Inspiration, National Poetry Month

Get Inspired: 10 Engaging Ideas to Celebrate Poetry Month

The month of April brings showers, flowers, and poems!

This poster was designed by Marc Brown, creator of the famous Arthur book. The artwork incorporates an excerpted line from one of my favorite poets: “Carrying” by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón

Ten Ways to celebrate Poetry Month:

  1. Sign-up for Poem-a-Day, curated this month by U. S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón, and read a poem each morning.
  2. Record yourself reading a poem and send it in a text to your child, grandchild, friend, partner, or all of the above.
  3. Post the same poem to your social media. Use @poetsorg on Twitter and Instagram.
  4. Read about your state poet laureate. Give them a shout-out on social media!
  5. Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore, stroll to the coffee shop, and enjoy the read.
  6. Share a book of poetry by donating it to a little library in your area.
  7. Attend a poetry reading, open mic, or poetry slam via Zoom.
  8. Take a walk and write a poem outside. Try a Haiku.
  9. Share a poem for Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27, 2023, on social media using the hashtag #PocketPoem.
  10. Encourage your writing, blog, or reading community to write short poems or haikus to be performed at your next meeting. You can even create a prize for the most creative entry.

April 4th was Maya Angelou Day. This quote is from the famous poem “Still, I Rise,” which she wrote in 1976.

“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.”

Maya Angelou

The poem speaks to the idea that even when we come from a place of oppression or pain, we have the power to rise above it and create a better future for ourselves and others.

Book Stuff:

In my latest newsletter, I wrote about Guns to Gardens. This was about an organization forging buyback guns into garden tools. What a brilliant idea. And keeping with the garden theme, I wrote about how plants grow good vibes. I can attest to that finding. I’m happier when I’m out in my garden or in nature.

For my newsletter subscribers, I had two ARCs (in print form) given via a raffle. They were the first to receive the code for the e-Arcs of THE GARDEN OF SECOND CHANCES.

This month, I’m sharing the codes with blog subscribers. 

If you’re a NetGalley member, my novel is now featured on their front page. I’d love for you to read it and leave a review.

Click on this link to Goodreads. Scroll to my book cover, and click “Vote for this book.” It takes you to June 2023 Books. This pushes my book up to higher levels and gains visibility.

While you’re there, you can add it to your Want to Read stack.

Lastly, I wrote a prequel for TGOSC. It’s a short ten pages.

If you subscribe to the newsletter, I’ll send it to you. Use the home page to subscribe.

Thank you for reading and helping out this debut author. Be well.

Family, Fear, Grief, Inspiration, Latino culture, Love, Mothers, Parents, poetry

Hurricane Mother

Maya Angelou Quote
Maya Angelou Quote


This quote aptly describes my mother. Now in her mid-eighties, my mom’s hurricane force has reduced to a small tornado, which is pretty impressive given that she is legally blind and uses a cane to help her walk longer distances.

The white blond streaks in her shoulder length hair, her youthful face, and laughter often have people guessing her age as 10-15 years younger. She doesn’t correct their error.

I’ve been gone for only a week and I’m missing her very much. This has me thinking about our conversations-a lot.

Mom divulges bits of her life at the most unexpected times, little puzzle pieces that drop onto the floor of our conversations while we’re cleaning a pantry or picking roses from her 45 bushes.

I’ve gathered up the first 25 years of her life and placed them in this verse:


Puzzle Pieces

The house on Newman St. was the center of mom’s universe, with
parents who demonstrated love, hard work, importance of family.
They made a circuit, planting, harvesting crops, from Pomona to Fresno, CA.
Labor camps of noisy dogs, clattering pans, drifting music and stories.
Happy amongst the aromas of hot tortillas, strong coffee, tired people.

Orphan, alone in a tree, peeking through branches at the house below,
hiding in books, neighbor’s houses, hopping trains into downtown.
An alcoholic uncle left to care for her and four siblings, in her parents home,
now a place filled with drunken men, screeches of profanity, groping hands.

Sisters and brothers bury their grief, help each other through the rocky terrain of life.
School is a refuge. A smart girl promoted two grades but drops out in 10th.
Her brothers grew up fast, strong, courageous enough to chase their drunken uncle away reclaim their home.

WWII emptied out the neighborhood of childhood friends and brother.
Young sisters go it alone with a fifteen-year-old brother/father, who works three jobs.
She will never forget.
At thirteen, she earns her own money from working in the packing houses,
one step up, now able to breath-just a bit-from stifling poverty.

She moves to another city, to find work, meets her first love, plans for marriage,
but is left with a child. A disgrace in those days, shame that sent her to L.A,
to one of those homes, lonely, dreary. Worse than the ones in the B movies on Turner Classic movies.
She cried for days, packed her suitcase and left, took the ridicule, pointing fingers, gossip.
Lived in a tiny trailer with her sister, in someone’s backyard. Had a baby girl. Found happy.