To see the announcement for my poetry book, Sparrow, selected by poet Dorianne Laux for the Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize at Writers & Books, go to

You can find a review by Kathleen Kirk at EIL:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Job Description

"It is not my business to think about myself. My business is to think about God. It is for God to think about me." -Simone Weil

"My business is Circumference--" -Emily Dickinson

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Heart's Geography

Today my heart is a geography of loss,
a pond where my too-big boots
disturb the shimmering glop of polliwogs,
a field where oxeye daisies,
Canadian thistle, and tansy ragwort
are the only crop. My heart
once held the twittering of nuthatches,
the three lonely notes of the varied thrush.
Whether map or territory,
without it, where will I stand to sing
my song of childhood, the creek's complaint,
the churrup of frogs? Can the heart
survive as a lidded box whose key is lost?
Why should anyone pry it open
and lift out memory, folds and folds of it
like a musty afghan?

image from

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vachel Lindsay: guest poet

There's a big ol' full moon visible to the far right of my window above my desk, and I thought of this poem.

(what the little girl said)

The Moon's the North Wind's cookie.
He bites it day by day,
Until there's but a rim of scraps
That crumble all away.

The South Wind is a baker.
He kneads clouds in his den,
And bakes a crisp new moon that...greedy

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What I Forgot on Tuesday

From a class exercise. No claims for poetry (bad or otherwise).

I forgot what day it was.
I forgot my cell phone.
I forgot my keys.
I forgot to take my calcium pill.
I forgot my book.
I forgot my whiteboard markers.
I forgot what you said.
I forgot my place.
I forgot what I was trying to say.
I forgot why, but I still forgot.

Image from Phoenix Locksmiths

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


"We like that a sentence should read as if its author, had he held a plough instead of pen, could have drawn a furrow deep and straight to the end." -Henry David Thoreau

Okay, so the picture isn't of a furrow, but it is from "the" farm.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Trick is to Fall through the Lines and Into the Story

A January of clear, cold days. Snow frozen
along the margins of streets and driveways.
Evening. Dinner over. Homework spread across the table.
Our daughter draws a map of Canada.
"No one lives there," my husband says, pointing
to its farthest reaches. "It's too cold."
"I like the cold," our daughter says. "I'll live there." Add Image
She shakes her head of dark curls. She laughs.
She has always been a fearless child.
I'd like to know how to make myself more like her,
to imagine going places no one else imagines
worth going to. But I wander from the table
and sit down in my big green chair
where it's warm and cozy. This is what I love to do.
I open my book and fall in.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to teaching...

My only resolution for 2011 is to stop complaining so much about my day job ;)

Here's a quote from Annie Dillard:

"Never, ever, get yourself into a situation where you have nothing to do but write and read. You'll go into a depression. You have to be doing something good for the world, something undeniably useful; you need exercise, too, and people." ("Notes for Young Writers")

'Nuff said!