Wee Christmas Story: Gingerbread Zen

Merry Christmas! 

If the year 2020 was a Netflix show it would be described as:

  • Quirky (sourdough starters much?)
  • Brutal (on so many levels)
  • (at times) Sweet (Biden/Harris won!)







My gift to you is a wee Christmas story that could also be described as:

  • Quirky (Bob)
  • Brutal (food gets eaten)
  • (at times) Sweet (it involves frosting, so yeah)

Because, you know, it's still 2020.

(But at least there are some meditative elements.)

So pour yourself a cup of whatever will get you through the waning days of the year and enjoy a bit of Gingerbread Zen!

Picture Credit
  “Ho-Ho-Perfecto!  You will be the perfect midnight snack for Santa.”  

Mrs. Claus carefully placed the doughy gingerbread men on 

a cookie sheet. “Into the oven you go, my little Perfectos!”

   “Did you guys hear that? We’re the perfect gingerbread men!”  

    Gingerbread Bob looked around the cookie sheet.  

The other half-baked gingerbread men chanted:

    We’re rolled out flat,

    cut to look like men.

    Soon we’ll be eaten,

    time to get Zen.


    Bob didn’t hear their song.  He was too busy admiring his 

perfection. “Look at my stout legs and thick arms. I am one tough 


    Ding! Once baked and cooled, Mrs. Claus frosted each cookie from 

head to toe.  When it was Bob’s turn, he reveled in the cool creaminess 

of the frosting as it oozed over his smooth terra-cotta skin.  

“This frosting feels perfect,” said Bob.

    “Treats for my sweet!” Mrs. Claus arranged the cookies 

on a plate with Bob on the top of the pile.  

    “Look at me, perfect as can be,” said Bob.

    At midnight a shadowy, round figure entered the kitchen 

shaking snow from his boots.  

“Ho-Ho-Ho! Treats from my sweet!” Santa Claus bellowed.

    Bob wriggled with excitement as Santa carried the plate 

to his comfy spot on the couch. “I’m so excited the big man 

is going to see my perfectly frosted…”

    But the gingerbread men under and around Bob interrupted 

his revelry. They chanted again:

    We’re rolled out flat,

    cut to look like men.

    Soon we’ll be eaten,

    time to get really Zen.


     “Wait, what did you guys say?  We are about to be eaten?”  

    “O-o-o-o-o-o-o-m!” was their reply.

    Bob shook.  A huge hand took the cookie to his left. 

“Eek!” Bob squeaked. 

    A big thumb bumped Bob’s bum as Santa took the cookie to his right. 

Bob yelped, “Help!”

    Then Bob remembered his pan-mates’ mantra and tapped into 

his inner Gingerbread Zen. 

“O-o-o-o-o-o-o-m!” he hummed.

    Santa picked up Bob.  With a twinkle in his eye he said, 

“Ho-Ho-Perfecto! You are the perfect gingerbread man!”

    Bob smiled and embraced his fate.  “I am perfect,” Bob mumbled 

as he crumbled in Santa’s mouth. O-o-o-o-o-o-o-m…GULP.

©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.



 Hosting this holiday Poetry Friday party is a gift 

in the poetry world, Irene Latham.


What the Elf?

I don't need to tell you that things are pretty elfed up right now.

Because they are.

For all of us.

But instead of wallowing in the what the elf, I've decided to put my energy into 'Where's the Elf?'.

Meet Elfanza:


A sassy imp who jumped ship shelf to help us through this elfing season. Hopefully her antics will make you smile

Smiling is her favorite. (and Buddy's, too!)

Elfanza fell for Blue!
Then when others went low, Elfanza went HIGH!

She was caught lifting weights being lifted by weights....

...then sinking into the couch post workout.

Unfortunately she ran into trouble when rummaging through a drawer looking for candy...

...then she got stuck in the blender...pour her.

This choice of hiding place just wasn't cool.

Her favorite spot is looking over a picture of a Christmas-past (Colleen and Maureen circa 2004).


Today's poem was written for another purpose, but while pilfering looking through my files, Elfanza came across it and decided to modify it to fit her elfing antics. Enjoy!

If I bend, stretch,
coil and twist,
my rear and ear
suddenly kiss.
I'm an elf.
©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.
Today's consummate Poetry Friday host is 
the one and only Buffy Silverman! Join the poetry fun!

Yay, Snow...Said No Dog Ever.

OK, to clarify, THIS dog would never say such a thing.







Smidgey here. I took over Mom's laptop because I have something to get off my chest. 

And back. 

And bottom.

A sweater!

Would you look at me? The humiliation! Horizontal stripes no less! 

I already get comments about my girth waist size and then Mom dresses me in the most unflattering sweater known to man dogs. 

And for what?

Snow! The first flakes of the season.



