Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Be Present


The internet has made me a collector of quotes.  It seemed a waste for quotes to just sit on my Pinterest board.  I thought perhaps I'd start sharing a few on Wednesdays.  


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Next Steps

The internet has made me a collector of quotes.  It seemed a waste for quotes to just sit on my Pinterest board.  I thought perhaps I'd start sharing a few on Wednesdays.  







Tonight's White Night

In February
we will be ready
for it
to end.

We will tire
of the bitter cold,
the slippery streets,
the colorless days.

Tonight,
however,
we marvel
at glistening white.

The first snows
dress the world
in glittering gowns
of white.

Billowy flakes
float delicately
in a dance
to the earth.

Snow cloaks branches,
blanketing endless brown;
brightening earth's
masterpiece.

In a few months,
we will wish
for green,
yellow, and pink.

But tonight
as the full moon
illuminates
the splendor.

Tonight,
we marvel
in the majestic silence
of a first white night.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016






Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Slice of Life: A Writer's Nudge


this space
has been quiet 
for some time.
waiting.
for words to return.
for time to slow.

there are
the usual
excuses.
of days lost.
of great demands.
of busy days, 
tired nights.

in truth,
time spent 
in ways
unproductive.

a friend reminds,
with the understanding 
of another 
who has fought 
the same fight,
wrestled 
the same demon,
"You need to get back
to the page." 

another inquires,
"What are you writing?"
interest genuine.
my silence speaks.
she knows 
the struggle.
this knowing
rests between us.

their words
spin in my mind.
for days.
weeks.
my fingers
grow restless.
tired of stillness.

still
i wait
for time to slow
for words to return.
of course
this doesn't happen
until in the quiet
i return
to this space.
to try
yet again.   


© Cathy L. Mere, 2016 



It's Tuesday.  Today I'm joining the Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Poetry Friday: Lifting Voices

It's poetry Friday!  Today's poem was literally found.  During our last day with the Columbus Area Writing Project we were asked to take a piece of writing from our time together and use it to find a poem.  We were asked to carve it down to its most essential words.  I found this poem hiding in a blog post I wrote titled:  Why Digital Writing.   



Lifting Voices 
quiet.
wandering.
surveying
collections:

childhood reports,
paper books
made by tiny fingers,
journals
filled with wondrous words,
handwritten poems.

words
surround.
gifts
tucked safely away,
in closets and drawers.

stories should reach;
connect
to communities.
writing for something -
for someone.

finding space.
reaching out.
letting words spill.
writing lifts
silenced voices.


© Cathy L. Mere, 2016



It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by The Opposite of Indifference where Tabatha Yeatts hosts today's parade of wondrous words.






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Slice of Life: On Being Hip

"We certainly bring the average age up in this room," I comment to my friend, Julie, chuckling as we enter the classroom.  It's the first day of our summer teacher leadership class at OSU.  We thought it might be fun to take a few classes.  We're kind of crazy like that.  Everyone in this class appears young and quite driven.  It's going to keep me on my toes I think as I assess the situation and look for a place to sit down.

She laughs as we find seats in the crowded room.  I put down my bags which have grown quite heavy with my computer, books, and other items needed for a full day on campus.  Opening my computer I realize I cannot get into the campus secure Wifi or my OSU account.  "What was that password?" I wonder aloud as I check my phone to see if I was smart enough to put it in my notes.  It's not there.  I try password after password with no success.

I lean over to see how Julie is doing getting logged in while I find the site on my phone where the password is saved.  "I can't get into the site on my computer," I tell Julie wishing I would have figured this out before class began.  The professor is getting organized in the front of the room so I'm running out of time.

Bianca leans over to me.  She has to be about the age of my son.  She is already organized to start class.  Her computer tabs open to the course web page and the digital space she will use to take notes.  She looks pretty together, and I'm guessing she has already done all of the reading for next week's class.  "Do you have a Gmail account?" she inquires, but her eyes tell me she is doubting that I do.

"I do," I affirm feeling a bit victorious.  I'm pretty sure she expected an AOL account from me.

Her gentle look affirms I am likely the age of her mother.  "I can send the document we need today to you," she kindly offers with soft eyes that tell me she isn't sure I have ever touched a computer before.

