In search of story


March 27.21: Coping

Hope is the thing with feathers,

according to the poet;

this wind-coiffed matted stalwart

is adamant to show it.

Waterlogged, bedraggled,

moroser by the hour,

he watches plashy pond,

indomitable and dour.

But persevering, patient,

resolute in attitude,

it isn’t raining rain, he says,

it’s raining fortitude.

I salute unpretty Hope,

my admiration bestirred:

it may be the thing with feathers,

but it’s surely a tough old bird.


With thanks to Emily Dickinson.

And to the purists I make no apologies for “moroser.”

It’s a poem. Ergo, poetic license.



Connections: September 1

getPart (3)Hope is the thing with feathers

wrote the Amherst bard

Mama and Papa Dove concur

it isn’t some canard —

turning the page

isn’t just for spring

sometimes fall

is for beginning.

One year ago, I started Connections as a sort of experiment, partly because of the challenge from my writing mate Tamara and partly from the way my friend Donna uses the word “connection.” Tamara had prodded me to try poetry and photography. At the same time, I was becoming conscious of how Donna used “connect” — I think she herself was unaware of her pattern of reaching out, but “connect” was clear evidence. And thus did two excellent friends shape this experiment.

Then Donna’s husband, Bill, jumped in with photographs. If you have read any of my ancient blog posts, you know that Bill and Donna and I have been friends since high school.  Would we have foretold 50+ years ago that we’d have mixed our imaginations in a blog? Well, maybe.

The experiment has turned into habit. Not because it’s been easy but because it’s been good for me.

I have met my goal of doing this for a year and now I can’t quit. However, I learn from the doves. Some change is in order. As you know, dear reader, I love the fall and look forward to the inwardness of winter. Maybe some prose from time to time? As it says above, “in search of story.” Always.


Once again, thanks to the S.W. Berg Photo Archives.

And to Donna and to Tamara.  And to those of you who visit and have connected.



Connections: April 1


It’s Poetry Month, dear reader!

And how should the chorus swell?

With patter song and lieder,

with Mother Goose and Shel?

Should we inscribe a dirigible

to float in iambical ease

with Ogden Nash incorrigible

or sonnet Portuguese?

Bake an Emily Dickinson cake?

Or a Learian calico pie

in case e.e. or Blake

or the Scroobius Pip come by?

Or all the above!

Choose as you will:

canto or haiku or

(like me)


 So frabjous the ways

to be poet voices —

we have 30 days

to raise up our noises.



Em and M

M — that’s me, Maureen. Em — that’s Emily Dickinson. Today is her birthday, and if she were here she’d be 184 years old. It is hard to believe she was born so long before me; she doesn’t seem that far removed.

When I was a senior in high school, having scraped myself together after a most unillustrious academic beginning, I was invited to a tea hosted by the English Department for its high-achieving students. Each of the honorees received a gift, and mine was a small book of poetry by Emily Dickinson. I was euphoric.

Not long after that, my English teacher called me Emily. I think just once, but with some deliberateness, as I heard it. It affected me.

I have lovingly toted that book through life for over fifty years. I have turned its pages cautiously, careful not to let any of that sparse wording fall out.

Now I have a writing mate who is a poet. Tamara has inspired and challenged, and she is the reason I have been hobnobbing with Emily for the last few months. It’s the writer’s journey, isn’t it? We stretch into the present and then to the past. Never the straight line but always the detour, the roundabout, to that anywhere in search of our own voices.

Living with Emily these past months has been intimidating and encouraging. She was afraid and yet not. Me too.

She made nobody-ness enviable. Which is a good thing for writers.

Happy birthday, Emily. From a fan.