Thursday, November 8, 2018

Diary of a Basket Case + The Poetry Friday Roundup


It was only after catching my first glimpse of last week's Poetry Friday roundup that I realized I picked out a potentially difficult date to host—the Friday after Election Day.

Will I be hopeful? Despondent? Determined? Crushed? Under the best of circumstances, I am not a last minute blogger. How can I possibly wait until after the election to piece together words and thoughts when I'm not even sure I'll have fully processed what those thoughts are?

The best I could come up with for today is a muddled mess of emotion, anxiety, and borrowed poetry collected over the course of the week—my personal "Diary of a Basket Case." I've included four short poems by Jane Kenyon, Tom Hennen, Robert Lax, and John Martin, all of which were previously featured on The (now defunct) Writer's Almanac. [UPDATE: Did you know The Writer's Almanac is back as a podcast? Subscribe to the daily newsletter at] Three of the four also appear in GOOD POEMS, selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor (Penguin Books, 2003)—a new-to-me anthology purchased recently at my local Friends of the Library book sale.

Philippa Willitts


I got my hair cut today—short-short-short. Shorter than last time, which was shorter than the time before that. Freshly-mowed short. I've decided that the length of my hair inversely correlates to the amount of stress in my life and I'm trying to slough off anxiety with each snip. After tomorrow, I may have to shave my hair off altogether.

     by Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.

          Read the rest HERE.


After waking up with bedhead the likes I've never see before, I went about my routine as if today was like any other day. Since I voted a few weeks ago, there is nothing to do but wait... and hope... and eat leftover Halloween candy.

The Life of a Day
          by Tom Hennen

Like people or dogs, each day is unique and has
its own personality quirks which can easily be seen
if you look closely. But there are so few days as
compared to people, not to mention dogs, that it
would be surprising if a day were not a hundred
times more interesting than most people.

          Read the rest HERE.


Oh Florida, what have you done???

Alley Violinist
          by Robert Lax

if you were an alley violinist

and they threw you money
from three windows . . .


And here we go. Let's start off the day with another mass shooting, shall we?

Bear in Mind
          by John Martin

A bear is chasing me through a meadow
and I’m running as fast as I can but
he’s gaining on me—it seems
he’s always gaining on me.
I’m running and running but also
thinking I should just
turn around and say,
“Stop it! Stop chasing me. We both
know you aren’t going to catch me.
All you can ever do is chase me. So,
think about it—why bother?”

          Read the rest HERE.

I guess it's time to get over the election results and move on. Accept the wins and losses for what they are—the chase is not going to end any time soon and there are other things vying for the nightly news hour. Welcome to the new normal, as exhausting as it may be.

More than the election and more than the news of the day, this poem is, for me, about life in all of its ursine glory—its hunger, its growl, and its roar.

Joe Giordano

Lately I've been feeling life's hot breath on my neck more than usual, which means it's time to get off the treadmill and go into hibernation for a while—to take a break from blogging. (I know, it seems like I just got back from my last hiatus, but tell that to my burly friend!)

I may pop in from time to time, but when I come back in earnest, Today's Little Ditty is likely going to be a little less structured. After 41 interviews with authors and editors, it's time to have some fun and turn the spotlight on YOU! I won't be dropping author/editor interviews altogether, but they will be less frequent since my time has become more in demand at home. With interviews that will be less research-intensive and more free-form, I look forward to finding out more about your favorite things, the writing habits you keep, and what role poetry plays in your lives. Plus, after being so well-practiced in ditty challenges (find them all here), I have no doubt that you have some great new ones to suggest!

If you're interested, please fill out this short Google form. Bear in mind, it won't commit you to anything, it will just give me a better idea of who might like more information.

Now I know you're all keen to get to the Poetry Friday roundup, but I have one more announcement to make—the winner of last month's DMC giveaway!

Thanks once again to everyone who contributed to such a fun collection of anthropomorphic poems! has determined that a signed copy of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown will be winging its way to . . .

Congratulations, Linda!

Add your link below for this week's Poetry Friday roundup.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

October DMC Wrap-Up Celebration + Giveaway


Hurry, hurry—don't be late!
The celebration is about to begin!

Last month Calef Brown challenged us to write a poem that tells the story of two anthropomorphized objects:
They can be an odd couple, close friends, mortal enemies, or meet each other for the first time. The poem can be about an adventure they have together, a conflict, a game they play, anything.

So how did we do?

You betcha! In fact, with so many zany pairings and clever stories, who's up for a well-deserved nap?

"Sleeping" by Umberto Savagnin
(Thought so.)

* Wakey! Wakey! *

"...what?" by Umberto Salvagnin

It's time to take a look at the results. 

"Sofia" by Umberto Salvagnin
 (Never mind Sofia—she's just cranky.)

As usual, I sincerely wish I had been able to feature more of your excellent poems. The variety was crazy-awesome!

From poems about FOOD . . .

“Relishing Life and Death” by Terry Border.
View more of Terry Border's Bent Objects in this terrific video
from the 2008 Gel Conference.

to poems about HOUSEHOLD OBJECTS . . .

The Brave Little Toaster

from poems about NATURE, and the SEASON of TREATS and TRICKERY . . .

Chris J

to poems about ABSTRACT IDEAS . . .


"Untitled" by Jonathan Wolstenholme.
View more illustrations from his Books on Books series HERE.

it's been AN IMAGINATION FREE-FOR-ALL at Today's Little Ditty!

I'm so grateful to everyone who submitted poems 
and especially to Calef Brown for inspiring them all! 

"Let's all go to the lobby!"

Grab your refreshment of choice, 
sit back and enjoy the show. 

Scroll through the poems below, or for best viewing, CLICK HERE.

Made with Padlet

Participants in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a signed copy of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown (Carolrhoda Books, 2018). One entry per participant, not per poem.

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below. Comments must be received by Tuesday, November 6th. (That's Election Day, folks—don't forget to vote!) If you contribute a poem and comment below, you will receive two entries in total.

The winner will be chosen by and announced next Friday, November 9th, when yours truly will be hosting the Poetry Friday roundup!

Now, about that nap . . .

"Sofia - Tired" by Umberto Salvagnin

You won't find Jama Rattigan sleeping on the job. She has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Thanks, Jama!