Friday, July 26, 2013

Inside the Mind's Eye

Looking up at the ceiling of the Bahá'í Centre of Learning, Hobart, Tasmania.
By Jalal Volker (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( 
or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

My daughter taught me a new skill this week: how to see the reflection of my eye in my own glasses.

As a parent, these are the kind of moments that sustain me.  It is nothing less than awe-inspiring to witness my children becoming unique individuals.  I love that they can see things in entirely new ways, and I'm honored and delighted when they share their new discoveries with me.  So much to learn from them, so little time.

Inside the Mind’s Eye

she said,
“do you see?”
I said.
“I think so.”
“Those little things…”

I strain to see
what my young daughter sees—
her old soul revealed
through a window of truth.
Sunken treasure,
newly discovered.

Off in a dark corner
 of my nearsighted lens,
the creature blinks when I do,
but otherwise
will not be tamed.

“I feel sorry,”
she says,
“for the ones
who can’t see.”
I said,
by an alien gaze.

It’s there.
A mere fraction
of my daughter’s
vivid world;
but there,
a glimmer of hope.

© 2013 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes.  All rights reserved.

Open your eyes to the wonder of Poetry Friday!  Today's roundup is hosted by Sherry, at Semicolon.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Moon Jellyfish

I'm not sure if my fascination with the deep ocean is inspired more by awe or dread.  This undersea world both attracts and repels me in equal parts, and as a result, I am left hypnotized.

Creatively, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks for stopping by... I hope you enjoy today's little ditty.


          By the light of your silvery orb
          mysteriously hung
          in air thick with flotsam,
          I mistook your pulse
          for the twinkle of a star
          and sent my wish into the great unknown.
          Over time and tide,
          your sting no longer pains me. 
          Memories washed out to sea.

          © 2013 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


Today's Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by MsMac at Check It Out.  So why don't you go do that... check it out, I mean. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Habits + the Poetry Friday Roundup

At my house, summer is a time to kick, stick, and pick-- kick back and relax, stick our tongues out at deadlines, and pick some new personal projects (or at least reaquaint ourselves with some old ones).

But let's not stop there!  Without the rigors of too much homework and an overload of extracurricular activities, my hope springs eternal.  Ten unencumbered weeks is surely enough time to revisit our priorities and develop some new habits... regular exercise; more family time; children who pick up after themselves, help around the house, and keep their rooms clean?  Oh yes.  That would be nice.

Today's little ditty is about habits-- bad habits, actually.  I confess to having a couple doozies of my own (and I'm not just talking about losing my keys), but that's for me to know and you not to find out... at least not yet.

Will my children object when they read this post?  Undoubtedly.  But, you see, this is my blog, kids; you can write about my bad habits in your own blogs one day.

          Bad Habits

          When I was young I sucked my thumb
          and now I bite my nails.
          I dawdle when I shouldn’t
          and I’m prone to telling tales.

          My mother says, “Your room’s a mess!
          Your clothes are on the floor!”
          My sister shrieks, “You didn’t knock!”
          when I come through the door.

          “Raise your hand!” says teacher,
          “There are rules you must abide.”
          And Dad says if I have to fart
          to please take it outside.

          I’d like to break these habits
          but there’s one thing folks are missin’—
          the worst of all my habits
          is I simply do not listen.

          © 2008 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.

Now here's your reward for sitting so nicely in front of your computer and smiling politely at the end of my poem: THE POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP!   In the comments, please leave a one-line description along with a direct link to your post, and I will list below.

1. Charles Ghigna puts up the sunbrella today at Father Goose

2. At The Writer's Whimsy, Tamera Will Wissinger features her ALA Poetry Blast! experience.

3. Iphigene at Gathering Books shares an original poem about the heartbreak of a man who can never really have what his heart desires.

4. At Reflections on the Teche, Margaret Simon has a found poem from an art magazine, made especially for Linda Baie in the Poem Swap.

5. Today's trio from Diane Mayr includes an original poem about bee vision on Random Noodling; "Fishing on the Susquehanna in July" by Billy Collins on Kurious Kitty; and a quote by Norman Maclean over at KK's Kwotes.

6. Keri, at Keri Recommends, is in with a poem she wrote for Week 2 of the Poem Swap -- also for Linda Baie!

7. Laura spotlights Lord Byron's quarto of "Childe Harold" on Author Amok, while experiencing her own personal "Bridge of Sighs."

