Friday, February 23, 2018


Thank you to Liz Steinglass for hosting Poetry Friday today!
* * * * *
South Carolina has officially slid into a spring-like weather pattern, and I am not sure how I feel about this. Everywhere I look, trees are blooming and spring bulbs are poking up through the ground, and yesterday it was almost 80 degrees where I live! Seriously!! I am not sure how I feel about this…as much as I love springtime, I feel like we barely had a winter here.

For this week’s Poetry Friday post, I was inspired to write a poem about our quick switch from winter to spring, and chose the tanka. Tanka poems are siblings of the Japanese haiku and follow a 5/7/5/7/7 syllabic format. They allow the author more room to “move around” within the poem, but still provide a relative close snapshot of the subject, which is what I love so much about haiku poetry. Here is my tanka:

Variations on a Theme
by Becky Shillington

Winter, where are you?
Outside, blooms make their debut
to birdsong, although
the calendar tells me it’s
February twenty-third.

I hope that, wherever you are today, the weather is just the way you like it this time of year! Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Here in the south, a snowfall is a rare and much anticipated occurrence. Most of the time (at least where my family lives), when the weather forecast says there’s a chance of snow, we don’t see a single flake. And it is so very sad to see the disappointment on my boys’ faces when they wake up and realize that—once again—the snow has passed us by.

But when it does snow—watch out! It's party time in our neighborhood! So when I learned the topic of Susanna Leonard Hill's Third Annual Valentiny Contest, I knew right away what I wanted to write about. The rules were simply to write a children’s Valentine’s story (214 words or less) in which someone is hopeful. Here is my entry:

by Becky Shillington (214 words)
When Dad says, “There’s a chance of snow!”
I dance around and whoop and cheer.
But just as I begin to hope,
I think, “We never get snow here.”

My Valentines are neatly stacked.
I’ve made each friend a special treat.
So if it doesn’t snow tonight,
at least school will be fun and sweet!

When Mom and Dad tuck me in bed,
I toss and turn and sigh all night.
As minutes tick-tock off my clock,
I peek outside and look for white.

Then suddenly, tomorrow’s here.
Mom sings, “It’s time to rise and shine!”
I look outside again. No snow.
But here’s a lovely Valentine!

At school, my friends have sleepy eyes;
it looks like no one slept last night.
“No snow—no FAIR,” they all complain.
“There goes our epic snowball fight!”

“Cheer up!” I say. “It STILL might snow—
the news guy said so on TV.”
I hand each friend an envelope.
“Now here’s a special treat from me!”

They open up their Valentines
and smile when they see what’s inside:
a cookie heart for everyone
and heart-shaped snowflakes made with pride.

“Let’s find some string and hang these up.
We’ll make it snow ourselves,” I say.
But as we work, I look outside.
“It’s snowing now for real! HOORAY!”

I hope you all have a very happy Valentine’s Day!