Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Over at The Penny Project Facebook page today, there was a nod to one of the world’s greatest authors, Dr. Seuss.

“BE who you ARE, and say what you feel, because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.” –Dr. Seuss ~~So do what you do & find what you find. Shout, “PENNY!” with glee…who cares if “they” mind?! Life is too short not to holler & play. So how will YOU make the most of today?!

It’s almost impossible not to be in a good mood when you think about the world Dr. Seuss created in his books.  Whimsical, fun & full of adventure.  Although sometimes the places you’ll go on your adventure will be a bit daunting and might stop you dead in your tracks for awhile.

That is what happened when I sat down with my one employee (otherwise known as my mom) to plot a path for The Penny Project in 2011.  A total ker-plunk.  No sizzle.  No juice.  Not even a penny’s worth.

At first it was disheartening.  Frustrating.  Infuriating, even!  Where did all the zip & heart I have for this project go?!  And why, when I FINALLY have someone willing to help me move it forward can I not conjure up what I need to in order to get us moving?


But then, in Dr. Seuss-like form…our ‘Booooos’ turned to ‘Yahooooos’ and something magical happened.

And now, with some help from Dr. Seuss himself (from his book The Places You’ll Go), I’ll recount the tale and the lesson we learned.  Just another day in the life of a penny enthusiast!  🙂

The Places Pennies Will Help You Go…

Dr. Seuss meets Ms. Penny Project...Oh, the places they'll go!!

“I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups & Hang-ups can happen to you.”

And so it happened when my mom came to help.  “I have no ideas!” I cried with a yelp.

We’d carved out some time to kick it into high gear.  To plan Penny Project success for the coming year.

“Boy-oh-boy!!”  I’d thought when the idea was planned.  But when we sat down to do it, we felt stagnant & canned.

No “boy-oh-boy” showed up on that day.  It was more like a Grinch-like place of dismay.

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?”

We tried & we tried.  We gave all we had.  We got nowhere fast…and then we were sad.  Is this what it’s like to work on something you love?  Does making it “work” feel like you’re getting a shove?  Or a kick in the pants or being dragged up a hill?  Like your ideas and your thoughts add up to nil?

Well…that’s how it felt to us.

Until Mom was stuck by a flash of A-HA!.  “What if we’re not supposed to plan anything at all?  What if we have fun and see where it goes?  What if we let it naturally unfold?  Isn’t that how the whole thing got started?  Why has that theory up & departed?  Could that be our way to success?  Not normal or standard…but it’s how we work best!”

“Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.”

Well…I DID always want to be on Oprah.

So we set aside our markers and pens…and let go of our concepts of losses & wins.  Instead we just played and did what was fun…cutting clips from magazines that could inspire someone!  We flipped & we snipped for hours on end.  Now THIS is how to make progress, my friend!!

And so there we were, at the end of the day.  Vision boards complete, having done nothing but PLAY!

We laughed our good-byes and vowed to do it again…but how would we count this?  A loss or a win?  Could life be so simple and lived with such ease?  Could we really just play & do as we please?  Would such practices bring a great life with success or would we end up just creating a mess?

“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”

And so we concurred that such was the plan.  To just get on going & to see where we land.  If the journey is joy-filled and causes minimal fuss, ANY destination is just fine with us!


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I find pennies to be my little angels...always letting me know I'm on the right path. Do you believe in penny angels?!

I found the following poem on a religious website.  I’ve always found pennies to be little angels of encouragement or assurance, so I thought I’d share it!

Do you take a moment to count your blessings when you find a penny?!

I found a penny today
just laying on the ground.
But it’s not just a penny
this little coin I’ve found.
“Found” pennies come from heaven,
that’s what my Grandpa told me.
He said angels toss them down
oh, how I loved that story .
He said when an angel misses you
they toss a penny down.
Sometimes just to cheer you up,
make a smile out of your frown.
So don’t pass by that penny
when you’re feeling blue.
It may be a penny from heaven
that an angel tossed to you!

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Check out this picture of a giraffe created from pennies. Just goes to show…a few pennies can be interesting, fun, and even help inspire people to save the planet! 🙂

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My Dallas EF Class...believers (and even a few contributors) in the Penny Project! Thanks Grant, Carol, Lester, Kim & Jackie for adding with your finds & donations!

Literally, I told a group of my students about The Penny Project last week and one of them didn’t believe me! I was using the story in the context of how things build over time (in this case, their facilitation skills). I said I started facilitating about a month before I started The Penny Project. Then one day I looked up and realized…a) I’d become a pretty good facilitator and b) There was over $500 in the penny account. When did these two things happen?! It was a perfect way of explaining how with practice, their skills would conitue to grow over time…so I can see how it might sound made up!

The way I convinced the students this wasn’t a made up story was two fold. First, I showed them the spread sheet (seriously…hard not to believe me when I pull up 2+ years of financial data in 7-cent increments!). Second, I showed them a few of my text messages. I thought it was funny that I had saved a few. Little did I know I had stored 26 penny-related text messages in my phone!

