On Spending the Day at Bloomington Hospital

Holy Hill



Efficiencies. So many
Noises. Good God.
Almighty doctors,
Specialists all,
This one for that and
That one for this and
they are all twelve years old
And they are all super cute,
Hip, snappy, right on time with
Charm to lose like a wealth of smile,
It won’t hurt to overflow a bucket
Of warmth on the individual suffering
an existential moment of
“I hope I wake up,” “I’m sorry for everything,” and “I wish I had moved to Brooklyn.” 

Cold hard stone passages, hallway arteries
carry husbands and wives of a certain age
To the kind of customary surgeries that result from
A life of purposeful personal care neglect
Mixed with genetic predisposition to whatever has slunk
About the system since long before Mom slept with Dad.

The bodies are chunky and broken,
Long beards and nose rings,
Tight jeans and gut spills,
Pale pink knit Mom tops and
Peony scattered polyester pedal pushers,
Reeking of smoke and
Looking a lot like — well, to be honest —
A helluva lot more than that’s
Been going on all these years.

It does add up.

There are vague looks of worry.
The aloneness of some feels like they are already ghosts.

Many are accompanied by armies of relatives,
Cousins, brothers, aunts, mamaw,
Support-troops in the rare case that their loved one
Comes under fire from an enemy that
looks oddly like life.

The family-care specialist
Makes sure to have at least
one of their phone numbers.

They fill the consulting room awaiting
arrival of their very own hip, snappy twelve year old
Who will provide a confident, detailed explanation of
Is he going to make it or isn’t he?

Questions in broken farmer English
Are softly asked. 

Nervous laughter of relief wafts from the room.
All those who wait, twitching within earshot
Of the troops in the nearby bunker, feel it and think
this will be a good day after all.
Perhaps we will survive the battle
after all.

Thup thup thups among the
Beep beep beeps and the
Quavering and shouted, “somebody help me”s.

Lifeline is here, aiming, afloat, and aiming again.
We hold our breath as the mind, watching, wanders
to car wrecks and handyman accidents,
Stupid Dad tricks and incidents of child abuse.

The Lord said, Go in peace and be freed from your suffering,
Pray the agnostics in the room watching. 

The tonnage of wasp alights
upon an oddly bright, wide expanse of cement as
Attention is torn by a sensory assault charging the room:

Somebody pooped.
A lot.
In the wrong place.
At the wrong time.
Holy crap.
I think I’m gonna die. 

Oh the indignity of an ill-timed bodily function.
There but for the Grace of God, as they say.

The red-shirts scramble.
Poor thing.
She’s all alone and so frightened.
How can all these children help her, she manages to wonder,
via the few very small spaces still available for hysterical thought in her plaque pocked brain.

Worry and fear.
Sadness and the urge to get the hell out of here,
As if whatever is happening to everyone
in the freezing identical rooms that emit
bups and yeeps and yelps and sobs
Is catching. 

Paperwork arrives.
Wheelchair arrives.
Car arrives. 

The bumpy stop-stop ride
to the East side and out of town
via 2nd Street commences.

We depart the strangers writhing in rooms, in pain, in apprehension.

There is a place in Wisconsin called Holy Hill.
The long drive up the road to the church passes
Fields and a diner.

The church is brick, stoic, a curiosity
Lording over empty land.
The sanctuary is cold hard stone. 

On the right wall as one faces the altar
is a bar stuffed with wheelchairs, crutches.
Post-it notes from the healed cover the walls.

Thank you Lord Jesus!

Curiosity sated, the car that traveled up
Now travels down and 


And rolls directly into the parking lot of the diner.
Waiting for a tow, a conversation ensues with 
teenagers pouring iced tea behind the cold, hard counter.

What do you do for fun around here?

“Well, there’s a movie theater up the road”, she said.

“When I was in high school”, he blurted with odd urgency
to the unusual stranger stuck on a stool,
“my Dad asked me to get up early to help him with the farm,
because he was going to lose it to the bank.
But I didn’t. And he lost the farm.
So now I just read my Bible…but
I’ve always wanted to live in Brooklyn!”

Patricia Krahnke, for Poplar Grove Muse

Near West Neighborhood Cats


The Near West Side Neighborhood has been a cat neighborhood for as long as I’ve been around here.

From 1978-1982, my young son and I rented a house from John Layman at 706 West Sixth Street.  I had a few cats and my friend Marla moved to Canada and left her cat, Dumpling, with us.  Our neighbor Terry Morgan had a cat named Mama Baloney.

