Tag: Barbara Crooker

books on the shelf

books on the shelf
supported by each other
kindness of friends

(from my archives)

Three of the books on my shelf today are:

The Psalms: With Commentary by Kathleen Norris. Riverhead Books, New York, November 1997. Commentary copyright 1997 by Kathleen Norris. I am referring to this book, which reprints from the King James Version of the Bible, for my series at Poems From Psalms And Nature. I read different translations of the Bible, old and new.

Some Glad Morning: Poems by Barbara Crooker. Pitt Poetry Series. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA. Copyright 2019 by Barbara Crooker. Please visit her site for more information. I own and have read many of Barbara’s books.

The Heron’s Nest Volume 21 2019. This is an annual print edition. John Stevenson is Managing Editor. Please visit The Heron’s Nest for more information. The March 2020 online issue of this English-language haiku journal is also there.

Photo by Matthis Volquardsen on Pexels.com


I read several books at a time. Perhaps a prayer here, a poem there. The authors I mention in this post I’ve read for some time. So sometimes, a short selection recalls a lot of content.

Here are a few examples.

be the gift let your brokenness be turned into abundance – by Ann Voskamp (2017, Zondervan).

Sea Glass: New & Selected Poems – by Luci Shaw (2016, WordFarm).

The Book of Kells – by Barbara Crooker (2019, Cascade Books).

Bathed In Prayer: Father Tim’s Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford Series – by Jan Karon (2018, Putnam).

Jan Karon’s novels kept me company during times of illness, grief, and recovery. Lots of joy and heart. Her new book also recalls previous work.

Always poetry – and when I cannot read, my heart is full from when I could read! When I spent a lot of time with my mother in a nursing home, someone might be sitting by a window. I know from my times, sitting by a window – every day – the heart may be overflowing with blessings, though no one else can see. The soul greater than the mind, I believe. Always hope too.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Photo by Karl – July 2018 garden journal

reading poetry

reading poetry
and watching the sky
tomorrow is March

and we will remember
this February
for a long time

the harsh weather
and difficult days
in different ways

yet also the great blessings
the pipes that did not freeze
shelter, warmth, internet

sunrises and sunsets
longer days
another sunrise

the beauty of this day

Today I am reading and rereading poems from The Book of Kells (2019, Cascade Books) by Barbara Crooker. Please visit her books page for more information.

I also plan to spend more time with Modern Haiku, An Independent Journal of Haiku and Haiku Studies (Volume 50.1, Winter – Spring 2019). Paul Miller is Editor, since 2013.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Poetry notes

The Lyric (Fall 2014; Volume 94, Number 4) arrived today.  ” . . . the oldest magazine in North America in continuous publication devoted to traditional poetry.”  The Editor is Jean Mellichamp Milliken.

I receive updates from Barbara Crooker, and I ordered her two new books.

The Haiku Foundation has a new website, which is easy to read.  The Haiku Lessons are filed under FEATURES.

grey green gold

Today there are three colors outside my study window.  Grey, green, gold.

One of my favorite Bible verses is from Job 23: 10 (KJV):  But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

This verse found me years ago, when I was finding a new way to live after a health crisis, which will be 20 years ago this December.  I remembered the verse when I read Barbara Crooker’s excellent new poetry collection, GOLD.  Her site is http://www.barbaracrooker.com; please visit for full credits and many other features.

So many good books have been published recently.  You’re always welcome to share in the comments.

Also The Haiku Foundation Education Wall is growing.  You’ll find it listed on their home page.  http://thehaikufoundation.org   Barbara and I shared a little as I wrote the first set of plans.   She has a special perspective as a parent.  The plans include adaptations so learners with special needs can be included.  Sometimes small adaptations make a world of difference.  Many people are included in the Ed Wall, and we hope many more – especially haiku by students as the plans are used!

Hope you have a good weekend, Ellen