Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

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A Poet Grapples with Quantum Physics

I was experimenting with writing in trochaic tetrameter blank verse (Dum da, Dum da, Dum da, Dum da) and came up with this.

A Poet Grapples with Quantum Physics

Cannot wrap my mind around it
Wave and particles, order and chaos
Take too close a look in our time
And waves turn in upon themselves
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

ljgloyd 2023

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Poetic Forms: Bob and Wheel

I will be exploring various poetic forms for a while. The first is an old English form called “Bob and Wheel”. This form is five lines, with a rhyme scheme of ABABA, the first line is two or three syllables and the remaining lines are all six syllables.

I fired this one off this morning in my journal.

Here we go:
Daily commute to work
Red, green, go with the flow
Ride that desk, do not shirk
Sixty-five comes too slow.

ljgloyd 2023

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As I may have stated elsewhere on this blog, I am one of those odd-ball people who likes to read and write poetry.

For me, poems do not need to have end rhymes, but they do need to have rhythm and repetition, alliteration and assonance. Most importantly, they need to be understandable and relatable. I cannot stand stream-of-consciousness poems that have meaning only to the poet. I can’t read it and I sure can’t write it.

Who are some of my favorite poets who embody this clarity and economy of words–the poets who tell me stories to which I can relate?    Some include Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, Carolyn Forche’, Matsuo Basho, Edgar Allan Poe, and William Shakespeare.

This morning I came across this video of Nye reading one of my favorite poems followed by an explanation of her process.  I felt compelled to share it.

More to come on poetry.


What is Silent: a Poem in List Form

I took this through a telescope for an astronomy course.

Two a.m
The boulevard near my house on the first day of the lockdown
The moment after a bad joke is told
The moment when a bad diagnoses is given
Fish swimming
Grass growing
A mouse in the grass
A snake in the grass
When the snake eats the mouse
A caterpillar eating
A cocoon
A butterfly on a blossom
A spider spinning a web
A fly in the spider’s web
Walking away after a graveside service
Sneaking out of the house on a schoolnight
Meeting an estanged friend on a sidewalk
The flame of a candle
The sparkle of a diamond
The sparkle of a star
Noontime in the desert
Drying paint
A cat eating breakfast
Words written on a page
NO words written on a page.

ljgloyd (c) 2022


The Diner: A Haibun*

Half a dozen old men sit in a line along the counter, some watching the news on a tiny screen mounted over the stacks of styrofoam to-go containers. Others hunch over cups of coffee keeping silent company, each with himself. A young woman in a blue face mask wipes down the counter with a stained towel.

At a table three young men in paint-spattered shirts quietly converse in Spanish and finish up their bacon and eggs. At the back of the dining room, a toddler encased in a highchair flings to the floor chubby fistfuls of Cheerios. His father ignores him and shoves a forkful of syrup-soaked pancake into his mouth. The child’s mother, with dark circles under her eyes, sucks on a straw in a glass of soda and stares into nothingness.

The rest of the diner’s mismatched plastic white chairs and farm-styled faux oak tables are vacant.   Framed photos of vintage cars hang crookedly on dingy yellow walls intermixed with black and white signed photos of forgotten celebrities, a head shot of Ronald Reagan, a tattered newspaper restaurant review from 1994, and a broken neon Budweiser sign.

In the center of a wall is a poster of Helnwein’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Unceasing top offs–
soggy newsprint spread across
chipped dark Formica

*A haibun is descriptive prose followed by a haiku tangentially related to the prose.



Day 240: The Sunday After

On the Sunday after the election,
I turned off the chorus of cable news pundits,
and instead
Called a friend and chatted for an hour,
Zoomed to virtual church for a drink from my spiritual well,
Brewed tea,
Made minestrone,
Washed my kitchen floor.
I listened to the wind rattling my windows and stirring up
autumn leaves.
Then I pondered how to rebuild the bridges between
old friends and anonymous adversaries
and then realized how tough
it is going to be.

ljgloyd (c) 2020


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Day 65: Empathy with Wild Geese

Another daily practice I have commenced during this time to keep me grounded is to, among other things, read a poem a day. This morning I randomly selected Mary Oliver reading her well-known poem Wild Geese.  It made me tear up. I empathized with everyone in this world to whom this poem resonates.




Word Nerd

I was astonished to realize that I have written nearly 100 poems.  I write poetry from time-to-time and for challenges like NaPoWrimo, but I guess it adds up over the years.   Even though I identify myself as a poet on my “About” page, I still have a hard time embracing it.   Poetry seems to be cool and hip only within a relatively small community of like-minded word nerds, such as myself.  I have had friends read my poems and snicker.  Or sometimes they say things like, “It doesn’t rhyme.”   They don’t stop to look at internal rhymes, alliterations, assonances, meter, metaphors, evocative themes and all the other characteristics of poetry.

Most people I know don’t read or even like poetry.  It is not mainstream anymore, not since before the radio and television age when poem-casting, along with story-telling and singing, were how our ancestors amused themselves around a fire in the evening.

Maybe I am not a poet and don’t know it.

Maybe, though, I have a different definition of poetry.   For me, poetry is not merely a form of entertainment or a literary art form to be mastered.  For me, poetry is crafting an economy of words intended to convey subtle, evocative, expressive ideas in unique, brief, and innovative ways.  I write poems to hone my word-smithing abilities.  Poetry is a writing exercise for me.  Poetry is not a noun; it is a verb.  It is about the process, not the product.

I know I’ve harped on this idea in past posts, but I will say it again:  I don’t mind if I am not a good poet.  Like any true nerd, I don’t care what people think as long as I am doing what I enjoy. 

If you are at all interested in reading some of my poems, here is a link to all 30 poems from last year’s NaPoWrimo challenge:  https://misspelicansperch.wordpress.com/2019/04/









Haibun: Wandering

There is an expression that suggests when a person is being “lead down the garden path” that she is being deceived.  I do not know who first postulated this idea, but I do know there was once a wizard who said, “all who wander are not lost”.  I would rather wander down the garden path with Gandalf anytime.

Winter rains, cool nights
Green grass, red bark, orange boughs—
A compost pile looms

Ljgloyd 2020