Only a Season

Sometimes when I am writing a poem in the ronka form, it just won’t fit into the little 7X5 box I created. Here is one of those poems.

Photo by Binyamin Mellish on

Summer is only a season.
We teach,
and then we are gone.
What more can we do
but plant a few seeds
and hope for rain?

A Book of Days

Not about traditional saints and feast days,
not devotional almanac, calendar, or scrapbook clippings –
not my journal. Not any of those
but all of those. Life logbook through time.
Capture one good line, images, in words.

I had some interest in publishing the poems here as a book, and the question came up, “How important are the accompanying images?” Some are mine. Some are open-sourced or public domain. In my podcast version of the website, the mages are gone (as well as the links). How much is lost?

This poem and post were inspired by seeing an interview with Patti Smith who just published her visual A Book of Days. It has photographs of her daily coffee, books she’s reading, gravesites, and daily images accompanied by short text – “captions” but sometimes seeming poetic. She is a poet, as well as a musician, photographer, and writer of other things.

The project came out of her use of Instagram and acceptance of an iPhone as a camera. She takes a photo of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s hat or her partner Fred “Sonic” Smith’s guitar. Things from people she knew. If they have died, then the object remains unused. Objects she does use, such as eyeglasses, writing implements, and manuscripts.

Like Smith, if I am in a café, I have my phone and a notebook nearby. I do record the days. This site in its first year was a kind of book of days with 365 poems and images. But I don’t know what interest a publisher or the public would have in my book of days. I’m not a Patti Smith.

On this day – #338 in the year, she wrote “19 NOVEMBER: Bruno Schulz, the brilliant Polish writer, was shot in the street by a Gestapo officer on this date in 1942. Much of his writing, including a work called The Messiah, was tragically lost in the war. This is Jim Carroll’s heavily thumbed copy of Schulz’s masterpiece The Street of Crocodiles.”

The Ronka Leaves the Nest

I think my ronka poetry form has, for me at least, left the nest. I have now crossed the 100 podcasts mark. I have done 80 of those so far in 2022 (which is Season 2). There are about 830 ronka poems on the website, so the podcast is still far behind though I do try to add poems from the archive once a week too.

There are almost 2400 followers of the site, which is a bigger audience than I have ever had at a poetry reading. The podcast doesn’t have a following like that. Then again, I don’t do much to promote it. I just imagine people will find it if they are searching for poetry on any of the platforms I have put them on. The most popular places to listen are Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, and Google Podcasts. They are also on Pocket Casts, RadioPublic and Breaker.

If you haven’t tried the podcast versions of the poems, give one of those links a try. The programs only run for one to maybe three minutes, so it’s not a big time investment. I wasn’t sure if I would keep the poems going all this time – but I have kept it at least a weekly habit after my 365 poems practice in 2014. I’m not sure about the podcast – but I’ll keep at it until the end of 2022 at least and finish season 2.

Poems About Hope

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on

A friend who was going through this website trying to find a particular poem she remembered as being “about hope” did a search and was surprised to see how many poems have “hope” in their title. Even more poems use the word.

Maybe she doesn’t think of me as very hopeful. I don’t usually describe myself as an optimist or hopeful, but I’m not a pessimist and I do often feel hopeful about things.

The poem “Hope is the thing with feathers” is a poem by Emily Dickinson that inspired several of my poems. I’m not sure that Emily is all that hopeful in that poem and not all my “hope poems” are what you might describe as hopeful.

Several of the hope-titled poems have already been done as podcasts – Hope Is the Thing With Buds, Hope Is Also the Bud in Snow and The Thing with Feathers Flies Away

I will add podcasts this week for some others, such as Hope is a contract…, Hope in the Harvesting, and The Geography of Hope. It will be a week of hope because hope can appear in unexpected places like looking at the stars or in the back pages of a journal on a sad day.