Poem in Your Pocket

Today is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poetry has a bad rap. A lot of it is pretentious. More is sophomoric. I should know. I wrote reams of bad poetry as a self-indulgent teenager.

I grew up on poetry. My mom had a book from which she read to us all the time. My sister took the book and read it to my nephew when he was young. Then I got the book to read to my own children. It’s copyrighted 1926, so it was an old book even when I was a child. I believe it was a 6th grade school book.  And while I have lots of poetry books on my shelves–Poe, Dickinson, Sexton, Thomas, Rumi, and so on, this is the book I gravitate to when I’m in the mood for poetry.

If I had to chose only one poem to carry in my pocket, it would be one from this book. It’s a Joyce Kilmer poem. Kilmer is probably best known for the his poem,

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree,”

but that’s not the one I have in mind.

I much prefer “The House with Nobody in It.”



Listening To Your Heart

Human truths aren’t about facts.  The workings of an inner voice depend on our knowing that we do not know. Listening to the heart is a real thing. It is dependent on intuition and subconscious knowledge. Here is a great article on the subject.

The author of the article suggests ten ways to learn to listen to your heart:

  1. Quiet your rational mind
  2. Practice meditation
  3. Go with the flow
  4. Notice the messages from your heart
  5. Trust in your intuition
  6. Don’t disregard the intellect
  7. Get creative
  8. Listen to your body signals
  9. Follow spontaneous and intuitive thoughts
  10. Ask yourself a question and see who answers

There’s some great insight here.


Songs Behind the Story

I’m working on another werewolf book, with my good friends from Toke Lobo & the Pack.

When I was on a writing retreat a couple of months ago, I had an urge to read a book where the plot hung on the blues–the musical genre. I realized I hadn’t created a sound track for the story-in-progress and that jazz/blues were going to be predominant in the mix. For those readers who are not familiar with my werewolf world: Toke Lobo & The Pack is a country music band, this idea for jazz and blues was a little bizarre.

I think the need for bluesy jazz came because of the moon. The moon is almost a character in this story. It’s also the topic of a lot of music.

Here’s the mix. Several songs have been used in earlier volumes of what I call The Werewolf Chronicles.

  • Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  • Talking to the Moon (Don Henley)
  • The Moon Looks Down and Laughs (Billie Holiday)
  • Dancing in the Moonlight (King Crimson)
  • Dancing Down the Moon (Debbie Harry/Blondie)
  • Reaching for the Moon (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • Moondance (Van Morrison)
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Joe Cocker)
  • I Wished on the Moon (Billie Holiday)
  • Shame on the Moon (Bob Seger)
  • Talking to the Moon (Sara Niemietz)
  • Moonshadow (Cat Stevens)
  • Brother Wolf, Sister Moon (The Cult)
  • No Moon at All (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • I Wish I Was the Moon (Neko Case)
  • Moonglow (Diana Krall)
  • Reflecting Light (Sam Phillips)
  • Daylight Again/Cost of Freedom (Crosby, Stills & Nash)



Letting Go

We’ve all made fools of ourselves at one time or another. We’ve embarrassed and humiliated ourselves and done things we wish we could either undo or do over. Memories of those moments keep us awake at night, haunting us like the Ghost of Christmas Past haunted Ebenezer Scrooge.

Or we’ve been angry and upset about something that happened to us. We’ve been slighted. Insulted. Ignored. These incidents fester.  Unchecked, they can poison a person’s outlook on everything.

There’s a meme floating around on social media: “Don’t look back; that’s not the way you’re going.”

Great advice. But letting go is easier said that done.

What works for me is writing out my wrath. Putting my pain on paper with a pen. Keeping a journal or a diary or whatever you want to call it lets me vent without annoying other people. I’ve heard other people write things down then burn them. That would work. The point is to get it out. Let it out. Once it’s out, you can let it go.


Happy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 2018

Yes! It’s National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day again. I’m still addicted, but I have changed my recipe a little since last year.

Instead of using regular butter, I now use Chef Shamy Garlic Butter with Parmesan and Basil. Yes, I order this from Amazon because no store in my area carries it. One of my cousins (God bless my cousins!) posted about this product on Facebook last year. Thank you, Kevin!

Grilled cheese sandwiches with roasted red pepper and tomato soup have became a staple on the dinner table at my house.

How do you like your grilled cheese?