Reader’s Apology

What? Were you talking to me?
I’m sorry I didn’t hear.
I hope you will understand.

Even though you can see me,
I’m not actually here.
I’ve been sucked into my book.


This month Michelle Barnes shines her spotlight on Jane Yolan. To celebrate her book The Alligator’s Smile and Other Poems, Jane has challenged readers to write septercets, a form she invented. Septercets are composed of stanzas of three lines; each line has seven syllables. The poems can have any number of stanzas and may be rhymed or unrhymed. I found them interesting to write. Every form has its own characteristics and part of using a new one is discovering its secrets. Apparently I was not alone in finding the septercet appealing because Michelle’s September padlet is booming.

Next week I’ll be at Poetry Camp at Western Washington University with many other Poetry Friday poets. I can’t wait to meet everyone in person. I’m pretty sure we’ll be breaking the world record for most children’s poets in one place.

Happy Poetry Friday!




Shipping Costs

I know it sounds mundane—
silly even. Everyone wants free
shipping and the ability to return
the things they don’t want
without paying for them. But this time,
I’m willing to fight
for the $5.95. I deserve it,
I explain to the woman responsible
for taking my call. I want free shipping
because I only ordered the seafarer striped sham
to see if the navy blue sheets I also ordered
(from a competitor) would match
the seafarer striped duvet cover I ordered
only to learn (ten days later)
was on backorder and wouldn’t come
for another four weeks. I want
the free shipping on the sham
because what I really wanted
was for my first-born, college-bound son
to go to sleep in a strange, new place
wrapped in soft, stylish bedding.


Hi! It’s been a busy summer–carting kids to and fro, visiting with family, and getting ready to send our oldest off to college. Wow. It’s an emotional process. We’re so excited for him and completely confident that he’s ready but boy are we going to miss him. It’s truly been a pleasure to have him around and see him grow and change and become more and more himself. While I haven’t been blogging, I have been writing, a little. This poem is a tiny taste of what my summer has been like. I hope you all have had a wonderful season. I look forward to blogging more when school starts up again.

All my best,



(originally published in Acorn, Fall 2013)


(originally published in Frogpond, Vol. 36:2 Spring/Summer 2013)




(originally published in Frogpond, Vol. 36:3 Autumn, 2013; Third Place Harold G. Henderson Award)


This month as one more way to celebrate National Poetry Month, I participated in the Spark Postcard Exchange. Amy Souza always comes up with such great ways to inspire art. I made four postcards to send around the country, and soon I should be receiving four from my fellow participants. To make my postcards, I selected four seasonal haiku I had written and added them to photographs I had taken.





I was also lucky enough to receive a post card from Juanita M., one of Jone Mac’s 5th grade students. I think my favorite part is the creepy backwards writing!

Happy National Poetry Month!













Things To Do If You’re the Earth

Swoop in circles
around the sun.
Go on and on,
                and on,
                     and on.
Wear layers.
Carry water.
Don’t laugh when we run.
Don’t cry when we dig.
Give us a home.
Keep our history
under your skin.
Shiver and explode.
Remind us
you exist.
When you are sick
and feverish,
forgive us.
Hold us


© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

Today I’m sharing one from the archives. I hope you have a lovely day.


Version 2


A Small Poem

Sit in the grass.
Look at the sky.
Smell a red tulip.
Hear the wind sigh.
Stop for an ant.
Watch it scurry away.
Thank our fine earth
for another new day.


I’m a little late for poem-in-your-pocket day, but here you have it, something to carry with you on any day.

Happy Day 20 of National Poetry Month!





Earth smells sweet like spring,
like growing things,
like shoots keeping secrets under the ground,
then peeking and sneaking,
and climbing out,
to shimmy in the wind,
and shine in the sun,
without a thought for the coats
they’ve left in the house.


I’m still celebrating spring over here. I hope you are too.














the west
how to use
just ten numerals
to track the flow of goods and gold
and the spiraling growth of sunflowers and snail shells.


I enjoyed writing a cinquain for Adelaide Crapsey, the inventor of the form. So today I thought I’d write a Fibonacci for the mathematician, Leonardo of Pisa, who is known as Fibonacci. Fibonacci lived in the 12th century and was the son of an Italian merchant. He grew up traveling throughout the Mediterranean. His natural interests led him to study mathematics wherever he traveled. In North Africa he learned about the Hindu-Arabic numeral system. He quickly understood its advantages over Roman numerals. In his book Liber Abaci, he argues for their use and describes their practical application. As an example, he solves the question of how many rabbits you would have at the end of the year if you started with a pair and each pair produced another pair every month. The answer follows what we now call the Fibonacci sequence, in which each subsequent number is the sum of the two previous numbers. Thus the sequence begins 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. The sequence also describes the spiraling growth of many natural objects, including the sunflower, the pinecone, and the snail shell. A Fibonacci poem takes the numbers in the sequence as the number of syllables in each line.

I hope you like it.

See you tomorrow.




International Haiku Day
the Japanese garden flowering
with poets


Ironically, I seem to have written a senryu for International Haiku Day.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.




Gone Fishing

There’s no time for homework.
I’m down by the stream,
perched on a rock,
fishing for dreams.


How many poems can I write about playing hooky?

Happy Weekend!




Spring Fever

See the grasses waving?
Hear the robins raving?
See the chipmunks hopping?
Smell the redbuds popping?
See the tulips swooning?
Hear the sparrows crooning?
See the pansies mugging?
Feel the sunlight tugging?
I don’t care if there’s a rule—
This is not a day for school!


No one actually asked me if they could skip school today, but if they had…

Happy Poetry Friday!