Friday, May 31, 2019


Image from Creative Commons
I wasn't planning on participating this week. It's the last week of school, and it's been a doozy. But then when I went to Mary Lee's blog, I discovered that this week is a tribute to Naomi Shihab Nye. And Naomi Shihab Nye is one of my favorite poets. A million years ago, ok, actually in the early 1990's, I was in San Antonio for the International Reading Association's annual conference. My friend, Lisa, who is a poet and actually did her dissertation the role of poetry in the elementary classroom, saw a sign for a poetry reading and wanted to go. I tagged along with her. 

And as you can probably guess, the poet who was reading was Naomi Shihab Nye. She read in a little tiny bookstore close to the Riverwalk. Probably twenty or so people attended the reading. Her son played with trucks on the floor in the back of the room. I fell in love with Naomi's work that night and have loved it ever since. Here are the last two stanzas of a poem I love. You can read the whole thing here

"Different Ways to Pray"

...There were those who didn’t care about praying.
The young ones. The ones who had been to America.   
They told the old ones, you are wasting your time.
      Time?—The old ones prayed for the young ones.   
They prayed for Allah to mend their brains,
for the twig, the round moon,
to speak suddenly in a commanding tone.

And occasionally there would be one
who did none of this,
the old man Fowzi, for example, Fowzi the fool,   
who beat everyone at dominoes,
insisted he spoke with God as he spoke with goats,   
and was famous for his laugh.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Visit Year of Reading for the Roundup. 

Friday, May 3, 2019


Some random yellow lab puppies I found on the internet
My National Poetry month series was "Dog Days," in which I wrote thirty poems, all about dogs. At the end of the month, I announced that soon, sometime in the next month or so, I will become a puppy mom for Canine Partners of the Rockies. The yellow lab I will be raising was born in California, and will be coming to Colorado sometime after May 22nd. I'm excited and more than a little nervous, I haven't had a puppy in my life for about ten years, and this will be a very special puppy, that will take lots of extra time and energy. I came across the Linda Pastan poem, which seems perfect for the occasion.

"The New Dog"

Into the gravity of my life,
the serious ceremonies
of polish and paper
and pen, has come

this manic animal
whose innocent disruptions
make nonsense
of my old simplicities--

as if I needed him
to prove again that after
all the careful planning,
anything can happen.

Linda Pastan

Jama Rattigan is hosting Poetry Friday today. Stop over there and read two delicious Spring poems.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Poem #30/30- "Dog Days"

Poetry Month is over,  but I couldn't stand that I had written 29 poems instead of 30, 
so I wrote two poems today.  I'm ending with a tanka.

"Dog Days Are Ending"

every dog has his day
but I am dog gone happy,
Poetry Month's done, 
writer's notebook is dog-eared
and this poet's dog tired.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Dog Days #29/30- "You Won't Be Mine"

This is just a yellow lab I found on line, not the puppy I will actually be raising. 
The end of the month seems like a perfect time to announce some big news. For a couple of years, I have been volunteering with Canine Partners of the Rockies, an organization that raises mobility dogs for people with physical challenges. I've decided to take the plunge, and sometime after May 22, I'm going to become a puppy mom. For the next two years, I'll be raising a yellow lab, who was born in California, and will be arriving in Denver whenever they can get him here. I'm excited, and more than a little nervous, about this new adventure. This poem is for him.

"You Won't Be Mine"

I'll potty train you,
wake up when you whimper,
teach you to walk on a leash.

I will love you,
but you won't be mine.

I'll teach you sit and down and stay,
buy toys and treats,
take you to the vet.

I will love you,
but you won't be mine.

I'll cuddle with you,
know where you like to be scratched,
let you give me doggy kisses.

I will love you,
but you won't be mine.

And then someday,
I will hand your leash
to someone else.

I will love you,
but you won't be mine.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Monday, April 29, 2019

Dog Days- 28/30

April, and National Poetry Month, are almost over. My theme this year has been "Dog Days." I'm writing thirty poems about dogs, and I missed a day, so if I'm actually going to pull it off, I have to write two poems tomorrow. Not sure that will happen. Anyway, this week I have been writing poems about dog tails, and dog teeth, today is about a dog's sense of smell. I found two really interesting articles, here,  and here. At first I was going to try to embed more facts into the poem, but yesterday's effort was pretty much a disaster, and so I decided  to keep it simple tonight

"Splendidly Stinky"


(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019

Poem #27/30- Dog Days

Saturday, April 27, 2019


April is National Poetry Month. I've always been intrigued by poets who manage to create poems from nonfiction. Today I decided I would try it. It was really, really hard and took a really, really long time! I got the information for this poem from a Psychology Today article.

"Tale of  a Tail"
A wagging tail is a doggy-phone.
That action's not happening when the dog is alone
Puppies' tails  wag at about six weeks,
Little guys learn, "Hey, my tail speaks!"

A tail that hangs means life is quiet,
Frantic wagging shows, "Life's a riot."
Flat and out says, "Let's explore,"
A tail held under shouts,  "Fear galore."

Broad swishing says, "Hello, please pet!"
High-sitting tail might signal, "Threat!"
Tail that's happy pulls to the right.
Left-placed tail might mean, "Let's fight."

Yep, the doggie's tail has lots to say,
And it helps the dog in other ways. 

The tail provides stability
It's part of dog's mobility
Helps with running, leaping, turning
Loss of tail would be concerning.

The tail also helps when dog's in water
that long appendage is a perfect rudder.
When a dog wants to signal he's alpha guy,
A wag spreads scent both far and wide.

Some might think the tail's just pretty,
It's function is actually way more than beauty.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2019