On my way to the desk
I tripped on the rug.
When I looked to see why
I found my lost bug!

I tucked the blue cockroach
In my box of cool rocks,
And that’s where I found
My best holey socks.

Lying there, crumpled
They looked like a cat.
Except without ears.
I had to fix that.

I grabbed an old t-shirt
I started to cut.
I noticed the shirt had
A hole in the gut.

I got a red marker.
I started to sing.
I hit the right note
To make my walls ring.

That’s when my mom
Knocked on the door.
I put on the shirt.
I dropped to the floor.

“Where is your homework?”
She asked without blinking.
To my desk I waved weakly.  
My poor heart was sinking.

“Then why are you there?”
She sounded unsure.
I answered her truly:
“I took a detour.”

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

I wrote this in response to David L. Harrison’s April word-of-the-month challenge http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/adult-word-of-the-month-poem/. Unfortunately, I never got to post it there because I didn’t finish until May. I took a detour.

Poke that pea.
Don’t stop at one.
Spear a pair.
Peas are fun.
Stab two more.
Fill the tips. 
Four green corks
Guard your lips.
Keep on jabbing.
Pack the tines.
String more beads.
Cram the lines. 
When your fork is
Fully loaded,
When your steel is
Fully coated,
Pull the spines
Between your teeth.
Slip the blade
From its sheath.
Like Ali Baba
And the Forty Thieves,
Swipe the silver and
Finish the peas!
Image from www.therealblairfamily.com

I watch raindrops run
down the window glass passing
all the defenders.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

I love watching raindrops run down window glass. Sometimes it reminds me of soccer players running down the field. Other days it makes me think of other things. What does it make you think of?

My voice fades in waves invisible
To me. I cannot see if they slip
Down the funnels into your head
Or chase the edge of the universe. 

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Michel Martin on NPR’s Tell Me More is celebrating National Poetry Month with tweet-able poems of 140 characters or less. I had never tweeted before, but I gave it a try. Tweeting made me wonder where my poem went and inspired this tweet-able poem. Do tweeting and/or blogging make you feel more heard? Or less?

No scars, pimples, freckles, fat.
Perfection on glossy paper.
She dissolves in tears, revealing

The advertisement behind her.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Michel Martin on NPR’s Tell Me More is celebrating National Poetry Month with tweet-able poems of 140 characters or less. I haven’t tweeted (so far) but my ears perked up at the mention of a new form. I had to give it a try. Also, I have an eleven year-old daughter and lately there’s been a lot of discussion among the moms about body image. I haven’t actually heard anything from the girls yet, but I remember being a girl and spending hours looking at the glossy magazines in the library.

Red Squirrel by Eric Begin

I met a squirrel—
A chippy chap.
He wore his tail
Like a baseball cap.
When I threw
A nut his way
He hit it home
And ran away.
© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

One day when I was out walking I saw a squirrel with his tail curled over his head like a cap. He seemed to be saying, “Like my hat?” This poem is for him. Or her. What funny things did you see today?

I have a cat. Her name is Kate.
She likes to sleep in an old pie plate.
Kate’s best friend is our dog Clair.
She likes to sleep with her feet in the air.
When I sleep, I like to lie in bed
With a nice, soft pillow beneath my head.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

We’re back from our vacation in London where I kept mumbling the old song about London Bridge. Maybe that’s what got me wanting to write something for a younger audience. Back at home I spent the morning reading old Baby Bug magazines. Poems for preschoolers are so simple and fun and so much about sound, which is what makes them so hard to write.

If the cat’s a stranger

Begin by bowing low.
Extend a single paw,
Respectfully and slow.
Allow the cat a sniff
And a turn in the sun,
So she can be the judge
Of all that you have done.
If she lies before you,
You may stroke her fur.
But do not be confused.
She is still superior.
If she slips away,
Like a silent wisp of fog,
Do not try to follow.  
Go and find a dog.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

An Army of Daffodils

Masses of daffodils have taken the hill.
On high they stand in search of enemies.
Whom do they imagine has the will
To move them? Tulips? Hyacinth? Pansies!
And whom on earth do they think they defend?
The house is Tudor, the oaks look fine.
Of course the forsythia count as friend.
They wear the same color, guard the same line.
I pause in the garden across the street,
Unafraid my motives will be mistaken.
Noting the crocuses fallen by my feet,
I open my notebook, raise my pen.
No match for the glaring army before me,
I take a flailing shot, give up, and flee.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

It’s not always easy
To tell whether something is
Alive. Your teacher will give you
A wind-up toy. Observe.
Bring a slice of lemon
To your mouth. Describe.
The mildew in your bathroom
Will grow. Experiment.
Flies do not arise from
Rotting meat. Consider barnacles.
Obtain your teacher’s permission.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Last week Laura’s posts and original poetry at Author Amok inspired me to look at found poetry again. http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2012/03/poetry-friday-celebrity-found-poems.html This time with a lot more interest. I started looking around the internet and discovered some amazing found poetry written by students all over the country in response to the New York Times Found Poetry Challenge. http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/22/reflections-on-our-found-poem-challenge/  Of course I had to try. My first attempts were awful. Finding a poem is a lot harder than it might seem. Then I got out my son’s eight grade biology text book. Aha. I think I found something.