Category: Poetry

Blogs and Books

As I review my archives – and one of the nice features of blogs is how we grow archives – I note posts where I am developing ideas for books.  There is more content here now than I can remember.  My mother said to me when I was young, “If you’re a writer, you’ll write.”  She meant this in a big picture way.  When I have not been able to be creative in one way, then there is something else.  So far, the poetry always returns in one way or another.  I may not write many poems, when I am working on the sequence for a book.

For the next large print book, I found the theme and focus in my post this past Saturday.  I have an ISBN account and assigned a number to this title:  Encouragement, Gratitude, and Hope: Poems by Ellen Grace Olinger.  I set the publication date for December 2019.  Plenty of room to breathe.  Revisions are part of the process, and this is my work – not obligated to a contract.

In another book, Lord willing, I hope to return to an earlier theme of “Wisconsin Seasons and Encouragement.”  I took many photos for a few years; and Karl’s photos from this summer and past years are beautiful.  It was important for my health to make a more dedicated effort to walk this past summer.  The visits to our small towns, Sheboygan, and parks were a blessing.  All is well.  I am sure there are many layers with all our art.  

A small haiku chapbook is another idea, as I’ve shared.  I remember, in the 1990s, when I first began with haiku, how much I loved receiving a card in the mail with a small book.

The work itself is a good teacher.  Over the years, I’ve often been told I have “the gift of encouragement.”  Caregivers also have to take good care.  My overall goal with the blogs and books is to offer hope, one small poem, photo, post at a time.  I love this way of being able to grow and create.  

Thank you.  And I like the new Gutenberg editor.  I learn a lot about colors, font sizes, and other ideas here. 

A deeper sense of confidence – trying new ideas – has grown through the consistent work and feedback.

Ellen Grace Olinger

sudden cold

sudden cold –
Christmas cactus 
already blooming

Time Of Singing (1997)
Quiet Christmas Poetry (2014)

Ellen Grace Olinger

Encouragement, Gratitude, and Hope

I am just beginning to work on a second large print chapbook.  My goal is to finish some time next year.  Good to have goals, and I can revise my goals as needed.


Quiet Christmas Poetry is still in print and can be ordered from the Time Of Singing Books Page.  All proceeds benefit this print journal.


The second large print chapbook has a more general theme.  These seem to be a few of the favorite poems over the years, that I have selected for the new book so far.

Because we create from so many places, and read/view in different ways, I will not worry about a given order of the seasons from my perspective.

Blogging has surely opened my world and teaches me every day.   I am trying for universal themes of encouragement, gratitude, and hope.


roses in the sun
some ending
some beginning
and some in full bloom
good to grow older


clouds and yet
enough light
to fill a jam jar
with the last
of the carnations


losses in life
low setting sun
through branches of trees
now rises again
as birds quietly sing


and planning
the week
what will grow
what should rest

(WestWard Quarterly, Fall 2016)


R   est
E   ducate
A   dmire
D   ream
I   nspire
N   ew
G   oals

(My acrostic poem for reading is one of the most read poems on this site.)


older now
used books settle
in their new home


how gentle the wind
in predawn rose light
after the harvest moon
I begin October
with small and growing hopes

(Time Of Singing, Fall 2012)


Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthologies is a page I created for this site, with my poems in the anthologies from 2013 – 2018 (with references).  I also think about a small haiku book.  Many ideas, and some poems may belong in more than one place.  I know I enjoy some repetition, which can be restful and a comfort for the soul.

This kind of work takes time, so I am ready for another Wisconsin winter.  So grateful.


To be continued in another post.  Thank you and blessings.


Honeysuckle by Lake Michigan, June 2018.

Ellen Grace Olinger




time of year
when small things
bring even more joy

scented soaps
and a cup of coffee
simple meals

carnations in a blue vase
quiet music and

always poetry

Ellen Grace Olinger

I’m reading Eye of the Beholder: Poems by Luci Shaw (2018, Paraclete Press); and listening to Perspective by Helen Jane Long (2018, BLE Records).

errands in Sheboygan

errands in Sheboygan
this city that it is so dear
to my heart

memories of buying
things my mother needed

library and groceries
learning the streets
and small roads on my
way home a longer way

I have been ill here
worked and rested
towards new health here
learning from others

help and trust

grieved many losses
and learned
how life can be beautiful
in a new though changed way

this great Mystery

warmth and kindness
just helping one another
get through a hard time

older age arrived this year
and I am grateful for good care
and new beginnings

always was an old soul

took time for some gifts
with words, with life
to settle and grow

with hope for new poems
that I practice here

Ellen Grace Olinger

November mornings

November mornings
and shorter days

a small lamp
transforms a room

I read with my new
and stronger glasses

so grateful for stars
in the sky

and words in my mind
a book, post, prayer

the sun rises
reaches the tops of trees

the weathered trees
I so love

Ellen Grace Olinger



slow travel
boat with lights
in the distance


L ove
I nspires
G oodness
H ope and
T ruth


Late November
barges with their lights on
travel along the Lake Michigan horizon
we leave low-energy lights on too
to say hello


the shortest day
of the year
in my heart


S erene and sure
T rust
A long the
R oad of faith


Poems are by Ellen Grace Olinger, written over time.


Images: wpclipart