Friday, July 26, 2013


Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Sherry at Semicolon for Roundup.

I don't know about you, but I love pockets. I love tucking away treasures -- most often my own hands -- and always feel a little lost without pockets. Which is why today I am sharing Valerie Worth poems about things that one might slip into a pocket and savor there in the secret, dark depths. (For more Valerie, see the left sidebar for previous posts in this series.)


These things
Might go
Into the pocket:
A bright
Knitted circles
of Queen Anne's

These things
Come out
Of the pocket:
Sand, splinters,
Of paper creased
And soft
as an old

- Valerie Worth

How's that for an unexpected ending? Love! And of course, my grandmother had The Softest Face. Oh, MISS HER, I do.


Mute mysterious
Token, burnished
Metal carved into
grooves and flanges;

Glinting with
Clues and codes,
Reflecting exactly the
Secret of its lock --

But never, until
All its clever
Little tongues click
Round and home,

Will it tell
What hides in the
Shadowy house, the
Silent expectant room.

- Valerie Worth

I love keys, probably most for the secrets they hold. What's in the cabinet, what's behind the door? And how clever is the key/lock design? How intimate. I love that, too.


Pebbles belong to no one
Until you pick them up --
Then they are yours.

But which, of all the world's
mountains of little broken stones,
Will you choose to keep?

The smooth black, the white,
The rough gray with sparks
Shining it its cracks?

Somewhere the best pebble must
Lie hidden, meant for you
If you can find it.

- Valerie Worth

I love picking up nature items. I know we're supposed to leave nature be and all that, and for the most part, I do... but I do love the idea that there's a pebble meant just for me, if I can find it.


In words, in books,
Jewels blaze and stream
Out of the heaped chests
Or soft, spilled bags:
Diamonds, sharp stars,
Polished emerald tears,
Amethysts, rubies, opals
Spreading fire-surfaced pools,
Pearls falling down
in foam-ropes, sparks
Of topaz and sapphire strewn
Over a dark cave-floor-
How dim, then, the ring
Worn on the finger,
With one set stone.

- Valerie Worth

I rather like the "one set stone" myself... but then I have not witnessed a cave of jewels (except in the movies). So much beauty lies hidden and requires work (and patience!) to reveal... another theme I like. :)


Coins are pleasant
To the hand:

Neat circles, smooth,
A little heavy.

They feel as if
They are worth something.

- Valerie Worth

I did some coin collecting in my youth.. still have my US state nickel cards, not quite filled. But coins around here usually wind up in the jelly jar where they accumulate and accumulate, until the jar is full and we start rolling them in bank papers to trade in for paper money. I am always a little startled by how much those little coins add up to.... worth something, indeed!


Is a list
Of likely
To taste:


How they manage
To flavor
The paper

- Valerie Worth

Some of my favorite candies: Sweet-tarts and Peppermint Patties (not so smart to tuck these in a pocket unless you don't mind scraping the smushy sweet off the paper wrapper with your teeth - which I don't mind at all!). Secret: I used to keep peppermint patty wrappers in an old wooden jewelry box. Sometimes I would lift the lid just to enjoy the remaining sweet smell... almost as good as actually eating the candy!

What's your favorite thing to stash in a pocket?


  1. Great theme today, Irene! I have to agree with you, the ending of "Pocket" is such a lovely surprise. I also love "Pebbles belong to no one/Until you pick them up --/Then they are yours." My favorite things to stash in a pocket? A poem, a small journal to jot down my thoughts, a love note from one of my children, or the special seashell that I hope to find on the beach next week when I'm on vacation. ;)

    1. Michelle, I do hope you find your special sea shell. :) And I love that you stash written things in your pocket. Precious. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Lately, especially on solo walks so my family can't roll their eyes, I pick up little rusted bits of metal to use in my artsyletters collages! But surprising stones are probably the best. Still have a special one or two from childhood. I love the line, "The rough gray with sparks/Shining it its cracks?" which also brought to mind the image of the lovely, soft old face before. Thanks for sharing more Valerie Worth treasures!

    1. Oohh, rusted bits of metal! Way to upcycle. :) We just took a windchime making class... gathered all sorts of metal treasures from around the house. Love to recreate in this way. Thanks for stopping by. xo

  3. Not only do I keep a few things in my pockets, but they feel like treasures, don't they, no matter what one finds. On my hikes, I always am on the lookout for small rocks shaped like hearts. They aren't easy to find, so makes it even more delicious when I do. I love this series you're doing, Irene, have enjoyed each post with Worth's wonderful poems, & your comments on each too. Like Michelle, I'll be filling my pockets with shells next week, going to the beach! The little granddaughters have never seen the ocean-so exciting!

    1. Yay for your beach trip, Linda! I love that you focus on heart-shaped rocks. I have a poster in my house of hearts in nature... all sorts of things like clouds and rocks and shrubbery... love is all around, indeed! Happy hunting. xo

  4. I love Valerie Worth's poems and all the "small things" she makes us see in new ways. Your comments make the poems even more intimate. "pebbles" especially made me smile this morning. While on vacation last month, we drove down the Pacific Coast highway. It was the first time my husband had seen the Pacific Ocean. We stopped and walked along the beach to take pictures. My husband found some very pretty small stones that were worn smooth. He had a pocketful by the time we left. Last week, I found him in the garage carefully placing his little treasures in a box to save for our granddaughter. Now I know they were meant for her.

    1. What a treasure for your granddaughter, Linda! I am visiting the Oregon coast for the first time next month. (I've seen the Pacific Ocean on trips to California, and oh my. Love!) Thank you for stopping by. xo

  5. Oh, to be a kid with pockets full of treasure! I still pick up unusual rocks when I see them and have a box full of foreign coins. (Pity the person who has to clean out my house someday!) The key poem is my favorite today. I love the mystery of it's "grooves and flanges," "clues and codes."
    Thanks so much for sharing these!

  6. Delightful theme here. Thank you for introducing me to Valerie Worth!

    Some things are better not left in pockets. One of those is lip gloss. Another is Kleenex (or whatever brand of paper tissue you use). Still another is used gum discarded in paper. More than once I have washed Kleenex (ugh!) and I once washed a vest with lip gloss in the pocket and then tossed it in the dryer. Did that with gum too--a big OOPS!

    Violet N.

  7. I am forever finding old grocery lists washed to reconstituted paper pulp in the back pockets of jeans. Sometimes I find clean money, too!

    A great book to go with these pocket poems would be A SOCK IS A POCKET FOR YOUR TOES by Liz Garton Scanlon.


Your thoughts?