Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Poem to Calm Yourself

"Pigeon Man, Clarion Alley, San Francisco"  Photo by ricardo.

Three things in human life are important. 
The first is to be kind. 
The second is to be kind. 
And the third is to be kind. 
– Henry James
Overheard by his nephew, Billy James, in 1902; 
quoted in Leon Edel, Henry James: A Life, vol V: The Master 1901-1916 (1972).
Happy World Kindness Day!

Celebrated globally each November 13th, World Kindness Day promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. Its purpose is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. 
When I considered what poem to share today, my first thought went to "Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye. You really can't go wrong with Naomi Shihab Nye—it's a beautiful poem, without doubt. I was also reminded of Rebecca M. Davis's November 2015 DMC challenge to write poems about acts of kindness. Remember that one? What I finally decided upon is a lesser known poem by psychiatrist Helen Montague Foster. "For a Patient..." appears in Rattle's "Tribute to Mental Health Workers" (Winter 2010) issue. Given the fractured mental state of our nation and our world, I found it to be spot on.


because you didn’t get what they meant.
I said poetry is a language of pictures.
I meant to show you how to pick a calming
song for singing to yourself. You asked:
How can you calm yourself; you are yourself.
I said: None of us is single-minded.

                                                            Read the rest HERE.

For more about World Kindness Day, visit To their list of 13 Ways to Participate in World Kindness Day 2020, I suggest adding "give someone a poem." It's a random act of kindness that works any day of the year!

For this week's Poetry Friday roundup, visit Robyn Hood Black (one of the kindest people I know) at Life on the Deckle Edge.

While the Ditty of the Month Club continues its extended hiatus, this is a great time to peruse the TLD archives. You'll find an alphabetical listing of spotlight interviews HERE and links to all 50 of our ditty challenges HERE. You'll also find The Best of Today's Little Ditty (2014-2015, 2016, and 2017-2018) available in paperback and ebook versions on

Monday, November 2, 2020

Monday Musing: Election Day

Lifting Off, by Kenneth Cole Schneider

One Vote
Aimee Nezhukumatathil
After reading a letter from his mother, Harry T. Burn cast the deciding vote to ratify the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution
My parents are from countries
where mangoes grow wild and bold
and eagles cry the sky in arcs and dips.
America loved this bird too and made

it clutch olives and arrows. Some think
if an eaglet falls, the mother will swoop
down to catch it. It won't. The eagle must fly
on its own accord by first testing the air-slide

over each pinfeather. Even in a letter of wind,
a mother holds so much power. After the pipping
of the egg, after the branching—an eagle is on
its own. Must make the choice on its own

          Read the rest HERE.

If you haven't already, please vote tomorrow. Your voice really does matter.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

A Halloween Hootenanny


Greetings, Friends!
           Welcome to my humble, haunted abode—
     by Valerie Worth
Its echoes,
Its aching stairs,
Its doors gone stiff
At the hinges,
Remind us of its
Owners, who
Grew old, who
Died, but
Who are still
Here: leaning . . .
                   Read the rest HERE.
We're all feeling a bit exhausted these days, aren't we? 
So, please, rest your weary bones at Today's Little Ditty's Halloween Hootenanny!
There will be singing,
there will be dancing,

and there will be storytelling— oh yes, there will be storytelling!
Today I'm serving up a selection of Halloween-flavored treats from the last seven years. Think of it as a haunted open house—spend as much time as you like sampling what's on offer. There's something for everyone (you never know what you'll die for), but rest assured, it's all good, light-hearted, spooky fun.
  •  a pas de deux performed by a zombie ballerina and her mummy dance partner.
  • a song for voice and piano, based on a poem by the French poet Henri Cazalis.  Also a cartoon aired by PBS in 1980.

  • an unfolding story in limericks
  •  a poem about an unlikely friendship
  •  a zombie zeno (Read more Halloween-themed zenos HERE.)