You see, I am a bit fur follicle challenged

I'm light on fur, but heavy on...uh, well, just heavy. But not heavy enough to be able to frolic in the snow and not get cold. I lived in the desert for most of my life...





 ...granted there were coyotes, snakes and scorpions that wanted to kill me, but gosh darn it, I was warm. And my fur follicle challenges worked to my advantage

Anyway, this week I got swaddled in soft stripes and paraded around the neighborhood while it snowed. I'm not sure I will ever recover...

...unless there is say, cheese nearby. *drool*

I digress. 

Despite the snow, something good did happen this week. Mom got an email from poet extraordinaire, Laura Purdie Salas that had a really fun poetry prompt in it. (Sshh, don't tell Mom that I know her email password, too.) Laura invited poets to try a Biopoem. Poet-schmoets...dogs can write poems too! So here goes:


squishy, sweet, sleepy, smelly (ahem, using my nose) 

daughter of what my people believe to be a rat terrier and chihuahua 

lover of cheese, cheese, and more cheese

who feels cold without a sweater and humiliated with one

who gives licky kisses, waggy-tailed welcomes, sleepy snores

who fears nothing and everything at the same time (I'm a confusing beast)

who would like to see Colleen again, my people staying home all the time and the insides of my eyelids

who lives in the center of the living room in the center of Switzerland


©2020, Bridget Magee. Smidgey! All Rights Reserved.

Join the all the Poet-schmoets at A Year of Reading where a super

 cool teacher-poet, Mary Lee, is hosting. 

Rumor has it, there is a book about a dog there...*woof*

Wee Bright (and sweaty) Spot

Unfortunately the internet can be a dark place. With this in mind, I work hard to make my wee blog a bright spot for you to visit.  

Today I am talking about rediscovering of the joy of being light on my feet and getting my groove on! πŸ’ƒ

Being of, *ahem*, a certain age, I thought my dancing days were over. I did gymnastics all the way through my childhood and into college. Here are two pictures of me competing on floor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, circa 1988:

Split jump!

Back when my hair was brown!

Somehow over the years I've forgotten how much I LOVE DANCING

During the lock down in the spring I was looking to spice up my exercise routine instead of just jog, jog, jogging.

Don't get me wrong. I love to jog. I've been doing it for years...In 2016, when we lived in Tucson, I celebrated my 50th birthday by running 10 different 5K runs over the course of the 10 months leading up to my October birthday. (It was an expensive, but fun challenge.)

I do miss warm Tucson winters...


I continue to jog here in Switzerland (though 5K races are few and far between...and I'm sure even more expensive!) but I wanted to do other forms of movement, too.

Then my Colleen told me about a YouTube channel: emkfit that publishes weekly dance fitness videos. 

SO FUN! At first I saw that most of the dance exercise videos were around 20 minutes, so I thought, "The perfect quick and fun workout." 

But then I got hooked

Now I do about an hour of emkfit videos every day or so. I didn't say I was a good dancer (I am not), but I do have a lot of fun. And my mood always brightens...while I sweat!

Trigger Warning: Here is 9 seconds of me flailing myself happy:

Dancing at home is perfect for a pandemic, for winter weather, and for getting out of your head and finding joy. One more benefit? 12 lbs lost (since April) and counting...

Smidgey, on the other hand, does this while I dance:

Her bright spot is behind her closed eyes.


Today's poem is my invitation for YOU to dance with ME!



©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Dance on over to Teacher Dance and join Linda who is hosting the Poetry Friday fun!


my week in wee-view haiku


maybe a blue wave?

cautiously optimistic

I want to believe



unreliable polls

free-floating anxiety

four-year-old ghost



living in limbo

check the news compulsively

warily waiting



"stop counting the votes"

biPOLar disorder

"count every vote"



drenched in exhaustion

numbingly go through my day

is victory near here?



the count goes on and...

true democracy takes time

happy with result

©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.


(I wrangled my tangled thoughts into the 5/7/5 haiku form with

 mixed results. I used syllablecounter.net to help accomplish 

this task, such as it is.)

SCRATCHing the Surface

Happy (almost) Halloween

Oh my gosh, Smidgey's a squash! (reluctantly)











Life has been so scary for so long that the need for a Halloween Night Fright seems a bit redundant, doesn't it? 

So I decided to dedicate today's post to the wee furry friends often associated with Halloween: Black Cats

Specifically, my daughter Colleen's black cats: Odin (RIP), Thor, and Hela.




Hela (and Colleen)

And of course, Loki

 (Do you sense a theme with their names?)

Today's poem was inspired by my other daughter, Maureen's recent drawing of a black cat. She didn't really like the words on the official Inktober prompt list so she sought out the Unofficial Inktober prompt list and chose the word SCRATCH as the inspiration for this drawing:

Then my critique partner in the PAWC group (Poetry Across the World Critique group) and today's fabulous Poetry Friday host, Linda Baie, shared her terrific etheree poem with me - a form I hadn't tried. Again, I was inspired.  

