My Son is like his mother…


Jeanne, Owen, Oliver, Annika


Owen cleans kitchen,

washes dishes ,stores food, makes

counters serve-able!

(Thanksgiving Talents)


Poets and Letters


Kavi’s name means “poet” in Hindi; He is from S Africa and Massachusetts

Here he learns to write his name with Grandpa



Annika is seven years old and has learned to space her words

How fitting to place a star between each!

I curtsy before you…


photo by Jeanne (painted by Annika)


Instead of composing my own poem about “manners” today, I want to share these hilarious bits from other poets. These are today’s prompt from Jan Hutchinson.

Manners Prompt
Write a poem made up of suggestions (real or absurd) for
appropriate manners or behavior in specific situations. You might
talk about being taught manners. Or you might simply entitle your
poem “Manners” and go somewhere unexpected.

Carrie says it’s more rude to stare at a blind man on the street
than to make a fat person joke about someone on TV.
Tony Hoagland

If someone you know
who died long ago
appears to you in dream,
it is rude to point out to them
that they are actually already dead.

…silence is always good manners
and often a clever thing to say
when you are at a party.
Tony Hoagland
in “Social Life”

Mary June’s brother Willard always had
just a certain corner of his handkerchief
hanging out of his hip pocket. That was
my first intimation of a personal style.
My hair wouldn’t comb down; so
every night for years I wore
one of Aunt Klara’s silk stockings
pulled firmly on top of my head.
When we had company my mother was always
afraid I would swing my soup spoon
toward me rather than away. And I was to
leave a little, not scraps like a dog at the last.
These glimpses of decorum in my early life
have fitted me for success. My manners,
my neat handkerchief, and my tame haircut
have seen me through everyday encounters with society.
William Stafford
in The Way It Is

Sit, she said. The wolf sat. Shake, she said.
He held his face and tail still
and shook everything in between. His fur
stood out in all directions. Sparks flew.
Dear sister, she wrote. His yellow eyes
followed the words discreetly. I have imagined
a wolf. He smells bad. He pants and his long tongue
drips onto the rug, my favorite rug. It has arrows
and urns and diamonds in it. The wolf sits
where I’ve stared all morning hoping
for a heron: statuesque, aloof,
enigmatic. Be that way, the wolf said.
There are other poets.
Pamela Alexander
in Inland

Illuminated i-Pads


from The New Yorker Magazine


Annika can!

the programmer can!

Grandpa John, the trappist monk, can!

Grandma Jeanne, the medieval scribe, can!

God the Father, on the stone tablets, can!

He showed us the way!

Definition #386 Child Poet


Yesterday I asked four legged and six year old Annika to write a new poem:

Offer me banana;

I prefer Nana!

Her first went like this:





Bikes go fast!

Bikes go slow!

Annika! Oliver! Go go go!


Dust comes up

And swirls around

Creeps in back

And covers Zack!

Isn’t the brevity refreshing?

Definition #358 Sprouts

Annika and Oliver 2015

Annika and Oliver 2015

Annika and Oliver 2012

Annika and Oliver 2012

seeds sprout on sunshine:



Definition #318 Honor

Quenby, Mike, Annika

Quenby, Mike, Annika for their 7th Wedding Anniversary

School Prayer

by Diane Ackerman

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

“School Prayer” by Diane Ackerman from I Praise My Destroyer. © Vintage Books, 2000. Reprinted with permission.

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