Thursday, December 17, 2015

Merry, Merry, Merry

Here you see thirteen of the eighteen stockings hanging in my den. I'm off until the new year, so enjoy your holidaying. Wishing you great joy, peace in the midst of your preparations, and rest deep in your bones.

from Seventeens
by Amit Majmudar

1. Incarnation

Inheart yourself, immensity. Immarrow,
Embone, enrib yourself. The wind won’t borrow
A plane, nor water climb aboard a current,
But you be all we are, and all we aren’t.
You rigged this whirligig, you make it run:
Stop juggling atoms and oppose your thumbs.
That’s what we like, we like our rich to slum.
The rich, it may be, like it too. Enmeat
Yourself so we can rise onto our feet
And meet. For eyes, just take two suns and shrink them.
Make all your thoughts as small as you can think them.
Encrypt in flesh, enigma, what we can’t
Quite English. We will almost understand.
And if there’s things for which we don’t have clearance,
There’s secrecy aplenty in appearance.
Face it, another word for skin is hide.
Show me the face that never lied.

For  more about the poet, see his bio at the Poetry Foundation. Visit the his website.

Read the full poem, "Seventeens," here at The Flea.

"Seventeens" was published in Heaven and Earth, Majmudar's second collection of poetry, which won the 2011 Donald Justice Prize.

Here is an interview by author, Sarah Arthur. 

Arthur's book, Light upon Light:A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany is where I first found the poem. It is a wonderful collection of readings for the season.

Be sure to stop at Random Noodling for the Poetry Friday Roundup. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Winter Poetry Swap Goodness

Tabatha Yeatts, you rock, girl!

I came home yesterday to find a box on my front porch. I knew in a flash (you know, like in the song when the crooner knows it it Saint Nick?) it was my winter poetry swap gift! This is my first time participating in the poetry swap, and I was so excited to open my package from Tabatha. 

I opened the box and pulled back the tissue paper to find a YOGA magnetic poetry kit. Who knew they even made such a wonderful thing? You can see my first magnetic poem above. I haven't even pulled all the words apart yet, but my first yoga cinquain was such fun.  I'm planning on getting a magnetic board and hanging it in my yoga studio.

Underneath the kit, a wonderful assortment of tea. 

But I saved the best for last. The poem. Who but Tabatha could manage to combine my love for yoga with my crazy interest in Antarctica?  Thank you, Tabatha. 

Relaxing in Antarctica
By Tabatha Yeatts
for Dori

There is an urgency of cold,
a surge of shiver, danger of dark,

a supremacy of don't freeze,
 be on your guard,
  brace yourself,

that squares your shoulders,
 curls your fists,
  crusts your eyes...

what can you see beyond
your goggle-glazed view?

how can your spirit be light
under the weight of the wind?
but even in Antarctica,
once your studies are tended,

your numbers recorded and
your goggles hung to dry,

that spot on your neck
where you hold your hardships
begs you to bend,

to stretch,
to fill your lungs
with a warm breath,

to award yourself
all the sunlight

your mind can create.

Tara hosts the Poetry Friday round up today at A Teaching Life.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thankful Poetry Friday

Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year is going to be a quiet affair. I'm looking forward to a simple holiday this year, grateful that my in-laws are still part of my life, grateful that my youngest daughter is living in the same town with me, grateful for my dear hubby. Last week he told me I was the greatest blessing of his life. What a sweet man. So my Thanksgiving poem is for him.

I've been experimenting with a few traditional poetry forms this week. I tried my hand at linked sonnets, but that effort is not printable at the moment. Poetry forms can be maddening sometimes. Playing with them, forcing my words to conform to meter and rhyme often distills the thought process, even if I throw out the form and keep what's left. That's what happened as I tried Tricia's Terzanelle poetry stretch. It was definitely a stretch, and still not especially skillful, but I like the result. I kept the pattern, but threw out the rhyme.


for the late rose
blushing red
against my cheek

for the sunset
masked by clouds
blushing red

for the first hesitant
blink of starlight
masked by clouds

for the barred owl
startled by
blink of starlight

for the fog
your warm breath
startled by

the night sky
for the late rose
your warm breath
against my cheek

© Doraine Bennett 2015

Tricia hosts the Poetry Friday roundup today at Miss Rumphius Effect.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Wild about Antarctica!