Several years after I remarried we began looking for a house in this neighborhood and we were able to buy a house back in the Near West Side in 1992.  I got to know lots of neighborhood cats.  There was Weird Al who lived with Linda and Mike, but who decided to move in to our house.  He lived with us for a few years until my son’s big black Lab came to stay with us and Al decided to move back in with Linda and Mike.

Judy at the corner of Eighth Street and Fairview had 3 cats, a lovely long haired Persian and two short haired black cat brothers.  One of the brothers had a neurological problem and he walked sort of sideways.  But he seemed pretty happy.

Miss Margaret, who lives a block north, has always had free ranging, glorious, long haired cats.  Her cats are 15 years old now.

There was a heart breakingly frightened long haired black cat who would not let us come near him, but he visited our back yard.  We had to put food for him at the very back edge of our yard so he could eat and not be afraid.  We fed him for a few years before he left and we never saw him again.

Our cat Pearl, who was a very sweet, but not a very smart cat, learned to climb and jump up on the roof of our back deck.  She would walk up and over the house roof to the front porch roof.  Then she would sort of forget how to get back for a while.  Many times neighbors knocked on our door to tell us Pearl was trapped on the porch roof and was meowing piteously.  We would thank them and tell them it was OK.  In a while, Pearl would remember how she got there and retrace her steps to the back deck porch and climb down.

Fluffy Harman was one of my favorite neighborhood cats.  She was mauled to death by the drug dealer’s pit bull when he got loose.  That whole horrid situation was finally resolved by neighbors working with the City, and the drug dealer and his dog went away and that old Victorian house was renovated.

Marti, who lives a block north and a couple of blocks west, has had several cats that I’ve known over the years.  Great cats.  Katua, Percy, Frankie and Mr. Gatto, who recently died.

Dave and BJ, across the alley, had Kit Kat who had a few serious arguments and scuffles with some of my cats over the years.

Thumbs is a sweet, champagne colored cat who lives a couple of doors east of my house and sometimes comes by to ask for bite of cat food.  I bring a snack to the front porch for him.  My old cat Pumpkin sometimes goes to parties at Thumbs’s house and my neighbor Zack sends me pictures of Pumpkin mingling with the guests at the party.

The point is that neighbors in the Near West Side have always had indoor/outdoor cats.  And the neighbors have always known and enjoyed each other’s cats.

Some people who have recently moved into our neighborhood are seriously disrupting the long time NWS cat culture.  They have cats that they keep confined in their house.  They are trying to make us all confine our cats because that’s what they believe is best.  It is cruel to confine a cat who knows and loves the outside world.  Cats are only partially domesticated animals and most of us love that about them.  Our indoor/outdoor cats will not trade all their wildness for cat food.

The gentrification of our old Near West Side neighborhood has caused physical and cultural dislocation for both people and their cats.  We are trying to work out livable solutions for both species.

Veda Stanfield for The Poplar Grove Muse

Aqua Net in the Produce Aisle

The lingering wisps of a woman’s hairspray waft over me in the produce section of the grocery store. I look up from the drippy heads of red leaf lettuce. I won’t find her. Still, I look.

Every so often, I am caught off guard by this smell. The truth is, I’m not sure what I’m smelling other than my grandmother. I breathe in her signature scent.

I am 4; she is visiting us in Virginia. I am eating a hotdog in the backyard. My mother runs into the house. Something Grandma said has made Mom sad. I tell her I hate her and run in after Mom.

I am 8. I want to go to a Bon Jovi concert with neighbors. Grandma is at the kitchen table and tells my mother I am too young. Mom sighs and says she’s probably right. I hate her again.

I am 12. I have traveled across the country by myself to visit Grandma and Grandpa in California. I am nervous, but find she is different this time. I leave feeling loved.

I am 21 waiting for her in the lobby of a hotel in London. Our vacation to England is where I return to most. We’re meeting, just us, for cheesecake and ice tea.

The elevator door opens. Grandma’s once tall frame hunches over; the top of her spine is curved. Her sun-speckled, papery skin draped in bright silks; she slowly makes her way into the lobby. Arms out a little, looking for something to hold on to, her thick snowy white curls are sprayed wild like the beach wind is her stylist. Orange lipstick stains the same thin lips I have. I stand and head towards her. As I get closer, I hear her trying to breathe. Raspy and shallow, she is known to alternate oxygen and Marlboro Reds in the same room.

Pete is her name. Mom says it’s because she was one of the guys when my grandparents were in college. She cooked for my grandfather’s fraternity, and they called her Pete.

