Monday, April 30, 2012

30 of 30: Poetry Hides

Today is the final day of National Poetry Month.  Here's what I've learned...

Poetry Hides
If I have learned
it is that poetry hides.
Along the creek's muddy edge,
under the dried fall leaves
long forgotten.

Poetry hides,
As flowers awaken,
stars shimmer
in the deep dark night.

Poetry hides,
To dawn's early chorus
as the birds call to one another,
crickets sing their nighttime song.

Poetry hides,
Days long forgotten,
memories tucked
deep within your heart.

Poetry hides,
It walks silently
beside you.
Waiting for you
to pull out your pen
to capture
its words.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

29 of 30 Seagull

It is hard to believe it is day 29.  One of the things I've learned through my attempts to write a poem each day, is how carefully I must pay attention.  I take time each day to search for my poem.  In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott reminds us, "Writing is about learning to pay attention and to communicate what is going on."  Yesterday at lunch I couldn't help but notice the seagulls flying over the parking lot much like it was the ocean.   I wondered if they were lost.  Did they know what they were really missing?  I tried to capture what I noticed here:

white wings outstretched
searching below
hunting for food

are you lost
above the ebony pavement
as dark as the ocean
without the sun

the parking lot of cars
like waves stretched
across the dark sea

you rise and fall
in search of morsels
discarded fries
a piece of bread -
to eat

city seagull
gone from the ocean
are you lazy
or quite clever?

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Did you know?
Seagulls are scavengers --- clever ones.  Here's a funny story about a Dorito stealing seagull.
Many seagulls live, nest, and feed inland.
Seagulls have excellent eye sight.
The seagull typically lives 5-15 years.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

28 of 30 Who Lives Here

"Singleness of attention is the heart of a disciplined writing life."  Pat Schneider, Writing Along and with Others

Who lives in this house,
with its lavender siding,
and royal purple trim,
lattice adding character?

Who sits in the turret,
with its cone shaped roof,
and circular walls,
windows all-embracing?

Who rests on this porch,
with its rounded edges,
chairs placed carefully around
waiting on warmer weather?

Who watches as I drive by
this house on the corner
where it has stood
proudly for generations?

Could it be the artist
watching the sunrise
from the windows
eye-to-eye with the treetops?
The poet observing the sunrise?
The writer taking notes
as people scurry about?

   I can't help but wonder...

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

27 of 30 Rain

As a class we have been collecting a variety of words about rain to write a shared poem. All this talk - and a lot of rain this week - has inspired a quick rain poem.

"The words!  I collected them in all shapes and sizes and hung them like bangles in my mind."  Hortnese Calisher

Rain gently falls,
Bouncing off rooftops,
Dancing on pavement.
Leaves turn toward the sky
To quench their thirst.
Flowers bow in celebration.
Rain weaves it's way
Through cracks in the soil.
Roots stretch to catch
This gift from above.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

26 of 30 Friday!

Yes, I know it is Thursday, but I'm looking forward to Friday.  My oldest daughter is coming home from North Carolina, and we are driving to see our son on Saturday.  I was thinking about how much we love Friday --- and how it gets all the attention.  

Poor Monday gets no respect,
We all just curse its name.
And Tuesday gets ignored,
The day is really far too tame.

Wednesday's in the middle,
We're all happy to be there.
And Thursday sits near Friday,
We can make it we declare.

Then Friday finally comes,
We're as happy as can be.
We've made it through the week,
We dance and shout with glee.

Then Saturday arrives,
And we're having so much fun.
We enjoy some time with friends,
Read a book, enjoy the sun.

Then Sunday finally comes,
And we look at it with fright.
The weekend's gone so quickly,
It's really just not right.

©  Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

25 of 30: Our Pond

I've been fascinated by the heron and egret that hang out together at a pond not far from my school.  Herons have become a more common sight in our area, but I don't see many egrets.  Since seeing them together I have started researching both birds.  I wrote about the heron here and here.  The information I have gathered about the egret is below.  It seems there are many commonalities.  I have been wondering how closely connected the two are.  Today I tried to write a poem in two voices to show how both sit and wait for dinner in their little paradise.  