Magic For Sale, by Carrie Clickard (Spotlight ON interview)

And now, an extra special treat for five lucky TLD trick-or-treaters! The winners of last week's giveaway for one copy each of HOP TO IT: Poems to Get You Moving (Pomelo Books), courtesy of Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, are:

Linda Baie
Shannon Gebhart  
Mary Lee Hahn
Kathleen Mazurowski, and
Carol Varsalona
 Please email your postal addresses to me at TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com.

For more Halloween fun and an extra large grab bag of bite-sized poetry goodies, join Linda Baie for this week's Poetry Friday roundup at TeacherDance.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Home Run for HOP TO IT (Giveaway!)

No one was sure it would happen this year, but here we are, two games into the 116th World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tamba Bay Rays, tied one game a piece. While I don't have an allegiance to either team, I do love the excitement of it all!
It's a great opportunity to share a baseball poem, don't you think? Not any ol' baseball poem, mind you—my baseball poem, published in HOP TO IT: Poems to Get You Moving by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2020).

When it comes to children's poetry anthologies, one of the things Pomelo Books does best is meet the needs of educators and home schooling parents by giving them exactly what they need, exactly when they need it. HOP TO IT was originally intended as a book to get students out of their seats and moving because, let's be honest, we all have become way too sedentary. When the pandemic struck, the need for this book became even greater with the onset of remote learning. Who doesn't need occasional "brain breaks" after being stuck to a computer screen for too long? Poetry to the rescue! 
But COVID-19 introduced new real-world concerns, as well. Never ones to duck from a challenge, Sylvia and Janet decided to expand their anthology to include poems about life during a pandemic, wearing masks, virtual learning, staying connected with friends, and social justice issues like standing up for what you believe in. In true Vardell-Wong style, the fun, kid-friendly poems (all 100 of them) are matched with practical tips, connections across learning areas—science, social studies, language arts, etc—and supplemented with extensive back matter. For just-in-time learning or just-for-fun reading, HOP TO IT is a home run!

"Home Run at Yankee Stadium"

Which brings me back to baseball. :)
Are you wearing your favorite team jersey or cap? Snacks at the ready? You shouldn't need sunscreen since we'll be indoors, but here's some music from 1908 to help you get in the mood:

Now, maybe just a few arm stretches and knee bends to warm up. I wouldn't want anyone in this bookish poetry crowd to overdo it! Your role is the home team crowd.
Play ball!
Click on image to enlarge or read below.

          by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
The crowd is hyped. 
They do the wave.
Next batter up is looking brave.
But I'm brave too.
I stare him down
from here, atop my pitcher's mound.
He swings—a miss!
Strike one! Crowd cheers.
The roar is music to my ears.

Fast ball. He swings—
and hits a foul.
Clapping, stomping home fans howl!

Can I do this 
one more time?
He wants a hit—pride's on the line.

I throw a curve, 
then start to doubt.
He swings—
          (can't watch)

                    Strike three! YOU'RE OUT!

Nice job, y'all—I heard you howling from here! It was sure fun to write this poem with all the actions of the players and crowd. It's easy to imagine a whole classroom getting into the act. (Who doesn't like clapping, stomping, cheering, and doing the wave?) As it turns out, I will be reading my poem aloud this afternoon (Friday, 10/23) at a Pomelo Books Zoom Poetry Party and would LOVE some folks to take on the roles of the adoring home team fans. If you're available, please join us at 4 pm Eastern Time. Email me at TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com for the zoom link.
HOP TO IT: Poems to Get You Moving is available at QEP Books (currently at a discount), at, or . . .
(Is that cheering I hear again?)
Janet and Sylvia have generously offered to send a copy of HOP TO IT to *FIVE* lucky Today's Little Ditty readers! (Domestic U.S. addresses only, please.) To enter, leave a comment on this blog post or send an email to the same address above with the subject "HOP TO IT giveaway." Comments and emails must be received by the end of the day on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Winners will be selected randomly and announced on Friday, October 30th. Good luck!

