A flood of moments

Earlier this year, Spirit First put out a call for poems on the themes of meditation, mindfulness, silence, stillness and solitude. With this simple gesture, the nonprofit organization kicked off their first annual poetry contest.

Response was overwhelming: A flood of 741 poems, from 42 states, and 23 countries.

Winners were chosen.
Poems posted.
Cash prizes awarded.

But that wasn't enough.

Recognizing the bounty of good work, Spirit First Director Diana Christine Woods suggested a book.

The result is Moments of the Soul: Poems of meditation and mindfulness by writers of every faith. The book features 84 poems by 61 poets from all over the world.

I am honored to be a contest winner and to have two poems — Unless You and Last Light — in the book. And I am grateful for the steady, earnest effort of Diana Christine Woods, and humbled to be in the company of creative, introspective writers.

Moments of the Soul can be purchased ($12) here and here.

Note: The deadline nears for the second annual 2011 Spirit First Poetry Contest. Submit your poems by January 31, 2011. For details, go here.


Does this font make my blog look big?

Greetings Readers!

It's been more than two years since I (with the help of friend/artist/webmaster Tracy Weil) created this website, and nearly a year since a platform change (from Blogger to SquareSpace). In that time, I have grown older, my eyes more tired, and my patience more thin.

The internet has changed how I read (more skimming, less absorption, scant retention). I want info quickly, cleanly and without much effort. I'm not yet reading Large Print books or wearing bifocals but I do spend a great deal of time online and appreciate easy-to-read sites.

All of which is to say, I have increased the font size on this site. Can you tell? Do you like it? Is it too much, or not enough? 

Obviously I'm fishing for feedback. I've been studying my screen and annoying Tracy with my requests for half-point adjustments to a dizzying degree. I can't see clearly. How about you? What do you see? How do I look?

Thanks for your feedback. You're the tops! the bee's knees! the ampersand in my typewriter keys!

Eagerly yours,



Thankful Thursday: Ribbons & Bows

It's Thankful Thursday, a weekly pause to appreciate people, places and things.

You can't judge a book by its cover, a man by his clothes, or a gift by its bows, but a pretty package always makes me smile.

Today, I am thankful for ribbons, wrappings & bows.



Fighting over christmas cards

Today, everyone I encounter embodies the spirit of Cranky Christmas. Frazzled with too much to do, in too little time, leaves even the most medicated a bit unhinged.

Not me (not yet). Let the cookies bake. The presents wrap. The parties revel on. Instead of a fevered fa la la, you'll find me absorbed in a book: Everything is Everything by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, a slam poet and the author of five poetry books.

Because there's a spunky holiday theme running throughout the collection —  in the poems At the Office Holiday Party, The Art of Holiday Spirit: Astoria, Queens, and Season's Greetings — I unofficially crown Cristin the Queen of Tell-It-True Holiday Poets.

Season's Greetings

Sometimes I don't want to do anything at all,
not even the easy stuff, like decide what I want
to eat for lunch. I found out last night someone

I wished abject loneliness upon is now lonely
and I don't even want to think about how that
makes me feel. Now that's lazy, because maybe

it could make me feel powerful or vindicated,
but I'm thinking probably not. My partner & I
were doing the annual holiday cards last night,

and I kept saying, Who are we forgetting?
Who would be really cheered up by getting
a holiday card from us who's not already

on our list? And my partner said, Um, no one.
I don't think our holiday cards make that much
difference to anyone anyway.
And I told him,

Well, if that's how you feel, why are we even
doing holiday cards at all?
And we fought
about the joy our holiday cards did or did not

bring into the lives of our friends and family,
but make no mistake: at no time did we ever
stop doing our annual holiday cards:

me, drawing the cartoon versions of us wearing
santa hats or reindeer antlers, and him digging up
inside jokes to put in our talk bubbles, embossing

the back of the envelopes with our dachshund stamp,
the dog we consider an emblem of our relationship
because it words so hard, yet looks so ridiculous.

— Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
from Everything is Everything



You can't wear a poem. 

Read. Write. Repeat  . . .
May I offer a brief distraction?

Because life is more than words and you can't wear a poem, I like to amble through the fashion blogs.

I'm not interested in runway looks, emaciated models, or sticker shock. I'm a realist. I like stylish, affordable (read: thrifted) bargains.

Here are a few of my latest, favorite, fashion-focused blogs:

B. Jones Style

What I Wore

Hillary Quinn - The Bargain Hunter

I'm still searching for a fashion blog created by and for women over 40. No frump. No ladies who lunch. No overly natural looks. Does this niche even exist? Am I the only one on this hunt?

How about you? Where do you find fashion inspiration? Has fashion inspired your literary life? Or, conversely, has literature inspired your wardrobe ? (i.e. Are you wearing a bookish tweed blazer with elbow patches? Or a white house dress, ala Emily Dickinson?).

What's in your closet?