Today I'm celebrating with dear friend, Irene Latham, on her ten year anniversary in the blogosphere. Irene has inspired me, challenged me, and entertained me for many of these ten years at Live Your Poem, where she does exactly that!

Many of us in the Kidslitosphere begin January with "One Little Word" for the year. I'm not sure, but this may have been Irene's invention, too. Irene's word for 2015 is WILD. You can see her post here, along with a pretty wild picture of the wild little girl she was. It's only appropriate that she has invited those of us who know and love her to be wild with her today. 

Here is my take on the topic. I'm still stuck in Antarctica, definitely a wild place. Cape Denison, the home base of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson, is the windiest place on earth. Katabatic winds blow down the surface of the Antarctic ice cap, pulled by gravity, gathering snow, until they reach hurricane speeds. These rivers of icy wind can blow for days. Explorers of old and research scientists of today can only sit and wait for the winds to cease. 

The poem below is a mask, or persona poem, written in the voice of the wind. Stop by Irene's blog where she is rounding up all of today's wild celebration posts. Happy Anniversary, Irene!

Katabatic winds at Cape Denison, Antartica. Photograph by Frank Hurley, 1912

Wind Warning

Set no foot here
or suffer violence.
This shore belongs to me.

A blizzard of rage,unbridled,
I plunge down ice. I plow
the snow, slam walls of white

against your face—a maelstrom,
uncontrolled. My raging
blast demands retreat.

A knife of driven air,
my wild banshee scream
prophesies despair.

© Doraine Bennett 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

O October!

Photo by Wildcat Dunny

I love this quote from Rainbow Rowell's book, Attachments. I heard it read recently in a yoga class and went in search of the source. Rowell is the author of Eleanor and Park and Fan Girl. Attachments was her first novel. I've added it to my "want to read" pile.

I'm taking liberties with the lines, making it a found poem. It should really be a poem!

baptize me with leaves!
Swaddle me in corduroy
and nurse me with split pea soup. 

tuck tiny candy bars 
in my pockets and
carve my smile
into a thousand pumpkins.

O autumn!
O teakettle!
O grace!

Happy Autumn! I've been out of town and out of town and out of town. Now I'm writing and writing and writing. So if you've read this elsewhere lately, well, enjoy it again. Stop by A Year of Reading where Mary Lee is hosting the roundup. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Poetry Friday: Talking with Light

What Does Light Talk About?
by St. Thomas Aquinas

When you recognize her beauty,
the eye applauds, the heart stands in an ovation,

and the tongue when she is near
is on its best behavior,

it speaks more like light.

What does light talk about?
I asked a plant that once,

It said, "I am not sure,
but it makes me

My response to the recent challenge -- Write a Me poem.


We lie in grass
thick as August
cradled between
our two homes--
one summer blue,
one gray with age--
and watch while clouds
hurl in circles
slowly settling
into shapes
only we
can see.

© Doraine Bennett 2015

Happy Poetry Friday. Lift your face to the light and grow.

Visit Michelle at Today's Little Ditty for the roundup.

Friday, September 4, 2015

First Yoga Lesson

I brought home a stack of books from the library last week, a stack so tall I pinched the skin of my arm somewhere in the middle of the pile. Ouch! But a mostly lovely day of reading. (I won't mention the one I wanted to throw across the room.) Ouch!

This one was one of my favorites. I have always loved Mary Oliver's poetry, but this book was like having a conversation with the poet. It is a beautiful book that you should read, even if it pinches your skin. 

I love this poem from the book. These excerpts are from the beginning and the end. Click here to hear Garrison Keilor read the entire poem on The Writer's Almanac.

