Saturday, December 29, 2007


I have bronchitis. I thought it was getting better, what with the antibiotics, inhaler, and all the other stuff I'm using, but no. So, the afternoon I was going to spend at the park with the family and my camera was a no go. I did this instead:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Poem Spark Dec. 24 - Jan. 7 - Winter Poems

Greetings fellow poets!

As you may have guessed, the passing of winter and the start of a new year are on my mind. And it seems that I'm not the only one thinking of this; the front page of has the following banner:

Poems for Christmas

Poems for Winter

Poems for New Years

If you click on any of those links, it brings you to a plethora of choices. I can't pick all my favorites; there are so many holiday poems from which to choose. Robert Frost or Wallace Stevens? Tennyson or Hardy? The possibilities are endless.

For this spark, you have a choice: pick your favorite winter/holiday/new years poem and post the title and a link, or write your own poem in celebration (or dismay) of the season.

Have fun and Happy Holidays!

PS-I've decided: my favorite is Wallace Stevens' The Snow Man. Brilliant poem!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Busy beautiful winter

I haven't been posting much because I've been very busy with last-minute holiday preparations and I also have a nasty cold. Those two things together are enough to flatten me by 9 pm. However, here are a few photos I took right after the last storm on December 16.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Autumn Sky Poetry — Number 8 online!


The eighth issue of Autumn Sky Poetry is now online.

Read poems by Mary Alexandra Agner, Patrick Carrington, Ricky Garni, Cheryl Hicks, Doug Holder, Diana Manister, Anthony Seidman, Tim Shell, Christian Ward, and Kelley White.

—It's all about the poetry.

Christine Klocek-Lim, Editor

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why was my car stuck?

Because I live on a hill. The sleet changed to freezing rain. I spent most of the day slogging around in the muck trying to get my car out of the woods. Finally a lone plow came around and cleared a single lane up the road and I was able to get my car home.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Poem Spark Dec 10 - 24: Poems of Place

Larina Warnock, editor of The Externalist, wrote this poem spark: Poem Spark Dec 10 - 24: Poems of Place.

Larina says: " Most poets offer some sort of setting in their poems, but creating a whole image is rare. The bits and pieces seem more poetic, the small details more relevant, and the shadows more interesting. Still, there is no denying that place plays a significant role in our creative processes, and some poets have gone out of their way to bring readers headlong into the environments that inspired them. "

Good luck!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

my website November Sky updated!

Yes, I've finally updated my website November Sky!

It's been a long time coming; last time I updated it was waaaay back in March. I've removed a lot of stuff, but as I convert the rest of my data over to the new computer, I will be adding more poems and photos back to my website. Go check it out! Click on the link above.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My birthday saga

Today is my birthday. It may possibly be the best birthday ever. Here is my birthday cake, chocolate of course. I did not have to bake it. I am lucky.

Here are the cards my sons made for me. I am lucky.

Here is my OLD computer. It is banished to the basement. Goodbye.

This is my new computer. Yes, that little bitty thing under the right side of my monitor, a Mac mini. I got this for my birthday, along with my new camera. I was speechless. I am lucky.

This is my bicycle. I went for a ride this morning because my broken ankle is mostly healed. I even made it up the hills. I am lucky, especially because I was afraid I'd never bicycle again.

After my bicycle ride, it rained, so I thought it was lucky I went in the morning. Then the sun came out, as you can see below. Cats always find the sun.

I love to take photographs after it rains, especially if the sun comes out. So I went out to the backyard and found this. I am lucky.

Then I decided to ditch the laundry and drove out to a field I'd been meaning to photograph for years. The sun and sky were perfect.

Then, as I walked back to my car, across the country lane was a last, surviving autumn tree. No other trees have any leaves left that aren't brown, but this one was lit beautifully. Lucky, lucky me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Last leaf

Last night the wind blew down the rest of the leaves.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Poem Spark Nov. 26-Dec. 10 - Music-inspired poetry

Greetings fellow poets!

Today I sauntered over to's front page in search of an interesting poem spark. Given that I've been writing these things for a few years now, the well of inspiration is remarkably still flowing; I easily found this week's spark: write a poem based on music.

The front page showed me this as soon as I clicked in: The Music Lover’s Poetry Anthology. Ah-ha! What a great idea! I'm always listening to something or other: classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop; it should be easy to find some piece of music that gives me a spark for a poem. I can use the song title as a start, or steal some of the lyrics (one of my favorite things to do). I could base the poem's rhythm on the beat of the song or choose a more syllabic approach based on some arbitrary snippet (perhaps the song track number). The possibilities are endless.

Poetry and music have a long romance going on, as you must surely know. It began way back before the written word was ever put down on stone and continues to this day. There are countless examples of jazz poetry, as detailed in this essay by Sean Singer: Scrapple from the Apple: Jazz & Poetry. How about this famous Langston Hughes poem: The Weary Blues?

Then there are the poems written about music, like this one from Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Musical Instrument. And lest you think this romance only flows in one direction, here is an example of how music can flow from the study of poetry: David Berman: Poems, Songs, and Psychedelic Soap Operas and David Broza: Making the Music the Poem Wants.

We must also not forget about those brilliant poets/songwriters: Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, not to mention the many modern rockers who continue the tradition.

