Friday, December 26, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Sisters

someone to talk to
someone to worry about
the house is empty

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Mom's cats have been her companions since my dad died. We said goodbye to Princess today. She is likely racing around like a crazy cat with her sister Mellie in Pet Heaven right now. But mom's heart is sore...and the house is quiet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Old Friends

Visiting old friends,
I'm fifty-four, sixteen, nine:
time melts, blends and swirls.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Blizzard

Roaring monster howls.
Blasting, swirling, drifting snow.
Tea steams in my mug.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Wind

sharp-edged mountain air
gallops east across prairies
leaves a trail of dust

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- A Trio of Landscapes

Landscape of childhood:
"Do you believe in Santa?"
"I don't you?"

Bailey's -- no ice cube --
the landscape of adulthood.
It's been a long week.

Fallow fields stubbled,
south wind scented with silage,
monotone landscape.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Germs


There is no fever,
but there is also no voice.
Thanks for the gift, kids.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Grief

grief is not assuaged
either by December rain
or holiday lights

grief is a journey
friends walk in the dark with you
but the path is yours

©Mary Lee Hahn

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Rain


I hear the raindrops
coming down through old oak leaves --
patter of applause.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Hope


last night's magic is
reduced to a single light --
one flame, flickering 

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- No Regrets


Scallops with capers,
bubbly wine, thick chocolate cake.
No sleep. No regrets.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Today

twelve thirteen fourteen --
a once in a lifetime day
like all the others

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Warmth

in the chill, I rub
my hands together for warmth
and my words for fire

©Mary Lee Hahn

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Decorating Cookies

Yes, I do believe that's Ronald McDonald you see there...

Decorating Cookies

rolled sugar cookies --
31-year tradition --
end-of-year icing

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Tomorrow Will Come


Half has Nutella,
half, chunky peanut butter.
Tomorrow will come.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Ripples

Each of us -- a stone.
Our lives -- the drop, the ripples.
What we do -- matters.

©Mary Lee Hahn

Today I will celebrate with a student who can trace his degree in Environmental Policy back to his experiences in my fourth grade classroom. It's rare to learn how the "what we did" became the "who they are." 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Sneaky Cat


sneaky cat comes up
from a basement adventure --
cobwebs on his head

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Kettle

Grease-spattered kettle
does the job day after day.
Sunday, is polished.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Today

Cross-posted from A Year of Reading.

this is the best day
--really the only day--
of my precious life.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

(scrub to 4:52)

Anastasia has the Poetry Friday roundup at Booktalking #kdilit.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Creativity


conjoined at the hip with fear.
Which do you love the most?

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Inspired by the fourth segment (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE) on the TED Radio Hour "The Source of Creativity."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Jack the Cat

out of the darkness
white whiskers, raspy miaow --
my friend, Jack the Cat.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Jack and I go way back. He lives a couple of blocks away from us, in one of the little houses that encircle Selby Park. We met about 15 years ago, when we first moved to the neighborhood and I started walking a route that takes me past his house. He is the friendliest cat ever. He runs to greet me. He rubs on my legs and purrs and arches his back -- rubs and purrs, rubs and purrs. He has a funny little miaow that he squeaks in greeting and in pleasure. He is all black with a white chin and white whiskers -- a goatee and mustache. He's getting old, and I hadn't seen him for months. Then, today, like a gift from the universe, in the dark of my early morning walk, I spotted a thin black shadow crossing the street from Selby Park toward his house. Thin, no big tail, no stripes, no waddling..."Jackie?" I called. The shadow's head came up and, "Miaow!" It was him.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Quiet

needs slow, needs quiet, needs you:
alert and aware

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Inspired by the fifth segment of this TED Radio Hour show entitled "Quiet."

Monday, December 1, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Rain

rain makes the street shine
polishes unraked oak leaves
unlocks spicy scents

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Fall Garden Cleanup

coneflower seed heads
picked empty by goldfinches
discarded starbursts

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

morning glory vines
leave messages on the fence
written in tendril

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Sky

Layer by layer
clouds turn sky from blue to grey.
Day's chill becomes cold.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

(not the sky, just a sigh...)

