Word of the month for July is . . .

Hi everyone,

I choose this month’s word challenge with confidence that I won’t screw up and name a word used previously. Know why? Because of Cory Corrado, that’s why!

Just look at the lovely gift she has sent me, a booklet listing every word I’ve used since the beginning in 2009. They’re listed alphabetically! And she included a printout of all words by month and year, in which it’s apparent that on five occasions I have indeed reused a word.

So here is the all new, never ever used before Word of the Month word for July! It is FRESH.

Go for it, ladies and gentlemen!

For the birds

Hi everyone,

My friend Cory Corrado sent me this candid backyard picture she took a while back and wondered if you might add a caption to it — couplet or otherwise. I agree it should be a fun challenge for all you poets and wits out there. Have at it. And thanks, Cory!

And the word of the month word for May is . . .

Hi everyone,

Cory Corrado, have I used RAIN before? Considering how much water has been falling on us around here lately, I think rain would be a fitting word for this month’s challenge. So jump in, everybody. Splash in puddles. Get your feet wet. It’s raining!

On another front, I’ve decided to go to Chicago to accept my award from The Society of Midland Authors. My S.O.W. nudged me into it by saying she would go. With her there, she can hold my hand so I can cross streets while looking up at tall buildings and maybe she’ll get me an ice cream cone. The banquet is on Tuesday, May 9, at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan, 22nd floor. If you are in the area and are interested in purchasing a ticket online ($76), here is the link. http://www.midlandauthors.com/# The master of ceremonies will be Keir Graff, the executive editor of Booklist and co-host of Publishing Cocktails.

Keep those dirt poems coming!

Hi everyone,

We have plenty of time for you to share a poem inspired by dirt. So far we have fewer poets but their work is stellar. If you have not yet clicked on Adult W.O.M. Poems to enjoy their offerings, you need to do so. So far we have Cory Corrado (Canada), Bryn Strudwick (England), Silindile Ntuli (South Africa), and Jane Yolen, Donna Welch Earnhardt, Karen Eastlund, Jeanne Poland, Chris Regier, Linda Baie, Linda Boyden, and Cheryl Harness from the U.S.

Have I overlooked anyone? I’ve enjoyed all the poems this month and never cease to be impressed by the variety of work that spins off of the same word. I hope to hear from more of you before we have to get out the soap and water and clean up for November.

Christmas poems and memories

Hi everyone,

Today happens to be my 1,000th post since starting the blog in 2009. Thanks to one and all for being part of it.

Now it’s my pleasure to feature a Christmas poem by Joy Acey.

Happy Holiday

May this season bring your happiness and plenty of joy
With buckets of love and presents for each girl and boy.

May your cocoa have marshmallows to drink by the fire,
May you have all that you can desire.

May your tree be the tallest with flashing bright lights
And may your world be calm without any fights.

May the birds at your feeder find plenty of seed
And may you have everything that you might need.

May the soldiers working far off in war zones
Get the job done so they can come home.

Let the gas prices drop so you’ll drive your car
Or maybe the bus can take you far.

May scientists searching for a discovery
Find the clue for cancer recovery.

May they cure Alzheimer’s and other diseases,
May hospitals empty before it all freezes.

May children in Africa have the food that they need
And lots of clean water and books they can read.

May your stocks on the market increase in their worth
And may we all find peace on this earth.

May we all have jobs and significant work to do.
This is my Christmas wish for you.

by Joy Acey


My thanks as well to Veda Boyd Jones for her Christmas memory, which I’m reposting here. Others who have added their talents are Jeanne Poland, Sarah Holbrook, Renee LaTulippe, Jane Heitman Healy, Julie Krantz, Cory Corrado, Steven Withrow, and Nancy Gow. For good measure I’ve included Mrs. Stanley’s Christmas, a story that I may have posted last year or the one before.

Whatever your faith or belief, I wish you well. May you be safe, healthy, and happy in the year to come.



Our Talking Place

He was six when we sat close on the stairs together, I on the higher step, he on the lower.
“I don’t think there’s a Santa Claus. You and Dad are Santa.”
His voice didn’t ask a question. It did not accuse. It was a statement.
“You are partly right,” I said. “But you left out yourself.”
His eyebrows peaked, and his mouth raised higher on one side in that way of his.
“I believe in Santa,” I said. “Santa is the spirit of giving. And you are Santa, too.
How do you feel about that cup with Dad painted on the side? You had to get it.”
“He’ll use it every morning,” he said. “He’ll love it.”
“That is the spirit of giving…Santa.”
He smiled that self-satisfied smile of his and nodded wisely.
“But we can’t call each other that around your little brother.”
Again he nodded as if we were high conspirators. “He’s too young to understand.”

by Veda Boyd Jones


There’s a Glut

There’s a glut

Of Xmas stuff!

It struts




Us to bits.

We’re saved by sleep

Quietly wait

To wake

To wonder

Child again.

by Jeanne Poland


December comes.

I non-stop-shop.

To guard against a yuletide flop.

When all the gifts I give — go back.

