Category Archives: Poetry

The Comfort of A Poem

Today is World Poetry Day and so I offer you a poem from Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Ring of Endless Light.  This poem brought me immense comfort during perhaps the saddest time of my life when I experienced a series of pregnancy losses.  

The earth will never be the same again
Rock, water, tree, iron, share this grief
As distant stars participate in the pain.
A candle snuffed, a falling star or leaf,
……O this particular loss
is Heaven-mourned; for if no angel cried
when this small one was tossed away as dross,
The very galaxies would have lied.
How shall we sing our love’s song now
In this strange land where all are born to die?
Each tree and leaf and star show how
The universe is part of this one cry,
Every life is noted and is cherished,
and nothing loved is ever lost or perished.

What poems have made a difference in your life? 

each tree and leaf and star……….

Other posts……

The Poetry of Boxing

Fifteen Dogs and Writing Poetry

Dancing in Shangri-La


Filed under Poetry

My Love is Like…I Loved My Creative Students

When I taught high school English one of my quick write assignments was to read the first stanza of this famous Robert Burns poem and then write a new version. 

rose-creative-commonsBurns wrote……..

My love is like a red, red rose
That is newly sprung in June
O, my love is like a melody,
That is sweetly played in tune.

While cleaning out some old school files I found these versions my students had penned. Amazing what they could come up with in just a few minutes .

Oh your love is like a mirage
Looks great from far away
But the closer that you get to me
The more grows my dismay.

Your love is like a nice warm lap
A place for me to hide
Your love is like a watermelon
Plain rind but rich inside.

Your love is like a sequoia
That towering, invincible tree
Your love is like a magic wand
That sets my spirit free.

Oh your love is like a racing train
My life all filled with smoke
Oh your love is like a cherry pit
Small enough to make me choke.

Your love is like a cookie
Decadent, rich sweet dough
Your love is like a leech
It never lets me go. 

Our love is like a glass of wine
That sweetly intoxicates me

Our love is like a fire
So passionate are we. 

Somedays I miss teaching and the stunning creativity of my students. 

Other posts…..

The Poetry of Boxing

Aunt Vi’s Autograph Book

Poetry and Teenagers


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This is just to say….

wall in the hague william carlos williams creative commonsThis famous poem by William Carlos Williams is imprinted on a wall in The Hague. 

When I taught high school I used to ask my students to write their own poems using the Williams poem as inspiration. The Williams poem is said to be based on a note his wife left on the fridge for him. I asked my students to think of place where they might leave a note and what they would say. 

Here is a sample I wrote for my students about a note left by me on student work ………

This is just to say

the F

on your assignment

is for real

I’m sorry

you probably thought

I wouldn’t

figure it out

but you plagiarized

and I am


than you think

Other posts………

Fifteen Dogs and Writing Poetry

Dancing in Shangri-la

Poetry and Teenagers



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Filed under Education, Poetry

Blood Upon the Rose

I See His Blood Upon the Rose
by Joseph Plunkett

winter in exchange district winnipegI see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

flowers-on-the-beachI see his face in every flower;                   
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.

waves on rocks costa ricaAll pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea, 
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

The choir I’m part of this Good Friday morning is singing this poem in an arrangement by composer Hugh Robertson. It reminds me of St. Bonaventure who said that every piece of creation is another footprint, another fingerprint, another revelation of the mystery of the divine. The whole universe….. it’s all sacred.

Other posts……

Thinking About Mary on Good Friday

A Life That Adds Up to Something 


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Filed under Holidays, Poetry

Tree Inspiration

lone tree on lake winnipeg shore

Photographed on the shores of Lake Winnipeg

Sometimes we have to stand alone, just to be sure we still can. -Nishan Panwar

dave me treePhotographed on the yard of a historic Lutheran Church near Minneapolis where friends were being married.

 May your love grow like a tree, sending roots deep and branches high, with new beauty every season of your life together.- Cynthia Reed

planting trees in borneoPhotographed in Borneo where Dave and I were tree planting with our students.

I’m planting a tree to teach me to gather strength from my deepest roots.  ― Andrea Koehle Jones

blooming cherry tree broadway avenue saskatoonPhotographed on Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon. 

Unless a tree has borne blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in autumn. -Walter Scottredwood yalta

Photographed at the Massandra Palace in Yalta, Ukraine 

A redwood once seen leaves a mark that stays with you forever. – John Steinbeck
winter tree winnipeg exchange district
Photographed in the Exchange District of Winnipeg 

Deep roots are not reached by the frost – Tolkien

Jamaican farmer with her bananna tree

                           Photographed in Runaway Bay Jamaica

A tree is known by its fruit. Matthew 12: 33

keats way street in winnipeg

Photographed in the St. James area of Winnipeg

I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree. Joyce Kilmer

olive trees by vincent van goghOlive Trees by Vincent Van Gogh photographed at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

A tree is nature’s masterpiece. – John Muir

dave tree angkor wat

Photographed in Angkor Wat Cambodia at a temple built in the 12th century

People without knowledge of history are like trees without roots.  Marcus Garvey

Other posts………

Wild Flower Inspiration

October Inspiration

Eagle Inspiration

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Filed under Inspiration, Nature, Poetry

Fifteen Dogs and Writing Poetry


Two men siphoning sweet water

On a steaming Thai day vying to be the one

To suck the final dregs from nature’s cup.

I just finished reading the Giller Prize winning book Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis. The author traces the life and death experiences of fifteen dogs given human thought and speech capabilites by the gods Hermes and Apollo as a result of a bet the two mythical Greek brothers make in a modern bar in downtown Toronto.


Using the Caradec pattern Alexis writes poems where the name of the dog is not legible but can be heard when the poem is read aloud. For example here is Alexis’ poem for the dog Prince. 

Longing to be sprayed (the green snake writhing in his master’s hand)

Back and forth into that stream

Jump, rinse: coat slick with soap. 

If you read it out loud you will hear the dog Prince’s name at the end of the word jump connected to the next word rinse.  

The poem that starts this blog post is one I wrote for my husband Dave using the same  pattern. Can you find his name? He and his friend Hans were having a drink in Phuket Thailand.

Here’s a poem in the same pattern about me setting off on a motorcycle trip in Taiwan. riding-with-dirk-in-tawain

Putting my fate in the hands of my cousin Dirk

Will I be merry, lose my life

Will I be hurt, lose my inhibitions

I buckle my helmet and we fly.

Can you write a poem in the same form?  I’d love to hear it. Post it in the comment section below. 

Other posts…….

King David Was A Rapist

The Poetry of Boxing

 A New Poet


Filed under Books, Poetry

My Movie Debut

I made my film debut in Hong Kong when my husband Dave asked me to appear with him in a reenactment of Shakespeare’s Sonnet #138. Dave was giving his high school English class an assignment to write a modern-day version of a Shakespearean sonnet and he wanted to perform one himself as a sample for the students.

I was a little hesitant to give it a try but I think I didn’t do too badly in my first screen role.  See for yourself by clicking on the photo below. There are some breaks in the film but do watch till the end where Dave does a great recitation of the sonnet. 

driedgers acting out shakespeares sonnet 138

Other posts…….

My Modeling Debut

So Proud of Them- Visiting My Students in New York

Multi- Tasking- Wisdom From A Former Student

She’s Done It Again- Proud of my Former Student


Filed under Education, Family, Hong Kong, Movies, Poetry