The Octane Trio

Years of blessed miracles

Mallory Michelle: first-born
Sunday, January 25
Visual artist

Marshall Wilson: middle child
Monday, March 27
Running athlete

Ansley Claire: youngest
Friday, September 24
Vocal artist

Octane Trio

Sweet Tea

steeped leaf brown
with ice cube spots
sugary sweet

kid on the playground
she’s the loudest
of the herd
sure to be heard

she’ll prop on a tree
a sexy pole-dancing stripper
causing a scene
sure to be seen

then jump on the stage
perform a twisting dive
through the air
Gypsy Rose Lee’s
reincarnated heir

playful kid
to get the most
animal crackers

loving little show off!

Great Horned Owl hooting
at 5:15 AM
July 27, 2020

not the kind of sound anyone wants to hear any time
let alone on a Monday morning

owls know things that we don’t see coming

heralds of death
like foreshadowing in books
where doom looms a few pages ahead

anxiety hangs heavy in the air
like an unlifted veil of fog
a warning to pay attention
and be on the alert

Native Americans believed it –
And Isaiah brought one in, too
humans of Babylon face destruction

Today’s inspiration comes from Brian Glaser of Orange, California: write a variation of a praise ode, blending two different concepts to show similarities or relationships.  


back and forth in constant motion
Jean Foucault’s Pendulum
360 degrees every 24 hours
spinning earth and swinging cord dancing a tango
overhead a magnetic kick
replacing energy lost with each swing
52 foot cable, 240 pound ball
vertical and horizontal lines
a dance floor of circular movement
side by side, front to back, clockwise
counterclockwise, elliptical paths
motion making sense of the universe

spiritual dowsing
physical healing
inner peace
invisible energy
balancing chakras
cleansing divination
holistic healing
changing perspectives
influencing decisions
affirming actions
spawning growth
broadening horizons

back and forth in constant motion
the reader’s eye
foveal, parafoveal, peripheral visions
250 millisecond fixations
with intermittent spans of
7 to 9 letters right, 3 to 4 letters left
in lock-step moving-window paradigms
a rhythmic textual tango of
fixations and saccades, scanning
alphabets of right to left, left to right, up and down
neurological networks using syntax and semantics
motion making sense of life

Today’s inspiration comes from Tracie McCormick, who inspired our writing group to write a Monotetra – one quatrain or a series of quatrains, rhyme scheme AABB, with the last line of each quatrain becoming a repeating 4-syllable phrase, and all lines containing 8 syllables.

I Know a Place

I know a place where lovers go
in wintertime to feel the snow
who love fresh air and balsam pine
and sweet red wine, and sweet red wine

I know a place where good friends go
on autumn days when breezes blow
who love crisp leaves and crackling pine
and dry red wine, and dry red wine

I know a place where families go
on warm spring days, trails to follow
who love to hike among the pines
and dry white wine, and dry white wine

I know a place where teachers go
in summertime when cool springs flow
who read and write and sip and dine
on sweet white wine, more sweet white wine

Today’s inspiration is from Mo Daley and Tracie McCormick, who have challenged my writing group to write a Ghazal – 5 to 15 couplets, refrains of 1-3 words in the second line of each couplet, with the word prior to the refrain the rhyme scheme word.  And today, I go back on contract – – back to work!  I’m looking forward to our Literacy grant and all of the possibilities for our students. 

I’m Going Back!

since March 13th, we’ve stayed home: Covid 19
four months and one week later – today – I’m going back!

today begins a new chapter: 2020
new challenges and opportunities I seek – I’m going back!

we’ll mask up and sanitize all the way to ‘21
cautiously distance and crowdsurvey peek – I’m going back!

will outings be safer in 2022?
surely by then we’ll be past the peak – I’m going back!

my 5-year grant term will close in ‘23
I stand boldly with literacy, cheek to cheek – I’m going back!

Today’s inspiration came from Mo and Tracie, writing buddies at, who chose the ode as today’s writing form. 

Ode to the Girls’ Getaway

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW PEAKS –
Blood Mountain, where Appalachian Trail hikers fling
worn victory boots across tree branches at Neel Gap,
creating a collective celebration canopy

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW CREEKS –
Wolf Creek, where the tranquil trickle of water
braves the rock rapids by our picnic table, laden with an
eclectic assortment of shared QuikTrip snacks

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW BYWAYS –
roller coaster hairpin turns, where scenic panoramas
resplendent with art shapes in the earth and clouds
invite us to spy fire-breathing dragons and Indian maidens

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW HIGHWAYS –
connecting veins that turn a Honda CR-V into a whitewater
adventure down back roads to Three Sisters Vineyards
where we stop, admire, and savor the taste of the hillside

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW LODGES –
Lily Creek, a hobbit-style European cove
with rounded latched doorways and log ceilings,
rustically absent of all toilet paper, soap, TV, and wi-fi

