Monday, April 23, 2018

Put a Poem in Your Pocket

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? I'm not sure I would have known if I hadn't been trying to add more poetry into my life.

My favorite part of the month-long celebration is the Poem in Your Pocket Day, celebrated on Thursday, April 26. On this day you are encouraged to select a poem and carry it with you, sharing it with others that you meet. (hashtag #pocketpoem). There is just something I love about handwriting out a poem, tucking it into my pocket and then sharing it with others. It requires some thoughtfulness to select the perfect poem and then some courage to pull it out and share it.

Poem in Your Pocket Day was first celebrated in April 2002 in New York City. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets spread the celebration to all fifty states and in 2016, the League of Canadian Poets joined in.

I've been thinking of what poem I want to tuck in my pocket on Thursday. At first, I was sure I'd pick one from my three favorite living poets: Mary Oliver, Billy Collins or Wendell Berry. I was leaning toward one that I've shared with you before: perhaps Mary Oliver's Green, Green is my Sister's House or maybe Billy Collins' The Lanyard, or maybe Wendell Berry's To Know the Dark.

But instead, I think I'll share one from a poet that I recently discovered: Jeanne Lohmann.

Questions Before Dark

Day ends, and before sleep

when the sky dies down, consider

your altered state: has this day

changed you? Are the corners

sharper or rounded off? Did you

live with death? Make decisions

that quieted? Find one clear word

that fit? At the sun’s midpoint

did you notice a pitch of absence,

bewilderment that invites

the possible? What did you learn

from things you dropped and picked up

and dropped again? Did you set a straw

parallel to the river, let the flow

carry you downstream?

I love the part about finding one clear word that fits and the one about whether my corners are sharper or rounded off. And of course, the last line reminds my of playing Poohsticks.

So, my question for you is what poem will you pick to put in your pocket?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Something new at fish camp

This spring marked the 20th year that we have gone fishing at The Juniper Club, on the Silver Glen of Lake George, just east of Ocala, FL. I've written about this special place on a number of occasions: here, here, here and here.

And, because almost nothing ever changes (except maybe the weather), I don't have anything new to report. Except for one thing...

Meet Caroline, Juniper's youngest fisherperson. Even though she has red hair, I can't claim her as my own. She is the first granddaughter of our friends, Jackie and Paul; and daughter of Katie and Andrew. I'm pretty sure she had a blast at camp; I know we loved having her there. She fished. She swam at the Boil. She ate cheese grits and blueberries at breakfast. She even peered at fish through the glass-bottom boat at Silver Springs.

Mom and daughter
Reading a book with "Babby" and Ed
Out for a boat ride with Aunt Claire and her dad. 

Getting a ride on mom's shoulders and attention from "Pa"
Constantly in a good mood and happy to be passed from camper to camper, Caroline represents the fourth generation of her family to catch the Juniper Spirit. I'm hoping next year an anticipated sibling and a new cousin will join her at Spring Break camp. Then maybe, just maybe, there will be enough babies to share.