Thursday, July 27, 2023


How-do, poetry people?  I'm flying through today with two very different thangs, neither of which I spent too much time on.  Something has been distracting me, and honestly it's mainly getting ready for a trip the like of which we've done many times before....

But I'm trying to be chiller about that than usual, while packing more minimally than I do usually. Monitoring one's overfunctioning is very distracting.

Anyway, I tried the Poetry Sisters' monotetra challenge and this is as close as I could get:

But also this, from a quote I saw in Letters from an American Thursday morning:

Now, a note about the Sealey Challenge:  I'll have to take it light, being away from home, so here's the plan.  I go back and read all the unread Poems-a-Day in my inbox, 2 or 3 per day.  I keep an eye on what catches my ear most tightly.  Then I order a different poet's book every week in August to add to my collection and to support the poetry publishing market. At the end I'll tell you what, as they say in England, I plumped for.

Happy Hotter Than July, everyone, and thanks to the inimitable Jan at BookSeed Studio for hosting us!

Friday, July 21, 2023

superheroes for our time

apparently I'm not the first
to imagine this character
Greetings, Climate Citizens.  It's the 3rd Friday of the month and I'm coming at you after a session in the WHISPERshout Studio where we looked at superhero stories and poems.  (My favorite superhero picture book is HAZEL'S AMAZING MOTHER, which in my opinion is an unsung hero of a story.  I hope you've read it.)

The kids wrote about SuperJunior, Batwoman and Superkitty, and I continued a poem I'd started the week before, writing alongside the kids, about the heat.  What was dire became hopeful with the arrival of my own superheroine, and there are many more (and more realistic) superheroines out there, including Dr. Sara Via, Professor & Climate Extension Specialist at the University of Maryland. Her nerdy-in-the-best-way webinar,"The Darkest Hour Is Just Before The Tipping Point," is a current summary of all the progress we are starting to see, coming on faster and faster.  Set aside some time in between the heat domes, the Tornadoes and the wildfires to watch, and then do what you can to help it all happen!


Canada on fire
heat is everywhere
the air is like flame

90 degrees  100 degrees  110 degrees

people are sweating
earth is baking
no one can breathe

the world on fire


She rides the oceans, rivers and streams
Her cape is a wave of blue water

She arrives just in time
with all the people calling her name
with all the people cheering her on

From her fingers spouts of cool water
shoot over the burning forests, burning earth, burning air


Instadraft™ © HM 2023\

Our host today is Margaret at Reflections on the Teche, who looks to be feeling better after her recent surgery--but then homemade strawberry jam fixes most ailments, I guess!

Thursday, July 13, 2023

live from chautauqua

Greetings, fellow poetry fans! Here at the Chautauqua Institution, which I call a "faith-flavored culture camp for adults," there's too much going on for a lengthy post, so I'm putting up an Instadraft™ and promising no kind of commenting this weekend as I reenter real life from this rarefied atmosphere. Thanks to a guy I know from home with whom I had coffee here and who gave me this poem--a dog poem of all things!

Dog Talk

Despite the surgery,
she grew weaker
and I grew stronger:
five times a day and night
I picked up that crippled old collie,
love of our lives,
the one I hear folks
calling a fur baby,
and carried her outside
to do her business.

For 9 months, like a father
holds and diapers a baby,
over and over
I carried all 70 pounds of her
down the narrow stairs,
across the porch and down
the wide stairs to the lawn
and back up when she was done.

Not long after she left us,
Valora came to me in the night,
speaking in her collie voice,
telling me how now
I'd have to go to the gym
to stay so strong.

Instadraft™ © HM 2023

Thanks to the tremendously creative Linda at A Word Edgewise for hosting us this week!

Friday, July 7, 2023

sudoku (the numbers must remain single)

Greetings, all, and I hope you had a sparkling* Interdependence Day. I have unilaterally decided that we Americans have taken the idea of Independence too far in an ugly direction, and that Interdependence is a lot more realistic and useful an ideal to celebrate.  Join my movement! (video diversion)

It's the first Friday of the month and time for an Inklings challenge.  I was so taken with Mary Lee's sudoku poem post last month that I passed the challenge on to all of us: "SUDOKU POEM! YES! Make yourself a grid at least 4x4. Reread Mary Lee’s sudoku poem post from June 1 for information and inspiration and create your own sudoku poem. If you need help with word choice, you could use some of the words in the poem “Numbers” by Mary Cornish."

I myself was very interested in the way the numeric content of a traditional sudoku puzzle could translate into words, so I offered the Mary Cornish poem as a starting point, but I don't think any of us used it, not even me! But I did find out that the name of the puzzle originates in the year 2000 and is from the Japanese, short for sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru "the numbers must remain single" (or "the digits can occur only once").  These words, along with the syllables su, do and ku, show up in my 5x5 grid poem below, which is homage to and curse against kudzu.

See, kudzu is that ugly version of independence in vine form--it just runs up and over everything else, unsubtly and selfishly "maximizing its photosynthetic productivity, by making sure its leaves have optimal exposure to the sun — even if it means smothering other plants in a kind of structural parasitism." It can grow a foot in one day. 

But also, you can eat it! I think our task here is clear, people.

Go see what my fellow Inklings have come up with, and thanks to our host for today, Marcie Flinchum Atkins, for rounding us up.  I'm off to Chautauqua with my folks for a week and plan to do a SHEDLOAD of writing and submitting....send focus my way!

*Speaking of fireworks: my Pride Poem was posted on June 21 and you can scroll down and see the video here. It's called "Federal Hill 4th of July".

Catherine @ Reading to the Core
Mary Lee Hahn @ A(nother) Year of Reading
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche