Tuesday, April 13, 2021



we teach the wrong things:
task completion, not passion
test taking, not joy

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

We've got seven weeks left, and I'm focusing as much as possible on passion and joy. Our newest fun: about 1/4 of the class is learning a new language using the DuoLingo app. 

Monday, April 12, 2021



this kitchen table
we are aging together
worn at the edges

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021



after the cold snap
glorious magnolias
wear brown in mourning

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021



sun shines through dirty windows
with no prejudice

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Friday, April 9, 2021



singing in the dark
first one voice, then a chorus
early morning birds

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021



one slice of peach left
in a wide indigo bowl
early morning sky

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Wednesday, April 7, 2021



nervous, excited
first day at school...in April
together at last

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Virginia bluebells


Virginia bluebells
at first neither blue nor bells
spring ephemeral

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Monday, April 5, 2021


sessile trillium
blooms at the base of our oak
formerly forest

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Sunday, April 4, 2021



impulse purchase
packets of zinnia seeds
still too early

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Saturday, April 3, 2021




razor blade north wind
winter is not quite over
wear wool once more

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Friday, April 2, 2021



dark, darker, darkest
those moments just before dawn
wren sings from the fence

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Sleigh Ride

picture via wikimedia commons: Sleigh Ride by Winslow Homer


say the runners
sliding through the snow

say the reigns
asking horse to go

ching ching
say the bells
on the harness and the sleigh

flap flap
say the wings
of the crows that show the way

say moon and clouds
thanks for coming out to play

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Friday, March 5, 2021




All my life you've been a dipper.
Just this morning, though,
as I wondered whether you were telling me
to pour out
or scoop up
you changed into a giraffe
your long curved neck
reaching across galaxies
so you could nibble on the juicy gibbous moon.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Friday, February 26, 2021

Remote Teaching


photo via Unsplash

Each day
I thread the needle of my heart
and stitch together
my quilt-square students
into a tapestry
of joy
and learning.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Friday, January 1, 2021

Things I Didn't Know I Loved

 The poem of the day today from Poets.org is Day 29 (2020) by Jamila Woods. Her poem was inspired by Things I Didn't Know I Loved by Nazim Hikmet.

My poem-draft is inspired by both of them.

image via Unsplash

Things I Didn't Know I Loved

it's January 1st 2021
i'm sitting at the kitchen table
my hands are cold
but the space heater warms my feet
i never knew i liked
being warm and cold at the same time
it's like
winter lap swimming
the steamy heat of the natatorium
the shocking cold of the water
the satisfaction of having swum

it's also like sweet and salty
i've always known i liked
sweet and salty
pancakes with bacon
chocolate pretzels
icing on crackers

it's nothing like clutter and order
or is it
i used to hate the clutter in my mother's house
my apartment was clean and empty
i was young
now i'm sitting at the kitchen table
my hands are cold
i'm crowded by books lists mugs 
pencil case glasses case stacks of mail
pens in a cup headphones cat toys and
only the words on this page
have any semblance of order

at least my feet are warm

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021 (draft)

Friday, December 25, 2020



photo via Unsplash


We live at the corner of Lincoln and Forest.
What I wouldn't give to stand here
and turn the dial of time backward,
rewind the threads of now
onto the spool of eternity,
pavement evaporating,
divisive moments in human history blurring, retreating, disappearing
as the beech-oak-hickory canopy
closes in
concealing a sky that has never known contrails.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020 (draft)

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Six Weeks One Summer

"Finding Your Way" by Victoria Nessen



After the first job,
before the second degree.

Blue Highways
South -- tobacco fields
West -- Navajo Nation
North -- regal mountains

box of cassette tapes
meadowlark on a fencepost
AM radio

single finger wave
small town hospitality
sense of direction

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

My poetry "podcast" about this poem is here.

Thursday, November 26, 2020



"Finding Your Way" by Victoria Nessen

MEANDER (an “In One Word” poem)

your dream
of reaching that destination. Rename
this aspiration “journey.” Endear
yourself to this dare.
When you find yourself near
fulfillment, read
the landscape, know what you need,
veer toward a new end.

Wandering is a pleasure earned.
Ramble your amen.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

Friday, October 23, 2020

Autumn Acrostic

a tree in our neighborhood


At first, it goes
Then it is
Undeniable. Almost like
Magic, summer is gone.
No more shorts and swimsuits.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020 (with input from students on the last line)

Friday, October 2, 2020

Puff of Wish -- a Nonet

of wish,
globe of stars,
summer snowflake,
granny in the grass.
Some say you are a weed,
but to me you are magic.
Even though I blow you to bits,
you never hold a grudge -- you spread joy.

Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

(Hat tip to Amy LV for the inspiration for the line "granny in the grass.")

Friday, September 25, 2020

The World Itself is Not Ponderous

photo via Unsplash

The World Itself is Not Ponderous

Feathers and giggles,
monarch's first flight,
petals unfurling,
equinox light.

Leaves in the fall,
bulbs in the spring,
in the yard after rain --
a fairy ring.

Fleetingly brief.
Here and then gone.
Like the flash of lightning,
or a chickadee's song.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Learning is a Lifelong Journey


Learning is a Lifelong Journey (a Pantoum)

Learning is a lifelong journey
that can only be mapped
in retrospect
and never with straight lines.

That which can only be mapped
by zigs and zags and sudden reversals
and never with straight lines
is as abstract as the summer sky, or

the zigs and zags and sudden reversals
of a monarch's flight
through an abstract summer sky.
Learning is a lifelong journey.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Don't Forget to Wear a Helmet


photo via Unsplash

Don't Forget to Wear a Helmet

We're there.
Top of the ramp,
crest of the rollercoaster's lift hill,
poised to commit to -- submit to -- the will
of gravity.

Let go.
Fly and fall
with stomach-dropping fear.
Lean into curves, anticipate apogees.
Transform possibility into reality.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

This poem was inspired by Seth Godin's post today, Drop In. I especially liked this line, "The worse you can do is half."

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Summer of 2020

photo via Unsplash

Summer of 2020

Happiness is morning light
and -- except for birdsong -- silence.
A book to get lost in,
and a cup of tea to begin

a day soaked by rain.
It will not stay
cool, but at least starts
pleasantly, unmarked

by stress and worry
about all that is unsure.
Hold this moment close.
Capture this fragment of hope.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

Friday, July 10, 2020


image via Unsplash


I am flawed. I make mistakes. I fail.
Miserably, and in cringe-worthy ways. All
the time. Yet I lift
myself up and flail
away at life, flatly
refusing to give up, refusing to take the bait
of “good enough.” I have the ability
to see the light in my aspirations, so I need to stand tall
and not bail
myself out with an alibi.
not be a liability.
and try
until I fly.
Until we all fly.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

This Photo Wants to be a Poem

Free Use -- Library of Congress

You will never know,
nor do I want you to.
But thank you
for trying.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

Friday, July 3, 2020


photo via Unsplash

If it weren't for the fireflies'
Nightly silent
I might have forgotten how much we
Need even tiny sparks of magic
In our lives
To remind us of the size of

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

Thursday, July 2, 2020

This Photo Wants to be a Poem

After the Rain by Amanda Potts

Make larger.
Give the viewer
New perspective.
In each droplet the
Focus captures
Your imagination.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020