Friday, October 23, 2020

Autumn Acrostic


a tree in our neighborhood

 

At first, it goes
Unnoticed.
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




Puff
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

Fallibility


image via Unsplash


FALLIBILITY

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.
I’ll
not be a liability.
I’ll
try
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

Infinite


photo via Unsplash


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


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Thursday, July 2, 2020

This Photo Wants to be a Poem


After the Rain by Amanda Potts




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

Magnify.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Friday, June 26, 2020

Sand Creek Cottonwoods


Credit for photo

Sand Creek Cottonwoods

At first
the shade
of the gnarled cottonwoods
lining the dry creek bed
is a relief.

Sun blazes
in the cloudless azure sky.

At first
the rustle 
of the cottonwood leaves
in the near-constant wind
is a susurrus.

Leaf-babble
in the wide silent plains.

But suddenly
the age
of the gnarled cottonwoods
and the dates on the battleground marker
sink in.

These trees witnessed

And now
the rustle 
of the cottonwood leaves
repeats the names of slaughtered elders, women, and children
in a dirge.

Leaf-testimony
in the wide silent plains.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Thursday, April 30, 2020

nature carries on



nature carries on

hyacinths are gone
viburnum is swarmed by bees
daisies will bloom next 


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Lunch




Lunch

When Grandma was a girl
she sometimes walked home from school for lunch.
She remembers grilled cheese and tomato soup,
kidney beans and cheese on toast,
peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

Now that school is in my house,
I eat lunch at home every day.
I like to eat the same thing I did at school --
pretzels and a cheese stick, veggies and a fruit.
Keeping lunch the same helps me remember the cafeteria.

The cafeteria was loud and messy.
I traded pretzels for bites of sushi or mini Oreos.
After lunch was recess. I miss recess --
the swings, the big toy, even the muddy soccer field.
I even miss indoor recess.

Sitting on my porch
eating my not-a-school-lunch
at home-is-now-school,
I close my eyes in the sun, listen to the birds,
and remember everything I miss about school.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

There's No Such Thing



There's No Such Thing

There's no such thing
as something from nothing
but potential can surprise us like Spring does
can unfold the way a leaf opens
the way Einstein grew out of an inauspicious childhood
into his genius.
It is the way of the world to
make the improbable possible,
then real.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



The phrase "make the improbable possible, then real" is something Maria Popova said during the live stream of "The Universe in Verse" on Saturday, April 25, 2020.


Monday, April 27, 2020

In the Recent Past




in the recent past
"infectious" and "contagious"
referred to laughter


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Sunday, April 26, 2020

Dandelions, Ten Days Later




temporary sun
now a galaxy of seeds
blown dandelion


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020

Saturday, April 25, 2020

I Have a New Friend




I Have a New Friend

I have a new friend.
We've never met.
She chalks art and exercise challenges on the sidewalk.
She leaves the chalk out.
I write and draw my thanks.
Her chalk sticks became a pile of chalk pebbles.
I left a package on her porch --
Highlights magazines and gently used sidewalk chalk.
She left a package on my porch --
coloring pages, crayons and markers, four Cra-Z-Loom bracelets.
And a note.
I have a new friend named Annie.
We've never met.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Friday, April 24, 2020

Perspectives




Perspectives

I can see the train on the tracks two blocks away,
but an eagle can see a rabbit two miles away.

I can turn my head to look west down the street to the sunset,
but an owl can turn its head to see 270° (plus it can see in the dark.)

I can roll my eyes at Bill's corny puns,
but mantis shrimp and chameleons can roll each eye independently.

I can see your face,
but not your heart.

I can see through tears,
but not through closed doors.

I can see the stars,
but not the future.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Thursday, April 23, 2020

What You Want




What You Want

When what you want
is to swim laps in a pool,
a walk in the neighborhood
will have to do.

When what you want
is a hug and high five,
a card or an email
will have to suffice.

When what you want
leaves you high and dry
what you DO have
will just have to satisfy.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Fifth Grade Lessons




Fifth Grade Lessons

You're
only
eleven
and you're learning
life requires you to
(first and foremost) show up.
Read directions, do your best,
ask for help, give help when you can.
Put one foot in front of the other.
Never take "ordinary" for granted.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

There's Really No Other Option




There's Really No Other Option

It's a small boat.
You're alone in a storm.
The sea is rough.
A gust of wind takes your sail.
The boat spins and lurches.
It threatens to swamp.
You scream into the dark night.
The sky absorbs your anger, despair, frustration.

