Showing posts from April, 2023

By Candle

Poem 27. This one is from 20 years ago when we lived in New York City. Sending you love and candlelight. Untitled By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2003 one candle in a city apartment after the turn of the twenty-first century before dark even before he gets home one tiny ancient flame saying / believe in this and there is such a thing as history and a promise you can feel it/

Looking Glass

Poem 26. Nearly finished now. Looking Glass By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2015 Imagine this poem written backwards on glass and you standing near, reading it slowly, reordering the letters almost unconsciously to find meaning mingled with image. That could be the way of things. Made to shatter or wash clean in spring rain. Offering what you knew was there and more.

A List

Day 25. Today's poem is just a list, but it's a list of DELIGHTS. By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2023 A warm cup of chamomile tea with honey. Butt-dialing a friend and getting to hear their surprise and delight when you explain. Cats. Dogs. Extra time when on a tight deadline. Friends who somehow know what to say and say it. Grape skittles. Heated blankets and cocoas after walking home in the rain. Interesting and readable short essays on bizarre science facts. Just breathing. Kindnesses you weren’t expecting: a letter from a distant friend, a stranger’s compliment, a pre-paid toll or coffee, a door held open. Love. All of it. Music that makes you feel like dancing. Nights like tonight. Opening presents. Playing instruments. Quiet mornings after busy adventures. Rainbows. Stories for all occasions, but especially those that need courage. Telling someone exactly why you love them and knowing they heard (and believed!) you. Uncovering the answer to something you’ve been puzzling ove


Poem 24. XO. Yours By Edith Hope Bishop, December 2019 I would be a poet if you’d have me. I would be your poet. If you discovered, for example, on your way out, that you’d lost a word- fallen from your pocket slipped from your grasp- I’d stitch you a new one. Handing it to you- I’d let my touch linger- let our eyes meet- and that night, while you slept, I’d write you again in soft December sun and every blue the sea knows and come morning you’d have me again- slipped under your door- an unsealed envelope.

The Realist's Plea

Poem 23. Just one week left. Gentle reminder that I love your poetic responses (but I also just love you). Here, have a sonnet: The Realist’s Plea By Edith Hope Bishop, November 2015 I think no godly basket will collect, the souls we’ve dared to cultivate. Nor will some cosmic lottery select, which spirits live and join the greats. I can’t see us returned as trees, nor soldiers brave, nor kindly priests. Though some profess eternity, it seems to me that all will cease. What was whole will fall apart. What was real will scatter. Though we love with all our hearts, None of this will matter.   Yet there is Peace in time’s demise, And Peace in life, if we be wise.


April 22. Earth Day. Here's a poem I wrote about loving the earth and all my sisters (including trans, nonbinary, and queer people) in spite of humanity and the patriarchy.   I wrote this poem after election day in 2016. It was later published in the Sirens Benefit Anthology in 2021 titled Villains and Vengeance (still available for $5 on Amazon). I had almost forgotten about it when my dear friend, Sarah Mack , sent me a kind message after rereading it recently. Her message meant so much to me that it prompted me to start sharing poetry again this month. Thank you, Sarah.   Happy Earth Day to all.   Refuge By Edith Hope Bishop, November 2016 Maybe we don’t fight the good fight. We try another route. First, we let the house plants die forget to shut the screen door come home late that sort of thing. Leave them uneasy and off-kilter unsure why there isn’t sugar in the jar or wondering whatever happened to the cat. Then quietly while the game is on we grab our boots our babies the ba

The End

I missed Poem 21. There was a lot going on. But here's a recent first draft. I'm pretty sure I'll revise this one, but there might be some potential here.   The End By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2023 Does love end or does it dull disperse descend falling quiet as April rain on rooftops in the city where No One stands to feel it on her face and hands and bare arms - Does love end or does it morph into something like recognition or respect without the kissing without hands nesting together and the warmth - Does love end or is it misunderstood as something that could ever have a beginning or an end - Can it exist outside of our temporal containers and instead be something we feel not felt not yearned to feel something here - just here.


Day 20, poem 20. Love to all of you, always. Do I say that enough? I should. Legacy By Edith Hope Bishop, May 2017 Let my legacy be the wind combing shoreline grass near tumbled rocks alive with orange blooms and darkest blue. Shells and life I never knew. Let my legacy be the crow’s back a mystic green among the black as she rests on speckled eggs or when she cries her clan down from untouched height. Let my legacy lie below the sea. A wild place left unseen by any but sly fish and her kin an unsung place of coral and fin.