                                      OUR POND
sitting by the rocks
at the water's edge
where water trickles 
from nearby drains
life is abundant.
i wait.

                                                                    i sit across the pond
                                                                    where the dirt meets the water
                                                                    my own small beach
                                                                    my paradise
                                                                    fish come to warm waters.
                                                                    i wait.

                         our pond glistens
                         ducks float
                         birds glide.
                         we watch.

i am patient
my tall black legs
look like sticks
a trick of nature
a frog plops.
I lunge.
                                                                       i stand like a statue
                                                                       in the shallow waters
                                                                       my blue gray color 
                                                                       matches the evening sky
                                                                       something moves
                                                                       i strike

                            creatures live here
                            in our pond
                            where city meets nature
                            busy yet serene.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Research:  Great Egret

  • The second largest heron.
  • In Ohio, often found along Lake Erie. 
  • White feathers
  • Yellow bill
  • Black legs
  • Prefers shallow water of marshes, ditches, fields, and river edges.
  • Eats frogs, snakes, crayfish, mice, crickets
  • Over 4 feet tall
  • 50 inch wing span

Ohio Department of Natural Resources:  Great Egret
National Park Service:  Great White Egret
National Geographic:  Great Egret
All About Birds:  Great Egret
Egret and Heron Comparison

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

24 of 30: Forgotten

Today I am posting as part of the Slice of Life conversation going on at Two Writing Teachers.  Since completing the March challenge, I have been writing a poem each day with Mary Lee, Linda, Amy, Maria and many others (see side bar for National Poetry Month links).  I think I can safely say I am back in the writing habit.  I'm looking forward to reading the posts at other blogs today.    

Today I was egret chasing once again when I wandered into the Clover Cemetery.  This cemetery isn't a strange place to me as I have spent many summer days researching our genealogy.  This cemetery is where my husband's great-great-great grandparents are buried.  There are many McCoys in this cemetery which is now surrounded by apartments.  Unfortunately, it has been more than time and weather that has started to destroy this old cemetery.  Though I knew what I wanted to say in this poem, I wasn't sure what voice to use to write the poem.
"To allow the voice its chance to develop we have to listen as we write and encourage those words, phrases, lines, those rhythms and pauses, that clarify the text."  Donald M. Murray, Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem

This picture taken by Gustafson (and housed at
in 2000.  Compare with a picture I took today at the bottom
of this post.
Decades have passed
since families came here
to lay loved ones to rest.
Clergy searching for words of comfort,
tears streaming down faces,
hearts heavy,
as they said goodbye.

For years I rested here quietly watching
generations passing through my gates,
placing flowers near stones
attempting to mark
the significance of life once lived.
Family and loved ones visited,
to share stories,
to say prayers,
to remember.

I have held their stories.
I have cradled their loved ones.
I have sheltered them.
The fields around me are gone,
replaced by rising buildings housing hundreds.
These people do not care who I am,
they do not pass through my gates
to pay their respects.

The nearby pond - manmade,
now sits at my side.
I watch the birds glide by,
the fisherman cast his pole,
the children play near the water,
but I am lonely.
No longer does anyone stop by with flowers.
No longer are stories whispered in my ear.

The stones marking the lives of many:
the farmer, the soldier, the mother -
no longer stand.
They have been damaged by carelessness.
Desecrated by those who care little about the past.
Though the rain and wind erases the names,
disregard pushes them over,
moves them far from their places.

What will become of me as I wait
for someone
to lift my stones toward the sky
to share my stories once again?

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Clover Cemetery, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

23 of 30 Pinterest

Yes, the rocky poem days continue.  However, my goal all along has been to just get into a writing habit.  At 54 days I guess I'm getting there.  Hopefully this will at least make a few people smile or shout loud "Amens" from afar.    

Pinterest is quite addictive.
I could hang out there all day.
Looking at pictures shared by friends,
Pinning a better way.

