Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Time to Talk

Dear Poetry Friday,

At mid-month I feel November's pull inward. Robert Frost's A Time to Talk got into me this week. Pausing work for the "luxury" of a conversation isn't always easy for me. But, friendship, I've learned, is more than luxury.

A Time to Talk
by Robert

When a friend calls me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, “What is it?”
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; partial gift of John Winslow and Mary Winslow Poole

Thank you, Mr. Frost

For turning up on page 66
of this discarded book.
My local library sought newer, 

fresher titles.
I have stacks waiting on me.
But, this November morning
I have set their glossy, square
corners gently aside.
Today is a gray sweater day

fit for tattered covers--
old fashioned words and wisdom;
and you've shown up
for this friendly visit.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Pop over to Michelle's blog, Today's Little Ditty. It's one of my favorite places to visit on Poetry Friday! She's celebrating the publication of Today's Little Ditty III and running a writing challenge playing with fun and funny words this month AND hosting our weekly round-up. I need to get my ditty written. Have you written yours yet?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Meeting Joy

Poetry Friday,

I've pondered over you this week...wondering until late what I would post. Keeping focused has been a task. I'm thankful that Irene is hosting our poetry round-up at Live Your Poem. Her Butterfly Hours Memoir Project has been rich reading. She is a constant inspiration.

photo credit: LwcyD Pixabay

Early this week, teacher Paul Hankins posted this interview from TIME Magazine on facebook.

A line from Ms. Harjo struck felt like I met her the moment I read it.

It’s important to have a doorway open to the place without words, and that happens more easily when you’ve come from dreaming. ~Joy Harjo

I extended our meeting into this golden shovel.

Meeting Joy

I meet a
poet from a life so different, a doorway
is required. She holds it open.
I admit, I hesitate to
cross onto her pages. The
truth of my suburban self out of place
  in wide open poetry without
property lines between words.
She’s patient in her way. When
I ask how to begin, she smiles. You’ve
brought a heart and eyes. Come
to the trees. They are ripe and full. From
first til last light we pick poems dreaming.

(c) Linda Mitchell Nov 7, 2019

Thursday, October 31, 2019

National Author's Day 2019

Hooray for National Author's Day -- which also happens to be Poetry Friday.

Why do we celebrate National Authors Day ?

As a school librarian, author's day is a bit of my every day. But, I don't mind officially celebrating. My hot drink of choice to enjoy with a good book is mocha-coffee. You?

Many thanks to Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for hosting this week's round-up. I appreciated her post two weeks ago, If I could write like...

My Sunday Night Swaggers are sharing responses to our November challenge.

But then, I struggled to find just ONE author for a mentor text. I mean, there are so many!  I dithered a long time.

Finally, I went to a favorite places to play with mentor text, Renee La Tulippe's No Water River. At her site is a series, The History of American Children's Poets by Renee and Lee Bennett Hopkins who were only able to complete four episodes before Lee's passing this year. Each is a treasure.

Since I spend research time in the 1930s I selected Episode 2 to find a mentor text...and oh, Carl Sandburg is there! His poems are pure joy to play with aren't they?


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Carl Sandburg


Halloween pounces
on black cat paws.
Rubs ‘round 
glowing orange
And with a hiss—
scampers invisible
into night.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Wardrobe of Dreams

I color store fronts orange
as children head back to school.
I offer row upon row
of princess glitter, frogs
spiderwebs and vampire blood.

I am a source to be reckoned with.
The last week of October
children age
 one to ninety-nine
walk through my doors expectantly
an identity
under twenty bucks.
Werewolf masks
unicorn horns
magic wands, black cat ears
or, leggings to outfit a lizard.
I am a costume
But, everyone knows
I’m the wardrobe
of your dreams.    

(c) Linda Mitchell

Halloween Leaves

Jenni Rodriguez listens to Halloween night.
Dry leaves
skitter and scrap over neighborhood sidewalks
catching in fake spiderwebs draped over shrubbery.
Wind driven whispers play with Mrs. Attleboro’s porch chimes
cause littlest trick-or-treaters to titter as they fill
pumpkins with lollipops and chocolates.
The duet of wind and leaves keep Jenni guessing at where
will swirl next. They brush her ears with burnt-orange summer voices.
Jenni Rodriguez listens.

