Thursday, January 17, 2019

Poetry Friday Jan 18th

Good Poetry Friday Everyone,

This weeks round-up is hosted by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Enjoy the links to lots and lots more poetry.

I'm not sure how many of my poetry friends know that some of my children came into my family by way of adoption from China. Since those days of growing my family I've been attracted to Asian literature--specifically Chinese literature. I collected lots of books, games, puzzles, DVDs when the kids were small. 

When I saw this reading challenge offered this week on twitter I joined it.

My goal is panda level (31-40 books). One of my kids is from very near the biggest panda sanctuary in it's fitting. I haven't started reading yet. But, I have some time this weekend. I would love your recommendations for reading of any level or genre that fits the challenge.

I am most fortunate to have received Happy New Year greetings in this year's Post Card Exchange hosted by Jone McCulloch. Each postcard represents the sender perfectly and reminds me of the benefits of belonging to this community. Thank you, everyone!  

I'm sharing my postcard treasures so that you can have the goodness too....
Mary Lee Hahn:

Michelle Kogan:
Irene Latham:

Diane Mayr:

Molly Hogan:
Jone Rush MacCulloch:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Soaring Earth -- Book Review

Happy Poetry Friday!

This week's Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by the energetic and prolific writer, Kat Apel. I love what Kat brings to the table. Fresh ideas, real experience with readers and writers and a dash of fun. Thanks so much for hosting this week, Kat.

I just finished reading Soaring Earth: A companion memoir to Enchanted Air by our Young People's Poet Laureate, Margarita Engle (Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2018). Check out Anansesem's cover reveal of the book and the author's writing goals that made it happen in the link below.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

I started reading slowly, with every intention of pacing myself. But, with most of Margarita's books, I got hooked....and read past my bedtime, again. 

The word that comes to mind as I read Soaring Earth is brave. 

Below are some of quotations from poems that made me feel a part of this memoir also. 

Magic, that.

p. 9
Reaching back into one's former self as an observer and recorder is brave. Margarita gives a glimpse into her life as a high school student in love with books and boys. Her intelligence and love of learning set her apart from many of her peers in a way that landed her at Berkeley as an extra-young freshman in  the nineteen-sixties. 


The era was not one to protect young people. So many were dying in Vietnam, protesting the war at home, trying to make sense of assassinations and unrest. Throughout it all, Margarita leans on Quaker strength and her curious mind to move forward, find friends, live a peaceful life. It was not easy. There were dangers. She had good fortune. She worked hard and persevered. She did not fall off the spinning earth.

p. 151

Beautiful cover art was created by Cuban American artist, Edel Rodriguez. I played with it a little bit in setting the quotations in it. It suits the book perfectly.

I sincerely hope Poetry Friday friends will make reading Soaring Earth a part of 2019. Its lovely poetry and incredible poetic memoir mentor text.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happy 2019 - OLW

Hello 2019

It's nice to meet you. We have so much to explore and discover and learn together. Come, sit and chat for a bit before we begin.

I'm heading into this future with one-little-word. This word has been on my mind in one form or another for some time. For a while it was steadfast, then persistence....and then patience. But, my friend, Diane warned me to never to pray for patience lest I be tested by it. I thought about "present" but that seemed too much on the 'mindfulness' bandwagon for us.

See...I want to be active and seeking in this future that we are entering together. I am looking to be...


Yes, my one little word for our time together is true. I hope you like it. Or, I hope it grows on you and me until we ... are true together.

Ready? I'll drive. Get your coat.

Truth Serum

We made it from the ground-up corn in the old back pasture.
Pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence,   
popped it right in.
That frog song wanting nothing but echo?   
We used that.
Stirred it widely. Noticed the clouds while stirring.
Called upon our ancient great aunts and their long slow eyes   
of summer. Dropped in their names.   
Added a mint leaf now and then   
to hearten the broth. Added a note of cheer and worry.   
Orange butterfly between the claps of thunder?   
Perfect. And once we had it,
had smelled and tasted the fragrant syrup,   
placing the pan on a back burner for keeping,   
the sorrow lifted in small ways.
We boiled down the lies in another pan till they disappeared.
We washed that pan.

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Truth Serum” from 
You and Yours. Copyright © 2005 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., You & Yours (BOA Editions Ltd., 2005)

Truth Serum

By Linda Mitchell

I’m making truth serum
in this new year.
Cookbooks, magazines,
my usual recipe sources lack
just-right ingredients.
Except poetry--
Some language is flowy
and measurements unfamiliar
but I can work with it.
Frozen, sharp words
slap against my door.
They make my nose run
and ears ache when I step out.
Ice and snow cover
my mailbox where--
an old fashioned letter
addressed in a warm hand sits.
It advises some elements
aren’t available just yet.
Wait, the letter implores.
Truth cannot be hurried.

Visit Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children for a proper round-up of poetry this week. 

Thank you for hosting, Sylvia. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Celebrating the Short: 15 Words or Less with Laura Salas

Oh, look! it's the last Poetry Friday of 2018

Whew, did that sneak up fast. 

I'm wishing all my poet friends a most happy 2019. 

