Invitation: a word collection poem


In her Slice of Life post this past Tuesday, Margaret Simon shared some word group love poems she’d written with her students. They were inspired by a wonderful Charles Ghigna poem, some brainstorming and then a photocopied page of small word groups from Sandford Lyne’s Writing Poetry from the Inside Out. I was immediately drawn to the word collections and, in particular, I was intrigued by this list:


Here’s the resulting poem:


you are the crane
in flight above
the purple flag
of my iris
your wings brushstroke
cloudy paths
through azure skies
as if to say
Come this way
Come this way

©M. Hogan, 2019

I’m not sure it’s a love poem, per se, but it’s what happened. Thanks to Margaret, her students, and Sandford Lyne for the inspiration!

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by children’s author, poet and artist, Robyn Hood Black at her blog, Life on the Deckle Edge.

PS–In a mixed-up moment this week, I thought Haiku Dialogue’s current theme was “a smooth coin.” I wrote a haiku, then realized I was a week late to submit it. “A smooth coin ” was last week’s theme. Oops.

how heavy the coin
worn smooth by Charon’s hand
the final payment

©M. Hogan, 2019

Insomnia and Poetry Postcards


Sleep doesn’t always come easily to me. To be more precise, I typically fall asleep in a heartbeat, but wake in the darkest hours of the night unable to sleep any longer. My eyes pop open and I’m alert, my mind racing with churning thoughts and worries. Ironically, one thing that can help me relax and get back to sleep is to mentally compose a story or a poem. I’ve even caught myself tapping syllables on the underside of my pillow. I’m not sure it’s a good sign that my mental writing efforts help me drift to sleep, but honestly, I’ll take it! Ironically, recently I’ve been composing insomnia poems in my mind during my wakeful hours. Here’s one of my latest:


In the deepest dark hours
night shifts and moon-born
silent shadows stir and stretch,
oblong on old pine floors, then
melt into inky corners, where murky
nocturnal thoughts slumber fitfully, and
invite them to fully

©Molly Hogan, 2019

I’ve also been remiss about thanking all those wonderful poets who participated in the New Year Poetry Postcard Exchange. My refrigerator is practically strutting! She’s covered with all sorts of poetic goodness and fabulous images. We’re both delighted with the make-over, and I can’t tell you how much those postcards perked me up during the darkest winter days. Thank you, thank you!!! Here they are in all their glory:

I’d like to pretend that my delayed thank you was deliberate, but it’s really just a happy coincidence that the New Year Poetry Postcard organizer, Jone, is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup. You can find more poetry at her blog, Check it Out.

Morning Pages




Morning Pages

What words will emerge
when I set pen to paper,
before the sun arises
and my eyes clear and focus?

When doorways are ajar,
what silvered light slips through
like dawn on the horizon?

In that liminal state
between sleep and sentience,
will I brush against
another world?

©M. Hogan, 2019

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Laura Purdie Salas at her blog, Writing the World for Kids. She’s celebrating the publication of her newest book, Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations, and inviting poets to contribute equation poems on a padlet. What fun! I just contributed my idea: spider web + dew = masterpiece!


During the Storm

After much hype, last weekend’s winter storm finally arrived and landed firmly in mediocrity. On a happy note, it was still potent enough to encourage me to linger indoors, look out the window, and write.

During the Storm

Swirling, twirling
snow-traced gusting wind
whips and worries
through the huddled garden
rustling baptisia pods
into whispered reminiscences
of spring

©M. Hogan, 2019

Tabatha Yeatts is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. She’s sharing poems by Marilyn Robertson and Phillis Levin.

An “I am” Poem


I’ve been revisiting Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s poemcrazy: freeing your life with words. I love this book. The first time I read it, I was driving down to Philadelphia and it simply transformed the journey. This book is one of my all-time favorites. Did I already mention that I love it? Every time I pick it up, I’m again thankful to Catherine Flynn for introducing it to me. It’s a wonder! There are so many prompts and practices that dig into rich poetic territory and celebrate unabashed word joy!

