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Hello there!

I’m excited to announce a new venture of mine, grounded in two of my passions: poetry and photography. It’s Haiku Austin — a poetic, pictorial ode to all things ATX — and it’ll be published in late April/early May.

Having recently been “made redundant” at work, I’m happy to take this opportunity to dive into this passion project head first. In a few days, i’m launching a Kickstarter to pay for the printing costs. I hope you’ll check it out and consider backing it. In the meantime, if you like what you see here (you don’t have to be an Austinite to appreciate cool pics & fun poems, after all) then go to the site and get yourself on the email list.

I’m sending out fresh little haiku every now and then, along with updates on the Kickstarter and the book’s printing. Feel free to follow along on FacebookInstagram, and  Twitter, too. The more the merrier!

I’ll still keep writing my Well-Versed Mom blog, as inspiration strikes.

Go ahead, check out Haiku Austin, and (as always) thank you for your encouragement and support.


Fever Pitch

Cedar ©CEStankiewicz all rights reserved
You should see Austin right now.
It’s sunny…crisp….breezy…and horrible.

We’re experiencing a major pollen apocalypse (apollencalypse?) — courtesy of the “mountain cedar” (Juniperus ashei) that calls the Texas Hill Country home. Thanks to just the right combo of abundant autumn rain and early winter cold snap, these trees are producing copious amounts of the burnt orange pollen for which they’re infamous.

Check out this video making the rounds on Facebook. A friend of a friend filmed it from his back porch. That’s not smoke you see wafting through the hillside.

The stuff is making everyone here miserable. Snot-streaming noses, puffy eyes and migraine-grade headaches are par for the course. All the free tissue boxes at my office have been nabbed. I even heard that two moms got into a kickboxing brawl over the last neti pot at Whole Foods.

Some folks propose reducing the juniper population, while others want simply to eradicate the hated tree — an impractical if not impossible task, given that it covers millions of acres throughout Texas. Me, I’ve got a different idea, noted below. Of course, I’ll still be keeping the Benadryl and Kleenex stockpiled next to my bed…along with my new neti pot from Whole Foods.


My eyes, how they burn!
My head, how it aches!
My nose, how it’s snifflin’ and sneezin’!

My throat’s raw and sore,
and I’m tired to the core.
(I suspect you’ve detected the reason.)

I’m popping the pills
my doc gave for these ills,
and I’ve begged for the meds he injects.

I’m suffering so,
because — dontcha know —
some trees are outside having sex.

Yes, it’s that time of year,
Cedar Fever is here;
In the air there’s a thick, orange-y haze.

It’s their pollen, diffuse,
as those trees reproduce
and we humans go ‘round in a daze.

It seems unfair to us
for no plants suffer thus
when we people do our procreating.

Still, I can’t ease our pain,
so let’s try to contain
this strong penchant for cedar tree hating.

Dare I now ask of you
to take their point of view,
these trees that are misery’s source?

We may hate how they mate
but it’s only their fate
and we have to let life take its course.

For this pollen persists
’cause these trees can’t resist
the power of nature’s sweet call.

You see, LOVE is the reason
for allergy season —
and that, as we know, conquers all.

©2014 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

A Limerick A Day – Day 27/28 – Is Spring Awesome? It’s Snot.

©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved

Spring in the Texas Hill Country brings balmy weather and bluebonnets, bleary eyes and beet-red noses. It’s allergy time, after all, thanks to the lovely trees and flowers that grace our landscape and produce pollen by the pound. It’s really a shame, because the weather’s just so wonderful right now — but if you’re an allergy sufferer in Austin, it’s anything but enjoyable.


Wendi Aarons is not allergic to cats.

Wendi Aarons is not allergic to cats.


This month’s second guest post/collaboration comes courtesy of the lovely, talented and sniffly Wendi Aarons. She’s a friend, a fellow blogger, a Mouthy Housewife and co-producer of Listen To Your Mother Austin.

Like me, Wendi is an allergy sufferer and none too happy about it. Below you’ll find her latest complaint in verse. (Here’s the NSFW version.)


There’s a tiny tickle in my nose;
Of allergies I’m in the throes.
Cedar and oak?
Hardly a joke,
When you’re sneezing from head to toes.

So hit me up with nasal spray,
Pills and shots — even Ben-Gay.
I long to breathe
And feel at ease;
It’s a-pollen to live this way.

©2013 Wendi Aarons


Allergies suck; I’m one who knows
how noses flow and suffer woes.
Like you, I take issue
with needing a tissue
so often — this season just blows.
©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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