Poet: Susan Budig

Susan Budig (in her own words): “I am not a full-time writer, but I work freelance in writing as much as I want. I am a full-time primary care parent. I still have three kids at home and in school.My business card identifies me as writer, poet, teacher, coach, but I am working on so much more. I am transcribing interviews for Larry Long with a goal of a book or series of books.”

My website: http://www.mindfulpoetry.com
My blogs: http://susanbudig.blogspot.com
and http://susanbudigs-poetry.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MindfulPoet
Gather: http://slb2.gather.com


One Child

There was one child left
that day I walked by the playground,
sitting on a see-saw, watching.
I looked in the same direction,
but nothing else caught my eye.

I remembered a game as a youth.
There was one child left
standing, proclaimed the winner!
It was never me.
Like a sentinel, I said nothing.

I continued down the block,
but cast a glance over my shoulder.
There was one child left
on the teeter-totter, but looking lost.
This stops me.

I finger my still-warm pretzel, shoved
in my pocket for when I reach the office.
The child keeps staring at nothing.
There was one child left
on the bench while all the other children

jumped like bunnies around the man
with a generous clutch of balloons
at my son’s birthday party in the park.
That was years ago and we all went home, but no…
there was one child left.



Please leave a response in the comment section. Thanks!

Favorite Poem: “The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner”

An exceptional poem leaves an imprint on the reader. My college professor read this poem to the class, and after many years, I still remember it—vividly.

When I started teaching, I had language arts/history blocks. I used poetry to supplement the American history text, loving how we could learn about the past through a poet’s perspective.


“The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”

by Randall Jarrell

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.


Jarrell wrote, “A ball turret was a plexiglass sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24 bomber and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine-guns and one man, a short, small man. When this gunner tracked with his machine-guns a fighter attacking his bomber from below, he revolved the turret; hunched upside-down in his little sphere, he looked like the foetus in the womb. The fighters which attacked him were armed with canon firing explosive shells. The hose was a steam hose.”


Daily Response: Is there a poem from school that you still remember vividly? If so, please share it in your comments.

Poet: A.F. Stewart

A.F. Stewart is from Nova Scotia, Canada. She works part time as a writer, hoping for full time, and pays the bills with various other jobs. She is a very prolific and talented writer. Find out more about her and her books on the following sites.



Two blogs:

Gather profile:




Tendrils of matter

winding around light.

A galactic splash

of bursting colour.

Spiralling outward,

onward in the heavens.


Vivid paint

on the universe.



 Daily Response: Please write a note to A.F. in the comment section.

Favorite Poem: “We Real Cool”

“We Real Cool”

by Gwendolyn Brooks


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Daily Response: This is a great poem to teach, since it is short and easy to understand. Plus, the poem offers examples of alliteration, symbolism, enjambment, and rhythm. Poetry can be complex and turn off students completely–or it can convey a simple message like in this poem. Did you like poetry in school–or did you find it too complex?

Poet: Sara Pounds

Sara Pounds lives in Florida. I met her when she was in the sixth grade; I was her language arts teacher. I am so proud of her writing and wanted to share a poem that she posted on Facebook recently.

I feel an uncertainty about this path-

I also don’t know how long it will last-

Pages of books that are kept under the sheets-

It speaks volumes and speaks to me-

The pictures in frames tell of other days-

Oh I long for the ways it turned out-

I swear I don’t know how it got this way-

But as I look up the sky depleted me-

The soul is dark and gray but aren’t they the same-

Eyes of night and the mourning was bright-

It wakes me up to say-

come on in and enjoy it again-

Hearts are broken but I’m just here to mend-

It speaks volumes and it speaks to me-

Tells of a story of you and me-

Oh love we know not what we do-

should we say we’re sorry or are we just misunderstood-

Stay or leave oh the choices are so weak-

It grows within me-

The trust that once destroyed me-

It speaks volumes and speaks to me-

I feel an uncertainty about the past-

I also don’t know how long it will last-

The memories that seems to consume me-

It speaks volumes and it seems to speak to me-

Daily Response:

Sara’s repetitive verse, “It speaks volumes and it speaks to me,” reminds me of why we write poetry in the first place. If you were going to sit down and write a poem, what would be the topic? What emotion or idea “speaks” to you?


Young Poet #2: Tyler Frost

Bio: Tyler Frost is currently a senior at Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids and will be attending Marquette University in the fall with a plan to major in Theater and English.  He enjoys the the arts, good conversation, and taking walks.


Ones Depressed   

by Tyler Frost                                  


What does one feel if they are all depressed?

Enclosed, saddened, hopeless much of the time.