Today I’m sharing an “I am” poem I wrote in response to a practice Wooldridge shares in the book. She provides a long list of questions to answer, starting with “If I were a color, what color would I be? to  “If I were a movement, what movement would I be?” to “What’s the word hiding behind my eyes?” She emphasizes using collected words and seeing images to define yourself with these questions. “Be silly, serious, wry or overdramatic,” she advises….–as long as you’re writing about yourself.”

I am…

I am granite grey
plain Jane, sturdy and dependable
but sometimes sunlight shoots across my surface
igniting flecks of mica and quartz
into quick showers of sparkles
here, then gone
I’m a circle, or more probably, an oval
wobbly on the edges
and a bit dizzy from spinning
round and round
I am a quiet gasp of wonder and worry
A song of sunrise and sunset
Within me lives a distant howling wind
keen and piercing
like the memory of a small child crying
I could never be a sequoia
tall, strong, and directed
my bark is not immune to licking flames
my branches wander hither and yon
like the crony apple tree
that twists and gnarls
yet yields occasional ruby fruit
glistening sweet surprise
Behind my eyes
the word scared lingers
along with trying
sometimes they fight
but sometimes they hold hands
and jump into the fray together

©Molly Hogan, 2019

This week you can find the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect. If you’re living in the Northeast, you can surely tuck in some poetry around the forecasted falling snowflakes this weekend!

On that note, I’m going to tuck in two storm-inspired haiku:

winter storm hype
faster than snow

©Molly Hogan, 2019


Big storm’s coming!

grocery store chaos
toilet paper, bread, and milk
the new trinity

©Molly Hogan, 2019

My Kind of Worship


This Zeno grew out of my recent thoughts while writing #haikuforhope last month. I hope you’re all feeling charitable, because I sort of cheated; prayer technically has two syllables, but I (and I think/hope many other people) pronounce it with only one, so I’m going with that.


My Kind of Worship

Sunrise service at the river
pink horizon
scattered sunlight

©Molly Hogan, 2019


This week Kat Apel is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup from Down Under (here). She’s featuring some wonderful daily poems and photos she’s been sharing on Instagram. Make sure to stop by and check those out and while you’re there, why not click on a few other poetry links as well?

Finishing up December’s #haikuforhope

unnamedWriting #haikuforhope during December was simply wonderful. Last year, I participated, but on a much more limited basis. I’m not sure if I created a haiku every day this year, but I was darned close! The process focused my attention amidst the blur of holiday activities and helped me tap into the heart of it all. I’m so thankful to have written along with others during the month, and as I’ve said before, reading their haiku was inspiring and educational. I learned so much from these fellow writers and mentors!

Along with writing haiku, another one of my favorite things about December was having break and more time to explore and take photographs. This was doubly rewarding, as getting out and about with my camera fuels my writing. My early mornings at the river inspired two of my final haiku and have sparked another poem that’s still in pieces but feels like it has potential. I also wrote a haibun with one of these haiku for this week’s Slice of Life. Finally, I took a field trip to Portland, ME to visit the “celebrity” Great Black Hawk who’s taken up residence in an urban park. There’s quite a story to go with this bird (here), but I was struck by the difference in how we treat this avian immigrant versus human ones. Another haiku was born.

Here are my final three #haikuforhope from December:

December 29th:

morning fog
drenches rising sun
watercolor world

December 30th:

bird immigrant
celebrated arrival
modern day irony

December 31st:

bald eagle and I
patiently await the dawn
morning communion

(If you’re interested, here’s the link to the haibun I wrote with this haiku for this week’s Slice of Life (here). )

All haiku ©Molly Hogan, 2018

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Sylvia Vardell at her blog, Poetry For Children. She is sharing an impressive and exciting list of poetry titles expected to be published in 2019. Talk about anticipation! Go take a look, recognize some familiar names (Yay!) and be sure to plan your yearly budget accordingly!