Before I shuffle off to the locker room, since I haven't been around much, I'd like to take a moment to mention two other recent anthologies that I'm honored to have poems in. 
A World Full of Poems, also released this month, is a gorgeously illustrated introduction to children's poetry featuring a diverse selection of contemporary and historical poets. The poems, selected by Sylvia Vardell (busy lady!), are about everything from science, sports, and space, to friendship, family, and feelings. They are complemented by interesting, topical facts; prompts and activities that inspire children to create their own poetry; and introductions to poetic devices which are fun and accessible. Published by DK Children, A World Full of Poems is available for purchase at or an independent bookstore near you.

Behind the mask: haiku in the time of Covid-19, edited by Margaret Dornaus, is a collection of more than 250 pandemic-themed haiku from more than 140 internationally acclaimed haiku poets. Published last July by Singing Moon Press, at the present time it is only available for purchase at
Jama Rattigan is known for her excellent batters—in the kitchen, that is, not on the baseball field. ;) Give a cheer for Jama and this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday Musing: Indigenous Peoples' Day

Invisible Fish
     by Joy Harjo
Invisible fish swim this ghost ocean now described by waves of sand, by water-worn rock. Soon the fish will learn to walk. . . .
          Read the rest HERE.


To date, 14 states (Alabama, Alaska, Hawai'i, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin), the District of Columbia, more than 130 cities, and growing numbers of school districts celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of or in addition to Columbus Day. Here are five ideas for celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Monday Musing: World Teachers' Day

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay
I never teach my pupils; 
I only attempt to provide the conditions 
in which they can learn.
                                        – Albert Einstein (unsourced)
According to the UNESCO website, World Teachers’ Day has been held annually since 1994 "to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. . . In 2020, World Teachers’ Day will celebrate teachers with the theme Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future. The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind."

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Spoken Word Goes Prime Time

On my Poetry Friday rounds last week, I didn't notice that anyone mentioned Brandon Leake. If the name's not ringing a bell, let me fill you in. Brandon recently won this year's million dollar prize on America's Got Talent, so let's just say he is our newly-crowned (unofficial) spoken word poetry ambassador. 

The fact that I'm even aware of this is a bit of a mystery. I'm not a big TV watcher. We don't have cable, and for most of our time in Florida we didn't get NBC because that channel never tuned in for us. When suddenly (after 12 years) it did, I felt compelled to explore what was on offer. I had never seen America's Got Talent before, and though it's not really my cup of tea, I happened to see spoken word poet Brandon Leake's audition. I was gobsmacked. Not by his performance so much as the fact that spoken word had made it to the national main stage. 
Is Brandon Leake the best spoken word poet I've ever seen? No. There's no question he has talent, but he isn't what I would consider top tier. Not that I'm an expert, mind you, but I am more familiar with the art form than the AGT judges—Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell. They were blown away. Never saw anything like it. Howie Mandel even gave Brandon a golden buzzer, which, if you're not familiar with the show, is a gold-confetti-falling-from-the-ceiling big deal. Long story short, I was hooked. I needed to see how far he would go. And wouldn't you know, he went all the way to last week's final and then won the whole dang thing! Spoken word poetry has been around for decades, but thanks to Brandon Leake, America just got the memo.

The following video is a compilation of all of Brandon Leake's performances on America's Got Talent. 
My favorite piece is the second one (starting at 2 minutes in). It's masterful how Brandon invites the audience into his life experience through humor, love, and something as relatable as a silly pet name—his mama calls him Pookie. Once we are comfortable, we are introduced to his mother's fears. Through her eyes we see the fears of black mothers everywhere. Brandon imagines himself in the shoes of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and countless others destined to become "America's next most popular hashtag," and before we know what hit us, our eyes have been opened.   

Another spoken word poet I wanted to share with you came to my attention last March. Before the Covid-19 lockdown, I attended a spoken word event for young people in my own community called ARTSPEAKS: Courageous Young Voices.
ARTSPEAKS: Courageous Young Voices, Gainesville, Florida, March 9, 2020


There, I was introduced to a talented guest poet by the name of Grim Jackson. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Grim is a Youth Grand Slam Champion who has been speaking his mind and spreading his passion for spoken word poetry since 2013. He offers his own perspective on the black experience in this powerful performance of "No More Heroes."
In the somewhat more restrained (though no less effective) video below, he was invited to open Day 1 of the 2017 National Education Association's Representative Assembly in Boston. I have a feeling that the teachers among you will especially appreciate what he has to say. 

