Joyous Jottings: Published Poems and a Reading #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Events

Joy is a fluffy gray and white cat with a pink nose and pink paw pads. The fur is long and mostly gray with white paws, a white chest, nose and white down the middle of her head. Her ears are pointed up, and she lies with her paws sprawled out in front of her in an open formation. Her head looks to the right of the screen. She’s on a brown wooden table. Behind her is a white wall and a basket of fruit.Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

 

 

 

Hi, this is Joy, Abbie’s robotic cat, and I’m writing this post today. Actually, I’m dictating it to Abbie, and she’s writing it for me. This is a lot easier than me trying to write with four paws. Plus, she won’t have as many mistakes to correct.

I like living with Abbie, even though she ignores me most of the time. But when we snuggle in the recliner, she sings me this song.

 

You are my Joy, my precious Joy.

You make me smile every day.

I hope you realize that I adore you.

Please don’t ever go away.

 

When she sings that, I know I’m loved, even when I’m left to my own devices in my chair. Abbie thinks I can’t hear her because I only meow, purr, turn my head, and such when she touches me or when the light changes. But I do hear her, even though I’m programmed to only respond when I’m touched. She likes to pretend I can hear her, and she talks to me when she’s in the room. I like that.

Okay, enough about me. Here are a few announcements Abbie wanted me to share with you today. For starters, four of her poems appeared in the September 11th issue of The Weekly Avocet. She posted them last week, but in case you missed them, you can click here to read them. In this post, you’ll also find a link to where you can download that issue of the magazine and links to where you can hear her read each poem.

Two of her poems will appear in the fall quarterly issue of The Avocet. I’m sure she’ll post them here after they’ve been published.

Abbie’s poem, “Dad, Fats, and Me,” won third place in the Dancing Poetry Contest, sponsored by Artists Embassy International in San Francisco. You’ll have a chance to hear her read the poem during a special event this Saturday, September 24th at noon Pacific time. You can click here to watch the event live.

“Dad, Fats, and Me is my favorite poem. I love the way Abbie stomps her feet and sings when she reads it. I think her feet might be too big. Oooowwww! Okay, forget I said that. But be sure to tune in this Saturday at noon Pacific time. This is bound to be great!

Well, that’s all I have today. YYYYAAAAWWWWNNNN! Everybody, have a purrrr-fect day.

 

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

 

 

Abbie here. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

 

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Four Summer Poems #TuesdayTidabit #Poetry #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Summer’s almost over. Here are four poems I wrote that appeared in the September 11th issue of The Weekly Avocet, which you can download here. You can click on the title of each poem to hear me read it. Enjoy!

 

Meadowlark

 

 

 

Its song rings out over the lake

on a sunny, cloudless Wyoming afternoon,

as our boat glides through smooth waters.

 

Dad and younger brother fish

while Mother and I enjoy the gentle breeze

that carries with it the scent of pine trees,

whiff of worms used for bait.

 

At the age of thirteen,

knowing little about the meadowlark,

I delight in the bird’s cheerful tune,

and the boat’s gentle motion,

observe, with my limited vision, the lake, grass, trees, sky,

happy in summer.

 

After a Summer Cold Front

 

 

 

The sun finally shines in a blue sky filled with white clouds.

A gentle breeze blows, as I sit in my back yard.

Birds flit about in branches above me.

With my limited vision, I can’t see them,

but I hear their wings and joyous songs.

A fly circles my head—I wave it away.

In distant places, forest fires rage.

But here, they’re momentarily forgotten.

 

Summers in My Younger Years (A Zip Ode)

 

 

I loved summers in my home town,

ice cream,

band concerts, swimming at the park,

picnicking and hiking in the mountains.

Joy!

 

Nature Hike

 

 

As I walk down the Braille Trail,

I must hold onto the rail

when it’s steep or else I’ll fail.

 

As I walk, the moisture stops

dripping from all the treetops.

 

Since there is no more spray,

I no longer need to pray

for that glorious sunshine ray.

 

I know I have nothing to fear,

but I listen with one ear

 

for the lumbering sound of a bear

or a moose with more than one ear.

 

Onward I boldly tread

till I come to a sign I can read.

 

It’s in Braille and print, and I feel

the dots that are unlike an eel.

 

I look for a place to stop

when I climb to the very top

 

of a hill where the view will arrest,

and there, I sit down and rest.

***

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Announcing WyoPoets September Virtual Reading #TuesdayTidbit #Events #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll again be participating in my state poetry society’s monthly virtual poetry reading, and you’re all invited. Even if you just want to listen to poetry, I hope you’ll come and join in the fun. The event will take place this Sunday, September 11th, at 5 p.m. Mountain Time. All the details are below. I hope to see you there.

