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.