Category: Wisconsin

Poems For Fall Bulletin Boards

Here are a few short poems for all ages, including for teachers who are creating bulletin boards for the new school year.  These poems are collected from earlier posts.  The “autumn royal grapes” are courtesy of

* * *

F  alling leaves in
A  utumn
L  etting in more
L  ight

* * *

Autumn afternoon
the early glow of
streetlights in town

* * *

mid-day sun
in the south window
geese in flight

* * *

words find their
shape on a page

* * *

part-way through
a good book
half the gold leaves
on the tree
half on the ground

* * *

cool grey morning

cool grey morning
sounds of water to shore
choir of birds seems smaller
today or a portent of change?

a gold leaf on the birch tree
that teaches me year-by-year
to let go and rest and work again
each day and week as I can

this year though I do not hurry
to the rich autumn colors
resting instead in grey skies
and green fields

Special Olympics Wisconsin

As I was waiting in a store yesterday, I sat near a gentleman with a developmental disability.  Today I am reflecting upon my career in special education.  After I left teaching, and experienced recovery from surgery and illness, I experienced disability of a different sort.  Then, as a caregiver, with legal and practical responsibilities, I experienced  yet another side of being a human being.   I sat in a meeting one day at a nursing home, and I thought, “I’ve been the professional, the patient, and now the daughter.”

I’ve been needed too much, and I’ve also been invisible in our world.  Many of you know exactly what I am saying!

It took me many years to tell my story.  Blogging gave me the confidence, in large measure.

One thing I know: everyone has a story.

I know that the poems that touch the hearts of others are the ones that are born in these deep places.

Always more to learn about art, about craft, but for me the heart is most important.

My great-aunt, Marie Schwanke, was a pioneer in education for people with hearing challenges.  There were children in my neighborhood with special needs.  I remember the passing of a child too at a young age.  In a group, I tended to notice the person who was “different,” who was not learning in the same way, at the same pace.  I always knew my calling…until I was 40.  Then a new journey began, which I also cherish and thank God for every day.

So today, I looked up the website for Special Olympics Wisconsin.

The Special Olympic Athlete Oath is:

“Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

graceful day

Today I went to Taylor Heights Shopping Center in Sheboygan.  This area was affected by the economic downturn and stores closed one-by-one.  Some stayed; for example Cost Cutters, where I’ve been getting my hair cut for years.  Last year, Festival Foods came to Sheboygan, and that’s where I did our grocery shopping this week.   So very wonderful to see the new building going on there too, all the new life in general. 

On Sunday, we went to Judi’s Place here in Oostburg, which is a wonderful family restaurant, and relatively new.  We’ve had a good Pizza Ranch for some time, but the Knotty Pine and another place that also served breakfast both closed.  We are grateful to all.  New people are stopping in Oostburg these days.

There’s a cool breeze from Lake Michigan as I write . . .

Here’s a poem I wrote and posted here in 2010.

another day
of grace
settling down
towards sunset
seagulls rest on water

Photo by Karl.