The grandma poet

17 Oct
Children playing with microphone and xylophone

The toys love it when the grand-kids come to visit.

The last few weeks have felt unusually busy. When that happens, I find it hard to get in the poem-writing zone.

Last weekend was a case in point. It was Canadian Thanksgiving. We had the kids and grandkids here for a visit. It was such fun, but there was hardly a minute left over for reflection! Then, after they went home, I had to get ready to teach my weekly class (Wednesday a.m.).

This morning I told myself, This has to stop. And I wrote some senryu.

Sit down. Put feet up.
Relax. Breathe in your busy life.
Exhale a poem.

One of the things my 5-year-old grandson loves to do is watch spider videos. “I just love spiders. They’re my favorite insects!” We found a wonderful series called Monster Bug Wars.Ā  I figure one of the reasons he likes these videos so much is that the conflict is a lot like superhero conflict.

spider videos
transfixed by eight-legged titans
insect supermen

The five- and four-year-old are beginning to play with real Lego. We have a box of it from when our kids were little so I brought it up. “Grandma, can you make a helicopter?” (This after seeing one pictured in the instruction book.) So this grandma spent an entire morning, searching through Lego for tiny wee pieces to build a picture-perfect flying machine.

wrist-deep in Lego
hands sore from sharp-edged comb-through
helicopter search

I think if our old toys could talk, I would discover they live for the all-too-short weekends when the grand-kids visit.

Duplo, Lego, bus
dollhouse, xylophone, happy
when kids come to play

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Cathy at Merely Day By Day.


Posted by on October 17, 2013 in Form poems, Personal, Poetry Friday


Tags: , , , , , ,

21 responses to “The grandma poet

  1. mattforrest

    October 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    These all sound like things my little 3-yr-old dude loves! Guess some things are universal when it comes to kids!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Exactly, Matt! And it’s so much fun seeing these stages again in grand-kids!


  2. jama

    October 18, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Sounds like a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend, Violet. I never thought of the toys’ point of view before. šŸ™‚


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks Jama! Only the idea of toys having a point of view certainly isn’t original with me. You must have missed Toy Story šŸ™‚


  3. Cathy

    October 18, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Hosting is turning out to be a learning experience. I hadn’t heard of senryu poetry. After a little research I was excited to find out more. This just may be the structure for my poem next week.

    Isn’t it so true that poetry requires a little slowing down. For me, poetry needs silence. Loved this line, “exhale a poem.” I wish it felt that simple.

    Thank you so much for sharing the stories of your days with family and the beautiful senryu that resulted.



    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you for doing such a lovely job of hosting, Cathy. I am certainly no expert in Japanese poetry, but realized though I wanted to write short syllabic poems (when writing a poem feels daunting, the thought of just 17-or-so syllables seems less so), these weren’t really haiku in subject matter. Then I remembered senryu! All the best with yours.


  4. Heidi

    October 18, 2013 at 9:51 am

    We all have to start with the experience right in front of us! I’m sure your time with your little ones is all the more memorable because of your reflection on it in senryu.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Well said Heidi! Which is one of the reasons I cling to a poetry-writing practice–it helps me get more out of life!


  5. Catherine Johnson

    October 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

    These are fun, Violet. I know what you mean about needing quiet but I find I can write noisy poems when it’s noisy and quiet ones when it’s quiet.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you, Catherine! I believe you could wrangle a poem out of any day. Looking forward to sending Mortimer your way after next Friday.


  6. Donna Smith

    October 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Fun senryu. I had to go look up the difference between a senryu and a hiaku. I think grandchildren playing lends itself to senryu very nicely!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you, Donna. Senryu are really quite a lot of fun to write. I found a page of very clever ones online somewhere, which made me want to try my hand at more (when I have more time *grin*),


  7. bjleepoet

    October 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    These are lots of fun, Violet. Glad you turned your busy time with grandkids into poems!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you, BJLee! I’m trying to teach myself to gather poem fodder even when life is busy, as you prolific kid-lit poets do!


  8. haitiruth

    October 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    “Exhale a poem.” Perfect! I wrote a first draft this week, for the first time in a long time. It felt good!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      It does feel good to finally write again, doesn’t it? For me, breathing in that busy-ness, in the sense of accepting vs. fighting it, was also important. Hope to exhale more in the weeks ahead šŸ˜‰


  9. Tabatha

    October 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    One of my favorite lines: “transfixed by eight-legged titans” — so small, but still titans in their own way!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Oh yes they are titans. If you have a look at those Monster Bug War videos (full screen mode) they do look like fearful, other-worldly creatures. Modern nature photography is amazing!


  10. Myra GB

    October 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Hello there Violet. I have a feeling your grandkids always look forward to visiting! So many toys and so much fun. šŸ™‚ Beautiful poetry. Like everyone else, I smiled when I read “exhale a poem.” Beautiful.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      October 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you Myra! I know I sure look forward to their visits. Love the ages that they’re at right now and their different personalities. Feel so blessed to have these little people in my life.


  11. maryleehahn

    October 19, 2013 at 5:24 am

    I have always (to this day) been a firm believer in the sentient life of toys, so I love hearing the voice of the toys after your other poems of play. But what I love most is your admonition to yourself to slow down and write. I completely lost my writing/walking routine this week, and I am determined to get back to it next week…no matter what. So much can be accomplished in just 5-15 minutes. That’s what my Fig post took yesterday morning. I must remember to save time for ME!



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