And while we're on the subject of teaching, the last performance I want to share with you is "If I should have a daughter" by Sarah Kay. I've mentioned this video before, but it's worth revisiting. Sarah's piece opens a TED Talk from 2011 where she defines spoken word poetry, talks about the role it has played in her own life, and describes its profound benefits as as a teaching tool, especially for teenagers. If you can spare 18 minutes and haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you watch the whole thing. You will be rewarded at the end with a second performance called "Hiroshima."
If you'd like to explore more, Louder than a Bomb is a terrific documentary from 2010 about four high-school teams from Chicago who compete in the world's largest youth poetry slam. For more recent videos, Button Poetry on YouTube is a wonderful place to peruse many more performances at your leisure. You can also visit the Button Poetry website.

Do you have a favorite spoken word poet or video? If so, please share in the comments!
Join Tabatha Yeatts for this week's Poetry Friday roundup at The Opposite of Indifference. She's got a special guest post by Carole Boston Weatherford today featuring Beauty Mark, a new verse novel about Marilyn Monroe. (Read Carole Boston Weatherford's Spotlight ON interview at Today's Little Ditty HERE.)
While the Ditty of the Month Club is on an extended hiatus, this is a great time to peruse the TLD archives. You'll find an alphabetical listing of spotlight interviews HERE and links to all 50 of our ditty challenges HERE. You'll also find The Best of Today's Little Ditty (2014-2015, 2016, and 2017-2018) available in paperback and ebook versions on

Friday, September 25, 2020

Joy in the Stepping

"Wonderous" by SoCal Photo Design

Hello, Friends!
Long time, no see, right? 
Although it's only been about three months since I last participated in Poetry Friday, it feels like much longer. The world moves so fast these days, lurching from crisis to crisis.
My personal life has been eventful as well. With new priorities, I don't have the stamina to dive back into the Ditty of the Month Club. I hope you understand. But that doesn't mean I want to disappear altogether! After taking some time to reassess, I've decided that if blogging is going to have a place in my life, I need to go back to basics—focus on the aspects of Today's Little Ditty that bring me the most joy with the least amount of effort. Joyful baby steps.

"Rainy Day" by Adam Baker
For those of you who follow TLD by email, you probably noticed two posts earlier this week—a Monday Musing quote inspired by World Peace Day and a Two Line Tuesday quote by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Pairing quotes and images has always been a simple pleasure, so I plan to do more of that. As for Poetry Fridays, it's doubtful that I will post every week. When I do, it will be to share poems that speak to me on a personal level. These days it's more important than ever to give poetry a voice in my life. Creativity grounds me, yet it's one of the first outlets that I neglect when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Makes no sense, I know.
So over the coming weeks and months, at least until the end of the year, I expect Today's Little Ditty is going to look more like a reflective journal than a community playground. I won't lie. It's been a struggle to accept these changes, even if they are temporary. I'm afraid that I might be letting some of you down. But apparently this is what I need right now, and I can thank Ruth Bader Ginsburg and this poem by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for motivating me to take the first step.


Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.

     —Ruth Bader Ginsburg
So let me take one step right now,
one step toward respect.
And give me strength to take another
toward clarity. And though
my feet might feel like stones, let
me take another step toward justice.

          Read the rest of the poem HERE


Thanks to Jone Rush MacCulloch for hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup.

Missing your monthly ditty challenge? This is a great time to peruse the TLD archives. You'll find an alphabetical listing of spotlight interviews HERE and links to all 50 of our ditty challenges HERE. You'll also find The Best of Today's Little Ditty (2014-2015, 2016, and 2017-2018) available in paperback and ebook versions on

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Two Line Tuesday: Ruth Bader Ginsburg



"Notorious RBG"
March 15, 1933 - September 18, 2020


Fight for the things that you care about,
but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
– Ruth Bader Ginsburg



Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday Musing: World Peace Day

"Angel" by Roger Young

We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, 
we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.

