Tuesday, December 1, 2015


So because I have nothing else to do this month, I've taken on a challenge.

Just a teeny little challenge.

A couple of days ago, I was corresponding with my good friend Mary Lee.

She's a teacher in Ohio.

She has two blogs. A Year of Reading. That blog inspired me to start a blog, seven years ago.

And Poetrepository, her new blog, where she features her original poetry.

And someday, pretty soon, she's going to be a famous poet. This year she had a poem published in National Geographic's Book of Poetry, and several other books too.

She's going to be very famous.

But she's also a terrific friend. I like her a lot.

Most of the time anyway.

Just not in April. Every April Mary Lee cons/cajoles/  persuades me to write poetry every day for a month, for National Poetry Month.

And it almost kills me.

Because I am not actually a poet.

I love, love, love to read poetry.

But it's really hard to write.

Unfortunately,  the thing is,  in my heart of hearts,  I would kind of like to be a poet.

And so every April, I join up with Mary Lee and Kevin over at Dogtrax and several other people and we write poetry. And at first it's really, really hard. And in the middle, when I am tired of balancing poetry and teaching and parenting and life it's even harder.

But at the end of the month, I'm usually kind of sad that it's over. Because I do a teeny bit like writing poetry and I really, really like all my poet friends and the community we create.

And every year I tell myself at the end of April that if I can write 30 poems in a month, I can definitely write one a week for Poetry Friday for the rest of the year.

But I never quite do it.

So the other day, Mary Lee and I were corresponding and I mentioned to her that I wished I was writing more poetry. And she had this idea.

She said that in the spirit of Bob Raczka's book, SANTA CLAUSES, she was going to try to write a haiku every day for a month. And somehow, it accidentally rolled out of my mouth that maybe I could do that too.

Haiku. Seventeen syllables a day. For 21 days. That's only um, about 500 syllables. How hard can that be? Right?

So I started writing. And then  I remembered, haiku is a teeny bit hard. It requires brevity. And precise language. And careful word choice. None of which are things that I am prone to. But we are going to try.  Mary Lee, I am sure, will actually succeed.

Me??? I'm going to try.  Here is my first one.

“December 1- Advent Calendar”
So many doors must 
Open before man in red
Makes an appearance.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2015


BK said...

I love your journey as a poetry lover and a poet Carol. I am not a poet but those April challenges are great to move beyond the labels. Haikus now they are a tough challenge to write but I loved yours. More More more...

BK said...

The verification below is making me crazy. It just erased my comment. Carol I loved your haiku and that's what challenges me. I love to take up the April challenge when I can make the poem my own. No rules allowed. Keep your coming.

Leigh Anne Eck said...

I love that book and your haiku! What a challenge! Michelle Haseltine has kind of "reinspired" me to write on a regular basis. Might think about this challenge - like you said...its only 500 syllables!

Ramona said...

Love your haiku and the old school felt advent calendar. Are you really planning to do a haiku a day? So impressed!

arjeha said...

What a fun journey to begin. Have fun traveling the haiku highway.
This journey will start
with seventeen syllables
ending who knows where.

Linda B said...

Love that you are both taking the challenge, Carol. I wrote a haiku every day last April, & learned from it, which I know you will too. Your first one opens the door in more than one way, right? Happy December writing!

Tara said...

Ah, Mary Lee - yes, she will be famous one very soon because her poems are fantastic. You are off to a great December start with this haiku, Carol - bravo!

mbhmaine said...

Loved the slice and the haiku, Carol. Good luck with your December challenge!

Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski said...

Love this so much! Love your haiku.

Mary Lee said...

You crack me up!

And, dear friend, you are going to be writing haiku for THIRTY-one days, not 21, as you typed! :-)

PS--you are too a poet. You could write/have written a novel in verse about mothering your two boys. Just sayin'.