(c) Linda Mitchell

More Swaggers meet the first Friday challenge:

Molly  @
Heidi @

Catherine @
Margaret @

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Recipe for Sky

At last...Friday. I'm ready. You?

This week two wonderful events occurred that led to this post.

First, my friend Molly posted a photograph on facebook that I fell head over heels for -- and gave me permission to use it as a writing prompt.

Then, I discovered Jama's Alphabet Soup  is hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up. I simply love the creative combination of foodie, photographer, writer and blogger Jama is. I look forward to each new post from her. 

All I can possibly do in response is to share a recipe poem.

Hogan, Molly. “Photograph.” Facebook Post, 13 Oct. 2019,

Recipe for Sky

Wash four blue boats
or, three skiffs
and one canoe
in river water.
Set aside to dry.
In colossal seasoned skillet,
fry several links of summer dock—
turning once

until tender.
Slice an autumn sunrise lengthwise.
Strain juice with cloud-cloth
into chilled metal bowl.
Whisk in reflections
winter-bare trees.
nclude every shadow
until softness peaks.

dock links from skillet.
on a silver tray
with boats, skiffs or canoes.
Top with whipped sunrise.
Spoon into individual
dessert glasses.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Appalachian Haibun & haiku

Happy Poetry Friday Poets,

Catherine is hosting our cozy round-up over at Reading to the Core. Stop by for a fill-up of her writing wisdom and craft expertise. She's one of the best!

Haibun & Haiku

Hot, dry city—means hot, dry, me. Tired leaves droop longingly toward earth. SidewaIks already crisp with a first layer of the fallen stretch like dusty tongues. I know how they feel.

I need a change of scenery.

My drive to the mountains is over four hours. I chase peachy-pink clouds westward along the highway and wonder if they’re such a shade in winter? How could they be? They're the heart of a shell, inside of a puppy's ear…a giggle...trailing along after this setting sun.

The highway grade grows steeper and shadows longer with my first glimpse of Virginia's Blue Ridge. Here, hills are cool and content. A first blush of autumn tickles the tops of a few trees. I stop by a farmer’s market. There are a few tables of produce…cash only and, bring your own bag. 
photo credit: Ria Algra

A man in a sweaty baseball-cap looks like he has recently mowed the grass is now slicing pears at one of the tables.
      Try this, he says.
The pear is crispy and juicy….sweet. I don’t usually like pears.
I handed over five dollars for only what my one hand can carry and ask, Do you have an orchard?
      All these pears came from a few trees?
     Yes, ma'am. One tree, actually.
     My neighbor has fruit just falling off his trees and he said I could take as many pears as I could carry. These are as organic as the day is long. Better for all of us than all them pretty fruit in the store.

buying a story

is a most careful affair

sample sweet cuts first

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Swaggers Write Xenos

Hellooooooooooo October!

In my head, I lift my face to crisp air, falling leaves and Vs of geese....real life is still pretty hot and summery in Virginia. That's OK. I can still sip a pumpkin latte in the air-conditioning of my car. Right? 

Our Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by story-teller and poet extraordinaire, Cheriee at Library Matters. Cheriee has been sharing bits of memoir verse with us on a weekly basis...and I always look forward to the next installment.

Since it's the first Poetry Friday of the Month, my SUNDAY NIGHT SWAGGER friends are all taking a crack at Xeno poems. This challenge was offered by Margaret. 

Xeno at Swagger blogs

Catherine: Reading to the Core
Heidi: My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret: Reflections on the Teche
Molly: Nix the Comfort Zone

 I was stumped on where to begin. So, begin with the definition.


I'm joining Jone at Deo Writer for Poemtober 19: Using the daily prompts for Inktober, write a poem each day. Here is this year’s prompts:

And, finally, I've volunteered as a Cybils judge in the Poetry category. I've just picked up one of the books and am going to dig in this weekend. What a "rough" job! :)  Good luck to all the nominees. I can already tell decision making won't be easy.