I can find a link to show me:
How to make a tasty cake,
The recipe for a side dish,
Or the way to grill a steak.

I can find a pinned description,
To help me remodel a room.
The perfect accents to display,
Or the way to cut flowers in bloom.

I can learn to organize a closet,
Or to clean a space in need.
I can find the secret to scouring a pan,
Or the secret to ending the weeds.

If I need a special trick,
To teach students how to add,
Or am looking for a poem,
The ideas aren't really half bad.

Finding all these delights,
Is quite an inspiration.
But really getting things done,
Takes effort and perspiration.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

22 of 30 Looking Forward

When Grandpa lined us up
per Grandma's instructions
to take the posed photo,
when we all smiled,
moved a bit this way
and that,
did he know
that some day those
would be
giving us a glimpse
of our life
as the shutter
capturing the moment
that we let

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

21 of 30 Chips

What is it about eating chips,
That makes me want to do flips?
They're crunchy and good.
Taste just like they should.
Even better when accompanied by dips.
I wish someone would take them away.
I eat way too many every day.
Once I eat one,
I can't stop the fun.
My stomachache surely will stay.
I can eat them until they are gone.
'Til my stomach cries out something's wrong.
I should've stopped before now,
But I didn't know how,
In my pantry they no longer belong!

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

20 of 30 Stories in the Wind

"Somewhere in the first draft lies an opportunity to make great discoveries by adding what fits, and then by cutting what doesn't match the richest additions."  Kim Stafford, The Muses Among Us.  Putting writing out into the world in its earliest stages has been the hardest part of the last two months of these challenges.  I always feel these poems need time to sit for awhile, then to be revisiting, and then to be re-visioned.  This draft awaits opportunity.  

stories in the wind
wind whispers
stories familiar
as it blows
from places
far away

of yesterday's
of today's

takes over
we forget
the sounds
the feel of it

as the breeze
we are gently
reminded of
the stories
yet again

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

19 of 30: High Dive

It's my 50th day in a row of writing.  I started with 31 days of Slice of Life posts, and now I am on day 19 of writing poems.  I just might make it to the end of April with this challenge.  I have been using the challenge to prepare for our poetry unit of study.  The young poets in my classroom have been reading poetry here, there and everywhere.  We're just about ready to start writing poetry too so I've been pondering some memories I think they might enjoy.  Last night I was thinking about summers at the pool as a kid.  Our pool had a tall high dive that was a must for every swimmer to conquer.  I thought I'd see if I could recreate that memory in a poem.  

High Dive
The long thin board looms over me, touching the sky
step, climb
step, climb
step, climb
to the top
each rung
full of decision.

I arrive
walk cautiously
to the edge
peer out.

I stand above
the fence,
the trees,
the houses.
All watch.
All wait.

I look down
turning around
I have come
too far.
Take one last
deep breath.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

18 of 30: Determined

Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, in PoemCrazy, considers, "If I don't flip that poem onto the page the moment it wants to come out, it can drift away like a dream or go lifeless."  I wonder how many poems slip away in the busy day? This one came to me this evening, and though I had a different plan for tonight's writing, I had to get it down.  

climbing up is hardest.  
Putting one foot 
in front of the other.
Making sure we are firmly 
on solid ground
before continuing.

it takes all of our strength to 
keep pushing,
our way through the hard parts,
stepping over obstacles,
going around that which
we cannot get over.

we want to turn around,
go back,
give up.

it takes facing the obstacles,
believing we can,
knowing we must,
to get there, 
all the way to the top
where the view is perfect.  
Where we can say,
"I made it."

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

17 of 30: Slideshow

Today Charles Waters is visiting Author Amok for the 30 Habits of Highly Effective Poets Series to give some advice for writing poetry.  In talking about writing poetry he says, "Writing every day is like boot camp for your poems.  The more often you drill, the stronger your work becomes."  Here's to day 17 of 30.  

A regular slideshow pic:
My brother, Chad, & I on my grandparents' patio

Please we beg
show us your pictures.

We chant.

