long as possible, I'll be posting all about the lovely gifts she sent next time, when also the Inklings will be posting our first challenge of *gulp* 2022. I'm glad to leave 2021 behind, yes, but also not expecting too much better of 2022.  

Apparently that's a way to go, according to this deeply radical and honest blessing that passed to me on Facebook, by Nadia Bolz-Weber:

A blessing for the new year:

As you enter this new year, as you pack away the Christmas decorations and get out your stretchy pants

as you face the onslaught of false promises offered you through new disciplines and elimination diets

as you grasp for control of yourself and your life and this chaotic world

May you remember that there is no resolution that, if kept, will make you more worthy of love.

There is no resolution that, if kept, will make life less uncertain and allow you to control a pandemic and your children and the way other people act.  

So this year,

May you just skip the part where you resolve to be better do better and look better this time.

May you give yourself the gift of really, really low expectations.

May you expect so little of yourself that you can be super proud of the smallest of accomplishments.

May you expect so little of the people in your life that you actually notice and cherish every small lovely thing about them.

May you expect so little of the supply chain and the service industry that you notice more of what you do get and less of what you don't and then just tip really well anyhow.

May you expect to get so little out of 2022 that you can celebrate every single thing it offers you, however small.

Because you deserve joy and not disappointment

So, I wish you a Happy as possible New Year.

As do I, and especially to our host today, Carol at Carol's Corner, who is gamely rounding us up with the antidote, which is always poetry, to the sudden fiery devastation of very nearby territory in Boulder, CO.  May you all feel just a little bit safer by being here.


  1. Alexander Graham Bell and ringing up the Bat That was a fun blitz especially because it was your way. And, thank you for sharing the blessing. No resolution if kept will make you more worthy of love. Wow.

  2. Yay for blitzing your very own way! And yes to acceptance and love of where we are right now instead of so much striving. Happy 2022, Heidi! xo

  3. I love your blitz, Heidi--and as I got to Alexander Graham Bell, I thought, this how a blitz poem goes? NO, and I love that you did it anyway. I love structure--and I love when people break it with enthusiasm :>) And I absolutely ADORE this blessing your shared. Thank you.

  4. What Laura said. Rules, ha! Yeah, you need them...until you don't. This poem rollicks along, and we just hang on for the ride, enjoying it all the way.

    P.S. I love "collabellation" too.

  5. Your blitz is spot on, in my opinion.

  6. I'm wholly unfamiliar with the blitz, but now I have to try this, too. And whew that Nadia Bolz-Weber, thank you for sharing that call to get real and go forth roaring into celebrating the new year.

  7. Heidi-
    Thank you for these two treasures. I love your poem, what an amazing play on words! I have done several of those type of poems and they are hard to write and take a LOOONG time.

    I also love, love, love Nadia's "Blessing for the New Year." Can't wait to share this with my friends tomorrow morning.

    And sadly, the first thing I thought of yesterday when I heard about the fires in Colorado was climate change. We have had more than 200 days without precipitation in the Denver Metro area... So, so, so sad.

  8. Heidi, a blitz poem is so hard to write (in my estimation). You did a great job-love the play on words. I like that you slipped in a character I know. Thanks for Nadia Bolz-Weber's poem. We all deserve love and joy. Have a great 2022.

  9. Thank you for always ringing you bell your own way and inspiring me as you do! Your blitz is brilliant! Nadia Bolz-Weber's blessing is exactly what I needed to read this morning before heading to work in what feels like completely unchartered territory. Enjoy your snow day!

  10. Heidi, I love the stream of conscience feel of your poem, how the ideas flow. Very clever. And the prayer is stunning. I have thought about the attention to the supply chain should be what we DO have in spite of all the hardship, etc.

  11. I love the "atoll" in there, and lagoons inside atolls too. Terrific poem Heidi, and I like it when you bend the form. Thanks for the Blessings poem too, letting go of expectations… hard to do, but well worth trying–Cheers!


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