Friday, May 18, 2018

A Home for the Seasons: A Memoir Poem

I spent many of my happiest childhood days at the home of my maternal grandparents--Michael and Anna (Chalupka) Koziski. They owned a small duplex on a quiet street in Peabody, Massachusetts. They lived on the left side of the house. My Aunt Emily and my cousins Karen and Joyce lived on the right side after my Uncle Stanley passed away when he was in his late twenties.
After the death of my Babci and Dzidzi, I decided to write a collection of poems about them and their home in order to honor their memory. Here is the first poem from the unpublished collection:
A Home for the Seasons
My grandparents’ house seems to hug their shady street.
A white duplex, its twin front doors
stand side by side
just three steps up from the sidewalk.
We always enter their house through the side door.
Stepping into the kitchen,
we find Babci sitting at the far end of the table
spooning filling onto circles of homemade dough
and making pierogis, crocheting afghans,
or snipping lacy designs from paper—
a traditional folk art she learned in Poland.
Sometimes we see her painting flowers on the cupboard doors
or hanging starched curtains she embroidered by hand.
The aroma of stuffed cabbage or babka baking in the oven
often greets us at the door.
Most days, Dzidzi spends outdoors tending to his garden
or painting the shutters green
or mending the picket fence
or building a backyard fireplace for summertime barbecues.
My grandparents always busy themselves
making their place a special place
for the family to gather throughout the year,
making it a home for all the seasons.
Anna & Michael Koziski

Four Cousins
My sister Virginia is in the back row.
Front Row (L to R) Me, Joyce, Karen
Rebecca has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Sloth Reads.
NOTE: I want to thank my grandnephew George Blaney for putting many of our old family pictures on CDS for close relatives.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Afternoon on a Hill: A Poem for My Mother

Sunday will be the second Mother's Day we celebrate without my mother. I picked out the following poem to honor her because the simplest things could bring joy into her life: a colorful sunset, the scent of lilacs in spring, a crisp autumn day, taking care of her youngest granddaughter. I think she would have liked Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem about spending an afternoon on a hill enjoying nature.

Afternoon on a Hill
By Edna St. Vincent Millay
I will be the gladdest thing 
    Under the sun! 
I will touch a hundred flowers 
    And not pick one. 
I will look at cliffs and clouds
    With quiet eyes, 
Watch the wind bow down the grass, 
    And the grass rise. 

 Click here to read the rest of the poem.
My mother's last Mother's Day (2016)

Jama has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Alphabet Soup.


Friday, May 4, 2018

And the Winner of THINGS TO DO for the Fourth Week of National Poetry Month Is...

The winner of a signed copy of my book THINGS TO DO is Glenda Funk! Congratulations, Brenda! Just email me your address and let me know how you would like me to inscribe the book.

NOTE: I apologize for this late announcement. I came down with my second respiratory infection in a month and have been feeling really tired and out of sorts.

First Week's Winner: Books4Learning

Second Week's Winner: Robyn Hood Black

Third Week's Winner: Brenda Harsham

All winners should email me their snail mail addresses. Let me know how you would like me to sign your books. If you want me to send the book to someone other than yourself, that's fine with me--as long as it isn't overseas.
Brenda has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Friendly Fairy Tales.


Friday, April 27, 2018


 A Martian Chronicle: Words of Earth's First Astronaut to Land on Mars

The sky is pink.
The rocks are red.
There ain’t no birdies

It’s bare. It’s bleak.
Don’t see no plants…
Or other green

It’s desolate.
The air is scant.
Except for me—
No life’s extant.

It’s dusty, dry.
I need a beer.
Get me outta here!


TO: Pluto
DATE: August 24, 2006
RE: Demotion to Dwarf Status

Sorry, Pluto, you’re way too small.
You’re just an itty-bitty ball…
An insignificant cosmic dot…
A speck in the Milky Way. You’re not
Considered a planet anymore.
Here’s your pink slip; there’s the door.
You’re off the list. Goodbye! Adieu!
Don’t go making a hullabaloo.
There’s nothing…nothing…you can do.
Accept your fate.


(NOTE: IAU stands for the International Astronomical Union)


Posts from earlier this week:


 Don't forget! I'm giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during April. All you have to do to qualify to have your named entered into next Sunday's drawing is to comment on one of the blogs that I posted during this third week of National Poetry Month (April 22-28). 
Irene Latham has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Live Your Poem.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

TWO COW POEMS: Variations on a Theme

One writing exercise that I enjoy doing is writing about a particular subject in different kinds of poems. Here are two poems that I wrote about cows. The second is a mask poem. You'll see that the poems have some things in common:


Graze on a hillside meadow
dotted with dandelion suns.
Breathe in the sweet smell of clover
and freshly mown hay.
Flick flies away with your tasseled tail.
Feel summer days pass by
like silk over silver.
Moo and chew
and chew and moo.
your grand green view.


Up here on the hillside,
We graze and we laze.
We laze and we graze
On warm sunny days.
We chew and we moo.
We moo and we chew
And ruminate on
This grand green view.

Don't forget! I'm giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during April. All you have to do to qualify to have your named entered into next Sunday's drawing is to comment on one of the blogs that I posted during this third week of National Poetry Month (April 22-28).