Friday, April 18, 2014

Of Rabbits and Hobbits

There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you.
~Beatrix Potter

More poetry that takes place in fictional locations today as part of my Directory of Imaginary Poems, inspired by The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. Thank you, Laura and Linda, for giving me permission to share your poems!

A gift from P by Hideya Hamano

Peter Rabbit
by Laura Shovan

God, I loved him. Bad boy in a blue jacket.
Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail were such bores
picking berries like good little bunnies.
I wanted to squeeze under fences with Peter,
eat my fill of Mr. McGregor’s onions
and blow the stink of them into the old farmer’s face.
I wanted to run like Death himself was shaking his hoe
yelling, “Stop, Thief!”
           Had my sister lived,
we would have worn matching pink sweaters,
had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.
But I recognized a scythe when I saw one,
and as many times as I made my mother read it,
there’s only ever been one Thief in this story.


Hobbiton by John Mundy

I am in fact a Hobbit in all but size.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

by Linda Baie

Bilbo’s love of home
poignant exasperation
Gandalf at the door

sleepy newest hero
Gandalf offers Thorin’s crew
as Bilbo butters bread

"Abandon books and maps!"
advice given, warily taken
the world is out there

heroes should be followed
I steal into the circle
hooded me, a mouse

heave the rucksack alone
what happens out the door
will change me

Smaug rules my kingdom too
Time to learn how to fight dragons
Bilbo shows me a way

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved


Today's Poetry Friday round-up host is Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge. I'm off visiting my parents, but I will make the rounds when I can!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


You CAN make an omelet without breaking eggs. It’s just a really bad omelet.
~Stephen Colbert

Easter eggs today. Want to try decorating your own? Martha Stewart has 40 ideas, ranging from lace to stamp-covered to silk-dyed.

Easter eggs, Austria

Easter eggs, Czech Republic

Easter eggs, Belarus

Easter eggs, Ukraine

Straw-decorated Easter egg, Czech Republic

Easter eggs, Germany

Easter in Wonderland, USA
photo by Ludovic Bertron

More ways to decorate Easter eggs

Monday, April 14, 2014


If you were music
I would listen to you ceaselessly
And my low spirits would brighten up.
~Anna Akhmatova

London's Rudimental seems to specialize in striking videos. Some of them, such as Free, have scenes that are just mesmerizing.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Atlantic Seafarers and Apple Stations

For most of human history, 'literature,' both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written — heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labor created our world.
~Angela Carter

Today we are adding poems by Diane Mayr and Megan Arkenberg to the Directory. My thanks to Diane and Megan for giving me permission! If you'd like to read more about the Irish legend of Máel Dúin, go here, here, or here.

Máel Dúin, Seafarer of the Atlantic
by Diane Mayr

Part I

All you need know is this:
Máel sets forth to avenge
the death of his father, a
rapacious, godless, man.

It would seem a simple task
for a fit young knight. Along
with 17 companions Máel
discovers the island that

harbors the murderers,
and yet, unconquerable
winds prevent their exacting
revenge. Not to worry!

Part II

Máel Dúin puts his trust
in a god that will lead
them where they need
to go. Sail on! Sail on!

Island to island to island
to island. Isles of magic fruit...
spectral horses...intoxicants.
Isles with fences of gold

and crystal, or sheep that
switch from black to white.
Isles of enchanted cats.
Isles of raining fish.

Isles of uncontrollable
hilarity, lamentations, lust,
maidens, demons, and
creatures red with flames.

Part III

Seafaring men. Trusting in
a god to lead them to their goal.
Decade upon decade they sail.
Too many years to tally.

Thoughts of revenge forgotten.
They travel home again with
tales dictated by God, senility,
or simply, a fertile imagination.


Swan Feather by Amy Palko

We Pay Our Fare in Apples Here
by Megan Arkenberg

Everything in this station has a story, he said.
The walls are curved in such a way that the echo
of a penny dropped in the exact center of the tunnel
sounds like an apology from your late father.
If you crawl beneath the turnstiles in the wrong direction
the next train you board will take you
to every place you’ve ever forgotten,
and the ride will last for seven years.
One time, a woman fell off this platform
and touched the edge of a rail.
She turned into a swan.
Commuters find feathers in their briefcases,
sometimes. They always smell like summer.


Today's Little Ditty has Today's Little Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Stop on the Journey

The Opposite of Indifference is today's stop for the 2014 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, spearheaded by Irene Latham.

Yesterday, Diane said, "What's needed before I go?" which sent me off to imagining a list that our narrator might make for this mysterious expedition. I wondered about starting a section with shorter lines, offsetting the first stanza, and perhaps providing a contrast to longer ones later. But my goal, when I stopped imagining and got down to business, was actually to complete a couplet so a shorter, list-y line was not what I wanted to do here. Without further ado, I give you the tenth line:

Sitting on a rock, airing out my feelings to the universe
Acting like a peacock, only making matters that much worse;
Should I trumpet like an elephant emoting to the moon,
Or just ignore the warnings written in the rune?
Those stars can’t seal my future; it’s not inscribed in stone.
The possibilities are endless! Who could have known?
Gathering courage, spiral like an eagle after prey
Then gird my wings for whirlwind gales in realms far, far away.
But, hold it! Let's get practical! What's needed before I go?
Time to be tactical—I'll ask my friends what I should stow.


What's next? Only Linda knows the answer to that question...

1 Charles at Poetry Time
2 Joy at Joy Acey
3 Donna at Mainely Write
4 Anastasia at Poet! Poet!
5 Carrie at Story Patch
6 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
7 Pat at Writer on a Horse
8 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
9 Diane at Random Noodling
10 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
11 Linda at Write Time
12 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
13 Janet at Live Your Poem
14 Deborah at Show--Not Tell
15 Tamera at The Writer's Whimsy
16 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
17 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
18 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Julie at The Drift Record
20 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
21 Renee at No Water River
22 Laura at Author Amok
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Linda at TeacherDance
25 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
26 Lisa at Lisa Schroeder Books
27 Kate at Live Your Poem
28 Caroline at Caroline Starr Rose
29 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
30 Tara at A Teaching Life

Booting Up

A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.
~James Callaghan

The boots I've been wearing look a bit like a footwear version of the Sorting Hat. Not very fancy, but I like them. All kinds of boots today:

King Gustav III of Sweden's Coronation Boot, 1771
made by Jacob Wagner, Christopher Sergell, and Mattias Brun

Boots in the Grass
by Andrew Taylor

Boots, Bass Guitar, Painting
by Dave Parker

by Max Jackson

Equestrian portrait of Carl Gustaf Wrangel (1613-1676)
by David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl (1628–1698)

Legacy (the mud beneath our feet)
by Dave Hind, dedicated to A.P. Coleman (1852-1939), "geologist, educator, scientist, prospector, explorer, artist, lecturer"
photo by Mathew Ingram

Stalin's boots, the only thing that remains of a massive sculpture

At the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
photo by Bob Ramsak/piran cafe

Fallen American Soldiers' Boots, Grant Park Exhibit, Chicago, Eyes Wide Open
photo by Steve Weiss

Dalmation Boots
photo by John Morgan

Puss in Boots
by Walter Crane

Monday, April 7, 2014


Masquerade by Soviet-Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) today. The scenes in the video are from War and Peace.

Khachaturian's Sabre Dance has been used in *many* TV shows and movies.