Year-end wrap-up

Hi everyone,
David on rock 1
For those of you who blog, you’re probably receiving an annual report on how your blog performed during 2013. Here are a few tidbits from mine. I know that there are many blogs that are more active than mine, more professionally done than mine, and draw far more visitors than mine. Still, this one suits me and I have no aspirations to make fundamental changes for 2014. There are times when I scarcely have time to post at all but those of you who regularly drop by to see what’s up are a forgiving group and graciously allow me to sit in the corner for a while to catch up on other obligations. I thank you for your understanding and I thank you for visiting this site as often as you do.

During 2013, the blog was viewed about 57,000 times by people in 150 countries. The most visitors came from the United States, France, and Canada. The way the report reads, it would take roughly the equivalent of 23 sold-out performances at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for that many people to see it.

I posted 260 times in 2013, bringing the total since 2009 to 1,264. The day with the highest visitor count was March 9 with 2,698. The post was my poem, “The Song of the Tree Frogs,” which originally appeared in 2010.

Of the 5 most popular posts during 2013, only one was posted for the first time during the year and that was when J. Patrick Lewis, who was then our nation’s children’s poet laureate, issued a new poetry challenge on my blog.

Of the list of top five attractions, one appeared for the first time in 2013; three first appeared in 2010; and one came from 2009. A post about poems for two voices — featured in PARTNER POEMS, the book I did with Tim Rasinski and Gay Fawcett, made the list twice, once from its 2009 post and again from when I repeated it in 2010.

The most comments were left by Linda Baie, Catherine Johnson, Jeanne Polond, Jane Heitman Healy, and Matt Forrest.

My thanks to one and all for joining the fun around here during 2013. I am always surprised by the numbers involved in social media communications. Thank you for your comments throughout the year to let me know that you’re there and that you find things to like here.



Sunday Poets

Hi everyone,

Jeanne Poland is back with a new poem that reflects on suffering, devastion, and faith in the aftermath of Sandy.

by Jeanne Poland

They got it right: graphs, alerts,
Evacuation plans;
Doppler flashings: East Coast- Great Lakes
North to South: damp to frost
Wind speeds!!! Moon pulls!!!
Floating cars, boardwalks, subways.

We weren’t ready for the darkness
Grasping through our private space.
Our hope’s been struck
Can’t sew it up quickly.
Only SLOW remains.
Slow shallow breaths:
Not the stink of it.
Rather cling to spirit strength:
The grace to walk on water!
Arms extended to the One Who
Lifts me up, makes all things NEW!
He knew. He knows.
More than the media!
I’m in his arms.


Sunday Poets

Hi everyone,

It’s time for Sunday Poets. My thanks to Jeanne Poland for letting me reprint her poem, “Leave Dance Prints.”

I didn’t hear from another poet for this past week so I’ll pop in one of my own poems. I hope to hear from more of you this coming week.

Leave Dance Prints
By Jeanne Poland

On this poem.
Leave footprints.

It is
Made by hand.
A grand gesture.

Not public;
Like some pimple on your face.

But spoken
On the tongue:
Whispered for you.

On this poem.
Leave footprints.

If you will;

On this poem.
Leave dance prints!

If you’d like, please go to Jeanne Poland’s Poetry Blog to see her work from the past year:

E-copies of her photos and poems can be found at:

by David L. Harrison

“Watcher” was on the second line of the brochure
so all I saw at first were the words at the top:
“Be a Better Butterfly.”

And I thought, being a writer, or rather I wondered,
who was writing this brochure, and for whom?

Because I’d guess that most butterflies,
though drop-dead gorgeous,
are quite likely illiterate, or have, at the most,
a limited vocabulary of words they recognize in print.

So imagine my surprise to think that somewhere
a motivational butterfly bent on improving the lives
of those less fortunate was helping singles get dates,
encouraging fat moths (who technically are not butterflies,
but a customer is a customer) to take off a little around the middle,
suggesting the right blossoms to go with wing color – that sort of
thing – and had actually published a brochure.

And let’s face it, being a butterfly today is not what
it used to be when food was plentiful and species
could count on the next generation being around
to carry on the family tradition.
It makes more sense now than ever
to become a better butterfly!

But just when I thought I’d blundered on one of the most
astounding discoveries in all entomology,
I moved the next piece of mail, spotted “Watcher”
on the second line, and tossed the whole embarrassing affair
into the trash.



New milestone

BULLETIN: Check this link to enjoy Jeanne Poland at Poet of the Week on Steven Withrow’s Poetry at Play site. Way to go Jeanne! Thanks Steven!


Hi everyone,

Yesterday my blog registered visitor number 150,000. My thanks to all for making this a place to drop by now and then. Thanks, too, for all the good ideas, comments, and guest posts each month. Onward and upward!

By the way, I have another of Pat Lewis’s devilshly clever challenges coming up this week. Don’t miss it.

Here’s a note from Sara Holbrook, asking friends to help distribute the information below. Thanks, Sara, for sharing this:

I received a letter last night from a teacher friend in Pakistan requesting student artwork to create the longest, most colorful card for injured student activist Malala Yousufzai.

I reprinted her letter on my blog where you can also find the email addresses where you can send the artwork. The deadline is October 20.

It is hard to think of a more inspirational classroom discussion starter than Malala’s story.

Please forward, respond, or broadcast.



(440) 255-1124

Have a good week everyone,


Sunday Poets

Hi everyone,

Today we have poems by Matt Forrest and Jane Yolen plus a unique video poem by Jeanne Poland. Thanks to all for sharing


Lilies of the Valley hang
Like silent little bells
That neither sang nor ever rang
Of welcomes and farewells.

Red clover, small and softly sweet,
Stands proud despite its size;
White daisies, with their nectar-treat,
Court bees and butterflies.

The Queen Anne’s Lace is in its place,
The buttercups are set,
A pitcher plant provides a vase –
And woeful fly’s regret.

While milkweed, with its many mates,
Sways nobly to and fro,
One tender Lady Slipper waits
For one fair, dainty toe.

- Matt Forrest Esenwine
Inspired by Jane Yolen’s “Tenth Avenue Highline”

Matt Forrest VoiceWorks (blog)  (demos/samples)

For Sunday Poets


A metaphor does not explain a poem
unless it is a mountain poking its head
out of a mist, shouting to the morning.
A spondee stumbles on two flat feet,
and sometimes tumbles along the road,
ending with rocks, stones in place of teeth.
Watch out for anapests rising.
They bite in the baggy places,
under the eyes, behind the knees,
making the lips too stung to speak.
Access alliteration and assonance with care
or you may quickly find yourself
in a doctor’s office, stuttering questions.

A poem in the mouth explains everything.

©Jane Yolen All rights reserved /

Please go to: /
and enjoy: BALANCE explore ACCOMMODATE share

Jeanne Poland