National Poetry Month

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 6:00pm

The following was submitted by reader Lisa Sprague:

It all started with a poem:

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve

and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,

let’s not speak in any language,

let’s stop for a second,

and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment

without rush, without engines;

we would all be together

in a sudden strangeness.

If we were not so single-minded

about keeping our lives moving,

and for once could do nothing,

perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness

of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us

as when everything seems dead in winter

and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve

and you keep quiet and I will go.

— Pablo Neruda

Out of that poem came the idea to compose a prayer, of sorts, to be used as a daily prompt, a reminder to breathe. The intention is that at 12 noon every day, wherever you are, that you will stop, just for a minute, and recite the following prayer and that people all over your time zone will be doing the same thing, sending out energy and intention that promotes kindness and hope, creating a groundswell that will traverse the world so that it becomes 12 o’clock everywhere. See prayer below.

Prayer for the world

“As we raise our voices with the power of collective consciousness, may we acknowledge our vulnerability, find the strength to embrace solitude, and listen deeply. Now we have the freedom to create ways to help the world — personally, locally, nationally, and globally. Let us be guided by kindness and hope, with the intention of discovering our own true power as a unified human race.”



T’was the Night Before Tuesday

By Wyatt and Jaxon Helterline

T’was the night before Tuesday

When all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

Not even a Geoffrey (That’s the cat)

The sock puppets were made, with fingers that care

With hopes that Mrs. McTeague and Ms. G would soon be there

Lessons were planned on computers each day

With slides, then I ready

It was almost like play

When all of a sudden the kids they could see

Summer was coming

No stopping warm seas


Arbor Day 2020

By Fran Migliaccio

No school this viral

year of seclusion, yet

April’s last Friday will come, go,

no trees given hand to hand to children

to grow.


I enquired, was told, sourwood would

have come to the island’s

school children this year.


That reddish tree, bronze green of leaf,


white of flower bells, celebrated in song


the south. I remember


a bend in a Great Smokies road,

and sheltered in its shaded

crook a lone

palsied man selling sourwood

honey, generous jars, a chunk


of comb afloat within, I remember

his difficulty of speech and the sweet

amber honey we had for months

back north at home.


Honey, Arbor Day, meld

sweet in the brain, to buoy

hope for trees hand to hand

next year at school.