Photo courtesy PDPics

from First Yoga Lesson
by Mary Oliver

"Be a lotus in the pond," she said, "opening

"Feel your quadriceps stretching?" she asked.
Well, something was certainly stretching

I lay on the floor, exhausted.
But to be a lotus in the pond
opening slowly, and very slowly rising--
that I could do.

Wishing you moments of slow, gentle opening, rising, being.

Be sure to visit Linda at TeacherDance for today's roundup.

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Frog Poem

The frogs are still singing. Still hot around here for a while longer.

The Frog
by Hillaire Belloc

Be kind and tender to the Frog,
And do not call him names,
As "Slimy-skin," or "Polly-wog,"
or likewise, "Uncle James,"

Or "Gape-a-grin,' or Toad-gone-wrong,"
or "Billy Bandy-knees":
The frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these.

No animal will more repay
A treatment kind and fair,
At least so lonely people say
Who keep a Frog (and, by the way,
They are extremely rare).

Heidi hosts Poetry Friday at my juicy little universe.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Poetry of the Body

File:A ship at night Wellcome L0049053.jpg

 I stumbled upon this poem in a Rodney Yee book, called Poetry of the Body, purchased for one dollar at the Friends of the Library book sale last weekend. Some days are delightful in their convergence.

Once Only almost at the equator almost at the equinox exactly at midnight from a ship the full moon in the center of the sky.
Gary Snyder
Sappa Creek near Singapore
March 1958

Ardha Chandrasana, officially it's only "half moon pose," and this is definitely modified, but still such fun.

May all the things you love converge today!

Tabatha Yeatts hosts Poetry Friday at The Opposite of Indifference.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Lets Down Her Hair

Summer Lets Down Her Hair

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here, Earth-born, over the lilt of the water,
Lisping its music and bearing a burden of light,
Bosoming day as a laughing and radiant daughter...
Here we may whisper unheard, unafraid of the night.
Walking alone ... was it splendor, or what, we were bound with?
Deep in the time when summer lets down her hair?
Shadows we loved and the patterns they covered the ground with
Tapestries, mystical, faint in the breathless air.

Summer has let down her hair at my house. July has been a month of pause, like the small delay at the end of a long slow inhale before your breath naturally turns around and rises to the chest. I've taken time in this pause to look back over the last six months and simmer in the juices of intention. Resolution was my one little word for the year. Am I moving toward resolution as I had hoped? I like making this little evaluation before fall whisks me into a swirl of activity. I want a few more slow, easy breaths before I move on. 

Wishing you the lilt of water, radiant dreams, and the chance to be unafraid as you move forward into whatever lies ahead. Take a deep breath and visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for today's Roundup. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Know When A Reader Opens Your E-Mail

It's Poetry Friday and I have mail on the brain this week.

You've submitted a manuscript, recorded it in your log, closed the file on the computer, but somewhere in the back of your brain, that file stays open attached to a hidden stop watch ticking off the days, weeks, months, until it ticks itself out and you finally open the computer file and type in "no response." You sigh and move on. Or maybe you grumble that it sure would be nice if those recipients would at least acknowledge that you exist. 

Fast forward three years. Out of the cloudy blue sky, an email drops in your inbox. Someone stumbled over your manuscript pages. Maybe they fell in the floor when some clerk rushed past on her way to the coffee pot. Who knows what happens in those houses?

Revise? Sure. 

Resubmit? Sure. 

Wait again? 

Hmm. Is there a semi-solution to this not knowing madness?

So it's only a semi-solution, but I'm loving Sidekick by Hubspot. This app does a lot of cool things on your email server. But the one I love the most? It tells me when an email has been opened. AND when an attached file has been opened. I still can't read anyone's mind. I still close the file and turn on the stop watch. 

But, I'm right there with Mr. Auden. For who can bear to feel himself forgotten? 

Night Mail 
by W. H. Auden

This is the Night Mail crossing the border, 
Bringing the cheque and the postal order, 
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor, 
The shop at the corner and the girl next door. 
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb: 
The gradient's against her, but she's on time. 
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder 
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder, 
Snorting noisily as she passes 
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses. 

