So glad you have signed up to receive the For Random Learning Comes Newsletter! This is the fiftieth edition.

Previous editions can be found on the blog's Newsletter page. I send it out weekly, so if you don't get my email on Saturday morning, please let me know! (Check your junk and spam folders too.)

My five latest posts are at the end of this newsletter, latest first.

This is the big five-oh edition of my newsletter. Hard to believe I've produced and sent out nearly a year's worth of weekly writings!

This week I have produced only a single poem, but after all the comings and goings and changes in our lives recently, I feel fortunate just to have my computer hooked up and working.

This poem, called Litmus Test, has to do with the recent Supreme Court leak of a draft opinion on the abortion decision before it.

I'm not going to get into reasons to be thrilled or incensed by the opinion, as you will be relieved to hear. This is an issue on which few people change their minds. It is almost as if most of us were conceived, having an opinion on the subject. :)

My poem is, instead, about how unfortunate it is, to have a single-issue litmus test of right and wrong, of us and them. A subject upon which we can "agree to disagree" seems harder and harder to come by, these days.

Anyway, to make up for the lack of poetic material recently, I've tagged, on the beginning of the links below, a few Motherhood pieces which I hope will bring you cheer. Happy Mother's Day to you and those close to you, whether they spend their holiday here or in the next world.

Even before the Motherhood section, I have two snippets of opportune fiction from years past. The first, Hysteria, is about the sometimes alarming strictures of fashion, and the underlying men's views about women, that give birth to such impractical and uncomfortable ideas.

The amazing outfits at the recent Met Gala made me pull this one out and dust it off (although of course many of the gorgeous gowns etc. were made by women, not by men.)

But it is important to remind the young that, first of all, moms did not, all their lives, wear mom jeans. And second of all, men deciding what women do with their bodies is not an altogether new phenomenon.

The second piece is called Manila Envelope, about some of the small prices paid during the Cold War, in order to obtain freedom. Even as we now seem to be entering a new chilly phase of uncertainty.

If you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet, I hope you will consider doing so. And tell your friends! There's a blue signup form on every page.

You can also follow my Twitter account, @AndreaLedew,which posts my previously published blogposts several times a day .

Thanks again for your continued readership and support. It means a lot to me.

Have a great week!


The links below will take you to the five most recent posts.

The blue logo takes you to the homepage. The section on English Majors has the most recent stuff.



{This is a challenge by Tuesday Scribes, run by Mike Jackson, to write a 150 word piece inspired by the photo provided.  Thanks for the prompt and thank you for reading!} The fashion industry would never be the same. Errionautics’ entry into the Paris scene was as abrupt as it was fabulous.  The producer of nanobots and techno-sleeves had taken …

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Manila Envelope

{This is in response to What Pegman Saw.  The photo this week is from Romania: Bran Castle, where Count Dracula is rumored to have lived.  Although my story does deal with the demons of the past, its relationship with Romania has more to do with its identity as an Eastern European country. Since this week was full of news …

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Maid, Mother, Crone

Like many poems I write, this one started with a rhythm.  I suppose you could say it is the rhythm of life, as girls grow up into womanhood and beyond.  I hope that girls out there, whatever their current stage of life, and whatever their choices have been, will enjoy this bucolic poem, set in a simpler, but no …

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The Problem (poem)

I originally posted this poem shortly after my mother's death in 2018.  Now, in light of last night's debate, and the claims that we are "turning a corner," even as we peak, at the highest level of daily COVID-19 cases ever, it seems there are those out there who need reminding, of what it is, to feel loss.  An …

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A Parting Gift (poem)

A brown paper envelope, Inscribed by you, addressed to me, With quaint, old-fashioned stamper-y: It lies upon the butcher block, Its letters screaming at me. Inscrutable, decipherable To but a few, your idio- Syncratic script Crawls ‘cross the bundle: Fraktur, shadow-sculpting. And yet, it trails both here and there, And deviates, not following The script, the text, the …

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Mother First

This is a nostalgic look back at the many sides of motherhood. A toast to all the mothers out there and all they do! Thanks for coming by to read. Waking at a whimper. Nursing in the night. Like my mother's mother's mother Did, by candlelight. Picking up the messes. Dressing girls and boys. Combing tangled tresses. Calming boisterous noise. …

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A blooming plant with purple flowers spilling over a white adirondack chair on a porch. Copyright Andrea LeDew.

A Tribute to Earth Mothers

I originally wrote this post in 2018.  I was privileged to enjoy participating in a co-op with all kinds of moms.  What follows are my impressions of just some of the many ways there are, to be a homeschool mom.  Updated for formatting in April 2021.  Thanks for coming by to read! In my eight years homeschooling, I have …

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A poem about the brave and noble and life-affirming qualities of some mothers, and how we honor their memory best through imitation.

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A pale pink azalea bloom against a background of foliage. Copyright Andrea LeDew.

Litmus Test

Two red tomatoes in a blue ceramic basket-weave bowl. Copyright Andrea LeDew.
This poem questions the wisdom of allowing a single test to divide us into opposing camps of red and blue.

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Clump of apostle iris blooming around Easter. Copyright Andrea LeDew.
This is a poem about change when change is needed and one of the best changes is a change in location, or transplant.

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Orange agapanthus, looking regal with pride of place above the water spigot. Copyright Andrea LeDew.
A poem about the intrusion of one sovereign state upon the territory of another, and about how the peace of our world is built upon this fragile concept of sovereignty. By Andrea LeDew.

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An old fashioned ornate metal door handle with a skeleton key lock. Copyright Andrea LeDew.
This poem deals with China's recent efforts to control the slippery coronavirus in its latest iteration, through lockdowns and quarantines.

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Summer Playground

A tourist boat on a stretch of green water on a sunny day, floating over a shipwreck . Copyright Andrea LeDew.
This poem laments the destruction of Mariupol, in Ukraine, and fears the worst for the rest of the country.

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