Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Poem #30- People

Woooo Hoooo! 
Poem #30! 
Poem the Last! 
Poem We Did It! 

If you have been following my blog this month, you know I've spent the past 30 days writing poetry with Mary Lee Hahn and Kevin Hodgson. Mary Lee dreamed up this crazy poetry challenge, "Our Wonderful World" and the three of us have wandered the world writing poems about wonders old and new.

The past few days, Mary Lee has focused us to think about the small wonders in our daily lives and we have written about sunrises, chocolate, and imagination. Today's wonder is people and I actually wrote two poems.

The first is about writing poetry with Mary Lee and Kevin. This is our second year together-- Mary Lee organizes the whole shebang on her blog and then Kevin and I just sort of show up clutching our poems every morning.

This morning, as I was thinking about our month, the image that occurred to me was the clubs that we used to have when we were kids. Someone's family would get a new refrigerator or washing machine and we'd spend days building a club house out of the box. We'd cut out windows and doors,  gather rugs and curtains and pillows and somehow, there was always a vase of plastic flowers. Then we'd forage for food- peanut butter sandwiches and koolaid and cookies, and settle in for long afternoons of reading or playing games. Did anyone else have those cardboard box clubs? That's my first poem…

 "Poetry Club"

And so
three of us
(and an occasional passerby)

found an old refrigerator box
cut out a door
and a couple
crooked windows

dragged in a rug
a few pillows
and a vase of plastic flowers

foraged for peanut butter sandwiches
and grape koolaid
apples and of course
a little chocolate

then crawled inside
with notebooks
and pencils

and had ourselves
a poetry club.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2014

And then a couple of weeks ago, Mary Lee organized a tribute for Franki's birthday. Franki is another fabulous friend and I was delighted to honor her on her special day. At the same time, I kept thinking that we also needed to honor her co-blogger, Mary Lee. And so I've decided to write about one of the most wonderful people I know-- Mary Lee!

"You Were There"

Decided to start a blog
Didn't know anything
Couldn't add book covers or links
Had never heard of CYBILS or Poetry Friday
And you were there
Patiently coaching
a total stranger

Solitary confinement
for twenty days
banished and
even my family didn't know
where I was
you were there
sending notes of encouragement
and upbeat DVD's.

"I'm coming to Denver.
Let's go to Tattered Cover"
you were there
with a box of red velvet cupcakes
(that even now, years later,
my boys still talk about)
and we wandered the aisles
talking books
and teaching
and life.

Writing poetry
every Friday
an entire month in April
you were there
setting up the calendar
choosing a theme
doing all the grunt work
so the rest of us could enjoy
a community
of poets

Amazing teacher
brilliant poet
heart-giving friend
How grateful I am
for your "thereness"
in my life.

Hugs and poems,

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Poem #29- Imagination

Harvard, Annenberg Hall, by Jacobolus, found on Wikimedia Commons
 All month, I've been writing poetry around the theme, "Our Wonderful World" with Mary Lee Hahn and Kevin Hodgson. Today's topic is imagination and Mary Lee's poem made me cry. Be sure to visit Mary Lee and Kevin's sites.


You bring the shirt
to  me
in the lunch line
with white letters


"Look,"  you say.
"Look what I won."

I look into your
dark, dark eyes.

And I think about
how far Harvard
is from Denver.
Two thousand miles
east on I-70.
Roughly thirty hours driving. 

But more importantly
I think about
how far Harvard
is away
from your world.

oldest of three
speaker of Spanish and English
lover of books and math and science

two weeks ago
you told me
how your hotel cleaning mother
helps you hide books 
from construction worker father
who tells you to
stop reading so much

you are a respectful boy
who wants to obey your father
but you cannot stay away from
the printed word
just this month
you have devoured
the Lord of the Rings series
and two Christopher Paolini tomes

I look into your
dark, dark eyes.

And I know this is a holy moment.

"You could go to Harvard,"
I declare.

"You could

go to

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

POEM #28- Chocolate

Hershey's Chocolate, by Spaspoo, from Wikimedia Commons
I've celebrated National Poetry Month by traipsing all over "Our Wonderful World" with Mary Lee Hahn and Kevin Hodgson. We've written about wonders ancient and modern, natural and human-made, and now are spending the last few days on the smaller stuff, the wonders we find in our everyday lives.

