Question-Mark Cat

Lichen on a branch like a lace doily on the arm of a grandmother’s chair.

Brewer’s prompt today is to write an animal poem. As usual, when I leave the poem until the end of the day, my mind has scrambled down too many tunnels to form a coherent poem.

On the green carpet,
a golden patch of sunlight.
A question-mark cat.


It’s another April. This year, grades were due at 8 a.m. on April first, so I didn’t even consider Poem-a-Day until after I’d muddled my way through the day, taken a nap, and eaten supper. But here I am. It’s a strange compulsion, this drive to write a daily poem, knowing that the next four weeks will have their own share of other stresses, that there will come a day, mid-month, when I will hate the way poetry is holding the whip above my head, when I will write a grocery list and call it a poem, just to get through the day. But now, on the first day of the month, everything seems bright and shiny, and I feel up for anything.

Brewer’s prompt today is to write a morning poem. I worked up a photo of this morning’s magenta cloud in a blue sky to go with it.

Finishing the Grades

The battle cry of yesterday’s ghost
startled me into morning
at precisely 4:38 according to the clock,
and as I couldn’t wrestle the monster
back into oblivion, I strapped on the day
like a rusty sword and went downstairs
in the chilly dark, to coffee and a blue screen,
to the silent dread of numbers on a page,
and the certainty of this day’s wave of work
receding, while the pull of the next wave
began its undertow toward the rising sun.

Observing a Photograph of My Great-Great-Grandmother

Today’s Prompt is to write a portrait poem. I looked at an old photo of my great-great-grandmother, Catherine Witwer Weaver, who was a midwife.

I took a photo of the photo on the wall, and captured the light from my own room reflected into hers, and there is the room of my own head casting a shadow on the left side of the photo.

Gratitude List:
1. Poeming
2. Grandmothers
3. Kestrel on a wire
4. Dreaming
5. Sleeping

May we walk in Beauty!

You, Too, Will Rise Again

Today is the first day of National Poetry Month 2018! As I often do, I will follow Robert Lee Brewer’s poetry prompts on his blog Poetic Asides (associated with Writer’s Digest) for writing a poem a day during the month. Today’s prompt is to write a “secret” poem.

Lately I’ve been finding great satisfaction in publishing my tiny poems on Instagram, in a short and terse format. It requires a different set of poetic muscles to write in extremely short forms. There’s something that feels more intimate in this process, and I find my short poems taking on a Sufi-esque tenderness. I find myself wanting to emulate Rumi and Hafiz. So today, I just tried to make it happen. I would like to shift it so there isn’t a direct gendered pronoun in the last line, but I didn’t want to lose the intimacy.

Gratitude List:
1. Yesterday’s celebration of a beautiful, vibrant, compassionate, wise, intellectual, and grateful woman. Grieving together as a gathered community. Stories of the Mama Bear, the Turtle Dove, the Wise Owl.
2. Those goldfinches at my father’s feeders are wearing their spring motley, and the gold is shining through.
3. Getting out and walking with the family. Every winter, I start to feel like it will never get better, like the rest of my life will be spent indoors. Then there comes a day when things open up, I can crawl out from under the rock of the season, and I can suddenly breathe again.
4. Redbuds are blooming! Have you seen them? Oh, my heart suddenly felt free again when I saw them.
5. Transformation. I know we spend our time in the tomb before we can be resurrected, but I just always lose sight of the coming transformation.

May we walk in Beauty!

National Poetry Month!


Happy National Poetry Month!

all day I listened
for the small, wild thread
of your song,
like the first notes
of a sparrow
tuning up for morning

Gratitude List:
1. The music in yesterday’s chapel.  I could listen to Mindy Nolt sing for hours.  Sending the students out into their day with the message that everything will work itself out.
2. How things come together even when they seem like they won’t.
3. That impossibly golden forsythia.
4. Morning clouds–layers of colors and shadows.
5. Mercy and grace.  Mercy and grace.  Mercy and grace.

May we walk in Mercy.

How the World Began

Welcome to National Poetry Month!

So much to do!  I was away from home all day today, so tomorrow I will inaugurate this year’s Poetree in my dogwood.
Stacia Fleegal of the poetry blog Versify offers a challenge to read a poem a day.  I won’t put all mine on videotape, but here’s today’s attempt.
I think I will try the April Poem-A-Day Challenge again.  Today’s prompt is a two-fer: Write a Beginning poem.  Write an Ending poem.

How the World Began

In the beginning, Spider
launched herself into the spring breeze
from a rattling stalk of dried nettle

toward a skinny maple sapling.
She missed the maple.  Landed,
light-foot, in a heap of leaves

gathered around its base.
A quick scuttle upward, launched again
and through the breeze once more

to nettle stalks this time, and
the gossamer cord caught.
Then launched herself once more

into the gentle breath of wind
until she’d spun herself a world,
until she had encompassed all.

In the end, Spider gathered strands
and wove herself a spirit cloth of silver thread
to catch the wandering dreams

of mockingbirds and wild geese
passing over the chilly meadow,
following tomorrow’s sunrise.


Gratitude List:

1.  Flicker calling from the treetops this morning
2.  The golden flank feathers of the pheasant who walked through my parents’ lawn this afternoon, and his squeaky screen-door squawk.
3.  The Fool, dancing on the edge, willing to take risks, to laugh lightly at herself, to seek adventure.
4.  Energy.  Taking responsibility for my own, learning to sense it, to listen for it, to watch, to shift it.
5.  The smoke ring that emerged from the palo santo smudge that Nicky used this morning, how it rose so languidly through the grapevines, twisted, turned for a moment into a baby dragon, and dissipated like a mist, like a wraith.

May we walk in Beauty!