NaPowriMo2021 Day 29

Untitled #29 by Larry Mawby

my temple is above my eyes,

it is there that i worship.

my temple is everywhere i go,

it is there that i worship.

the incense of flowers or the wet forest

reminds me that everything is sacred.

the chorus of birds or the wind

reminds me that everything is sacred.

the presence of the soil or the waters

reminds me that everything is sacred.

the communion of bread with wine

reminds me that everything is sacred.

the light of the sun or your smile

reminds me that everything is sacred.

everything is sacred in my temple;

everything is sacred in this world.


Chroma by Mimi DiFrancesca

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day #27

Untitled by Larry Mawby

i dreamt of bread,

a boule with crisp crust,

chewy interior, warm

from the bake, now sliced

thick & slathered with butter.

then, as one does,

i edited

the dream, making the boule

smaller, b-cup sized, sliced

in half for a hearty sandwich.

sandwich filled with sliced

meat, cheese, tomato, spinach,

dill pickle, mayonnaise, sweet pepper.

before i could eat,

i awoke &wrote this out,

changing& adding details.

now, i read this, seeking

special meanings in the words,

before concluding that sometimes,

bread is only bread

a sandwich, simply a sandwich


My Personal Eclipse by Mimi DiFrancesca

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 24

Southern Angel by Mimi DiFrancesca


Untitled #24 by Larry Mawby

the only thing moving this morning outside

is sunlight streaming

through the gaps between

branches of the trees;

reflecting off daffodils,

dead leaves, the iron crow,

and into my eyes, bringing me

this message:

qi, or chi, is some part

of the dark energy that

makes up most of our universe.

well, that’s odd.

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 23

Untitled #23 by Larry Mawby

the lightness of water,

the heaviness of water.

when water partakes more of heaviness,

it lies upon the earth in oceans or lakes,

or even snuggles into the ground.

water partaking of lightness

disappears into the air and,

when very light-filled, is felt

as dryness. when the lightness

is cold, water floats upon other water.

water partakes of heaviness variously,

water partakes of lightness variously.

this is the truth of water, my children.


All I Am by Mimi DiFrancesca

NaPoWriMo2021 Day 22

Safe by Mimi DiFrancesca

Untitled #22 by Larry Mawby

what does the iron crow,

who perches on the iron branch

in the young maple tree

outside my window, live on?

i feet him fragments

of my night dreams

each morning, which i believe

are sustaining for iron crows.

he may scavenge day dreams

from others, but i avoid

feeding him mine. he seems

happy with my night dreams.

rainwater is all he drinks

[except for snow in the winter].

he seems healthy enough, & very

quiet. he never caws, unlike other crows.

he never flies, either, staying

perched there on the iron branch

all the time. that is the nature

of iron crows,

i am told.

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 19

Into Chaos by Mimi DiFrancesca


Untitled #19 by Larry Mawby

on this drizzly april morning

i sit and look outside my room

at the maple tree as rainwater

beads on the horizontal branches,

beads slowly growing too large

to hang on. they drop & soon

another pearly bead begins to form

in that place. it, too, will fall

as thus slowly, deliberately,

water makes its way

to the ground.

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 15

Untitled #15 by Larry Mawby

some assembly required

on this grey rainy morning

a cat sits on a bed, paws and tail

tucked in, a lump, eyes tracking

you as you move past.

while sitting in meditation

you see truth scream out

soundlessly. you try to lip read

but you cannot.

take these two & add another,

to make a third. spin the three

into a thread. weave the thread

into a cloth. assembly time:

ten or more minutes.

moisten the cloth,

use it to gently

clean your eyes.

you will see clearly.

Writing Better Poetry

I am in a discussion with a friend who says she has never written poetry in her life but she’s going to begin now. Go Silvia! That’s the spirit!

The best advice I’ve ever heard about becoming a better writer is this: To write better, read more.

This holds true for any kind of writing. Read and read and read some more. What’s going to happen is that you’ll start your very own *Three Pile System* to sort the writing you are ingesting.

Pile #1 Stuff to be ignored. This pile may be golden fleece to some, but to you, it just doesn’t vibrate as something of great value. It’s the Universe telling you to “Let it go, Elsa.” Move along…

Pile #2 Interesting bits to contemplate. Like crows are drawn to shiny objects, poets/writers are highly attracted to clever turns of phrases and memorable descriptors. These are the bits and bobs we tuck away to use as future inspiration for our own word crafting.

