Science Fair


Mix soap and water
Blow bubble, measure thickness
Eighth grade science fair

Last night was the eighth grade science fair. And the winner is: Deflate Gate. A clever student who measured air pressure in footballs to determine the ideal amount for passing. Actually there was more than one project measuring air in footballs. One student filled a football with helium to see the difference between throwing a ball with it vs. air.

Gretchen’s project was original no one else measured bubble thickness. She did not have the equation she used to get her results on the poster. Probably would have helped with understanding the numbers. It wasn’t all that well attended last night anyway. :(

Today’s #haikuchallenge word is mix. It worked well for mom to write a poem on her project.

Happy Mother’s Day

My mom in silhouette

My mom in silhouette

Portrait of Motherhood

A portrait of motherhood
Working day and night
No rest in sight
Keeping children content
Oftentimes overlooked

Making everything right
A portrait of motherhood
To persevere despite
Who answers the call
Often times overlooked

Ready at a moment’s notice
To correct any slight
A portrait of motherhood
Who is this white knight
Oftentimes overlooked

She is cook, nurse, maid
Moving at the speed of light
Who carries this might
A portrait of motherhood
Oftentimes overlooked

Working day and night
Oftentimes overlooked
Keeping children content
No rest in sight
A portrait of motherhood

Published in MaMaZinA spring/summer 2011

Countdown – Last Day of School

April is in the rearview mirror now. I was quite pleased I only missed two days with everything I had to deal with last month that was an achievement. Plus I wrote more than 30 poems since I did write more than one poem on a few days. Shawn has been taking a lot of time off to deal with family issues. Unfortunately this meant he could not make Gretchen’s final concert for middle school. The great thing about Nonnie living in town; she came over after work and took us. It was a lot of fun.

The #haikuchallenge word today is roar. The choir did sing Katy Perry’s Roar but I did not get video of it. The theme for the spring concert this year was music through time. They started with Gregorian chant and worked up to modern day music. Here is a clip where they got the audience roaring.

Final spring concert
Eighth grade champs go out with roar
Don’t Stop Believin’

No worries they stopped and reset, singing it well on the second go round. And the last song the 8th graders sang as part of the Jaguar choir –

Thanks, Mr. Moore!

NaPoWriMo Day 30

Upside down
First is last

Written bottom
to top
Last on first

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our final prompt (still optional!). For the last day of NaPoWriMo, I’d like you to try an odd little exercise that I have had good results with. Today, I challenge you to write a poem backwards. Start with the last line and work your way up the page to the beginning. Another way to go about this might be to take a poem you’ve already written, and flip the order of the lines and from there, edit it so the poem now works with its new order. This will probably feel a bit strange (and really, it is a bit strange), but it just may help you see the formal “opening” and “closing” strategies of your poems in a new way!

Ugh…I’m not even going to get into my day yesterday. It was long, tiring and mostly counterproductive. I did write a haiku off the #haikuchallenge word – habit

Last day in April
Thirty poems, thirty days
Time to break habit

I checked twitter before napowrimo and found it funny because when I saw habit, time to break the habit was the first thing to pop in my head. Then when I come up with the other lines, I thought time to break habit would make a better last line than first. Viola I wrote my last napowrimo poem without realizing I was following the prompt.

Well things around here are getting riled up AGAIN! So I’m back to focussing on my real life drama. I really do NOT understand human behavior.

NaPoWriMo Day 29

Who Am I

Doctor Who book
Dead of Winter James Goss
Doctor reveals his secret name
TARDIS crashed on Italian beach
Scrambling companion’s
Brain inside out
The end

Jack Vettriano’s The Singing Butler NY Times Image

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now, for our prompt (optional, as always): today, I challenge you to write a poem in the form of a review. You can review either animate or inanimate things, real places or imaginary places. You can write in the style of an online review (think Yelp) or something more formal that you might find in a newspaper or magazine. (I imagine that bad reviews of past boyfriends/girlfriends might be an easy way to get into this prompt, though really, you can “review” anything in your poem, from summer reading lists for third graders to the idea of the fourth dimension).

When Mimi and Poppo were here in March we trekked to the bookstore. Gretchen did not go because she wasn’t feeling well.  After Rachael and I checked out the young adult lit section, I brought her over to the sci-fi section. I picked up a new Doctor Who book for Gretchen. Rachael saw several more books she was interested in reading as well. Gretchen finished reading Dead of Winter awhile ago and gave me a spoiler. Also she told me how it was written in letters (epistolary). Yes, mom saw a teaching moment. Dead of Winter is part of the Doctor Who history collection. My two favorite genres – sci-fi and historical fiction. Plus Gretchen’s spoiler made me want to see how everything works out in the end.

NaPoWriMo Day 28

Peace Bridge

spans across
Niagara river
brings two countries together
drab green color blends in well
offers no pizazz
to skyline

Voice of Niagara Peace Bridge photo

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for today’s prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about bridges. A bridge is a powerful metaphor, and when you start looking for bridges in poems, you find them everywhere. Your poem could be about a real bridge or an imaginary or ideal bridge. It could be one you cross every day, or one that simply seems to stand for something larger – for the idea of connection or distance, for the idea of movement and travel and new horizons.