There’s more to the story, I’m sure. I ask questions, but Mom’s not sure or doesn’t tell. She says my Grandmother is a very private person.

Back in the lobby, her gruff voice, and familiar phrase, “Hey, Kell Bell. What’s shaking?” makes me smile. I lean in towards her, help her steady herself. I inhale. “You always smell so good,” I say.

We head into the cafe, eat cheesecake, drink tea. I tell her about Clark, the man I love. She asks questions about him and what we’ll do after college. I make sure the ones I ask her are easy. I ask about her volunteer work, her friends, the weather. I wonder about the hard questions I have. I wonder about her mother and the stepmother her father married shortly after her mother died. I wonder about my mother’s childhood, the fragments of sad stories I’ve heard over the years. Why Mom often told me I had no idea how good I had it.

We don’t know each other well. This, maybe our fifth or sixth meeting, is one of a few of my memories. A handful more will come. Grandma and Grandpa will be at my wedding; she’ll move to Virginia, where Mom will mother her again. She’ll meet my son and later my daughter. We’ll eat sweets together, and I’ll tell her my stories. She will keep hers.

“Excuse me,” someone says as they reach past me for the carrots. I breathe in again. She is gone. I resist the urge to find the woman who carries her scent. I want to douse myself in my grandmother’s story. I want to know her. I wonder what would have happened if I had offered to listen.

~KGS for Poplar Grove Muse


Big Love

We walk in circles
sit in circles
talk in circles.
We shoot hoops
on the basketball court
and bathe in the shallow creek
with hoots and hollers
as the cold water
kisses our bare skin.
We light candles
and pray in our rooms
one big prayer
of courage.
Then we listen
to the loud
bulging sound of frogs
and the persistent call of
the whippoorwill.
We are clearing
our minds and hearts
getting out brooms and rags
and buckets of soapy water.
We are packing up old books
and dusting off the shelves.
We are making space
to welcome what emerges
out of the crack
where our hearts have
split open.

By Laura Lasuertmer for The Poplar Grove Muse

Meditation on meditation






Empty your mind, they say.
Concentrate on a sound.
Let it go.
Find your inner…
Let it go
There is that irony
in deliberately
In deliberately
emptying the mind
In controlling the body
so that the mind
may empty
as many describe it
let it go
Open that mind-fist
and let
the wind of thought
fly away.
Sit still
Go for a walk
Stand still.
Let it come
Let it go
I like it best
when surprise stops me
as I am busying myself
makes me take a second
and a third
and a fourth
and however many more
at the wonder of what I see.
Not sought
but emerging as the focus
on its own
filling the mind
rather than emptying it
(although some may argue it is emptied of all else
when this occurs)
Letting it play out
usually an instance in the life
of another being
or flora
showing me
our connectedness
in ways
both expected and
The irony of it all
is the best meditation
for me.

Bev Hartford for The Poplar Grove Muse

A brief history of friendship

It starts with your first birthday.  Your mother gathers the other mothers and you eat cake for the first time. Those other babies come in the door with the other mothers and though you can’t say a word or understand what it means to connect with another human, you are connected. Pictures are taken as they sing that famous song and somehow you have your first cohort of friends, quite by accident, through strange acquaintanceships and happenstance. They you are.

Somewhere there is a movie of me seated in a highchair with chocolate cake all over my face. The handheld camera capturing all of us babies with plastic bibs and cake in all our wiggly delight.  I couldn’t tell you who these babies are.  My family moved from that house shortly after and none of them will be counted in this tally of friendship.

I was lucky to live in relatively the same place for all of my growing up years and since I do not know enough to ask why, friends come and go from my life like water. Some are there for the duration, part of my backyard pond, and some are more like ocean surf, coming and going with the pull of the moon, in and out with tide.

Who can say why friendship does or does not endure? Is it conscious? Do we say to ourselves when we hang up the phone angrily, I cannot take him anymore, I will not call her again. Or is it simply one day we forget to call, and then the next and the next until both parties just give up and the solid of their long soulful walks or their shared connection from college simply drifts away on the tide. Fond memories, to be sure, but no one can understand how they fit into each other’s lives anymore.

I am constantly amazed at what washes up on my beach of friendship. Someone is an acquaintance, then we find ourselves on a committee and suddenly its white wine on the deck, feeling ever so close to someone whose name you couldn’t even remember last year. Or the friend from college who calls across the miles again and again, sharing stories of birth and family and city life.  Or the work mates who are part of the warp and woof of every day and then you change jobs and poof, they are distant memories.  No one ever told me how the landscape of our friendships would come and go as I aged.