Today's wonder is supposed to be chocolate cake. I like chocolate cake,  but it's actually only a small component of what I see as one of the four essential food groups (chocolate, hamburgers, Diet Coke, and everything else you are supposed to eat).  I'm just as happy with a 79 cent bag of m and m's as with a fancy chocolate cake, so I've expanded the category beyond chocolate cake to chocolate.

 "I Like My Chocolate Simple"

I'm a little particular.
I like my chocolate simple.
None of those
dipped truffles
purchased individually
from a white coated choclatier
who uses sterling silver tongs 
to lift individually wrapped pieces
from doily covered plates
inside a glass counter

instead give me a Hershey bar
an afterthought slipped into the shopping cart
as a reward for dealing
with a crowded grocery store
or a 79 cent bag of m and m's
(ok sometimes the $1.29 cent bag
supposed to be shared bag)
bought at 7-11
when I pump gas

Dark chocolate?
I hate it.
Give me milk chocolate
or give me death
ok well maybe not death
but definitely not dark chocolate.

Chocolate with nuts?
I love nuts
consumed in handfuls
greased and salty from the jar
or purchased from a vendor
at a baseball game
and I love a good homemade
peanut butter and jelly sandwich
or a hunk of homemade
peanut brittle at Christmas time.
But  nuts in chocolate?
OK, maybe an occasional Almond Joy
but Peanut m and m's.
Never. Nope.

Chocolate ice cream?
Nope. Hate that blandish pseudo chocolate flavor.
Just give me a bowl of vanilla
with hot fudge or Hershey's chocolate syrup.
And I hate tootsie rolls
Another form of pseudo chocolate.
But I do like an occasional tootsie pop.
Red or orange are my favorites.
Once in a while grape.
But never the chocolate ones.
Chocolate cookies?
Definitely yes to chocolate chip.
But cookies that are pure chocolate?
Ummm, not so much.
Will eat them.
Don't love them.
And given the choice
I'd rather have the middle part
and give the chocolate cookie to the dog
yes, I know dogs aren't supposed to eat chocolate
but once in a while
it doesn't seem to hurt her.

OK, well what about brownies?
Brownies are pure chocolate.
Yeah, brownies are good.
I like 'em best without frosting
And a little undercooked and gooey.
Please don't overcook them
until they are dry and crumbly.
And I'd really rather have the ones from the middle of the pan
And again, you can leave out the nuts.

I'm a little particular.
I like my chocolate simple.

Carol Wilcox, (c) 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Sunrise at Twin Sisters, Leila N., from Wikimedia Commons
 I am participating in Mary Lee Hahn's Wonders of the World Poetry Challenge over at Year of Reading and at Mary Lee's new blog, Poetry Repository. Stop over and read Mary Lee's Sunrise poem, then swing by Kevin's Meandering Mind to read a sunrise/sunset mirror poem.

Today's wonder is sunrises. I inherited my dad's genes and morning is my favorite time of day. It's a holy time- the time I write, the time I pray and worship, the time I think. I started out writing a prayer poem, but it felt really hokey, and so I tried a second time. The metaphor that kept coming into my head was one of entering a theater, waiting for a play to begin. Not sure I quite got it, but here's today's draft.

"Sky Show"

each morning
I take my seat
for the show
theater is quiet

and then bird orchestra
peeps and cheeps
toward harmony

black fades to gray
and curtain begins to rise
burning orange yellow orb
tips horizon 
infusing pale gray cloud ceiling
with blue pink lavender
Creator's glory

yellow light
is dragged
into sky
show is over
and a new day

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Poem #26- Polar Ice Caps

I've joined Mary Lee Hahn and Kevin Hodgson in Mary Lee's Poetry Challenge, "Our Wonderful World."

This week, I've been kind of limping along in poetry land. I like to write in the morning, but this week  I have had way too much going on at school and with my mom and my boys and it's been 8:00 every evening before I put on my poetry hat. And as anyone who knows me can attest, by 8:00, I'm more pumpkin than poet.

