Thursday, March 5, 2015

Good morning on this snowy day in suburban DC!  We're marching along briskly in our first week of the Forward...MarCH Poetry CHallenge (read the introduction to this project here) and our word today is "punCH"--another one with several meanings most delicious to the poet.

I'm posting my one previously published poem for the week, but first I'll share one from Donna of Mainely Write.  You'll see why...
A Punch of Sun

Packing a wallop
Up in the sky 
Noontime it reaches

--Donna Smith

Really tight, really strong, really great!  And how's this for a coincidence? 

Solar-Powered Sun Puppet

the dark side of me
glowers inside
drags at the tips of my toes

it feeds on clouds
on rainy skies
and only my shadow knows:

how heavy
the day is
how low the horizon
how sodden
and sad
I am

then sweet sun punches a hole in the clouds
sizzles and swims in my eyes
my shadow spills out through a hole in my sole
my darker side hung out to dry

how sudden and mad I am!

I’m sunny-side up
I’m pumped full of light 
my silhouette dances on walls

now I can see clearly:
my dark doppelganger
freed by the sun's high call

        my demon cast out, my shadow of doubt
        is the shadow that proves that I am

HM 2009
Pumpkin Butterfly: Poems from the Other Side of Nature (Boyds Mills/Wordsong)

I don't know Donna well, but clearly we have sunthing going on.  Go visit Donna's blog--there's a LOT going on there!

Diane of Random Noodling has gone in a different direction with one of her senryu.  Love this marriage of words and image! (Too bad about Punch and Judy's marriage.)

 And Charles Waters is back, too--reminding me of all the "punch buggy, no punch-backs" that I've lived through in the car.

I bash my brother on his arm
I did this as a good luck charm
Until he punches my arm, whack!
 I then decide to pat his back.

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

Mary Lee gets whacked and walloped by the wind:

Pre-Dawn Walk, Winter Edition

It's more than just a punch.
I'm hit by a powerful blow
as I turn north
into the bitter wind.

It slams me back,
rakes my face,
tears away breath,
tears up my eyes.

Seventy steps,
head bent,
then I turn west
and am sheltered.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015 

Carol's is short and light:

The storm raged on-
punCHed the sky,
letting more snow
flit and fly.

2015 CVarsalona

And Matt's will quenCH your thirst for a laugh:

Some years ago
I met Don Ho.
He took me out to lunch.
His date was hot;
that's why I got
a nice Hawaiian punch.

-© 2015, Matt Forrest Esenwine

Join us tomorrow for "fetCH"!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


It's March 4th and we march forth with today's word, "twitCH."  Which twitch are you writing about today?

A Knotty Problem

When she’s learning to tie her shoes,
crossing and 
looping and 
wrapping the laces,
the slightest twitch
of a nervous thumb
can cause a beginner to lose 
her places!

HM 2015
all rights reserved

Donna's twitch is more internal than external...

Twitch of Sick

When I awoke this morning, I was feeling pretty low
and then I knew just where it was I really had to go -

The supper last night was a feast and tasted most delish;
no doubt, it was, when it went in a meal that was nutrish.

In my belly plans were changed, a new itinerary:
stop at tummy, turn around, a U-turn’s necessary.

I almost made it all the way I raced to lift the lid;
“Sorry, mom, I know I missed, I’m just a little kid.”

- a kid who has a not so funny, rumbly tummy twitch;
a twitch perhaps is not the word - a gastrointestinal glitch?  

--Donna Smith

Mary Lee's and Diane's twitches are distinctly feline...


Cat at the window
silent and still
squirrel on the porch
oblivious until...

twitch goes the tail,
smack goes the paw,
zoom goes the squirrel
now crossing the lawn.

©Mary Lee Hahn 

Indoor Cat

The chubby
cat's frame twitches
as she sleeps.
Sparrows taunt her
even in slumber.
Maybe my cat
sleeps twenty hours
a day because in
her dreams she
always comes in
for the kill.

--Diane Mayr 

And Laura Shovan's is clearly canine (bonus points for including itCH and scratCH too)...

Roll Over

My dog’s furry belly is pointing at the sky.
He wants me to scratch him. He wants me to try
to find the itchy spot that always makes him kick
and twitch, until he turns legs down
to thank me with a lick.  
Joy Acey brings us leporine (had to to look that up) twitches in her haiku--wish it felt so springy here!

Rabbit's whiskers twitch
over the fresh garden herbs
it's his spring dinne

And Carol Varsalona captures perfectly tonight's big ??? about tomorrow's weather (which turned out to be "closed.") 

Which Will It Be?

The itchy, twitchy feeling
begins to swell.
I know it well.
People squirm
as weathermen tell.
Rain, snow, ice
Roll of the dice.
Which will it be?
Tomorrow we'll see.  
Leave your poem in the comments, or send me an email by clicking the link at right.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


This is Day 2 of our Forward...MarCH CHallenge.  By the end of MarCH I will have written 20 new poems for CHildren, and you will have added who knows how many more! 

Our word today is "stretCH" and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for faithfully offering a Monday Poetry StretCH most weeks to all who would partake.  CHeck it out --we're having scallops this week!

A Poem for When Things Get a Little Too Serious

Stretch up and tickle the ceiling--
Its giggle is giddy and sweet.

Bend down and tickle the floor--
Its chuckle is muddy and loud.

Reach out and tickle the walls--
They snort and whoop and howl

Reach in and tickle yourself--
Giggle and chuckle and snort and whoop
Until you're tickled out!

HM 2015
all rights reserved
And now for a really good laugh...