                                      – Anton Chekhov

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 21 September to be the International Day of Peace—"a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire." This year's theme is "Shaping Peace Together." We are invited to "celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Join us so that we can shape peace together."

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

In Memoriam: Carrie Lee Clickard

Steve Corey

I have some sad news to share. My close friend Carrie Clickard passed away last Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

October 10, 1961 - June 10, 2020

As difficult as this post is for me to write, I know many of you came to know Carrie through this blog and would like to send your love and prayers to her family.

Earlier this year, Carrie posted a link to "Author's Prayer" on Facebook—"I'm developing a fan girl crush on Ilya Kaminsky," she said.


If I speak for the dead, I must leave
this animal of my body,

I must write the same poem over and over,
for an empty page is the white flag of their surrender.

                    Continued below . . .

At the time, I didn't know what to make of it. Carrie would be the first to tell you that she was generally not inclined to read (or write) "serious" poetry. A poem about a zombie-mummy pas de deux, a martian lullaby, or an android dog? You bet! Rhyming picture books about mammoths, pirates, magic, and dumplings? Of course!

Two and a half years of battling stage 4 breast cancer can have a profound impact on anyone's preferences, but this one little poem on Facebook threw me for a loop. On the surface, the poem seemed to be about death (her death?) and I just couldn't go there. Because I was in denial, I chose not to respond to her post at all—me, her "serious poetry" friend—not a "love," not a "wow," not even a "like".

Now that she's gone, I regret that decision. I owed it to her to take a closer look at these words that touched her so profoundly. What I discovered is that this complex and thought-provoking poem is not really about death at all. It's about the power of language and storytelling, and what it means to be an author—a subject she knew and lived well.

If I speak for them, I must walk on the edge
of myself, I must live as a blind man

who runs through rooms without
touching the furniture.

                    Continued below . . .

Living life as an author means sacrificing your own ego to let your subject speak through you, even if that subject is dark and forbidding. Carrie was a true storyteller. She was grateful for the gift and respectful of the responsibility. All she really wanted to do (besides play with her dog) is write her stories. It wasn't a choice for her. She was haunted by these stories until they were released by the act of writing them down. Besides which, writing was the only way that she, their author, could find out how they ended!

Carrie was not giving up the fight. Not at all. By sharing this poem she was affirming that this was her journey. To experience the pain for what it was—it was something she needed to do.

Yes, I live. I can cross the streets asking “What year is it?”
I can dance in my sleep and laugh

in front of the mirror.
Even sleep is a prayer, Lord . . .

                    Read the rest HERE.

After Carrie passed, her mother told me, "she just didn't look at the future in a negative way. When she got the results of the last scans, she told them she was not ready to throw in the towel. My daughter was never a quitter." Yes. That's the Carrie I knew and loved as well.

The cancer wreaked havoc on her body, but she also never lost touch with her sense of humor. About a month ago, she sent me a photo of the back of her head with one small patch of hair growing back. The subject of that email was "my new mullet." I'm going to miss that sense of humor. It's in every single one of her posts here on Today's Little Ditty. Her determination, drive, and knowledge of publishing markets was remarkable, as was her ability to offer astute career advice and constant encouragement in terms of my own writing. When I get my first book published I know she will be smiling and whispering in my ear, "I told you you'd be next."

Thank you, Carrie. I'll miss you.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Today's Little Ditty is on a summer hiatus. While I'm gone, please feel free to peruse the TLD archives. You'll find plenty to keep you busy writing all summer long. You'll find an alphabetical listing of spotlight interviews HERE and links to all 50 (!) of our ditty challenges HERE. You'll also find The Best of Today's Little Ditty (2014-2015, 2016, and 2017-2018) available in paperback and ebook versions on

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Dancing to the Music of the Madness


The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
          – Viola Davis

My baby just graduated from high school.

Miranda's first and last days of school.

As she prepares to step out into the world, I've been thinking a lot about my own momentous transition into pre-adulthood. What advice can I give her, especially given the world she is entering into—a world that I hardly even recognize anymore?

