Creative Display: Shadow Box Poetry

For my birthday last year, I got this gorgeous iron key on a ring. I love decor and jewelry with keys. This key, however, was too big for jewelry and too awkward to simply hang somewhere. I had to get creative.

Generic Craft Box

My first thought was a shadow box. But traditional ones weren’t wide enough for the ring. I was finally inspired by an image I found that used a propped open hinged box, more of a chest, to display as more of an open shadow box.

I found this inexpensive cigar box on at, where I also bought the Once Upon a Time paper set.

Once Upon a Time paper

I picked out some paper, stained the box a color to compliment both paper and key. Then I formatted and printed off one of my poems about a key, “The Key’s Mystery.” Cut and glued my poem  and background page in.

A clear Command hook worked to hang the key. Though it was harder than I expected finding one large enough for the ring, but small enough for it to hang high enough. And now I have a unique display for both my key and poem.

Key Box

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A Poetic How-To

As is tradition, for National Poetry Month I am following multiple sites for my prompts and inspiration. The poem I am sharing today is one written for the Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day challenge. Keep in mind this is a rough draft. Day 10: Take the phrase “How (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

“How to Catch a Fairy”

Fairies like a place to frolic–
explore a forest glade,
find a playful willow,
or circle of shrooms.

Fairies love gifts—
entice them with
a trail of flowers,
berries and sparkly things.

Fairies want to dance—
like a pied piper,
lure them with a spritely tune
played on harp, flute, fiddle.

Fairies need a home—
provide a roof made for doll or bird,
or create one just for them,
and their loyalty is yours alone.


Bonus: Here is instructions for creating a fairy home, courtesy of Tinkerbell.

How to Build a Fairy Home

How to Build a Fairy Home


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Where is my mind?

Answer: On paper.

When chatting with Peggy, I realized how old-fashioned I am. I keep most of my thoughts, to-dos and writing on paper, either typed or written in pen. Peggy uses her computer and phone, in other words, technology, to keep track of things.

In order to remember things I have to write them down, literally. I have notebooks for everything it seems. I even print out a monthly handout on the moon cycles that I follow along with. If it’s anywhere, it’s on my desk.

I take dictation (from whom? not sure about that one) on some of my poems, the rest I struggle with.

I have a planner with my daily to-do lists, a habit tracker, a writing tracker, a poetry notebook, a writing notebook, a prioritized to-do list, and a little green shopping list notebook. I’m more wannabe organized person than actually organized. Here are some pictures of how I keep track:

IMG_4119IMG_4120IMG_4121IMG_4123IMG_4126IMG_4130My trusty pen (and water bottle)!

A Magical Poem for Friday the 13th

Today is a superstitious day. If you feel you need protection, perhaps this shop can help.

Sparky’s Magic Shop

Is your boss a big buffoon?
We can make him a baboon!
Homework making you insane?
We can biggify your brain.

We can read your future here
If it’s bleak, never fear!
We have just the charm for that–
Just ignore the undead rat.

When the moon falls from the sky
And you fear that you could die
Come to Sparky’s Magic Shop
There’s no problem we can’t stop!


Magic Shop

Magic Shop

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Today’s Poems

Here are a couple poems I wrote today in response to the weekly prompts on the Poetic Asides blog:


We were so careful with each other,
not willing to risk heart, home,
flesh, bone.

We touched briefly between the aisles
of the public library. Book end to book end,
what stories we could tell?

I only sketched the barest outline.
You kept well within the lines,
characters not fleshed out, plots threadbare.

Today, I carelessly call off our meeting.
Tired with a headache, excuses made
for five years into a marriage, not five years
into this, whatever this is.

Every polite, we arrange to meet on Tuesday,
when our schedules will allow.

Allow me.
No, you go first.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

February 28, 2015

prompt: careless poem

Time for Treats

“Treat, treat, treat?”
Scattered on the floor,
little tuna and chicken goodies.

Treat, treat, treat.
He hovers over the meat cooler,
looking for the biggest packages
of the leanest hamburger.

Treat, treat, treat!
We pick up two buck chuck,
chocolate, Irish Breakfast tea
and German herring at Trader Joe’s.

Treat, treat, treat?
At this rate, his Lotto winnings
will not last long.

Licking icing off my fingers
from the cinnamon rolls
good luck brings.

(It brings treats.)

February 28, 2015

prompt: treat poem


Poetry in Quotes

I’d like to share with you some quotes that really echo how I feel about poetry.

What is poetry?

“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”
–Edgar Allan Poe

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”
–Carl Sandburg

Who is the poet?

“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”
–W. H. Auden

Poets don’t publish for the recognition or the money. We do it because we want to connect with the world, with other people. To share human experience and emotion.

“Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.”
–Don Marquis

“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
–T.S. Eliot

“Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement.”
–Christopher Fry

And, above all else:

“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves.
What humans can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature.” –Abraham Maslow

I am a Poet
A genius in disguise
Forms flow from my fingertips
Words and phrases grow within me
Waiting for ripeness
That moment when I write them
And another poem is born

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Together Again

thanksgivingNovember always brings to mind family. It’s the month of my birthday, as well as Thanksgiving. So even on years where I don’t visit with family, they are still close to my thoughts and heart.

I come from a big family. I have eight siblings! And as much as I love them, love being around them, as an introvert I’ve always had to step aside and recharge a bit. Being in the thick of things can be overwhelming and draining. You’ll often find me on the outskirts, listening in on conversations but not always jumping in.

This poem was written for the Together Again prompt earlier this month from Poetic Asides.


Over food and games
Siblings catch up on the news,
their familiar chatter
carries down the hall…

I smile,
comforted by their nearness,
content for the moment
to reunite with another friend;

I kick off my shoes, sit at the bench,
sigh at the familiar curve
of the pedal pressed beneath my foot,
the ivory beneath my fingers.

My hands fall into the patterns
despite months of time apart–
All else fades away
as I embrace the music.


Cute, but unrelated, kitty

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Supporting Literacy

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend Fox Hills Elementary’s Literacy Night as a local poet. There was a nice variety of writers represented. The poet, the short story and article writer, the picture book author/illustrator, and the YA fantasy author. Also attending was the children’s librarian from our local library.

On my table, I set up a tri-fold board with a sign identifying me as a poet, as well as Chiaroscuro book cover and some sample poems, a few poems for kids, and my certificate for first place poetry from a local contest. For handouts, I had my Stego Stomp poem printed on fun paper for the kids, and postcards about Chiaroscuro for the parents.

poetry tri-fold

There was a big turnout. I enjoyed the excitement about books in the air. The kids who stopped and took time to read my poem all enjoyed it. It was a big hit. One boy is even going to have his mom hang it on his bedroom wall. One goal of poetry is to share and create enjoyment, and I feel I succeeded.

Chiaroscuro postcards

There was even some genuine interest in my poetry book. One mom admitted she hasn’t read a poem since she was a teenager. Hopefully I encouraged her to revisit poetry. 

I ran out of the dino poem handout with about half hour left of the night, but even without it kids and parents were still reading poems from my board. What a great feeling hearing others read and enjoy my poems.

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Tell Your Own Story

I’m sure we’ve all gone through thoughts that we’re not good enough, that someone else could do it better.

I was going through one of these phases: any other writer could tell this story better. Then I remembered my conclusion when I put myself down as a bad parent.

Even though I’m not the best mom, I don’t want anyone else raising my kid, because I know him best.

As a writer, my characters deserve the same. I may not be the best writer, but I know my story and characters and no one can tell their story the way I can.

One of my favorite fantasy authors, Patrick Rothfuss, responded to a commenter who wished they could write like him. I wrote this verbatim into my bliss book so I’d always have a reminder when I start comparing myself to other authors.

“I’ll never be able to write a book like The Last Unicorn. I wish I could, but I know I can’t.

You can’t write the sort of story I write. Only I can.

We all have our own style. Our own way. Our own something we need to say.

If you want to write like me, you’re bound to fail. What you want to do is write your story, but do it brilliantly. Do it so well that it shines.

But it takes time. And revision. And depression. And work. And then more work…

I’ve been there. I know what you’re talking about.”

We are all unique. We each have a story to tell. Whether we tell that through our blogs, or poetry, or fiction, or in a different medium such as film or art. We can all contribute to the world. When we stop contributing, we do the world a disservice.

Keep on Going on

You are you.
No one can replace you;
No one can love
the way you do.

You’re not just one star
in the universe;
You are someone’s sun–
They would be adrift
if your light went out.

Don’t give up your dreams—
your success, your creations, your journey,
may change someone else’s life.

Keep on going on.

(Content previously posted on personal blog.)

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Greetings from the Trenches

magnetic-poetry-magnetsIt’s been a busy year for us Muselings, as we’ve mostly been entrenched in our own projects and life events. This month we come together again with one goal. To write new poems. Once again, Poetic Asides is prompting for November Poem a Day.

Differing from the April challenge, November has the goal of putting together poems for a chapbook. A poetry version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Michele, Margaret, Anne, and myself will be writing our poems based on the same prompts. Our hopes is to take these differening views, these “Four Sides of the Moon”, to create a new poetry anthology. 

I always enjoy seeing how different voices approach the same topic. One may take a prompt literally, another use it as a metaphor, or a stepping off point for another theme. To show an example of this, our day one prompt (taken from the Poetic Asides blog) was to write a “Game Over” poem. Michele wrote about football, Anne wrote about the end to a night out, Margaret about her father suffering through a night at the MET, and I wrote about a power outage forcing a game over to an unsaved video game. What does “Game Over” mean to you?

Margaret, Michele, and myself will be blogging this month. Poetry, writing, whatever we feel to share. So stick around. What are you working on this month? We’d love to hear from you.

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