Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Higher Power of Potato Chips

My first attempt at a Higher Power poem, a challenge given by Joyce Sidman.

What do potato chips know?
     You can't resist us.
     There's power in crispness.
     Grease is delicious.

What do potato chips know?
     Our stay is brief.
     Life needs treats.
     Occasionally, salty conquers sweet.

©Mary Lee Hahn 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Several Days Have Gone By

No poem written,
(not even notes for a later poem)
no regret for all the lost poems,
(what would they even have been about)
no self-censure for losing momentum:

flow needs ebb.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Porch Light

Leave the porch light on.
Its warm light will be welcome
after a long day.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Remember This in July

At five degrees
my eyeballs feel
like they will freeze.
Tears stream down my cheeks,
burning my face.
My fingers are stiff
inside my mittens
and the cold of the street
comes through my boots
into my feet.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015



Leave the safety of solid footing.
Embrace insecurity.
Sense the slip.
Mince, don't stride.
Stay standing --
celebrate success!

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Sunday, January 11, 2015



Warm from the oven,
your edges crispy,
your center fluffy,
your oats crunchy,
your chocolate chips melty,

you tempt me to gobble,
but I force myself to nibble.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Light Within the Light

The Light Within the Light

Just when you're sure
that all shadows are black
you notice the shadow of the oak on snow
is blue.

And the shadow of your hand
holding this pencil
writing on this page
is also blue.

Under the table beside the couch --
Behind the pillows --

What magic of light and white
turn black to blue?

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

The title of this poem comes from the title of a book I got for Christmas -- The Light Within the Light: Portraits of Donald Hall, Richard Wilbur, Maxine Kumin, & Stanley Kunitz by Jeanne Braham with engravings by Barry Moser

Friday, January 9, 2015

Bonus Points


Bonus points
for working out in the pool

on a day too cold
for there to be school?

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What Does a Teacher Do on a "Dangerously Cold Windchills" Day Off?

What Does a Teacher Do on a "Dangerously Cold Windchills" Day Off?

I'm up early.
The house is quiet
except for the tick and clong
of two old clocks
that are impossible to synchronize.

At my end of the couch,
I am surrounded in a bubble of warm light.
My tea steams.
I finish a book I've been meaning to read,
then flip open my computer to read blogs
and Tweet new learning.

I nearly freeze driving to school
to feed the fish
but at least the car is warm when we go out to lunch.

I set the timer and write for forty-five minutes,
just like I'll ask my students to
next time we meet.
(Tomorrow? Next week?)

I plan a writing lesson,
what we'll do next with division,
and I'll play around with a photo.
(Again, just like I'll ask my students to.)

Later, I'll go to my water aerobics class

After dinner,
I'll watch a little TV.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Verdict


Standing at the open door
scenting the harshly cold
slightly smoky air
he leans toward the porch
then abruptly turns away
walks to the kitchen
checks his bowl
heads for the blanket
he'll be curled on
until past noon.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Our William is a rescue cat who knows something good when he's got it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Snow Day!


Across the planet
all the way down under,
children there
are enjoying summer.

They frolic in sand
with happy bare feet,
while I trudge through snow
so cold that it squeaks.

Their sky is blue.
My sky is grey.
But we've both got no school --
let's go out and play!

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Winter Moonlight


sifts through bare trees
skims the empty street
skips ahead of bitter breezes
drifts where shadows meet

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Audubon Metro Park


The sun -- a low-hanging smudge.
The pond -- a layer of ice over mud.

A movement under the ice -- a darker oval.
A late afternoon surprise -- a winter turtle.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015



Next to the lamp, an
Open book and a steaming cup of
In the chair, she sits with
Closed eyes, listening

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

My One Little Word for 2015 is NOTICE. In this poem, I prepare myself for whatever 2015 will bring!

Tricia has the first Poetry Friday roundup of the year at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


from Wikimedia Commons


Why do I get the feeling
that the ticking of the clock
is actually
the roller coaster car of my life
ratcheting toward the first
of the new year?

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014