Ted Kooser

The Ring Toss Lady Breaks a Five, poem by Mark Kraushaar | Ted Kooser

Who hasn’t wished he or she could talk to a carnival worker and find out what their lives are like? Everybody, perhaps, but the carnival workers. Here’s a poem by Mark Kraushaar of Wisconsin that captures one of those lives.

In Childhood | Poem by Sarah A. Chavez

Sarah A. Chavez is a California poet, and here she writes about the yearning of children to find, amidst the clutter of adult life, places they can call their own.

Dog Bite, poem by April Lindner | Ted Kooser

April Lindner is a poet living in Pennsylvania who has written a number of fine poems about parenting. Here’s an example that shows us just one of the many hazards of raising a child.

Creek-Song by Shari Wagner | Ted Kooser

Here’s a poem by an Indiana poet, Shari Wagner, that has a delightful time describing the many sounds of running water.

Bread by Richard Levine | Ted Kooser

The bread of life, well, what is it, anyway? Family, community, faith? Here’s a lovely reminiscence about the way in which bread brings us together, by Richard Levine, who lives in Brooklyn.

Sparklers by Barbara Crooker | Ted Kooser

I’m especially fond of sparklers because they were among the very few fireworks we could obtain in Iowa when I was a boy.

Sixth Grade, by Jeanie Greensfelder | Ted Kooser

When a poem has a strong story to tell, the simplest and most direct language is often the best choice because the poet may not want literary effects to get in the way of the message.

School | Poem by Daniel J. Langton

It’s the time of the year for school supplies, and here’s a poem by Daniel J. Langton about just one of the items you’ll need to pick up. Langton lives in San Francisco.

Centrifugal | Poem by Douglas S. Jones

Here’s a delightful poem by Douglas S. Jones about a bicycle rider sharing his bike with a spider. Jones lives in Michigan and spiders live just about everywhere

Violet’s Wash, poem by Diane Gilliam Fisher |Ted Kooser

Diane Gilliam Fisher has published a book called Kettle Bottom that portrays the hard life of the West Virginia coal camps. Here is just one of her evocative poems.

On the Way to the Airport, by Donna Spector | Ted Kooser

Parents and children. Sometimes it seems that’s all there is to life. In this poem Donna Spector gives us a ride that many of us may have taken, hanging on for dear life.

First Morel, by Amy Fleury | Ted Kooser

Let’s celebrate the first warm days of spring with a poem for mushroom hunters, this one by Amy Fleury.

This Morning I Could Do A Thousand Things, by Robert Hedin | Ted Kooser

I was born in April and have never agreed with T.S. Eliot that it is “the cruellest month.” Why would I want to have been born from that? Here’s Robert Hedin, who lives in Minnesota, showing us what April can be like once Eliot is swept aside.

After Filing for Divorce by Chelsea Rathburn | Ted Kooser

Love poems written in the sonnet form, all hearts and flowers, are a dime a dozen, so it’s a delight to see a poet coming at the sonnet from the flip side.

Winter Sunrise Outside a Café, by Joseph Hutchison | Ted Kooser

Anyone who has followed this column since its introduction in 2005 knows how much I like poems that describe places.

A Grandfather, poem by Marie Thurmer | Ted Kooser

There are thousands of poems about caring for the old, but I have never before seen one like this, in which a caregiver wades with an elderly person out into deep water, literally and figuratively. It’s by Marie Thurmer, a poet now living in Nebraska.

Noguchi’s Fountain, poem by Helen T. Glenn | Ted Kooseer

Here’s a fine poem about the stages of grief by Helen T. Glenn, who lives in Florida.

First Night, poem by D. Nurkse | Ted Kooser

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have been new parents will recognize the way in which everything seems to relate to a baby, who has by her arrival suddenly made the world surround her. D. Nurkse lives in Brooklyn

Grubbing | Poem by Gabriel Spera

One of the first things an aspiring writer must learn is to pay attention, to look intently at what is going on. Here’s a good example of a poem by Gabriel Spera, a Californian, that wouldn’t have been possible without close observation.

Old Men Pitching Horseshoes | Poem by X.J. Kennedy

One of the most distinctive sounds in small-town America is the chiming of horseshoe pitching. A friend always carries a pair in the trunk of his car.