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Splash! A Story About Something

This is a story about the importance of being flexible. Or maybe it's about the dangers of vanity. Or being overly cautious or just plain foolish. It's about one of those. I was preparing to go for a...

 

American Life In Poetry

Karla Huston was Wisconsin's Poet Laureate in 2017 and 2018, and lives in Appleton. She's published several books and chapbooks and does the good work of reviewing poetry for various journals. "Lip,"...

 

American Life In Poetry

Because I'm a senior citizen I'm easily attracted by poems about my brothers and sisters meandering into their golden years. Here's a poem by Edward Hirsch, who lives in New York, that offers our...

 

American Life In Poetry

I love poems that delightfully offer voices for otherwise mute things, and I like what the following cash register has to say about her life and times. This poem is from Maria Nazos' chapbook, Still...

 

American Life In Poetry

We've featured several other poems by Bruce Guernsey, who lives in Illinois and Maine. But here he is visiting Gettysburg and giving us a poem for Memorial Day. "Naming the Trees" is forthcoming in th...

 

American Life In Poetry

Once, as a young man, I needed a pair of black shoes to wear at a wedding at which I was to be a groomsman and after work one day I was following a truck with a flapping canvas over the open back,...

 

Why I Miss Going to Meetings

If it weren’t for that little matter of everyone I come in contact with being potentially hazardous to my health right now, I’d suggest we go back to having meetings in person instead of on Zoom, Cisco and the other online meeting platforms. You...

 

Safe Fuel Containers -- Your Link to Seasonal Chores

(StatePoint) People are heading outdoors to prep lawns and gardens for the season and get their families ready for warmer weather. What's the key common denominator for most of these activities?...

 

American Life in Poetry

Deirdre O'Connor is the Director of The Writing Center at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and the following poem is from her new collection from Able Muse Press, The Cupped Field. I'm sticking my...

 

Imagining a World with Better Faucets and Cleaner Hands

I’m about to break into a chorus of “Happy Birthday” in a public restroom when—oh no! The faucet is one those where you push down the handle instead of turning it. Then the handle, which can’t possibly know how dirty your hands are, decides...

 

American Life In Poetry

Most of the school-age athletes I know or have known would have been embarrassed to show any vulnerability, and this fine poem by Al Ortolani, from his chapbook Hansel and Gretel Get the Word on the Street, published by Rattle, really catches what I...

 

(Not) Working from Home

A lot of us are working from home right now, so I think this is a good time to talk about why we're not getting anything done. I'm an expert on this subject-not getting anything done, I mean. And I...

 

American Life In Poetry

I had to drop out of a philosophy class in college because I'd begun to think about what I was thinking about and I was getting dizzy and sick. Here's a poem by Danusha Laméris about getting relief...

 

American Life In Poetry

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? Only one. Here's a poem by Jared Carter from his new book, The Land Itself, from Monongahela Press. This is a fine example of how a talented poet...

 

American Life In Poetry

I'm writing this column on a summer day when a hungry crowd of Monarch butterfly caterpillars are eating the upper leaves of the milkweed just outside my door in Nebraska, and my wife and I are joyful...

 

Someday When I'm Social Distancing

I once wrote a column with the prophetic title, "Someday When I'm Quarantined." In it, I vowed that if I were ever unable to leave my home for a few months, I'd finally do all of the things I don't...

 

American Life In Poetry

Jane Hirshfield, who lives in California, is one of our country's finest poets. I found this beautiful meditation in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, published by Grayson Books...

 

One Sock, Two Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock

I have blue socks to wear with blue pants, gray socks to wear with gray pants and black socks to wear with red pants. Kidding. I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. I was content with...

 

American Life in Poetry

I've mentioned the anthology, Local News: Poetry About Small Towns from MWPH Books, P.O. Box 8, in Fairwater, Wisconsin. Here's one of the many poems I've enjoyed, by Scott Wiggerman, who lives in...

 

A Bad Case of Friggatriskaidekaphobia

More than 17 million Americans suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia though they seldom admit it, mainly because they can't pronounce it. Loosely translated, friggatriskaidekaphobia means, "I'd like to...

 

American Life In Poetry

Lest we forget our vegetables, here's a poem by James Bertolino about one of our dearest and healthiest ones. The poet lives in Bellingham, Washington, and this is from his book, Every Wound Has A...

 

American Life In Poetry

That sage curse, "May you live in interesting times," has been upon us for the past few years, but here a Kentucky poet, Jonathan Greene, offers us some reassurance that there is order in the world....

 

American Life In Poetry

Robert Bly is one of the last living major American poets of his generation, and W.W. Norton recently published his Collected Poems. I and many other poets of the central states owe Bly, who grew up...

 

Ode to an Extra Day

You know that old poem? Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November; All the rest have thirty-one, Excepting February alone, And that has twenty-eight days clear And twenty-nine in each leap...

 

American Life In Poetry

This week's poem is one of my favorites and I can't explain why in the fifteen years I've been writing this column I've neglected until now to share it with you. Wendell Berry is one of our country's...

 

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