Earth Day Poem

April is National Poetry Writing Month.  As such, along with some of my fellow PGM bloggers, I’m participating in the poem-a-day challenge with much delight.

Friday was Earth Day.  I spent some time over the weekend cleaning up out at my beloved family farm in Ohio.  Since the 1870’s my ancestors have been tending the land and in recent months, my siblings and I have taken the lead in stewarding the place.  Here’s to all the places in our lives that we love and take care of.


22 Earth Day

A dove in the window box
would not leave her dovelets
in spite of the hailstorm
in spite of my noisy rummagings
in the leaves below next morning.

I found my father’s hoe dropped last
season, some lovely morels
a tuft of yellow fur, I found wasps
at work, worms
and breathing dirt.

This well-loved patch of earth,
tended by my grandfathers, mothers ,
children, fed and sheltered us
was cleared and grew in
wild again each spring.

I walked the western edge
of what’s left of these ancestral fields,
squinted to see the new shape to tree lines
Dad planted and think of us all
covered by the wing of a

world, both fragile and strong
fledging into unknown transits
but held in place in an ordered
chaos of returns, of departures,
gatherings in and lettings go.

Beth Lodge-Rigal

The Intervention, or How National Poetry Month Saved my Life (or something like that)

IMG_0521This April, my life is crammed full, overstuffed and brimming, with poetry and possibility. I am happily hogwild in muddy, muddy spring. National Poetry Month arrived in a dreary dateless winter of responsibility and irresponsibility—to community, family, self, selfhood itself, in no particular order or proportion, no one to blame or shake a pointy stick at, but  enough is enough.

Who even KNEW a Poetry Intervention was called for, possible, heard of, in the works?

Last year, NaPoWriMo [“National Poetry Writing Month is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April”] just snuck past me.  I arrived on the secretfacebookNaPoWriMoforWWf(a)C page a day late (and apparently a dollar short) and indulged in a last blast of all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking, declaring myself too late to join the fun.

THIS year, I was there with metaphorical bells on, and am loving the journey.  (Due to a much-needed, long-desired, totally-worth-it trip to see my oldest child this past weekend, where my experiments in writing and posting poems on my phone from far away with mixed success, I am even a few poem-days behind, but I’m not letting it get me down. I know I’ll “catch up” with poetry, with my poetic process, a concept that delights and amuses me no end.)

Some 34 members of this traveling party are writing/reading/responding-witnessingto/revelingin/celebrating National Poetry Month/poetry in general/the poetic process/being in creative community, and having a blast. We post our fragrant, fluffy, fresh-baked, homemade poems hot out of the oven, and lift up toothsome crumbs for one another in tribute to one more experimental batch of soul nourishment in this tasty, transformative endeavor.

In addition, I am this month holding two Practicums in fulfillment of this component of the Fall 2015 Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy training in Bloomington. The first circle, held on April 9th, was an intimate gathering, where we explored Free Verse in a supportive, casual learning-and-sharing experience. I am grateful to the generous support and caring from our women writing community, those who were able to be present for this special time and those who attended in spirit from afar; it was a wonderful, deeply meaningful time. This Saturday, April 23, from 1-3 at the Poplar Grove Schoolhouse, we will think and talk about the various roles, large and small, Form can play in poetry. There are still some spots open, and I encourage anyone who might be interested to contact me directly. ( or 812-361-5047)

It’s not too late to join the fun!  It may be Day 18, my 57th Birthday, eternally infernally election season, but you, too, can tune up your heart’s music, defy gravity, or at least counteract black-and-white-thinking by:

  • joining our (not so secret) facebook community and trying your hand at daily composition, at least once
  • checking out each day’s prompt at the NaPoWriMo site : “(optional, as always)! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore. My grandfather and mother, in particular, used several phrases I’ve rarely heard any others say, and I also absorbed certain ways of talking living in Charleston, South Carolina that I don’t hear on a daily basis in Washington, DC. Coax your ear and your voice backwards, and write a poem that speaks the language of home, and not the language of adulthood, office, or work. Happy writing!”
  • signing up to receive the Poem-a-Day in your inbox at
  • celebrating Poem-in-your-pocket day on April 21. See : “people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem”
  • tweeting your tiny poems and possibly hearing them on-air with NPR using the hashtag #NPRpoetry Details at
  • simply reading a poem, new or old, beloved or befuddling, to yourself, your beloved, your child, your dog, your shadow

Partake! Enjoy! Have fun!

Mary Peckham for The Poplar Grove Muse

NaPoWriMo- Pieces and Parts

Copper MAllowApril is one of my favorite times of year, no matter where I’m at!  I’m writing today from Boulder, Colorado and linking up with others who are participating in the  ‘National Poetry Writing Month.’  This is a challenge where writers are offered optional prompts from which to construct poems.  As I continue my path of exploration, learning and self-discovery my writing comes along too.  Writing for me has become more than a desire to place myself in the world, or to make something of it (it is about that a little bit…aaaaaand)…it is my practice, my meditation.  This is my second year of participating in the challenge, and we are on day eleven.  Here are a few first thought, best thought poems — almost pure first drafts. + Allison for the PGM

Citizen of the Universe

Copper Mallow 3




It is Time

We hid eggs in tumbling creek waters,

on top of moss covered rocks,

and watched while children hunted in meadows,

peeked around trees,

found an owl pellet, crinoids,

and cracked into those eggs long before

we could count to see if they’d all been found.


A trail of shells, an egg or two left behind,

our bare feet and catching up talk lingered in Spring water.

Toes numb, we moved back towards the house for more food,

kite flying,

warm legs in the sun.

We reveled in spring,

like those mamas and children were doing,

on this same day,

before the explosion

in a park, in Pakistan.


Later, I needed the darkness to gently wrap us in sleep,

like I often need when the muchness of our day catches up with me.

One more story after stories,

prayers with her and then down the hall with him,

who was not in bed, but building a zip line across the walls of his room.

After a cup of water, a fresh one, and one more kiss,

I collapsed into what I hoped was the nothing to do part of my day,

and I read she was found,

the 18 month old,

stolen from her bed, raped, murdered

just miles from here.


I am tiptoeing,

one foot in front and one behind

in the anxiety of anticipation,

the what if that is her,

here one minute and then just gone,

or him running around the park with his friends,

too far off

for me to get to fast enough.


I am catching my breath,

knowing it can happen here,

it is in fact,

and even when it isn’t,

it is not so far away.


I am grabbing and gasping for hope,

when they head off to the neighbor’s house,

the one I can’t see from my front porch,

when he and I sit in a crowd,

surrounded by people we don’t know are good,

when the exit is so far away,

when an angry driver, hate plastered on their bumper,

swerves and cusses because someone is not driving fast enough,

when the woman running the Turkish bakery is harassed

and I’m there, not able to do enough.


I wonder

each day the hate spews,

the explosions continue,

the laws change,

the Earth melts,

the water poisons,

if this,

this is the ONE,

the moment

it is clear

love is not leading

and it is time it was.