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published in Atlas Poetica: A Journal of World Tanka, Vol 20 (2015)

April 29, 2015

I am thrilled to have nine tanka published in Atlas Poetica (ATPO) 20!
The below poems have joined others on my “Poems Published in Poetry Journals” page.

unsleeping toddler
we sing songs
about our love…
the ancient light
is finally home

blessed is the one
who finds
the bottom of the ocean
with nowhere to go
but up

highways of sky
a measureless distance
how far
I have come
the journey ahead

after I trip
on the day
the balm
in looking up –
white poppy

labyrinth of days
stretched cleanly
I wonder
what a sibling
might have said

over the cliff
of clouds
a waterfall begins –
I am a fish
breathing bubbles

evening chill
I walk
a worn path
to the winter side
of the Sun

the time I thought
the emptiness was empty
and dismissed
the air
that lets me breathe

morning house
the cat and I
speak silence
listening
to distant thunder

Atlas Poetica: A Journal of World Tanka, Vol 20 (2015)

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New Island

April 25, 2015

Mother’s Day is approaching, and once again I am reminded of the incredible blessing of children. Children energize me and sustain me. In this poem, my children save me from becoming a crumbling mountain of exhaustion to something like a volcano of energy. They help me form the new island of myself. I think many parents and caretakers of children will understand this feeling!

“…The avalanche stops slipping
from my rocky ridges. My bones
pivot on gleaming new hinges.
I rise and run with my children. I roll
on the floor laughing with them.

I am a volcano forming an
unexpected new island.”

From Moon Full of Moons (Peaceful Daily, 2015)

Watch more videos by SongsOfKat HERE

baby steps

April 22, 2015

“I’m rocking you,” I said to Flowergirl.

“No,” she says, “I’m rocking you.”

She was right. She was rocking us with her foot as we sat together in the rocking chair, only I assumed that I was doing the rocking. Something small has shifted. So small I almost didn’t notice it.

Today we received a letter confirming her registration for kindergarten.

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My Journey to the Moon – part two

April 19, 2015

Part One describes how my book “Moon Full of Moons – Poetry of Transformation” came into being.
Part Two describes the book itself!

Book organization:
Moon Full of Moons is divided into nine chapters, each of which is named for a phase of the Moon’s cycle. Each chapter is a point along the journey from a simple happiness through a time of deep sadness to a new, hard-won happiness.

(click photo to make it larger)

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Each “Nights of” chapter begins with a page of micro-poems about that phase of the Moon, and is followed by full length free verse poems.

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Cycle of the Moon
The book begins with the “Nights of the First Full Moon”. These poems are whimsical and imaginative, and speak of a simple and innocent happiness.

Slowly, the poems sink into sadness. In the middle of the book, we reach the “Nights of the New Moon”, poems as dark as the moonless sky. At some point in our lives, we experience a period of deep sadness. The reasons for sadness vary, but it’s undeniable when we reach our personal New Moon.

We are not left to linger in the darkness! The Moon is a symbol of the cycles and balance of nature. Times of sadness often enable us to feel the true scope of happiness. In the darkness, we can more easily see the sliver of hope, which is the beginning of a new cycle. We can achieve a happiness that has known sadness.

Eventually, we arrive at the Second Full Moon: a happiness that knows acceptance, faith, and healing. In fact, I believe, there are “two kinds of happiness” (quoting a poem of the same name):

‘The First is the familiar ways we die.
The Second is the new ways we find to live.’

A book answers the question of itself
The last poem of the book was somewhat of a surprise to me, for it is the answer of the “question” of the book. I have often said “a half-written poem is a question still answering itself”. I discovered that this is also true for a book, and when a book answers itself, a message of the book unfolds in your lap.

Why is the book called “Moon Full of Moons”?
Just as one Moon contains many phases, we hold the many stories of our journeys as well. Like the Moon, we are always whole, it’s just that perspective can be a bit deceptive. The title ‘Moon Full of Moons’ refers to the complexity of the happiness that many of us achieve after we have experienced loss.

The title contained five Os, which I realized could symbolize a moon growing from darkness to light…a perfect logo for the book! I drew it on a napkin and again drew it on our driveway in sidewalk chalk while playing with the kids. The publisher, Peaceful Daily, had an artist to bring the moons to life and made my logo idea a reality!

20140601_MFOM sidewalk chalk

The publisher and I discussed colors for the cover and decided in the end that a simple, black-and-white cover design emphasized the beautiful moons. Still, it wasn’t until I held the first copy of the book in my hands that I realized that the book itself was a half-moon! The cover has a soft, wonderful texture.

MFOM final FRONT cover jpg

Readers’ responses
The book has been described as self-help written as poetry, and I’ve been told that the book has already helped people through difficult times. These comments have been an unbelievable honor for me and a reason why I wanted so much for the book to be published.

My prayer for the book is that those who will find a nugget of comfort, positivity, and inspiration in the words will find the book. I believe that my prayer is already coming true.

Review comments of Moon Full of Moons

Back cover reviews (click photo to make it larger):

back cover mfom

Reviews from Amazon:

“This book is instantly beautiful with creative ideas…One poem, “The Language of Beauty” is stunningly intimate for a poem. Kat Lehmann must be a dreamy wonderful person to write poems this magical.” – The Rebecca Review (Amazon Vine Voice, Hall of Fame, Top 500 reviewer)

“What a great book! Loved it! So inspirational and peaceful! Self-help in a whole new way! Like none I have read before. I really enjoyed it” – Gina

“Amazing! So inspiring! Take a journey, and venture from darkness into the light. Beautifully done and enchanting.” – Constance

Reviews from Barnes & Noble:

“This poetry is a poignant mirror of life’s joys and sorrows — a beautiful song of nature”

A sincere thanks to all of you for reading my words, for friendship, and encouragement. I am thrilled to finally share my journey to the Moon with you! May we all find our light and shine it proudly!

the beauty of imperfection

April 17, 2015

Read my full post on Peaceful Daily: Imperfect Beauty. Start a new cycle with the New Moon!

imperfection...like the moon

(photo of the beautiful Moon – craters and all – is mine, taken though a telescope with my phone)

A Hundred Gourds (two haiku and one tanka)

April 13, 2015

a comma
becomes a full stop
moonshadows

sandy beach
the happily ever after
once upon a time

A Hundred Gourds 4.2 (March 2015; editor Lorin Ford)

ways of leaving:
the yolk of the mind
the shell of the body –
all the king’s horses
helpless

A Hundred Gourds 4.2 (March 2015; editor Susan Constable)

alone at the beach birthday solitude

getting the cup

April 10, 2015

“Get my cup for me,” Flowergirl demands.

“No,” I say. “It’s right there on the table. If you want it, you can get it.”

“Get it for me!” she yells. Sometimes she thinks she is water and I am stone, that if she says something enough times, I will give in. This is not true. I have already been rounded to a good extent by life, and the divots she erodes are those I let her fill.

“You can get it as easily as I can. A mommy’s purpose is not to get things.”

But the cup, in this moment, is symbolic. She has created a false dichotomy about what it means for me to do what she wants.

I ask her, “What does me getting the cup mean to you? What does me not getting the cup mean to you? Do not create a test for love to pass. You know I always love you. Do not withdraw when Love does not do what you want it to do. That is not Love, that is Like. Love is this,” I say and quietly hold her. Slowly, she melts. A minute later, she tells me she is sorry.

This is one of the ways she heals me. She is my younger self. I get to try again, from the beginning. Together we can try to leave the anger behind.

And yet I wonder which cups I have expected Love to get for me. And have I built walls against Love when Love did not pass a test I created?

river ripple

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