Anyway, today's topic is Polar Ice Caps. And I'm determined to write a poem this morning and not to have to struggle through that night writing thing today…

"Will People Care…?"
How do you write about global warming?
How do you make people care?

What about rising seas?
If I write about how major cities
like London, Amsterdam, Berlin,
Washington D.C.; Miami
and New Orleans
could be underwater
Will people care about that?

What about fresh water?
If I write about how
thousands of people in Peru
might not have drinking water
by 2100
because the Quelccaya ice cap is melting
Will people care about that?

What about drought?
If I write about how
rainfall in Ethiopia,
where drought is already common,
could decline by
ten percent
over the next fifty years
Will people care about that?

What about ecosystems?
If I write about how global warming
causes species to move north
and changes entire ecosystems
and how some species
will adapt and survive
but others will become extinct
Will people care about that?

What about polar bears?
If I write about how polar bears
are becoming hungry and skinny and desperate
because of a shortened hunting season
or about how a mama polar bear
recently swam for nine straight days to reach sea ice
and lost twenty percent of her body weight
and her cub
Will people care about that?

Or what about spruce bark beetles?
If I write about how the
population in Alaska has increased
and consumed four million acres
of spruce trees
used for lumber
and paper
Will people care about that?

How do you write about the polar ice caps?
How do you make people care?

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Poem 10,025- Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, taken from a helicopter, by Ferdinand Reuss, from Wikimedia Commons
 "Victoria Falls"

All that water
booming, bouncing bounding down
chasm after chasm
Devils Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls,
Eastern Cataract
Finding way through
gorge after gorge
hurling, heaving, hurrying
ignoring invitation to meander
just rushing downward
keeping eternal appointment
leaping, listing, lurching

Mosi Oa Tunya-
natives called it, Smoke that Thunders
only Livingston thought it should be named after Victoria
Pulsing, pushing, pounding
Quickening, quivering
Rushing, running, racing
Spectacularly plunging over basalt lip
Thunder roars
Up ends lions hippos giraffes
Vines, ferns, palms abound in rainforest ecosystem
Wide river cascades over basalt lip
exploring options, 
yearning, yawning river

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poem #24- Amazon Rainforest

Cloud Forest- Ecuador, by Hjvannes, found on Wikimedia Commons

Oxygen rich planet
Amazon rainforest gift
 Lungs of mother earth


Red eyed tree frog

Orange tamarin

 Yellow keel-billed toucan

Green anaconda

Blue morpho butterfly

Indigo poison dart frog

Violet crowned woodnymph 

Rainbow of the rain forest!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Aurora Borealis, Norway 2006, Rafal Konieczny, found on Wikimedia Commons
 I'm participating in Mary Lee's April Poetry Challenge at Year of Reading and her new blog Poetrepository. (Don't you love the name?!?). Today's wonder is the Aurora.


I have never known
the magic
of green blue light
in what should be

but I have known
an Aurora magic
all my own

two years ago
when human brokenness
brought unspeakable horror
to a movie theater
in a city
not five miles
from my own
and twelve died
and fifty-eight more
were wounded

My Aurora
believed in goodness 
to myriad gods
then released balloons
into twilight sky

and although
I have never known
the magic of
green blue light
in what should be darkness

that night
pinpricks of goodness
sparked brightly
in Aurora sky.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

POEM #22- Mount Everest

 Having spent almost my entire life in Colorado, I've had mountains in my front yard forever. I love watching how the colors change, depending on the time of day. I love watching clouds move in and cover the mountaintops before a storm. I love watching shadows shift.

I' also fear the mountains. I know the weather can change in an instant. I've slid down a mountain on my rear when a quick moving lightning storm surprised us.

And I know it's really easy to get lost.  Two weeks ago, a father and son visited Colorado for spring vacation. The boy was about to graduate from high school, and he and his father had come here, while his mother and sister went to Mexico for spring vacation. The mother and daughter came back from their trip, couldn't contact the father and son, and finally got in touch with authorities who spent a week combing the mountains. The search party never found the father and son and eventually the search was called off. The bodies will probably be found this summer.


Twenty nine thousand feet.
Thin air.
Bitter cold.
Gale force winds.
Ice fields.