8. At Wee Words for Wee Ones, Bridget Magee has an original riddle poem that humorously tests readers' sea life knowledge.

9. Tara has summer on her mind at A Teaching Life.

10. Given the prompt "fishing," Linda Baie at Teacher Dance surprises herself with the direction this original poem takes.

11. At Check it Out, Jone has a juicy, summer-inspired poem by Janet Fagal.

12. Mrs. Bennett discusses the worlds shortest poem, "Fleas," at Used Books in Class.

13. Tabatha has poems by Alfred Kreymborg today at The Opposite of Indifference.

14. Liz Steinglass introduces us to the idea of "wordless" and "circular" haiku, with four originals on her blog.

15. At Tapestry of Words, Becky Shillington talks about writing poetry with kids, and shares a fun poem written by some super smart kiddos.

16. On Poet! Poet!, Anastasia Suen has a haiku about the all too frequent summer phenomenon, the power blackout.

17. Matt Forrest shares an original weather-themed poem on Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.

18. At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee shares an original poem about weeding the garden.

19. Jennie at Biblio File takes a look at the song "Hallelujah" with her review of The Holy or the Broken.

20. M.M. Socks is here with an original poem titled "Shepard," about a boy who lives up to his name.

21. Over at The Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has a wee poem and a special guest teacher sharing some teaching ideas and student poems.

22. Sylvia Vardell's post at Writing for Children includes film footage from her recent ALA presentation with Janet Wong-- on poetry and the Common Core.

23. Little Willow has selected lyrics from "Low" by The Good Mad at Bildungsroman.

24. Betsy at I Think in Poems offers a peek at her recent vacation in words and pictures.

25. Feeling nostalgic, Catherine shares one of her favorite poems, "When You Are Old" by William Butler Yeats, at Reading to the Core.

26. The theme at Kerry Aradhya's blog, Picture Books & Pirouettes, is flowers and dance -- including a poem by her 8-year-old daughter.

27. At Crackles of Speech, Steven Withrow has an original poem titled "At Crescent Park Carousel."

28. Irene Latham continues her Valerie Worth series with poems about birds at Live Your Poem.

29. Like so many of us, Catherine Johnson also has summer on her mind, in poetry and pictures.

30. At All About the Books, Janet Squires reviews Edward Lear, edited by Edward Mendelson and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith, from the Poetry for Young People series.

31. The poetry of Langston Hughes figures prominently in Blue Balliet's latest novel, HOLD FAST, reviewed today on Carol's Corner.

32. Joy has an original poem about a street performer and a poetry challenge at Poetry for Kids Joy.

33. At Teaching Tomorrow's Leaders, Robin shares a heartfelt, reflective poem.

34. Let's extend a warm welcome to Kim, our newest Poetry Friday blogger!  You can find her original poem on Flukeprints.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Channeling Tim Burton...?

Return to Sender

A box marked, “Return me to Sender”
Arrived at the fireworks vendor.
Inside was a digit
Belonging to Bridget
With bills from the doctors to mend her.

© 2013 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes.  All rights reserved.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July!

Do you have a limerick you would like to share in Limerick Alley?  Please contact me at michelle (at) MichelleHBarnes (dot) com, or by commenting below.  It will be my pleasure to feature you and your blog in a future post!

While some of us were soggy from yesterday's rain, Tabatha from The Opposite of Indifference was soggy from heat!  Here is her own rendition of yesterday's events, which I've decided to post here so that my limerick won't feel lonely.  (Thanks for joining in the limericky fun, Tabatha!)

          At Mount Vernon on the Fourth of July,
          we waited for lights in the sky--
          they took place at one
          in the heat of the sun,
          so no one watching was at all dry!

By golly, we've got a party here!  Mary Lee from A Year of Reading has joined in with her electrifying Independence Day limerick as well.  (Thanks, Mary Lee!)

          In my town on the Fourth of July,
          Lightning zig-zagged 'cross the sky.
          The crowd ooh-ed and ah-ed
          at the fireworks from God.
          KABOOM went his thunderous reply.

For more literary fireworks, head on over to Keri Recommends where Keri has today's Poetry Friday roundup.