Thursday, January 14, 2016

DMC: "The Story of Nothing" by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes


Much Ado About Nothing by Alfred Enmore 1846


Who knew there was so much to say about nothing?

Douglas Florian's ditty challenge has been creating quite a stir! I'm honored that so many of you have been filling my inbox with poems about nothing. (I actually like to think of them as sweet nothings, though I suspect a few are merely loitering.) This week's featured daily ditties were by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Suzy Levinson, and Jessica Bigi.

Today is my daughter's birthday, so this one is dedicated to her.


THE STORY OF NOTHING
       To Miranda on her 13th Birthday

At first there was Nothing—
not an inkling,
not a hint,
not even a whisper of déjà vu.

Then, Nothing grew.
It was hardly noticeable really.
Like a thought
perched on the kitchen counter
swinging her carrot peel legs,
wondering what’s for dinner.

In time, she became
an idea, a notion, a dream….
Such lofty aspirations,
though entirely unremarkable.
Nothing was a good girl.
She never stepped out of line.

                    Until the day she met you.

Born from a glorious wave
          of  something,
 together, you surged with the grace of a typhoon. 

                                CHANGE minds!

                                Make a DIFFERENCE!

                                SAVE the EARTH!

           one crayon,
                  one smiley,
                         one heart at a time.

And nothing about Nothing
stayed the same.

© 2016 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


Send your poem about nothing to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, January 29th, and one lucky participant will win a signed copy of his adorable new picture book:



Keri Collins Lewis has a whole lot of something called the Poetry Friday roundup. You can find her at Keri Recommends.




62 comments:

  1. Beautiful thoughtful poem for your daughter, Michelle. How sweet that Nothing is, "like a thought/perched on the kitchen counter."

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I must have been hungry when I wrote that. (grin)

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  2. Oh, to be a 13-year-old ready to save the world! My nothing poem is posted today. https://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/nothing-happened/
    Thanks for sponsoring this challenge and pushing us to write.

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    1. I LOVE your nothing poem, Margaret! I didn't realize when I started the DMC, how much these prompts would stretch me as a writer as well.

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  3. What a great gift for Miranda! And a fine tribute to the power of creativity.

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  4. Michelle, I love that!!! What a perfect poem for her. xoxo

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  5. tears in my eyes wonderful beautiful tribute to you Daughter your word are a blessing and so are you to all of us Thank You Michelle

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  6. Happy Birthday to Miranda! What a special gift, this poem. Carrot peel legs!
    [Now, as the mom of a daughter exactly 10 years older, I might suggest you two be very patient with each other over the next several wondrous and exasperating years. Be picky deciding which things are "something," and which things can be "nothing" - ;0) End of annoying, unsolicited advice.] Hugs all around.

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    1. I'll take every morsel of advice I can get, Robyn! xo

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  7. Michelle, wonderful poem with a line that I want to remember: Born from a glorious wave/of something,/together, you surged with the grace of a typhoon. I am thinking about nothing for the ditty challenge. See if something comes up on my radar.

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    1. Based on the number of poems I've received so far, it's going to be one heck of a party. Hope you can join us, Carol!

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  8. Oh that image of carrot peel legs swinging on the counter [one might think you are a poet :) ] Happy birthday to Miranda, and may her typhoon of caring continue to surge.

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    1. Oh Buffy, it's fun to pretend I know what I'm doing now and again. :) Thanks for the kind wishes.

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  9. Happy birthday to your sweet Miranda!
    "And nothing about Nothing
    stayed the same." - speaks volumes on so many levels. Great poem, Michelle. =)

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    1. Thank you, Bridget. With your two lovely daughters, I imagine this might be one you can relate to. :)

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  10. Oh, this blessed nothing. Tears over here. I have three teens...and what a gift this is. Beautiful. xo

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    1. Thanks so much, Amy. Means a lot coming from you. xo

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  11. Happy, happy birthday to Miranda. Your poem is such a lovely tribute. And a much kinder poem than mine about my boy! Thanks so much for sharing it.

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    1. Thank you, Tricia. Yes, well, I'm not sure how old your teen is, but I expect I may be writing something along the lines of yours soon enough. Give it a year, maybe two max. Your poem totally reminds me of my 15 yo son!