I don't have the heart to tell her the documents are on my phone.  It's always good to make a few new friends in a class.  Since I will be able to better view them from my computer I return her smile,  "That would be great.  Thank you so much."

Class continues without a hitch.  I find my way to the site on my phone and can see the syllabus and other items the professor uses in her discussion.  Keeping notes on Evernote, I listen to the lecture looking up sites as our professor mentions names and professional books to consider.

Later that evening, I open up my computer to solve the password problem.  A little time and patience will surely allow me to get on the campus site using my computer.  As I open my email, I have to chuckle.  Bianca has shared all of the modules from the site with me.  I'm sure she wondered if I had ever been on a computer before that day.

That evening, I solved my password problem and got into our course site.  This teacher leadership class will surely be an adventure in learning.  As I sat in the class, I couldn't help but feel a bit old.  I remember the first time I thought the McDonald's employee seemed a bit young.  Then it was bank employees.  In the blink of an eye, it seemed State Highway Patrolmen were younger than I was.  (That was painful.)  When NFL coaches, started to look young I really wrestled with the meaning of life.  I suppose it was that feeling that played into my perception of Bianca's charitable assistance.  More and more I brush up against moments that remind me of my age.  I've decided instead of thinking about how old I am in these situations, I'll just consider myself hip hanging out with such interesting young people.



It's Tuesday.  Today I'm joining the Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.




Friday, June 24, 2016

They Carried Your Stories Away

They carried your stories
away today
damaged and broken:
the violin that played the music,
of your childhood
the books that rested in your hands,
the Old Maid we slid around the table,
the piece we made 
standing side by side in your workshop
as I listened to your words
weave your lessons into my life.

I held each in my hand
as we said goodbye
trying to reach back in time for the story.
Years have passed.
Your voice fading,
the memories now black and white:
your music playing in the back room
as Grandma and I washed dishes,
the day's crossword puzzle 
in your tired hands,
all distant.

They carried your stories
away today:
the books that shaped your life,
the projector that helped me to see
the world through your eyes.
These pieces 
of your history
that have guided my journey.
How will I remember 
without holding them
in my hand?

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016





It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by Random Noodling where Diane Mayr hosts today's parade of wondrous words.











Monday, April 4, 2016

Day 4 National Poetry Month: My World


My World 

Racing out the door
I bark
again and again
trying to sound bigger
than I am.

My eyes do not see
like they once did.
My ears no longer
hear the danger
that surrounds me.

Moving around
my favorite spaces
to circle the tree,
to smell grass,
I bark louder.

My world is smaller now
than it once was.
I no longer see
the deer taunting me,
the rabbits
wanting to play.

I no longer hear
the birds in the trees
or my family
calling me
to come back in.

So I will bark
long and loud,
to protect
the space that remains
in my world.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Day 3 National Poetry Month 2016: Country Living

Country Living
When I moved
to this country home
I knew I did
just the right thing.

Yes, I miss the power lines,
the ability to skitter
from tree to tree
along city streets.

Yes, I miss my cousins
who nested in the trees
near my old home
and would stop by to visit.

But it was noisy there
in the city,
and the cars
were too frequent.  

When I arrived 
at my country home
I knew this would be
the place I'd live forever.

Yes, I have to watch for the dog 
that races out of the house
from time to time
wanting to play chase.

Yes, I have to watch for the coyote
who saunters through the fields
every now and then
looking for his next meal.  

But, there are no squirrels
that live nearby,
when oak drops her acorns
they are all mine.

Cars are rarely seen 
near my new home,
and the quiet is something
I have learned to love.

Today I found the best treasure:
stuffing for my new nest.
It's fluffy white
like the clouds in the sky.

When I moved
to this country home
I knew I did
just the right thing.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016



The Idea
Ha!  Today's poem came walking up to my patio - literally.  

We moved into our country home over twenty years ago.  One of the first things we noticed was that we didn't have any squirrels.  It was strange.  We had trees.  We had food, but we didn't have squirrels.  We had moved to our country home from the city where squirrels were abundant.  They'd race from tree to tree, across power lines, and into the roads a drop of a nut.  