Some of my high school tribe at the beach,

I had a group of friends from high school who I love. We were the misfits and the wackos.  We shared love in our awkwardness.  We had parties in each other basements and went to the beach together.  We never really had boyfriends or girlfriends or went to prom. We didn’t drink, but we laughed and did our homework. We went to nice schools and spread out across the US. But this I will always remember, we vowed to never lose touch. To show our lasting love and devotion, we agreed to meet every year at the front of our high school wearing a white rose (in case we forgot what we looked like). We never asked how on earth we would forget what we looked like or why a white rose or why in front of the high school we hated. You won’t be surprised to learn that we never did that.  We aren’t great about keeping in touch either.  Different people and friendships have washed up on their beaches as well. We were the shells and seaweed of each other’s surf for a short but important time.

I am always interested in the history of friendship. Jealous of some who seem to have the closest and longest of bonds.  Relieved again that I seem to be able to spread my net far and wide, to connect with people from a huge variety of places and times.  Perhaps I never made the kind of friend groups and bonds that they show in the movies or that others seem to represent on facebook, but I always feel content that I offer the best of me to others and others in turn offer the best of themselves to me.  It has led me to a rich life; one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’ve recently been having a series of conversations with an old friend about how to make friends. It seems the older we get, the harder it is to find our tribe in this big wide world. I try to give advice to her, but the truth is, after cake at age one and that small but important group of high school friends, I cannot put my finger on just how one connects to the people with whom one needs to connect.  I feel that connection is not worked at or searched for, connection is simply the water in which we live.  To live is to connect.  Trust and it will happen.

One of the things I marvel about is that people never cease surprising me.  I play the guilty game of writing someone off who is too this or too that, and given the chance to know them, I discover they have a story and a side and an empathy that I couldn’t have guessed. My radar for superficiality or banality didn’t work right and I feel embarrassed that I was quick to judge. Mea Culpa friends. I truly love you all.

As I move into this last half of my life, I have such a great long view of friendship.  I can feel at ease in a minute with my high school soul mates, accept readily that some friendships will go on hold for awhile, recognize that not everyone I meet is destined to be part of my tribe, and accept beautiful connections as they happen. Its marvelous, isn’t it?  How we still celebrate, make a cake and gather round us the people who mean the most to us? Still, we eat cake and sing, marking a year of life and friendship.  Watching more starfish wash up on the shore.

The Little House

Having been taught to honor my ancestors from earliest memory I grew up inside a treasure box of memorabilia with the insistence I inspect it, and learn the story of things. Surrounded by steamer trunks full of old hand stitched linens and love letters between my grandparents, not to mention WW I medals, morphine kits, civil war fifes, and tattered songbooks, I’ve felt duly supported as a teacher of sorts to honor history and call upon the dead regularly to help me see what I cannot see, make good sense judgments and learn from the gift of solitude and sifting.

When I was a kid, there was a little sharecropper cottage on the farm property that was the repository of generations of stuff no one could bare to throw out. One of my earliest memories takes place there. I sat on the splinted front porch, maybe 300 yards back—and across the field from what was then my grandparents house. A lady in the house who was making doughnuts, put one after the other into my fat little hands as I surveyed the scene. Through the tall field grass, I saw the tops of people’s heads moving around loading cars. Eventually they called me back when it was time to go home. She put one more doughnut in my hand. “Here you go, Honey.” And sent me off.

In the following years, after the lady and her husband moved on, the “little house”, we called it, became the spooky destination for unaccompanied treasure hunts. So long as we stepped around the open well,  watched where we walked in the house since some of the floorboards had rotted through, we were welcome to bide our time reading 1905 National Geographic magazines, and set dusty depression glass jars on window sills to see how the light played against the peeling cabbage rose wallpaper. The day I felt brave enough to go back there alone —without siblings or the lure of doughnuts, marked a turning point for me. I actually have a memory of thinking to myself –was I eleven? Twelve? That I needed to try to do something scary by myself. That my curiosity was greater than my fear, and that there must be some sort of pay- off in the trying. That old house, the woods behind it, both full of creepy relics and ghosts, became a proving ground of sorts.

The little house went up in flames when I was a teenager. This was crushing for my Dad, who’d dreamed of shoring the place up, and for my Mother, who suspected her father had set it alight. It was crushing for me, because, like them, I’d taken some kind of ownership of the possibility of what it beheld, what it might become. My grandmothers Masters Thesis in botany burned, her teenage poetry collections, along with Uncle Joes almanacs, his little lead soldiers, mom’s sparkly dance costumes and tap shoes.