Birds turn their heads as she approaches, 
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches. 
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course; 
They slumber on with paws across. 
In the farm she passes no one wakes, 
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes. 

Dawn freshens, the climb is done. 
Down towards Glasgow she descends 
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes, 
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces 
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen. 
All Scotland waits for her: 
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs 
Men long for news. 

Letters of thanks, letters from banks, 
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy, 
Receipted bills and invitations 
To inspect new stock or visit relations, 
And applications for situations 
And timid lovers' declarations 
And gossip, gossip from all the nations, 
News circumstantial, news financial, 
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin, 
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France, 
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands 
Notes from overseas to Hebrides 
Written on paper of every hue, 
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue, 
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring, 
The cold and official and the heart's outpouring, 
Clever, stupid, short and long, 
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong. 

Thousands are still asleep 
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston's or Crawford's: 
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen, 
They continue their dreams, 
And shall wake soon and long for letters, 
And none will hear the postman's knock 
Without a quickening of the heart, 
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten? 

Listen here for an absolutely delightful reading of the poem by Auden himself.

Katie is our Poetry Friday host over at the Logonauts. Stop in for lots more poetry.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ice on a Hot Poetry Friday

It's hot here these days, so I'm thinking about cool, icy places again. Enjoy!

Visit Buffy's Blog for today's roundup.

by Dennis Webster (shared on the Antarctic-Circle)

The penguin is an awkward bird.
At least, that's what I've always heard.
     It swims and waddles, never flies,
     When other birds act otherwise.

Its workday outfit seems so formal
And that, I think, is hardly normal.
     It keeps its egg upon its feet
     Which doesn't sound so very neat.

Still, I guess the penguin does its best
To raise a child without a nest.
     It's not exactly Paradise
     Living on a slab of ice.

But this will make you think twice about those tuxedo-clad birds!

How did they do that? It's here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Under the Freedom Tree

Finding an unknown bit of history is fascinating to me, especially when I realize I have even a small personal connection to it. As a teenager, I spent several summers with my aunt and uncle at Fort Monroe, Virginia. One of my most vivid recollections was the way all traffic stopped, both automotive and pedestrian, at the sound of the five o'clock reveille bugle. If you were in a car, you stopped in the middle of the road, opened your door, got out and stood at attention (hand over your heart if you were a civillian like me) until the bugler's call was done. Then life went on as usual. 

I recently read Susan Van Hecke's Under the Freedom Tree. It's a beautiful book, illustrated by London Ladd, published by Charlesbridge last year. Susan's lyrical picture book uses dramatic free verse to tell the story of three slaves who escaped a Confederate work team to cross the river to Fort Monroe. The author explains details of the story that couldn't be included in the short poem in her author's note. General Benjamin Butler, the Union commander, refused to return the three slaves to their Virginia masters because the state had seceeded from the Union just days before and declared them contraband of war. Others followed. Many others. They built the Grand Contraband Camp near what is today Hampton, Virginia. A missionary teacher, a free black from the North, came to the camp and taught the former slaves to read beneath a large, spreading oak tree. The celebration is contagious when a newly literate contraband reads the Emancipation Proclamation to the community. 

An excerpt from the book:

Days are for Union work,


Nights, they fall,
spent and hungry,
on cold dirt floors.

But here at Slabtown,
here at the Camp,
they are not
what they once were.

Matt Forest hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Find Royalty Free Photos

Davy Jones' Door-Bell
By Vachel Linsday

A Chant for Boys with Manly Voices
(Every line sung one step deeper than the line preceding)

Any sky-bird sings,
Ring, ring!
Any church-chime rings,
Dong ding!
Any cannon says,
Boom bang!
Any whirlwind says,
Whing whang!
The bell-buoy hums and roars,
Ding dong!
And way down deep,
Where fishes throng,
By Davy Jones' big deep sea door,
Shaking the ocean's flowery floor,
His door-bell booms
Dong dong,
Dong dong,
Deep, deep down,
Clang boom,
Boom dong.

