Saturday, April 25, 2015

2015 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

I've written lines for Irene's Progressive Poems before, but this time freaked me out the most... it feels as though we are in mid-story. How will it ever be wrapped up in five days?

When I was pondering my line, I thought about the fisherman's reaction to her bracelet, the fact that their eyes are so similar, and that both of their grandmothers are playing a role here. You might be surprised where I take it! Forgive me, romantics.


I used the more elaborately-formatted version:


She lives without a net,

walking along the alluvium of the delta.

Shoes swing over her shoulder,

on her bare feet stick

jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing

at the ends of bare brown arms.

Her hair flows,


in wild wind

as she digs

in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval

cuffed bracelet,
 strokes the turquoise stones, and steps

through the curved doorway.







hair first





She                  glides               past                 glossy              water

hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises

roosting in the trees

of the cypress swamp

an echo

of Grandmother’s words, still fresh

in her windswept memory;

“Born from the oyster,

expect the pearl.

Reach for the rainbow

reflection on the smallest dewdrop.


The surface glistens, a shadow


above her head, a paddle


she reaches, seizes. She’s electric energy

and turquoise eyes.

Lifted high, she gulps strange air – stares

clearly into
 Green pirogue, crawfish trap, startled

fisherman with turquoise eyes, twins

of her own, riveted on her wrist–

She’s swifter than a dolphin,

slipping away,

leaving him only

a handful

of memories

of his own

grandmother’s counsel:

“Watch for her.

You’ll have but one chance


to decide. Garner wisdom from the water

and from the pearl

of the past.”


In a quicksilver flash,

an arc of resolution, he


into the shimmering water

where hidden sentries restrain  

any pursuit and the bitter taste

of impulse rushes

into his lungs.

Her flipper flutters his weathered toes

     – Pearl’s signal –

Stop struggling.

The Sentinels will escort you

He stills, closes his eyes,

takes an uncharacteristic breath of ...


Released, he swims,

chasing the


of the bracelet

Gran gave the daughter

who reveled in waves,


Take it away, Brian!

2015 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

1 Jone at Check it Out
2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog
6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson
8 Irene at Live Your Poem
9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
11 Kim at Flukeprints
12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine at DoriReads
14 Renee at No Water River
15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
19 Linda at Teacher Dance
20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots
21 Tara at A Teaching Life
22 Pat at Writer on a Horse
23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy
24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
25 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
26 Brian at Walk the Walk
27 Jan at Bookseedstudio
28 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Donna at Mainely Write
30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Friday, April 24, 2015

Written with grains of sand and kisses

the poem doesn’t have stanzas, it has a body,
the poem doesn’t have lines, it has blood,
the poem is not written with letters, it’s written
with grains of sand and kisses, petals and moments,
shouts and uncertainties.
~José Luís Peixoto

Portuguese author-poet José Luís Peixoto finishes up my month of poems about poetry, words, and books. Sending appreciation to José for allowing me to share this!

from Ars Poetica (The Art of Poetry)
by José Luís Peixoto

The poem has nothing more than the sound of its meaning,
The letter P is not the first letter of the word poem --
Poem is sculpted from the senses and this is its form.
You don’t read poem as poem,
You read it bread or flower,
Read it as fresh grass and your lips,
You read it as smile stretched over a thousand trees
Or sky of knives,
You read fear and looking for the blind,
You read it child's hands
Or you, mother, who is sleeping
And assured that I was born of you
To be words which are not written,

You read it country and sea
And forgotten sky and memory,

You read it silence
Yes, over and over, poem reads silence ...


Here's a poem by José that brought a tear to my eye (you've been warned!):

By random selection, we have a winner of St. George's Reward...BECKY SHILLINGTON! Congrats, Becky! I look forward to being your patron-of-surprises (or is that matron?). I will be sending a one-time surprise to two other randomly selected folks, but I will keep their names secret so it will really be a surprise...