Then you pick up the oars,
and you row.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Monday, April 20, 2020

Be Prepared




no Swiss Army Knife
adequately prepares you
for a broken heart


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


I opened my Everyday Offerings book after I heard the announcement from Governor DeWine that our schools would be closed for the remainder of the year. It wouldn't have mattered if I had seen this before I heard the announcement. I knew it was coming. I was not prepared.




Sunday, April 19, 2020

Generosity




Generosity

Give what you can.
Even if you have
No cash to spare, your giving makes a difference.
Every card or "thank you" or piece of art
Reminds those who are working so hard to keep
Our world running and our citizens
Safe and healthy, that we acknowledge their
Invaluable contribution.
Today, what will
You give?


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Friday, April 17, 2020

Contact Tracing




Contact Tracing

shy handshake
pat on the back
ponytail tug
hand-over-hand cursive
fist bump
high five
side hug

wave goodbye through the window of the bus
wave hello through the computer screen

contact secure
heart to heart


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Thursday, April 16, 2020

Dandelions



Dandelions

Yellow stars
in a sky of green
you shine
but never twinkle.

Dots of happiness
splattered on the lawn
you're a freckle, a dimple,
a wink.

Golden coin
on green bank
you share your wealth
freely.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Haiku Diary for April 15



Haiku Diary for April 15

I wake up whiney
the sameness of every day
I'm on my last nerve

exercise, shower
a mug of hot tea, breakfast
sun peeks through the trees

my heart pumps, blood flows
lungs reliably inflate
some sameness is good

going to work means
down the hall into office
alone/together

Google Meet is fine
but like all the rest of life
you have to show up

food delivery
a small thing for us to do
makes a big difference

lunchtime luxury
listen to a podcast
nurture my spirit

hours and hours of screens
my brain is totally fried
the cure is ice cream


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Keeping a haiku diary is one of the challenges from Jarrett Lerner.



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ode to My Hardboiled Egg




Ode to My Hardboiled Egg

You came into this world ready
to be whatever was needed from you --

glue, to hold together a cake,
glaze, to make a pastry shine,
shell, to become a work of art,
sustenance, to give my body the strength

to do whatever the world needs from me.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Monday, April 13, 2020

We Are In This Together




We Are In This Together

When, in the human history of the
Earth, have

All the people --
Regardless of continent or nation -- shared the same
Experience? No one is

Immune from the daily
News of infection and death.

Turn on the media and you'll
Hear "furlough," "recession," "economy."
Incredible to see crops of tulips and onions
Sitting in fields, rotting.

Turn off the media and head
Outside. Nature will fill you with
Gratitude. Our
Earth -- spinning out days, circling out seasons --
Tells us change is inevitable,
Have hope, share wisdom, take care of
Each life.
Remember: we are in this together.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Good News From Across the Pond




Good News From Across the Pond

in the village of
Ribbesb├╝ttel, Germany
the storks have come back


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020








Saturday, April 11, 2020

It Never Grows Old




It Never Grows Old

Redbud
blooms burst from bark,
fleck the tree with color,
then open into a haze of
purple.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Friday, April 10, 2020

Living is a Form of Not Being Sure



Living is a form of not being sure, 
not knowing what next or how.
The moment you know how, you begin to die a little.
The artist never entirely knows.
We guess.
We may be wrong, 
but we take leap after leap into the dark.

--Agnes de Mille


Living is a Form of Not Being Sure

There are all kinds of dark.

You close your eyes in fear, exhaustion, or prayer
and dark is there.

The sun sets, the clouds roll in, you step into shade
and dark is there.

Your mind fills with unmarked roads, closed doors, gaping chasms
and dark is there.

There are all kinds of light.

You open your eyes in hope, anticipation, or gratitude
and light is there.

The sun rises, the clouds roll on, you step into sunshine
and light is there.

