Showing posts from February, 2013

Poetry Wednesday: Pondering the Question

Last summer, I challenged readers to write a "burning house" poem: if your people and pets were safe, what would you rescue from your burning house? This was Stacy's poem, and I'm privileged to share it with you.

Pondering the Question I. If I had to leave my home? Evacuate. Flee before the flames, Retreat from the advancing wildfire. To preserve my life, my loved one’s lives. What would I take? What would be important to me? Too important to leave?
I have been pondering the question. Thinking. Not of ID and insurance, Titles, deeds and bank documents. What possessions do I need? What material goods? What objects? What things? What stuff do I need from my life to continue that life?
Well, obviously, I will need my computer, my phone. How could my life as I know it continue if I lose all of my electronic information? What else would I have to take? Photographs of course! All those irreplaceable images and memories of people and places I love. Captured on paper and stored in boxes. (Not …

The Oxford Comma


(For the record, I follow AP Style.)

Courtesy: Online School

Poetry Wednesday: Love Story in Black and White

Love Story in Black and White
What the hell am I doing
hugging a white man in an apron?
I said it to myself--but out loud!--so that
he pushed me away slightly:
What did you say?
This was the first white man I had dated--
though I was sixty!
It wasn't only that I was holding
a body close for the first time
in years; not only
that he was white.
Our mothers' fears and angers--
heirlooms of slavery--
had hardened my heart.
Perhaps it was the apron. I had never imagined
a white man (not a chef)
come down to that order. Perhaps
the way he met me, beaming,
opened wide,
confounded my expectations
and undid me.
How lovely his body
as he bends to the wise tomatoes.
What does black
and white have to do with it,
our love that's lasted ten years?
Each act of tenderness
amends the violence of history. by Toi Derricotte  Courtesy
Submit a poem to me for Poetry Wednesday or National Poetry Month — and if I use it, I send you a book of poetry. Everybody wins!

Review: The Lucky Gourd Shop

A woman discarded as a child, a man whose fury is stronger than his love, a mother who cannot raise her child out of the rage and societal restrictions of his time, the children who suffer: all this and more is found in The Lucky Gourd Shop by Joanna Catherine Scott.

To be honest, I would never have read this book if not for my book club. I nearly didn't get past the first few pages, but I am glad I did.  It was a tragedy, full of heartache and misadventures — what a tale. Charles Dickens has nothing on Scott.

The book opens with a mother telling her children what she discovered about their birth family in South Korea. Her teenage son, who was six when he left his birth parents' home, remembers a few things differently — and the story travels to Seoul, a generation earlier, and reveals the tale of their parents' lives (and, ultimately, their own).

Mi Sook had an unconventional — even shocking — upbringing. The coffee shop manager falls for Kun Soo, a man with an a…

Fun Friday: Books, Gardens


Valentine's Day Poem for David: After a Noisy Night

"It isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts." 
After a Noisy Night
            The man I love enters the kitchen
with a groan, he just
woke up, his hair a Rorschach test.
A minty kiss, a hand
on my neck, coffee, two percent milk,
microwave. He collapses
on a chair, stunned with sleep,
yawns, groans again, complains
about his dry sinuses and crusted nose.
            I want to tell him how
much he slept, how well,
the cacophony of his snoring
pumping in long wheezes
and throttles—the debacle
of rhythm—hours erratic
with staccato of pants and puffs,
crescendi of gulps, chokes,
pectoral sputters and spits.
            But the microwave goes ding!
A short little ding! – sharp
as a guillotine—loud enough to stop
my words from killing the moment.
            And during the few seconds
it takes the man I love
to open the microwave, s…

Poetry Wednesday: The Letter

In honor of A Month of Letters, I give you a poem about — you guessed it — a letter.

The Letter

Little cramped words scrawling all over the paper
Like draggled fly's legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncertain window and the bare floor
Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth, virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart against
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.
by Amy Lowell courtesy of

A Month of Letters: How YOU Doin'?

I don't know about you, but I haven't written a single note.

My explanation is — well, unimportant. Sure, I was traveling for the first week. Then I came home and spent three days not writing any correspondences.

Then the mail arrived Friday with a stack of letters.

I will remedy that this weekend.

How's your postage holding up? Just checked out my first-class stamps and discovered I own "forever" stamps. My postcard stamps, however, are in need of penny stamps. Sigh. I'm terrible about picking up postage, which is why I purchase a lot of postage at once (then proceed to not use it in time and have to purchase penny stamps). And me with lots of photos for photo postcards!

Don't be daunted. One letter every day the mail is delivered is doable. If you're behind, grab a few postcards to catch up! Use your favorite note cards. Your recipients will be glad you did.

Have you found it a challenge to pick up the pen? Decide who's on your hit li…

Fun Friday: Llama Needs a Caption, You Could Win a Book

Help this llama find his caption!

Here, I'll start:

Quick, climb in!I'll explain on the way!

No, I'm Pullyu! Pushmitook Seventh Avenue. Probably home already, too.
(Full disclosure: I read the first one somewhere.) 

Now, it's your turn. Submit a caption idea. I'll list the three finalists and let you vote for your favorite. The winner wins a book (selected from a list of available titles).

So, submit your caption idea via e-mail or in the comments below no later than February 24.
I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Poetry Wednesday: A Nod to Carl Sandburg — And Reality

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
then moves on.

by Carl Sandburg

courtesy Bartleby

Twitter: Sign O' the Times

Chuckle courtesy of Twitter and award-winning author Alan Heathcock:

Sign O' The Times 

Flight attendant: "Sir, can you please power that down." 

Me: "This is a book."
(For the record: true story.)

Fun Friday: Pooh, Poe