Blog Anniversary!

Yesterday marked four years since my first Piano Girl blog post! I continue to be thankful for this WordPress family. I look forward to reading your words and continuing to find new connections.

A lot has happened in four years. Not the least of all, living through a pandemic. Times of sickness, death, isolation, masks, and vaccinations. Challenging does not begin to describe.

And yet, good things pushed their way through the muck. Extended time with family. New friends connecting across the miles thru zoom. Resilience tested and proven within so many. I even had my first book published!

No, those things do not erase current events distress from the wars in our world and gun violence in my country. They do, however, encourage me to cherish the connections I have, old and new. They remind me of the importance of loving, even when we disagree. They give me hope.

Here’s to year five! Prayers for peace. Actions with intention. Words to encourage. Stop by and say hello!

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

Poetry Circle Poems

She Said It

I know she said it
Without a doubt
Though I can’t
Pinpoint one
Specific instance

Wonder if that’s ‘cause I heard it so often?

I say it often enough
To my students
Said it to my kids
When they were little
Anyone feeling
A bit grumpy
Acting a bit
Out of sorts

Do you know what my grandma always said?
You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in.

Boy, do I wish
I could hear
Her say it
One more time
Pretty sure I need
To hear it
Or, at least, I needed
To hear it
Yesterday

Recipe for Success

Yes! You, too,
Can be successful
In just four easy steps

Study hard
Work hard
Work harder
Retire and travel

Is that really the recipe?
Seems a bit bland
If you ask me

True success
Is experienced only
In the minuscule

A tear lovingly wiped away
A raised eyebrow understood only by the one you love
The sweet laugh of a child
The final breath of a friend

And those are just
The starting points
Not four sentences
In a paragraph
But chapters
In the narrative of your life

I continue to enjoy the poetry circle process with Ali Grimshaw https://flashlightbatteries.blog/. Such lovely connections, as well as surprises. I never know what will show up on the page. Or how the words of another will touch my heart.

Inner Voice

My brain hurts
Well, actually
I think it’s numb
Tired body
Tired heart
Words are
Bouncing
Around
In my head
Aim is off
Can’t seem
To find
Their way out
Maybe for the best
Probably wouldn’t
Sound the same
If I said them
Out loud
Perhaps writing
Them down
Would help…

Today, I…
Need to rest
Don’t want to listen
Don’t feel like engaging

Whew! Think I feel better!

After writing this poem, I had a revelation. If I feel this way some days, so do my students. And while I can put my feelings into words, that is not always easy for children.

Ok, so maybe this wasn’t a revelation, but it was a reminder. I need to be aware of facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice-mine and my students. Tempering my actions and reactions by keeping the clues close at heart. ❤️

Once Again

I see the notes
Gracefully strung
Across the staff
My hands
Gently fall
Onto the keys
Music drifts
Thru the air
Is this progression always the same?
So many things to consider
Things that may
Cause my eyes to fall
Leave my hands to drift
The music silenced
Tucked away
On its pages
Waiting patiently
For its turn
Once again
To speak
Drift thru the air
And keep me
From falling

I have been participating in writing circles with Ali Grimshaw https://flashlightbatteries.blog/ for almost two years now. Each experience reminds me that distance is not a determiner of meaningful connections. Ali provides a safe space for writing and sharing. Always with a reminder to send my critical voice to the other room.

I wrote the above poem in last night’s circle. ❤️

Hopeful

I wrote these two poems as part of an Instagram writing challenge. Thought I would share them here as well. ❤️

Rest

Hurry, hurry
Push, push
Full speed ahead
Barely time to breathe
Until suddenly
An uncontrollable
Full stop
Leading to a fall
Flat on my face
Flat on my back
Unable to move
Unable to think
Unable to connect-
Don’t move
Breathe
Breathe again
Slowly rise
Take a few steps
Sit down
And rest

Spark

Photo by David Dibert on Pexels.com

One tiny match
Hesitation
Before striking
Be careful
Don’t burn your finger

One tiny spark
Share it quickly
Before it dies
Light a candle
It will light the next
From one hand
To another
Until light pushes
The darkness away

Dear Friends & Family

I continue to be amazed at the connections near and far created through blogging and am grateful for all who take the time to read and reflect. And I have a favor to ask. If you have not already, would you consider purchasing my first poetry collection, If I Were Made of Glass?