No Water River is the Poetry Friday round-up host.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Have a Seat

Old empty chairs are not empty in reality; memories always sit there!
~Mehmet Murat ildan

Not sure I could sit in the Big-Eared Chair, but I think I could enjoy John Gay's Chair (as long as I didn't set fire to anything!).

Stone Chair
photo by Tim Green

Wheelchair with writing desk and umbrella, 1886
George F. Sargent's Illustrated catalogue

Big-Eared Chair
photo by Nathan Gibbs

Poets' Chair
The inscription on the front of the chair is a poem by Seamus Heaney which includes the line, "When you sat ... in the basalt throne"...On the back of the chair is a list of artists and poets who have visited Rathlin, with room for many more.
photo by Anne Burgess

A Unique Chair
photo by Bisayan lady

(John) Gay's Chair
Under the arms of the Chair are drawers, with the necessary implements for writing; each drawer turns on a pivot, and has attached to it a brass candlestick."
Devonshire characters and strange events by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1908

Lunch Guest
photo by Riccardo Romano

Art Chairs on Pinterest
Creative Chair Design

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another Walk with Lucy

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

~e.e. cummings

So pink, so blue, so green.

Miss Luce Goose herself:

We saw ten turtles on our walk, and this underwater shot is the only photo I managed (Lucy scares them away):

Petal puddle:

That is one good thing about this world...there are always sure to be more springs.
― L.M. Montgomery

A Very Big Sky

Maybe part of my mission is also to erase invisible dividing lines, lines between cultures or musical genres or people with differing beliefs. It's all part of creation. We live under a very big sky.
~Bobby McFerrin

Two songs by George Ezra and one by Bobby McFerrin.

I think Bobby McFerrin is a national treasure. Here he is getting bluesy with "Fix Me, Jesus":

Friday, April 17, 2015

delight and glory and oddity and light

You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words.
~Dylan Thomas

Continuing with poems about poetry, words, and books in honor of National Poetry Month.

Texas Heaven by Gino

An excerpt from One Star Fell and Another
by Conrad Aiken

...Then let us not be precious of our thought,
Nor of our words, nor hoard them up as though
We thought our minds a heaven which might change
And lose its virtue, when the word had fallen.
Let us be prodigal, as heaven is:
Lose what we lose, and give what we may give,–
Ourselves are still the same...

Read the rest here.


Plaque for Dylan Thomas at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea by John Levin

excerpt from Dylan Thomas' Notes on the Art of Poetry, with line breaks:

I read indiscriminately,
and with my eyes hanging out.
I could never have dreamt that there were
such goings-on in the world between the covers of books,
such sand-storms and ice-blasts of words,
such slashing of humbug,
and humbug too,
such staggering peace,
such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights
breaking across the just-awaking wits
and splashing all over the pages in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which was alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.


You can find the Poetry Friday round-up at Life on the Deckle Edge.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


What land is this? Yon pretty town Is Delft
with all its wares displayed:
The pride, the market-place, the crown
And centre of the Potter's trade.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Delftware (or Delft Blue) is blue and white tin-glazed pottery made in Delft, the Netherlands beginning in 1602. At its height, there were 33 Delft Blue factories open. Today, Royal Delft is the only 17th century factory still in operation. (They do still paint them by hand.)

Plate, 1727, Delft, Netherlands, tin-glazed earthenware
Exhibit in the Art Institute of Chicago

Bombardment of Dunkirk August 11, 1695 by the fleets of England and Holland
Museum of Fine Arts in Dunkirk
Cornelis Boumeester

Window display of Delftware in the market place, Delft
Kim Traynor

Bench Hommage aan Gaudi
by Chris Dagradi, Delft - Prinsenhof in the Netherlands

Eighteenth century plate, National Ceramics Museum (Sèvres, Hauts-de-Seine, France)

Tulipvase (Delft), 1700-1800
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

Dish with judgment of Solomon (Delft), 1645
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

Delft blue tiles, Portugal
Rory Hyde