Last year we noticed our first squirrel.  It was a red tailed squirrel who seemed to own our back acreage.  This spring we've noticed a gray squirrel.  Hmmm.  Yesterday morning as I wrote my poem I looked out on the patio to see the gray squirrel grabbing the stuffing from one of our patio chair pillows.  I had been blaming the birds, but it was the thief of a squirrel who was doing it.  



It's National Poetry Month!  I will be joining others across the blogosphere to attempt to write a poem every day during the month of April.  You'll find other great poetry stops in my sidebar.  
















Saturday, April 2, 2016

Day 2 National Poetry Month: The Poet

The Poet

I wonder where she finds the words
that flow from her pen
into her leather bound notebook
where pages once blank
bounce with lilting lines.

She wanders the world
with eyes wide open
searching for something
the rest of us
do not yet see.

Though poems try to escape her
she captures them,
piece by piece,
in tiny details,
in words sculpted with care.

Like the photographer
she sees with different eyes,
holds the image still,
for others to see,
just as she sees it.

Like the musician
she finds a rhythm,
speaks the truth,
in ways
we do not understand.

Like the artist
she captures color,
creates mood;
helping others to know
the beauty overlooked.

I want to walk beside her
as she spends her day
pursuing her poem,
words wandering through her world,
arranging and rearranging themselves.

It must be some kind of magic
as she waves her wand pen,
turning the ordinary
into something
never seen before.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016




The Idea
Today's poem was inspired by a collision between a stop by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's blog and a book I am reading by Mary Oliver.  If you haven't stopped by Amy's blog to see her wanderings and wonderings for April you should go there now.  In Amy's recent post she was shared:

"I am looking to surprise myself with new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning.  I will print it and carry each Wonderopolis Wonder around all day...and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day."  -Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
As I read her lines, I thought about the power of what she was saying.  It seems often a poem isn't just right there waiting to be written, but if we take an idea and wrestle with the words as we wander through the day the words eventually find their way to paper.  I had to smile at the image of Amy and poets around the world doing this very thing.

In A Poetry Handbook, Mary Oliver reminds us,
"A poem must have a necessary quality of detail - enough to sustain the reader's passage into the imagined world of the poem"  Mary Oliver, p. 93.  
It was the collision of this quote and the way Amy talked about finding her poem across her day that made me wonder about poets.  How do they find the magic in their words?   How do we find the "necessary quality of detail" in our poems?

Thinking About
I've been thinking about the chapters in Oliver's book, The Poetry Handbook, titled "Sound," "More Devices of Sound," and "The Line."  To oversimplify Oliver's advice, when writing poetry (so I'm thinking especially free verse and narrative poetry) we have think about the way words work together.  How do they propel readers forward and slow them down?  How do we make lines dance and create rhythm in our poem?  Consonants, vowels, syllables, and sounds do change the way a poem is read by others.  I've been trying to think about considering her advice to help readers move with ease across parts of the poem, and slow down in other parts of the poem.




It's National Poetry Month!  I will be joining others across the blogosphere to attempt to write a poem every day during the month of April.  You'll find other great poetry stops in my sidebar.  

Friday, April 1, 2016

Day 1 National Poetry Month: Each New Day




I don't know
how many sunrises I have seen
pinks, purples, and white-yellows
blending in the morning sky;
the day calling with possibility.

I don't know
how many times I have
looked up at the afternoon sky,
bright blue with clouds dancing,
settling into the rhythm of the day.

I don't know
how many sunsets have painted the earth
the sun resting on the horizon
hues of red, purple, and orange;
as the day begins to close.

I don't know
how many times I've looked up
at the ebony sky at night,
constellations dot the canvas;
as dreams replace reality.

I don't know
how many skies I have seen
in this wonderful lifetime
or how many more will follow
in moments yet to come.

I only know
I am grateful for each.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016

It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by The Poem Farm where Amy VanDerwater hosts today's parade of wondrous words.







                                                               


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Day 31 SOL 16: Shifting to Poetry

"One learns by thinking and writing, and by talking about writing - but primarily through writing."      ---Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook (p. 17)


Today one door closes another one opens, as today I step from the month long Slice of Life Writing Challenge with Two Writing Teachers into a month of writing poetry for April's National Poetry Month celebration.  I'm looking forward to spending some time writing poetry.  This is my third year to join poetry bloggers in a month of writing (thanks, Mary Lee, for the nudge and inspiration).