Some it may be from their being oppressed.

Their sad days will go like a song of chimes.

One can feel all depressed with people such

or be by themselves so quiet and sad.

They’ll think and think until their brain hurts much

and their heart aches with pain and is not glad.

So what might become of beings depressed?

They’ll keep their thoughts inside hidden and deep

like the floor of the sea, water suppressed.

They’ll become crushed by their thoughts and will seep.

Pray much, O ones depressed that God may help

and talk with ones who are not sad for help.

Young Poet #1: Christina Hedges

Bio: Christina Hedges was born on April 17, 1995 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She currently attends Batavia High School (Batavia, Ohio) as a freshman. She enjoys playing guitar, clarinet and creating music from her heart, as well as creating works of literature.


“Your Lovely Dreams”

Christina Hedges


With a light that just won’t appear

Engulfed in the darkness created by man

A place where there is no love, joy, or harmony

Only anger, hate, and fear reside

The unknown flies and scurries to exploit you

The trick in your head are lies

Anything you were ever told are lies.

Running away from nothing

Heading towards nothing

What has the world come down to?

The fire in people’s eyes

Exploiting other peoples lives

Gossip, drama, blackmail, all lies.

There is only one place that matters,

Where you can hide,

Where you can play,

Where no one can hurt you,

Only resides in your lovely dreams

Poetry Workshop #2: Borrowed Poetry

Borrowed poetry, or found poetry, is creating an original poem by using lines from another poem, quote, or even headlines from the newspaper as a springboard.

When creating the song “Auburn Eyes,” I borrowed lines from the original Nothing but Trouble after Midnight manuscript.* And one thing that stayed constant throughout  the versions of the book was the song. I knew it would end the story–I just didn’t know how to get there.


by Kimberly Blackadar

I see the past in your eyes

Tender touches with long goodbyes

Friends without secrets or lies

Hid their love in dim disguise


Splash in the waters of our youth

Climb that tree to tell the truth

Cross the woods in the dark

Open the gate into my heart


With you I know, with you I see

A life without uncertainty

For my past, my present, my future lies

Hidden inside those auburn eyes


I saw heaven in your eyes

Caught a glimpse of paradise

More than ever I realize

A love like ours never dies


Open your eyes

(And see me)

Open your mind

(And know me)

Open your arms

(And hold me)

Open your heart

(And love me)


Open your eyes [spoken]


And see the future through my eyes

The two of us, you’ll recognize

Man and wife with joyful cries

Sharing vows under azure skies


Splash in the waters of our youth

Climb that tree to tell the truth

Cross the woods in the dark

Open the gate into my heart


With you I know, with you I see

A life without uncertainty

For my past, my present, my future lies

Hidden inside those auburn eyes


My past, my present, my future lies

Hidden inside your auburn eyes

…Auburn eyes…

…Auburn eyes…



Look around for a book, newspaper, magazine, and extract a line. Use it as your title, opening/closing line, or anywhere you see fit. Traditionally, you put quotes around the borrowed lines or phrases. But since I was “plagiarizing” myself here, I left out the quotation marks. 🙂


 *If you are interested in reading more about the evolution of the NBTAM manuscript, check out the “Author Q &A” in the “Pages” on the right.

Poetry Workshop #1: Finding Inspiration

Welcome to a week of poetry workshops. All the examples were written by me, starting with poetry from my youth to a poem from the first abandoned manuscript of NBTAM. But I must warn you: Poetry is not my forte. I liken it to art or music–it is something I appreciate but lack the gift. (And no, I’m not being humble!) 


POETRY WORKSHOP: Finding Inspiration

~My Example~

I wrote “Untitled” when I was sixteen. It was written in pencil and torn from a notebook and now lives in my big black binder entitled “Writing: HS & College.”  Many years ago, I found inspiration from a beautiful moonset–where the moon settles on the water and illuminates a path to the shore.


Hand in hand

We travel the illuminated path

Toward eternal happiness

The moon is our guide

And the stars are our chaperones

Just you and I

Alone in our paradise

A place that we dreamed of

A place that we have created

There is no turning back, my friend

Relinquish your fears

And take my hand

My love – my only love


~Your Turn~

Now close your eyes, search your mind, and travel to find your inspiration. Go to the top of a mountain, an unforgettable sunset, or a sprawling countryside to conjure up the images. Jot them down and form the phrases into a simple free verse* poem. And most importantly, be brave enough to share it with others. Post your poem as a comment. I look foward to reading it!

* Free verse is poetry without a pattern or a rhyme scheme. Yet it is so open-ended that Robert Frost said it was like “playing tennis without a net.”