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  12. How beautiful and wonderful! A poem to be framed with pictures, images, scrapbooked...for future gifting! Thanks for sharing Nothing.

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    1. How funny you should say that, Donna. Miranda's already taken it upon herself to dress up the font, add images, and print it for her "antholio" (kind of like a creative scrapbook).

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  13. Happy birthday to Miranda! Thanks for letting us ride the glorious wave with you.

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  14. Love it, Michelle. It is stunning. And all about nothing. I especially love that ending.

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  15. Happy Birthday to Miranda! You really wrote something powerful about nothing!

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    1. Never underestimate the power of nothing, Penny. ;)

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  16. Michelle, I'm so happy Douglas Florian planted the idea of Nothing, for look what's sprouted, a simply Dashing poem, I'm smiling ;) !!! Many Happy Returns of the Day to Miranda! My daughter is turning sweet 16 soon, and much of the time she is pretty sweet... For the rest, I'll take all that she has to occasionally dish out for the cherished moments are worth it!

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    1. And a happy sweet 16 to your daughter, Michelle! Sixteen in 2016... that means she's the same age as my son. It does get tougher, doesn't it? But so much to enjoy!

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  17. Oh, my. How lucky Miranda must be. Lovely.

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    1. Thanks, Rosi. Her mom is pretty darn lucky too. :)

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  18. I'm so glad that Nothing stepped over that line and took off. Adventures lie ahead! This is a fabulous theme. I may have to send in an old "Ode to Nothing" written by a student.

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    1. I'm somewhat astonished at how many poems I've received after just one week! Clearly there's more to nothing than meets the eye.

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  19. Takes my breath away! Reminds me of someone you know in a photograph at age 13. She certainly turned out well!

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    1. Thanks, Pops. Though, unfortunately, the Earth still needs a bit of saving. Actually, more than ever. Good thing Miranda's on the job.

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  20. I love those carrot peel legs! And surging with the grace of a typhoon. Nothing compares. ;) Happy Birthday to Miranda. I'm sure she is delighted.

    Of course I had to go and write a 'Nothing' poem - but sadly, my last line still eludes. NOTHING is working!!! (Yet.)

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    1. Thanks, Kat. :) I wouldn't worry too much about that last line. It will come. Sometimes Nothing just needs a bit of time to gaze at her navel before reaching closure.

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  21. What a lovely gift for your daughter. Happy birthday to her!

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  22. I love your poem for your daughter! I hope she loves it too.

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    1. Thank you, Ruth. She did! It was a nice surprise for her.

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  23. What a beautiful tribute! How I wish I could have more than pictures of me opening Christmas presents by way of and inkling of what my mother thought of me, noticed about me, wished for me as I grew up!

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    1. I wish you did too, Mary Lee. I'm sure there was much to be proud of.

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  24. I love this affirming, love-filled poem to your daughter. I've fallen behind here, so just started catching up by reading your Douglas Florian interview. What a fascinating man, and challenging ditty challenge!

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    1. Thank you, Violet. Douglas' challenge has certainly inspired much ado!

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  25. Very beautiful, Michelle. Happy Birthday to Miranda.

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  26. Happy Birthday to Miranda! I love how your love and admiration for who she is becoming just oozes out of each line of your poem like honey on a peanut butter sandwich. :-) xoxo

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    1. Mmmmm... thanks for the oozy, sweet comment, Keri! xo

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  27. Oh, the wonder of that nothing! Beautiful.

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  28. What a beautiful keepsake treasure for your daughter..a poem about her written by her mother. Thank you so much for allowing us to enter the celebration. I love the first lines...how in mystery, Nothing was already an unknown something. God bless mother and daughter. Happy Birthday to both of you! Every blessing!

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    1. Thanks, cb. Life never ceases to amaze me in that regard. It's not always obvious when we're on a path to something big.

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  29. Happy 13th birthday to your daughter! Mine just turned 14 last December - sometimes I just want time to stand still and do "nothing" so I can just enjoy her presence more and bask in her exuberance and zest for life. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt poem - the imagery evokes feelings of warmth and comfort.

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    1. Oh, I know the feeling! But instead, time slips away even faster than before. Thanks for stopping by, Myra.

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  30. Awww! *sniffle* Such a lovely gift of "nothing" for your daughter!

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