Thursday, April 19, 2018

Today's Quote: Friedrich Nietzsche

Text: I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.     ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Poetic chaos will give birth to Imperfect: Poems About Mistakes, edited by Tabatha Yeatts (literary midwife). Available tomorrow!

Photo source: NASA.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Obstacles cannot crush me.
~Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci's birthday was this week (April 15th) and someone shared this silverpoint drawing he made, explaining that with silverpoint technique, mistakes are impossible to erase. Once you draw a line, it's staying. That makes me think of Bob Ross's habit of taking artistic accidents and making them part of the picture.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Donna JT Smith

Can you name IMPERFECT poet Donna JT Smith's mistake-maker?
I ran away from home,
I should have stayed right there;
I took my little dog
With wiry scruffy hair.
Too late we ran back home
Where a twister twisted us!
Somehow we came down safely,
No hair on me was mussed!
We landed somewhere on the East -
Who'd think I'd get new shoes?
That witch should not have been right there -
She made a mistake, too.

where troubles melt like lemon drops
photo by Doug Wilkowske

DONNA JT SMITH, a retired teacher, lives on the coast of Maine. She now spends her time writing and riding her motorcycle - a bright red Honda Aero. Donna doesn’t really mind making mistakes (though she would secretly prefer to get everything right on the first try), because mistakes often lead to some good learning and often require creative solutions! Donna has published poetry in The Best of Today’s Little Ditty anthologies volumes 1 and 2 edited by Michelle H. Barnes and in The Nancy Drew Anthology from Silver Birch Press.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Charles Ghigna

Poultry poet! IMPERFECT poet Charles Ghigna knows how to not take himself too seriously.

I am a silly
poultry poet whose rhymes some
times break the gold egg

FATHER GOOSE® CHARLES GHIGNA lives in a treehouse in the middle of Alabama. He is the author of more than 100 books from Random House, Simon & Schuster, Time Inc., Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Abrams, Boyds Mills Press, Capstone, Charlesbridge, Orca and other publishers, and more than 5000 poems for children and adults in newspapers and magazines ranging from The New Yorker and Harper’s to Highlights and Cricket magazines. He served as poet-in-residence and chair of creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, instructor of creative writing at Samford University, poetry editor of English Journal for the National Council of Teachers of English, and as a nationally syndicated poetry feature writer for Tribune Media Services. He speaks at schools, conferences, libraries, and literary events throughout the U.S. and overseas, and has read his poems at The Library of Congress, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Library in Paris, the American School in Paris, and the International Schools of South America. For more information, visit his website at

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Molly Hogan

photo by vgallova

Can you guess the mistake-makers in IMPERFECT poet Molly Hogan's minis?

She seems so friendly
The apple looks delicious
Perhaps just one bite...


I only dropped down
for company with breakfast...
Who knew she'd run off?


Entranced by the view
I balance atop the wall
Too often I fall

MOLLY HOGAN grew up with three sisters and a brother, and the older two delighted in leading her astray. “Bitter Chocolate,” which appears in IMPERFECT, is based on the enduring memory of one such mistake. Although many of these incidents resulted in humiliation or punishment, this one also eventually resulted in a poem. You never know what will inspire you! Molly is a fourth grade teacher who lives with her husband in rural Maine. Much of her free time is spent writing, reading, running, wandering, taking pictures, and procrastinating. Her personal essays have been published in the Portland Press Herald and her poems have appeared in online galleries.

Today's Quote: Nikki Giovanni

Text: Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts. ~ Nikki Giovanni

Photo courtesy

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

F.J. Bergmann

IMPERFECT poet F.J. Bergmann today with "An Apology," which originally appeared in Billy Collins' second anthology for high-school students, 180 More:

An Apology

Forgive me
for backing over
and smashing
your red wheelbarrow.

It was raining
and the rear wiper
does not work on
my new plum-colored SUV.

I am also sorry
about the white

F.J. BERGMANN writes poetry and speculative fiction, often simultaneously, appearing in Analog, Asimov's, Polu Texni, Silver Blade, and elsewhere, and edits poetry for Mobius: The Journal of Social Change ( A Catalogue of the Further Suns, a collection of dystopian first-contact reports, won the 2017 Gold Line Press poetry chapbook contest.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Margarita Engle

Today we have a mini mistake poem by IMPERFECT poet Margarita Engle, who was recently nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Award. We don't have any Pippi Longstocking mini mistake poems yet, but wouldn't those be cool?

Margarita's poem gets to the heart of not giving up:

Revision Blues
a tanka

the first draft
that flowed so easily
now needs
hard work, this painstaking
attention to details

MARGARITA ENGLE is the 2017-2019 national Young People’s Poet Laureate, and the first Latino to receive that honor. She is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Lightning Dreamer, a PEN USA Award recipient. Her verse memoir, Enchanted Air, received the Pura Belpré Award, Golden Kite Award, Walter Dean Myers Honor, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and Arnold Adoff Poetry Award, among others. Drum Dream Girl received the Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book text.

Her newest verse novel about the island is Forest World, and her newest picture books are All the Way to Havana, and Miguel’s Brave Knight, Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote.

Books forthcoming in 2018 include The Flying Girl, How Aída de Acosta learned to Soar, and Jazz Owls, a Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots.

Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives. She was trained as an agronomist and botanist. She lives in central California with her husband. Follow her on Twitter at @YPPLaureate

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Accidental Impacts

Addressing something serious to forgive yourself when you make a mistake with horrible consequences, such as hitting a pedestrian with your car or unintentionally shooting someone. It's something that isn't written about a lot, but there are these links:

Accidental Impacts is for people who have caused accidental death or injury. They discuss:
* On Living After Accidentally Killing Someone by poet Gregory Orr
* The Sorrow and the Shame of the Accidental Killer
* Forgiving yourself
* Forgiving yourself, II
* Forgiving yourself, III

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Keri Collins Lewis

Here's a mini mistake-maker poem by IMPERFECT poet Keri Collins Lewis. Keri writes about a legendary mistake made by an emperor who was a bit too insecure and too easy to flatter:

A kingly walk,
the villagers gawk —
What fine clothes!?

KERI COLLINS LEWIS lives in Mississippi and is in her seventh year of working in media relations for the Extension Service after serving as an elementary school teacher, museum archivist, and curriculum developer. She practices writing haiku and values the Poetry Friday Community's expertise. In addition to writing, she enjoys travel, beekeeping, quilting, reading, gardening, and tending chickens and grandchildren.

Only the finest blog visitors
can see Keri's quilts

Friday, April 6, 2018

Mistake-Maker Minis

Mistakes can be tragic, useful, or anything in between. These mini riddle poems by editor Tabatha Yeatts contain famous mistakes...can you name them?

Fleming's neglected dish
turns a moldy blue-green --
bacteria killer!

I always run late...
maybe I should fix my watch
for important dates

Keys left back on shore,
binoculars stay locked up --
iceberg spotted too late.

These are cross-posted on The Opposite of Indifference (and the answers are in the comments there).

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


I am terribly clumsy, so there is a plethora of walking into lamp-posts, falling over, dropping things, and ruining sofas.
~Matt Smith

A mistake from 1898 today. He's worried about the bottle, but I'm nervous about that pastry on top!

by Nikolaos Gysis