Friday, January 5, 2018

Poetry Friday: Bomb Cyclones - Say What?

What a bomb cyclone looks like from the sky...

 Out here on the Left Coast, we've heard about the winter storms hitting New England. One day last week the high temperature in Montpelier, VT, was -1. That was the HIGH temperature. Low was  -17!! And this week we're hearing about hurricane force winds combining with those freezing temperatures. Weathermen are talking about bomb cyclone conditions. "Bomb cyclones"?

...and from below!

I'm going to try to remember not to complain about the Pacific Northwest's relatively mild winters. For now, I send warm wishes, along with wishes for warmth, to all my friends and colleagues at Vermont College of Fine Arts who are meeting for their Winter Residency. Warm hugs to, to my daughter and her family in gobsmacked Boston. Bundle up, sweet people, and have a few cups of cocoa!!

VCFA in the snow....

Here is a poem for Poetry Friday, written by Mary Oliver.


In winter
   all the singing is in
       the tops of trees
           where the wind bird

with its white eyes
   shoves and pushes
       among the branches.
            Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep
   but he's restless---
       he has an idea,
            and slowly it unfolds
from under his beating wing
    as long as he stays awake.
        But his big, round music, after all,
             is too breathy to last.

So, it's over.
     In the pine-crown,
         he makes his nest,
             he's done all he can.

I don't know the name of this bird,
     I only imagine his glittering beak
          tucked in a white wing
               while the clouds---

which he has summoned
     from the north---
          which he has taught
               to be mild, and silent---

thicken, and begin to fall
     into the world below
         like stars, or the feathers
              of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,
    that is asleep now, and silent---
         that has turned itself
              into snow.

Bird Print in Snow (photograph by Joe Sebastiani)

Mary Oliver 

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week by Catherine at Reading to the Core. Head over there to see what other people have posted. And, since we're still only four days in, I wish you a happy, healthy and creative new year. 2018!!!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Poetry Friday: Roger McGough and Mrs. Moon

A visual poem.....

To complement December's beautiful supermoon, I'm offering up a poem by the multi-talented Roger McGough for today's Poetry Friday:

Mrs. Moon

Mrs. Moon
sitting up in the sky
little old lady
with a ball of fading light
and silvery needles
knitting the night.

If you're not familiar with McGough's work, I recommend you visit this webpage and take a look at his huge range of talents (and don't miss the cartoon down the page!) And thank you to sweet and talented Allyson Valentine Schrier, who gave me McGough's All the Best after we finished our semester together as advisor and student at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Today's Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Lisa at Steps and Staircases. Head over there to see what other people have posted. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Poetry Friday - An Ode to Potatoes and Butter

This is a potato. AKA a spud.

Happy Poetry Friday, friends! Today I have an original poem to share with you. It's the product of pure fun: two friends from Vermont College of Fine Arts (Sarah Ellis and Daphne Kalmar - both brilliant, both hugely talented, both hilarious) and I have been writing poems in response to challenges each of us set. My latest challenge to them was to write a poem about potatoes (yes, our prompts and topics are a bit idiosyncratic....) since potatoes take a starring role at both my Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables. Mashed potatoes with turkey and gravy, scalloped potatoes with a Christmas ham. Is there any way potatoes can be fixed that does not result in something scrumptious?

These are potatoes, mashed, with gravy. AKA yummmm.

This is a ham. AKA a good excuse for a side of little spuds.

In my poem, I've added in some butter. Thank all the gods on Olympus for potatoes and butter! Here is my poem:

A Spuds and Butter Song

Butter and spuds, spuds and butter - 
thanks to the cow, thanks  to her udder,
thanks to the dirt where the spud eyes grow, 
thanks to the farmer who, row after row,
day by day, season by season, 
tends the spuds and gives us a reason 
to love the harvest as well as the feast. 
Bless us all, both man and beast, 
bless the spuds, for which I can utter: 
"❤I love you, spuds (especially with butter!)❤️"

New potatoes. AKA spudlettes?
My contributions to Poetry Friday have been sporadic lately, but I'm busy writing poetry again, so all is well. I'll contribute again before Christmas rolls around; meanwhile, put the word December in your mouth and roll it around with your tongue for awhile - brrrrrrrrr, right? And isn't it nice how the word "winter" ends with that rrrrrrrr, too? Decembrrrrrrrr! Winterrrrrrrrr!!! You can almost taste the hot mulled ciderrrrrrr. 
Today's Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Mary Lee Hahn, PF-organizer extraordinaire, at A YEAR OF READING. Head over there to see what other people have posted. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Poetry Friday: Far Away on Grandparents Day

This little poem of mine is from The Poetry Friday Anthology of Celebrations edited by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. What a treat to have it posted now on Sound Cloud (along with many other poems from the anthology) and to hear it read so beautifully in both English and Spanish! I won't copy the text here; instead, just have a listen - click the title below to hear it. It goes out with lots of love to Jackson. ❤

 Jackson with His Bebo on the Zoo Train - 2009

 Jackson and His Gram -  2011... 

Jackson in Hawaii - 2012...

Jackson on Whidbey Island - 2014

Jackson's First Day of Fifth Grade 2017

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted today by Laura Purdie Salas. Head over to her blog, Writing the World for Kids, to see what other people have posted. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Poetry Friday: September???? September!!!!!

It's September. Quick, kids, forget about somersaulting off the dock into the icy lake water. Quick, teachers, forget about sitting in the sunshine doing absolutely nothing. Get up, get dressed, all of you, put on your First Day clothes, go to school.

Here is a school-ish poem - at least, it's about getting an education - from the wonderful poet Mary Ruefle. You can find it in her book, Post Meridian. Happy Poetry Friday!

Sentimental Education

Ann Galbraith
loves Barry Soyers.

Please pray for Lucius Fenn
who suffers greatly whilst shaking hands.

Bonny Polton
loves a pug named Cowl.

Please pray for Olina Korsk
who holds the record for missing fingers.

Leon Bendrix loves Odelia Jonson
who loves Kurt who loves Carlos who loves Paul.

Please pray for Cortland Filby
who handles a dead wasp, a conceit for his mother.

Harold loves looking at Londa’s hair under the microscope.
Londa loves plaiting the mane of her pony.

Please pray for Fancy Dancer
who is troubled by the vibrissa in his nostrils.

Nadine St. Clair loves Ogden Smythe
who loves blowing his nose on postage stamps.

Please pray for William Shakespeare
who does not know how much we love him, miss him and think of him.

Yukiko Pearl loves the little bits of toffee
that fall to the floor when Jeffrey is done with his snack.

Please pray for the florist Marieko
who wraps roses in a paper cone then punches the wrong code.

Muriel Frame loves retelling the incident
that happened on the afternoon of November third.
Please pray for our teacher Ursula Twombly
who does not know the half of it.

By the radiator in a wooden chair
wearing woolen stockings sits a little girl
in a dunce’s cap, a paper cone rolled to a point
and inverted on her hair; she’s got her hands
in her lap and her head bowed down, her chin
is trembling with having been singled out like this
and she is sincere in her fervent wish to die.

Take it away and give it to the Tartars
who roll gloriously into battle.

                                             Mary Ruefle

I've also posted my thoughts about the tick-tock of the school clock over at Books Around the Table.
And Poetry Friday is being hosted by Kathryn Apel, Aussie Children's Writer. Head over to her blog to see what other people have posted.