We gather in the basement,
flop on couches,
fill chairs,
lounge on the floor.
Grandma brings snacks as
Grandpa pulls out the carousels of photographs
taken across the years.

On the large white screen 
pictures flash,
of vacations,
of places,
of upside down trees,
of family we know, and
family we do not.

We listen in happy silence
for hours as 
the stories 
surround us
filling our hearts
making us smile.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

16 of 30: Candles

image from
Bright flames

In the air they

Colors trickle

Silence transforms

Make a wish!
It's your

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

15 of 30: The Chase

Georgia Heard, in Writing Toward Home, tells us her friend Marie has her students "write ten observations a day.  Without commentary.  These observations become touchstones for much of their writing later on."  My poor husband had to find a place to pull over Saturday on a busy road with rain pouring from the skies after we noticed an egret wading in the water with a blue heron.  I was fascinated.  I tried to get a picture but I suppose I was a little too loud for their liking as they raced to the other side of the pond.  

The Chase
I stopped the car today
Because I saw you
Wading near the pond's edge
As the rain poured down.

You were there
With your friend
The great blue heron
Who was wading also.

I was surprised to see you
But even more surprised
To see you with the heron
Who seems to prefer solitude.

Oh, great egret
I couldn't help but wonder
What brought the two of you together
Two friends hunting in the rain.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

14 of 30: The Procrastinator

"Poetry is when emotion has found thought and thought has found its words."  Robert Frost

The Procrastinator
sitting here by my french doors
watching the rain slowly trickle
i peck away at my computer
writing this
reading that
i get up to freshen my coffee
pretending there is nothing
needing completed
prolonging my agony
finding other things to do
things i normally ignore
now look inviting
i might even
bake a cake - from scratch
go to the grocery
go through a stack of mail
eventually i will be pressured
to delay no longer
i will have to get busy
deadlines loom
forcing my compliance

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

13 of 30: My Lucky Day?

My Lucky Day?
My alarm buzzed loudly 
as I put my left foot on the floor to begin my day.
Looking at the calendar I realized
it was Friday the 13th.
I smirked to myself.

Thinking it might rain
I grabbed my umbrella 
popping it open in my foyer. 
I stepped under the ladder 
to get out the door. 
My neighbor's black cat
crossed in front of me as I went to start my car.
The owl hooted three times
as he eyed me suspiciously.

I wrestled around my purse
looking for my keys.
I dropped my small mirror
and it shattered to pieces.

I was relieved to glance down 
to find a FIVE leaf clover.
My luck is turning around.
Five has to be better than four.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

12 of 30: Searching

"Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood."  T.S. Eliot

I searched for you today
in the crisp cool morning air surrounding me
     the rising sun resting on the road before its ascent
          the sounds of the birds awakening the sleeping world.

I tried to find you
in the tall blades of grass near the water's edge
     the white blossoms on the tree lined roadway
          the tulips bent over from the unexpected cold.

I listened for your voice
in the words that poured from the pages
     the conversations of passersby
          the sound of people busily moving about their day.

It was impossible to see you
in the darkness of the night sky
     the shadowy line where trees meet sky
          the purple-blue clouds protecting the stars from my eyes.

Though I looked
you slipped away unnoticed
     I will search again...

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

11 of 30: Great Blue Heron

I had so much fun writing a nonfiction poem last night I decided to try it again tonight.  This time I tried to use the research facts I found about the heron on a previous post.  When I read poems that really take my breath away, I notice they have strong words.  They capture images, feelings, and truths I hadn't noticed until reading them.  I know choosing words for my poems is something I really need to improve.  Georgia Heard in Writing Toward Home reminds us, "The true meaning of the word revision is this:  to see again."  She continues, "I need to see again to make sure those words reflect precisely what my eyes and heart see. (p. 121)"  Today I tried to re-see this poem and included my first draft at the end of this post.   