Sign of the season:
evergreen tied to car roof
pining for home.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

First Snow


Not satisfied to trace
bare branches
remaining leaves 
into lace,
this first snow
tries to fill the place
my glasses
my face.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Back Yard

Ice from the Bird Feeder, 2010

I cleared the oak leaves
clumped in the empty bird bath,
poured in clean water.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Haiku-a-day -- Christmas Cactus

West window, sunlight,
the right amount of neglect --
glorious blossoms.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Not calendar bound,
fuchsia blooms choose to open
when the time is right.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014


Flickr Creative Commons Photo

The shadow before me shimmers,
then waddles,
then has a white stripe
and a tail that's lifting
as I'm backing away
hands up
not a word.

I'm just a tall shadow
that will disappear as suddenly
as it appeared.

We both walk away
more wary,

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

In the Early Morning Dark, In the Fall

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Graham and Sheila

In the Early Morning Dark, In the Fall
I step out onto the front porch
thinking it must still be raining,
but the steady patter I hear
is the oak being deconstructed
by a light breeze.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014


5:30 in the morning
I'm walking along
in the dark neighborhood
my brain already full of the day ahead
not paying the kind of attention
that will keep me from
stumbling into a skunk
by accident
when I look up
and see a very large dog
in the park
that resolves into a fawn
whose sibling and mother are across the street
not quite hidden in the shadows of the front yard
and it's as if the plug was pulled
and my brain is empty of everything
except the here
and the now.

I continue walking slowly down the sidewalk
toward the fawn
who bobs its head
looking at me
assessing my threat level
until suddenly its tail flags and it
floats silently
across the street to its family
on impossibly thin legs and tiny feet
and I struggle to keep the wonder
hold the moment
stop the everyday thoughts from flooding back in
but the pure animal focus
is gone.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

To My Students

To My Students

I am the riverbank
and you are the water.
You flow past me
year after year
a little wild.

I do my best 
to ensure you
a safe passage
and teach you 
and the ways of the world.

But you rush on.

Time passes.
You return
to the familiar banks,
the remembered curves and shallows.

I will not know you,
and yet I will have
a deep memory of your passing.
Your passing
wore me down
changed my direction
made me new.

©Mary Lee Hahn, date unknown

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Writer's Wish

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by see like click

The Writer's Wish

Come, words.

Pour down like rain in the night,
with or without the thunder.

Sit on my shoulder like the wren on the fence.
Sing to me; sing through me.

Rise dependably, like sun behind clouds.
Glow with promise and purpose.

Follow me down the pine-scented forest path.
Follow me, or perhaps lead me. Better yet, walk with me.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Perpetual Impasse

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Vincent van der Pas

Perpetual Impasse

Outstretched arms reach,

Open hands caress

Blank face stares.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Our Wonderful World: People

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.
30. People

Carol Wilcox at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Our Wonderful World

are absolute and true.

But none of it would matter much
without the likes of you.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

WHEW! We made it! A month of wandering the world, wondering about wonders, and writing poetry. 

Awards for collaboration, commitment, camaraderie and creativity go to Carol Wilcox and Kevin Hodgson. We stayed together through thick and thin, through narrative and haiku, through rhyme and free verse. Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming on this journey with me! 

There are wonders to be found everywhere we look in our world. The ordinary variety can be found close to home. Scattered throughout the world are ancient, modern, engineering, and natural wonders amazing enough to make "The Lists." 

But none of the wonders experienced on their own are nearly as wonderful as they are when you can ooh and ahh with a fellow wonderer. It's this realization I tried to capture in my Hallmarkian poem today.

Thank you Carol and Kevin for writing with me EVERY single day (and also to Carol V., Catherine, Collette, Margaret, and Jone for joining in occasionally).

Kevin has a sound poem, "The Wonder of People," with which to end our month.