I have shared a few on the blog…but the collection in it’s entirety is quite amusing. So, I’m sharing them with all of you and hope they make you smile like they did me!

Penny Texts:
1) “Odeto TrackCHange:I’mstanringatchangeonthe tracks. Dimes.Pennies.Ithinka quarter.IfonlyIcouldreachthem. Justalittlefarther. Stretcharmstretch! Oh shit.The train…:-)” by Chele B. on March 10, 2008
2) “I just said, out loud…oh, I need to count pennies…I thought you would be proud!” by Amy D. on March 15, 2008
3) “2 pennies on the way to work–heads side up!” by Steph G. on April 29, 2008
4) “My parents are visitng and my dad found two pennies and a dime for you” by Heather R. on May 2, 2008
5) “Now mom found a penny for you. It’s a family affair. We’re on a roll!” by Heather R. on May 3, 2009
6) “3 pennies today. 2 with my boss. He asked why I was picking up pennies. ;-)” by April C. on July 14, 2008
7) “He thought I was crazy until I explained what you were doing.” by April C. on July 14, 2008
8) “He asked if the charity was how to not get hit by a car when picking up pennies in the middle of the street.” by April C. on July 14, 2008
9) “We were crossing the street at the time, but we had the crossing sign.” by April C. on July 14, 2008
10) “You got a convert…” by April C. on July 14, 2008
11) “Dime at the metro. I need a tetnus shot, but I picked it up.” by April C. on July 23, 2008
12) “Got ur penny pic ;>)…found 30 cents today…asst scoutmaster found two pennies too…now u’ve got the boy scouts on ur side…:-)” by Chele B. on September 27, 2008
13) “Eoin found a penny” by Dan J. on November 6, 2008
14) “Deghlan found a penny at Starbucks…ironic since their stock is worth about that!!” by Dan J. on November 22, 2008
15) “11 cents” by April C. on November 25, 2008
16) “2 pennies this morning and one the other day. I am on a roll, that is why there is butter on my pants. Ha-ha!” by April C. on December 18, 2008
17) Fox news profiling family that picks up change and blogs about it!!! Last name was Humphrey. Talkn bout xtreme penny retrieval including leapn out of a car on bridge” by Chele B. on January 25, 2009
18) “Penny for ya” by April C. on May 13, 2009
19) “Penny. Dime. Nickel. Don’t mess!” by Sarah S. on May 26, 2009
20) “Just found $6 in NYC :)” by Illeny M. on June 6, 2009
21) “Add another .13 to that. All within 30 mins :)” by Illeny M. on June 7, 2009
22) “Quarter, nickel. Bring it silver!” by Sarah S. on June 8, 2009
23) “So nasty you can barely tell it is a penny. Must remember to wash my hand. Thinking of you sweets.” by April C. on June 8, 2009
24) “Today’s find: 3 quarters, 2 dimes, 3 pennies :)” by Illeny M. on June 10, 2009
25) “Penny, penny…dime!” by Sarah S. on June 11, 2009
26) “John-dime!” by Sarah S. on June 15, 2009

There’s been dozens more…but my phone memory is only so big! Thanks to my main contributors…you guys really make me laugh! And if you didn’t make this listing…keep the texts coming! They’re hilarious and will probably make an appearance on an upcoming blog!

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Ah, more poetry. In a message titled “Tennyson (Sort of)” I got another jewel of poetry from “Tim.”

From the daily walks, I do not relent,
On that errand I am daily sent,
When the wind blows, I’m often bent,
A good thing because I found another cent.


Father. Poet. Inventor of Pizza Rolls. He is “Tim.”

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Such a muse, the penny. Lincoln’s sassy beard. That lovely memorial on the back (aka–“tails”). Pretty copper color (provided the found penny hasn’t been trampled by busy feet in the metro or savagely run over by rush-hour traffic). You just never know when finding one will send you into a blitz of creativity.

And if you find something MORE than a penny…well, then you’re just driven to poetically taunt your fellow change finders. Which has a way of producing its own breed of creativity. See the lovely string of poems from dedicated friends of the penny…and those who just want to mock my dear old dad!

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I fond a dime today,
Did you?

I didn’t say it was good poetry.



Thanks for your bit of inspiration today – this has actually prompted me to try my hand at a bit of poetry myself.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Some poems rhyme
But this one doesn’t

Hmmmm . . .I suck at poetry.



Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue
If Lincoln were alive
He’d give you a high five.

oh well….I suck too.


And finally…my friend Julia found her first penny for the spreadsheet which inspired an actual poem that makes sense (or cents). Take note, you silly boys (not that I didn’t love your poems in their own, special, “short bus” kind of way!).

I found a penny yesterday a-walking home from work.
Sir Lincoln’s head was staring up, his tail smushed in the dirt.
His face was scratched up quite a bit but in all he seemed just fine,
for ‘spite the cars and boots and grime, that penny kept its shine.

crosswalk of 7th and Maryland Ave, NE.
23 Oct 07


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