The Monday Poems Seek Happiness

Monday PoemsI spent the weekend and most of this morning writing my post and poem to tie into the theme of the picture book I reviewed last Friday of Sonya’s Chickens by Phoebe Wahl, which delves into loss and recovery. No part of writing my blog brought me joy, and the words of my poem broke me. I spent over an hour debating whether or not to share my thoughts. I mulled over the feelings of death others have shared with me, including the chapter in Kahlil Gibran’s book from 1923, The Prophet. I arrived at a simple discovery.

The views people have on this topic are different from mine. (Not good or bad, just different.)

I read my post to my daughter who said, “Mom, people come to your blog to feel happy. They’re going to leave today in shock. What you wrote is beautiful, but it’s also dark.”

I started again. The world is currently dishing out plenty of ways to feel angry and depressed. The last thing I wish to do is contribute to sadness. Because we each deserve happiness, I paged through my collection of poems and chose one to share with you that I wrote to my daughter.

cup of stars


I love laughing while we sing a song,

not caring if our words are wrong,

making tents to play inside,

offering hugs with arms out wide.

laying out beneath the stars,

grateful for the love that’s ours,

reading chapters from a book,

a funny story—comic look,

holding hands to take a walk,

sharing feelings when we talk,

bedtime poems, I write for you,

the love that holds us strong as glue.


by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman


See you next Friday


The Monday Poems Rip Away the Wrapping Paper.

Monday PoemsLast Friday I shared the heart-squishing picture book Something Else about a little animal that is ostracized despite his attempts to fit in. Everyone judges him before getting to know him, and none are willing to give him a chance. For any of you who can relate to this, even in a small way, I am truly sorry this happened to you.

The poem I wrote for today is told through the symbolic use of wrapped presents as compared to the appearance of the people we are and see every day.

Does a beautifully wrapped present always suggest the gift inside is as lovely as the fancy paper and ribbons?

Like the present above, do all especially attractive people have personalities that equal their outer beauty?

The same can be said for the present wrapped in an upcycled, paper bag with twine or the person with the plain appearance. The gift that lies within may delight you.

Bottom line – Someone’s outer appearance cannot be used as an accurate gauge for the kind of people they are on the inside.

brown paper present


I was fooled by the pretty paper,

misled by strings of gold—

Beneath the beauty lay a gift

that truly left me cold.

But in the package, plainly wrapped

with tissue, tape, and twine,

I found a precious treasure

that I truly found divine.


Leslie Leibhardt Goodman


See you here next Friday.


Leslie’s Camping Fiasco Meets The Monday Poems

Monday PoemsIf you were here last Friday, I dedicated my post to camping and reviewed the book, A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen. As promised, I challenged myself to write a poem about camping, specifically MY camping experiences. Or, as I like to call them Camping fiascos #1, #2, and #3.

For my inspiration, I turned to the well-known Christmas story/poem, A Visit From Saint Nicholas, better known as Twas the Night Before Christmas.

photo of wet brown grizzly bear sitting

Photo by Brett Sayles on


Twas the night of the campout when all through the wood,

every creature was stirring as loud as they could.

While I gathered some logs and a pile of dry sticks,

a crack, somewhat near, had my eyes playing tricks.

I spotted a bear that, no doubt, wanted honey.

But when I looked twice, it was just a large bunny.

I built a fine fire and toasted a treat–

a marshmallow snack that burned up in the heat.

The air hung quite heavy with smells of sweet pine,

while insects swarmed near in a targeted line.

They dove at me fast! It was all I could do…

to keep them away—I tugged off my left shoe.

I ticked off the bugs as I flailed quite a lot.

With a stinger, yards long, one injected a shot!

Into my tent, I flew in a hurry,

zipped up the flap with an itch and a worry.

What if at night, late, at quarter to three,

I had to crawl out there in order to pee!

Could this trip get much worse? I did not want to know.

I was leaving tomorrow at the first morning’s glow.

The chirp of the crickets sure drove me insane.

But worse still, by far, was the torrential rain!

When the tent sagged with water, you guessed it, I freaked!

Not ten seconds later, plip-plop, how it leaked!

“I’m leaving right now!” I started to vent.

If the bears need a change, they can snooze in this tent.

by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman


Thoughts, comments, and camping memories (good, crazy, funny, or otherwise) are always welcomed in the comments.

See you next Friday.


The Monday Poems Engage in Battle

Monday PoemsLast Friday, I reviewed a picture book about a unique, albeit one-sided, friendship between a selfless toad and a cuckoo clock bird. If you’re a picture book enthusiast, that might be enough of a description to know I shared A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead. As promised, my Monday poem is about a bird. Actually, it’s about a flock of determined chickadees who engage in a behavior called “mobbing’ in which these tiny birds chase away predators from their breeding grounds. Over the years, I have found that nature is filled with surprises and raises such questions as…

When faced with a large and powerful enemy, does one’s small size equal failure?

When faced with those who are smaller and weaker, do power and size equal success?

Who will win the sky battle? Read on to learn the answer.

brown and white bird flying

Photo by Frank Cone on


The fierce one engages in battle.

Hawk fights for control in the sky.

To the small and the swift he’s the outcast,

despite of his size and shrill cry.

Unwilling to claim his defeat,

Hawk swoops with his talons well splayed.

But the chickadees divebomb around him–

determined and each unafraid.

Size matters not to these warriors.

In their helmets of black, they will fight.

They’ve won a victorious prize on this day

when Hawk leaves them a feather in flight.

by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Hawk & Chickadee

To learn more about the behavior of mobbing among birds from The Cornell Lab, click HERE.

Until next Friday.