Apple and Tree

Daddy as baby sailor suitValaida:AllenDad photo

My raconteur ways,

sense of style and wanderlust

came, it seems, natural.

Hard Learned

Poem, NPM Make-Day 1

TSOP Chandelier at UAPB_0883

Hard learned yet simple:

Live and give unsparingly,

head, heart, hands and soul.

— ava wood


The Diamond Days

Poem, Day 27

Blinding diamond days 

do come once the world’s weight wanes—

cleansed, altered, wondrous

— ava wood



Poem, Day 25

my alter-ego:

at times valaida wouldn’t,

 ergo ava wood. 


Between Them

I am through with him.

At least that’s what I told him.

Truth…lies…between them.

                                         — ava wood

Poem, Day 24

Haiku again, in the nick of time, just before midnight. I have numerous make-up days for the April days that I missed.  I’ll catch up in time. — VF

Day 16


Gave away my soul

Giving back to get it back

Given what I know

Poem, Day 16

After returning from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (UAPB), which held a reception and program in conjunction with The Soul of Philanthropy exhibit, today I’m re-posting a featured haiku from my book and exhibit. I wrote this one about five or six years ago on a day I was playing around with various idioms and conjugated forms of the verb to give. The haiku emerged pretty quickly and effortlessly and it perfectly sums up my thoughts, then and now.

The UAPB exhibit in Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center was beautiful and filled with students wandering through. Below are some photos from my Arkansas visit. — VF

Love and Happiness

Al Green album.jpg

Funny how this album cover and the songs within made such an impression on me at such a young age. Fans of Al Green’s music, my parents of course had this hit album in the Seventies. At the time, that white wicker chair was the most regal thing I had ever beheld. Al’s cool, confident pose, the white shag carpeting, the hanging asparagus fern and everything pictured on the cover fed my budding notions of style and romanticism. To this day, Al Green remains my favorite soul singer, every song on the album can move my tender heart to tears, and I’ll forever consider myself Al’s greatest fan.

Apparently, I’m hardly the only one influenced by the album. Rolling Stone has ranked “I’m Still In Love With You” among the greatest albums of all time.

Today, April 13, is Al Green’s birthday and coincidentally I find myself en route to The Soul of Philanthropy exhibit opening in Arkansas, the home state of my beloved soul singer. Since it’s National Poetry Month (and I’m behind on my daily poem posts), below is an inspired haiku. And I bet you can guess who I’ll be listening to during today’s flight to Little Rock. — VF

Poem, Day 13

Love and Happiness

Joys never to be without 

yet found first within

Day 8

My momma worries.

I keep telling her I’m good.

She can’t help it though.
Poem, Day 8
Out late on Day 8, so this is one, in barely by the skin of my teeth. I’m keeping it super simple yet true.
DF VF and Mom

peace of ice

Poem, Day 6

Chill with this re-blogged haiku tonight :~)



Dawn’s damp chill hanging
behold divinity etched 
Master’s piece in ice

— Ava Wood

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Poem, Day 4

Give it a real go.

Give it everything you got.

And give it some time.

ava wood

This month, on April 27, I’ll mark nine years since the idea for the Giving Back Project seized upon me while attending a philanthropy conference in Seattle.

If nothing else, this journey of nearly 3285 days has taught me the three points composing the haiku above, which was posted in observance of National Poetry Month. So when you choose to pursue something meaningful, dream big, prepare well, go hard…and hang on tight for the dizzying roller coaster ride! — VF

Stack of Giving Back books