Want Is Loud

Want Is Loud*  by Nancy Schatz Alton “It’s good to want. It builds character.” Ben Bauermeister I’ve come here from want—the blue stone pulsing in bright yellow light. I’ve come here from hills that I now call slopes, from anger and love, fear & sweetness, from every emotion you can name, and I’ve come here […]

What do you want? Why?

I’m awash in teens right now. I want to be all clever, with an apt metaphor. But I tell you again that the poetry people speak to me more loudly in the early morning. It’s late morning here and I’m remembering a conversation with my oldest. How when I said her, all the chatter is […]

It’s a mess in here.

Can you see me in my office? It’s a mess in here. I’m eating cold oatmeal. I’m waiting for Liz to walk in the door. I made her walk home because I’ve been sick and I can’t face the carpool line. I just finished writing a really hard rough draft. A rough draft that took […]

Snow Day

It’s true:  I took a day off from the daily blog yesterday. I have the flu. Being sick is a lesson in vulnerability. My mind isn’t clear enough to really make sense. And I wonder if I should show up here. What to report? The report is that I wrote some fine rough drafts at […]


I forgot how white the sky becomes when it snows. Today I’m pulling toward rest. The snow feels right: it would be nice to cancel obligations for a week of snow. Yet I know the only obligations really canceled are the ones for kids and teens. How it takes a lot to make the world […]

Sea Clouds

I want to be the slight hill in my parent’s backyard whispering, “sit.” Then: “Lay down.” Tip your head back. Sea clouds of other worlds drifting by. Fall up into the dying stars. Sink into the stratosphere The moon’s rays cut the grass. The big dipper as real as cheddar cheese cut in squares above […]

To Be Well

I ask directions from my life and it points me in wildly different directions: 4 different jobs. Persimmon tea with a hint of lime. Doing what I’m afraid of from IRAs to teaching adults about creativity. When I was going through a rough patch in college, my friend Annie sent me a letter. In it, […]

January 31st

Everyone is maybe sick of the topic lately. But I can’t get enough of it. Clichés and all. Like my Interviewee that pointed out that by the time your kids are teens, that cake is baked. I very much feel that way while knowing my kind heart is a place my kids will ask to […]

The Eve of Age 17

I’m pushing into new territory. Others have gone before me, found new hobbies, careers that spin close enough to passion, lovers and friends: things that take up space. Or perhaps, maybe, could be that some of them are like me: wrinkling, shriveling up, pruned & lined in their almost nightly bathes. If I just get […]

Anger & Love

It’s too late in the day to be poetic. The minutes have gotten away from me but I still have an urge to keep this promise to myself. So here I am 14 hours after I woke: writing to you. I overslept today. I didn’t do my morning writing right away. I found myself struggling […]