Climb to touch the heavens.
Climb to prove you can.
Climb because I'm here.

The mountain speaks.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

POEM #21- Great Barrier Reef

Blue Linckia Starfish, Great Barrier Reef, by Richard Ling, found on Wikimedia Commons
 I apologize for the spacing! Blogspot is being difficult. I have tried several times to reformat with no luck and I don't have time to retype the whole post!

I'm participating in Mary Lee Hahn's OUR WONDERFUL WORLD poetry celebration. Today's wonder is the Great Barrier Reef.

Years ago, in Ralph Fletcher's What a Writer Needs, I read these words, "The bigger the issue, the smaller you write." Ralph talked about choosing one tiny detail; for instance, you don't talk about dementia, you talk about how your grandfather, who has always been an impeccable dresser, comes downstairs having missed a belt loop.

The Great Barrier Reef feels pretty overwhelming to me-- visible from outer sapce,  longer than the Great Wall of China, home to thousands of species of fish and marine animals. However, we are killing it through global warning, pollution, etc.

When I went looking for pictures on Wikimedia Commons, I found a beautiful photograph of the Blue Linckia Starfish, then noticed that the photograph was about ten years old. I know that the reef was impacted by an episode of Coral Bleaching in 2006 and I wondered, whether I would still see this spectacularly colored creature if were to visit today.

"Blue Linckia Starfish"
Flipping through photos
of the Great Barrier Reef
I find Blue Linckia Starfish
taken by Richard Ling
ten years ago
so beautiful
I had a dress this color once
I wore it until
it fell apart

And then I read
about coral reef bleaching
most recent outbreak in 2006
I read about global warming
those really hot summers
we have been having

and I wonder
if Mr Ling and I
returned to 
the Great Barrier Reef
today, ten years later
could we 
still photograph
Blue Linckia Starfish?

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2014

And then a list poem.

“Great Barrier Reef”

Thirty species of whales

dolphins, porpoises-

dwarf meinke,

humpback and

fifteen hundred fish,

coral trout, red bass

striped sturgeon

clownfish and

six species of sea turtle—

green, leatherback,

hawksbill, loggerhead

olive ridley and

saltwater crocodiles

sharks, stingray, skates

nine species of seahorses,

seven kinds of frog and

four hundred coral—hard and soft

Five thousand mollusks

seventeen species of sea snake,

 White bellied sea eagle, roseate tern
Twenty one hundred plants,
three endemic,

Fifteen species of seagrass…

How can we do nothing?

© Carol Wilcox, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Poem #20- Grand Canyon

 I'm participating in Mary Lee Hahn's "Our Wonderful World." Today's wonder is the Grand Canyon. Be sure to check Year of Reading today, because more people participated and there are several Grand Canyon poems to read.

It's also Easter. And in my mind, the Grand Canyon is a perfect metaphor for the separation between us and the Abba Father. Because it is such an important day to me, I wanted a really, really good poem. I messed around with several different forms this morning, spent the day with my mom in Colorado Springs, then came back and tried again. 



About that
that existed between
Light and Dark
Lovely and Loveless
Holy and Helpless

It isn't there anymore.

Love reached across
Sin's Grandest Canyon.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2014



Years ago
I stood on the rim
of the Grand Canyon
marvelled at multicolored layers
rugged rock formations
shifting shadows
orange red yellow
setting sun

breathtaking beauty

But there is that other
Grand Canyon
layers and layers
of rock hard sin heart
secrets no one
is allowed to know
unmentionable ugliness
dark depravity

breathtaking brokenness

And through that blackness
runs the river of Christ's love
wearing down
wearing down
wearing down
hardest of hearts
by the river
of His enormous love
(C) Carol Wilcox, 2014

I also tried a tanka.

Easter. Holy Love
reaches across Grand Canyon
of separation
between His purity and
my absolute impurity
(C) Carol Wilcox, 2014


And a  few haiku…

"Then Came Easter"
Grandest Canyon
between Holiness and sin
and then came Easter

Bridges Grand Canyon
Between His purity and
my depravity

So thankful for Grace
that bridged canyon between
Pure heart and dark heart

Easter. When Grace reached
across Grand Canyon between
Holiness and me



Almost midnight on a hot July night, two years ago in Denver. I have to present at a workshop the next day and should be home in bed. Instead, I'm stuck in a huge traffic jam in a construction project on I-70.