Carol has two poems today, one for the Poetry Club, and one for ME! Thanks, Carol!!

Happy National Poetry Month 2014!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Our Wonderful World: Imagination

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.
Wikimedia Commons by Worm That Turned

29. Imagination

Because the whole time
you are gluing paper to sticks,
it is neither paper nor sticks.

It is wings and sky,
soaring and flight.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Here's to the impulse behind every single one of the wonders this month -- to the human imagination -- the ability to see beyond!

Carol has a very opinionated chocolate poem from yesterday at Carol's Corner.

Kevin has a haiku Notegraphy for imagination at Kevin's Meandering Mind.

Carol's imagination poem is at Carol's Corner.

Catherine joins us with an imagination poem at Reading to the Core.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Our Wonderful World: Chocolate Cake

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

28. Chocolate Cake

Abecedarian Cake Love

cake --
high --
notch --

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

This is not the first time my cake-baking has found its way into my poetry. Here's my Birthday Cake poem from NaPoWriMo12. And if you've visited A Year of Reading with any regularity, you've seen my cake in many a monthly photo mosaic.  My cake even showed up in a post on structure vs. freedom.

Today Kevin tells the story of the last chocolate in the tin at Kevin's Meandering Mind.

Jone joins in with both a sunrise poem and a chocolate poem at Deo Writer.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Our Wonderful World: Sunrise

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

27. Sunrise

It's a
daily wonder
most people sleep right through.
I've sung sun's praises since childhood.
Still do.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

I'm a morning person. I love sunrise. We're good friends. I actually love the darkness right before sunrise almost as much as the sunrise itself. Anticipation, expectation...then...renewal.

And what I said about singing sun's praises? I meant that literally. I remember, at about 5 years old, running out into the middle of the back yard and belting out "Heavenly Sunshine" (a Bible School song) first thing on summer mornings. I remember standing at the kitchen sink with mom, singing "You Are My Sunshine." I remember, as a high schooler, playing my guitar and leading the Easter Sunrise Service congregation in "Morning Has Broken."

I grew up in a place where the most distinctive feature of the landscape is the horizon. Drive five minutes out of town in any direction and you can see all 360° of it. The upshot of this is that I grew up watching the sky, the sun, the clouds. Some people feel an emotional pull to mountains, some to ocean. But I feel most myself when I'm in that spacious open land with nothing around me and the bright blue bowl of the sky above me.

We're winding down the Our Wonderful World project and Poetry Month 2014. I'm glad I saved some personal wonders for these last four days. The big wide amazing world is one thing, but our small particular dear-to-us worlds are even more precious. Because they are ours.

Kevin has a sunrise/sunset mirror poem for today.

Carol's sunrise poem is at Carol's Corner.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Our Wonderful World: The Polar Ice Caps

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

The Birdhouse in the Sycamore Tree

The summer between 5th and 6th grade,
I fell out of the sycamore tree
that stood in the alley
outside the back garden fence.

There was a birdhouse in the sycamore.
I wanted to get it down.
I had climbed up to check it out
and the rope that tied it was weathered into a
rock solid knot.

I got the silver bottle opener –
the one with the shiny sharp triangle
for poking and prying –
out of the kitchen gadget drawer.

I climbed the fence and then into the sycamore
with the bottle opener
clenched between my teeth.

I remember the surprise I felt
when the branch broke,
but I don’t remember falling
or hitting the fence on the way down.
I came to with the bottle opener
still between my

My right arm was a different matter.

I began 6th grade,
already awkward and buck-toothed
with a full cast on my right arm.
I’m right handed.

And on the first day of school,
Mrs. Bonner,
cold as the polar ice caps,
made me pass out the Scholastic book orders.

I struggled with those tissue-paper fliers,
stared at and and snickered at
but stubbornly refusing to ask for help.

I can’t remember if I ever got the bird house
out of the tree,
but I’ll never forget how Mrs. Bonner
treated me.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

I couldn't bear to write about human destruction of the polar ice caps.  Kevin came through. He wrote a passionate ode to the ice caps that includes a fierce warning to humankind. Powerful.