We let go in phases.

These days, the big house stands, along with some leaning barns and outbuildings. These structures weigh on me heavily as we contemplate their fate. While there are so many outcomes I’ve learned to hold lightly in this life, the erasure of this ancestral place is one I cannot presently reconcile without aching with grief. Sunday, I stopped back there to check on things after spending time with my mother nearby, in Oxford. The ancient maple creaked in the wind. The fence around the back garden had fallen down on the east side. Pieces of barn roof scattered in the drive. I pushed the fence back into place and fastened it by threading in fallen branches from another tree. I gathered up the roofing and found the patch of morels coming up through the gravel.

Just like my brother had said on the phone with me the day before, these treasures have been coming up in the same place every year as long as he can remember

Move a Body Friend







I have a “move a body friend”. We have known each other for sixty-eight years. What a lot of living we have done together and apart. We know where the bodies are buried. We are most likely not finished with burying bodies. Some people still have it coming. Her recent ex-husband comes to mind. Stay tuned…

It’s a powerful thing to have a friend like that. Someone who doesn’t even ask why there is a body to be buried and honestly doesn’t seem surprised that there is a body to be buried.

During my second marriage when I told her I had been watching true crime shows on TV to see what tripped the killers up, what got them caught, she didn’t call the police. Just as well, since I decided that divorce was a more sensible, if less satisfying option.

In other words, we trust each other. We get each other, don’t have to explain ourselves to each other and certainly never feel the need to justify ourselves to each other, whether the topic is a body to be buried or an ingredient purposely left out of a recipe we gave to someone who thinks she’s a better cook than we are- she isn’t, some things don’t need to be spoken out loud.

Between us we probably share so many secrets that no one else knows, we make the CIA look like amateurs. At our age, we may start to forget the secrets we have kept for decades, perhaps only to blurt them out Rosebud style as we are dying.

She usually likes my ideas and gets on board with my choices. Once when she called and asked what I was doing and I told her I was putting butter on a piece of fat-free coffee cake, she said, “Ooo, that sounds great! Now that’s a friend who will always lift you up with unconditional love and support.

Rebekah Spivey for The Poplar Grove Muse



A Blast from the Past

Last month, two days after I celebrated a milestone birthday, I had the rare privilege of revisiting my adolescence, in a bittersweet evening that filled me with joy and reawakened feelings I hadn’t experienced since the days in which they first transpired.

I had mentioned to a friend, in passing, how much I’ve loved Leo Kottke’s guitar playing over the years, and he promptly brought a copy of Fretboard Journal to our next meeting, insisting I read the lengthy cover interview with the onetime guitar prodigy. Just reading the article brought a rush of elusive teenage joy, and I found myself in a state of high exuberance that isn’t easily accessed. He still, 50 years later, retains his quirky, iconoclastic sense of humor and random onstage storytelling style, and displays his vast autodidact’s knowledge of the world, unpretentious and irreverant. I was transported by the interview back to a time of so much promise and openness in my life, and felt alive, vibrating, in a way I just don’t fall into often enough.

I wanted to talk to someone, anyone, who had been there, felt a desperate longing to share memories and experience, but there really isn’t anyone.  My early passions were pretty much my own, I realize now, perhaps shared with my family of origin, but now morphed in ways that leave them distinctly mine. (I did mention it to my brother, younger by 5 years, who remembers me “dragging” him to hear him play the Guthrie in Minneapolis—Kottke’s longtime home and ours at the time—when he was ”about nine.”)

One of the things I admire most about Kottke as an artist (and human being) is that he just loves to play, and has kept playing and recording and working for his entire career, excluding a period after injury when he had to completely retool his early muscular, athletic 12-string style for a slightly less strenuous 6-string approach. “You can’t turn down work. Play the pizza parlor,” he says.  We should all be so lucky to find something we love so much, are so good at, find a following for, and allow ourselves to pursue with passion and commitment. He tells a funny story while tuning onstage (which he does a lot of, and jokes about that too) of playing, to a colleague’s consternation, the opening of a public library in Albuquerque, on a small, slanted makeshift wooden stage that threatened to dump him into a gaggle of cross-legged kids just below him for the entire performance, one of whom kept insisting on playing the professional’s guitar.  Play the pizza parlor, or the library opening.

