August Playfulness – the Well of Observation

To bid goodbye to August…

I explored what has been written about observation and came up first with volumes of poems, the focus on this one word/engagement, as well as many single poems. It feels like many who penned them did so with joy and whimsy in the process.

So to end August with lightness, enjoy a few.

Also, a photo of my father, perhaps on an August day.

He was the quietest of observers of his land and of life. I wish I could have plumbed the depths of his, to use one of his favorite words, cogitations.

Perhaps you will choose to write a poem of your own, as I am now inspired to try this week. Whether it will be shared or not is anyone’s guess!

All the writing in many genres…on just one word…one word that is a way of engaging with the world.

Like all of the wells, there is so much to discover in the dipping!

by Grace Butcher (Ohio Poet of the Year 1992 – I see she lives very near where I lived in OH!)

List of Seemingly Unrelated Observations


Distance, like snow, melts


Walking in deep yellow leaves

Drowns out your voice


Thinking, like a deep river,

Eats canyons in your mind


Everything blossoms that can.


Everything blossomed that could


Stars move if they are airplanes

Wish fast


You can live as many places

at once as you need to


For some places you don’t go anymore

You still have a key


A dream brings you into morning

One way or another


By an unknown author


The Observer


She always stood in the shadows

Quiet and invisible

Yet watching and listening

Looking at the sky, the people




Wherever she went she noticed things

Little details



She watched how people moved

How they talked



Sometimes something would strike her

Trigger an idea or a poem

Other times, she would store it away for another time


She almost lived in two worlds

One as a participant

The other, observing


When she sat in a café she usually sat alone

She preferred it that way

It was her time just for her

To watch, create, ponder




by Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967)


If I don’t drive around the park.

I’m pretty sure to make my mark,

If I’m in bed each night by ten,

I may get back my looks again,

If I abstain from fun and such,

I’ll probably amount to much,

But I shall stay the way I am,

Because I do not give a damn.

by Josephine Ensign, a professor of nursing in Seattle – after taking a Saturday environmental writing workshop

“After observing this dandelion, I wrote this poem. Happy Earth Day.”

An Ode to Dandelions

labeled a weed

noxious, non-native species

scorned, uprooted, exterminated, poisoned

labeled a tonic

food, medicine

harvested leaves, flowers, roots

eaten raw, cooked

steeped in hot water for tea

fermented for wine

elixer of dandiness



What is a weed?

What is a tonic? A label?

Laughing yellow button

turned to whisp of fluff

blow away

fly away

spread your tonic weed seed!








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