Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with poem by Marie Cadden

Saint Patrick © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I’m off to start my celebrations with a luncheon today. How about you? Celebrating?

Today I share with you a stanza from a poem by Irish poet Marie Cadden. On my last trip to Ireland I bought a book of poetry titled Gynaecologist in the Jacuzzi (Salmon Press) from Charlie Byrne’s Book Shop in Galway.

The title  intrigued me, but when I got back home and read the book, the poems intrigued me too. Marie Cadden’s use of language, her wit, and the subject matters she chose—all charmed me.

I was sad to learn that Marie Cadden passed away in December. Since her work is not in the public domain I don’t have permission to print an entire poem here. (You can read samples from this book on the Salmon site).

But I plucked this stanza from “In Praise of Denial” because it can almost be a kind of mantra.

It certainly is an antidote to the frenetic revelry and drinking that is associated with Saint Patrick’s Day.

Peace, love, and solace

From “In Praise of Denial”

“Just to be,
letting go
into the warm squashy breast
of the continuously present continuous,
breathing into the moment,
floating nowhere else but here and on and on
where everything matters and nothing matters.”

© Marie Cadden, 2016

From Gynaecologist in the Jacuzzi by Marie Cadden


Make a wish © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016

Make a wish © Ellen Wade Beals, 2016


After The Blizzard — Lesléa Newman (photos by Kathy Buckland)

Troy © Kathy Buckland, 2018

Troy © Kathy Buckland, 2018

Greetings! A couple of weeks ago I received an email from esteemed writer Lesléa Newman with some wonderful poems. It made my day. She has a new collection of poetry–it’s called Lovely, and this poem is from that new book out from Headmistress Press.

When I read this poem about a cat, I knew to contact Kathy Buckland for photos, and sure enough, she had ones that were perfect.

Today it is spring-like in Chicago but I know my friends in the Northeast are recovering from a couple of recent storms. So this poem might hit home for them.

Peace, love, and solace



After The Blizzard

The still white street a-glitter in the sun
is traversed by a small tuxedo cat
who tiptoes gently as a solemn nun
then leaps and rolls, a circus acrobat.
His black fur dusted with a coat of snow
he sits to give his left hind leg a lick
till startled by the cawing of a crow
he looks about him: could this be a trick?
And now the squirrel waves her wind-blown tail
And now the sparrow sings her morning song
And now my neighbor comes out for his mail
And now the black cat stands and moves along
To think that all of this is mine for free,
The world is so much better than TV.

© Lesléa Newman, 2018


“After The Blizzard” © 2018 by Lesléa Newman from Lovely (Headmistress Press, Sequim, WA). Used by permission of the author.


Snow cat © Kathy Buckland, 2018

Snow cat © Kathy Buckland, 2018

Better than TV © Kathy Buckland, 2018

Better than TV © Kathy Buckland, 2018



51NL1JO-TYL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Lesléa Newman is the author of 70 books for readers of all ages, including A Letter to Harvey Milk; October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard; I Carry My Mother; The Boy Who Cried Fabulous; Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed; Sparkle Boy; and Heather Has Two Mommies.

She has received many literary awards. She most recently celebrated the opening of “A Letter to Harvey Milk,” an Off-Broadway musical now on Theatre Row, which is based on her amazing story.

Originally from Long Island, NY, Kathy Buckland spends as much time as she can being outdoors with her camera. The photos here are of her recently adopted cat, Troy. Follow Kathy Buckland on Instagram @ I_M_Kathy.

Thanks so much to Lesléa Newman and Kathy Buckland for letting me share their work.


Daniel Cleary, Stars, and March

Sodden reflection © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

Sodden reflection © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

Hello. Happy new month! March is here.

I’ve been lazy and indulgent, per usual, but here’s some news.

Last weekend I went to Sulzer Library in my old neck of the woods and finally met Daniel Cleary in person. It was a pleasure to hear him read his poems, and he finished with a song!  I’ve featured some of his poetry (such as Fireside” and “More Snow”) and paintings on this site. So glad to shake his hand!

