The Feathered Nest

Trying to Bee Good

My efforts to make San Francisco feel like home continue. Getting involved with the community seems like a good way to move that process along. I had already signed up to volunteer with 826 Valencia when the lovely Heidi Dolamore asked for folks to join her intrepid team of librarians to compete in A Spelling Bee for Cheaters, 826 Valencia’s fundraising event.

I am trying to raise $500 and I have embarked on a personal, social-media fundraising drive. As a loyal NPR listener, I know all good fundraising drives need incentive gifts. I have promised to create a line of original poetry for each dollar pledged. Three bucks get you a haiku, five bucks a tanka, fourteen a sonnet, or any free-verse variant betwixt or beyond. If you’d like to to make a donation of any amount, you can do so here.

I am challenging myself to get these back to the contributor within 24 hours. I can’t promise genius, but I can promise a bit of fun. I will send you a copy of your poem and post it here on my blog with an intro.

My parents, the amazing Norm and Donna Blanchette, gave me a very generous $25 pledge yesterday. So they get the dubious honor of the first poem. I would not be who I am without them and that was the thought I had as I began writing their poem. However, the poem, after being processed through my twisted little brain, did not end up exactly where I had intended. That said, it is crafted with a great deal of love.


(For my Parents)

by Sandee Bisson

Am I a recipe?

A plan laid out

precise, measured.

A teaspoon of this,

a cup of that.

Blended and baked.

Am I a book?

A story slowing unfolding

page by page.

A work of nuance

peppered with playful alliteration.

Am I a garden?

Delicate blossoms and hardy stems

roots going down, down deep.

At the the whim of sun and rain.

Requiring care and a nurturing hand.

Am I a song?

Notations on a page

quarter notes, rests, crescendos, and trills.

A map to be interpreted by each musician

played straight or improvised.

Crossing genres.

Always changing and evolving.

In the end

the recipe is devoured,

the book, inevitably, is resolved,

the garden is harvested

then sits dormant for the winter.

The song is hummed in the schoolyard.