(An etheree consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables.) 

Being "syllabically" challenged I used the website: syllablecounter.net to help me write my poem. Oh, and many thanks to Kathleen, another member of the PAWC group for her kind feedback.




slinks through grooves

scratching the surface

to record her own song:

a catty cacophonous

caterwaul with discordant tones

undercutting her subtle furtive

felinosis known as Cat Scratch Fever.

©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.



Smidgey was jealous out of her gourd (see what I did there?) of all the kitty attention so she wanted to be a part of Maureen's impromptu Halloween costume...The Headless Horse(wo)man.







Bonus Treats: Two more reasons why I love the Biden/Harris ticket:

πŸ’– Jill and Joe Biden share the same wedding anniversary as my Joe and I: June 17th

πŸŽ‚ Kamala Harris and I share the same birthday: October 20th

Many, many more Poetry Friday treats can be found at Teacher Dance where the aforementioned lovely Linda is hosting a COVID safe Halloween celebration. Join us!

Cake, Cake, and Icing on the Cake

πŸŽ‚ Wee-member WAY back to the month February? (I know, it feels like 1,000,000 years ago.)  I shared an event that TAKES THE CAKE for making a BIG cake. And now, a World Record.







To wee-fresh your memory, here's a recap of the story: the Canton (equivalent to a state) where we live here in Switzerland is called Zug. It is an area known for growing cherries.

Local crop...yum!




And located in Zug is a bakery called Speck which is known for their Kirschtorte (cherry cake). 

At the end of January 2020 they celebrate their 125th anniversary by making the largest cherry cake from the crust up in the middle of a shopping mall. (Remember life before COVID?

Our family witnessed this amazing feat and took these pictures to share:

Pouring cherry liqueur from a watering can.




I am happy to report that Speck officially won the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest cherry cake! The final product weighed in at a whopping 241 kilograms

  • 18kg of butter
  • 23 kg of flour
  • over 900 eggs
  • almost 100 liters of cherry liqueur (Kirsch)

πŸŽ‚  Now for a bit of Birthday Cake cheer. Earlier this week, Joe baked me a lovely chocolate cake and then he and Maureen sang to me to celebrate my birthday. Unfortunately Colleen couldn't join us (distance and Covid) but Smidgey did her best to make up for Colleen's absence. Enjoy Smidgey's serenade here: 


πŸŽ‚ And finally, the Icing on the Cake this week is that my post, "Connecting to Readers Through Poetry" was published on the TeachWrite website! I am immensely proud of this post and would be honored if you clicked through to read it. There are some great ideas on how to unpack some basic poetic elements and infuse them intentionally in your writing.

Click here to read.


For today's poem, it all comes down to the crumbs. Instead of reading tea leaves, we look at crumbs and remember what young people used to do Pre-Covid:
chocolate cake crumbs 
scattered across the table 
ants at a nightclub
clustered and crusty
©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.
Join the Poetry Friday Party at Jama's Alphabet Soup where you will find generosity matched by few.


Good Omen

Ever see something and think to yourself:

I am so lucky I was in the right place at the right time to see this amazing sight.

This happened to me recently. I was on my balcony watering my geraniums and suddenly something dived and dipped right in my face! 

Hold on, was that a hummingbird?

Nope, hummingbirds don't live in Switzerland.

Then who was that flitty flying fella getting friendly with me? 

With a little research I found out it was an INSECT! (Check out this 3 second video I found online.)



A Hummingbird Hawk-moth to be exact. 

Not having my phone at the ready as I am watering my flowers I wasn't able to capture my lucky moment. (Shocking in this day and age, I know.) But thank goodness for Pixabay.

Image from Pixabay


Image from Pixabay

These bird impersonators are generally found in southern Europe, but lo and behold one ended up at my abode in central Europe. 

Lucky me! Apparently spotting one is considered a good omen!

Hopefully this means there will be a change in residents at a certain white house on 3 November!

Today my poem is for my wee whizzing friend, Hummingbird Hawk-moth:

























©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Check out all the Poetry Friday awesomeness at Salt City Verse where Janice is hosting. 


Orange You Glad It's Poetry Friday? Round Up is HERE!

Welcome dear Wee Words Weaders! 

Thank you for joining me on this fine October Friday in Switzerland. 

Orange you glad it's Autumn?

Orange you glad we're gathered here today to share poetry?

Orange you glad we have each other during these unprecedented times?

If you haven't guessed by now, orange is my favorite color. And my favorite fruit, my favorite color of car, my favorite peanut m&m friend...when I like something, I REALLY like it.

This is me two years ago at the m&m store in London - my happy place.

