Category Archives: poetry

What Makes Poetry

I think about poetry a lot. Particularly what makes a poem. In this time of free verse when it seems few of the tools of poetry are being put to good use, I still know a poem when I see … Continue reading

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The Newest Immigrants

  This was the final week of the school year in the local ESL program where I’ve been tutoring. We started in March as outreach to Somali women who have moved to our town. The six women who have participated are … Continue reading

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Last night I went to the 50th Anniversary event for The Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at Saint John’s Abbey. It made me think about the Benedictine virtue of Stability. The room was full of wonderful people, many of whom … Continue reading

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Poetry Month

I’ve been writing a lot of poems lately. went over to a static site, so there is no more posting “new stories” there. I have moved with a lot of other Cowbird writers over to You can find … Continue reading

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On Time… More

I just finished reading Elizabeth Alexander’s wonderful memoir The Light of the World. Most people know Alexander as the poet who wrote/read the poem “Praise Song for the Day” at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration. I met Elizabeth only briefly, through the poet Kevin Young, when she … Continue reading

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Deer Playground

This winter the deer are coming closer to the house than they ever have before. Last summer we were amazed by how much wildlife we were seeing. Nothing major– no coyotes or foxes– but there just seemed to be a … Continue reading

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Deep Clean and Great Finds

I’ve been hauling this file cabinet around the country since at least 1997. Though I think I got it earlier because I sort of remember it standing on the porch in our last apartment in Chicago. I can picture it … Continue reading

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Bird Trouble

We’ve had some bird trouble lately. I suppose it is to be expected out here in the country. Today’s bird trouble is very sad and tragic, because it involves a wild bird. Not just any wild bird, the most majestic and special of them … Continue reading

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Final Painting in the Room

On July 3, Sophia Heymans, her boyfriend Paul, and her sister Chloe, walked another painting over to my house. This one was “August.” I had it a shorter time, as it needed to go back to the Twin Cities this … Continue reading

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S is for Susan

I received an incredible gift this week from my niece Dale and her sixth grade class. Last year I visited her public school in Chicago as a visiting poet. She is in a gifted classroom and these kids have been … Continue reading

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