Many moons ago I was talking about poetry with a friend and poet.  We were discussing poetry and I was lamenting that poets seemed to have a style.  I'm always trying to figure out my style.  Do I write for children or adults?  Do I write about small things or moments?  What type of poetry feels right when I sit down to put words on paper?  Without skipping a beat, my friend commented, "You're a narrative poet."  She said it so quickly that I had to pause to consider her words.  In a sense she was right.  I'm not sure I've found my place in poetry yet, but I'm going to use this month to try it out a bit.  As Mary Oliver says, "One learns...primarily by writing."

I considered a theme.  I'm looking forward to Mary Lee's writing around old photographs and Amy VanDerwater's quest to Wallow in Wonder.  There will be a myriad of other poets choosing a lens for celebration.  I can't wait to see what the month has in store for me ---- and kicking off Poetry Month on a Friday is more cause for celebration.  I did consider a theme, but I've decided I'm going to spend the month working on the craft of poetry and see where it takes me.  While I don't plan to have a theme (of course, who knows what will happen), I do plan to focus on narrative poetry and improving my craft in free verse poetry.  I've gathered my mentors:


I'm looking forward to the switch to writing poetry.  I know it will focus my attention on smaller moments, on word selection, on the rhythms of a poem, and on the significance of a line.  There's something comfortable about poetry.  On the days when I struggled to find something to write about during March's challenge, I could ease the stress by thinking about poem.  So here we go....another crazy month of writing.  Who's in??




For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It has been a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!!  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.





Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Day 30 SOL 16: Lessons Learned

Yesterday I met with our Slice of Life group, a mix of first through fifth graders, for our last meeting before the challenge ends.  The students gathered around the carpet as we talked about what we've loved about the challenge.  One student shared that she has written every day for two years of the challenge.  "I'm not sure what I will do next year when I'm in the sixth grade building," she bemoaned.

"No worries," I assured her, "you just track me down.  I'll help you figure it out."

The group started to rumble as they considered the end of our challenge.  Our conversation turned to what they'd learned in their month of writing.  Several students had written every day, or nearly every day, since the challenge began.  Others had maintained some consistency in posting for the month.  Everyone had learned lessons of one kind or another.  We started a Padlet for students to share what they had learned with the group (you can view their responses here).

Like my students, and like other participants, I've learned a few things along the way myself:

  1. I'm a morning writer.  (Well, I already knew this, but it was very apparent as I don't have "morning time" during the school week.)
  2. My writing is best when I decide what I'm writing about early, and then work the piece in my head across the day.  
  3. PUBLISHING a piece of writing everyday isn't easy.
  4. I'm not comfortable pushing the publish button before I feel a piece is ready.  
  5. If I don't write down an idea when it comes to me, it can be will be lost.
  6. Taking time for a quick write when the idea comes to me makes writing my piece much easier.  Just five minutes now can be quite powerful later.
  7. Working at this pace makes it hard to keep up with my reading...and reading inspires my writing. 
  8. Having a writing community matters for so many reasons!  I'm not sure where I'd be without my student writers, my friends participating, and the Slice of Life community.
  9. There are stories everywhere.
  10. I'm happier writing poetry.  (Stay tuned tomorrow to find out more about this.)  
Sometimes I've wished this challenge was in the summer when I really had the time to devote to the writing, but honestly I think I would miss the point that if you write every day you're bound to come up with a piece or two of writing that might have the potential to become something better with a little bit of sculpting.   Thank you to the group at Two Writing Teachers and all of you that have stopped by to comment.  I couldn't have finished without you!




For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day 29 SOL 16: Happy Birthday, Mom

"I keep going back to your blog, but I haven't seen any new posts in awhile," my mom comments nonchalantly one evening as we chat on the phone.

I chuckle.  Saying you haven't seen any posts in "awhile" was a huge understatement.  I knew it had been weeks since my last post.  Actually, it was quite likely, the time could be measured in months.  "You know how I am.  When life gets busy, the blog seems to be the first thing to go," I reply.

