Tag Archives: Ditty of Month (DOM)



Triple happy: Happy Poem-in-Your Pocket Day (still) for early birds this Thursday evening, Happy (anticipated) Earth Day for our full-fledged get-together on Poetry Friday, and Blessed/Happy Passover!

Although I had planned on sharing more “Earthy,” natural Haiku poems this day, after two false starts, inspiration (unexpectedly) intervened….

But first, some background…

When I was in high school, we took a battery of standardized aptitude tests. On two of them (mechanical reasoning and spatial relationships), I scored in the 14th and 7th percentiles, respectively. (Yes! that would be the 14th and 7th percentiles from the bottom!)

I share this information as a prelude to explaining why trying to create a reverso poem literally hurts my brain–and why the first two attempts have been suspended–

No matter. A challenge is a challenge, and so in response to Michelle Barnes’ DMC challenge, a reverso poem is what I set out to accomplish! With this post, I hope it’s a no-frills, economy version reverso poem–after two false starts with other intended stories —that I have “finally” created.

(BTW, if it makes the four-line reverso more substantive, “Meow! Meow!” can be considered the first and last lines of the poem, extending the line count to six:).

dmc cats cradle for pf

Although my intention was to have the second line hyperlink to the song which inspired the reverso poem, once the photo-poem became a jpeg, the hyperlink no longer works.

For the allusion inherent in that line, please watch/listen: “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin.

This YouTube version starts with a word from the singer’s wife, who wrote the lyrics, and follows with a word from his son, whose birth inspired the musical rendition.

The video piqued my interest in Chapin’s wife because the opening words seem to be taken from the midst of an interview in which she described her connection with the song.

If you find yourself equally curious to know more about her relationship with this hallmark Chapin song, you might enjoy reading the fourteenth question asked by an interviewer: SongFacts interview .

Since (as I understand it from the time when the song first published), the “cat’s in the cradle”that Harry Chapin sang about refers to the child’s string game, I thought I’d conclude with an illustration, perhaps as a memory jogger to a childhood pastime that I suspect cannot compete with today’s totally different set of digital diversions.

cat cradle illustration (2)


BTW, I prefer to think of the physical cat in the physical cradle as pictured within the photo-poem–as a moral allegory; seeing the baby copy-cat, imitating his father’s behavior. That’s what I love about lyrics; like other kinds of poems, they are open to so many different kinds of visual and linguistic interpretations.

Because this song has been attributed with being the catalyst (no pun intended) that reversed many untoward familial relationships, highlighting it in a reverso poem seems an especially appropriate format.

Thank you for sharing your remembrances of the song and/or string games. (And, of course, I welcome criticisms and suggestions for improving the reverso. Thank you!)



Lucky to have noses!

Poetry Friday Tag

Robyn is this week’s hostess at Life of the Deckle Edge

In response to Michelle and Amy’s “Ditty of the Month” challenge, my everyday school object, often overlooked–as well as looked through: children’s eyeglasses, paired with their biological holder-uppers: noses.

While runny noses can be the bane of many a preschool and elementary teacher’s existence, noses, do, after all, serve a very useful educational purpose (besides facilitating breathing), which this poem proposes.

Having seen so many preschool and elementary children struggling to learn when they clearly need–but don’t yet have–eyeglasses–and then having seen so many children “fight” against wearing those  well-needed glasses (“losing” them; “forgetting” them; even “accidentally” breaking them), my St. Patrick’s Day offering is a lucky celebration of noses and the wearin’ of the seein’ (against a green border, to be sure–not because green is the color of money, but because it is the color of shamrock/Irish luck, and what could be luckier, I suppose, than a nose to uphold see-through gold: eyeglasses!).

glasses (3)

BTW, if it didn’t look so weird, I was wanting to spell succeed with a tip of the cap to eyeglasses: suc-see-d.  (Query: Visuals aside..For a poem purportedly for little grade school children, would the suc-see-d  be too cutesy/beyond them?)

Whether you are lucky or not to wear glasses, hope your St. Patrick’s Day is/was filled with an amazing array of sights, sounds, and smells! God bless you!

Ditty Delirium



In response to Michelle Barnes’ DOM challenge, my “ditty” fun submission, which Michelle, whose consistent wit and sense of humor I greatly admire and enjoy, good-naturedly accepted. Thank you, Michelle!