Friends, family, and my WordPress community, I am thankful for you! ❤️

Available now on Amazon and at Potter’s Grove Press.

Writing Circle

Sharing two poems I wrote in a recent poetry circle facilitated by Ali Grimshaw https://flashlightbatteries.blog/. I continued to be amazed at the beautiful connections made across many miles over computer screens. ❤️

At Seven

It is difficult
To remember
The me who
Once was seven
Do you find
The same
To be true?

Oh, there are
Glimpses
Flashes of
Childhood
Aided by
Photographs
The reciting
Of stories at
Family gatherings
I believe at seven
Happy outweighed sad
And freedom came
When swinging
To the sky
Then bravely
Jumping out
It is difficult
To remember
The me who
Once was seven
But I am grateful
For her spirit
Continuing
To reside in me
Even when
I’m afraid
To jump out
Of the swing

Tiny Boxes

Hours spent
Together
Make me want
To remember
Not just the present
But every visit past-
Each block of time
Long or short
Places another box
Inside my heart
Tiny boxes
Full of surprises
To open when
Days are long
Mind-wandering
Tiny boxes
Fighting battles
Threatening
To take away
Focus, purpose, joy
Tiny boxes
Filled with
Memories
Of loving and
Being loved

Teachable Moments

Writing helps me process feelings. During one of my classes today, I decided to put that truth into practice. It wasn’t a terrible class, just loud. Lots of yelling at each other, mostly playing but foiling my attempts to teach songs/play instruments.

I could feel myself getting frustrated. So, I decided to try something different. I started a short music video, and I began to write. Some noticed, curious. And when the video ended, I explained what I had done.

I explained how writing helps me process my feelings. And that I was feeling frustrated. Then I read to them my words.

I love my job. But there are some moments. Especially the crazy ones that follow the awesome ones. The awesome ones are filled with music and laughter. So worth the energy.

I want each class to have that experience with me. To see the me that loves music. The me that loves life. The me that loves them. Not the me constantly saying, Sit down! Listen! Please don’t hit each other with the rhythm sticks or lick the dots on the floor.  Maybe next time…

It was suddenly quiet. I had kept myself from overreacting. They were listening.

Reflecting back on the day, it was mostly the fun kind of exhausting. This was only one small piece. A piece I felt was worth sharing. Because perfection is never the goal. The goal is learning. Life-long learning. And sometimes the lesson is for the teacher. ❤

Keep Writing

Ideas scattered
No inspiration
Whether to seek
Or to settle
Accepting
The need to let
My mind rest
Not sure
I know how…
Pick up the pen
Perhaps
Motor
Movement
Will trigger
Creativity
Perhaps not-
Either way
Watching
Words appear
Somehow
Slows
Racing heart
Cools
Heated face
Relaxes
Frantic brain-
Powerful process
Placing thoughts
On a page

Summer break is coming to an end. I am preparing for school to start. We continue to deal with living in a pandemic. Not surprisingly, my thoughts are scattered. And that is ok. There is strength in honesty. ❤️

Getting Back Up

Pick up my pen
And wait…
Batteries seem to need
Recharging
But all the packages
Are empty
Not giving up
I’ll wait awhile
Look out the window
For inspiration
Re-read some old
Cards or letters
Dig up memories that
Make my soul happy
What if I paperclip
Those memories
Together with
My dreams
For the future?
So next time I fall down,
I’ll remember the strength
Found in getting back up

Today’s prompt was very interesting. Listen to a favorite song and take notes. Make a list of things found in your junk drawer. Write a poem combining the two. For more info and prompts visit https://www.napowrimo.net/.

My song was “Like Everyone She Knows” by James Taylor. I will let you guess what is in my junk drawer. 😉