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Great Blue Heron
Patiently you stand erect
at the water's shallow edge
outstretched slender legs
concealed from view

You watch for
for the slightest movement
a quiver of water
a splash near the shore

Your silence entraps the foolish
making the mistake to come near
to your statuesque form
appearing blue-gray


© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

First Draft
There you stand 
At the water's shallow edge
Your long skinny legs
Hidden from my view
Waiting patiently
For the slightest sign of
Making the mistake to come near
To your statuesque form
You hunt without moving
Truly a game of patience
Your blue-gray color 
Is transformed by the sun
To show black, brown, white feathers

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10 of 30: Hummingbird

Today is the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge.  For those of you just stopping by, I'm writing a poem each day this month in celebration of National Poetry Month.  

I have been thinking about nonfiction poetry and collecting titles to consider as mentor texts for my first graders.  Last night I came upon Jane Yolen's, Bug Off!.  On each page Yolen shares a poem about an insect with a few research facts carefully collected underneath.  So tonight I decided to try my hand at a poem with just a bit of fact peppered within. I have been collecting interesting hummingbird facts so I decided to give a poem a try.  It needs a lot of polish, but when you are writing a poem each day there is no time for that.  

Photo from ODNR
Dear hummingbird,
You have already arrived
From your summer home
In Mexico.

I heard you buzzing
As I sat on the patio
Admiring the flowering trees.
Watching the birds build their nests.

I heard you
Well before I saw you,
With your wings beating
Faster than my eyes can see.

I spotted you
Darting around the yard.
You paused to study me.
Then flew backwards and away.

You were by yourself,
Moving here and there
Looking for food.
But you are early.

The yellow iris
Has not yet bloomed.
The hosta is just peeking
From the ground.

The zinnia hasn't been planted.
The dianthus has yet to sprout.
The snapdragon, though getting tall,
Hasn't started to bud.

But here you are.
Skittering about the yard,
Building your new home,
Searching for food.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds
  • Only species of hummingbird is the only one to breed in eastern North America.
  • Lay 1-3 eggs.
  • Females care of young.
  • Female may have several broods in a year.
  • Migrate to Mexico and Central America (may double their weight to make journey across Gulf of Mexico)
  • Weigh less than one ounce.
  • Rapid wing movement (12-80 times per seconds, typically 55 times per second).
  • Only birds that can fly backwards.  
  • Can fly up to 60 miles per hour.
  • Normal flight speed is 25 miles per hour. 
  • Have extremely small legs.
  • Male has red throat (appearance dependent upon light).
  • Feed on flowers, nectar, sap, insects and spiders.
  • May eat twice its weight each day.  
  • Pollinate plants.
  • Nest is the size of an English walnut shell. 
  • Lifespan 5-9 years  

Sites to Learn More
National Geographic:  Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Operation Ruby-Throat:  Nests and Eggs
Ohio Department of Natural Resources:  Video About Attracting Hummingbirds (and nesting)
Ohio Department of Natural Resources:  Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Bird-Watcher's Digest:  Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
University of Maine:  Understanding Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds and Enhancing Their Habitat in Maine
Wonderopolis:  Do Hummingbirds Really Hum?

Monday, April 9, 2012

9 of 30: Wiggly Jiggly Tooth

As a first grade teacher wiggly teeth are my life.   I'm pretty sure most of our tissues are used for teeth --- not colds.  Today I thought I'd try a fun, rhyme-y poem about wiggly teeth.

Wiggly Jiggly Tooth
My tooth is loose,
He said with a shout.
My tooth is loose,
Make it come out.

He wiggled and wiggled,
Moved the tooth to and fro.
He jiggled and jiggled,
But it wouldn't let go.

I want it out now!
He twisted left and then right.
He started to howl.
Pushed with all of his might.

It would not come out,
No matter how hard he tried.
He started to pout;
He cried and he cried.

The kids all watched him.
His teacher hoped he'd quit wiggling.
Her patience was slim,
As the class started giggling.

He grabbed a tissue,
Wiggled a little bit more.
It was becoming an issue,
As he sat on the floor.

He soon felt a sneeze,
Move from way down near his shoes.
He said, "Excuse me please,"
And yelled ah-ah ah-choo.

Across the whole classroom,
That tooth it did fly.
Not a moment too soon,
He was heard to sigh.

