Happy Holidays

Although I’ve just sent many e-mail holiday cards, I may have missed some friends across the country and the planet. I’ve been working on a new desktop computer, and struggling to keep track of it all between my former Thunderbird e-mail program and my new web-based program. If you’re reading this and are a friend I missed, please let me hear from you.  May everyone who visits my blog enjoy a wonderful holiday season.

Below, I’m sharing a haibun I wrote recently, “passing forward” a neighbor’s unexpected gift:


Winter Stars

My neighbor fills her winter garden with oaktag cut-outs of red and yellow stars—hangs them from her bird feeder or glues them atop the planting sticks she’s left in the dirt between withered blooms. Yesterday, she knocked on my door, and I opened it to find her hands overflowing with stars—each hole-punched and threaded with yarn—a new constellation for these days of early dark.

“These are for you to hang places,” she said simply, knowing of my need for joy this Christmas season. As we smiled and hugged one another, I received them in my cupped hands. Now stars dangle from my doorknobs and brighten shadowed corners—an unexpected gift of light.

moon splinters
on the river—the glint

of ice floes


About penhart

I am a poet and writer, published widely in journals and anthologies, and my literary autobiography appears as an extended essay in "Contemporary Authors." My poems have recently appeared in "Rattle" ,"Tiferet," and "U.S. 1 Worksheets". Work has also appeared in "The Valparaiso Poetry Review," and "Umbrella." Recent books include 'One Bowl" (2012); "Recycling Starlight" (2010); and "The Night Marsh" (2008).. Earlier collections include "Along River Road"; "Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth"; and "Buried in the Sky." My illustrated alphabestiary for children, "The Beastie Book," was published in the December, 2009, by Shenanigan Books. I have won three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, as well as awards from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Mary Carolyn Davies Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award for my work in the anthology "American Nature Writing 2002." I was invited to be a "featured poet" and read at the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival, and was awarded a residency / fellowship for January, 2011, at VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts." I live in the South Jersey shore area, and work as a visiting poet in the schools through programs sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and various other agencies. I'm still fairly new at blogging and hope to add more graphics, etc., as I learn more.
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