William Blake Enters the Fourth Grade

Oh, hark!  I hear the
conversation leading up to the inclusion of William Blake in the Common Core
State Standards (CCSS) Appendix of recommended literature for fourth grade.

Here’s a poem about a park. 
Fourth graders like to play in the park.

Not in my neighborhood, they mostly

Violence Hurts: A Discussion Starter

The past three months we have all witnessed the horrible reports of the shooting at nearby Chardon High School, the shooting at the theater in Denver, and the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.  Young Travon Martin was just walking home with an iced tea when he was shot.  Innumerable other cases wind

A back to school poem

Here is a back to school poem for all my teacher/principal/student friends.  Or anyone who ever remembers being a student and who maybe, like me, thinks January 1st is somewhat anti-climatic.  The real new year begins in the fall. 

Poem is from my book Zombies!  Evacuate the School!  delightfully illustrated

Found Poem

Shifting power in the middle upheaval volume of the crowd’s voice is increasing the seismic movement, changing destruction of autocracy power to the people potential of hope.

In a techno-cleaning frenzy, I set out to delete or put in folders all

Bursts of Color

How does Cleveland, OH compare with Dhaka, Bangladesh?  Well, we were only gone a week on this trip, but we came home to bursts of color pushing up through last winter’s grey in the front garden. 
And while Dhaka doesn’t have much of a winter at least in Northern Ohio terms, they do

My School, My Toilet

When my mother was a kid, she used to proudly announce whenever her parents drove past her elementary school: “That’s my school, my toilet.”  This statement makes more sense if you remember that she went to a small school in then rural Zanesville, OH, with an outhouse.  Perpetuated as family stories are through telling and re-telling,

Antiques Made to Order

In a world where 65 year olds have no wrinkles, where
Photoshop magically gives adult women the 18 inch waist Scarlett O’Hara dreamed
of, and spell check makes us all appear more clever than we really are, you
would think I would be used to the idea that nothing is as it appears.

Happy New You, 2012

Michael took this picture (okay, I begged and whined a little asking for this angle and that) in the botanical gardens in Singapore.  I was limping along and this sculpture embodied who I wanted to be.
So, this is my screen saver and pictorial inspiration for 2012. 
2012.  Riding into the second decade of this new century. 

Seeing Stars

 The fall of 2011.

 And then . . . Singapore, Beijing, Newark, Mantua, Chicago,

 Because travel is part of the job of a self-employed writer,
busted pelvis or no.

Last night I was walking the three


On Sunday Michael and I, along with 3 other Cleveland poets will be honored to read poems of our choosing at a Cleveland Orchestra Concert commemorating 9/11. The poems I chose were Jerusalem by Naomi Shihab Nye and Reality Demands by Wislawa Szymborska and a sonnet of my own. I am posting