Another yearly redux

Merry Christmas Eve Day! It’s still dark where I am, but I can see the horizon starting to lighten into a more promising blue as we travel further into Montana. This half of the trip has been infinitely better than the first half, and if I didn’t have to go through Chicago to get here, I’d probably do it again.

I updated the art for “The Reason for the Season.” I always meant to have a real illustration around this poem, but it took Christmas coming around again to get me to do it. To read the full poem, go to

Yearly Redux (One of Many)

That Cat on Cackler's Lane

I tried to do a live action version of this poetry reading, but the cat wouldn't stay on my lap, even for dramatic purposes. She's currently sitting on the floor behind me, and every time I glance back at her to make sure she's not plotting my demise, her eyes crack open just enough to let me know that yes. Yes she is.

Posted by The Storyfolder on Monday, October 30, 2017

I tried to do a live action version of this poetry reading, but the cat wouldn’t stay on my lap, even for dramatic purposes. She’s currently sitting on the floor behind me, and every time I glance back at her to make sure she’s not plotting my demise, her eyes crack open just enough to let me know that yes. Yes she is.

For example, here’s a very old attempt at this poem. Over a year old, I think. At the very least that’s my mother and father’s basement, pre-construction.


And finally, I know I’m an evening early for the All Hallows, but I’m posting this one today because I’m hoping I’ll have a Reformation one for tomorrow. Even though the closer the clock ticks toward midnight, the less likely I am to finish before the deadline.

So much procrastinating, eventually so little time.

Have some old junk

Why I Failed Math

I sat and stared with glassy eyes,
My mouth was slightly parted,
Drool gathered on my lip,
My organs dropped, down-hearted.
I shook my head, then shook it twice,
Pinched my arm unguarded,
Already asleep, I knew–
And class had barely started.

I chewed my pen then scratched my ear
And fought to pay attention.
I’ll need this for the test, I know,
Which makes it worth retention.
I sat up straight, uncrossed my legs,
A soldier straight with tension,
And tried to then convince myself
That class was worth the mention.

Minutes in, abrupt, I blink,
And realize I’ve drifted,
Subconscious just as bored as I,
So through my memory sifted.
But naught was there to interest me
So back my focus shifted,
To faraway, to lands unseen,
My mind and spirit lifted.

I never meant to post this, but this is what happens when you promise a soon-to-be blog post days ago and never get around to writing it. I wrote this bit of nonsense in college, during one of my nursing courses if I remember correctly. But that’s a story for another time.

(Also, I never failed math, the title was just easier than “Why I Failed Nursing Statistics and A Course on Proper Needle Safety Techniques.” Which, for the record, I didn’t fail either. So I guess to be truly accurate: “An Explanation in Rhyme Which Discloses, in Part, How I Realized that Nursing Was a Reckless Career Choice for Both Me and Any Future Patients Counting on my Care.”)

I’m not planning to officially put this under my poetry tab. I like it well enough as a placeholder, and we’ll leave it at that.

In Weekly Despair

I am very nearly officially out of poems to upload. I think I’ve said that before, but I’m actually starting to mean it. Good gracious, I’m actually going to have to write original content again. While I’m lamenting that, here’s a poem I wrote for my sister and her husband:

In Daily Prayer

Another Christmas present from a couple of years ago. I know how long it’s been because there are now two children in the household rather than just the one mentioned in the poem, though they’re still getting up by the light of moon (because my three-year-old nephew is apparently just a naturally early riser and the baby has an internal alarm that’s triggered whenever her mother is about to drop off to sleep; my brother and his wife, on the other hand, managed to produce a child that gets up after eight, so if I ever have children I’m going to be asking them for advice).

Also, this one is practically plagiarism, as you may have noticed (if you’re at all familiar with common Lutheran prayers, which, of course, everybody totally is). I love borrowing other people’s work, putting together a mashup, and calling it an homage. Good times. Actually, the more structure a poem has the more I like writing it. It’s fun to try and work around whatever rules I’ve chosen for a particular project. Sometimes I think I have such a hard time focusing on any of my novels because the playing field is just too open-ended. The amount of options bog me down when I write general fiction (I have spent years arguing with myself about the best way to start chapter one in a novel that I threaten to deep-six every other month), whereas a poem is both short and girded by pretty strict rules. You want to say something long and complicated? Oh, I’m sorry, you have ten syllables and a rhyming word to work with, now describe the difference between sanctification and justification in five words or less.

(Well, shoot, I just realized now I’m going to have to try that at some point. If only to find out if it can actually be done.)

In the meantime, enjoy, even if you’re not into the common table prayer. Just try not to focus too much attention on all the slant-rhyme.

Another From My College Days

Anyone who writes rhyming poetry has to write at least one nautical poem. Here’s mine.

Honestly, I have no good reason for it, except that I tend to read old authors and many of them wrote of the sea often, and with beautiful imagery. I wrote this one back in college and though it’s not my favorite poem (it comes off as somewhat generic), there are some lines in there that are enormously fun to say out loud. Say “screamed their spite against the tempest’s scope” five times fast – it’s fun to spit out, and you sound really angry when you do it.

The first. Hopefully of many.

My first (and thus only) poem on this website can be found here. Originally I intended to add both poems and stories to the site as posts, but after several days of hair-tearing frustration, I gave up trying to make the pages and categories on WordPress do things they didn’t want to. Since I’m not willing to learn code, adding them as static pages will have to do. It’s a clunky way to set up a website (and won’t allow comments under the actual writing itself, so if you have anything to say it’ll have to go here), but there you go.

This is the one and only poem I have ever untitled. I always feel obligated to title the things I write – a carryover from elementary school, I think, when putting a title at the top and “the end” on the bottom meant I was done – but this one…well, this one fits. The other option was to call it “The Poem That Only Starts to Scratch the Surface of My Love Affair with Notebooks,” but that was nearly as long as the poem itself. I went with the shorter version.