Realizing that he is still performing, traveling, working, I went online and discovered that he would be playing the Brown County Playhouse two days after I turned 60. Babbling excitedly about it to a close friend, she immediately offered to buy me a ticket and attend with me, a rare opportunity to buy the perfect gift for the woman who never wants anything. It was doubly fortunate for me, since the 200-seat hall sold out quickly, and knowing me, I would likely have left it until too late (as did a number of friends who planned to join us, including the friend who subscribes to Fretboard Journal), a trademark way in which I save myself lots of money and cost myself a certain amount of fun.

And thus, the remarkable experience of revisiting my adolescence.  The venue was filled with grey heads, clearly devoted fans who wait for Leo to swing back around these parts. As I listened, I was awash in memories of earlier performances—multiple gigs in various Minneapolis locales in my teens and twenties, several performances at Toad’s in New Haven during graduate school, and a life-changing night where I heard his second set at Northwestern after a harrowingly uptight and precariously drunken performance by a world famous classical lutenist, after which I decided to abandon my dreams of a career as a classical oboist. He still performs many of his old numbers, but they are transformed somewhat by his necessary change of style, and in my head I heard both new and old versions.  I was often on the verge of tears, and realized that I was probably the listener in the joint who had followed him the longest, listened over the greatest number of years, three-quarters of my life and more.  He’s grey and bearded now, but the memory of his signature thatch of thick dark hair, his long frame sitting atop a high bar stool in sweater and 70’s slacks, is imprinted in my visual image bank.

He played nonstop for 90 minutes, with lovely, loopy banter accompanied by frequent tuning between numbers. Devoted fans called out favorites, several of which he chuckled at before retorting that they required backup he didn’t have. After that interval, as he completely retuned one of his two guitars, he quietly shared that this had been the set, and the next number would be the encore. Amazingly, the packed audience of fans respected that, gave him terrific applause, let him slip behind the curtain with no greedy clamor for more.

My friend and her husband truly gave me an extraordinary gift, taking me (and themselves) to hear an artist they had never heard of, on the faith of my recommendation and fervent wish. I found this among the most incredibly generous and touching gifts I’ve ever received.  It was a somewhat surreal, emotionally charged evening of memories and music, another unforgettable evening with an unforgettable artist.

Mary Peckham for The Poplar Grove Muse

NaPoWriMo-Last Day

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

And last but not least, now for our final (but still optional) prompt for this year! Taking a leaf from our video resource, I’d like you to try your hand at a minimalist poem. What’s that? Well, a poem that is quite short, and that doesn’t really try to tell a story, but to quickly and simply capture an image or emotion. Haiku are probably the most familiar and traditional form of minimalist poetry, but there are plenty of very short poems out there that do not use the haiku form. There’s even an extreme style of minimalism in the form of one-word and other “highly compressed” poems. You don’t have to go that far, but you might think of your own poem for the day as a form of gesture drawing. Perhaps you might start from a concrete noun with a lot of sensory connotations, like “Butter” or “Sandpaper,” or “Raindrop” and – quickly, lightly – go from there.

Day 30 Minimal poems by all participants

Lauren Bryant


Carole Clark

Majestically magical words
Appreciatively humbled

Amy Cornell

At the jail
she buried her face in the lilacs
and said they smelled like rain.

Sweet Cherry Jam by Allison Distler

8 oz of Michigan summer
pressed into a ball jar
dark as coagulated blood

Minimal by Bev Slattery Hartford

Done for now
But still in my heart
and head
Not gone.

Haiku  (here are 3) by Amy Lifton

Moon streams through windows,
How am I to sleep like this?
Silver in my eyes.

Mowing the lawn, an
Intoxicating fragrance,
Thank you cherry tree!

How can a color
Make my heart break open
Simply celestial.

SHORT by Beth Lodge-Rigal



All in

The Woods by Lisa Meuser

Here we are.

Here we are.

Here we are.

Mary Peckham

April is f a d i n g

Home by Shana RItter

I do not know the names 
of the birds that sing me awake
I cannot identify each tree or leaf
or where the night peepers sleep
I do not claim the land I live on
it long ago claimed me.

One from today, and an old found + photographed poem – I called it “Icy cold bee,” but maybe it just is what it is  by Tracy Zollinger Turner



Light hearted

Light heart, Ed

Light, he arted




M i n i m a l (thank you for your words) by Beverly Wong

Home less
Un washed
Un loved
A lone
Hu man

From the editors: Thanks for reading.  Back to our regularly scheduled blog posts!