Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

“Poem in your Pocket,” A Celebration

poem in your pocket scrolls

I celebrated National Poetry Month as a writer, teacher, and reader this year. What a thrilling April 2018 it has been. Between two of my own poems published in honor of this whimsical month, and my third-grade students blowing me away with their abilities for our “Poem in your Pocket” day at school, my heart was full.

My poems are at the bottom, but first, I would love to share with you some pretty amazing poetry from the mouths of babes, (eight and nine-year old’s, anyway):



The road between our house and store

Beholds the ocean shoreline

The egrets standing stick still in the salt

The marshes and osprey circling

Hunting fish at tide high

Waves sparkle under the wooden bridges

And I can guess the tide even before I see it

Just by closing my eyes

And breathing the air

Through the car window

~~~By A.G.G.



A screaming high pitch

A loud noise

A source of a yucky doo-doo


Changing a diaper


I don’t want to talk about it



~~~By B. R.

family fun hands

Big Family (A Tanka)

Taking all my stuff

Breaking all of my new toys

Lots to fight about

Even though we’re not alike

We are having lots of fun

~~~By A. G. (independent from A.G.G. above)

poetry books

Imagery, humor, family diversity… I don’t think we can ignore the wisdom of our youth any longer. They may be considered children, but they have much to say. I could share many more poems from my students, and they would truly move you. Some, of course, might offend. They are the scribbles of random words, some even the dreaded potty-mouthed, shock and awe sort. But here’s the deal; they are children learning to throw down their thoughts in new found freedom. There are no rules… and any rules we do learn (i.e. iambic or haiku type rules) are meant to be broken.

I don’t know why more teachers don’t start with poetry at the beginning of the year and then weave it through to the end. Unfortunately, if it’s taught at all in younger grades, it’s one form of rhyming poetry in June. Well, my friends, when you unfold the many facets of poetry to children and then let them go, watch out for surprises that actually bloom into their other genres of writing. It’s truly a win-win.

I am also pleased to have two of my own poems published this month. One was for the Limerick Writers’ Centre in Limerick, Ireland. They posted poems each day for Poetry Month along the Grey Stone Wall, hundreds of years old, down the road from King John’s castle (as an Irish writing friend, also published there, explained to me). I wish I could have gone to see it in person, but the picture was something. My poem is entitled, Poetry Falls.

Limerick Writers Center Pic 2017

Poetry Falls

Poetry falls,

rain on the window


Renewed thoughts roll

winding their journey

a c r o s s




Ideas slip,

turn in hollows, already

there, reflective only

forgotten, unseen,




~~~By Celaine Charles

Published by Limerick Writers’ Centre, “April is Poetry Month in Limerick,” Ireland 2018

Just this past Friday, the Sunlight Press surprised me by publishing my poem, White Blossoms, as their close to National Poetry Month.

sweet autumn clematis

White Blossoms


I look ahead to my daughter,

a younger

stronger version

of myself.


When did she grow

from vines of Sweet Autumn


emitting stars

as she ascends.


I drink in her fragrance,

like a potion,


to lean on,

to breathe.


And I watch her inhale

a piece of sky,

a bite of courage

amongst tiny morsels

of self-awareness.


A keenness

that once stirred

in my womb.

Maybe even then

she knew who she would be –


Maybe even then

she felt her sun beams stretch

from fingertips

to tree limbs –


White blossoms in the wind.


~~~By Celaine Charles, Published by Sunlight Press, April 26, 2018

sharing thoughts and knowledge

It was written about a year ago after a hike with my college-bound daughter. The words flowed out and it became more sentimental than anything. Interestingly, I sent other pieces to be published and needed to add one more poem in the bunch. I threw this one in as a last minute choice. The others were not received, but this one was. It goes to show you never know what words will connect with what readers. This helped me to see that rejections are just that, rejections for that moment. It doesn’t mean a poem isn’t good. It just didn’t reach that reader at that time. This experience also taught me not to be afraid to share my true sentimental feelings. I often write personal poems for only my eyes, and maybe I need to share those more often.

My favorite complements about poetry are things like, “I don’t typically follow poetry because I don’t understand it, but this one made sense to me.” Or, “I don’t usually like poetry, but I could really sense what you were trying to say.” It’s important to me to write poetry that anyone can enjoy. I want to un-complicate prose and verse. It doesn’t have to be some clandestine message for only a small élite group to comprehend. Let’s open poetry up to all who like celebrating thoughts and words. And there is no perfect age for that!

Happy April 2018 ~ Always National Poetry Month to me.

poem in your pocket


Writing Advice: Keep a Poem in your Pocket

Find a book store in your town, preferably a brick and mortar style. Then, without asking for help, sleuth out the poetry section. Hint: It will probably be small and hidden in the back. Think… somewhere forgotten.

Once discovered, run your fingers along the rows (or one tiny row) of book spines, find a chapbook that stands out to you, and flip through it. Find a poem or two that catches your eye. Don’t worry about understanding the whole poem. Just read some words. If you hate it, or there is no connection, put it back and grab another. If you can find one book with one small poem where even just a few words grab you – buy it!

Typically, paperback and bendy, chapbooks are inexpensive and fit easily in a purse or bag. Carry it with you and when you find yourself at a bus stop, or dentist’s office, pull it out and read that one poem again. After that, read another. Keep reading here and there and everywhere. You’ll be surprised how much you start to pick up just re-reading a poem over time. You may find you like a particular theme or style. Maybe you find more books from one author. Or if anything, you clarify what you don’t like in poetry. Box checked.

I encourage ALL people (writers and non-writers) to find a piece of poetry that speaks to them. If you can’t carry the book around, jot it down on a sticky-note and fold it into your wallet. Keep a poem in your pocket at all times. Pull it out and read it often, and more than that, share it with others. It will change your view of the world… I’m practically positive.

Dragons and Angels Collide

P.S. I just wrote a review of a haiku book, When Dragons and Angels Collide, by Ann Christine Tabaka that would make for a great start to your new collection. *Review under C.W.

By Celaine Charles, Steps in Between

Image Links: (egret) (baby) (family fun) (Poetry Falls & Wall Picture from Dominic Taylor) (White Blossoms poem) (picture of autumn clematis) (poem in your packet) (poem in pocket scrolls) (poetry book spines) and Creative Commons, (sharing thoughts & knowledge)


Categories: Thoughts on writing...

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10 replies

  1. I like that baby poem 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The poems are great! Also love the idea of keeping a chapbook with you at all times 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My favorite one is the baby poem. After high school, I worked as a volunteer English teacher and mentor for an American-based NGO in Kenya called Kiwimbi. My students were 12-14 years. I was 18 then but I was totally mind blown by how creatively deep my students were. Reading this article has brought some nostalgia.
    Congratulations on getting a space on the wall and your other achievements.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. My son is 14 and was writing a poem for school. I didn’t help him, and he put out some amazing sensory-evoking lines. I was blown away. I bet you experienced some beautiful insight in Kenya. I’m guessing all age groups have something to say if we only listen more for it. What a great opportunity you’ve had. I’m so happy to have nudged some nostalgia and that you shared some of your memories. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great imagery in your poems – really brings everything to life! I just learned about Poetry in your Pocket this month.

    Liked by 1 person


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