Progress report

Hi everyone,

On my May 11 post I said I was exploring possibilities for a new science book. Ten days later, exploration remains the key word. The subject for the project is a big one and happened long ago. It will be a challenge to keep the narrative from becoming too tedious.

I’ve been thinking about this book since January 2021. Last week I put the first words on paper. I worked on a draft of the first 900 words for four days. It was slow going and didn’t fall into place until the last day. It’s only the introduction, but it has to connect with young readers, make them want to read about what’s coming next. I decided it was good, but I needed the reaction of something seeing it for the first time.

I wasn’t ready yet to share it with NEAL LOPINOT, my archeologist friend/co-author of the book, but it’s never too early to share with SANDY. I offered the three pages to her with a hopeful look. She accepted them and sat down to read them at once. Pretty soon she looked up. I could see it coming.

“Boring,” said.

“Is not,” I whined with dignity.

“Is too,” she repeated and explained.

This is why I trust Sandy with my early drafts. She’s not only a straight shooter, she is right SO often. My first fear about this book is that it will bore readers. I prevailed on my good friend and master teacher, SU HUTCHENS. She, being the consummate teacher, both praised and offered a helpful thought or two. I began the revision.

Today I finished the rewrite, a rather complete one, I like it better. A lot better. If Sandy likes it better, a lot better, too, then off it goes to Neal. Once I know I’m on the right trajectory, I’m going to write this book!

My Word of the Month poem for May

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to add my effort for May inspired by GRASS. My thanks to all who have already posted their poems, and shamey shamey on all who have not yet posted theirs. See how holier than thou I get after I’ve finished mine? Kind of like how you smile after getting your teeth cleaned.

Thank you for the swell picture, Nathan Papes, Springfield News-Leader
The Grass

The grass enfolds secrets in green silence,
lies like a hug where children play,
is a witness to worms meeting bird-fate
and spiders doomed to feed wasp babies.

The grass offers privacy to roots nursing plants,
a roof over homeless beetles,
a refuge for small white moths on hot days,
an invitation to dogs on leashes.

The grass heals itself from mower wounds,
returns each year to carry in spring,
nurtures dandelions and small wild berries.
The grass caresses bare feet, and lovers.

(c) 2022 David L. Harrison 

$10 at Costco

Hi everyone,

We love having flowers around and SANDY often brings some home from the grocery store. How’s this for a bargain way to add beauty to the day?

And just outside the window…

I do so love this time of year!

Sat out by the pool until 10:30 last night, first time on the patio this year. A toad serenaded us. I figured it was the one I rescued from the pool trap a few days ago. I love toads that show gratitude.

A moon poem from Bryn

Hi everyone,

Our friend in England, BRYN STRUDWICK, is having trouble posting on my blog. Neither of us knows why he would be blocked after all these years of posting without a hitch. He’s going to try un-friending and re-friending me to see if that makes any difference. If not, we’re open to ideas from any of you tech-friends reading this. In the meantime, I’ll go on posting his poems for him to make sure you all get to see his work. When I posted my man in the moon poem, it reminded Bryn of one of his own and he’d like to share it. Enjoy.


The man in the moon came down to earth,
Though I suppose it was up for him.
He’d trained for months for this mission,
With endless hours in the gym.

Although his spaceship was heavy
And his fuel tanks had been full,
The take-off had been easy,
With no gravitational pull

The sight, looking back, had been awesome
He reported back to base,
“From way up here I am getting
An entirely new view of the place.

I can make out the Sea of Tranquillity,
Though I know it’s not really a sea.
And you’re never going to believe this,
But I think I can even see me”

He was grateful for his heat shield
As he entered the earth’s atmosphere.
And, to counter the gravitational pull,
He had to select reverse gear.

He landed, somewhat heavily,
Causing a traffic jam,
In a place called “Spaghetti Junction
In the middle of Birmingham 

As he stepped from his craft in his space suit,
He thought of something quite clever.
And radioed back to his moon base
Some words that would live forever.

“I’m the first moon man to land on earth.
Now others may follow behind.
One small step for a moon man,
A giant leap for moonkind.”

© Bryn Strudwick 2022

Hooray for Su Hutchens and her kids!

Hi everyone,

Our friend SU HUTCHENS has made my day! For the first time in ages, we have some children’s poems posted. Thanks to Su, four of her 4th grade poets have their work posted this morning using this month’s word as their inspiration. Please go see them, enjoy them, and encourage these young poets. You never know when you are making a positive difference that can change a life.

Our pals, Su and Dan Hutchens

Su, I know you believe in and practice the power of poetry with your students. Bless you for that. As you know, when I started Word of the Month Poetry Challenge in 2009, teachers across the country started posting poems by their students. Later, the poems stopped coming. Teachers said they were too busy because of changes in their schedules that made it impossible to spare the time to post their kids’ work. It has been sad to see the children’s section of Word of the Month go empty every month since then. In the last few years I think KEN SLESARIK has been the only teacher to post any student work.

Ken and me, 2011, Highlights Foundation Poetry Workshop near Honesdale, PA

If you are a teacher or know one, now is a good time to consider this wonderful opportunity for student writers.