The Monday Poems Embrace the Purification of Gold and Friendship.

Not that many years ago, I hung out with a group of friends in a restaurant. Someone brought up a topic that set off one of the worst, heated debates that threatened to tear us all apart. Two of my friends were on the verge of walking away and never looking back. Every group of friends seems to come with one neutral individual who refuses to take a side, remains quiet, and listens. James was that friend. He interrupted the tense moment to ask us a question.

“Does anyone know how gold is purified?”

The question had nothing to do with what we were arguing over. James had, no doubt, learned this random piece of information, found it fascinating, never knew what to do with it once he had it, but needed to unload it.

We were the chosen ones.

“Gold,” he began, “is filled with impurities. To make it pure, it must enter into a complex process.” His visible passion for this topic held our interest.

What followed sounded like an essay he might have written in college. He listed places around the world where gold is mined, what it looks like in its raw state, and, most importantly, how a refinery removes impurities to transform the raw gold into pure and beautiful metal. What none of us realized was that his topic fit our situation as flawlessly as that purified gold.

Here’s a brief explanation of the purification process he shared with us.

  1. Gold is melted in a furnace.
  2. Chlorine is bubbled through the liquid.
  3. The chlorine attaches to impurities in the gold.
  4. The impurities move toward the top.
  5. Next, they are skimmed off,
  6. Leaving the gold more pure.

“Cool,” someone said, “but what does that have to do with our debate.”

“EVERYTHING,” James replied.

“The purification of gold isn’t different from the journey of a friendship,” he said. “In the beginning, while we’re getting to know each other, we come up against complications that heat us like the first step taken to purify the gold.

We bring our issues into the open, much like the impurities rising to the surface of heated gold. Here, problems must be dealt with. Once we have resolved those problems, we can skim them out, making our friendship more pure and beautiful and more valuable. Work through this moment,” he said. “because friendship is always worth it.” James walked out and left us to finish our debate.

That evening four friends grew closer to each other because of their renewed understanding.

Photo by Min An on


So it begins
with questions and interests,
common ground,
and new ground.
Smooth and perfect,
the path before the friends
meanders around bends,
runs straight, and then
takes a turn.
Without warning,
an object lies in the path
between them,
daring to be touched,
easier to avoid.
One by one,
complications ignite,
and the fire consumes the impurities–
burns them to ashes
they sweep away.
What remains is a friendship that
holds stronger,
and shines
bright and true.


Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

The Monday Poems Embrace Hope.

Last Monday, my poem took on the sweet smells and tastes of the season with apples and spice and everything nice. Today, instead of writing a poem about something tangible or tasty, I’ve taken on something that lives only in the heart and mind–something unthinkable to lose, but when this is yours, you’ll hold it, knowing you have something precious. Welcome to hope.


Hope blooms like petals, unfurling in spring.
Hope enters gently from
an act of kindness.
Hope finds its birth in a wish upon a star.
Hope appears in the words
of a promise.
Hope finds its way
on a fresh path.
Hope grows from,
“I love you.”
Hope begins with
a first step.
Hope finds comfort
in a hug.
Hope heals after
“I’m sorry.”
Hope listens

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

I’ll see you here next Friday for another Autumn-perfect picture book review.


The Monday Poems Bake Up a Pie.

Baking is my favorite go-to activity when I need to find focus, can’t sleep, or want to fill my home with the irrisitible smells of steaming apples, grated nutmeg, cinnamon, cozy pumpkin bread, and so much more. With the leaves outside my kitchen windows turning apple colors of reds and gold, my poem centers on an autumn-perfect pie. So, grab a fork as I wish you

Bon Appetite!


Slice and dice apples—sweet, red, and golden.

Add spoonfuls of syrup—plenty to fold in.

Sprinkle in spice—as much as you please.

Then, roll a fine crust—baked crunchy as leaves.

set out pretty cups. Fetch plates and steep tea.

Family and friends come exactly at three.

One slice of pie—one dollop of cream,

with seconds for all—sigh… What a dream.

by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

What’s your favorite autumn-inspired meal or dessert? I hope you’ll share it with me in the comments.

See you next Friday for the first of my four weeks of autumn-inspired picture book reviews.

The Monday Poems Meet the Five Senses

Happy first day of Autumn. My favorite season always brings a change in colors to nature, a sweater-worthy nip in the air, and the urge to bake something sweet, spiced with a generous shake of cinnamon. Because this time of year inspires my poetry in a myriad of ways, I decided to share ways to welcome the five senses into your poetry.


Grab a pad of paper and your favorite pen or pencil and join me outside. Let’s list a few things we see, hear, smell, taste, and can touch. Become an investigator and peek under a mat of leaves or gaze up into the branches of trees.

What do you SEE that could inspire a poem? A farmer’s field, dotted with plump, orange pumpkins? A woodpecker’s jelly-red crest? Autumn’s fiery leaves, dancing to the ground?

Close your eyes. What do you HEAR? Listen to the rustle of leaves in the breeze, the chorus of honking geese, and a pair of chattering squirrels.

Photo by Pixabay on

Take a deep breath. Can you SMELL the burning leaves, the sharp and welcoming scent of Pine? The sweet air after a good rain?

Photo by Gabriela Palai on

TASTE isn’t as easy outside, but let’s tackle that one anyway. Maybe as we’re walking past my garden, you taste the sweet and bitter coolness of a mint leaf. Then, you pluck the last tangy tomato from the vine or sip at the cozy cup of spice tea I made for you.

Photo by Arjun Sreekumar on

TOUCH is as simple as running your palms over the prickly tops of the grass, circling your finger in the feather-lined bird’s nest that has fallen to the ground, or wrapping your arms around a tree and hugging the rough bark to your cheek. (Yes, in my world, the trees deserve hugs.)

Photo by Matthias Cooper on

From your lists, select the one thing that inspires you most.

What words can you use to describe it. (Think in terms of color, texture, sound, movement…)

Imagine you are describing the sun to someone who has never seen it. Does this glowing ball look like an egg yolk or a beachball? Do clouds remind you of squishy marshmallows? Does a fence resemble a row of pencils? Does the rain remind you of fingers drumming on a desk? Does the breeze whisper secrets?

Choose words from one or more of your lists of senses becuase it’s time to write.

For my poem, I chose to compare Autumn to a dragon.


Scales shuffle like the rustle of dry leaves.

Fiery breaths set the trees aglow.

Powerful wing beats chill both air and spine.

One glowing eye gazes over the horizon.

The Autumn dragon has come. 

by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

I’ll see you Friday.