God Bless You, Mob

Singing “kookaburra sits in the old gum tree-ee” makes a whole lot more sense if you have heard the mouthy bird and understand that a gum tree is a sweet smelling eucalyptus. The “baaa necessities” become more clearly defined when you learn that Aussies drop most r’s, don’t run the heat when no one

IRA World Congress Auckland, NZ

New Zealand, where the air is clear and the pies are steamy, the people are friendly and the internet is expensive, sparse and achingly slow. Michael and I came downunder for the IRA World Congress, a multi-national literacy conference that convenes every other year. We had a few days to take in some

“We don’t have polio any longer.”

So my question to the wise women writers I have dinner with now and then was: Do you think that every generation, when people get to a certain age, they just think the world is going to hell, or do you think the world really is going south this time?
And alternately, we each added

I should be walking

When life becomes a blur, about the only thing to do is buckle your seatbelt and wait for the ride to stop. That’s when you stagger away, slightly dizzy, searching for a focus point.
Since my last post I visited Shanghai, North Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, Connecticut and various points in

Heart and Seoul 2 — Korean Folk Village

First the hand off. We are passed from one librarian to the next — from SIS to KIS — from Chris to Kris Feller — at Sunday brunch. Right after that we drive to the Korean Folk Village to be entertained by daredevils on horseback, a tightrope walker (no net for this guy)

Heart and Seoul — weekends are for touring

Gyenongbok Palace: Pictures don’t do justice to this massive building. The changing of the guard is a serious procession complete with whipping flag routine, air slicing curved knives on sticks and whopping drums.

As I stand watching this ancient, powerful routine I feel cheated that my education was so Euro-centric.

Seoul International School

Banners in the hall, coffee and brownies in the library, and attentive students — what more could any poet ask? The grounds of the school are dotted with sculptures and the athletic field glows green on the damp, grey day we arrive. It’s cold in Korea and workers have fires burning at

Welcome to Korea

When burdened with too much baggage, dehydrated for fresh air and fluids, invariably sweating because it seemed easier to wear that coat than pack it, hazy-headed, you push through the milky one way doors out of the uniformed forest of customs officials and get shunted between metal railings for inspection by a waiting crowd of

The American Community School, Abu Dhabi

“She is the light which draws all the butterflies,” says a teenaged boy of his mother in the book Mother without a Mask by Patricia Holton. I read this line in the opening pages of the book and think how the description is also the perfect way to describe a school library –

Rabat American School

ESOL is for amateurs at Rabat American School. Here the norm is ETOL or EFOL — English as a third or fourth language — or more, I am reminded as we come together to find our poetic voices how students in the USA (me included) suffer from not having access to more

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