I had to smile.  My mom is probably the only person in the world that has noticed I haven't posted from my blog in awhile.  My mom constantly stops by to check out what I have been writing, and always leaves a comment.

It makes me smile.  It's one thing to be in first grade and have your work hung on the refrigerator, but it's quite another to be as old as I am and still have a mom who is rooting for your every move.

In life moms come in many packages, but I lucked out for sure.  When life gets challenging, I call Mom.  When there's exciting news, I call Mom.  Need advice about the kids?  Call Mom.  Trying to figure out how to substitute ingredients?  Call Mom.  Hoping someone will just listen?  Call Mom.  My mom has always had the keen ability to listen and say just the right thing.

Today my mom celebrates her birthday, but I am surely the one who should be celebrating.  I count my blessings every day.

Happy birthday, Mom.





For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Day 28 SOL 16: Getting Started

A little over a week ago the rains came down for hours and hours.  The water swelled in the backyard forming a temporary pond to fool the ducks.  The skies stayed gray and our sump pump worked and worked.  My husband headed downstairs the next morning to put salt in our water softener to find water rising just above the first step of our basement.

Since that day, we've been working through the process of getting the basement back together.  I find the task overwhelming.  Where do we begin?  Do we get a dumpster?  Do we haul out everything?  What can stay?  Thankfully, I handle most of our day to day jobs, but my husband is the king in crisis.  He's ready to dig in and get it done.  He's just waiting on the green light to toss all of the items that rest below our first floor.

To get the ball rolling all I really need to do is walk downstairs and inventory.  What can be saved?  There are so many items of memory downstairs:  photographs, books from when the kids were little, Christmas decorations, furniture that has been passed across generations.  It's impossible for me to walk down the steps without feeling the need to turn around and race back upstairs so I'm telling myself to take thirty minutes.

Thirty minutes seems to be the magic number for me to get things done.  In thirty minutes a lot can be accomplished, yet thirty minutes doesn't sound like much of a commitment.  I can do most anything for thirty minutes.  A procrastinator at heart, I work well under pressure.  However, the true reason for my procrastination I've discovered is that I have a hard time knowing where to start.  I've learned across the years to take overwhelming jobs and break the project into smaller parts to feel it is manageable.  Then the hardest part is getting started.  That's when I tell myself, "Just work on it for thirty minutes."

Thirty minutes seems to be magic.  Truthfully, once I begin a task I find that at the end of thirty minutes I'm either finished (many tasks take much less time than anticipated), close enough to being done that I want to continue, or so interested in what I am doing I can't stop.  Thirty minutes writes a Slice of Life post (right now this one has taken 17 minutes), sorts through the overwhelming mail stack, cleans a room, and weeds at least one flower bed.  By telling myself I'll commit thirty minutes to a task I get a lot more done.  The secret to those challenging tasks, it seems, is simply getting started.






For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Day 27 SOL 16: Songs of Joy

Songs of Joy

Today the earth
celebrates:
birds of all colors
sing songs of joy,
buds ready to burst
rest on branches,
the sun rises
to warm the land,
the sky the bluest
of blues,
the daffodil dances,
the grass,
once brown
now the deepest of green,
abundant in
the newness of life.
Rejoice!

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016



For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Day 26 SOL 16: The Bookstore

What's New?
I'm a device gal.  Technology and gadgets are my thing so it doesn't really surprise people when I tell them I prefer to read on a device.  Despite what the research says, it doesn't keep me up at night.  I also question research that talks about retaining what we read if we're reading on a device.  It seems to me the secret might be knowing how to highlight, note, and actively engage in a digital text.  There are so many advantages to reading on a device:
  • It's easy to carry a collection of books with you at all times.
  • I'm ready for any reading emergency.
  • Selection.  Selection.  Selection. 
  • I have a record of the all the books I've read (very helpful when I forget a title --- which is all of the time).
  • I can adjust the font side.
  • I can refer back to lines or information read in just a few clicks on the screen.
  • How far it is to the end of the book never stresses me out (it did in a regular book).
  • There's no need to find space in my house for the book.
Yes, I know there is a con to every pro I've listed, but it works for me.  Since going digital, I've never looked back.  The ease of borrowing books from our library makes it even better.  (Thank you, Columbus Public Library!)  I read much more now than I did when a paper copy of a book was required.

