In the treetops

Today I kept you
and you cried because it’s new
so we went outside

to see all the trees
you touched the green leaves sweetly
with your baby hand

and you looked up high
at the pines rattling with song
cicadas, at last

first time this season
oh how I love their comfort
oh how I love you


Ordinary day
except for the feral hog
strolling through the yard

We’ve seen a lot of critters throughout our years of living in the countryside, but this is the first wild pig, enjoying a Sunday afternoon ramble through my son’s yard. My son took photos and sent them to me with an article on how feral hogs are an increasing concern in North Carolina. Apparently they do millions of dollars’ worth of damage to crops and pose a disease threat to livestock and pets. The state actually has a Feral Swine Task Force.

A zoomed and cropped shot, nevertheless too close for comfort…fortunately the hog wandered off.

Cheese haiku

with thanks to Tammi Belko, who encouraged teacher-poets to write on the topic of cheese today at Ethical ELA: “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese” (G.K. Chesterton).

an extended haiku, of sorts

For Love of Grilled Cheese

Mama and Grannie
decide they want Chinese food
I don’t like the smell

they’re frowning at me
holding my nose in Kam Ling’s
ordering grilled cheese

—not on the menu
I’m confusing the waiter
Just take bread, I say,

two pieces, and put
a slice of cheese in between
and butter outside
fry it in a pan…
a loooong time later, it comes

(was someone dispatched
to a nearby grocery
in great vexation?)

Not long afterward
Mama has a surgery
Grannie comes to stay

Daddy is working
and doesn’t cook, anyway
I ask for grilled cheese

Grannie makes the thing
in the toaster… No, I say,
that’s not how Grandma Ruby

makes my grilled cheeses
Grannie’s face goes Mr. Hyde
like on Bugs Bunny

she shouts—the house shakes—
Heaven help me please

I may not get grown
if grown-ups demolish me
for love of grilled cheese

Grilled Cheese Sandwich @ Thunder Bay Regional Hospital. istargazer. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Note: I love Chinese food now.
And my Grannie. Mutual forgiveness and gratitude, for so many things.

Easter exultation

In honor of the day, an excerpt of “Jesus Makes Sin Forgivable” by Anne Graham Lotz in Just Give Me Jesus (2000):

The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him
but found they couldn’t stop Him
Satan tried to tempt Him
but found he couldn’t trip Him
Pilate examined Him on trial
but found he couldn’t fault Him
The Romans crucified Him
but found they couldn’t take His life
Death couldn’t handle Him
and the grave couldn’t hold Him.


And a happy Easter haiku for you:

I have no more eggs.
As of this morning, new life.
Dawn exultation.


a story in haiku

As I drive to work
psyching myself for the day
I look up, and there

on the power lines
they sit, like kings or angels
the day’s guardians

watching as I pass
—oh, bestow on my spirit
creatures of the air

robins, your good cheer
occasional snow-plumed hawks,
fierce acuity…

it dawns on me, now,
that most of the birds I see
are doves, offering

the one thing needed
for the living of this day:
Look up. Claim the peace.

Photo: Mourning Dove. FotoGrazio. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


with thanks to Chiara Hemsley, Monday host of Ethical ELA’s Open Write, for the inspiration to compose a poem around the phrase “look up”

with thanks also to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March