A Month Full of Poetry

Poem, Day 28

Well, today’s post isn’t exactly a poem but rather a collage of lines from classic and contemporary poems. Each year, the Academy of American Poets commissions a poster in celebration of National Poetry Month. Below is the 2016 poster, which was designed by Debbie Millman.

 To read a selection of the poetry featured in this poster, click here to access the anthology of poster poems.

2016 poetry month poster

The Diamond Days

Poem, Day 27

Blinding diamond days 

do come once the world’s weight wanes—

cleansed, altered, wondrous

— ava wood


Day 26 and other days

Among the revelations of the weekend release of “Lemonade: A Visual Album by Beyoncé” is the poetry of Warsan Shire.

Today’s post for National Poetry Month features Warsan’s poems. In fact, the seven poems composing “warsan versus melancholy” cover today (Day 26) and also six of the 13 days this month when I failed to post a poem. Actually, a single one of her poems could sweep the entire month.


Poems, Day 26 and other days

(h/t Michelle L)


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

‘Snow meant for them’

Today’s poem is by German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht and is one of my favorites. I was first introduced to it during a Civic Reflection workshop a decade ago. The poem stirs wide-ranging and seemingly infinite questions about homelessness, generosity, philanthropy and social reform. It’s fantastic fodder for philanthropic discussions (perhaps even debates) and insights.

“The snow meant for them falls on the roadway,” a most striking phrase, paints a vivid and layered scene. This line actually appears twice, affirming it as a pivotal point. I could linger on that line alone for a week.

Which line from this poem intrigues you most?


I hear that in New York
At the corner of 26th Street and Broadway
A man stands every evening during the winter months
And gets beds for the homeless there
By appealing to passers-by.

It won’t change the world
It won’t improve relations among men
It will not shorten the age of explotation
But a few men have a bed for the night
For a night the wind is kept from them
The snow meant for them falls on the roadway.

Don`t put down the book on reading this, man.

A few people have a bed for the night
For a night the wind is kept from them
The snow meant for them falls on the roadway
But it won’t change the world
It won’t improve relations among men
It will not shorten the age of exploitation.

— Bertolt Brecht

Poem, Day 7

The snow meant for them

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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