The Sea Hags Walk

Poem 19. This one is a Terza Rima, which I think might be one of my favorite forms. It was first written in 2015 but has seen many revisions over the past 8 years and I'll just come out and say it: I love this one.  (Probably no mystery why!) The Sea Hags Walk By Edith Hope Bishop, November 2015 Along this stretch of common shore where seagulls laugh and kelp crabs pray, we’ve walked a thousand times and more and marveled at the cheerful play of waves that toss us salted treasure, tides that bear their gifts each day. For whether shell or bone’s your pleasure, or seaglass fine and smooth your taste, there’s weed and wrack in equal measure, and we find wealth where some see waste. This china cup is broken, true, but with a bit of earthen paste we’ll patch it up to good as new and fire the copper kettle hot, to serve a bit of driftwood brew and sit on piles of nets and knots, and sift through all the stones we found, and toys cast off by careless tots, and silver keys, and sodden pou


Poem 18. This one is from the depths of a no-good-very-bad year. I still can't quite believe it all happened the way it did.   Untitled By Edith Hope Bishop , October 2020 Daisy died of grief, Rose of broken heart, Violet died of sorrow, Mum just fell apart. Hellebore died at a natural age, Iris from lack of rain, Hollyhock perished of full neglect, Poppy of mortal pain. And though every bloom eventually fell, all beauty gone to seed, Forget Me Not stayed, pressed here, on this page, waiting, should we feel her need.

Current Crush

April 17 and poem #17. I love personification. I just do. Here's another recent first draft. Love to all. Always. Current Crush By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2023 Peace won’t quit bugging me. I’ve explained that I’d like her better if she played hard to get - I’m not that interested in anyone too needy. But Peace claims she isn’t needy; she’s attentive. And interested. She’s into me and not ashamed of letting me know. I’m flattered, I guess, but how do I tell her I once had a fling with Danger? Would that kind of nonsense put her off? And would she still want me once she got to know me- you know, once she heard all my stories, if she knew my real thoughts- even the ones about longing? Or what about my involvement with Despair? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t always answer when she calls. I leave her on read sometimes so as not to seem too excited. But I still look for her when I’m out. I still wonder what she’s up to when I’m home alone. I still think of her, and only her, every

School Teacher to Her Students

Day 16 of National Poetry Month. Here's another one from November 2015. This one feels more true than ever. Much love to all my former students, but especially those reading this.  School Teacher to Her Students By Edith Hope Bishop, November 2015 Now that you’re gone and I’m resigned, I have a few things to say to you that weren’t appropriate when I stood in front of you in an official capacity. First of all: we are separated, you and me, by much more than age and life circumstances. We are separated by the assumption that I (once) had answers and that you (in your youth) had questions. This is false. My experience tells me that Adolescents (as opposed to 4-year-olds) have far fewer questions than the Adults in their lives would like them to have. Young people do, however, have Desires, Needs, and Fears. Surely, if there was a question you would have asked naturally, it was "When?". No, I had most of the questions: Won’t you save us? Will you be careful with your sweet y

A Pathetic Fallacy

Day 15 (Late). I'm afraid yesterday was a bit too intense a travel day for a post. But here I am, back in business. I'm remembering that in 2015 I spent all of November trying to write a new (to me) kind of poem each day. Some of the forms were *hard* but I truly enjoyed the challenge. Here was my attempt at an English sonnet. That said, I've newly added syllables to lines 9 & 11. They aren't important for meaning, but I like the rhythm better when it's read aloud. p.s. Fun tidbit: This isn't the only time I've written about a 'pathetic fallacy' In fact, I wrote an entire novel based on one.  A Pathetic Fallacy By Edith Hope Bishop, November 2015 Today I climb the rocks that line the shore, And gaze on waves that ask and ask for you, I think on what was lost, our love and more, The future we won’t share, the life we knew. The seagulls wail but I am deaf to them, The dark and swell and weed and gloom abound, The wind picks up, as iron clouds desce


Day 14 of National Poetry Month. I'm certain I've never shared this much poetry before. It feels good, but also somehow sad - like letting go of a wild creature you've raised and loved, but eventually must set free.   Learning By Edith Hope Bishop, August 2017   The forest’s leaves don’t ache to be remembered and loved. They know their place - breathing always the infinite and temporary. I would press one in a book but finding her some distant day, I’d forget her name, and feel instead the sun the afternoon we met. Oh, help me be small. Oh, let me be nothing to you. A quiet flash of green on your long walk.