If not for Franki, I would not have been stuck in this mess…

I first "met" Franki years before, when I moved to New Hampshire. OK, so I didn't actually "meet" her then, or at least not face-to-face. Instead, I "met" her through JoAnn Portalupi and Ralph Fletcher I was doing my graduate work at the University of New Hampshire with JoAnn. Several times a year, Ralph and JoAnn would head to Ohio to present workshops. When they came back, they would always talk about Franki.

Eventually, one or the other would stop and say, "You know Franki, right Carol?" And I would say I didn't.

Then Ralph or JoAnn would always say, "Carol, you have to meet Franki. She's amazing."

We probably had that conversation twenty times in the four years in New Hampshire.

And then I moved back to Denver. And I am not exactly sure how I actually met Franki, but I did. Maybe it was when I decided I needed to start a blog. And I reached out to Franki and Mary Lee because I couldn't figure out how to insert a book cover in my posts (please note, I'm probably the only one who will not have the special Franki button Ruth created because I couldn't get it to download correctly, despite trying multiple times).  Franki and I became fast friends in the world of Kidlitosphere. And Franki was always so, so kind. And so, so gracious. She always made me feel like I had something to say.

If not for Franki, I probably would have given up on blogging a long time ago. 

And then there was the hotel breakfast in Denver.

Franki was in Denver for something. Maybe a workshop? She reached out and wanted to get together. And so we met for breakfast at the hotel where she was staying. I was doing Weight Watchers and asked for a bowl of fruit and an English muffin. I was thinking I would get a couple of pieces of cantaloupe sprinkled with a few strawberries and grapes. Instead, I got a giant bowl, $15 worth of fruit, probably enough for three people. And Franki was buying! Yikes.

At the breakfast, though, Franki and I talked about a lot of things. We are both adoptive moms and we shared the ups and downs, the good times and bad. I don't think we knew each other all that well at that time, but Franki was a place where I could share how hard it was to parent two kids with reactive attachment disorder. I think I told her things I had not told anyone ever. And she didn't make me feel like a nutcase.  And we have shared stories ever since.

If not for Franki, my journey as an adoptive mom would have been much harder and much more lonely.

That day, we also talked about the role of Facebook and Twitter in professional development. Franki said, "Carol, that's how all the young teachers communicate. If we want to stay current, we have to do it too." And I realized she was right and signed up for Facebook and Twitter accounts when I got home that day. I'm not as good as I should be about posting, but I certainly have learned a lot.

If not for Franki, I probably would not be using those two incredibly important forms of social media.

And then she came to Denver for CCIRA. And presented several sessions on 21st Century Literacy. And wanted me to attend every single CCIRA session on digital literacy. And opened up a whole new world for me and for my students.

If not for Franki, the teachers and students at my school would not be nearly as technologically literate.

And then there was that night on I-70. Franki had emailed that she was going to be passing through Denver. She would have a two hour layover at ten o'clock on that July night. And Patrick Allen and I decided that we needed to go to the airport to see her.

And we spent two hours sitting on the floor, drinking Starbucks, sharing book titles, and laughing, and laughing,  and laughing.

Because that's what Franki is about. People. Connections. Books.  And laughter.

May your day and year be filled with all of those things, dear friend!

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

POEM #19- Chitchen Itza

Chichén Itzá, by xtinabuena, Wikimedia Commons
As you know if you read my blog regularly, you know I've been participating in Mary Lee Hahn's "Our Wonderful World" Poetry Challenge. Each day, we travel to a different Wonder to write poetry; so far we have been to the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Golden Gate Bridge, the CN Tower, the Itaipu Dam, the Delta Works in the Netherlands and lots more. Mary Lee and Kevin Hodgson and I have written every single day. Several other folks, Cathy Mere and Carol Varselona, have traveled with us some days.