***

WyoPoets is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

 

This event is open to anyone who wants to share or listen to poetry. You don’t have to be a member of WyoPoets, you don’t even have to be in Wyoming to participate. So, feel free to invite your friends! If you haven’t already, please sign up to read and receive a Zoom invitation using this Google Form:  https://forms.gle/7VWJvfHWMUDCqeyYA

 

Topic: Virtual Poetry Night

Time: Sep 11, 2022 05:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87019799548?pwd=YllONFgwQjlHZUs3SjUxS1pNOW9QZz09

 

Meeting ID: 870 1979 9548

Passcode: 126128

One tap mobile

+16694449171,,87019799548#,,,,*126128# US

+16699006833,,87019799548#,,,,*126128# US (San Jose)

 

Dial by your location

+1 669 444 9171 US

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

+1 719 359 4580 US

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 564 217 2000 US

+1 646 931 3860 US

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

+1 309 205 3325 US

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 386 347 5053 US

Meeting ID: 870 1979 9548

Passcode: 126128

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kb27Z4NI7X

***

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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A Caregiver’s Gift #TuesdayTidbit #BookReviews #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Today, I’m delighted to share a review of my poetry collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap, from friend and fellow author Carrie Hooper. Carrie lives in Elmira, New York, where she teaches music and foreign languages, occasionally performs, and writes poetry of her own.

As she says in her review, we met in 2005 through Newsreel, an audio magazine where the blind and visually impaired can share ideas, music, and more. I had the pleasure of reading her poems and reviewing a couple of her books here after she joined Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization to which I belong. Now, here’s Carrie.

 

A Caregiver’s Gift: A Unique Book of Poetry

by Carrie Hooper

 

I recently read Abbie Johnson Taylor’s book, How to Build A Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, published by iUniverse Inc. in 2011. I met Abbie in 2005 through Newsreel, a magazine produced by and for the blind. She and I are members of Behind Our Eyes, a writers group for people with disabilities. I have had the pleasure of reading several of her essays, stories, and poems on the group’s email list, and I also read her book, That’s Life. I always love to read her work, and How to Build A Better Mousetrap, a collection of sixty-eight poems, was no exception.

The book consists of four sections. In Part 1, “On Being A Family Caregiver,” Abbie reflects on caring for her husband, Bill, who suffered two strokes which paralyzed his left side. Abbie’s use of the future tense when describing the events surrounding Bill’s first stroke, give the opening poem a potency it would have lacked had Abbie simply related the story in the present tense. She seems to sense the impending tragedy. I felt Abbie’s frustration as she struggled to dress and feed Bill, and I could relate to her computer problems. I chuckled at her humorous account of a romantic moment, interrupted by nature’s call. Abbie’s love for Bill permeates the poems in this section. She rises above despair and completes all tasks without complaint.

Part 2, “Recollections,” offers scenes from Abbie’s childhood and adulthood: a family picnic, a road trip with her father, unforgettable audio at a writers’ conference, etc. The poem, “Junior High,” reminded me of my middle school days. I could hear the humming of the buses, the bells, and the slamming lockers.

Part 3, “Reflections,” covers a variety of topics: a trip to Florida to escape Wyoming’s winter, a spring stroll, favorite foods, a driving mishap, and much more. I especially liked the poem, “I Admire My Handiwork,” in which Abbie contrasts a poem shaped like a Christmas tree with her attempt in fifth grade to make a Christmas tree with soda can lids on felt. Part 4, “Aging,” treats the challenges of aging and requiring care. I found the poems in this section poignant, especially “Reta’s Song” and “I Remember.”

I would recommend Abbie’s book even to those who don’t normally read poetry. Her poems are easy to understand. They are verbal snapshots which engage the senses and touch the heart.

***

Thank you, Carrie, for such a wonderful review of my book. Reviews are important to authors because they boost sales. If you’ve read any of my books, please leave a review where you bought the book and/or on GoodReads. Alternatively, you can use the contact form to email me your review, and I’ll be glad to post it here and on my website. Thank you for reading.

***

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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At Eventide #TuesdayTidbit #Poetry #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

I just got off the phone with a friend who’s in Minnesota with her dying brother, now in hospice care. He has been drifting in and out of consciousness as a result of pain medications, and he’s stopped eating and drinking. So, it shouldn’t be too much longer.

This reminded me of my late husband’s last few days, when he, too, stopped eating and drinking and wasn’t aware of what was going around him. So, I’m sharing with you a poem from My Ideal Partner, which expresses my feelings during this time. You can click the link below the poem to hear me read it.

 

AT EVENTIDE

By Abbie Johnson Taylor

Copyright 2016.

Here you lie

after suffering two strokes,

unable to walk.

For six years, I cared for you.

We were happy.

 

Now after giving up on life,

you’re breathing your last.

Here I sit, holding your hand,

talking to you,

singing your favorite songs,

wishing you’d respond,

tell me you love me,

squeeze my hand.

I shouldn’t be here.

 

At Eventide

 

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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