On the Advent of Tea Time

Poem number 13. We've been traveling for spring break and it's been absolutely wonderful, but now I'm a bit tired from all our adventures. And so... On the Advent of Tea Time By Edith Hope Bishop, November 2015 I’d like to say I disagree With time restrictions on my tea I’m for tea from dawn to night And whenever else I think it right.


Poem 12. A reminder that you're invited to respond with your own poetry, but all responses are most welcome. <3 This poem happened around 30 minutes ago and is about today's hike in Maui. It's a first draft... but I'm hopeful. Untitled By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2023 Walking in a lava field in Maui I happened on a flower - lavender, star-shaped - that once grew on the banks of the canal where I grew up in South Florida. I’ve since learned this type of flower originated in Madagascar and will grow well in shade (the canal bank) or full sun (the lava field). It’s long-lived and prefers coastal life. Some call it a periwinkle but that it isn’t its color at all. It’s rather bright with a magenta middle. You might call it loud. It's been called bright eyes and the graveyard plant. It's common, apparently, can be invasive, and is toxic to humans, except that it also produces two compounds used to treat cancer. So you see, this one flower brought back both my child

Without You

Another day, another poem. Number 11. Love to all. Without You By Edith Hope Bishop, November 2018 Don’t worry, Love, I know how to lose. It won’t be pretty but I will proceed relentless as each season- At first I’ll let my thoughts of you drop from the trees settling delicate on the forest floor and underfoot I will, when frost scrawls the future revise my memory striking out your part in all this as snowdrops push upward I’ll blanket myself with phrases erased each new leaf will remind me of a time we might have kissed but stepped sideways and when sun threatens to melt my very breath I’ll lie awake drenched alive in the death of us.


Day 10. Poem 10. 💙 Untitled By Edith Hope Bishop, Dec 2016 On writing poems in the cracks of time I would advise not waiting til the pot boils a snow day the mail comes & you heal fully. If I know anything of words I know they, like any true love, rarely come when called.


9th day of National Poetry Month. You're invited to respond with a poem of your own, or perhaps some lines you like. But even if you don't respond at all, I'll still adore you.   Silence By Edith Hope Bishop, May 2019 Silence, I’m told, is fertile ground. What can I plant there? A word to grow between us. A phrase unfurling. I would kiss you in the shade of that tree. I would.


Poem number 8 for National Poetry Month and a reminder that you're invited to respond with lines of your own or a piece you love. (Though all responses are welcome!) xo Utterance By Edith Hope Bishop, December 2019 I’ll be the word you want. In that moment of loss when you’re certain there’s a term- an expression- for the idea- the precise concept you’re grappling with yet failing to hold but somehow sensing a peripheral wisdom you know the one. Somehow its slipped away- escaped through a hole in your pocket a leak somewhere just there in the shadows elusive as youth and the sweet bliss of first love that word that’s the one. Let it be me my name that you finally find and speak and the sweet relief thereafter the assurance that you had me all along.

School Lessons on Loss

7th poem for National Poetry Month. This one is harder for me to part with. I've kept it close for almost 8 years now. But it's time. I'm dedicating this villanelle to Rita A. Collard , my beloved elementary school teacher, who continues to teach me so much about life, laughter, loss, and above all, love. I love you, Mrs. Collard. P.s. I've so loved reading the poetry folks have gifted in response this week (mostly on FB). Please keep doing so. I've also loved seeing you responding to each other in my comments. Thank you so much.   School Lessons on Loss By Edith Hope Bishop, Nov 2015      Dedicated to Rita Collard In autumn falls the gold and brown. Wise Gingko and Brave Oak in turn wither as the wheel goes round. Children: do not fret or frown to see Fair Maple blush and burn though autumn falls the gold and brown and silver rains with gentle sound. Good Elm is well, this truth you’ll learn though she fades as wheel goes round. Summer’s death feeds fertile ground,