Today we are journeying to Chichén Itzá, on the Yucatan Peninsula. I've been struck, as I have researched a lot of these places- pyramids, temples, mosques, etc.- by humans' search to know/understand/connect with their creator. Sometimes I've been struck by the beauty of their efforts. Other times, I've been saddened by the depravity or destruction involved. Today,  I was struck by both. I started with one poem, then felt like it was going in two entirely two different directions, so I broke it into two separate poems. I'm including them both.

"A Question"

Did Creator God’s
eyes twinkle
as He watched
small humans
chart movement of
His great fireball
across earth dome
measuring three hundred sixty-five
two or three or ten times
discovering precision
of Patterns
millions of years

© Carol Wilcox, 2014

Chichén Itzá”

Great Holiness
Humans seeking
to understand
Creator God
chart movement of
great fireball across earth dome
then construct temple
 to honor Sacred Precision
Great God smiles

Great Depravity
Humans seeking
to please Chaak,
giver of Rain,
hurl bejeweled beauties
into sinkhole wells
human sacrifice
Great God weeps

© Carol Wilcox, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014


Alpacas, by Philippe Lavoie, from Wikimedia Commons

This month I'm dragging myself, kicking and screaming, through Mary Lee's "Our Wonderful World," poetry challenge. Actually, as much as I've complained, and as hard as it is to find the time to write a poem every single day, I really am enjoying the challenge. I love making myself write every day (I wrote in the Slice of Life Challenge last month, so I've blogged 49 days in a row, but who's counting??). I love learning about all of these places. It's fascinating to think about how these ginormous edifices were built, mostly without modern machinery. Most of all, I love the little community that has formed- Mary Lee (you can also read her poems at her new Poetrepository) , Kevin (Kevin's Meandering Mind), and I, just kind of tromping vicariously all over the world writing poems and cheering each other on.

Today, as I researched Macchu Pichu, I thought about the big stuff- the Inca civilization, the incredible construction, the audacity of Spanish conquistadors, etc., but I was particular struck by this teeny tiny fact. Each night, after the tourists have left, alpaca, who I think are a native species, are led into the funerary hut, where they spend the night grazing, to keep the grass in the area short.


One thousand years ago,
when the highlands of Macchu Pichu
echoed with cries of White-Tipped Swift,
and Collared Trogon
and rainbow winged butterflies
flitted through lush tropical forests
we were there

And seven hundred years ago
as Inca craftsman hauled
enormous blocks of stone
up steep slopes
to build temples and tributaries
and observatories
we were there

Six hundred years ago
Spanish conquistadors arrived
plundering pillaging
decimating ancient civilization
and we were there

One hundred years ago
a little boy
led eager anthropologists
eight thousand feet
up steep mountain slopes
to vegetation covered ruins
and we were there

as darkness fall
three thousand tourists
will cease their climbing
and exclaiming
and clicking
we will still be there

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Poetry Friday today is at Robyn's Life on the Deckle Edge.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

POEM #17- Petra

Petra, by David Bjorgen, from Wikimedia Commons

Three hundred years before Christ
Arabian nomads,
abandon goatskin tents
chisel homes into cliffs
build elaborate conduits
create a new way of life.

Fifteen hundred years
and a half a world away
the Anasazi
abandon the ways of nomads
build houses that climb the side of cliffs
learn to farm and create pottery
create a new way of life.

Looking at those worlds
of cliff climbing houses
I cannot help but believe
we are all connected

(C) Carol Wilcox

Mesa Verde, Colorado

A little about my process.

I am and always have been a morning writer.  That said, at this point, writing poetry in the mo just is not possible. This is that crazy busy time of year in schools. I'm working three jobs right now (literacy coach, managing the after school clubs, and also teaching for our ELL department). Every weekend, I drive to Colorado Springs, usually both Saturday and Sunday, to be with my mom, who has had some major health issues and has just been moved into assisted living.

