Friday, May 26, 2023

Cat's Life poem


Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit lovely Patricia at Reverie for Roundup.

For this week's ArtSpeak: Light series, I've got a cat for you. 

Our cat Maggie has been all over us since we returned from our little getaway. It takes her a few days to give us all the love she banked up in our absence. So sweet!

One of the highlights of our trip was horseback riding on the beach. Once upon a time I was quite the horse-loving girl, and it still surprises me sometimes that my life veered away from horses. It makes the time I spend with them now extra-special! My horse was named Oscar, because he's kind of a grouch in the stall. But put him on the trail, and he's a happy guy! What fun.

Now we're back home for the official opening of Lake Season. I'm excited to get back in the water. What are you excited about today?

The cat in my poem is excited about something, too! Thanks so much for reading.

when from the kitchen

briny scent of tuna
begins to rise

the light
of a thousand flowers
blooms in Kitty's eyes

- Irene Latham

Friday, May 19, 2023

Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit lovely Janice at Salt City Verse for Roundup.

I'm happily away from my desk this week—taking a break from all the regular things to have some new adventures. 

This week's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem features a steeple. 

Last week in comments I had a question from Patricia about where/how I find the art for this project. Thanks, Patricia!

When I started out the year, I did a search on for "light." That brought up a number of public domain art pieces with "light" in the title...and also "light art," which is a kind of art in which the artist actually uses electricity and lights to create a piece of art. Cool, right? 

But these search results didn't speak to my poet-heart. So I decided to let the art find me. It is quite common for artists to play with light in their compositions. I decided that the paintings needn't be about light—the paintings could be anything. The project is an exploration into my thoughts and feelings about light, and the poems are my playground. 

As soon as I made that realization and released myself from any "light" constraints, the art started finding me! For instance, for this week's poem I found the art in the daily art calendar gifted to me this past Christmas by my son Daniel. (A few other pieces I've written on so far this year have also come from the calendar.)

And this week, the location and title of the art actually heavily influenced the poem. While I have never been to Zeeland (a province in the Netherlands), I can just imagine walking these streets. Thanks so much for reading!

Walking in Zeeland

When I see a steeple
rising from a nest of eaves,
I pull my mother's hand.
May we stay, please?

For a town with a steeple,
has more light, more sky.
And the swooping swallows
glide so close, so high!

- Irene Latham

Friday, May 12, 2023

Poem with a Yellow Parasol

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit for radiant Robyn at
Life on the Deckle Edge for Roundup. I wanted to share the Gee's Bend-style quilt top I made with my mom and Gee's Bend quilters Mary Ann Pettway and China Pettway. I went 100% improvisational, and made myself not ruminate over artistic choices. I picked a fabric and just went with it, no turning back. So much fun!
May brings so many wonderful things: my nephew's graduation from college; my annual cello recital; lunch with friends at the lake; etc!

And this year, it brought me PINK EYE. Grrr. After a round of antibiotics, I am nearly recovered, but y'all, it's been rough to show up for all these happy things when not feeling anywhere close to my best.

This week's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem insisted on being a haiku...which feels especially appropriate given haiku-master Robyn doing the Roundup! The poem also insisted I keep it simple...despite my best efforts to flower it up! (Somehow I think the woman in Frieske's art would appreciate that fact. She seems happy in the shadows, happy to let her accessory be the attention-getter, rather than herself. I can relate!) And I wrote it two ways. 

Question for the hive: which do you think is the more effective poem, and why?

 yellow parasol

perched high upon her shoulder

another sun

- Irene Latham

unflinching sun

perched high upon her shoulder

yellow parasol

- Irene Latham

Thanks so much for reading. 

p.s. Have you seen the documentary JUDY BLUME FOREVER yet? Don't miss!

Friday, May 5, 2023

Vespers poem

 Hello and Happy May! Be sure to visit lovely Linda at TeacherDance for Roundup.

This week I posted over at Smack Dab in the Middle about 3 Ways to Grow as A Writer. I hope you'll check it out!

In other news, I learned I'll be attending ALA Chicago in June. If any Poetry Friday friends are also attending, would you please let me know?

This week's ArtSpeak: Light poem is a prayer for light that is fading...and for deer! If you look really close, you'll see there's a herd of deer in that fog. Cool, huh? Thanks so much for reading!


To the sun
who has shone
so bright,
so steadfast

To the field
who offers
tender grass

To the mist
who swaddles
all in warm

A whisper
of appreciation
as this bit
of the world


-Irene Latham