Employee Recommendations
No matter how digital I become, I'm pretty sure nothing will ever replace a trip to the bookstore.  Yesterday I found myself with a few hours between lunch with family and my evening class.  It seemed the bookstore was the perfect place to spend some time.  I wandered in and immediately felt at home surrounded by the books on the shelves.  As I entered I was greeted by the newest releases and the bestsellers.  Meandering the shelves, I glanced at titles, read book jackets, and took note of the recommendations of the store's employees.  

Love the way they've managed
to get so many picture books
with their covers facing out.
When I go to the bookstore I usually allow myself to purchase a book or two, and then add the rest to my Goodreads account.  I'm really just like a kid when it comes to book shopping;  put the book on an endcap or situate the book with it's cover facing out, and I'm more likely to pick it up.  Books that are facing spine out are only helpful if I'm looking for a particular author.  Thankfully the store I visited has book display down to a science.  There were books to browse at every turn.  

As a digital reader, I don't want to be part of the fall of the bookstore so I regularly make purchases from local bookstores and even the mega-giant, Barnes and Noble.  As I floated from the adult section to go peruse picture books, my attention was drawn to a young family playing in the children's area.  They were using the stage, playing with the racetrack, and talking about books.  As a teacher, I delighted in the idea that a child could find so much joy in a bookstore --- and leave with a book or two in hand.  These are the memories that make readers.  

Long live the bookstore!  No matter how much I love digital reading, I'll always enjoy spending time wandering the shelves.  



For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.



Friday, March 25, 2016

Poetry Friday & Day 25 SOL 16: Night Writer

Oh, night writer,
how I envy thee;
with your ability
to find words
as the stars
illuminate the sky.

You've spent
your day collecting:
stories,
phrases,
moments.
Wrapping them
in the pages
of your notebook
as your day settles.

      I'm a morning writing.
      Though I try,
      my words
      don't rise with the moon.
      It seems I must carry them
      into my dreams, where they
      toss,
      grow,
      multiply.

      My song plays
      as the sun rises.
      Words find their way
      to the paper
      as the world awakens:
      the chickadee chirps,
      the robin sings,
      the finch flits about,
      as I tap away
      composing stories
      onto the page.

There are days
when I try
be a writer like you,
settling into
the blackness of night,
searching for words,
only to find
emptiness.

         I'm a morning writer,
         I require the light
         to find words
         as they hide,
         to help me see
         down the path,
         to find the stories
         resting in places
         unknown.

Oh, night writer,
how I envy thee,
but I find comfort
knowing that you search
for words
on the other side
of night.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016



For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.




It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by My Juicy Little Universe where Heidi Mordhorst hosts today's parade of wondrous words.







                                                                 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day 24 SOL 16: 5 Things About Today

It's late.  I'm tired.  I had class tonight and just finished getting together all the information I need to have my taxes done tomorrow.  Ugh.  Taxes.  So I'm going to end this day with a short piece....five things that were great about today.


  1. Lunch with my aunt and uncle who are visiting from South Carolina.  It's always great to catch up with them. 
  2. I had a little time between lunch and my class so I headed over to the bookstore.  
  3. Before class I spent some time at Starbucks with a cup of coffee and some poetry.  
  4. I started planning for April's poetry month events.  I've wavered between not participating, to not tying myself down to a plan, to maybe a plan would be nice.  More to come on this...
  5. Tax information is in an envelop and ready for my tax appointment.  Yep, for those of you that know me best, I'm getting my taxes done "early" this year.  


For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.






Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day 23 SOL 16: We Choose

We Choose

We can invest
in worry
about safety,
about health,
about others.

We can invest 
in fear
of those with differences,
of tomorrows,
of ourselves.

We can invest
in waiting
for a moment,
for a miracle,
for something to happen.

or

We can invest
in being,
in reaching,
in changing,
in doing,
in making a difference.

The choice
is ours.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016



For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Day 22 SOL 16: A Trip to Mom's

Where the mountains
touch the sky.
Where the water 
shimmers of sapphire.

