Poem Published by Blue Heron Review & #TankaTuesday

Cristina M. R. Norcross, Founding Editor of Blue Heron Review has published one of my new poems in the new issue of the journal. The theme is Heart Source & Haven. In these dark, anxiety-ridden days, what a wonderful issue to read. My poem is about a magical place I found when I was a kid. It was in the woods across the narrow rural road near Caledonia, Michigan.

You can find the issue here: https://blueheronreview.com/bhr-issue-17-fall-2023/ You will love these poems!

Here is mine:

A Very Specific Opening in the Woods Near Caledonia

The road lilts through the thick woods on either side.
There are no mailboxes to denote location, but
that heart-shaped patch of lupines marks the entry
if I remember to balance across the moss-covered log
and bend down to pass under the sugar maple leaves.
Follow the burbling creek down past the grasses
nestling the tree trunks and saplings and when
I’m lulled into the rhythm of the path, it appears
in front of me—an open meadow sparkling with
sunlight on the kaleidoscopic array of poppies,
Sweet William, and phlox—hummingbirds
and butterflies—even dragonflies—rising amidst
the motes of pollen and seed, a bluebird’s chest
pumping its song, and an alert squirrel scolding.
At the top of my basket is the tablecloth—red
and white checkered, natch—and I lay out the wine
and chocolates, the ginger cake and oranges.
Later, I drowse with my head on my doubled sweater.
That’s when they arrive in their gossamer tutus
and green tights, with their silvery voices. In the haze
of my half-opened eyes, I watch them for memory’s
sake. I will paint them later, as if they are a dream.

I wrote a tanka with Dia de Los Muertos as the kigo word for #TankaTuesday.

[Topic: First Frost]

Before winter’s here

on Dia de Los Muertos

we remember ones

we have lost to the Reaper

and celebrate life and love.

Although we are not in danger of a frost in Phoenix, the days and nights are cooler than they were. When I wake up in the morning, we are in the low 50s. I’ve been walking in the morning to take advantage of cooler air.

woman in a a costume and makeup for the day of the dead in mexico
Photo by Oscar Damián Jiménez on Pexels.com

BONUS: to use Trick or Treat. Here is my lune:

Trick or treat, smell my

feet, give me

something good to eat.

(stolen from the childhood jingle)You can’t improve on a classic!


Filed under #amreading, #poetrycommunity, #writerlife, #writingcommunity, Literary Journals, Poetry, Publishing, Syllabic Poetry

34 responses to “Poem Published by Blue Heron Review & #TankaTuesday

  1. Congratulations on the publication, Luanne! It sounds like a magical place.
    It was in the 50s here, too, but there’s a frost alert for tomorrow night.

  2. Your woodsy jaunt was a welcome interlude!

  3. Wilma Jean Kahn

    Thanks for sharing your writings. The first one offers a surprise that, when it appears, feels just right. That whole issue of “Blue Heron” looks nurturing, and I want to go back and read all the poems.
    I’m glad you have some cooler temps now. Would you believe I saw a flurry of snow while at Tiffiny’s on West Main yesterday?

  4. I liked the bucolic and the Los Muertos poems

  5. Luanne, I loved the poem – I was there with you today – and we had such a great visit…congratulations on the publication!
    Something bright in the darkness that engulfs all of us

  6. I loved your Opening in the Woods poem, Luanne. Your Dio de Los Muertos poem was superb as well. I got a kick out of your childhood poem. It might be a Michigan thing cause we used to say it as well.

  7. Tonight might be our first hard frost. Maybe!

  8. Marie Bailey

    Congratulations on the publication! I love your poems, so magical and spiritual, and then there’s the final poem which I vaguely remember hearing when I was a kid. Our temps will dip into the high-30s to low-40s tonight … our first real taste of fall. Only downside we don’t have rain coming our way for several days 🙁

    • Oh, that’s a leeetle too cold for me, rain or not. I hope you enjoy it! Haha, trick or treat, smell my feet, ALL the kids in my neighborhood loved that one. Thank you for saying that about my poems! Makes me so happy!!!!! xo

  9. Congratulations on the publication of “Caledonia”! I loved it. Until the picnic basket, the poem describes a daydream I had on a regular basis when I was a kid. I love your tanka as well. I find “Dio de Los Muertos” much more appealing than Halloween because its focus is on the celebration of loved ones who have passed.

  10. Congrats on your publication. Like your Dio Los Muertos poem best. In Oz Halloween is only a relatively recent celebration…when I was growing up we didn’t have it. We are having unseasonably hot weather this Spring…not complaining.!

  11. Luanne, congrats on having your Caledonia fairy meadow poem published. You took me there with it. Caledonia is not that far from here, in mind, body, and spirit <3 Enjoyed your Dio de Los Muertos poem also.

  12. Ellen

    I really enjoyed the New Caledonia poem

  13. Kerfe

    That’s indeed a magical memory. Congratulations!
    Your trick or treat poem made me laugh–always a welcome thing. (K)

  14. Gwen M. Plano

    Oh my, the Los Muertos mention is brilliant. And your poems – perfect for the season. 😊

  15. Fun poems. I remember the classic one. We have a bloggers meetup in Scottsdale – usually every month. This month we meet on the 17th. Are you interested in meeting with us? Marsha 🙂

  16. Congratulations, Luanne. I loved your tanka. I must have been brain dead when I wrote, day of the dead in Spanish. It’s Dia de las Muertos! Totally my fault. Sorry about that. 🧡

    • Oh gee whiz. I swear I looked it up. So I looked it up again and maybe it’s Dia de Los Muertos, so that’s what I changed it too. I cannot see well lately–floaters in my eyes that just won’t go away. Thanks, Colleen!

  17. Hi Luanne, both poems are extraordinary. The first reminded me of the book What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge.

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