Previous month:
October 2023
Next month:
January 2024

(Almost) Last Year

Wilson's Snipe - 41014190352

Happy New Year, everyone! It will be here in just a few days. Looking back over poems from the past year, I happily came across some from April, when I wrote a haiku a day, a prompt suggested by Liz Garton Scanlon.

I'd forgotten about the following at the nearby state park. (Shout-out to eBird!)

April brings the birds
Seventeen snipes this morning
Lucky me sees one.

Writing this post makes me look forward to 2024 and whatever good things fly in with it.

The last roundup of 2023 for Poetry Friday is at Michelle Kogan's place today.

Photo: Wilson's snipe by Wildreturn. Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

"The One You Told Me About"


The One You Told Me About: A Found Poem 

Hi, love, do you know where you’re going?
Act Two is beginning shortly,
I’m actually going to go get my booster shot,
Can I use a debit card?
Masks have to remain on and over your nose,
I’m going to try to get reservations for Jackal and Hyde,
I don’t know how that will be possible,
I counted wrong,
My arm is stuck
I didn’t understand all the lyrics,
At least they’re busy,
Where are the restrooms?
The mask has to stay on, stay on,
Learn from my lesson, ok?
You’re being underpaid,
The guy’s, like, “I’m not having it, I’m shutting it down.”
The Mac and cheese was incredible,
Okay, baby, thank you,
Enjoy the show, love,
Stay safe.


"The One I Told You About" is a found poem; the title and every line are things I overheard in New York. I call these "street poems," although I do collect lines everywhere, not just the streets! If you're interested, you can check out my guide to composing street poems, from back in March.

The Poetry Friday roundup is at Janice Scully's blog, Salt City Verse, on December 15th.

Photo by ST.

Apologies to Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss


shakeseuss sonnet

When I consider every thing that grows
One fish two fish red fish blue fish
Holds in perfection but a little moment
Black fish blue fish old fish new fish
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
This one has a little star
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment
This one has a little car
When I perceive that men as plants increase
Say! what a lot of fish there are
Cheered and check’d even by the self-same sky
Yes. Some are red and some are blue
Vaunt their youthful sap, at height decrease
Some are old and some are new
And wear their brave state out of memory
Some are sad. And some are glad
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
And some are very, very bad
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight
Why are they sad and glad and bad?
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay
I do not know. Go ask your dad
To change your day of youth to sullied night
Some are thin. And some are fat
And all in war with Time for love of you
The fat one has a yellow hat
As he takes from you, I ingraft you new
From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.


This work is a combination of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 15 and an excerpt from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, the classic children’s book by Dr. Seuss. A spin on two of the late Bernadette Mayer’s writing experiments, the poem is now 28 lines long. I removed the end punctuation, except in a couple of places, to open up the possibilities of interpretation. I am also assigning the pronoun “they” to the speaker. As I noted in a more academic explanation (for the class in which I originally wrote this), "The [combined poem's] speaker is prone to overexplaining."

Yes, it is silly. Some of the inadvertent combinations work well, like "When I perceive that men as plants increase/Say! what a lot of fish there are," and some not so much. It's super fun to play around with, though.

The Poetry Friday roundup for December 8th is at Patricia J. Franz's blog, Reverie.

Photo by ST. Detail from a new mural by @keydetail in Bridgeport, CT.