I sigh.  But, hey —

Who’s keeping track?

What do you give to those who have?

Computers, bikes and skates —

Enough sweaters to warm Cleveland,

VCRs and tapes.

Sneakers, games and books,

magazines and jeans.

What could Christmas bring

That’s well within my means?

What if I give you patience

the next time you get stressed?

What if I say, okay,

I know you did your best.

The next time you fall short,

what if I lend a hand?

Or if things get confused,

I help you make a plan.

The next time you act smart,

what if I try to learn.

If my gift is kindness,

would that be returned?

copyright  1995, 2000   sara holbrook



or, Santy Claws Gnu What Eye Kneaded

Lurching threw the do
on a too-toad Christmas mousse–
His name? I’ve knot a clew.
Eye think aisle call hymn Bruce.

The last thing eye recall,
eye was looking really sheik
and heading four a bawl
down buy Bolder Creak.

Eye slipped and hit my head
wile walking in the missed,
then awl my words fell out my ear
and now eye right like this!

Witch is up?
Witch is down?
Witch which should eye use?
Until eye get my Christmas gift,
Aisle use witch won eye chews!

Eye opened up my ayes
and scrambled two my feat
and what too my sir prize
a voice said, “High, my suite!”

His close whir soft and read.
His presents gave me paws,
fore their upon his sled
was my idle — Santy Claws!

“Get up on this mousse.
Ewe took a nasty spilly.
Now tell me what ewe wont four Christmas
heir it gets two chili.”

Witch is up?
Witch is down?
Witch which should eye use?
Until eye get my Christmas gift,
Aisle use witch won eye chews!
Eye gnu write aweigh
upon witch gift to seas:
“Awl eye wont four Christmas
is a dictionary, pleas!”

Witch is up?
Witch is down?
Witch which should eye use?
Until eye get my Christmas gift,
Aisle use witch won eye chews!


(Thank ewe awl sew much–
this tail has run it’s coarse.
I’d sing ewe awl this song and such,

butt I’m a little horse – nay!)

by Renee LaTulippe


Jane shares the first piece of writing she sold some time ago. It has been reprinted a few times elsewhere.


Amid final preparations

The world stops.



Star-quiet wonder

Pierced by a baby’s first cry.

How startlingly Jesus

Enters our hearts.

by Jane Heitman Healy



When snowflakes fall—
so soft,
so white—
I cup my hands
like bowls
of rice
to catch
these lacy
of ice.
But when the sky—
so cold,
so bright—
turns out its
winter light,
I climb
in bed
to dream
all night.

by Julie Krantz


Dear Santa,

It’s me, Eileen Fishburn again. I sent you a note, though I’m not quite sure when. But in it, I asked for a bike and a doll – and a real cooking oven. But that wasn’t all. I also asked, Santa, for skates and a book – a book about dancing. Oh, wait, let me look . . . The book is called Dancing, a Primer for Tots. I really do want it. Inside it are lots of pictures of kids doing tap and ballet. But that’s not the reason I’m writing today.
I need just one favor. I hope you’ll agree. For what I want most beneath my Christmas tree is a cute baby brother – one I can hold. I really do want one, but if it be told, a cute baby sister would also be fine. But hurry up, Santa, there isn’t much time!
So that’s all for now. Merry Christmas to you. I hope you remember I like chocolate, too. So thanks again, Santa. I’ll write you next year. And best Christmas wishes to all your reindeer.

Eileen Fishburn

by Nancy Gow


Each Time

Each time we pause for beauty –

a snowflake, a rainbow, a misty day


Each time we see our spirit in others

recognizing we are all one


Each time we forgive

letting the need-to-be-right go


Each time we treat living things

with respect, kindness, and love


Each time we glimpse the innocent child

beneath the masks we all wear


Each time we bring sunshine and hope

a warm touch, a friendly smile,

or a loving-kind thought


. . . it is truly Christmas-

the Christmas of caring and sharing,

giving and receiving.

© Cory Corrado


Taunton River in December

The geese are eating day-old bread
From the children’s winter-mittened fists.
These ganders, intermittent guests,
If anything, are overfed,

For it’s the ducks we’ve come to stuff
With crusts of dough. In rills of slop
That spill above the river top,
Grass blades touched with feather-fluff

Skitter like mice beneath our boots
Beside the begging waterfowls
Which trail us, intimate as owls,
Nipping the tails of our snowsuits.

Greenhead mallard and his brown
And unrelenting hen advance
Orange feet, a feasting dance
One only meets this far from town.

by Steven Withrow

By David L. Harrison   

It was Christmas Eve and snowing. Mrs. Stanley’s feet hurt but she hummed a Christmas carol as she worked in her kitchen. Little John would be there soon. She hadn’t seen her grandson since last summer. The table set for four looked splendid with her best dishes. She hummed as she set out coffee cups.
She stopped humming when the telephone rang.
“Mama?” It was Joyce.
Mrs. Stanley knew something was wrong.
“We’re snowed in at the airport.”
“Oh no!”

Click here to read the rest of the story

Peace to all,