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As I sit down to write,
a cat creeps in
and sits on my head.
She circles once,
before settling
on the hummock
of my brain,
tucks her head
beneath her feet
and purrs herself
to sleep.
I can’t think of anything
but fur.


Buffy Silverman and I are doing a month-long poetry swap. Every day we exchange poems and critiques. The accountability makes the process very motivating, as do the friendly and helpful replies. I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful partner. On the first day of the month, Buffy sent me a poem about fog (inspired by her gorgeous photographs) with the preface that she wished she’d written Carl Sandburg’s poem. Don’t we all? I thought, and how brave she is to write about fog when every time anyone sits down to write about it, that damn cat shows up and blocks the view. Did I mention that the swap is also inspirational?

Next Friday I’ll be at the SCBWI Conference in NYC. Will any of you be there too?

For more Poetry Friday, visit the Miss Rumphius Effect.

All the best,


22 replies
  1. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
    Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Aha! So that’s why I couldn’t write that poem I wanted to earlier this week. It’s true. I also attempted to write a fog poem this week– I must have been tuned into you and Buffy somehow. Well done reining in that darn cat– she seems content, even if you do have a head full of fur to show for it. (Much better than my blank page.) Rock on, you two!

  2. Rosi Hollinbeck
    Rosi Hollinbeck says:

    I really like your poem. It really put a smile on my face. Beautiful photo. Lovely poem. Great that you have a partner to work with on poetry. It is so good to have something like that to push the creative process.

  3. Bridget Magee
    Bridget Magee says:

    You and Buffy are a partnership made in poetry heaven! I’ve never had good luck writing about fog – instead of thinking about fur, I end up think about cotton candy. (my mind always goes to food =)

    • Liz Steinglass
      Liz Steinglass says:

      I’d love to read a cotton candy poem. The first time I gave some to Amos he looked at me like what am I supposed to do with this?!

  4. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    I think Carl Sandburg would love what you said, and then what you wrote. He might even smile as I did, all that thinking about fur. I wish I could have done the poetry pairing, but decided to do Laura’s challenge instead. Daily writing is good for the soul, isn’t it, and response is great too. Have fun, Liz.

    • Liz Steinglass
      Liz Steinglass says:

      Thanks, Linda. Laura’s challenge looks wonderful. Maybe you could combine the two and share poems you write in response to Laura’s prompts? I like what you say on your blog, “Having a conversation is a good thing.”

  5. Robyn Hood Black
    Robyn Hood Black says:

    Wonderful! (I feel like I’ve got a piece of cat fur in my mouth, which might actually be true.)
    And, I agree – you and Buffy as accountability partners is a formidable, oh-so-creative match-up.

  6. Tabatha
    Tabatha says:

    I can see that cat so clearly, Liz. She’s making me sleepy too. I am thinking about writing a poem a day during March about historical women. All of you daily-writing PFers are inspiring!

  7. Carol
    Carol says:

    I love the connection to Sandburg’s poem! I have been watching everyone write found poems every day this week. I wrote haiku with Mary Lee in December, and thought I might do found poems, but that cat keeps wrapping itself around my brain every day and nothing has gotten written this week at all! Darn!


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