Poem of the Day



Poetry Prompt #4 inspired Helen Hagemann to submit this selection of poems. Helen says: I have three grand-children under seven years of age (both parents work) and therefore I notice things like towels left on the floor! Also I like subjects that might possibly appeal to children.

The Subject Tonight is Towel

The subject tonight is towel

And from tomorrow night

And days after

Dad has no better topic

For us to discuss

Until we all

Hang up our towel

After showering.




Some people love walls.

They keep in yelping dogs,

But never cats or birds.

No one sees them talking at night

Yet walls do talk – to each other.

They compare positions, compositions.

Are they stone, cement or brick?

When they need our attention

They crumble for repair.

In winter a storm will blow them over.

Make gaps for geckos and hens.

Can you see the creatures scurrying

Passing two abreast?

Robert Frost loved walls, and said

They make good neighbours

Especially if they talked,

Had one’s garden trimmed,

Kept apple trees to one side

Pine cones to the other.


Do you love walls?





There are

So many leaves


Each hangs on a branch

In thousands of different ways

Your eyes will see differences


Infinite shapes: ovoid, needle

Heart-shaped, linear or pencil

You can draw them green in spring

Paint the tree from where they came

Crinkle a gum leaf for its scent


So many leaves

Unfolding and falling

Into your world







Poem of the Day


Questions about Wasps

by Helen Hagemann

Each morning, a wasp starts out as a lone traveller
heading into the garden, its hind legs dangling and
trailing in the wind. These moments are an eloquent

gesture of nature, the wasp on a journey into nectar,
jazzing up noisy wings, talkative as the bumble bee
already in the Fuchsia. There are many questions you

might want to ask, yet the only one you do know is
that wasps sting, especially late summer if you have
a fly swat or rolled newspaper in your hand.

Yet you’re curious about this eager garden traveller, like
a fly-in miner, flying out. Is he copying the tiger with
all those stripes on his back? Is he the bee’s rival, as he

hovers in mimicry? Is it to camouflage pincers in wax flowers
or to fool the bumble bee into thinking he is one of him?
And why does this busy wasp follow from petal to stamen

and stamen again, and not the other way around? What about
his paper-mache home, is that in the roof? Is he building
a colony of one hundred wasps, damaging the beams?

You guess that wasps are designed to make you think. So,
wondering about that loud buzzing noise as he backs out of
a bud, is he imitating the operatic bee who comes out singing?

Poem of the Day


Praying Mantis

by Helen Hagemann

From inside the house
the praying mantis looks like

a caught twig, a small gesture
of wood rocking on wire.

Up close, it draws you in and
outdoors, its pencil-spine a cloudy

grey. Grey as the litany of squares
she hugs. The most interesting thing

is the way she carries her colours
to meld or disappear into fabric,

cottage wall, or branch. Tomorrow
she may be yellow, pink, or green

depending on the plot-size of garden
or unattended window, the parallel

lines of wire-mesh giving just the
slightest hint of stick, of leaf.