Friday, April 26, 2024

National Poetry Month: Two Elfchens


Hello Everyone!  National Poetry Month is nearing its end, and I've written two little poems that I'm happy to share today. Many of my poems this month have been elfchens, a form I have come to appreciate for its challenge of so few words.

This first poem came into being as a storm front came through, and I was fascinated by the clouds. They were low and ominous and deep gray, and they scudded past at a good clip.  At the same time, I was reading a book about a wildlife preserve in Africa. So... maybe I pushed the envelope here with the metaphor?  Anyway...  tell me what you think. (Older photo from a trip to MN.)


Gray clouds
Heavy as rhinos
Stampede across the horizon.

The second poem comes from the view out my front window. Spring is at its height here, and I can tell because my eyes are itchy. It happens when the lilacs bloom. Bummer! I love their sweet scent.

Twirling, Twirling

seeds adorn
maple's graceful arms.
On cue, breeze whispers: 

Hey, have you seen this???  Soon I'll be sharing some of my poems from Carol Labuzzetta's anthology, Picture Perfect Poetry. I'm so pleased with this beautiful gathering of photography and poetry.  I hope you will pick up a copy!

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Ruth, all the way from Uganda!  She has written a beautiful poem about her dreams of Haiti, where she once lived.  Find her blog and links to others HERE.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Progressive Poem 2024 is Here!

 Hello Everyone:

It's my day to add to this year's Progressive Poem. I think this is the third time I've participated in this month-long tradition of adding a line to a poem written by the participants in our Poetry Friday forum.

This idea was started in 2012 by Irene Latham as a celebration of National Poetry Month. The Progressive Poem is now hosted by Margaret Simon. Thank you, Margaret, for this gorgeous graphic and for organizing this year's poem and giving it shape.

Here is the poem so far, with my lines in bold:

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

And now I pass the poem along to Linda Baie at Teacher Dance. I hope you will follow along!

Here’s the schedule for the 2024 Progressive Poem:

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
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
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

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

A Song of Everyday Miracles

Thanks to Bob Hamera for hosting this month.  You can read about two miracles in his life HERE. Look through his comment section to find links to others in this group. Bob provided our prompt this month, to write about everyday miracles.  

Do you experience miracles in your life? I find miracles through my life experiences, and also through the books that come my way. Frederick Buechner, Kathleen Norris, and Madeline L'Engle were authors who spoke to me in small miracles. Also Sigurd Olson. 

Right now, Jennifer Ackerman's What an Owl Knows is on my reading table. It isn't exactly spiritual, but it does celebrate the many aspects of owls. And owls are one of God's miracles.

We saw a little saw-whet owl sitting on a wire just outside our window in one of our earliest apartments in Minneapolis. It was a cute little thing, no bigger than a robin, and we got a very good look at it. It didn't mind being out during the daylight hours, sheltered as it was between our duplex and the hill full of trees just behind. How lucky to be visited by such a creature.

Thanks to Cornell Lab

Later, walking in her Minneapolis neighborhood with my sister Marion, an owl flew just over my head. To be honest, I missed this encounter altogether, but Marion exclaimed and ducked on my behalf. 

My most memorable owl sighting was in Omaha, visiting my niece Becky.

Just before dusk we began to hear an owl, so we walked into the wooded area to see if we could find it.  No more than twenty steps and there it was, perched on a low branch: a great horned owl! What a gorgeous creature. We stood and stared for a long time, and the owl stared back. After a while we went back in the house and then into the woods again, and the owl was still there. It seemed to be communicating with another owl a short distance away, which we couldn't find. We thought the adult might have been shadowing a fledgling to be sure it was safe.

Now Ackerman's book brings me back to this memory, and teaches me about owls. The vocalizations of owls, for one thing, are much more varied and interesting than I understood. Did you know that owls don't just hoot, they shriek, yap, chitter, squeal, squawk, warble and wail plaintively?  Among great horned owls, the hoot is distinct from one individual to another. The number of notes can differ, and the spacing between hoots can change from one great horned owl to another. Did you know a nesting great horned owl will produce a broken-wing display when threatened? Fascinating!

Check out this little video of owl calls:

Communing with nature centers me and brings me peace. Looking into the eyes of an owl is an exciting and extraordinary experience. And consider that there is always more to learn, and that we as humans hunger for learning. These to me are miraculous.  

I believe the world is full of more miracles than we can imagine. Today it may be owls, but who knows what it will be tomorrow? 

Perhaps the miracle of surprise.

Have a wonderful, miraculous month. The world is waking up. Don't miss it!