You're looking for the perfect photo for your blog. Or you need an image to get your creative juices running, but then you want to post the picture with the poem you wrote. You can search Google Images, but you may not always find attribution information or usage rights. Here is my list of go to photo research sites. 

• MorgueFile Access to iStock, Getty, Fotolia, and some other paid photos, but plenty of free ones in the morguefile.

• Pixabay  First row of photos are Shutterstock, but after that all are royalty free.

• Unsplash Subscribe for 10 photos every 10 days.

• Foter  Using the embed code automatically inserts attribution information.

• StockVault  Shutterstock photos in the black boxes, but lots of free photos.

PhotoPin -  Shutterstock will pop up first, but this site searches creative commons photos. 

Death to the Stock Photos - Sign up with email, delivered monthly.

PicJumbo - You can pay for the plugin, but lots of free images.

CompFight - Searches Flickr photos and provides embed code for attribution.

Gratisography Some wacky photos here, all free. Something will surely grab your eye here.

FreeImages Must set up a free account to download images. 

• Little Visuals Beautiful images captured by a young man who recently died. Option to donate to Hands on Heart Charity.

I hope this is a helpful list!

Diane hosts the roundup today at Random Noodling. Lots more poetry for your weekend. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Feeling Like a Bit of Satire

Don't ask. Just have a good laugh at yourself today. 

At the Aquarium
by Max Eastman

Serene the silver fishes glide,
Stern-lipped, and pale, and wonder-eyed!
As through the aged deeps of ocean,
They glide with wan and wavy motion!
They have no pathway where they go,
They flow like water to and fro.
They watch with never-winking eyes
They watch with staring, cold surprise,
The level people in the air,
The people peering, peering there;
Who also wander to and fro,
And know not why or where they go,
Yet have a wonder in their eyes,
Sometimes a pale and cold surprise. 


Enjoy the Poetry Friday Roundup with Renee at No Water River.

Friday, April 17, 2015

It's Friday!

Oh, dear. I completely forgot it was Friday. Yep. It's been that kind of week.

So I'm scraping up a few lines from a poem I've been working on this week. I'm still tweaking, but I could be tweaking from now to the next time I sail to Antarctica.


Stop by Life on the Deckle Edge where Robyn is hosting the Roundup.

Sinking Ship

Decks heave
timbers scream
bolts break
steel buckles 
hold fills 
planks splinter 

She quivers in pain, 
retches, jerks, 
gasps like a dying beast. 

Those who love her 
curse the ice,
stand nearby and grieve.

© Doraine Bennett, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 Progressive Poem

2015ProgressivePoem (1) copy

Welcome to my favorite National Poetry Month activity, dreamed up and monitored by the lovely Irene Latham

I love the progressive poem, the way each day a new poet wrestles a line from his or her interior journey, fixes a string of words onto the last, and waits to see how thoughts so simple, so individual, transform the whole, while at the same time are transformed themselves by this living, breathing poem.

This little mermaid slipping through bayou is just too safe and tranquil for me, so let's infuse a little intrigue! Maybe she'll wish for a net. I'm handing this off to RenĂ©e at No Water River to see what happens next. 

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,
snows 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.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
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 slips above her head, a paddle dips

Follow the progress below:

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 10, 2015

Birthday Acrostic

Yes, it's Poetry Friday. (Visit Laura Purdie Salas for the Roundup.)
Yes, National Poetry Month.

But more importantly it's my grandson Joseph's birthday. 

You can see my read-aloud choices. Both such fun books to read. I'm always wishing my grands weren't half a country away, but my voice travels far.

My acrostic for Joseph at six.

Jiggle and wiggle, be jolly and jump
Over the fence and the ditch and the stump
Seeking a serious somewhere to sit
Even though everyone else does not fit.
Please take the path that will bring you back home.
Help me to see where your feet like to roam.

Monday, April 6, 2015

National Poetry Month


I am playing catch up once again after a wonderful spring break mini vacation, time with my son and his wife, and a lovely Easter.

