Basketball Dreams

I recently deleted this poem from a collection I’m working on because it didn’t quite fit, but I can’t leave it sitting in my computer. This one is for you,  Deb Gonzales.


Big boys, rough boys,
Tough boys, tall,
Spin, fly, jump high
For the ball.

Half court, hard court,
Concrete heat,
Grab, jab, dribble,
Light swift feet.

One girl, small girl
Leans, hopes, stares,
Holds fast dreams of
Ball, net, air:

Shouts HEY, I’ll play,
Let me in.
Boys freeze, watch girl
Jump, fly, spin.

© 2014 Stephanie Ledyard


Crow Knows

Gray day:

murky pall

casts shade

upon all.

Sun’s glare,

a white wall,

beats through

the dim sprawl.


No rain

falls anew,

no rest

from dull hue.

Black bird

with high view,

seems to know

what to do:


Bobs head,

looks around,

fluffs tail,

peers down

from high roof,

with no sound,

mocks me

on the ground.


© 2015 Stephanie Parsley Ledyard


Inspired, of course, by a Monday Poetry Stretch from The Miss Rumphius Effect, the blog that has kept me writing even when I didn’t think I had the focus to find the words. This poetry form is called a Cheuh-chu. Really!

In Progress: Problems with Beethoven

Flickr CC: sheep purple

Megan left her piano to-do list sitting out. How could I resist? I stole her title and a few of the items from her list. I wish I could post audio of her practicing at night. Her Beethoven is coming along nicely.

Problems with Beethoven

(for Megan)

The E in measure 75.
Measures 48 to 49: I’m doing them wrong.
The need to practice excessively and slowly.
Measures 97 to 108: Oh, God, really?
Memorizing the last two pages.
Getting the notes down.
Practice, that is all.
Everything goes so fast.
He never looks me in the eye.
My sister has gone to bed.
The hair.
What is he staring at?
Outside is frozen darkness.
I am unseen.
Mother has turned down the heat.
No more coffee.
And after this, math.
Seriously. Hello?
He never looks me in the eye.
Everything goes so fast.

© 2015 Stephanie Parsley Ledyard

In Progress: On My Porch

Some mornings, Natalie wants to go outside and wave Aaron off to work in the dark. Occasionally, we’ll stay and watch the morning come, and even though it makes us behind on some other things, it’s a magical start to the day.

Flickr Creative Commons: The Auto Motovated Cyclist

On My Porch


On my porch,
there is a small chair for me
and a rocking chair for my grandmother.
But we both sit on the step,
our bare feet flat
on the cool sidewalk,
to watch the morning come.
Grandmother wraps me in my old baby quilt.
The street lamp scatters
light through our tree onto the ground,
like a painting
in the big museum.
Not so far off, the highway
already rushes and hums
like a seashell held to my ear,
and I think of my mother
riding to work on the bus,
and the people in cars going to jobs
in tall buildings,
and maybe children in the back seats,
looking up at the very same sky.
Darkness hangs like sleep
in my eyes.
© 2014 Stephanie Parsley

Thinking on quiet things

Photo © 2013 Stephanie Parsley, taken as my family returned
from what was likely a not-so-quiet fishing expedition

This week’s stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect is all about quiet, something I treasure. The poem below started as a list poem from my writing time yesterday with a friend, using a prompt from The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach.

What You Will Need

A body of water
A day not too hot
A pole not too heavy
A light, long string

A worm and a hook
The stomach to pierce a small, squirming thing
A boat
Or a quiet spot

A pleasant companion
Or none
Attention to pay
Patience for waiting
          and waiting

Eyes to see the bobber bob or the water move
Hands for tugging and reeling a catch
A mouth to exclaim
Or breath for a sigh

The will to take startled creature in hand
The skill for dislodging sharp things
The hunger to hold the club and the knife
Or the heart to give it all back

A body of water
A pole and a string
A pleasant companion
Or none

The words to tell and tell the tale
Or the memory to keep,

© 2014 Stephanie Parsley