Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Photo via Unsplash

avocado toast
(practice mindfulness)
four days until winter break
(sipping my hot tea)
new student today

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Monday, December 17, 2018

Last Luminaria

six a.m.
the last luminaria
shines bravely on

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Holiday Decorating

big job needs supervision
until - yawn - nap time

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

lights and ornaments
evergreen visitor holds
childhood memories

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

A Visit From Poets!

My class was lucky enough today to visit with Irene Latham and Charles Waters via Zoom! What a generous gift of time for Irene and Charles to answer the students' questions.

Here are two found #haikuforhope from their talk:

nothing will change if
we shut our mouths and refuse
to talk about race

(Irene's words)

is telling
the truth

(Charles' words)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Winter Swim

so steamy the ceiling drips
gratitude practice

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018


photo via Unsplash

every small action
of resistance and hope

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Friday, December 7, 2018


photo via unsplash

sweet and juicy
just a bit gritty
red winter pear

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Thursday, December 6, 2018


earth spins
earth orbits
time flies

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Monday, December 3, 2018

Holiday Open House

noisy crowd in back
a cappella choir up front 
harmony wins

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

(I know it's a bell choir and not the a cappella choir, but I got a picture of the one,
 but not the other.)

Sunday, December 2, 2018


the well is never empty
fling your bucket in

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December Rain

via Unspalsh

Welcome, December
windshield wipers slap-a-slap
steam rises from tea

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

Autumn Cadenza

Unsplash photo by NordWood Themes

Autumn Cadenza

Oak leaves drift down, a brown rustle.
Crickets are hushed.
Only sound --
plop --
acorns bonk roof.
Winter is here
when they

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

This poem is a Zeno, a form invented by J. Patrick Lewis. It has 10 lines with a syllable count that goes 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1. The single syllable words rhyme.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Choosing Teams

Flickr Creative Commons photo by VirtualEyeSee

Choosing Teams

There are owls in the neighborhood now.
Two barred owls wondering,

“Who cooks for you?”

They wake us in the middle of the night.
We worry about the littlest skunk.

The one with white angel wings.

The silent puff of scent who cleans up dropped seed
beneath our bird feeders each dusk.

We are simply spectators in this backyard drama.

Is it bad form to cheer equally
for predator and for prey?

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The More You Love

The More You Love

The more you love,
the harder you work.

The harder you work,
the more you accomplish.

The more you accomplish,
the greater the expectations.

The greater the expectations,
the more epic the fail.

The more you fail,
the harder you work.

The harder you work,
the more you love.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

(I think this poem might work as a reverso!)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

New Again

New Again

The world is layered.
Just when you think you understand
a split appears
a layer pulls back
is shrugged off
and the world is new again.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Friday, August 3, 2018

Life on the Top

Unsplash photo by Joshua Earle

Life On Top

Make a mess
Make a life

Life is sweet
Life is bitter

Bitter end
Bitter pill to swallow

Swallow it whole
Swallow your pride

Pride before a fall
Pride that bursts

Bursts of anger
Bursts of joy

Joy in a bundle
Joy mixed with tears

Tears your heart out
Tears it to pieces

Pieces of pie
Pieces of writing

Writing on the wall
Writing it off

Off the cuff
Off balance

Balance and checks
Balance the books

Books we rewrite
Books a flight

Flight of wine
Flight of fancy

Fancy that
Fancy up

Up my spine
Up in the air

Air your grievance
Air it out good

Good grief
Good as gold

Gold standard
Gold can't stay

Stay put
Stay ahead

Ahead of time
Ahead of the game

Game changer
Game over

Over easy
Over the top

Top heavy
Top flight


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

This poem is written in the Blitz Poem poetic form.

I made extensive use of The Free Dictionary, which has a tab for idioms. I also needed an exhaustive list of prepositions to craft my title. Because the title comes from the 3rd and 47th lines of the poem, I revised the last ten lines four times because I couldn't find a preposition I liked that linked life with blood, back, or easy. And I sure wasn't going to go all the way back and change line 3!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


aria of flight 
each note composed in silence 
wingbeats await wind 

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


before chrysalis 
creativity and change 
are messy 

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

The Power of One

one butterfly 
one flower in one garden 
the power of one 

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

When the Moon is One Day From Full

photo via Unsplash by Stan Mart!n!

When the Moon is One Day From Full

and the kitchen counter is crowded
with jars containing caterpillars
and chrysalises,
it is nearly impossible to resist
the words

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Thursday, June 7, 2018

High Plains Wind

Unsplash photo via Matthieu Joannon

High Plains Wind
     (after Wind by James Arthur)

     it's true sometimes I cannot
stop myself from lifting
     the roof shingles

unleashing tumbleweeds snapping
tree branches
muddying the pool I'm nothing
     until I happen
barreling down from the North
     filling eyes with grit
     nostrils too
pelting the streets with dusty sleet

above wheatfields
    surfing the waves of grain
so full of high excitement howling
I borrow the arid topsoil
     and fling it into the ditch

arriving with news of the bindweed
     and the horseflies
at times buffeting you so violently
in ways you register
     as fists

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

I am blessed to live in a climate where we have day-long gentle rains that allow the oaks to tower and the corn to grow without irrigation. We are currently several inches over the average rainfall for the year, and yet in the High Dry Plains of Eastern Colorado, even an inch of our rain could save crops and livelihoods. It's desperately dry there, and the wind is unrelenting. When I read Wind by James Arthur, I knew I wanted to tell the story of a more savage and remorseless wind than his rascally wind whose antics include turning umbrellas inside out (I never owned one until I moved to the midwest), stealing hats, and embracing as light as a touch. The wind back home is downright mean-spirited and vengeful.

Monday, April 30, 2018

High Flight

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
~Kevin Durant

High Flight

The last day of school is in sight. You can’t imagine how hard
it is to release my masterpieces, say goodbye to my best work.
Launching you, I imagine the sigh of wing-beats
as you fly away, soaring with your talent,
your sense of humor, your desire to set the world right. When
you alight again next fall, don’t you dare hide your talent,
head under wing, letting others lead. Genius doesn’t
need adult plumage to rise and spiral. All genius needs is work.
And remember, the work of flight is joyful, not hard.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Word Game Wednesday

Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is not path and leave a trail.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Word Game Wednesday

What would you like to do?
Play Word Around? Rhyme Out? Bananagrams? Do not
dawdle; find a group and go
tinker with words! Play Scrabble; observe where
words intersect, criss-crossing a path
of letters that may
to unexpected mergers. Perhaps go
online instead
and play Free Rice, where
you earn kernels of rice for nuggets of knowledge. There
guarantee, but Word Game Wednesday could have been the path
that led us to be homophone, homonym, and
homograph hunters. Words open the world. Using them, we leave
splendiferous trail.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Winter Memory

Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.  ~Unknown

Winter Memory*

When you consider the life
of another creature, it is is
often humbling. The temperature that day was not
much above zero. We measured
the cold by
frost on our scarves from our breaths.
were by the lake to take
winter pictures, but
we became fascinated by
geese in the water. After a few moments
of observation, we could see that
the cold didn’t seem to bother them. We had begun to take
photos when we saw it – goose breath
puffing in the cold air. Blew us completely away.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

*Mr. Wald, our classroom stool-repairer, provided the memory that became this poem.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Poetry Friday

Whatever you are, be a good one.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Poetry Friday

Pick a poem about whatever
captivates you
endangered animals, a hotdog car, dinosaurs, or ants – you are
in charge of choosing and practicing. Be
an attentive audience for others. Then, be a
positively excellent performer. Make us sigh, or laugh and say, “Good

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018