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  • Writer's picturePenny Harter

My old blog can still be accessed here: please visit

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

I was able to import my old blog to this new blog, which is great. Also, some of the posts from my old blog continue below. However, if you want to see my earlier pandemic-practice poems, just click in this box, not on the url above, and they will come up below. Thanks for visiting.

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Will Update Soon! 2/10/24

I'm months behind in updating this blog. Life intervened, health and family challenges, etc. But I will start doing so soon. I have many poems to add, links to review for my new book of haibun, and mo


Here's link to a recent feature for my most recent book Still-Water Days: I'm delighted to have been invited!



Aug 02, 2020


"Dog Days: the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun, the hottest time of the year in ancient Greece, a time that could bring fever or disaster. A period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence."

Dog Days At the Farmstand

As I pull in, I notice in the car next to

mine a barking white poodle, and I worry

about him in the heat, then note the dog’s

owners have left the car’s air-conditioning

on while they harvest the many bins.

This farmer grows it all on his own fields

which stretch out behind this elongated shed—

acres of corn, tomatoes,…


Penny Harter
Penny Harter
Jul 02, 2020


This morning when I opened the blinds to bright sunlight, I had a sudden longing for snow. Here in the south Jersey shore area, we had practically no snow this past winter—maybe one or two flurries, and that was it. I know that snow, like any other weather, can be both beautiful and dangerous, but in today’s longing for it, I think I’m craving change from this time we are enduring—snow's offer of escape from the endless now of the pandemic. I hope that by this coming winter we will find release.

Remembering Snow

Waking, I open the blinds to still another sunny summer day, yet feel oppressed by the forecast for more heat and…


Penny Harter
Penny Harter
Jul 01, 2020


Thanks to Neil Creighton for sending me a powerful train poem by the famous Australian poet Kenneth Slessor. (Neil quoted the poem below the train haiku sequence I posted yesterday.)

I searched Kenneth Slessor’s name and found a number of his poems. One of them titled “Earth-Visitors” caught my eye. I read it, loved it, and one line from it inspired my poem below.

(I’ve given you two urls after my poem, the first for info about him and links to many of his poems, and the second to “Earth-Visitors”)

Slessor’s poem is mythological, almost magical. While writing my poem in response, I found myself hoping that somewhere among the galaxies other beings are doing better at loving one…


Jun 30, 2020


Today I briefly visit an informal, old train-car outdoor storage area. Cars marked from all over the country sit rusting on a siding. The rails of the main track alongside them are shiny, so it must still be in occasional use. Most of the cars are deteriorating badly, although one looks like it’s in some stage of renovation. Looking at them, I’m reminded of the time when train travel dominated the country—maybe a bit in my childhood, but not since.

In the 1990s when my late husband Bill and I lived in a little adobe house in Santa Fe, a short spur between Lamy, NM, and Santa Fe ran behind our back yard. Sometimes a gorgeous luxury train woul…


Jun 28, 2020

[6/26/20] I went out to the marsh again yesterday. Under cloudy skies, saw a young rabbit, several white and black ibises, many crows and gulls, and two turtles, each of them slowly crossing the narrow road to stop in the sandy soil at the roadside and dig a hole with their hind feet. But I also saw two dead turtles, shells smashed, near the road’s edge, each a reminder that life is both unpredictable and fragile. Of course there are no guarantees, yet we need to keep going, determined to make it safely to the other side of this time, this road. This poem is another from my new book, "A Prayer the Body Makes":

Two Meteors

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