Category: Inspiration

I remember

I remember
learning the small roads
and then the smaller roads
the ones not used by many
to reach the freeways

where in the Spring
sometimes
I hear the red-winged
blackbirds again

Lake Michigan
Oostburg, Wisconsin
March 29, 2014
Photo by Karl

Ellen Grace Olinger

Books, Poems, and Photos

Today as I sat quietly for a time, I began thinking about the new book we hope to create from the blog. When new ideas occur to me this way, I know the creative process is at work once again. A slower pace now. No deadlines. This is just to share and be creative.

One idea I have for the print book title is Poems From Oostburg, Wisconsin: Selected Poems and Photos From Our Blog. Another idea may seem better as we work. The title says clearly that this is content readers may have seen before. And if they like the book, they can visit the blog for similar content that may be new for them.

I envision a longer book this time, different from the large print chapbook, Quiet Christmas Poetry (2014). I am still happy with this book, and it was good to promote it again in 2019.

Today I thought about feedback I’ve received over the years and want to remember to include a few old favorite poems.

The daylilies in the vase
Are ending

       Petals drop on wood

I leave them
They express something poignant

       That words never could.

“Petals On Wood” was published in ARTS ALIVE:  A LITERARY REVIEW (1988, The Tinley Park – Park District; Illinois).

birds perch
in sheltering branches
a grain of mustard seed

Matthew 13: 31 – 32

Published in Time Of Singing (1995).

shoveling . . .
scent of mint
through snow

Time Of Singing
25th Anniversary Volume
1998

Sheboygan County
Wisconsin State Park System
September 8, 2018
Photo by Karl

Kohler-Andrae State Park
Sheboygan County
Wisconsin State Park System
August 23, 2019
Photos by Karl

Ellen Grace Olinger

Short Poems: Growing Older

As many of you know, Karl and I began Poems From Oostburg, Wisconsin in December 2009. A lot can happen in 10 years! Hope you enjoy this selection of poems. I still hope to create a print book from this blog, which is my primary site, with Karl’s help and photos. There will be a page with careful credits, and also with dates and places for Karl’s photos (this will take time and patience). Sometimes, with posts over time, we realize we have achieved more than we knew. No small thing to begin and create a blog. Sometimes I’ve wondered if I can continue; and then I rest and trust and return. And begin another season of work, by God’s grace.

older now
used books settle
in their new home

All the Way Home: Aging in Haiku (2019)
Edited by Robert Epstein
Middle Island Press
West Union, WV

loved for years
and now I know your name
blue chicory

Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog
Daily Haiku: May 27, 2017

we hold the door
for older people
memories of Mom

They Gave Us Life: Celebrating Mothers, Fathers
& Others in Haiku (2017)
Edited by Robert Epstein
Middle Island Press
West Union, WV

country cemetery
trumpet vines
growing taller
than the gravestones

Time Of Singing, 2012

seasons repeat
we tell the stories
we are given

“seasons repeat” has found many homes, including:
Mayfly, 58, Winter 2015 – Brooks Books Haiku
tinywords – 4 September 2015
Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog – Daily Haiku: April 2, 2016
* Also selected for my Poet Profile at The Haiku Registry, The Haiku Foundation. Billie Wilson, editor.

looking at trees
I remember prayers
of friends

Quiet Christmas Poetry (2014)
Ellen Grace Olinger
Elin Grace Publishing
Oostburg, Wisconsin

reading
in a sunny corner
of the house
I could be
any age

WestWard Quarterly
Winter 2016

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…”

From Ecclesiastes 3:11a (KJV)

Daffodil Drawing is courtesy of Reusable Art.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Garden Journal

We bought the swag at a grocery store, and Karl added a few more decorations he had saved from other years. So this Holiday Swag is one of a kind! Karl took the photo today. The snow and wind also created beauty for the cedar tree.

Haiku

beyond the trees
in shadow . . .
late afternoon light

January 2019

repotted plant
seems settled now
new leaves growing

February 2012

broccoli for lunch
in bright winter sun
days grow longer

February 2018

The beauty of each day, and the seasons . . .

sometimes by sight
in my life of faith
apple trees in bloom

Time Of Singing (2014)

Photo from February 2018

Ellen Grace Olinger

Kindness and Service

Years ago, when I helped with my mother’s care, I was always alert to what might be on the floor, to guard against falls. She used a walker, and was trained by therapists and so careful. After her passing, I would continue to pick up a piece of paper in a store or parking lot, thinking of her. I would tell this story to others who observed.

We watch for opportunities to take someone’s cart from the parking lot to the store, if that seems appropriate and helpful. Karl and I shop together.

Now it is best to allow myself to be helped, and I am so grateful for the kindness and service at the stores and restaurants where we go.

We drive home on all the roads we know so well. Some might look a little bleak now. Karl wonders about new construction and keeps an eye on things. Being comfortable in a new place took time for me, and while I know sometimes over decades I needed to change, this time I am grateful I was able to stay. And feel at home. So I know I see some things differently now, than a new person might see.

It can take time for some in our lives to accept changes, as we age and/or health needs change. When the caregiver needs to retire in the sense of physical work, but always cares. I stay close to home now.

Yesterday in a parking lot, I saw a garbage can tipped over. And I knew their staff would take care of it right away. Time for me to go home. Rest, complete a post with one of Karl’s photos.

Image: wpclipart

Ellen Grace Olinger