Here is the link to Jama Rattigan's extraordinary list of all the cool, exciting, poetic opportunities going on this month in the Kidlitosphere.

I will be working on poetry all month, but it will be quietly in my own little corner of the world. The stupendous Renee LaTuillipe set up a partner system among some of her Lyrical Language Lab graduates simply for accountability. As usual I was late to the party, but somehow lucked out and got Renee as my partner. So yeah, you can bet that's going to keep me writing.

I will also be contributing to Irene Latham's progressive poem. It's such fun to watch this poem develop as each poet adds a new line each day. You can follow along below.

And I'll check in occasionally, just because it's April!

1 Jone at Check it Out
5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog
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
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
26 Brian at Walk the Walk
27 Jan at Bookseedstudio
28 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Donna at Mainely Write

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Eleven Inside

Do you remember being eleven? I do, very distinctly. My head buried in a book more often than not. It's the very age I feel inside. This excerpt from Luci Shaw makes me feel eleven all over again and nourished by the gentle reminder of love given.

from "Gifts for my girl"
by Luci Shaw

At eleven, and always,
you will need to be nourished.
For your mind - poems and plays, words
on the pages of a thousand books:
Deuteronomy, Dante and Donne,
Hosea and Hopkins, L’Engle and Lewis.
For your spirit, mysteries and praise,
sureties and prayer. For your teeth
and tongue, real bread the color
of grain at a feast, baked and broken
fresh each day, apricots and raisins,
cheese and olive oil and honey
that live bees have brought
from the orchard. For drink
I’d pour you a wine
that remembers sun and shadow
on the hillside where it grew,
and spring water wet enough
to slake your forever thirst.

Read the full poem here.

I hope you're feeling nourished, but if you need more poetry for the soul, visit Robyn for Poetry Friday Roundup.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Longing for Spring

I have a bad case of spring fever, and it's not even spring yet. My daffodils are blooming in spite of the temperatures. They've counted the hours of daylight and confirmed it's time to lift their heads look for what the groundhog could not see.

 Bring me fifty shades of green, sweet longed-for Spring.

I'm not alone in my wishing. Take a moment and enjoy a few thoughts on spring and wish with me, then pop over and visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for more Poetry Friday.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men. ~Chinese Proverb

I wonder if the Daffodil
Shrinks from the touch of frost,
And when her veins grow stiff and still
She dreams that life is lost?
Ah, if she does, how sweet a thing
Her resurrection day in spring!
        ~Emma C. Dowd, "Daffodil and Crocus," in Country Life in America: A Magazine for the                     Home-maker, the Vacation-seeker, the Gardener, the Farmer, the Nature-teacher, the                           Naturalist, April 1902

You can’t see Canada across lake Erie, but you know it’s there. It’s the same with spring. You have to have faith, especially in Cleveland. ~Paul Fleischman

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ash Wednesday (Easter Us)

Blogger friend, Ruth at There's No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town, shared this on her Poetry Friday blog this week. I loved it so much I wanted to share with you.

Marked by Ashes
by Walter Brueggemann

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.
We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Lightest Touch

I mentioned last week that my son has been sharing poetry with me. It's been so lovely to share hearts with him. This week he introduced me to David Whyte. The poem he sent me is in the YouTube video below, but I simply fell in love with this poem I found on David's website. Enjoy!

Then stop by Merely Day by Day where Cathy hosts the Poetry Friday Round up.

The Raising of Lazarus. 15th century. Novgorod school. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

by David Whyte

Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests your whole body,
steeling you for revelation.

In the silence that follows
a great line
you can feel Lazarus
deep inside

Read the rest here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Become the Sky

My son shared this beautiful poem by Rumi with me this week, so I thought I would pass it along.

Liz hosts Poetry Friday today over at Elizabeth Steinglass.

