Thursday, January 7, 2021


Are we there yet? 


Doesn't matter.

Goodness. What a week. I am quite exhausted. How are you holding up? 

This week, SWAGGERS have accepted a challenge to write Nestlings in the style of Irene Latham from her book, This Poem is a Nest (Wordsong 2020).

I went into this challenge with one idea...I need a lot of words. 

In the past year, I played around with Haibun and Tanka. Perfect! A lot of words to play with. My nest is a Haibun and Tanka draft. I didn't clean this draft I only needed to strip words from it. Ha! But, as I read it over and over I see lots of room for improvement. If I create nestlings again, I will be sure to make sure my nest is not so drafty as Molly says. 

Haibun Nest

     In physical therapy, I lay on a table embarrassed over the tears coming out of my eyes. I had no specific sadness. My pain level was just five. But tears, they poured out of the corners of my eyes and down the sides of my face right into my ears. 

      The therapist, working my arm asked, Where is your happy place

      The pond. 

      Tell me... 

      All my favorite ghosts are there.

      You have favorite ghosts? 

      They gather around the fire ring on the shore where we sat in lawn chairs holding wire coat-hangers turned marshmallow roasters. They are silent. But pines tattle Aunt Diane’s secret potato salad recipe. goldenrod giggles over Grandpa’s purposeful drawl of Holy Ghost at dinner prayer that made all of us Holy Spirit raised kids look to see if there was also a wink. 

      Maples weep over Rick’s taking of his own lovely life…his goodbyes somewhere in the woods, embrace shaped. Uncle John’s peaceful stutter of steps rhythmic from years of monastic prayer is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere…sparks from the fire rising to the moon. Peepers trace generations in mud that we tracked home without even thinking to wipe our feet. 


what can a pond do?
a family gathers round
its banks in summer
wrapping up all sun and moon
picnic for their hungry ghosts

Photo by Pixabay

Fire Ring 

sparks wink 
pines tattle 


tears poured without thinking 
sadness over maples 


ghosts everywhere, 
silent lovely life goodbyes 

The Happy Place Bank 
Salad recipe 
Lawn chairs 
Sun and moon 
Marshmallow roasters 



Happy New Year and thanks to Sylvia at Poetry for Children for hosting our round-up this week.

Please look for nestlings from other SWAGGERS


  1. You know I'm a huge fan of your haibun and I think using one was an inspired choice for nestlings. More words is definitely a plus! I am impressed by how many different moods and styles you captured in your nestlings. I think maybe "Cemetery" is my favorite but it's a close call. Great job!

  2. Using a haibun as a nest for your "nestlings" was a brilliant idea, Linda. There are so many memories in all of your poems, but I adore that "marshmallow moon."

  3. Your flair for storytelling shines here, Linda, and you nailed the titles for your nestlings. "Bottled" hits home for me, syrup fan or not!

  4. Oh those tattling pines! And the "Cemetery" poem has exactly the mood of a cemetery... LOVE! I also was really drawn into your source haibun, particularly to the pain at number 5 part and tears streaming... something about measuring pain... as if that's possible... THANK YOU for all. xo

  5. You responded so well to this challenge, Linda. These are beautiful. I too am loving 'Cemetery' - that lovely use of repetition and alignment ... and 'Yum' - delicious. So many feelings wrapped up in all these wonderful poems.

  6. Such lovely nestlings. They capture such range from the tattling pines to the silent goodbyes and marshmallow moon.

  7. Hi, Linda, wow, so many thoughts and memories are here-- lovely! Thanks for sharing so openly and being part of our Poetry Friday gathering this week! I too hope we can meet one day!

  8. Every part is so lovely, Linda. I read the haibun several times, noting the many layers of emotion. I love "The Happy Place Bank" - seems to cover it all, doesn't it? Thank you!

  9. Linda what a beautiful post. Your Haibun was so moving, and a perfect source for your Nestlings. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Linda, I felt I was at that campfire as I read your words. I love this form of nests and nestlings. I didn't know what a Haibun poem is, until now. The prose poem and haiku poem work well together. Thanks for sharing this.

  11. Linda, I loved your nest...and your nestlings, too. Cemetery is my favorite. It's how I feel in cemeteries, even though I have no personal relationship to them. The word "lovely" in there make the whole poem one of peace and even joy.

  12. Such beautiful nestlings, Linda. I think we all needed your happy place this week. Thank you.

  13. Thank you for sharing the refuge of your nestlings, Linda. I'm going to bask in the glow of your 'Marshmallow Moon' - Yum! (I even eat my feelings in poetry - ha! :)

  14. Your nest feels very cozy to me, and your nestlings are lovely. I love the happy place bank--both the idea of it and your list. And the tears and maples and marshmallows--such a wonderful range of nestlings. Thanks for sharing all of this!

  15. I think I need a "happy place bank!"

  16. I love your Happy Place Bank. You've given me an idea for a Bullet Journal page!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!