Your mind takes leap after leap into the dark, guessing, risking
and light is always there.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020 (with help from Agnes de Mille)



Thursday, April 9, 2020

Now, More Than Ever




Now, More Than Ever

Breathe
in hope,
then exhale
your gratitude.
Remember these truths:
students over standards,
patience over procedures,
compassion over compliance,
care over content, and grace over
gimmicks. We must humanize our teaching.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


This poem is an etheree.  It is also a found poem, comprised of bits of a post I read on the Nextdoor app, and this tweet by Shana V. White:





Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Unbounded




unbounded by walls
my classroom fits on my lap
hello front porch


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

This Is Just To Say




This Is Just To Say

I am not reading
the books
that patiently wait
on my shelves

and which
I should probably
have read
by now

Forgive me
I will read again
someday
maybe today


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


My mentor texts for this poem are William Carlos Williams and Kate Messner.


Monday, April 6, 2020

When I Stepped Outside for My Early Morning Walk




When I Stepped Outside for My Early Morning Walk

I was met by the moon,
full and bright, hanging low.
Good morning, Moon, I said.
What do you know?
And Moon said, Glow.

Few will notice
fewer will care.
All the more reason to always be there
and glow.

Waxing is joyous
waning is real.
Whether a sliver or the whole wheel,
you glow.

Find some light
get in its way
reflect that light with beam or ray
and glow.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Sunday, April 5, 2020

My Hands




My Hands

wrinkled cracked and dry
these clean clean clean clean clean hands
my gift to the world


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



This poem was inspired by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's Sharing our Notebooks video.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

On My Walk




On My Walk

On my walk
around the block
what do I see?
I see a teddy bear
looking at me!

As we go
I look below
and what do I see?
I see chalk art
looking at me!

Walk some more
and on the door
what do I see?
I see a rainbow
looking at me!

Come back home
where we're alone.
What do I see?
A hopeful heart
is looking out for me.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Friday, April 3, 2020

My Joy




My Joy

I see
you on my screen.
Hear your voice, check your work.
But I miss the reality
of you.

Your face --
pixilated --
so close, and yet so far.
No matter the distance, you are
my joy.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


This poem is a pair of cinquains. They were written in response to Liz Garton Scanlon's prompt.


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Gratitude




Gratitude

I
give thanks
for the clouds.
Yes, the same ones
that spoiled your picnic,
that rained on your parade,
that flooded the soccer field.
I am thankful for clouds because
without them there'd be no rainbows, and
behind them there will always be blue skies.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


This poem is an etheree, written with gratitude to Liz Garton Scanlon for her poetry prompts.



Wednesday, April 1, 2020

National Poetry Month 2020: The Flipside




The Flipside

Your fear stings like a fresh paper cut.
The flipside is brave determination to never give up.

The changes are rollercoaster fast -- disorienting, dizzying.
The flipside is the steady predictable approach of Spring.

Our connection is like the two sides of a coin:
the flipside says, whether we are together or apart, we are joined.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



Thursday, March 26, 2020

Remember That Time When


photo via Geoffrey Franklin on Flickr


Remember That Time When

Remember that time
when we played
long distance cribbage?

You, in California,
me, in Colorado.
We sent cards

back and forth
in the mail.
I can't recall

how to play,
not to mention
how or why

we chose this
absurdly random method
for staying connected.

Maybe that's it --
the big takeaway --
against all odds,

connect.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Remember That Time When



Remember That Time When

Remember that time when
I had breast cancer?
I do. Every day.

I am the one
in "one in five"
of breast cancer survivors

who had lymph nodes
removed from their armpit
and now have lymphedema:

"chronic painless swelling
in the arm." Chronic? Yes.
Painless? Not so much.

Please consider the pain
of the compression sleeve
all day, and then

the other compression "garment"
all night. And yet,
because of this expensive

(and I mean expensive)
"lingerie," I am constantly
reminded: I am alive.

I am still alive
twenty-two arm-swollen
years later. Alive, and

grateful.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020


Friday, February 21, 2020

Election Security



"Who will stop the people who want to cheat?" 

-- Tabatha Yeatts


Your Vote Only Counts If It’s Counted (A Nonet)

Your
ballot:
analog,
not digital,
not ephemeral.
In your hand. Palpable.
A vote that will be counted.
An actual piece of paper
holding officials responsible.


© 2020 Mary Lee Hahn


Sunday, January 5, 2020

New Beginnings


Unsplash photo via Yann Allegre

New Beginnings

The water is cold. Give yourself the grace
to flounder until you find your flow.

Do your best. It's not a race.
The water is cold. Give yourself the grace
to choose your own rhythm, your own pace.
There is no right or wrong tempo.

The water is cold. Give yourself the grace
to flounder until you find your flow.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2020



This poem is a triolet. The rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB.