Friday, September 22, 2023

Dancing into Fall


I finally got my hands on a copy!

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit captivating Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink for Roundup.

Wow, I just checked the calendar, and we have just 14 more Poetry Fridays this year! That means 14 more Light poems. 14 more weeks to figure out what my art theme will be for 2024. 14 more weeks of "Space," my One Little Word.

Speaking of Space, it seems a good time to take stock. I've given myself space so far this year by staying off social media; by keeping my calendar full of white space; by setting and minding boundaries; by relaxing my sense of hyper-responsibility; by letting go of resentments, fears, worries. 

I've felt a little lost at times, a little confused and unsure of my path. Other times I've felt euphoric. 

I'm deliberately making a shift from the goal mindset of "what do I want to DO with my time/space/life?" to "who do I want to BE in this time/space/life?" 

I want to be creative and healthy/fit. I want to be connected to self, nature, and others. I want to be a giver, a learner, an explorer.

It can be hard to shift away from all those external measures that we are so programmed (and encouraged!) to pursue. This other path requires deeper observation, contemplation, and connection— yoga and meditation and dedicated reading time / writing-fun time / crafting time / learning time / nature time / cello time / just-me time / do-nothing time / let's-talk time has been really important.

Mostly what I see happening is that the Space I'm carving for myself offers a warm glow I can sink into—I think it's called "contentment."

Along with launching my MOON book (So many thanks to those who have helped spread the love!), I also did a little fun poetry crafting this week...I'm calling it "Matchbook Poetry." See the video below! 

Today's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem features a ballerina. I love the beauty of ballet, the grace of the human form. I have written several other poems about dancers:

"The Dance Lesson"


"To A Dancer"

"Flamingo School of Dance"

"The Last Poem" 

Here's a little memoir piece I did about my own (limited!) experience as a dancer.

Here's my review of Dancers on Dancing by Cynthia Lyle (and how it applies to writing!) along with my poem "Audrey Hepburn at the Dance Studio."

And now I offer you a dancer / dancing / ballerina / ballet haiku! It abandons syllable count and attempts to satisfy the haiku tradition of the middle line as hinge: the first two lines mean one thing, and the second two lines mean something else. Thanks so much for reading. 

ballerina leaps

a beam of light

arcs across our faces

-Irene Latham

Finally, I'm delighted to report that one of my photos of Rosie won an HM in a local photography contest! I'm excited to be working with Friends of the Locust Fork River on some nature-poetry things in the future. Here's Rosie!


  1. I really like the way you describe giving yourself Space, Irene. Hooray for contentment!
    Rosie is a beauty.
    (I can't see your video -- it's "unavailable") xo

  2. Delightful post, Irene. Congrats on the new moon book, and I LOVE your matchbook poem (I have a special affinity for elephants). The ballerina haiku is lovely too, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts about giving yourself space. Hooray for Rosie!

  3. Your application of space is most instructive, Irene. Like you, I have been monitoring my social media time in order to free up 'space.' Space in my head. Space in my life. Space to think both reflectively and creatively. With my four year old grand-daughter discovering dance -particularly, ballet, your poem really hits the mark. A joy to behold as she tries to emulate the balletic movement of Swan Lake.

  4. Irene, you are such a contemplative person. There is no wonder that you are on a quest to "BE in this time/space/life". Your ballerina haiku is beautifully rendered as an artistic expression. Your matchbox poetry craft is cleverly designed. Thanks for your links and congratulations on the photo of Rosie won a local photography contest's HM. Have a delightful weekend/

  5. You are definitely a learner, giver, and explorer! (Not to mention a cellist and apparently -- a dancer!) Congratulations on earning an HM on your picture. Rosie looks like she is having a blast!

  6. Every word is wonderful. I'm inspired by your shifted focus and by the way you hold your center. 14 more weeks? Goodness...time flies. I do like the idea of the center line of a haiku being a hinge. What a neat way to see it.

  7. You have certainly been a giver-learner-explorer extraordinaire for so many of us (ME!), but I hope you feel it within you, too, Irene. It was fun to look back at some of your ballet poems. I recently read a blog post that compared an illustrator's style from 10 years ago to today. Just sitting with "The Last Poem" and then with your haiku here and enjoying the SPACE between the two.

    And LOVE Rosie! Whooooshhh!

  8. Irene, delights abound in this post, as always! :) ❤️ I did a "Poetry Friday on a Saturday" post and featured The Museum on the Moon. It's such a wonderful book! Congrats on the release!

  9. Space is serving you well. I want to share your hinged haiku with my students. Should I tell them about the turn, or let them discover it?

  10. "who do I want to BE in this time/space/life?" - the reminder I needed to read today. And that photo of Rosie...the image I needed to see. Thank you. :)

  11. Dancing! And Rosie! And that cool matchbox poem! Fun stuff here. Love MUSEUM ON THE MOON as well. I was especially struck by the poem, "Peace". Just lovely.

  12. I was away for the weekend and my phone would not let me sign into Google on Blogger (who knows...). So I'm catching up. Love this post and thinking about taking stock! I always do this in the fall as well. Candice Ransom does all kinds of tiny crafts with words. I'm always amazed by her work in this medium.

    I love thinking about the middle line of haiku as a hinge. Such a great visual.


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