Linda Whittenberg

I am pleased to share a poem from my new book
Let Nothing Be Lost -- available soon!


Frogs, a sort of mascot for my brother
whose friends called him Hoppy.
One of his tree ornaments,
a frog wearing a Santa hat,
hangs on our tree every Christmas,
near the back.

Flat fields of his youth provided
nowhere to hide, the sky was too close;
so he left muddy rivers, farm ponds
and sloughs to become a frog out of water,
exotic desert amphibian, trying to drown
Vietnam nightly at the Green Onion Bar.

He knew frogs, we both did,
from fishing trips with our uncle up north.
After dark, we’d go down to a swamp
and grab them with bare hands,
slam them into a gunnysack to be pike bait
next morning. We got to be good at it.

Once, during frog mating season,
we suffered frog croaks all night long.
What little sleep we managed was full
of dreaming—frog as changeling,
that metamorphosis trick they do, tadpoles
becoming something they’re not, frogs

turning into princes the way young men
turn into soldiers overnight. Making a joke,
he liked to say it was like spliced film footage.
One day he’d been a goof-off student
at Eureka College, next soldier in a jungle
full of Vietcong, quivering so much

it was hard to hold on to his weapon.
Brother, if only we had known the language
of frogs, then maybe you wouldn’t have died
alone and too young. Maybe there was salvation
in those raucous croaks, if only . . .

— previously published, Mercury, 2013—

Mud Season     "Skull" photograph     "Cowboy with Cross" photograph North on I-25
Heat     "Heading Home" photograph   "Screen Door" photograph At the Edge of the Garden


Let Nothing Be Lost


Honorable Mention winner in 2015 New Mexico Press Women's Literary Awards. Order through this website or on



Tender Harvest cover

A Journey of Discovery
A journey to Ireland uncovers unexpected meaning and sheds light on Ireland's quiet but pervasive impact on those who claim Irish heritage or simply a deep love of Ireland. Artwork by Lillie Morris.

Somewhere in Ireland CD SOMEWHERE IN IRELAND - CD
A recording of the poems of Somewhere In Ireland, read by Linda Whittenberg, is available for purchase or poems can be downloaded at CD Baby.

Poems in this collection celebrate a Tender Harvest, a life-time gathered into a cohesive whole, memory and the present sifted and sorted, chaff blown away, only what nourishes retained.  The book is enriched by photography by Teri Thomson Randall.

Tender Harvest cover
Tender Harvest cover

Dying Can Wait is the cry that runs through these poems, the will to flourish, to sing one’s song in spite of forces that would turn one wooden and silent.  Cover art by Stephen Counsell.


August 2015 reading with music by Carol Calvert at Brigitte Brüggerman Gallery on Canyon Road, Santa Fe.
Reading at Bruggerman Gallery

At every turn, roots; minute threads feeding grasses;
tough, hollow straws sucking life into cattails and tules.
At every turn, roots invite the question:
by what are you held and sustained?

Excerpt from the poem "Roots" by Linda Whittenberg