StretCH yourself today and leave your "stretch" poem in the comments or send it by email!  I'd love to add yours to the MarCH CHallenge board (and remember, there's a prize for the StretCHiest MarCHer!).

First to join in today is Charles Waters, who ought to go out sans Dan now and then!

I stretch my neck to be seen by Maureen
So she’ll notice me at last.
Got a fresh haircut, new contact lenses,
Worn out clothes are in the past.
She catches my eye, smiles, gives me a wave
I wave back fast as I can
Until she busts out laughing with her friends
She waved to my best friend Dan.

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

Diane offers this tiny number--is it her stretch?  or her cat's?

6:45 alarm
a very un-lady-like

Donna surprises with this one about letting your insides show through writing.  I love the title.


I wrote for myself
And some to the sky;
I wrote as if no one should
Hear me walk by.
Little by inch,
My thoughts opened wider
Till someone exclaimed,
“We can see what's inside her!”
No one was laughing,
They didn’t leave,
Everyone stayed there;
I heard myself heave
a sigh of relief,
And then I wrote more
and started a stretch
that opened a door -
A door that will only
close at the end when -
my “Once upon” time
with flourish of pen
concludes with “happily”,
“ever” and “after”
And signs off "Sincerely,
Word-happy Crafter".

Donna Smith

And from Mary Lee, a big question about little, faraway things:


Orion's arms and legs and sword
stretch clear across the sky.

Yet if I hold my thumb to him
he seems to be that high.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015  

Joy joins in with a hint of spring:

johnny-jump-ups stretch
smiling faces toward the wind
jumping up and down.   

 Thanks to all  for playing! 

Monday, March 2, 2015


Microsoft Clip Art
Yes, we must begin the official poem-per-weekday with the word that started it all:  marCH.


Wave your flag
and march around!
Lift your feet
and stomp them down!

We love to make
the marching sound--
Beat your drum
and march around!

HM 2015
all rights reserved

Several folks have joined the parade!  Thanks to Diane...

Birthday Girl

At one of my first jobs
I met a girl whose birthday
was March 4. She proudly
told me, "My birthday
is the only one that is
a command!" I'll always
remember her birthday--her
name? That's another story.

--Diane Mayr

And to Donna...

Ma Nature’s spring -
Arch of birch,
"Rah!” and “Ah!” - cheers and whispered sighs for the
Charm of a sweet, soft, “No
Harm” breeze.

--Donna Smith

Thanks to Joy...

In March daffodils
bloom and bow upon the hill
faces in the wind

--Joy Acey

and to Carol...

why do you roar in the wake of white?
Choose crystal flakes with a snappy bite?
Linger in snow of inches deep?
Don't let yellow daffodils peep?

why did you march in today
with heavy snow marking your way?
Let Mother Nature take a bite
and chilling temperatures escort daylight?

Long Island,
I came today to fool the crowd
and stir the pot with a voice real loud.
I chose to enter in a crown of white,
not thinking it would bring a fright.
Ask me to stay for just awhile.
I promise I'll exit with a smile.

--Carol Varsalona 2015

Thanks to Mary Lee...


March swoops in low
on the wings of a crow

caw caw cawing
at a hawk.

March flashes red --
cardinal's head

in a bold show
contrasting the snow.

March sings, when
at the feeder, wren

points joy to the sky,
lets notes fly.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

and to Charles!  Follow his link and all the others to see where these poems are coming from...

As I’m marching down Snowbank Hill
Crunching on filigrees
I looked upon the watermill,
Frozen by winters chill
Shivering next to stripped down trees.
I know it won’t be long until
Temperatures warm up, yes they will –
For now, I dream of summer’s breeze.

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


As announced on Friday, I'm embarking tomorrow on a birthday month poetry challenge inspired by fellow Piscean Laura Shovan's February Poetry Projects (if you haven't, check out three years' worth here, here and here).

I got to thinking about the word "MARCH"  and all the other great words that end in -CH.  I realized that I have a particular fondness for words that end in -ch; they show up in my poems again and again.  So I'll be stretCHing myself to post five -CH poems weekly throughout March.  I'm allowed one previously published per week, but most will be brand-new.

Please join me in this CHallenge, poetry friends!  If you can't write with me every day, maybe you'll share your one or two per week, or your five-in-a-row, or your favorite poem by another author including the -CH word of the day....I welcome your participation, however you choose to do it!

I'll post my poem each evening, and you can send me yours by email or by leaving it in the comments for that post.  I'll round up as we go and on Sunday mornings, and at the end of the month there will be a PRIZE for the "StretCHiest MarCHer" who contributes the most poems!

To get us started, here's a poem from my first book, Squeeze: Poems from a Juicy Universe (2005).  I'm hoping this will encourage the crocuses that I know are out there straining against two layers of frozen snow!


Crocuses are rocketing
            inch by inch
                   out of the crumbled earth

the yellows aim for the sun
the purples push          toward deep space

         and inside
little astronauts in orange suits
    cock their ruffled helmets
                                toward spring

Heidi Mordhorst
all rights reserved

And here is the collection of -CH words, one muscular verb for eaCH weekday of MarCH, that I'll be using to enriCH my little patCH of the Kidlitosphere with as muCH poetry as I can.  It should be a cinCh, but if I find I'm parCHed of poems and miss a day, then ouCH--but I'll reaCH in and try again.   Don't believe me?  Just watCH!

Forward...MarCH CHallenge: Dates and Words

2 march
3 stretch
4 twitch
5 punch
6 fetch

 9 preach
10 sketch
11 smooch
12 pitch
13 arch

16 inch
17 lurch
18 botch
19 lunch
20 hatch

23 clutch
24 crouch
25 snatch
26 perch
27 quench