Form poems, Personal, Poetry Friday

The grandma poet

Children playing with microphone and xylophone
The toys love it when the grand-kids come to visit.

The last few weeks have felt unusually busy. When that happens, I find it hard to get in the poem-writing zone.

Last weekend was a case in point. It was Canadian Thanksgiving. We had the kids and grandkids here for a visit. It was such fun, but there was hardly a minute left over for reflection! Then, after they went home, I had to get ready to teach my weekly class (Wednesday a.m.).

This morning I told myself, This has to stop. And I wrote some senryu.

Sit down. Put feet up.
Relax. Breathe in your busy life.
Exhale a poem.

One of the things my 5-year-old grandson loves to do is watch spider videos. “I just love spiders. They’re my favorite insects!” We found a wonderful series called Monster Bug Wars.Ā  I figure one of the reasons he likes these videos so much is that the conflict is a lot like superhero conflict.

spider videos
transfixed by eight-legged titans
insect supermen

The five- and four-year-old are beginning to play with real Lego. We have a box of it from when our kids were little so I brought it up. “Grandma, can you make a helicopter?” (This after seeing one pictured in the instruction book.) So this grandma spent an entire morning, searching through Lego for tiny wee pieces to build a picture-perfect flying machine.

wrist-deep in Lego
hands sore from sharp-edged comb-through
helicopter search

I think if our old toys could talk, I would discover they live for the all-too-short weekends when the grand-kids visit.

Duplo, Lego, bus
dollhouse, xylophone, happy
when kids come to play

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Cathy at Merely Day By Day.

21 thoughts on “The grandma poet”

  1. Hosting is turning out to be a learning experience. I hadn’t heard of senryu poetry. After a little research I was excited to find out more. This just may be the structure for my poem next week.

    Isn’t it so true that poetry requires a little slowing down. For me, poetry needs silence. Loved this line, “exhale a poem.” I wish it felt that simple.

    Thank you so much for sharing the stories of your days with family and the beautiful senryu that resulted.



    1. Thank you for doing such a lovely job of hosting, Cathy. I am certainly no expert in Japanese poetry, but realized though I wanted to write short syllabic poems (when writing a poem feels daunting, the thought of just 17-or-so syllables seems less so), these weren’t really haiku in subject matter. Then I remembered senryu! All the best with yours.


  2. We all have to start with the experience right in front of us! I’m sure your time with your little ones is all the more memorable because of your reflection on it in senryu.


  3. These are fun, Violet. I know what you mean about needing quiet but I find I can write noisy poems when it’s noisy and quiet ones when it’s quiet.


    1. Thank you, Donna. Senryu are really quite a lot of fun to write. I found a page of very clever ones online somewhere, which made me want to try my hand at more (when I have more time *grin*),


    1. It does feel good to finally write again, doesn’t it? For me, breathing in that busy-ness, in the sense of accepting vs. fighting it, was also important. Hope to exhale more in the weeks ahead šŸ˜‰


  4. Hello there Violet. I have a feeling your grandkids always look forward to visiting! So many toys and so much fun. šŸ™‚ Beautiful poetry. Like everyone else, I smiled when I read “exhale a poem.” Beautiful.


    1. Thank you Myra! I know I sure look forward to their visits. Love the ages that they’re at right now and their different personalities. Feel so blessed to have these little people in my life.


  5. I have always (to this day) been a firm believer in the sentient life of toys, so I love hearing the voice of the toys after your other poems of play. But what I love most is your admonition to yourself to slow down and write. I completely lost my writing/walking routine this week, and I am determined to get back to it next week…no matter what. So much can be accomplished in just 5-15 minutes. That’s what my Fig post took yesterday morning. I must remember to save time for ME!


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