Become the Sky 

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You’re covered with a thick cloud.
Slide out the side.
Die, and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running from silence.
The speechless full moon comes out now.
                                        ~ Rumi

Friday, January 30, 2015

Birthday Books #1

My granddaughter. Lizzy, turned four in December. For birthdays, I've been recording two books for each grandchild in my voice and sending along the book and the CD. (My cycle starts in December for my eight grands.) This year, I've set myself the task of writing an acrostic for each child that reflects my thoughts and their amazing personalities.  

Here is the first one.

Listen to the love
Inside your heart, then
Zip and
Zoom through another

One of Lizzy's books this year were Oh, No! by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann.

This one wasn't Lizzy's favorite, though I think she will grow to appreciate it. I love the simple repetitive text and the illustrations are strong and beautiful. The animals of the forest fall into the tiger's trap, a deep hole. When they escape and trap the tiger instead, Lizzie says, "It hurts my feelings." I think she's on the tiger's side. 

This one was a huge hit. A lovely bedtime tale by Mary Logue, Sleep Like a Tiger takes a princess through the ritual every parent loves and dreads, convincing a child to go to sleep. 

I hope you sleep like a tiger tonight!

For more Poetry Friday visit Paul at these 4 corners.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Words are such wonderful things. Especially when you are actually putting them on paper, making sentences, making paragraphs, making scenes. Who cares if they have to be edited, thrown out, or rewritten. That can happen later.

I love words.


Friday, January 23, 2015

The Unwritten

As I find my way back to getting words on paper, this poem by W.S. Merwin caught my eye this week. Enjoy. Then stop visit Tara, our host for the Poetry Friday Roundup at A Teaching Life.

The Unwritten

 by W. S. Merwin

Inside this pencil
crouch words that have never been written
never been spoken
never been taught

they're hiding

they're awake in there
dark in the dark
hearing us
but they won't come out
not for love not for time not for fire

even when the dark has worn away
they'll still be there
hiding in the air
multitudes in days to come may walk through them
breathe them
be none the wiser

what script can it be
that they won't unroll
in what language
would I recognize it
would I be able to follow it
to make out the real names
of everything

maybe there aren't
it could be that there's only one word
and it's all we need
it's here in this pencil

every pencil in the world
is like this

Tara host the Poetry Friday Roundup at A Teaching Life.

Friday, January 9, 2015

One Little Word for 2015


Yes, you heard me correctly. I don't mean resolution in the sense of making promises to change my ways. I tend to break those before the end of January. I am thinking of a different meaning. My definition of choice is way down the list of possible options.
5. the act or process of resolving or separating something into constituent
or elementary parts.
6.the resulting state.
Technically, this is talking about breaking down a chemical compound, but recently I've been feeling like I'm a chemical compound that needs a little breaking down, a little figuring out. What are those constituent parts?
I also like this one:
: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something
: an answer or solution to something
So, yeah. There are a few things I'd like to see find some resolution this year. One has been a serious, ongoing case of writer's block. I think perhaps I've had a few constituent parts out of place. I'm looking forward to reclaiming my joy in putting words on paper. Another is a shoulder injury that requires patience, persistence, and balance as I pursue resolution and healing. And there are probably a few others that we won't go into at the moment!

Then, there is this one:
d : the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance
Sometimes modulating from one key to another in a musical composition requires a period of dissonance before finding resolution in the new key. I recognize that my one little word for the year may cause some periodic dissonance, but I'm willing to risk it to get to the resolution.

Composing Life

I am the motif, the rif, the repeat.

I am the counterpoint of bass, bassoon,
or brassy cacophony that drowns gentler sound.

I am the movement, at once a skipping vivace,
the next a labored largo.
I am the dance.
I am the dirge.

I am the interpretation
formed in the mind of the maestro,
the transition, the modulation, the dissonant seventh,
seeking consonance.

I am the resolution.

                     © Doraine Bennett 2015

Below is a piece called "Resolution" composed by John Coltrane and performed by Musical Art Quintet. It's fairly long. If you don't have time to listen to the whole piece, slide through to the last 45-60 seconds and enjoy.

Join Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference for the Roundup today.