DOM Ditty cbhanek

p.s. I’d love it if one of my PF comrades could compose a really challenging “ditty” tongue twister (compared with my string of “D” words. Delirious. Delirium.) Thank you!

DOM Twice-Suspended Animations

Poetry Friday Tag

Tara is hosting this week at A Teaching Life



They also serve.jpg

Here’s to nothing!

Call it an occupational hazard. I see a photo of snow-covered swings, seats hanging so low that the long length of chain is visible, and immediately, I think of Milton’s quote, especially since there are two swings…”They” also serve makes perfect sense in terms of the winter warrior suspended animation photo.

I’m in love with the suspended animation photo– and the quote, and so when I read of Michelle’s DOM challenge about poeming nothing, I thought that this week, this phot0-poem “had to be” my offering.

Milton’s words speak to me of the power of restrained, sacrificial inaction—of the strength, humility, and courage that there oftentimes is in restraining the urge, the tendency to “do something”—even if it’s seemingly counterproductive not to do anything–“just” to do nothing.

As someone who likes to hedge her bets, just in case the Milton photo-poem doesn’t cut it, I’ve used the same photo prompt (which I’ve already noted that I love) and I’ve written a five-word poem “all my own.”

Nothing happening patience

As someone for whom patience is a constant struggle—since birth, and who has happy memories of sunny Hawaii “hang loose” mentality, this photo-poem, if you don’t mind my sharing it, contains a lot of much-needed self-talk.

Thank you very much for taking time to read the poems…

Now, the ball’s in your court, if you will.

Which of the two poems do you recommend I share as my DOM (poem about nothing) submission?

Thanks for your critique. I really appreciate your feedback and input!

…God bless you!


A Dandy Love-Response

Poetry Friday Tag

Jama’s Alphabet Soup is hosting this week’s round-up: http://jamarattigan.com/

All month, I’ve noodled ideas for Michelle Barnes’ Ditty of the Month requited/unrequited love poem challenge. And though I’ve played with some ideas, they were too embarrassed to come outside for the whole world to see.

I respected that.

Then, quite unexpectedly, yesterday I saw a solitary Dandelion puff growing alongside the edge of the patio. Not remembering when I last had seen one of my childhood playmates, I rejoiced, and–I guess, in retrospect–I dreamed (of which childhood love I do not know:), awakening today with this poem:

A Dandy Love-Repsonse (2)

How much I counted on those floral love-meters. And how many times, unsatisfied with the first meter reading, I plucked another flower clean, floral sacrifice to my love-interest need-to-knowing.

As I thought about that childhood ritual and how, on the second try, after reversing the “loves me; loves me not” order, the conclusion was always more favorable, I sought to investigate the phenomenon. Dandelion to dandelion, was the sum of petals always an “even” number? If so, that would explain why reversing the order (starting, counter-intuitively, with “He loves me not”) produced the desired results.

A quick Internet search seemed to belie my supposition. At first disappointed, then I thought. How like grownups I have become, trying to spoil all the spontaneity, all the fun. If there really is a mathematical, sequence-pattern explanation for why the do-over worked, I prefer not to know. I prefer to believe now, as I did then, that the boy I had in mind as I plucked the flowers to the stem truly loved me very much!

What about you? Did you pick petals to find out if he loved you very much? Do little girls still engage in such rituals today? (I hope so;  petal-plucking may be transformed someday into a fondly remembered requited/unrequited love poem.)

Me, after the Fall

Me.  Rolling ‘long the sidewalk, speeding fast of all.
Me.  Knees all bruised and bloody.
Me.  After the fall.
Mommy.  “Oh, no! Why? How could you!”
Mommy.  “Communion pictures will be spoiled!”
Me.  Tears.
Mommy.  Painting my knees in Mercurochrome.

Me.  Dressed all in white: veil, gloves, dress, shoes, socks, and shawl.
Me.  Nice. Smelling nosegay.
Mommy.  Proud picture-taker. Click!
Me.  Camera-ready. Flashing smiles.
Me.  Semi-toothless. Not camera-shy.
Me.  After the fall. Happy.
Me.  Knowing Jesus loves me. Orange knees and all.