It seems that music and poetry are everywhere. So, go forth and write a poem, keeping in mind this one warning from Yusef Komunyakaa (from the article Yusef Komunyakaa: An Argument Against Simplicity):

Music provides Komunyakaa with a means to explore complex issues of race and human relationships, while never reducing it through an attempt to reproduce the sounds themselves. "I gave myself a line of instruction a few years ago: 'I am not a horn,'" he explained. "It troubles me when poetry tries to equal music through outlandish mimicry of musical instruments. It is not music or poetry."

Good luck!
PS-don't forget to include the music that inspired your poem.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It is still snowing here

and the leaves are still on many of the trees. The weight of this wet snow is pulling down branches and trees. Still, it's very pretty.

Friday, November 16, 2007

From the top of Shimerville Mountain

This is very near to where I live, but my house is surrounded by trees so I had to go to this busy corner for the shot. You can't tell, but there were cars all around me; this parking lot sits at the junction of two very busy roads. It was very windy standing atop the picnic table!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tulip tree in autumn

Have I mentioned how amazing it is to have a digital camera lens with an f-stop of 22?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Snow peeks through the laundry basket

The Olympus E-510 has NO auto-focus lag, processor lag, shutter lag, or any other kind of lag you wanna bitch about. No lag. None. I am still giddy.

Happy autumn

I am in love

with my new camera, the Olympus E-510. Wow. I don't know what's cooler: the depth of field preview or the image stabilization. I can't decide. I am too giddy to think about it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Some poems in CSR

A few days ago I received a request from Maurice Oliver, the editor of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review. He wanted to republish some of my poems. Of course I was delighted, particularly because the poems had been published before. It's always great to get your work out there again, especially since there's very little opportunity to republish poems. Thanks Maurice!

If you're curious, go see Issue 11 of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review. It's a great issue, like always. Maurice always finds the best art and photography, not to mention poetry.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Poem Spark Oct. 29-Nov. 12 - Autumn (possibly spooky) Poems

Greetings and Salutations, my fellow poets!

Every year I usually dedicate the spark that falls around Halloween to spooky poems. However, just as I was googling my usual favorite creepy poems for this spark, I happened to glance outside: the brilliant autumn wind whipped a few dry leaves past my window just as one of the many crows that live around my house launched itself skyward. It wasn't spooky at all. It was exhilarating. The wind, the sky, and the smell of mold and dry chaff that rattles around the yard at this time of year are all spooky, but those things can also be so much more.

With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite spooky poems:

Shakespeare — Three Witches from Macbeth

Poe — The Raven

Jonson — Third Charm from Masque of Queens

But also, here are some excellent poems that capture the spirit of autumn, beyond spookiness:

Gl├╝ck — October (section I)

Hoch — Late Autumn Wasp

Wright — Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

Faiz — When Autumn Came

For this poem spark, write an autumn poem. It can be spooky or it can be majestic and haunting. It's up to you to choose what part of this season speaks most strongly when you glance outside. Good luck!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

I am recovering

Again. Yet another surgery. Happily this one was voluntary, but still, weird. Soon I will start writing again and bicycling again and generally feeling like myself again, but right now I'm hiding in my bedroom with a good book and some chocolate.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Poem Spark Oct. 15-29 - Water Poems

Greetings fellow poets!

Last Monday my husband and I took the kids to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. It was a delightful trip. The primary aquarium building sits on Pier 3 of the harbor. As we made our way through the building using a series of escalators, water surrounded us. The harbor outside surrounded the building. The enormous tanks within surrounded the people filtering through the exhibits. At every level, we were able to peer over a balcony edge down into the lowest tank filled with stingrays flying gracefully through the water.

Of course, I don't really visit anywhere without thinking of the implications for poetry. As I walked with my family through the exhibits, different poems about water flickered through my thoughts: Elizabeth Bishop's At the Fishouses, and William Carlos Williams' Landscape With The Fall of Icarus were the first two that came to mind.

When I finally came home that evening, I searched the web to find other water poems:

Meng Hao-jan's Night on the Great River

Walt Whitman's As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life

Pablo Neruda's Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market

Your spark: write a poem about water—the ocean, a sea, a river, a lake, or even the rain. The form of the water is up to you. The important thing to remember is the water itself, in all its lovely and mysterious forms. Good luck!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Zany questions Blog-tag

Well, my friend Brenda tagged me. Cool. :-)

And in turn, I tag Larina and Julie.

What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
Green & Black's Chocolate Caramel Bars. I know they're bad for me, but I can't help myself. They're best consumed at 9 pm. Be sure to refrigerate them.

How do you take your coffee?
I don't because I drink tea.

Who were you in a previous life?
I was probably a bug. Wouldn't suprise me a bit.

What is the worst film you ever paid to see?
War of the Roses. I actually walked out of the theater in the middle.

What is the best thing you can ‘buy for’/’do with’ a dollar? / a euro?

Fold it up into an origami creature.

What is the worst present you’ve ever received?
Sperm-soap on a rope. Seriously. It was an ugly gray-green and looked like a giant slug. My aunt thought that it would be an appropriate wedding gift.

What is your favourite word?
This changes depending on my mood. My latest favorite word is disheartened. Or maybe discombobulated. Do I have to pick?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If you are curious

This is what my ankle CT scan looked like before surgery. Notice the little fragments:

And this is an X-Ray of what my ankle looks like after surgery. The best part: you can actually feel one of the screw-heads right through my skin: