poem: Language Lesson

Today’s Poetic Asides prompt was to write a poem about some aspect of learning. The wonders of technology allow me to work part-time tutoring Japanese adults in English. Their dedication, brilliance and modesty amazes me, as does the constant reminder that words are not the only way to communicate.


Language Lesson


Takashi says he needs practice.

He’s not always sure which verb to grasp.

Certain nouns still stumble on their

trip from temporal lobe to tongue.


I have to learn much before I am happy to speak.

He offers with smiling apology. Eagerness.

Too humble to mention the ocean of words

he’s already tread to come this far.


I explain the myriad ways the meanings flow,

the ripples and waves of tone,

the depths that even those of us born in the water

rarely dare to plunge.


English is a bewildering language.

I say, then wince at my own adjective.

If the vocabulary is new to him, he doesn’t say.

Just makes a sound I can’t spell.

Still it flies, through air, time, across the Pacific,

an utterance with no etymology,

telling every ear willing to listen

I understand.


poem: Playtime at Home

Following the “childhood” themed poetry prompt today on the Poetic Asides blog. At first I started writing about my kids, as their experiences inspire me every day. But, I ended up going in the direction of my own childhood instead.


Playtime at Home


Could be the white wooden bed

a twin, with two drawers to hide

my most secret wishes.


Could be the lilac bushes.

Fragrant pop of purple, mid summer.

My own wild home

under whispering branches.


Could be the basement corner

with the Barbie mansion, a trunk full of dolls.

Lit with a bare bulb, unfinished ceiling above,

I murmured conversations between the Barbies and Kens.

Above, the heavy feet of my family,

pressing down into my private playtime.


Could be the crumpled pink quilt fashioned into

a mountain for Strawberry Shortcake miniatures.

Each crease in the fabric a place for them to burrow.

Sometimes I imagined shrinking,

crawling into cozy corners with them.

Smelling their fruit-scented plastic,

making myself rigid

when Mom came calling for supper.

poem: Crafting

I spent every day in April poeming with the wonderful wordsters on the Poetic Asides blog for the poem-a-day challenge. I miss it already. Luckily there’s a weekly Wednesday prompt that I hope to partake in, and post here when I can. Today’s was to write a “crafty” poem. Here’s what I made.




at five she already knows

how buttons fixed and set

can petal and bloom.


the way a fuzzy pipe cleaner

bends to a strong green stem.


how a sprinkling of golden glitter

over a glob of glue mimics

sandy earth.


already feels the heart joy,

planting seeds of imagination.