Now he has a big space,
Where the tooth used to be.
The smile on his face,
Says, "Yay, lucky me!"

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

8 of 30: Grandma's Kitchen

In Writing Toward Home, Georgia Heard reminds us of this quote by Walt Whitman from Leaves of Grass, "Past and present and future are not disjointed but joined.  The greatest poet forms the consistence of what is to be from what has been and is."  I had to smile when I read this in Heard's book as Whitman's Leaves of Grass was a gift from my grandpa and grandma many years ago.  Oh, the little coincidences of life.  For a moment today as I was preparing Easter dinner I was taken back to my grandma's kitchen by the smells coming from my kitchen.  I really wanted to capture the smells, but I found that task to be quite challenging.

Grandma's Kitchen
Stepping into Grandma's house
the smell of welcome
greets us at the door.
A roast in the oven.
Pot pie on the stove.
Bread freshly baked.
Sugar-cream pie cooling on the counter.

Walking into my kitchen
the smell of Grandma's
comes back to me.
A roast in the oven.
Gravy on the stove.
Green beans simmering in a pot.
Warm peach crisp hot from the oven.

The aroma bridges the years.
For a moment I am in her kitchen,
and my kitchen at the same time.
Smiling to myself
as we gather around the table
once more.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

7 of 30: Night Reflections

This evening as I looked out my front door I noticed the moon resting on the branches of our front yard tree.   It rested there for quite some time as if unsure whether to stay or to continue.  If, like me, you find the full moon interesting you might want to stop by Mary Ann Reilly's Portfolio:  The Moon and Night.  

"Celebrate the ordinary, the obvious, the things that surround us."  Donald M. Murray, Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem

Night Reflections
The moon settles
on the shadowed branches
of the maple tree.

Trying to decide
whether to continue to climb
or to stay and rest a little longer.

it decides to rise to its place
in the quiet night sky.

There it shines brightly
reflecting the light from the sun
illuminating the night.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

6 of 30: Ode to the Reese's Egg

Today's post should probably begin with an apology to the ode.  As I pulled a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg from the freezer today, I just couldn't resist this tribute.  

Ode to the Reese's Egg
Oh, chocolate peanut butter delight,
How I shriek when you I see.
I cannot wait to take a bite,
I nearly burst with glee!

I hold your delightful egg-like size,
You rest within my hand.
A truly wonderful surprise,
I buy as many as I can.

You'll be long gone, it is so wrong.
You won't return until next year.
I will be singing a sad sad song.
I will miss you so, I fear.

Oh, chocolate peanut butter delight,
You must stay all year I beg.
You're perfect always in my sight,
I miss you already, Reese's Egg.

Amy LV at The Poem Farm recently shared a poem, D is for Draw, in which she read a poem using SoundCloud.  I thought I'd give it a try with this ode.  I'm thinking SoundCloud might be another way for students to record poetry.  Thanks, Amy!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

5 of 30: Spring Parade

"Poems arrive.  They hide in feelings and images, in weeds and delivery vans, daring us to notice and give them form with our words."  Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, Poemcrazy  I found this poem in our flowerbeds.  

Spring Parade
The purple crocus 
Leads the promenade,
With its thin blades of green
Accented by violet blooms.

Next the daffodil marches,
With it's flower bouncing,
Like miniature suns
In the morning breeze.

The weeping cherry
Dances along the streets.
It's plentiful pink blossoms
Catching the attention of all.

Delicate hyacinths,
Tiny pedals intertwined,
Quietly float by
To catch our attention.  

The tulips follow right behind 
With their uniforms of many colors
They stroll with grace
To awe the crowds.

The parade of flowers,

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

4 of 30: Oh, To Be Seven Again

Today is my son's twentieth birthday (yes, I'm surprised I have a child that old too).  It's his freshman year at Toledo University; so unlike birthdays of the past, he has to attend classes all day and work until late tonight.  I'm sure he is missing birthdays when he was seven.  

Remember when the
best day of the year was
your birthday!

