Autumn Delights from The Weekly Avocet #WednesdayWords #Poetry #Inspiration

The following haiku and poem of mine were published last year in the November 14th issue of The Weekly Avocet. This issue features work by members of Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization to which I belong. We recently produced a recording of this issue, which you can download here along with the issue in pdf format. Some of us read our own poems in this recording while other work was narrated by volunteer readers. If you enjoy my haiku and poem pasted below, please click the above link to read and or listen to more wonderful work from this issue.

***

after Thanksgiving

freezing rain covers hard ground

ice skater’s delight

***

Sunday Afternoon

 

 

I see blue sky above my silent back yard.

In the distance, dogs bark.

A saw whines, followed by other construction noises.

A plane flies overhead.

Far away, a train whistles.

Caressed by a cool, autumnal breeze,

I reflect on my life, at peace.

 

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.

 

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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Poems Exhibit Pine Tree State Through Seasons #FridayFunReads #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.

 

My Maine: Haiku Through the Seasons

by Bette Stevens

Copyright 2019.

 

What Amazon Says

 

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate. The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

 

Buy from Amazon.

 

My Thoughts

 

I like the way this book is divided into four parts, representing the four seasons. I couldn’t see the photographs, but the haiku contain plenty of imagery. I’m sure those who can see the pictures will find they accentuate the haiku.

The information about haiku at the beginning will be helpful to those unfamiliar with this poetry form. I found the facts about Maine at the end interesting. If you’re thinking about visiting Maine or possibly moving there, this book might be for you.

***

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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Trent’s Weekly Smile #WordPressWednesday #Reblogs #Inspiration

 

Many things made me smile this week, but none as much as reading Trent’s post. Because of my limited vision, I don’t have an opportunity to observe wildlife the way sighted people do. I can sometimes see birds soaring through the air if they’re low enough. I need to be close to deer or other animals in order to see them clearly, and most won’t let a human get that close. So, I’m sharing Trent’s post as my smile this week. If you can think of something that made you smile this past week, read his post to find out how to participate in this feature. Most important, keep smiling.

 

 The Weekly Smile for the 20th of June, 2022 #weeklysmile /

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.

A Collection with Something for Everyone #FridayFunReads #Poetry #Inspiration

Colors Passing Through us

by Marge Piercy

 

What Amazon Says

 

In Colors Passing Through Us, Marge Piercy is at the height of her powers, writing about what matters to her most: the lives of women, nature, Jewish ritual, love between men and women, and politics, sexual and otherwise.

Feisty and funny as always, she turns a sharp eye on the world around her, bidding an exhausted farewell to the twentieth century and singing an “electronic breakdown blues” for the twenty-first. She memorializes movingly those who, like Los desaparecidos and the victims of 9/11, disappear suddenly and without a trace.

She writes an elegy for her mother, a woman who struggled with a deadening round of housework, washin gon Monday, ironing on Tuesday, and so on, “until stroke broke/her open.” She remembers the scraps of lace, the touch of velvet, that were part of her maternal inheritance and first aroused her sensual curiosity.

Here are paeans to the pleasures of the natural world (rosy ripe tomatoes, a mating dance of hawks) as the poet confronts her own mortality in the cycle of seasons and the eternity of the cosmos: “I am hurrying, I am running hard / toward I don’t know what, / but I mean to arrive before dark.” Other poems–about her grandmother’s passage from Russia to the New World, or the interrupting of a Passover seder to watch a comet pass–expand on Piercy’s appreciation of Jewish life that won her so much acclaim in The Art of Blessing the Day.

Colors Passing Through Us is a moving celebration of the endurance of love and of the phenomenon of life itself–a book to treasure.

 

Buy from Amazon.

 

My Thoughts

 

Marge Piercy has inspired my work for years. Her poem, “In Praise of Joe,” which appears in a previous collection, inspired my poem, “Ode to Dr. Pepper,” which appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. Her memoir, Sleeping with Cats, inspired me to write My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, in the same style, with a poem at the end of each chapter.

I found myself relating to many of the poems in Colors Passing Through Us. I enjoyed “Got the 21st Century Blues,” in which she writes about a day when her furnace, computer, and cable stopped working. “Minor Losses,” in which she waxes nostalgic about buying homemade ice cream, reminded me of times as a kid when my family bought ice cream from Baskin-Robbins in Tucson, Arizona, and from Dairy Queen and the ice cream stand in the park here in Sheridan, Wyoming. “The Disintegration” made me thankful my marriage ended in death, not divorce.

I found some poems disturbing. A good example of one of these is “Family Values,” in which she reflects on domestic violence that occurred in her neighborhood when she was growing up. I didn’t particularly care for the sexual references in “Kamasutra for Dummies” and other poems.

But I especially liked the poems on nature themes in the section, “Winter’s Promise.” I found the poems on Judaism in the section, “Little Lights” fascinating. Colors Passing Through Us has something for everyone, and I highly recommend it.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which 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.

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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