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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Poem from my latest book, "When My Feet Were Small"

Just Morning

I watch the sun lift its head
toward the waiting trees
     softly break through
     the tangled knot of branches
and my breath stops
to live that moment
     when earthly time slows to a crawl
     to reflect...
that moment I've lived
so many mornings
     yet I never cease
     to be captured
     and again
     although it is
          just morning.
©2016 Kathleen E. Fearing

Monday, November 14, 2016

Our Country, Women, and the Presidency

A bitter, contentious, angry presidential race has ended, and I am saddened but not surprised by the outcome. I had hoped that I would one day see a strong, capable, smart woman lead this country, a woman with brains, intellect and savvy who young women, girls, boys, and, yes, even men could look to with pride and confidence. I am saddened, yes, by the outcome, but saddened even more by the rhetoric used to achieve this outcome. I am saddened by the denigration of women that is overlooked and accepted, not only in this country, but around the world. I am amazed, also, at the women who listen to such garbage and say or do nothing to stop it. Taking the attitude that this type of behavior is acceptable only encourages others to perpetuate it and increase the injury to women and girls. This type of casual, passive-aggressive behavior toward women is unacceptable. And I believe this verbal battery of women should be met with opposition at every instance. I was so proud of Hillary Clinton when she stood at that microphone before the world and said she was "sorry" that she did not achieve her goal. She could have said so much more. But to her credit she encouraged women to keep the goal of one day leading this country in their hearts, to believe that leadership can be achieved and should not be abandoned. I don't know if I could have done the same. I admire her courage, her stamina, her will to keep going. As a writer I will continue to encourage girls to aim high, to have a goal, and to keep going until it is achieved. I wish I could do more, but writing is what I do, and so I will keep writing.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thinking of Autumn

Weather-wise, this has been an unusual year. In Tennessee it has stayed very warm right through October, a time when we expect cool temperatures and maybe even an overnight frost. I have written poems about the seasons many times. Growing up in New England, and being out in the weather most of my youth, the weather and seasonal changes became an integral part of my focus in life. We waited for the first snow, the horrible ice storms, the hurricanes, the hot summers, and varied our lives accordingly. Living in Tennessee has created a distance between me and those extremes of weather, yet, I still cannot seem to lose my fascination with the changes in seasons.

Here is a poem from my upcoming book "When My Feet Were Small" which is about...yes, the changes of seasons.

Summer Wanes

Summer wanes
now the trees grow restless
shedding their summer fashion
and crickets hum a
softer hum
estranged apart
few cicadas cling tenuously
to the branches now
the birds too sense the drift
like a great thirst
spending more
and more
time on the ground
heads bent to grasp
what bugs remain
like bees at the dying bits of flowers
frantic to capture summer’s last honey
before winter descends
and cold becomes their only thought
though yesterday they owned the air
and all was theirs for the taking...
do they wonder why
summer abandons  
neither looking back
nor caring what she leaves
in her shadow...
(Kathleen E. Fearing ©2016)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Books About Friendship

When I started first grade (I did not attend kindergarten as none was available in my town when I was five) I struggled terribly with the social aspects of school. I found it difficult to make friends. You might say I was shy, for that was the label everyone attached to me: shy. But I wonder now just what it was that made it difficult for me to go up to a fellow first grader and just say "Hi, my name is Kathy." The answer is I just don't know. But I do understand that there are many children today who, for one reason or another, suffer from this same "shyness". It upset me when out on the playground to watch other children play easily with their friends, and I tried my best to be a part of the group.

As the years rolled by I found that it was easier for me to make one or two good friends rather than to be a part of a large group. So that's what I did. And I found comfort in understanding that the group mentality is not for everyone. (I still wonder at the many thousands of football fans who cherish being part of the loud, crazy stadium full of screaming people. It would be terribly uncomfortable for me to do that.)

So, in writing my latest book "Mr. Philo And The Otter" ( I kept the "shy" child in mind. It's the story about Mr. Philo who hates being jostled and shoved by people, so he moves far away to a little cabin north of north. Here he finds peace and quiet. And he truly believes that this is all he needs, until one very cold winter day, when the fish stop biting his fishing line, and the supply of fish in his freezer is getting very low. When, too, he meets a starving otter that needs his help, and on a freezing day soon thereafter when Mr. Philo is alone and finds himself very near death.

I think the story points out that being alone may seem at first to be easier than trying to make a friend, but having at least one good friend can be the most precious thing in the world.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The "Children live with" Poem

This is a wonderful poem/saying that is still and, I believe, always will be relevant.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A New Book of Poems

I have recently published a new, small book of poems I've titled "A Cracklin' Wind, Celtic Dreaming". It can be found at  I've dedicated this book "to all the passionate Celtic poets the world over, those who are gone, and those still with us. To quote Anam Cara, (which, in Gaelic, means 'soul friend') A Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O'Donohue, "All throuogh Celtic poetry you find the color, power, and intensity of nature. How beautifully it recognizes the wind, the flowers, the breaking of the waves on the land."

Here is a poem from that book, one of my favorites.

Salty Mist

What is this mist that follows me
wherever I am,
that smells of salt
and rings with cries of gulls
and roaring surf,
that pulls at the rhythm of my body,
my life,
swelling one moment,
retreating the next,
washing away a tense day,
healing wounds?

What is this salty mist
that lives in my blood,
as if I were born on its waves?
And though it is not on my horizon,
still, its song, its salty mist,

©2016 Kathleen E. Fearing

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Violence In Our World

If we sit back and take a good look at our environment, what we see and hear and breathe every day, we can come to no other conclusion than we are surrounded by, deluged by, smothered by violence, in our movies, in our books, in our video games that we buy for our children, in our sports, in our politics, in our religions (there can be no doubt that the Old Testament is one of the most violent texts ever written), and in our books. One only has to look to see it everywhere.

I recently wrote a story about a young boy who was very sensitive to the chaos and violence around him, and in the story I gave him some strategies to deal with it. I believe, in the wonderful tradition of Fred Rogers, that there are many children who shy away from violence. I also believe that it is the responsibility of those of us who write for children to show them that there is another way. We do not have to bully, to fight, to win that football game at all costs, to see bad behind every bush. Children need to understand that listening to other points of view - not only listening, but hearing - will help them to deal with differences of opinion and culture, and to ultimately, as adults, find other ways to solve problems besides killing and hating.

Every new television program I see being forced down our throats has some aspect of violence and hatred attached to its plots. Why? Are we being programmed to accept this as natural? I, for one, believe it is not natural. Recently, I watched a program where veterans of WWII were interviewed. They cried when they spoke of the violence they saw and experienced. Has our society changed so much in 70 years? Do we now believe this violence we see and hear every day is normal?

I hope that those of us who write for children will take into account our ultimate goal. Is it to sell books? Or is it to have children reach inside themselves to see what they can be? Is our goal as writers to help children think about the consequences of their actions, and perhaps to see the world in a larger perspective than the outcome of a sports game? I hope so.