Pile #3 Ecstatic Revelations. These are those magical pieces that bring the tears, the clenching of the heart muscle, the gazing off in the distance while your mind rolls the words around again and you marvel at the poets deft hand in its creation.

Super long story short- Your collection in Pile #3 are the styles of writing that best suit you. This is the native language of your internal country. And if you grab a pen and start journaling your thoughts that way, your true writer’s voice will begin to emerge.

I know now that every time I tried to write something in a stuffy (to me) iambic pentameter or adhering to hard and fast rules about format, what emerged was garbage, because it just wasn’t my style of writing. You need to find your Poetry Hero out in the wide world and read everything they wrote. Then find a few others who write in the same style and study them as well. And then grab than blank paper and let your own words fly.

My style is closer to how I speak; free form and spiced with images that make some people uncomfortable, others intrigued and still others, humored. It’s my own truth.

Now, you need to go find your own truth and say hello. Then drag that person out so we can meet them as well.

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” – Emily Dickinson

Some of my personal Poetry Heroes, long gone and contemporary…

Nikita Gill-

Mary Oliver-

Charles Bukowski-

Hafiz, especially the Daniel Ladinsky translations found in The Gift, a 1999 publication available through Penguin Compass.

By the way, Hafiz said that a poet is someone who can pour light into a cup.

Yeah, he was my spirit animal.

Send an email with your own writing advice or your favorite poets and I’ll share it here!

A Place of Our Own

Blog-o-sphere place where Leelanau Poets gather their work

While others are hurrying to and from daily tasks with their gaze downward, full speed ahead, poets move through the world a bit differently.

We poets are quietly watching the hum of the world around us with our paper nets at the ready to catch the gossamer inspirations floating on the air. We curate words and ideas for our collection.

We observe the subtle movement of life around us. We make notes. If a device isn’t handy to tap out a note, any scrap of writing surface suffices. A cafe napkin, the back of an envelope, our palm- anyplace that ink will mark the moment so we can take it home and get to work.

Back in our writing place we reach for fresh paper or a laptop and then shop through our notes and overflowing minds for perfect words. Like sorting fruit at a farmers market, we hold words in our hands and weigh their value, keeping some and discarding others. And when we’ve found the very best to work with we begin.

In the 2020 isolation, we needed to celebrate our art in a safer way; one that would last long after a gallery show had been torn down. A few of us at that are members of the Northport Arts Association created a video presentation, The Night Sky Poetry Project, that ran in conjunction with an NAA art show, a photography workshop and a lecture featuring all things stars and celestial. It honored the Dark Sky Parks being opened around the globe by showing in words and art how that vast sky above us inspires creative endeavour.

Last summer we reached out to local poets and NAA member poets asking them to write new night sky inspired poetry or to share with us some of their older pieces. Artist and Poet member, Lydia Woodruff, joined me to combine those poems with more work of famous and contemporary poets. Lydia led the way with her video editing and images created by our artists members combined with public domain images from NASA and the Hubble Telescope. We brought in local acting talent and poets who recorded readings of these poems in my home. The final video presentation debuted during the Dark Sky Week 2020. You can see our video here…

the Night Sky poetry video…

We can create more projects like these year round!

There really isn’t a place for us to get together and talk about our poetry, or a place to share it if we don’t already have a blog with followers or an active publishing career. This blog, this website, is where we hope to keep the flow of our words going.

This LeelanauPoets.Org website will be a place of showcasing, learning, celebrating and collaborating. Though I am starting this space and populating the start up pages, I am hoping to fill this site with our poetry, guest blogger posts, writing word prompt challenges, poetry contest information and news.

I’m going to be reaching out to poets I know who will offer workshops in person as soon as it’s safe or virtually, where they will be accessible to anyone, anywhere.

By May, I’d like to see our poet members using either their own images to illustrate their poems, or, with permission, the images of other local artists whose paintings or photography we can pair for collaborative efforts across the membership.

Watch for announcements and check on upcoming wonderfulness that you may want to get in on.

Welcome to our treehouse. Let’s play!