To the Land-Locked Mermaid

6th poem for National Poetry Month. And a continued invitation to respond with lines of your own, or a piece you love. (But all responses are welcome!) To the Land-Locked Mermaid By Edith Hope Bishop, Jan 2016 Don’t be afraid to swim through grass, bathe in dark soil, comb your hair with pinecones, rouge your lips with berry. You can still lounge on rocks and stare longingly at land, those mountains in the distance. If you feel lonely, sing to the farmer, seduce the woodcutter. They're almost as winsome as sailors. Collect feathers for your hair, or dandelions. If you miss your sisters, send them seeds on a summer wind. And if your scales happen to dry out, (this is likely), wander free in heavy rain. Let your spirit transform again. In mud be reborn, in earth, your self. 

Natural Events

5th poem for National Poetry Month. And a continued invitation to respond with your own lines or a piece you like. P.s. Today's poem is a draft. I can't really know if I like a poem until I've left it alone for a while and returned to it. But the events in this poem are true, and happened today, so I thought I'd share it anyway. xo Natural Events By Edith Hope Bishop, Apr 2023 The full moon rose almost two hours ago or so they say. Earlier, I caught a falling cherry blossom. I didn’t mean to. It just landed in my hand on its way down and I held it for a while unsure of what to do or what it meant. I told a friend, “Look, I caught a blossom,” so she caught one too, and so did her friend, and so on. I dropped my blossom to watch it float and land face down on the lawn. Then this one lady tried to catch her own flower, but they quit falling. Completely. She just stood there, empty-handed. The full moon rose about two hours ago but I’m still upset. The trees should have bee

For Virginia Woolf

4th day of National Poetry Month. Gentle invitation to respond with your own poetry or lines you've loved. For Virginia Woolf By Edith Hope Bishop, March 2015 Art falls from the shelf, cracking here on the floor, a thing unmade and broken. Trash, tragedy, or both. Let’s eat instead, chewing paint and clay, sweeping fingertips across the floorboards to catch the crumbs. You swallow song, while I lick words from dust. What’s lost may nourish what’s left to say.

The Storm

Here's my 3rd Poem of April, National Poetry Month, and a gentle invitation to join me by responding with any poetry you love or lines of your own. Thanks, loves. The Storm By Edith Hope Bishop, Feb 2017 I keep dreaming of your indifference transformed into weather. The slow way you move through a ruined cityscape and settle at the sea. If you asked, I would forgive you. I would listen and bind what’s loose, wait out the worst, batten down the hatches, but for this certainty that storms need nothing of the sort.


Hello loves, Poem number 2 for National Poetry Month is below. Not sure it's finished, but I'm sticking to my plan.  A reminder that all responses are very welcome and appreciated, but I'd be especially delighted if you respond with poetry or lines of your own. xo edie Kids By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2023 At the end of the day when we should have gone back we climbed into the mangroves. Our fingers and toes gripped bark in the fading light. Already scraped and scratched from three days fishing on our father’s boat, we slapped at mosquitoes. We stretched sore but growing. Sunburnt and joyous. Defiant. We’d escaped at last into the movie we needed life to be. Just a bit further until we find it. It must be there. It must. A clear pool at the heart of the grove. A place to float- quiet and breathless slow and tender with the creatures who know best. Bluecrabs sidling by. Glass minnows in swift clouds. Coral and sponge and seagrass, indifferent to every snail. Jeweled fish swi

Poetry Month

Proof By Edith Hope Bishop, Aug 2017 Take a picture of this poem if you love me. Post a picture of this poem to reply. Read a picture of this poem, again, to remember us, the way we could have been or if you need more than remembering- read this poem aloud. Film yourself reading aloud your picture of this poem you found, and took, and shared. Watch the video. See how your lips move? Notice these words in your mouth- from mine. One kind of kiss. This is proof of us. We could be real. Replay, repost, reveal us. All for you, my love, this, my heart, and more. Hello loves,   Poetry is one of my favorite medicines and it's April, National Poetry Month. I need a little extra encouragement and connection these days so I'm going to do something I haven't done in a long time ... maybe ever? I'm going to attempt to post a poem a day. Here and on my blog. Some of them will be old pieces, and some will be new, and some may not even be my own.   All responses are welcome, but my cha