Friday, April 23, 2021

Poetry Friday: NPM Spring Cleaning Day 23, Happy Blog Birthday to Me!


Today I've been blogging for fifteen years. Happy Blog Birthday to me!


I love having this little spot on the internet that's mine. I love writing down what I'm thinking about and reading. I love being part of a community of bloggers. I've made friends through blogging I never would have met any other way. Fifteen years of regular blogging, more regular at some times than others, but mostly regular: this is something that has given me so much joy through these years. I'm proud of sticking with it. 

I couldn't decide how to celebrate my blog birthday, but I knew that fifteen years deserved some kind of celebration. Then I read this post over at the TeachingAuthors blog, which is celebrating twelve years of blogging. Esther Hershenhorn wrote that the gift for twelve years is silk. That's it, I thought! I'll look up the gift for fifteen years!

The gift for fifteen years is crystal, and since it's National Poetry Month and Poetry Friday, I'm giving myself some crystal poems. You may read them too, Reader. And have some cake. 

Here's Lines to Some Crystallized Violets, by Marvin Solomon. Sounds sort of festive and delicious, don't you think? I've never had crystallized violets, but I do keep a container of crystallized ginger by my stove and I often add a couple of pieces to a plain cup of tea.


And here's And Later...  by Jen Bryant, who writes of a kaleidoscope:


letting the crystals shift into strange 

and beautiful patterns, letting the pieces fall

wherever they will.

And here's Releasing a Tree, by Thomas Reiter, in which the crystals are snow:


Those grace notes

of the snowfall, crystals giving off

copper, green, rose—watching them

I stumble over a branch, go down

and my gloves fill with snow.


But I think my favorite crystal poem I found was this one:


What to Count On

by Peggy Shumaker


Not one star, not even the half moon         
       on the night you were born
Not the flash of salmon
       nor ridges on blue snow
Not the flicker of raven’s
       never-still eye
Not breath frozen in fine hairs
       beading the bull moose’s nostril
Not one hand under flannel
       warming before reaching
Not burbot at home under Tanana ice
       not burbot pulled up into failing light
Not the knife blade honed, not the leather sheath
Not raw bawling in the dog yard
       when the musher barks gee
Not the gnawed ends of wrist-thick sticks
       mounded over beaver dens
Not solar flares scouring the earth over China
Not rime crystals bearding a sleek cheek of snow
Not six minutes more of darkness each day
Not air water food words touch
Not art
Not anything we expect
Not anything we expect to keep
Not anything we expect to keep us alive

Not the center of the sea
Not the birthplace of the waves
Not the compass too close to true north to guide us

Then with no warning
       flukes of three orcas
                 rise, arc clear of sea water

Do you notice that most of that poem is about what not to count on? I think that's kind of perfect for this fifteenth birthday, remembering what not to count on, and then reflecting on what to count on, all the time wondering how to fix the formatting of the post. That's blogging, right? Thank you, Readers! Thanks for reading, and commenting, and coming back again. If you wish, leave me a comment with a birthday greeting or a poem with crystals in it!
This is the ninth year of the Progressive Poem! See the schedule below to find where to go for today's line and to see who's participating this year.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All


Today's Poetry Friday roundup is here. 


jama said...

Happy 15th Blogiversary! Such a wonderful milestone. So glad our paths cross via Poetry Friday. Learned so much from you over the years and of course enjoyed all the poems you shared by you and by others. I don't have a crystal poem today, but how about this song?

Linda B said...

Like Jama, I always love your posts & learn new things from you every time you share, Ruth. Happy celebration today. You are five years ahead of me but I feel the same way about blogging, so often learn & grow as a person from reading others' words & learning. Here's something for you today:

for Ruth, for her 15th blogiverary

a crystal for healing
a crystal for stars
a crystal that sparkles
wherever you are
a crystal that pleases
a crystal for smiles
I wish you these crystals
to wish on a while

Linda B ©

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Whoa. 15 years?!! Happy Blog Birthday, Ruth! The poetry world is much better for having you in it. These poems you've chosen each sparkle with their own unique facets. I agree that "What to Count On" is exquisite, but I also love "And Later...".

Linda Mitchell said...

Happy Birthday, dear Ruth! I'm delighted with how you chose to celebrate. What a great idea. And, the lines of poetry with crystal--just stunning. You've brought joy to my world with your blogging. Keep writing!

Karen Eastlund said...

Congratulations on your 15th blogging anniversary! I'm proud of you also! The last poem is an intrigue. I must think further on it. Thanks!

Bridget Magee said...

15 years of blogging is something to brag about, Ruth! Brava, dear poet. My life has been enriched by your contributions to the world. I'm raising a crystal goblet in your honor. Prost! *clink!*

laurasalas said...

Hahaha--all while trying to fix the formatting--yes! Happy blogiversary, Ruth! I don't have a crystal poem, exactly, but here's one I wrote about brinicles:


Arctic Ocean,
dark, vast
water cave guarded by an
arc of sea ice above

Ceiling recedes,
feeds salt to the deep
Super-saltwater ribbon flows,
grows, and sinks

with a frigid core
wears a crystal
cloak of ice

Brinicle gushes,
rushing down to the
sea floor,
an icy finger of death

© Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

We can count on nature, right? And its power to amaze and heal. xox, Laura

Elisabeth said...

oh what a lovely poem to share! That poem brings back familiar names and images from my childhood.

author amok said...

Happy crystal blog birthday, Ruth. Whoa -- Marvin Solomon's poem has no patience for the idle rich. It's great to see a poem from Jen Bryant's Kaleidoscope Eyes here. I reread that verse novel during the pandemic and enjoyed it all over again.

Mary Lee said...

Happy 15th Year of Blogging and

here's to the flukes!!

Karen Edmisten said...

Happy 15th Blog Birthday! I've been blogging for 15 years, too. (Well, I suppose it's technically 16, since I started my blog in late 2005, but I really started blogging regularly in 2006.)

This birthday definitely calls for crystals, pride in your words, perseverance, and consistency, and happiness about conquering formatting. :)