July 21, 2010

all this
weight and beauty
above me
–and i so small–
how shall i ever
find words to express it all?

©Erin Kilmer, 2010


Barbies on Titanic

July 6, 2010

I left Barbies at Communion
(autographed by Mr. Goodyear himself)
on the counter by the bathroom sink.

(I only have time to read in the bathroom.
Sometimes I lock myself in.)

I won it, you know,
the book, not the bathroom sink,
and I was just about halfway through.

(these things take time when your daughter
likes to eat dog food while you’re in the bathroom.)

And then, in a moment of destiny,
two boys reenacting the sinking of Titanic
also drenched Barbies,
who had never even once thought of
buying a ticket on that ill-fated

(I guess I should be glad it was sink-water
rather than other bathroom alternatives.)

Cupcake Poetry

April 20, 2010

Yesterday at work I involved my darling little cupcakes in writing some poetry, without their knowledge. It is, after all, National Poetry Month. And I knew that if I told them I wanted them to write poems, they would have all freaked out and gotten overwhelmed, because people generally think poetry is something much more complicated than it is.

My plan is to show them these sometime this week and then get them to write their own. We’ll see how it goes.

(For those of you who do not know everything there is to know about me, I work with elementary school children in an after-school program)

We did these out on the playground. I walked around and asked several kids their favorite thing about spring, and used their responses as the titles of the poems. Then I walked around again and just asked random kids to “tell me about _____” or “what do you think about ______?” or “tell me what pops into your head when I say _______.”

I just put each child’s response on a line and viola! Some of them are pretty ridiculous, but there are a couple that I thought were fun. Anyway, I’m just going to share them all because it is a fascinating insight into the minds of children.

they are really pretty
they grow
how bright they are

It’s Hot
I need water
I don’t know
but I should wear shorts
the sun’s out
it feels good outside

I don’t know
plain and blank and white
just play
pretty boring!

you have to hit a ball
it’s a fun game
(can I go to the bathroom now?)
there’s a bat
I like baseball
the best part is you get a jacket

My Birthday
it is awesome
best day ever
I get to go skating
I get cake
and ice cream!
vanilla cake and strawberry

Not Wearing a Coat
when it’s hot out
it’s awesome
–and I got another one–
it’s hot
in the summertime.

Aren’t they fun? A little silly but I think they’re cool and I hope to do something similar with my own boys sometime soon. Maybe they will help show the kids that poetry doesn’t have to be arduous.

This next is a set of haiku I produced by walking around and just staring at the kids until they responded. The only thing I edited out was several what?s, because that’s what they pretty much all said to me at first. This makes me giggle, but it might just be me. I’m going to share it anyway.


anymore questions?
sigh. what? please stop following
me Erin. What? Why are

you staring at me?
Your phone’s ringing. Yes? We’re just
picking flowers. Whoa.

She’s looking at me.
Hey Miss Erin. I have a
joke for you. Okay?

April showers bring
May flowers. What do may flow’rs
bring? Pilgrims! How’s that?

Get it? Mayflower?
Oh duh. Okay. I can’t watch
her right now. Erin!

I’m gonna jump off!
Oh. Hello. Whatcha doin’?
Whatcha lookin’ at?

What? What? What? What? What?
Hey Miss Erin. I’m smiling.
I’m climbing a pole.

I am strong. Why are
you just doing that? What are
you doing? tee hee–

We have woodchips. It’s
a letter One. Ha-ha. A
number One. My foot

is out the window.
I’ll be stuck forever. Aaaaah!
What are you looking

At? You’re bored or some-
thing? What are you doing? Ha
ha ha ha ha. What?

The Rhyme Not Written

April 18, 2010

The Rhyme Not Written
by Erin Kilmer for my sister Laura
with deepest apologies to Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And being one who struggles with decision-making,
I thought it would be best if I just sat right down
With paper and pen procured I don’t know where
And wrote a poem about it.

It’s not a very good poem, I fear.
It seems a bit too familiar, and possibly
Like someone else, passing this way before
May have written something similar,
Only a good deal better.

I’m sure no college student,
Poring over books in the middle of the night,
Will write an essay over this work,
And I’m sure not one of them
Will be even the slightest bit disappointed by that fact.

Those roads there, branching off to left and right,
Are they crucial paths into my future?
Or are they simply two unimportant ways,
A choice as meaningful as which flavor of ice cream to buy?
And if I take one above the other, does it matter?

I think in the end I may never know.
But I do know this: I have written this poem
Without rhythm or rhyme or point
And someday I may look back and realize
That has made all the difference.

(But I doubt it.)

Poem Days

April 9, 2010

Poem Days
Erin Kilmer

Some days are poem days

every moment
running with ink
awash in words
pulsing with rhythm

Some days are poem days

every moment
leaping with color
singing with rhyme
dancing with imagery

Some days are poem days


some days

are simply