National Poetry Month — An Original from Meg

It’s Poetry Month so of course the sixth graders are working on poetry. My oldest, Meg, worked on a few haiku tonight, and a few limericks, as well as a free verse. But my favorite by far was the limericks. Just have to share:

There once was a reddish wool sweater

which made everything feel much better. 

It fell in the sink

which caused it to shrink

and now I can’t wear my red sweater. 

                             –Meg Dempsey

And her other one was:

There once was a girl from Brazil

who sometimes became an ill pill.

She jumped all around

and fell to the ground

and her mother said, "What is your deal?!!"

               -Meg Dempsey

They made me giggle. πŸ™‚


I just spoke on the phone with Carmen de Lavallade, dancer, actress and wife of Geoffrey Holder. Carmen is a cousin of Janet Collins, whose historic performance as prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera is the focus of my forthcoming book with Philomel.

I have to share with you what Carmen has to say about Art and Finding your Own Place in whatever you pursue. I think some of it is applicable to writing as well as to dance.

National Poetry Month — Original Monday

I was the guest of the day recently at  ‘s live journal where I shared the original poem "Outside Dog at Dinnertime". So as not to leave the cats out, here is the feline companion to that poem:

Said the Cat

Don’t worry with me.

Go ahead,

enjoy your spread.

I wouldn’t want to be a bother.

I’ll just wait


for my kibble

while you piddle

with yours.

–Kristy Dempsey (all rights reserved)

National Poetry Month

I think Anne Bradstreet had been reading my novel when she wrote this poem. Or my thoughts. πŸ™‚

The Author to Her Book


Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
In this array ’mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam.
In Criticks hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.

National Poetry Month

I spent yesterday with the 3rd and 4th graders of Wellford Elementary School in Wellford, SC creating some fabulous poetry, so it has me thinking just a bit on what makes us poets. I like this below from Wendell Barry:

How to be a Poet
by Wendell Berry

(This is just the last part of the poem, read the rest here.)


Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

In other news, I’m the poet of the day at Jama Rattigan’s journal! I share an original poem, a recipe and a picture of our adorable dog. Pepper would love for you to stop by and go gaga over her. πŸ™‚

National Poetry Month — Original Monday


A list of words for nevermore:
hate and anger, lies and war,
and anything in any place
that judges anyone by race.
No more greed or selfish gain,
No more causing others pain,
No more hunger, no more debt,
No destruction, No regret,
No more jokes at your expense,
No more my side, no more fence.

A list of words for evermore:
love and peace and good rapport,
and everything in every place
that celebrates one human race.
A sacrifice for global gain,
A shoulder for our common pain,
Divide what isn’t fair and just
and multiply good will and trust.
Build the bridge we bombed before
Ever Ever Ever more.

–Kristy Dempsey (all rights reserved)