Where spring 
comes earlier.
Where flowers 
color the earth.

Where brown 
has long since gone.
Where everywhere
the world is green.  

Where games 
are required.
Where winning
is not.

Where dessert
comes first. 
Where laughter
reigns.

Where no matter
how old you think you might you be,
you will cared for,
and reminded 
there's no better place
than a trip to mom's. 

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016




For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.




Monday, March 21, 2016

Day 21 SOL 16: A Child's Eye

A Child's Eye

The young family
walks down the city street
glancing inside windows.
Mom in front
Dad in back.
Two children tucked
in the middle.

It isn't long until
they near an ice-cream shop.
The family pauses
as if to decide.
Going in?
Staying out?

Adults talk together.
Children wait.

Suddenly
the young girl shouts,
"Look at the sky."
Her mom
stops her conversation,
glances up.

The girl points,
"White flowers floating."

The street
stands still.
The adults,
walking distractedly
down the sidewalk,
stop,
noticing what they hadn't
noticed before.

Dogwood petals
fall like snow
toward the city sidewalk.
A moment
that might have
gone unnoticed
without the watchful eyes
of a young child.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016




For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.





Sunday, March 20, 2016

Day 20 SOL 16: Our Own Kind of Luck

Tonight my mom and I went down to play some BINGO with the Lion's Club.  The activity center near her residence houses the event every few weeks.  We walked in to the center, purchased a few cards, and played several games of BINGO.  I didn't win.  I'm not as lucky as my grandma used to be, but the time playing with my mom reminded me of some great times by my grandma's side.  

There wasn't anything better than spending time with my grandma.  My grandma was the mother of three boys, so being the first grandchild AND a girl gave me quite a bit of privilege.  Not only did I have automatic points with my grandma, but when I was nine they built apartments behind my house.  My parents probably saw a problem with the open field being replaced by multiunit housing, but I saw opportunity.

When the apartments started to be built, I picked up the rotary phone and called Grandma to let her know the place she should live was right behind my house.  It wasn't long until we were unloading my grandparent's belongings into those very apartments.  From that moment on, my life was perfect.  If I needed anything I just walked to Grandma's.  Need a snack?  See Grandma.  Want to play games?  See Grandma.  Need a break from the parents?  See Grandma.

My grandma was cool.  She drove a yellow Firebird.  She wore the most glamorous of outfits.  She listened to the best music, and somehow she knew all of the popular stars.  My grandma and I spent countless days and nights together.  We played rummy, watched television, and worked on her quilts. Each night we'd sit on the couch, she'd sew and I'd thread needles.  When I'd get bored, I'd try on all of her shoes or play in her jewelry.

I spent many nights with my grandma who could stay up late and sleep well into the morning.  One of my favorite nights was Monday nights.  On Monday nights, my grandma played BINGO.  This was always one of my highlights.  At first, on the nights I didn't have school on Tuesday, I was able to go up to the Legion Hall with her as she played BINGO.  I was too young to play, but she'd buy me a Coke.  I'd watch her cards with her, and keep her company.  It wasn't long until I was able to join her on school nights too.  Yes, it was a little late, but as long as I didn't complain about being tired the next day everyone seemed to play along.

My grandma was as lucky as anyone I knew.  It seemed uncommon for her not to win on a BINGO night.  She'd place her cards in front of her, and get down to business.  Numbers would be called, and she always seemed to have them.  People around her sighed and groaned, but Grandma just seemed to smile and wait.  At that time they played on cards with a sliding cover, using a few paper cards for special games.  People purchased rip-offs for extra fun. (I thought they were called rip-offs because people tore off small doors to see if they won a prize, but I'm guessing they were called that because everyone was just wasting their money.  LOL)  Grandma never played rip-offs as she was already winning just playing BINGO.

My grandma had her luck, and I had my mine.  Grandma was winning at BINGO, but I was winning at life.  What fun to be side by side with her through most of my childhood.



For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.






Poetry Month: The Last Poem 30 of 30

For the month of April, I'll be writing poetry each day in celebration of National Poetry Month.  I've decided not choose a theme, n...