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Rudiments of Life
Jayne Jaudon Ferrer

Here is a list of proven ways
to enrich your life 
and bring joy to your days:
eat mangoes, stand tall,
pick apples, play ball,
read stories, cook stew,
buy flowers, be true,
give presents, get hugs,
bake cookies, watch bugs,
plan picnics, write letters,
breathe deeply, wear sweaters,
fly kites, celebrate,
raise hens, delegate,
be patient, take naps,
ignore handicaps,
build snowmen, explore,
pray daily, laugh more,
ask questions, share knowledge,
go hike in fall foliage,
hear music, have friends,
if you’re wrong, make amends,
hold babies, sing out,
sometimes do without,
save keepsakes, watch clouds,
shun evil and crowds,
stay active, look twice,
forgive, check the price,
shed tears, keep your word,
be a little absurd,
don’t waste, have a plan,
save what you can,
floss, think pure thoughts,
say thank you, love lots.

A variation of this poem appears in A Mother of Sons (Loyola Press, 2004) 
and I Am a Mother of Sons (Pocket Books, 1996).
Used here with the author’s permission.


Jayne Jaudon Ferrer is the author of four books of poetry that focus on motherhood and women, one of which has sold more than 50,000 copies. An award-winning copywriter and freelance journalist, Ferrer speaks frequently to women's groups; her poetry and articles have appeared in publications ranging from Boca Raton Magazine to Christian Parenting Today. Originally from Florida, Jayne lives in Greenville, South Carolina, and visits the Blue Ridge mountains just north of her home as often as possible. Learn more about her at


Post New Comment:
Donna Pflueger:
What a treat to read all of these poems and I recognized almost all of you! Kudos! And Jayne, your poem will be my mantra when I am cranky from writers block or simply too lazy to get up from the couch - thank you! It will live and breathe on my desk, in my car and above my computer at home!
Posted 04/30/2012 08:28 PM
I am out to laugh more and watch bugs and clouds. A fun poem celebrating life. Jean
Posted 04/30/2012 12:56 PM
*Great* poem! Will share it with my class this Wednesday! :)
Posted 04/30/2012 12:02 PM
Definitely! (I especially hope to do the "raise hens," soon.) You've captured a wonderful list and presented it in a style that sometimes startles in its interesting juxtaposition of ideas. Thank you!
Posted 04/30/2012 11:58 AM
Wow! What a keeper!
Posted 04/30/2012 10:58 AM
Jayne, What a wonderful way to end the month of great poetry! Thanks for all you do(Great poem, by the way)!
Posted 04/30/2012 09:45 AM
Lovely poem, wonderful philosophy.
Posted 04/30/2012 09:16 AM
"knowledge/foliage" has now superseded "Orange her/ porringer" as my most cherished oddball rhyme. I say this with boundless gratitude (for the poem, the month, and rhyme in general)
Posted 04/30/2012 09:01 AM
nancy scott:
Thanks for a wonderful month of poems and all the hard work year long that goes into keeping poetry front and center in our lives.
Posted 04/30/2012 08:57 AM
Wilda Morris:
Good advice, though once in a while it might be fun to join the crowd at Taste of Chicago, a political rally or the ceremony in which your granddaughter graduates from a state university! I really enjoyed this poem, down to the last wonderful detail.
Posted 04/30/2012 08:16 AM
fun poem and excellent advice, Jayne!
Posted 04/30/2012 08:07 AM
Nabby Dog:
Each time I wondered what else the poet might add to her extensive list of wise suggestions I would be surprised and delighted again. This poem belongs on every bathroom mirror as a "to do list" for each morning of our lives.
Posted 04/30/2012 07:14 AM
nadia ibrashi:
Lovely. So many beautiful images and thoughts.
Posted 04/30/2012 04:24 AM

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