So this year, my poetry writing has pretty much looked like this:

1) Get up in the morning. Read Mary Lee and Kevin's latest creations. Feel amazed at their brilliance.
2) Google the place we are writing about. Skim a few websites until I find one or two that are interesting to me. Today, for Petra, I am especially liking the American Museum of Natural History.
3) Sometimes I copy the article into a word document and highlight or mess around to see if there is a found poem waiting to be writing.
4) Kind of put the place in the back of my head for the day. Think about it as I am going about my day. Yesterday, I got some ideas while I was sitting in a huge traffic jam on the way to work (45 minutes on I-70). The day before I had some thoughts while I was proctoring our states blessed event (then had to try to remember them for a whole hour because we are not supposed to write anything down while we are doing the test).
5) Get home from work at 6. Eat. Walk the dog. Sit down to write at 7:30 or 8.
6) Procrastinate for 30 minutes or so.
7) Wish I would never committed to this dang poetry challenge.
8) Reread the article.
9) Try to write something.
10) Post about ten o'clock.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

POEM #16- Panama Canal

Photo by Autoridad del Canal de Panama, on Wikimedia Commons
I'm participating in Mary Lee Hahn's month of torture poetry, "Our Wonderful World." Every day this month, Mary Lee selects a new wonder and invites others to write along with her. Head over to Year of Reading to read Mary Lee's poems, then go on to Kevin's blog to see his amazing visual and auditory creations.

“On Building the Panama Canal”
(or parenting, or probably a lot of other things)

When I started this journey
it seemed
as if the trip
would be relatively  easy

I envisioned
hard sweat
followed by
triumphant breakthroughs
cheering crowds
congratulatory celebrations.

I did not realize
the jungles would be so thick
the swamps so deep and strong sucking
Bubonic-ridden rats
so very large and fearless

When I started this journey
And I did not know there would be so much decay
That machines that once seemed impervious
could be reduced to rusty flakes 
in a matter of months
I did not realize there would be so much
malaria of body

When I started this journey
I did not realize
people would come and go
so quickly.
I did not know friendship was so cheap
or compromise so expensive.
I did not know souls 
could be bought for a dime or a quarter

When I started this journey,
I did not realize there would be
So much sailing bravely forward
followed by waiting endless hours 
for water 
controlled by others 
to rise.

And I did not realize times of ascent 
and smooth sailing
would be so quickly followed 
by times of descent.
That I would so often find myself in deep water,
or with my head under water
that so much water
would need to go
under the bridge

When I started this journey
it seemed
as if the trip
would be relatively  easy

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Photo by Raimond Spekking, from Wikimedia Commons
I'm participating in Mary Lee Hahn's April Poetry Challenge, "Our Wonderful World." I'm learning a lot! First, I have never heard of some of these wonders. Or I have heard of them, but didn't know a lot about them. Or I have heard of them, and knew something, but was totally surprised by the poem that showed up.

And then there is the deal of getting to write right alongside two amazingly talented poets. Mary Lee has such an amazing with way with words. And then every day, Kevin blows us away with a new and unusual presentation of poetry. And me, well, I just kind of klunk along, putting out my poems at ten o'clock every night. But at least I'm trying, right???

OK, so today's wonder is the Delta Works. Today, while I was proctoring our state's blessed event, I was thinking about tulips and windmills and how the windmills actually came from people's fear of flooding. I was thinking that I was going to write something really deep and profound.

And then I sat down at 8 to try and write. And there just were no poems. And I messed around with found poems and haiku and even considered trying Haiku Deck, but there just wasn't much there tonight.

Delta Works

Would you
flood insurance
if you knew
your belongings
would float

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014


Itaipu, from Wikimedia Commons

Paraná River,
world’s seventh largest
natural border between
Brazil and Paraguay

is it possible
to harness
this immense power

Guaíra Falls
twice Niagara’s height
twice Niagara’s flow

submerged forever

“Here seven visions,
seven liquid
 through computerized calculations
of a country
ceasing to be human
in order to become
a chilly corporation,
nothing more. “
-Carlos Drummond de Andrade,
"Farewell to Seven Falls"

Unprecedented cooperation
between Brazilian and Paraguayan
Argentina too!
Look what we can do
if we work together!

Our people
are farmers.
Ten thousand
will lose their land.
Their homes.
Their livelihoods.

Ninety percent of Paraguay’s power!
One fourth of Brazil’s!

We could be
434,000 barrels
of oil
per day!

Rare fruit trees,
animals species

Breeding and
migration patterns
forever changed

One of  the seven wonders 
of the modern world!

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2014