Carol's polar ice cap poem is just as powerful as Kevin's, but in a "take you by the shoulders and shake you" kind of way.

Carol has an abecedarian for Victoria Falls over at Carol's Corner.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Our Wonderful World: Victoria Falls

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

25. Victoria Falls


Wide river, sauntering fluidly,
serene, unaware of the fault ahead,

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Be sure to stop by Carol's Corner and check out her Rainforest Rainbow poem from yesterday.

You'll feel like you're riding over Victoria Falls with Kevin's poem today at Kevin's Meandering Mind!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our Wonderful World: The Amazon Rain Forest

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

24. The Amazon Rain Forest

Leaf Cutter Ants


Ant agriculturalists
harvest leaf bits,
feeding them to fungus,
growing their food source.

But there's more.

The fungus needs the ants.
Mold threatens the fungus,
so worker ants wear 
a coat of bacteria --
living antibiotics that protect their food.

But there's more.

The rainforest needs the ants
who prune vegetation
which stimulates growth;
who break down leaves
which renews the soil.

But there's more.

The earth needs the rainforest.
The green, 
jewel of biodiversity
which holds keys to the balance
of life on earth.
Keys that may be lost 
before we even know how much we need them.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Some aurora poems from yesterday:

Carol's at Carol's Corner

Catherine's at Reading to the Core

Margaret's (Reflections on the Teche) can be found in yesterday's comments.

Kevin's Amazon poem is here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Wonderful World: The Aurora

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

23. The Aurora


Luminous curtains veil a backdrop of stars.
Swirling green serpents of light,
wingbeats of unseen mythical beings,
dancing spirits take the stage.

Swirling green serpents of light
demystified and explained by science, but
dancing spirits take the stage
in my imagination.

Demystified and explained by science, but
evidence of mystery and magic
in my imagination.
Luminous curtains veil a backdrop of stars.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

I wanted to try a pantoum today. It seemed the perfect twisting swirling form for The Aurora Borealis. I'm not sure this quite captured the feeling I wanted, but there are only so many hours in a day and that stack of papers I've been carrying around long...needs to be graded!

My students are writing with me again this week. Hopefully by week's end I'll have some of their poems to share.

Carol gives the mountain a voice in her Mt. Everest poem.

Kevin "surfs the solar wind" in his Aurora poem.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Wonderful World: Mt. Everest

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

22. Mt. Everest


Snow slide,
snow slip,
rapid flow
of snow
down a slope.

Neither rare,
nor random,
a natural hazard
of destructive


Snow slide,
snow slip,
rapid flow
of snow
down a slope.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Carol's Great Barrier reef poems are here.

Kevin's Mt. Everest poem is here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Wonderful World: The Great Barrier Reef

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

21. The Great Barrier Reef

Do you care
If the
Vitality of the
Earth is
Reduced by
Slow degradation of ecosystems?
It should
Tear at 
Your soul,

Making you feel the loss
As if a part of you were

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Carol's Grand Canyon poems are as metaphorical as mine was, and deeply spiritual.

Kevin is pondering metaphors in his post and poem today.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Our Wonderful World: The Grand Canyon

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

20. The Grand Canyon

For the Grand Canyon (and Franki)

You're amazing.
I like to watch people's faces
when they first experience you.
There's no mistaking the power of your energy.

You're inspiring.
We see what you've accomplished,
the vigor and potential in all you do,
and we know we could do more and be more.

You're incredible:
the reach of your influence;
your stamina, your spirit, your passion;
the bubbly joy at your core.

You're a wonder.
You make the world a better place.
You are a force for good.
We are lucky to have you in our world.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Carol has two poems and a process post about Chichen Itza at Carol's Corner.
Catherine joins us with a Grand Canyon poem at Reading to the Core.

Kevin pays tribute to the Colorado River in his poem at Kevin's Meandering Mind.

Colette's Grand Canyon poem at 100 Words a Day will give you gasps of wonder AND fear.