I've participated in Laura Salas' 15 Words or Less prompt that she shares early Thursday mornings (guidelines here). I enjoy the challenge of creating something short, complete and on the fly as I sip my coffee before dashing off to school.

15 Words or less is creativity I often share with this week's Round-up host, Donna, at Mainely Write. Donna shares words on paper and screen and heart throughout our year. 

Thank you for hosting this week, Donna. 

All photographs below are credited to Laura Salas. Words are mine. Enjoy! I'm still haiku-ing away. Here's the link for my contributions to #haikuforhope.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Haiku for Hope

Thank you, Mary Lee Hahn, for your now annual invitation to write one haiku each day in December. It is a beautiful mindful exercise. You can see her invitation on her blog, A Year of Reading

I scroll through my twitter feed early mornings until something  grabs my attention inspires haiku--actually haiga which is haiku with a visual (see captions for image credit links). 

It is indeed hopeful to spend time noting significance in each day. And, I've so enjoyed seeing other poet friends responses to the invitation as well. Search #haikuforhope on twitter to find more.

Buffy Silverman is hosting our round-up today. Thank you, Buffy.

December 31

Bain News Service, Publisher. Cafe, New Year's Eve. [Between and Ca. 1915] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, .

December 30

December 29

December 28

December 27th

December 26th

December 25th

December 24th

December 23rd

December 22nd

December 21

December 20

December 19

December 18 (bonus)

December 18

December 17

December 16

December 15th

December 14th

December 13th

December 12th

December 11th

December 10th

December 9th

December 8th

December 7th

December 6th

Schnitzspahn, Doug. “The 10 National Parks You Need to Visit.” National Geographic, National Geographic, 23 Feb. 2018,

December 5th

Robert. “Word of the Day: ‘Skyelly’ - of a Sky, for the Greater Part Overcast, but with Bright & Glittering Clouds Prominent, Often Glowingly Backlit by Sun (Scots, Esp. Orcadian; Also ‘Glamsy’ & ‘Skyran’); Usually Portending the Arrival of Bad Weather.” Twitter, Twitter, 5 Dec. 2018, 

December 4th

Davis, Jerome. “Found My Missing Files. Penfield, NY” Twitter, Twitter, 19 Nov. 2018,

December 3rd

Steele, Paul. “Gorilla Tracking Uganda - The Mubare Family.” Baldhiker, BaldHiker, 10 Sept. 2018,

December 2nd

According to google: The principle (of the wheel) was discovered, but the implementation of the object was invented - ie it is the combination of axle, hub, and bearing that is the invention, allowing a wheel to be attached to a cart or similar, to make it useful. “Today in History: Dec. 2.” WTOP, WTOP, 2 Dec. 2018,

December 1st

November 2018 was the month we lost our dear friend and stellar Teacher Librarian Beth Bowen. After her passing, her school claimed #BeTheLight as a remembrance of Beth. I missed her sorely at our annual conference.

All haiga in this post are (c) Linda Mitchell 2018 for December's #HaikuforHope invitation by Mary Lee Hahn.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Cookies, Haibuns and a Winter Poem Swap

Hello There, Poetry Friday. 

I've been busy this week--up to my ears in nonfiction with eighth grade. And, you know what? Kids LOVE nonfiction. They really do. It's been fun watching kids who "don't like to read" spend some time in facts.

And, I've been writing a response to the lovely Winter Poem Swap gifts I received from Laura Shovan who is hosting our round up this week on her blog. Many thanks to poet blogger Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for organizing the swap. 

What a lucky poet am I!

Berger Cookies
By Laura Shovan

Eight in a box
Thick chocolate icing above
to bite
Crumbly vanilla cookie below
to carry
Open wide
Your mouth awaits.

Last Poetry Friday, Laura shared Chocolate Haibun. I knew as soon as I saw her post that I would write a response haibun...after I learned exactly what a haibun is. A haibun is a combination of a prose poem and haiku. Sounds easy doesn't it?'s trickier than that simple description (or at least it was for me).

Fortunately, the good folks at has great information.

And, if you still need more step by step guidance try this link at the haiku society of america .

Here's my attempt:

Berger Chocolate Creams

Winter Poem Swap 2018

An ingredient label whisks me to sweet Louisiana sugar fields…
caramelized by
 frying-pan heat. Up north in Kansas wheat
waves ‘
neath sunflowers and the endless blue table. Salty
bring cocoa ships from Africa to eastern harbors…until
by the setting sun, drowsy cows return from clover grazing
to stalls of their milking barns.

A world of goodness
savored in every morsel
cookies from a friend

(c) Linda Mitchell

I am especially grateful to Laura as well for the tremendous developmental edit she gave to a collective biography manuscript (that's all I'm saying at the moment) that I'm plugging away at. 

Recently, Laura has begun consultant work for The Writer's Ally. Through TWA, I hired her to conduct an edit of my project. I got great advice, help and support and feel like I really can take this mess of words I've strung together to the next level--with the required work, of course. 

If you need help getting a project to move forward I can say that I had a great experience with each individual at TWA. I'd be happy to answer specific questions if you have them.  E-mail me privately. I'd love to encourage others to move their work forward.

Have a cookie