The class of 2020 is going to need more flexibility, more resiliency, and more self-confidence than I ever had at that age. And these are just a few of the characteristics necessary to pull this generation through. I do believe they have what it takes, though—Miranda and her older brother certainly do. I'm counting on them and their peers to help the rest of us find our way.

In honor of her graduation, I thought about sharing this poem by Langston Hughes.


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

                    Read the rest here.

Dreams are vital, as is holding tight to a vision of the future we want for ourselves. But what sticks with me are the images of the "broken-winged bird" and the "barren field frozen with snow." This poem is more of a warning than a celebration, no? I sense that Miranda is tired of me protecting her. She wants to be set free. I need to trust that her wings are strong.

Tim Herrick

So what about this poem by Jen Bryant?


I take my kaleidoscope off the shelf,
look through the little hole at the end
of the cardboard tube;

I turn       and turn       and turn       and turn,

                    Read the rest here.

I love that this poem speaks to who Miranda is as an artist. That vital creative force that seems like serendipity, but is so much more. Without a doubt, Miranda's ability to tap into those "strange and beautiful patterns" will take her far.

Lance Shields

And yet, beyond the message to trust herself and be open to whatever comes (which is an important one), it still doesn't feel like it encompasses everything I want to say.

There was a plaque that hung in my 1970's bedroom. I'm not sure what happened to it, but I read it so often as a child, it became an affirmation of sorts that's stayed with me over the decades. I was lucky enough to find an image online:

Yes. This is the advice I'd like Miranda to take to heart. In fact, I probably had this plaque in mind back in September 2017 when I wrote "A Mother's Advice" for Carol Boston Weatherford's abecedarian challenge. It seems fitting to revisit it on this occasion:


Along the way…

     Be yourself.

     Collect wonder.

     Do good deeds
     Every day.

     Find a reason to be

     Help when you are able.

In life…

     Joy, Kindness, and Love
     Matter most.

     Needing Others
     Pulls us together.

     Require listening,

     Speaking requires
     Thought, and

     Understanding, not Violence,
     Weathers the storms.

eXplore your horizons—         
     Your time has come.

                                    and zoom….

© 2017 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.

I also wanted to find a commencement speech that would speak to Miranda—words of advice by a strong woman, like herself, with a creative sensibility. I spent a good long time searching, but eventually came up with just the right one—Viola Davis speaking to the 2012 graduating class of Providence College. (Her speech begins about three minutes in.)

She uses an interesting metaphor, comparing life to a pivotal scene from The Exorcist. Surprisingly, it not only works, it's timely—some of the demons she mentions are ones we, as a society, are facing today more than ever. More important, however, is her overriding message to find and stay true to your authentic self no matter what life throws your way. She closes with Topsy Washington's party monologue from George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum, and these defiant lines:
... whereas I used to jump into a rage anytime anybody tried to deny who I was, now all I got to do is give attitude, quicker than light, and I’m dancing to the music of the madness in me. And here I was, all this time I been thinking we gave up our drums. But, naw, we still got ‘em. I know I got mine. They’re here, in my speech, my walk, my hair, my God, my style, my smile, and my eyes. And everything I need to get over in this world, is inside here, connecting me to everybody and everything that’s ever been. 

So, hunny, don’t waste your time trying to label or define me. ... ‘cause I’m not what I was ten years ago or ten minutes ago. I’m all of that and then some.

Congratulations, Miranda, and keep dancing to the music of the madness in you. We're so proud.

8-year-old Miranda in front of the Carina Nebula (Kennedy Space Center)

Truth be told, I wish I felt more defiant these days. It's not that I'm complicit or apathetic, just tired. Exhausted really. Which means it's time for me to take a break for a while and tend to my home fires.

While I'm gone, please feel free to peruse the TLD archives. You'll find plenty to keep you busy writing all summer long. You'll find an alphabetical listing of spotlight interviews HERE and links to all 50 (!) of our ditty challenges HERE. You'll also find The Best of Today's Little Ditty (2014-2015, 2016, and 2017-2018) available in paperback and ebook versions on

Stay safe and well, my friends. I'll see you in the fall.

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. Inspired by Kindness, she shares an inspiring farewell letter poem to her students.