Circa 2017 in Tucson.






What is YOUR favorite color? 

I invite you to do a fun exercise about your favorite color. 

(I read about this in a news story about a TikTok video...I know, not a highly reliable source, but my results were interesting! We're only doing the first part of the exercise about your favorite color, the news story describes two other parts.)

Write your favorite color and 3 words/phrases that describe it.

Me: orange

1. happy

2. fun

3. an acquired taste

According to the exercise, those three words are HOW I SEE MYSELF.

Let me think, does it ring true?

Huh, I think I'm generally a pretty happy person. 

I know I am fun. (My daughters might disagree, which leads to the 3rd descriptor...)

I am self aware enough to know I am DEFINITELY an acquired taste. *ahem*

I'd love to hear what's your favorite color and what it says about YOU...πŸ˜ƒ

Full disclosure, I had planned on sharing a poem I wrote about a certain orange US politician. *cough-cough* (many thanks to Tabatha for critiquing it!)

But due to recent events, I decided to go in a different direction and as of Tuesday, I was poem-less.

Then Laura Purdie Salas' newsletter, Salas Snippets, serendipitously landed in my inbox! 

She shared a lesson plan for the poetry form called, Blank Is a Word

This form was introduced by Nikki Grimes in a blog post on Michelle Heidenrich Barnes' website in 2015! (I actually participated in that challenge.)

Orange you glad the poetry community is so creative and generous?

Without further ado, here is my poem: 

Orange is a Word

Orange is a round word.

On the surface it has

a firm, dimpled appeal

which suggests 

a sweetness,

but actually is the bitter 


for the ball of 

sticky juice

hiding inside. 

©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.









Today the Poetry Friday Round Up will be old school

Leave your URL in the comments and I'll link them in the body of this post throughout the day.

UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that my blog has been eating some comments

(Are the googly-eyed fruit staging a revolt??) 

If this has happened to you, please email your comment to me direct: bridget(at)bridgetmagee(dot)com or try again.  

So sorry for any inconvenience!

Orange you glad I never said banana?


Fruit + googly eyes make a great...

No fruit were harmed in the writing of this blog post, though all were eaten. πŸ˜‹


🧑 Sally Murphy is back with us sharing a tiddley-pom poem.

🧑 Robyn Hood Black has a poem from Sylvia Vardell's A WORLD FULL OF POEMS.

🧑 Michelle Kogan is celebrating Irene Latham's THIS POEM IS A NEST.

🧑 Myra at Gathering Books is sharing a poem from the book OF POETRY & PROTEST: FROM EMMITT TILL TO TRAYVON MARTIN in her series highlighting human rights issues and social justice.

🧑 Alan J. Wright is with us today with poems about people (none orange!)

🧑 Tabatha Yeatts has an excerpt from a poem by the newly minted Nobel Prize winning poet Louise Glück

🧑 Molly Hogan has a reverberate aubergine poem to share.

🧑 Kimberly Hutmacher shares a fall front porch haiku and some Poetry Fest info.

🧑 Liz Steinglass lists all the things she loves about Sylvia Vardell's A WORLD FULL OF POEMS.

🧑 Linda Mitchell is celebrating poet, Kevin Young's appointment as the new Chair of the African American Museum in DC.

🧑 Rose Cappelli tried out an Autumn nestling poem from Irene Latham's THIS POEM IS A NEST.

🧑 Ruth honors Louise Glück and shares a poem about her doomed Zoom experience.

🧑 Jama Rattigan has a colorful mind and fruity tastes as she shares I'M FEELING BLUE, TOO! plus a blueberry bar recipe.

🧑 Karen Edmisten shares the poem The Writer by Richard Wilbur, a poet near and dear to her heart. 

🧑 Linda Kulp Trout is sharing her poem which is included in A WORLD FULL OF POEMS.

🧑 Margaret Simon has an amazing gymnastics Ode written by one of her 5th grade students.

🧑 Fran Haley has a quivery poem inspired by an afternoon walk with her son.

🧑 Carol Varsalona shares poems that usher in fall and a link to her book review for THIS POEM IS A NEST.

🧑 Karen Eastlund has a poem inspired by some visitors to her autumn garden.

🧑 Linda Baie shares a poem about the autumn happenings out her window.

🧑 Carol at The Apples In My Orchard shares her poem that was inspired by an old cabin.

🧑 Laura Shovan features a poem from THE PAINTED BUNTING'S LAST MOLT by Virgil Suarez.

🧑 Irene Latham is onboard with another colorful offering - a RED poem inspired by a new to her Monet painting.

🧑 Jone Rush MacCulloch has an Autumn nestling poem inspired by THIS POEM IS A NEST.

🧑 Rebecca Herzog shares a few Poemtober treats.

🧑 Little Willow posts Autumn by Emily Dickinson.