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WORDWALK on the 22nd Day of National Poetry Month

April 22, 2020


NOTE: On this 22nd day of National Poetry Month and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, WORDWALK has three different paths for you. First, on this Earth Day, I am sharing with you a longer poem that takes you through a Forest of Po-e-trees and other natural and imaginative settings.


Secondly, for tomorrow’s 23rd day of National Poetry Month, I share a brief poetic tribute to my third Leader Dog, Zoe, on her birthday of April 23. to honor Zoe, I chose the poetic form of the cinquain (also called “quintet”) because this poetic form contains five lines. Each line includes a specific number of syllables: two, four, six, eight, and then two syllables. Born on April 23, 2007, Zoe became my Leader Dog on June 6, 2009; she passed away on March 16, 2016. In the poem, I mention “Heather” who was my second Leader Dog.


Third, I add a “Booknote” link from my sister at the end of this WORDWALK. Reaching out to her students and others again, Mary Fanyo provided a third “you-tube” video of one of my favorite animal stories for young readers. We associate lambs with spring, and a very special lamb is the “star” of the selected book-of-the-week.


* * *


The Year’s Fifth Season


Poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



After hard winter drifts into a softer season of cold

And before the full blossom of spring is ours to behold,

Mother Nature grants a little space and time

For a fifth season —

One in which the world may rhyme

Or be set free to explore

Free verse or other poetic paths.


For thirty days of April,

Mother Nature bows to the Muses

Who magically and majestically

Open the creative curtains

For the bright and bedazzling season of Poetry.

A-a-ah! The season of Poetry–my favorite season of the year.


I walk through the Forest of Po-e-trees

Where I marvel at the shimmering green stanzas standing tall

Against the puffy, poetic clouds.

At the farm, I visit the arbor with the grapevines of verse

For the wine that quenches my poetic thirst.

At the lake, I linger a while

Until I catch enough inspiration

For my poetic journey.

Back into the woods–

Like one would gather wild strawberries–

I gather the wild words

That grow in abundance;

Then, I fill my basket with these luscious words

To take home to my desk.


At my desk,

I carefully clean and sort these wild words,

Add a little inspiration,

Sweeten some for the filling

Of a poetic pie.

With some of the other wild words,

I save them in a container

For Monday’s metaphorical muffins.

next, I will freeze some of these wild words

For a wild word shortcake at the close of

This season of Poetry.


Away from my desk,

I take another walk with my Willow;

We pass by a school with an open window

From where I hear

A kindergarten teacher asking her students,

“How many seasons are in one year?”



The students respond in happy unison.


“What are the five seasons of the year?”


The students eagerly reply:

“Spring, Summer, Fall,

Next comes winter,

And finally our favorite of all–



So, I leave a tray

Of wild word cookies

For the teacher and her creative class.


For you, dear reader,

I have a decorated jar

Of wild word preserves–

Sometimes called

“poetic preserves”

Which will last

Past the season of Poetry.


* * *


Cinquain for Leader Dog Zoe, on Her Fifth Heavenly Birthday



Blue-ribboned Lead,

Heather’s calming buddy,

Graceful spirit dog of my heart–



* * *


BOOKNOTE: If you, as well as young children or even preteens whom you know, click on the following “you-tube” link, you will hear my sister’s reading of one of my favorite children’s books–PEANUT OF BLIND FAITH FARM, by Wisconsin author Jim Thompson. The 2017 book is beautifully illustrated by Wisconsin artist Rebecca Gavney Driscoll. Mary’s husband, Ric, was the videographer of this ten-minute video. Readers of all ages will enjoy this true story of the little lamb named Peanut, who was born blind.


Poetically yours,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


April 22, 2020, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. joanmyles permalink

    love it, darling Alice, thank you for expressing so well your appreciation of poetry, and for stirring up the poetic juices in your readers, including me. Sendig you sweetness and love…now I’m off to gather wild words *willows in mist**dancing paws**angel clouds*

    • Joan–I hope that you have a big basket because I hear that the wild words grow abundantly in Oregon!  (Smile!)

      With warm and special thanks for the “like” and your comment,

      Alice and Willow

  2. SUSAN MCKENDRY permalink

    Alice–Enjoyed the beautiful “The Fifth Season” and Zoe’s tribute. Hard to believe she has been gone that long. She was so special. Hope the rest of April doesn’t let you down.–Sue

    • Sue–Thanks so very much for your wonderful words about my Zoe. I do agree that these years since her passing have gone by too quickly.  When I leave Milwaukee soon, I want to pack up all of my memories of Zoe and take them with me.

      With gratitude for your comments and friendship, Alice and Willow

  3. Your poems are wonderful, Alice! The “Year’s Fifth Season” is overflowing with clever, intriguing images painted by your creative imagination. The “Cinquain for Leader Dog Zoe” uses so few words, but clearly expresses volumes of love and devotion for your precious guide. Thank you for sharing the poems with us during this National Poetry Month.
    Love, Mary

    • Mary–Special thanks for your comments about my two poems of this blog post!  While the first poem was an enjoyable one to write, the shorter poem for Zoe was written with a few tears.

      Talk with you soon!  Take care, and a ton of thanks–Alice and Willow

  4. Carole permalink

    Your month of poetry was again a perfect collection of your outstanding talent and extraordinary creativity, Alice! I also enjoyed the three YouTube contributions of Mary’s readings and excellent book choices! You two sisters are the best in whatever you chose to do!
    Your Florida cousin with love, admiration, and hugs . . . Carole

    • Carole–Thanks a bunch for the too-nice comment!  We were so glad that you, Tim, Jason, and Elizabeth participated in the Zoom Family Reunion!

      Talk with you soon–Alice and Willow

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