It’s funny how life works at times. I’ve been working on a bridge poem thinking about Big Bridges Motion poems submission call. Deadline is now May 15th so fellow napowrimo poets if you think your bridge poem has what it takes…

Meanwhile we have been bridging some personal family issues. Hopefully making a stronger connection. And of course Rachael bridged into NHS. They lit a candle for each inductee. It really reminded me of how they bridge in girl scouts, but there was no physical bridge and they didn’t say exactly what the candles signified. Yes, Rachael’s girl scout troop actually bridged up to the next level. Gretchen will be “bridging” up to high school. I just got an email about the parent praise letters they want us to write to our children?! My other daughter graduated from this same school three years ago and I didn’t hear about praise letters. On top of this, there was an example letter. I know you’re quiet and don’t talk to me about your day. Umm… whose kid are they raising? We have dinner together almost every night and both my girls fill me in on their day. Then the email said, letter should be one page. Ha! they really don’t know me. When the girls applied for the middle school honors program, Dad went to the parent meeting on what is expected. He came home and told me, parents have to fill out this section. Damn woman you wrote a book. Yes, we already had the paper work and I know how to read. It wasn’t my fault they didn’t give me enough room and I added another page. I’m a writer, after all. I wonder what the school will think when I send in a praise poem over a letter.

NaPoWriMo Day 27

Me, myself
I lost connection

no voice
inside my head

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And today’s prompt – optional, as always — comes to us from Vince Gotera. It’s the hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem. For example, you could write a hay(na)ku sonnet…

Me, yesterday, I lost connection with my muse. Wrote a line here and there but nothing coalesced. It’s not helpful that real life is somewhat frustrating right now. Rachael had a successful 30 hour famine. Dad picked her up Saturday afternoon and then we had a family dinner (Nonnie, Ray and Caitlin included) at PF Chang’s to celebrate her induction into NHS. After that Shawn and I went to visit my uncle. My uncle and cousin are struggling right now, and we are trying to figure out a way to help them. They let things build up so long in silence; it’s a big tangle to untie.


life changes
unable to cope

builds up
faculties lose control

frustrated alone
gasping for air

held tight
safe trembling stops

Finally I breathe ~
never let go

NaPoWriMo Day 25

National Honor Society

Rachael Hosking
inducted into NHS ring.
Their criminal ways
maintaining straight As.

Rachael's NHS membership

Rachael’s NHS membership









NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt (optional, as always)! It’s the weekend, so I’d thought we might go with something short and just a bit (or a lot) silly – the Clerihew. These are rhymed, humorous quatrains involving a specific person’s name. You can write about celebrities, famous people from history, even your mom (hopefully she’s got a good name for rhyming with).

I thought since one of the reasons I did not write a poem on Thursday was because I attended the NHS induction ceremony, I should get a poem out of it. My daughter is joining other infamous people like her own mother. Yes, this criminal behavior runs in the family. ;)

NaPoWriMo Day 24

This morning at 7am Rachael started her 3rd 30 hour famine. Later today she will be going to the church for the lock in. There the kids learn about children less fortunate than themselves and get a feel for what it is like to go without food just for one day. At 1PM tomorrow, the group breaks their fast usually with a sampling of the kind of food the children eat in the part of the world their 30 hour famine raised money to feed. Rachael’s fundraising page is here. Based on the previous two years, she thought $75 was a good goal. Thanks to some very generous donations she is almost at 300% of her goal. :D

Fast thirty hours
Endure hunger for one day
Decrease starvation

She has fed one child for six months so far. There is still time to donate. Who wants to help make it a year?

Yesterday I did not write a poem. :( We were busy between orthodontist appointments, getting my cousin settled out of the hospital, and then Rachael’s honor society induction.

NaPoWriMo Prompt (today) Our prompt today (optional, as always), will hopefully provide you with a bit of Friday fun. Today, I challenge you to write a parody or satire based on a famous poem. It can be long or short, rhymed or not. But take a favorite (or unfavorite) poem of the past, and see if you can’t re-write it on humorous, mocking, or sharp-witted lines. You can use your poem to make fun of the original (in the vein of a parody), or turn the form and manner of the original into a vehicle for making points about something else (more of a satire – though the dividing lines get rather confused and thin at times).

Thinking of hungry children around the world does not leave one feeling humorous so –

Stopping by Water on a Hot Summer Day

Whose water this is, I do not know
Women walk miles to fetch and carry
Clean drinking water, children in tow
Confronting real numbers is scary

Raising Awareness for access to clean drinking water

NaPoWriMo Day 22

Spring Colors

Petals caress
Blue sky – stretch out in praise.
Springtime flowers bask in sunshine

Artist Gail Goepfert. Sulphur Cosmos “friendship flowers”

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for (as always, optional) prompt! Today is Earth Day, so I would like to challenge you to write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature. One great way of going about this is simply to take a look outside your window, or take a walk around a local park. What’s happening in the yard and the trees? What’s blooming and what’s taking flight?

Taking flight around here? My sanity. Real life is rather chaotic at the moment. But never fear Rattle Magazine has an ekphrasis challenge and the last one was about flowers. My entry did not win. Last Saturday Rattle posted the Artist’s choice(here). This Saturday they will post the editor’s choice.

Hopefully things will settle down here soon. In the meantime, Rachael is raising money to feed hungry children. Check out the fundraiser here and please consider a donation. Thank you!