ng-blowing-bubbles-for-paulIt is becoming increasingly clear that I’ll never catch up with all the Daily Post prompts I’ve missed this fall – despite keeping a running list and my best intentions. Instead, I’ll insinuate the first four of December into a single reflection. See if you agree that I’ve hit upon echo, relax, panoply and sacred  – without ever naming any one of these things outright!!

[Full Disclosure: The initial inspiration for my writing came from Gary Johnson’s poem, ‘December:’  my hopes and fears are met/In this small singer holding onto my hand.]


My hopes (and fears) are met
in this small singer
the one snuggled into my neck
begging ‘baby song, baby song!’

and later, sprawled across my lap,
more song, OK’ his nodded approval
wide as any door of hope embracing
the rhythms and modulations of comfort

and blessed joy, myriad notes
running up scale and down, harmonies
and rounds joining the balance of us
in heartfelt song no matter the season.

It is song that holds my hopes
met in this small child, son of my son,
who gently strokes my head,
the ‘ruff’ cast on my arm, his blue eyes

saucer size gazing right into mine
with concern only a toddler can beam
an ancient knowing shared with the dog
to whom he patiently reads ‘Ginger Boy’

helpfully explaining its pictures
in single syllables to the baffled dog,
the young boy charmed at having mastered
the flow of the tale, its lines a music

of its own, rhythm and cadence
lilting through his just-learning-words
speech that rises and falls with his grasp
of a phrase returning from his mouth to the air

among bubbles rising from soapy hands
and the breathy support of elders circled
and circling this golden boy, our hopes
far outweighing our fears.

We’ll stick with the hopes, thanks
to the sweet voice of request and laughter,
the sing-song renditions of spiders and rowboats
an entire world unfolding from A to Z

through song and story by this young singer
holding my hand, and my heart.

swb, 12.1.16

my new chapbook!


cover photo by anne-marie littenberg, with my gratitude

Finishing Line Press announces pre-publication sales of Slow Blooming Gratitudes by Sarah W. Bartlett, a finalist in the New Women’s Voices Series.

“…This chapbook is that rare combination of heart-mind-soul-intellect—masterfully crafted verse that reaches outward from the page, extending the hand of welcome to each reader.” – Cynthia Brackett-Vincent, publisher and editor, the Aurorean poetry journal

“Sarah Bartlett’s Slow Blooming Gratitudes is near religion in its capacity to offer solace and acceptance in times of adversity… And she does so in language that seeps into the reader like a slow, soft massage… Buy it, read it and keep it close by. – Ellaraine Lockie, award-winning poet, nonfiction author, contest judge, educator

From now through January 20, the book is available for pre-order at Finishing Line Press. Publication depends entirely upon these pre-order sales. The title will not be available on Amazon until after its March 10 release.

You can order the book at 

I would appreciate your order, as well as sharing the information with friends who might enjoy giving or receiving it as a holiday gift.

Many thanks. And please do leave me comments after you read some or all of it. I always enjoy hearing how my words affect my readers.