Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Friday, April 20, 2012

'. . . that most fluid currency of all'

The last time I was in the US visiting my Dad (this past Easter), one of the topics of our conversations was travel. Knowing that Hugo and I have travelled as far as the Strait of Magellan, he asked where I would like to go next. I replied, Macchu Picchu and he said, 'Take me with you!'
I wish I could . . .
Today my father turns 83 years old. He is a fighter and a survivor and my greatest hero.  Happy Birthday, Dad!
Below is one of Rhina P. Espaillat`s beautiful poems on fathers (she has many!), copied from the Able Muse website. I wanted to share it with my readers on this day when I wish I were in Plains, Pennsylvania, instead of in Candad!
My Father`s Coins
by Rhina P. Espaillat
My father's coins: they signal where he never
lived to travel, but perhaps had meant
to go, or longed to go, since duties sever
desire from both fruition and intent.

Look, this is threepence: George the Sixth in profile,
with thistles on the obverse; here, the beak
of Mexico clasping a serpent, guile
seized by winged force; here, "République

Française" haloes a maiden laurel-crowned.
And where's this champion riding, lance in place
for combat, horse's hooves on holy ground
and one proud word, "España"? This stern face

is José Artigas, who fought Spain for Uruguay
and died imprisoned by the French. What thoughts
must have blown through my father's hours, like high
and distant flutes! His careful figures, noughts

rounded Palmer-style, all double-checked,
kept errors out and always reconciled
to the last penny, every sum correct,
expenses paid, frail wife and his one child

provided for. But on the credit side,
what was he left with for his voyages
unmade, unspoken dreams unsatisfied?
A sense of having done it well, and yes,

love, that most fluid currency of all
whose coin is valid everywhere, the stuff
of which real wealth is made. I know he'd call
that true. One wants to think it was enough.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

While working on a rondeau

. . . something happened and the poem became a dimeter biblical list poem of 21 lines.

I wrote most of the poem last evening and polished it this morning.  It's ready to go . . . probably to First Things or Dappled Things.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 16, 2012

An altered look . . .

Copyright (c) <a href=''>123RF Stock Phot

by: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
      An altered look about the hills;
      A Tyrian light the village fills;
      A wider sunrise in the dawn;
      A deeper twilight on the lawn;
      A print of a vermilion foot;
      A purple finger on the slope;
      A flippant fly upon the pane;
      A spider at his trade again;
      An added strut in chanticleer;
      A flower expected everywhere;
      An axe shrill singing in the woods;
      Fern-odors on untravelled roads,--
      All this, and more I cannot tell,
      A furtive look you know as well,
      And Nicodemus' mystery
      Receives its annual reply. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


At my friend's estancia in Argentina this past January, we gathered breva figs. I'd never tasted anything so sweet and good before!

I'd been wanting to write a poem about them and, together with inspiration from Juana de Ibarbourou's poem, "La higuera", I wrote "Breva", an ovillejo.

I'll be sending it out in search of a home, along with my triolet, "A Fieldstone Fence" later on today.

Wish us luck!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good Fences

I've just written a triolet on one of these dry stone fences for my new MS.  Lots of hard work, but worth the effort!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's a small world, after all . . .

Blue marble - Apollo 17 from NASA Science website

I'm thrilled that my poetry blog is being read by people all around the world!  According to my Blogger stats, my main readers are from:

United States


United Kingdom








. . . although I've also had visitors from India, China, Japan, Denmark, Georgia, and United Arab Emirates !


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

More translations accepted for publication !

Credit: Reuters/Russell Boyce

Today I received the wonderful news that three of my French (Canadian)-to-English translations have been accepted for publication in the May issue of Lucid Rhythms !

The poems are:

The Passerby (original = La passante, by Émile Nelligan)
The Stars (original = Les étoiles, by Louis Dantin)
It's Raining (original = Il pleut, by Albert Lozeau)

Thank you, David!

Monday, April 2, 2012

April snow


I’d seen a goldfinch, days were getting mild,
the crocuses were up, and I could hear
the wild geese honking on the pond. Beguiled,
I’d set the garden chairs in place, in sheer
delight. The northern winter-spring transition
is never easy, but I’d hoped this year –
Alicia’s cancer gone into remission –
that April would be kind. Then we had snow
this afternoon, a boreal admonition:
Not so fast. Not so
                Oh, to be the quiet sort
who bow their heads, accept the status quo,
conceding there’s a God, and we’re his sport,
that winter is so long, and life so short!

© Catherine Chandler 
(first published in 14 by 14, Issue 4, June 2008)