I got two of his books—The Green Ribbon (Enright House) and A Few Stray Leaves by Lagoons Editions.

BTW, Lagoons Sessions take place regularly at The Uptown Arts Center. The next one is Friday, March 16, and  features Beatriz Badikian-Gartler, Frank Rogaczewski, Ixtaccihuatl Menchaca, and Elizabeth Marino. The Uptown Arts Center is at 941 W. Lawrence.193371_orig

Dan Cleary’s reading was hosted by the Tallgrass Writers Guild, which means Whitney Scott, who works hard for poetry. She heads up Tallgrass Writers Guild and also Outrider Press, which is known for its black-and-white anthologies.

The latest call for submissions is on the theme of  STARS and the deadline is coming up soon. Check out the details here.

The next Tallgrass Writers Guild reading is Sunday, March 25, at 2 pm, and features Susan Zamarow. There’s an open mic too.

This Far webCongrats to friend Lynn Sloan who has a new book of short stories launching today; it’s called This Far Isn’t Far Enough and comes from Fomite Press.

A local poet and musician Larry O. Dean posted this Emily Dickinson poem on his FB page and I’m swiping the idea since I love to share public domain poems that sound contemporary.

Oh one more thing, did I mention I have a photo up at The Passporte Fine Art Gallery? Check it out here – it is of a melon in case you couldn’t tell.

Peace, love, and solace


Dear March – Come in – (1320)

Emily Dickinson

Dear March – Come in –
How glad I am –
I hoped for you before –
Put down your Hat –
You must have walked –
How out of Breath you are –
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest –
Did you leave Nature well –
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me –
I have so much to tell –

I got your Letter, and the Birds –
The Maples never knew that you were coming –
I declare – how Red their Faces grew –
But March, forgive me –
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue –
There was no Purple suitable –
You took it all with you –

Who knocks? That April –
Lock the Door –
I will not be pursued –
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied –
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come
That blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame –


Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

This poem is in public domain

Ice fronds © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

Ice fronds © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018


Links to new work by Somlo, Silesky, Rodley

IMG_2306_2Hey there. It’s already the fifteenth of February and I haven’t checked in with you yet this month. That’s because I have nothing new to report about me. But here’s what’s happening with some people we know.

fileBig congrats to Patty Somlo for Hairway to Heaven, her latest book. It is available from Cherry Castle Publishing. Here’s how it’s described:  “The interconnected stories featured in this book specifically, boldly, and tenderly are rooted in her experiences living in many African American neighborhoods that are beginning to gentrify. Her characters are unforgettable and her narratives ring magnetically true.”

Barry Silesky has three poems—“The Idea,” “Storm”, and “The One I Love”– at Boomer Lit Mag. They are characterized as “mystery with a familiar sounding voice.” Here are a couple lines that got to me: “Even now the time we’ve hoped for is coming. I say I’m ready, but the moment won’t last. Nothing does, and this time when the phone rings I’m going to answer.” Check them out here.BL_Logo_New_10-1

Is it winter weather where you live? Then you’ll relate to Laura Rodley’s poem “Day Runners,” which appeared February 11th at the New Verse News.  Laura also took the photo that accompanies her poem.  Read the poem here.

I haven’t been able to place any writing this past month. I got a very nice rejection from an agent regarding my novel. I thanked her for it because it was encouraging. I try to write a thank-you note whenever I get a rejection but sometimes I flake out. What about you – do you write a thank-you for a rejection?

I did receive an acceptance for one of my photos. I’ll give you the link when the post is up. Last weekend was a big snow here. Usually I use the white snow as a backdrop for winter photos. These days though I’m the lucky caretaker of a dog so the smooth white canvas doesn’t remain undisturbed for long. I managed to get in some pics and I share them with you.

Peace, love, and solace

Smile © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

Smile © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

Holding it together © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

Holding it together © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

Winter veins © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

Winter veins © Ellen Wade Beals, 2018

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