Cheese and Poets

Tweeting a quote from G. K. Chesterton about cheese last night stirred up a good exchange among some poets. Chesterton said, “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

A few hastily threw out a challenge to stink up the place with our offerings. I will post my challenge-accepted poem here.


Cheese Curds and Whey

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. “–G.K. Chesterton


Remnants of early day cheese

Found amid the rubble and earth

Covered mounds of ancient villages

Near grand pillars of Stonehenge

Elevate cheese to regal food status.

Those villagers couldn’t stomach

Raw milk of their sheep and goat herds.

They did what anyone else would

have done today–forgot about it on

A shelf in a bacteria infused skin bag

Until it fermented into something else.


The grand new stench

Stirred up a search.


You have to admire the one who

Opened the bag, smelled its

Fermented curds and wondered

What it tasted like. Hungry and

Near starvation? Let’s taste it.


Bacteria and Milk—


Ancient love story

Pairs well with wine

Through multiple millennia.

Sonnet for Grieving

Sonnet for Grieving


Yesterday is not the day that we count,

Even though it’s a record for our keeping.

All we have lost is now in that drawer.

We hold it tight because it’s all we have.


We pull drawers open, remembering.

We are afraid that if we do not look,

Then we will forget and never come back.

Everything will be gone and we’ll be lost.


Annie was my first family member

To die. It was time and my father cried.

What drawer did he pull open to look?

Did he see Annie’s sister, his mother?


Dad, home from school, found his mom’s suicide.

What’s in that drawer? Pull but don’t confide.






April Status Report

How am I doing? I assigned myself a job to write a poem a day during the month of April. It’s a month to celebrate poetry, to celebrate the art and the artists. My chosen goal was to create material for a themed Chapbook on aging.

I fell behind on Day 2. Not a great beginning for a big plan. But, most poems aren’t created on a conveyor-belt plan. There are long stretches of empty belt.

Today is Day 20. I have written thirteen poems in rough draft form. I’m behind my daily goal, but I’ve written far more often than I have in the past. For me, I count my goal as actually working for me. Today’s poem was inspired by something that I read. Too many times, the gnawing need for perfection has stopped me. For me, I would read today, without a second thought, a pioneer’s experience recounted in a daily journal. Wagon ruts and broken pencil tips be damned. The perfect does not interest me. My sister found a handwritten recipe in a book for plum pudding that our mother wrote on a scrap of paper. Its value goes beyond any publishing editor’s evaluation for a proper printing. That’s one of my poems.

And so, my themed Chapbook writings go on. Unplanned and raw– and ready for revision.

Not So Neat and Clean

For Poetry Appreciation Month of April, I’m taking on a writing challenge to write a new poem every day for a themed Chapbook. For me it’s like rock climbing without pitons or a rope. I have no partner to shout, “On belay”, giving me confidence to step out onto a rock face. And so, I take the leap with my first poem. I will publish two poems here for each week of April–Tuesdays and Fridays.

Not So Neat and Clean


Just when I think that

I have everything under

Control, I’m brought back

To facing my own smugness.


What I don’t know would fill

Titanic with even more sorrow.


End of life


Are final.


The end begins

Somewhere near us

Like some random

Snail deciding to

Cross a busy highway.


Willow tree bark drops

From a barren branch.


A leaf decides to go.


With a two-day life span, the

May fly can’t waste a minute.


And so, it happens.



Seeing my dog

Slowly dying

On wobbling legs

I drove to the vet

And made a date

For her to die.


Hearing the garage door

Opening, she burst through

The side door from the house

Into the garage with wagging

Tail to welcome me home.


I still remember

Five years later


Her moment of joy–

My moment of sitting

On the Titanic deck chair,

Two miles below the surface.



















An April Challenge

I received an email from Local Gems Small Press, a small publisher in New York. They are sponsoring a poetry writing contest for the month of April, to celebrate National Poetry Month. Time is running out for signing up for the contest, but the winner will have their chapbook published. A registration fee is charged for entering the contest.

The challenge? Thirty poems written in thirty days. For me, that would be a fearsome challenge. I don’t know if I could follow through with such a challenge, but it’s been haunting me. There are few rules: 1. Choose a theme for your 30-day Chapbook. 2. Write a poem a day for 30 days. 3. After two weeks, send in a copy of your work to be pre-evaluated.

I feel like taking up the challenge without entering the official contest. Why not? It can jump start my poetry writing for this new year. I need a new consistency for my writing. As for your own writing, challenge yourself in the coming month of April to write your own themed Chapbook– or follow the link to the official contest.

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