Seasonal Blues

It’s cold. Bitter-bone-cold.
Better bundle up—brrr.
Old bones can’t take the cold.
All bundled up—brrr, brrr.

It’s hot. Sticky-hot hot.
Fan going round—whirr, whirr.
Beer’s chilling, but I’m hot.
Fan spinning round—whirr, whirr.

NaPoWriMo22 Day 29 — Through murisopsis’s poetry scavenger hunt, I was introduced to the bob and wheel and blues stanzas forms. Here I’ve combined them. Peace to your !

P.S. I’ll be going away for the weekend and may not get around to addressing comments until Monday. Also, I want to share a piece of good news: I learned yesterday that a sijo I submitted to the 2022 Sejong Writing Competition placed second. Yippee! It comes with a generous prize of $750. It was last April that one of Maureen Thorson’s prompts was to write a sijo. She included a link to the Sejong Cultural Society’s guide to writing sijos, and that’s how I learned of the Writing Competition, which is open to Canadian and US residents only. The Society also sponsors an international sijo competition, open to all nationalities, that offers cash prizes. If you have any interest in the sijo form, I encourage you to enter one of these competitions. I’ll share my sijo once the winning entries have been posted to the Society’s website.

Notes on Healing

are a start. Warmer
weather helps.
Longer days,
lighter days, all good. But not
what I really need.

What I need
(okay, really want)
is summer,
hours and hours
steeping in the sun, healing
from the outside in.

Then I think:
skin cancer, rogue moles,
sun damage.
Then I write
shadormas, sijos—healing
from the inside out.

NaPoWriMo22 Day 4 — A poem I’ve been pondering several weeks that finally came into its own as a series of shadormas. It happens to fit murisopsis‘s poetry scavenger hunt prompt #12, to write about healing. I now have 18 poems written in the wake of my parents’ deaths (see “Afterdeath“) and will post more of them once NaPoWriMo is over. I’m calling it my Afterdeath collection. Peace to your , particularly if you’re healing from the loss of a loved one or dealing with cancer personally or among family or friends.

Summer Vacation

You know what?
It’s the last day of school.
We can lie in the sun by the pool.

Have you heard?
We are going away
To the beach with its sand and its spray.

Did they tell you?
It’s the last day of summer.


My younger two daughters start school this week. They’re looking forward to seeing friends. To doing homework? Not so much. Peace to your !

Pageant Tree

In springtime when your buds first show,
Delightfully I watch them grow,
So fresh and new after winter’s gray
I want to laugh and sing and play.

Yes, in springtime I am young and gay.

In summer when your boughs are full,
Your beauty’s irresistible.
I gaze upon your crown of green,
The loveliest I’ve ever seen.

Yes, in summer I am like a queen.

In autumn when your branches gold,
What stunning pageantry I behold
As the leaves that cluster at your breast
Scatter like jewels east and west.

Yes, in autumn I am richly dressed.

In winter when your limbs are bare,
With childlike wonder I stop and stare,
Entranced by your graceful whitened frame,
No two branches ever the same.

Yes, in winter I am quite the dame.

Years ago, after reading Myra Cohn Livingston’s book Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry, in which she describes five different types of poems, I wrote one of each kind using a tree-theme. I’ve previously posted “Truncated” (dramatic apostrophe) and “Possibility” (lyrical). “Pageant Tree” is a dramatic conversation. I’ll post the remaining two in the next two weeks. Peace to your !


Another “tree no more” is the pin oak in the backyard of the house I grew up in. I could see it from my bedroom window, and during summer vacations I would spread out a blanket underneath its sheltering limbs–an area I think of as “tree space”. Sometimes I read there, sometimes I lazed or gazed, sometimes I made lists of things to do should I become bored during the break. A few years ago, after the pin oak had been ailing for a while, my parents had it cut down. Peace to your ♥!


The afternoon stretches out
empty as a page in my notebook
long as my body on the sun-warmed ground
still as the air in this circle of tree space.

I am Snow White, encapsulated,
ready to wake to a princely possibility.
I am Kubla Khan, lord of all,
surrounded by my vast domains.
I am earth daughter, firmly rooted,
drinking deep of measureless time.

The afternoon fills with
line after line of invisible ink.

© Stephanie Malley

“Wanted for a Good (Summer)Time”

 Wanted for a Good (Summer)Time

One ripe, round melon
(must sound hollow when thumped),
with alternating stripes of lighter and darker green
and a yellow underbelly. Weighty, but not too heavy
to hold. Juicy, red flesh a must. Seedless preferred.
No potential for long-term relationship.
Short and sweet. My place.

© Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo20 Day 24 - Write a poem about a fruit. Thank you to Maureen Thorson at for the prompt. 

Bonus poem today. Peace to your ♥ !


watermelon juice
dripping down
my chin


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem of over-the-top compliments. Since I’m not feeling expansive at the moment, I’m instead posting a visual poem I worked on yesterday [an audio description can be found here] and also including the link for an ode to summer I composed years ago for a contest. Written in the flowery language of a traditional ode, it fits the prompt pretty well, I think. Peace to your ♥ !

NaPoWriMo20 Day 16 - I didn't use the prompt. 

“Ode to Summer”

I wrote the following poem for an ode-writing contest six years ago. I don’t think they were looking for traditional-style odes, but that’s what came first to my mind. Perhaps I went a mite overboard. :) Peace to your ♥ !

 Ode to Summer

O, Summer! That you should be measured solely by that
span from solstice to autumnal equinox!
Nay, you are more: the former part of June you did adopt and made sister
to the other three: sultry July, August that bears a canine stamp,
and sweet September whose mildness mocks the school-bound child.
Your lamp you do not douse till late, but let it burn
that we might feast outdoors in golden light,
And even then do not extinguish all, but spark the night with flies
which so impress, we close our eyes and find them gleaming still.

Summer! Who can fail to heed your dulcet call, enticement
to lay aside our base pursuits and, free from confining boot and wall,
tramp barefoot through an earthy paradise?
The bee proposes how to spend a happy hour: from him we learn
to find content in drawing from each scented flower
such heavenly drink as to honey all our later waking
and be rich fare for the meager winter board.
And thus we savor the gurgling brook, the slanting ray that gilds a path
to the celestial gate, gladsome air of wren and rook,
and each shady nook within the verdant copse.

Were I compelled to wear out my days in endless summer,
fain would I embrace my fate.
But as that congenial plight can ne’er be mine,
rather will I praise your endless charms, and count myself thrice blest
if in these lines a single summer’s moment I have stopped,
that it may be forever treasured.
Yea, Summer, figure of all that is fair and good,
such that a thousand lines would not suffice to name the half,
Fortunate the man who can afford to court thy favors!

© Stephanie Malley

Published in the July 2017 issue of Glass: Facets of Poetry.