Tag Archives: poetry

dance of the swallowtails

yellow swallowtail by Ron DeKett
yellow swallowtail by Ron DeKett

for Ron

August 26, 2012

 You stand on Lake Placid’s shore
viewfinder framing
clear water revealing
fish just hanging out,
four ducks sailing into what was nothing like
a South Carolina August afternoon
because the sun kisses gentle
while breeze lays ripples on wet
like your fingers ruffling my hair at night
when we’re falling asleep;
viewfinder framing
swallowtails—yellow wings flirting with currents,
they dance
to a sound I am sure
…Nan Lundeen


the nature of writing

Where does your Muse like to hang out? Mine relishes nature. My husband Ron and I hiked around Lake Placid at Paris Mountain State Park, Greenville, SC, yesterday. It was one of those rare late summer days when the light already has dipped its angle and a nip in the air whets the taste buds for fall. A waterfall glimpsed through leaves charmed my Muse. This morning, she surprised me with a love poem. I first thought the poem was going to be about falling water and taking care of our beloved Earth—something like, “We are all falling water.” But when a person fills your heart to the brim, you just gotta write a love poem! I love you, Ron. Here it is with the image that beckoned my Muse: “the wheel turns.” Please comment below to share where you most often find your Muse. Happy writing!

shooting stars

by Adamy D. Diaz

To dreams come true!

At night we look up to the sky,
Wondering what we’ll see.
And when we see a star is falling,
We quickly make a wish.

Our mind and energy,
Our thoughts and feelings,
All conspiring to bring us joy,
Conjured up the very thing
That we have just wished for.

So in a night clear and calm,
With stars as diamond glass,
If you see a shooting star
Make a wish; know in your heart,
That what you have wished for,
Soon will come to pass!


Written: February 7, 2002
A version of this poem was first Published in “The Beauty of Darkness”
by The International Library of Poetry in 2003

poetry in the park

Middle Tyger Library, Lyman, SC, by Ron DeKett
Middle Tyger Library, Lyman, SC, by Ron DeKett
Here are the promised poems created by extraordinary ordinary people during the Poetry in the Park class I led in July at the Middle Tyger Library in Lyman, SC. Participant Marjorie Garrett wrote after the class, “I was quite impressed with what each person managed to write in such a short time.” I agree, Marjorie! After I told my husband, Ron DeKett, about the poems, he photographed some scenes in the park, which I’ve included with the poems. Click on the link after each poet’s name to read wonderful, spur-of-the-moment creations. Marjorie Garrett, “Whitewater by the Mill,” M.M. Griffin, “River Watching,” Mary Ellen Lives, “The Sign Says,” K.G. McAbee, “Dam,” and Chris Thackston, “Odd Number.” Please register with MooingAround.com at the top of the home page and comment, if you like. We promise not to share your email addresses. Thank you to all who already have registered. You are helping us build a creative community.

the sign says

by mary ellen lives

Musing in the Park by Ron DeKett
Musing in the Park by Ron DeKett
Playing in or around
The river
Is strongly
It is not forbidden
It is not illegal
You will not be punished
The sign is not my mother
Spreading guilt
Like overflowing water
Brown with silt
It is not my father
A boulder
Beneath the white water
The sign is calm
The sign is quiet
And only


river watching

by m.m. griffin

Boulders in the Park by Ron DeKett
Boulders in the Park by Ron DeKett
I hear cackles from earlier generations
and echoes of past conversations
in the water’s thucks and bubbles.
The voices are wet branches against the sky.
I see images of vaguely familiar faces
and distant places in the foamy water
crashing over rocks and swirling
in the river’s spiral.
I want to wade in the shallow water
and revel in the current’s resistance,
but there is not enough time.
I watch a man toss his rod into brown water.
After three attempts, he catches a small fish.
I try to remember something unseen
and wonder how far the river flows.
I want to stay and play for a while,
but I must go.


extraordinary ordinary people

grazing laying down cowExtraordinary ordinary people let their talent shine this morning during the Poetry in the Park class I led at the Middle Tyger Library in Lyman, SC. We spent the first hour of the class talking about poetry and the second half, writing poetry. Participants walked outside to mosey about in the wooded park on a busy, rumbling river—the library’s setting. There they observed and mused and “found” poems they came back to class and shared. They blew me away! Every one of the six participants wrote a meaningful poem very much worth sharing. I’ve invited them to submit their Poetry in the Park poems to mooingaround.com. I hope we’ll be able to share them here soon.

the moo of boo hoo


Dawn by Nan Lundeen
Dawn by Nan Lundeen

Silly title of this entry aside, I want to blog today about writing when you feel blue, when you’re down. It’s “when I’m weary of considerations;” it’s when “one eye is weeping/From a twig’s having lashed across it open,” as Robert Frost so brilliantly writes in his poem, “Birches.”

Last week, I wrote that when you free your creative process you will delight in the debut of stories you’ll find hidden inside.

Your stories will delight, but they may not all be happy. At times, pain or grief will surface. When that happens, should you cast those stories out because they risk bringing somebody down with you? I think not. I can’t tell you how many times Frost’s poem has brought me comfort. Frost balances the poem with the fun and risk of swinging on birches and with his choice to live. But it’s his five lines expressing the down-and-out feelings we’ve all had that I remember the best.

Consider the tenderness in Theodore Roethke’s “Elegy for Jane,” a student of his who was killed by a fall from her horse. He speaks of her: “the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils;/ and her quick look, the sidelong pickerel smile.”

Contemporary poet J. Stephen Rhodes shares inspired work in his book of poems, The Time I Didn’t Know What To Do Next. Some of his poems address his daughter’s suicide. I was honored to share a podium with him at a reading in Greenville, South Carolina. His work expressed the hard edge of grief tempered by grace.

I grappled for words when we laid to rest a grandbaby who never had a chance at life. It was a bitter winter’s day, and our hearts felt as cold as the sleet stinging the open grave. Some time later words came to me in the form of a poem I wrote, “Digging for Mercy,” published by The Petigru Review. I share the last stanza of that poem with you here:


Grace, grant us wisdom

to wrench open our hearts

lest mercy meet a closed door.


Brenda Ueland, a 20th-century writing guru, said, “Writing is not a performance but a generosity.”

I agree. When you include grief or pain in what you share with others, you may be giving expression to something that another person cannot. You may be giving voice to pain. And that can be healing.

What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments. Please register and share your ideas. We promise we won’t share your email address.


best of times

by Adamy D. Diaz

Feb. 3, 2013
Dedicated to: “Mi Gente”

The wind howls in my ears
As “The Best of Times” plays in my tunes
Memories flooding with the beat
And the rhythm of the song.

Step by step by step,
The cadence of the song
Matches the beat of my run.

Images from a distant past
Replayed with every step,
A spark of joy with every verse
Of this familiar song.

“The best of Times” always bring memories
Of friends in times long gone
And friendships that remain
Preserved through time and space.

“The best of Times” brings back memories
But the best has not yet come.