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: 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.

How Now Brown Cow?

 Can you relate to this?

Thanks to my daughter, Colleen, for sharing this with me.


Alas, the calendar pages keep turning and I am thankful we made it to October! Feels like an accomplishment. 2020 has been a doozy. (Massive understatement.) 

No matter where we are in the world, we've had to bob and weave our way around some crazy circumstances this year. 

As for the cows here in the Switzerland, they've had to chew and moo anew.

This calf was born literally minutes before Joe took this pic, just up the hill from our house.


The Alps make up 60% of Switzerland's total land surface. And being world-renowned for their cheese and chocolate (two of the most delicious sources of Vitamin "C" - see what I did there?) the Swiss take really good care of their cows. About 270,000 Swiss cows spend 4 months a year grazing on their summer Alpine pastures* and then return to their winter barns in late September/early October. 

Since 3000 BC, this 'when the cows come home' special occasion, called Alpabzug (which literally translates to Alpine departure), has been marked by belled and bloomed bovine parading down the mountains...

...and into the village streets.



Alpenhorns and traditional dress rule the day. And of course, cheese making!

Photo Source

Photo Source

But thanks to Covid, this year's Alpabzug didn't happen in Switzerland. The cows came home, but not to the pomp and circumstance. 

And without us witnessing it as planned. Boo.

To console (and distract) myself I turned my sights to poetry and humor. I found both in a poem I wrote in 2014 from a prompt my sister, Helen gave me. With a few edits, I took my poem to new heights. (Get it? The Alps?) 

Heidi was a Swiss bovine 

of the highest couture.

A fashionista 

surrounded by manure.


Heidi's exquisite style 

was in a class of its own.

An especially fetching look

was the moo-moo she'd sewn.


Heidi and her moo-moo

started an Alpine craze.

From Swiss peaks to valleys

cows wear moo-moos to graze.

©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.



And today Poetry Friday is being hosted by one of my favorite poetry peeps,

 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. Join the fun!





*in a future post (spring, maybe?) I will explain how and why the Swiss take their cows into the highest Alps.