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW STODGES –
lobster ravioli at Grapevines, where splitting an entrée
and uncorking a bottle – clinking cheers! –
with sisters is always on the menu

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW SHOPS –
stores with spinning sticker displays, perfect
for my planner, proclaiming my travels
like so many bumper-stickered hippie vans of the 1970s
Girls’ getaway, you take me to MORE STOPS – 
new boots, a $29.99 clearance steal

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW CHAIRS –
plush perches for pajama’ed pals,
where we sit sipping sparkling sangria
and sharing aloud from our current books:
our adhesive

Girls’ getaway, you take me to OLD TOWN SQUARES –
places of ghostly wonder
about historic brick sidewalks and buildings,
of delectable discovery in hidden cafes where
absolutely! we’ll have dessert, too!

Girls’ getaway, you take me to NEW TREEHOUSES –
where a carelessly flung donut during early
morning writing brings fears of bears and
shivery scares at the rustle of leaves beneath

Girls’ getaway, you bring me home to NEW ME HOUSES –
ironic twists of friendship trips
where I discover that in building my sisters,
I build me

Today’s inspiration comes from Mo and Tracie, writing buddies at, who chose the Rondeau as today’s form.  A Rondeau has nine lines (or can repeat a sequence for more lines) with 8 syllables per line except for the refrains, which have 4, and an AABBA, AABArefrain line sequence. 
Inner voice 
mountaintop treehouse, pen in hand
high atop trees like a deer stand
tasted a donut, threw it down
thought, “oh no!” as it hit the ground
what if bears inhabit this land? 
climbed back down into Wi-Fi band
downloaded prompt: for gold I panned
climbed back up, set my writer’s frown
“retire here and…”
mountaintop sunrise: ain’t life grand!?
writing footprints left in this sand
high in north Georgia, each new sound
awakens senses all around
flames of north Georgia passion fanned
“retire here and….”

It’s the Real Thing

brick wall-fenced back yard
oval daylily bed
looping two tall pines
monkey grass border
trampoline from grandparents
for jumping with friends
between bike rides
rabbit hutch
that didn’t last long
carpeted thick centipede
for running barefoot
post-nailed chalkboard
for playing school
stolen chalk from church
disk tree swing
where we sang the Coke song
“it’s the ree-yal thang,”
spinning in circles
fig tree
for making “strawberry pigs”
picnic table
for scraping scales, cleaning fish
a place to grow up
to sit outside with Bridgette,
our Schnoodle
and plot my next moves
First Baptist Church pastorium
at 208 Martin Street
St. Simons Island, Georgia
carefree island childhood

A prompt from Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

Inspiration:  InVoices:  The Final Hours of Joan of Arc,David Elliott uses a series of poetic forms to tell the story of Joan of Arc.  At the end of the book, each poem is categorized according to forms that include Rondel, Short Rondel, Sestina, Villanelle, Ballade, Rondeau, Rondeau Redouble, Rondelet, and Triolet.  He also uses Free Verse.  Elliott’s approach to telling the story of Joan of Arc through a series of verse forms is creative and fascinating!  

Motivation:  Think of your favorite author, and do a little research on his or her life.  Use book titles, biographical information, awards, excerpts, or any other aspects of his or her life to create a verse tribute (or at least one of your top 25).   
Challenge:  Below is a link that contains 100 poetic forms from which to choose – just to widen your variety of choice. 
Write! Raise a Glass to the Literary Avant Garde by writing a verse that shares a glimpse of your favorite author.   
If you choose to write a Rondel, the format is:
13 lines in 3 stanzas (4 lines, 4 lines, 5 lines) with 8 syllables per line, and a rhyme scheme of
ABba/abAB/abbaA, with the upper case letters used as repeating lines
Mentor Poem:
“The Cattle,” a Rondel by David Elliott
What did she hear that we did not?
What was that faraway look in her eye?
The unthinking steps, the mournful sigh,
this girl unstudied and untaught,
trapped as if she’d been caged and caught
like a fledgling lark that is longing to fly.
What did she hear that we did not?
What was that faraway look in her eye?
Was it love, with its tender, unknowable knot,
or madness chanting its lullaby
out in the meadow beneath the blue sky?
Was she enraptured? Or was she distraught?
What did she hear that we did not?
          -David Elliott
Kim’s Rondel celebrating David Sedaris through the rearranged words of his book titles (Title words are capitalized)
A Fevered Barrel of Sedaris on Ice
Family Holidays On Ice
Talk Pretty Naked all the while
Barrel Fever, Calypso-style
Explore By Finding Theft in spice
One Day Let’s Dress Your Owls and mice
Squirrel Seeks a Chipmunk to beguile
Family Holidays On Ice
Talk Pretty Naked all the while
Corduroy And Denim entice
Engulfed In Flames but not denial
With Diabetes walk a mile
When You Are With Me, life is nice
Family Holidays On Ice