Day and night

Here’s some haiku poetry about our backyard. I wrote it today because last night I woke to the sounds of screeching raccoons scaling my neighbor’s tree.

Hear my poem.

a choir of tulips
turns to the sun and opens
wide to sing and shine


flowers fold their
fingers neatly
into their laps


close your eyes
into yourself

3:00 a.m.

raccoons hunt for mice
instead come face to
face with a fox

3:01 a.m.

lungs and eyes
screech and scream as they
scale a tree to safety

3:05 a.m.

fox flees and
the family descends the tree
slower going down than up

3:06 a.m.
i close the window and turn
my back to nature
hide under my pillow

Thanks for reading my blog and / or listening to my podcast. -Connie

Editor’s Note: Haiku is not limited to the 5-7-5 syllable structure.

For Nerds Only: Hear raw audio of the raccoons in my yard!

Two for tea

My son has been sick for the past three days. A poem.

No fever 
but a sore 
throat and cough
at night which
is when it
feels the worst
for him and

test result
does little 
to soothe the
soul but hot
tea is the
for him and

Thanks for reading my blog. Hope we can share a cup of tea some day! -Connie

Three syllables

I teach an online radio play and podcast class on Monday nights and spend most of the day prepping for it. It’s a very creative class but also intensely technical so by this point, I’m fulfilled but also a little frazzled. You know what that means. Poem time!

Zoom teaching  
fries the eyes
and the mind

still, it's a
deep dive in 
to lives of

real people

and places
i never
dreamed about


essays, plays,
podcasts and

listen now

Thanks for reading my blog! What’s your favorite podcast or radio play? -Connie

Yea or nay?

Still haven’t heard a yea or nay about the Rockford Fringe Festival. Take your time, elected officials. Take your time.

third ward alderman
leaves me hanging like a chad
please vote yea or nay

I wrote a that senryu because hyperlocal poetry always motivates people to work faster.

Normally I wouldn’t explain the joke, but my alderman’s first name is Chad.

Speaking of “yea,” I’m headed to the city for Tuesdays@9. Can’t wait!

Hope you have a great night! Thanks for reading. -Connie

Poster art by Joshua Fardon.

I don’t know what it is, but I like it

It was a beautiful day in Rockford. I know this because I looked out the window once or twice. For the most part, however, my eyes were glued to my manuscript and my buttocks were firmly planted in my seat; the same seat I am sitting in right now.

Connie: Buttocks, don’t be rude. Say hello!

Buttocks: Hellooooo!

Connie: Thank you, Buttocks. Dismissed.

Buttocks are confused and stay put. Connie changes subject.

I hope you like the picture. I took it yesterday at Rock Cut State Park. I’m using it for today’s blog entry because it’s a visual metaphor of my writing. Other than it being a dead tree, I don’t really know what I’m looking at, but I do like its shape and textures.

Writing all day isn’t a new sensation, but there is a special shame that accompanies me when a deadline is involved. That’s because other things get ignored in the process. Things like my chores and hydrating. My children. But the good news is I checked Facebook 14,097 times so at least I’m caught up there.

In case you are wondering what I’m writing: I am sharing scenes 3 and 4 of my full length drama Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be In Southwest China at Tuesdays@9. I’m introducing a new character, Shan, with these scenes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the peek into my process (and negligence). I suppose a haiku would have been a more economic approach.

guilt is worse than pain
when you spend the day writing
buttocks stuck to seat

That’s the long and short of it. Thank you for reading my blog. Inside or out, I hope you had a decent weekend. -Connie

Rock Cut State Park – haiku and tanka poems

get up! car's coming!
white pines stand at attention
welcome to rock cut

when in the forest
don't look where you are going
look everywhere else
on our way home sam
said to pull over because
the lake had something 
to say to him. i tried but
i couldn't hear anything
when we got home he
was holding an aldi bag - 
they thought "yaye! cheesecake!"
but it was a sack of rocks
a treat only sam could love

Thanks for reading my nature poems and Happy National Poetry Month! -Connie

Repetition replaces rhyme

Sam holds the sibling mourning dove shells.

When I was walking Willow this morning, I found an “empty” mourning dove eggshell and brought it home. I told Sam about it when I picked him up after Track this evening. He said, “Oh, I saw it on my way to the bus this morning.” When we got to our neighborhood, he asked me to pull over. He got out of the car and retrieved “his” shell. When we got to our backyard, I showed him “my” shell. I’m pretty sure they are sibling shells.

I decided to write a sestina about the mourning dove massacre. A sestina is six stanzas with six lines followed by a 7th three-line stanza. Instead of rhyming, the last words of each stanza are repeated uniquely in the following stanza. The concluding stanza has to incorporate all six words in three lines. Iambic pentameter and repetition replaces rhyme in this kind of poem and the effect is supposed to be soothing and haunting. I’ll admit I got a little “creative” with the iambs.

Good Mourning
Mr. Grackle broke and entered the nest
and the unborn doves never had a chance.
He ate the sleeping siblings for breakfast.
They say it's part of the life cycle
but it makes me sad for Mother Nature
though i'm not the only one in mourning

When the unborn doves were asleep in their nest
they had recurring dreams about eternal mourning.
Father felt them trembling beneath him at breakfast
while mother stole seeds scattered by wind's chance.
When she flew back he told her about the eggs' nature
and they both smiled and said this was a good cycle.

Predators won't accept birdseed for breakfast.
They say it goes against their nature
so they watch over someone else's nest
and secretly wait for their chance
to remind the world they're not morning doves, they're mourning
their doves, forever swept away in a gluttonous cycle.

One month later she laid another two eggs after breakfast.
This time they are leaving nothing to chance.
Father added a fresh border of twigs around the nest, 
says it will protect them from the evils of nature.
He's feeling confident about this new cycle
but mother still spends her mornings mourning.

This morning the garbage trucks made their clamorous cycle
through the neighborhood, waking them up before breakfast.
She swears she'll poop on their heads when she gets the chance.
He smiles because he knows that's not in her nature;
her feathers ruffle but she's not going to leave that nest
until her world is filled with the coos of two new doves mourning 

She's cranky because this is a frigid spring cycle.
Every morning they wake up to snow and ice in their nest
and neither of them want to go get breakfast
but she knows she needs it and being healthy is her only chance
to fulfill her true calling, her true nature
until then she is truly mourning, truly mourning... 

Morning, she says, will never come. This is a terrible cycle!
She is tired and sore and he is bargaining with Mother Nature.
Please, he begs the goddess, give us another chance!
Let them live and I'll never skip breakfast
again and I'll always protect the nest.
Please protect us from eternal mourning.

Night cycles into morning and guess who is in the nest?
Little doves with mouths wide open expressing their mournful nature
Mother and Father say it's time for family breakfast

If you’re not up for a sestina, there are some shorties below that I wrote in between my parent-teacher conferences.

An untitled tanka.

the teachers and i
talked on the phone to discuss
my kids' potential
for achieving true success --
or were we just killing time?
An untitled haiku.

free education's
a constitutional right
fourteenth amendment

An untitled senryu.

constitution says
a free education is
yours for mis-taking
Here's a tanka about some (bad) advice I was given about how my kids should stay and 'give back' to Rockford. 

Give Back
who benefits most
when the next generation
never leaves home and
lives a manufactured life
cut from someone else's dreams 

Here's a tanka about a local scholarship called The Rockford Promise.

A Promise or a Threat
Rockford promises 
kids who maintain a three-point-
oh! free tuition!
if they matriculate at
a local institution

Thanks for reading! Did I mention it’s National Poetry Month? -Connie