Your friends at school ate cookies
and sang happy birthday to 

Cheeseburgers, pizza or macaroni.
The evening meal was whatever was chosen by

Basketball, Pokemon, or a knight's shield.
The cake was the shape of
your latest obsession.

It took all of your might to blow out your candles
after everyone sang happy birthday to

Your wrapping paper, a favorite superhero.
kept treasures hidden until opened by

Transformers, legos, or an action castle.
You shouted with glee as you discovered what was chosen for

Oh to be seven again,
when a birthday was all about

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

3 of 30: The Goodbye Cake

Today is my third day of posting poems for National Poetry Month.  I'm finding out there are quite a few National Poetry Month events and have linked what I've found to this sidebar.  This is our first Tuesday since finishing the month long Slice of Life March Challenge.  I have posted this poem as part of the Tuesday slices being shared at Two Writing Teachers.  
"Begin here, with what you know."  Georgia Heard, Writing Toward Home 

The Goodbye Cake
Pulling the cake out of the refrigerator,
She places it on the table.
A silence falls around the busy table.
It is glorious!

We sit around the rectangular table
As we do most every Sunday
Having just finished
A delicious meal.  

Layers of cake.
Layers of chocolate cake.
Layers of chocolate cake standing high.
No cake has ever compared.

We laugh over stories
Of the children, of recent days.
Her grandkids sit beside her,
Knowing they'll be first.

Light whipped cream icing covering the cake,
Hiding between layers inside.
Cherries decadently placed within.
Chocolate shavings sprinkled as a final touch.

She cuts the cake 
Passing it carefully around.
We talk together as we enjoy
This little slice of heaven.

Monday, April 2, 2012

2 of 30: Nowhere to Hide

"Poems don't normally have much to do with intention for me.  They're more likely to come unexpectedly in a place like this."  Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, Poemcrazy  This evening I took Wooldridge's advice and walked through our back field searching for poetry.  I didn't find it where I expected, instead it found me.  

Nowhere to Hide
A sound comes from the patch
Of wild black raspberry thistles
Which look menacing.
There are no leaves.
There isn't tall green grass
In which to hide.
I hear it scurry quickly.
Then silence.

I try not to move.
I am sure it knows
I am here.
Soon I see it,
A small rabbit just in front of me.
Both of us stand frozen.
Both of us thinking
We are hiding
From the other.

The rabbit turns slowly,
His white bushy tail,
A contrast to the muddy ground
Where he now stands,
Gives him away.
His dark eyes turn to me,
And he stares.
We are now certain of one another.

He pauses as if trying to decide
Whether to stay or run.
I stand still.
Finally he rushes away.
In a few weeks
I will not so easily spot him.
As the wild leaves return
The grass thickens near his home.
Mother nature helping to keep him
Safe from intruders.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

1 of 30: The Long Road Home

I enjoyed the month of March writing with the Slice of Life Challenge community.  Since I have established a better writing habit through the challenge, I want to keep it going.  I noticed Mary Lee at A Year of Reading talking about writing poetry for the month of April since it is National Poetry Month.  It sounded like the perfect way to keep the momentum going so I thought I'd join her.  

The Long Road Home
Sadly I say goodbye.
I drive the long
Curvy roads
Over hills
Around mountains
Across bridges.

I drive for what seems
Like days
Though it is not.
Passing small towns.
Slipping through
The lives of others.
Wondering what stories
Live in these places.

Finally I arrive home.
To the door 
I have passed through
Many times.
Where the dog sits
Wagging her tail to greet me.

Into the kitchen,
Where the spaghetti
From last week,
Still sits in the refrigerator.
Though the smell of it cooking
Is long gone.

Where the couch
Tempts me to sit for awhile.
Where the patio chairs
Wait for me to join them.
Where the cat rests lazily
In the sun.  

No matter
Where I have been.
How much fun
I have been having.
It always feels good
To finally

© Cathy L. Mere, 2012

Slice of Life: Today They March 24 of 31

For the month of March, I'll be writing with the  Slice of Life  community. Disclaimer: I'll be writing every day so the writing ...