Thursday, July 13, 2017

Poetry Friday 7/14/17 Where am I?

I have been traveling.....about 1,200 miles in four days but so worth it. I have collected bushel baskets full of words and am happily looking over the harvest and enjoying the fruits of my collection labors. 

One of the places I visited has been on my bucket list for a while now....and I finally got to spend some time there. Can you guess where?

trying to the cottage or at the's one of those grammar snafus for me!

July 12, 2017
Ah, a rendezvous in the country
to the cottage
where it is as common
to greet a king
or a firebrand
as a sugar maple.
Here, life is a
vanity fair gathering.
Walking the trail
dreaming grand dreams
playing truth or dare
with our lady who insists
“You must do the
things you think
you cannot do

Where am I? Update: Hmmmmmmmm perhaps I made my riddle a little too tricky. I was visiting the first National Historic Site dedicated to a US First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt's cottage, Val-Kill. If you can get to Hyde Park, just a train ride from NYC and totally worth it. At Val-Kill, ER entertained pals, royalty, political operatives and diplomats of all sorts with country charm. She made everyone feel welcome and valued as a guest. She inspires me. 

Despite the steamy heat of's #NationalMacAndCheeseDay here in the US. 

Our Poetry Friday host, Tabatha Yeatts, at The Opposite of Indifference is holding a feast. Dig in!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Poetry Friday 7/7/17 Rivers are never ending construction zones

I live on the east coast but my mind and writing attention are still in my recent visit to the Northwest Pacific.

When visiting the Suquamish Museum in Suquamish, WA, I was completely taken with the small but beautiful exhibits...especially the one about the Elwah River. There was a line in the exhibit documentation that I knew immediately was going to be a golden shovel poem as soon as I saw it.....and it became the title too.

Healthy rivers are never ending construction zones

People of clear salt water well know that  healthy
dances with death and lifeRivers
and sea, sky and forest give and partake. The Changer* knows people  are
meant to learn this with fasting, prayer, meditation and ritualNever
was sun to overpower moon. No  ending
forgets its start…a longhouse was red cedar, before  construction.
Each chinook thrived in salt before thrashing current to spawning  zones.

(c) Linda Mitchell

* Changer is the name of God to the First Peoples of Suquamish

"Elwah: A River Reborn." Suquamish Museum - Featured Exhibit. Https://, 28 June 2017. Web. 02 July 2017. 

Hop on over to Beyond Literacy for this week's Poetry Friday round-up with delightful Carol Varsalona. 

Tabatha Yeatts at, The Opposite of Indifference, is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-up on 7/14 which also happens to be National Macaroni & Cheese Day.....she will be playing with that as a theme and we are all invited to cook up something to bring to the party.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Poetry Friday -- Goodbye Vacation

Saying Goodbye to Vacation....hello to Poetry Friday at Random NoodlingThanks for hosting, Diane!

Vacation found word poem by Linda....smiles by sister, Jenn.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Riddle Poem 6/23/17

My family and I are traveling this week...and our first day in a new city I couldn't help falling in love with the poetry all around me including a real poetry garden -- which is new to me. We celebrated the almost twelve hours of this Summer Solstice being together discovering a new place...can you guess where we are?

Have lots more poetry fun at the wonderfully creative Heidi at
My Juicy Little Universe

Awwwwwwwwwwwww, couldn't fool you poets! Yes, I'm in Seattle and having a marvelous time with my family....not only do I love these people. I like them.

I've gone a little cuckoo over finding cool words here. Yikes!

Word art by Linda who is really enjoying Seattle!

(c) Linda Mitchell

Photos by Linda!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Poetry Friday

I recently joined Laura Shovan's 5th Annual February Daily Poem Project. Still going strong after four months, participants take turns selecting news articles and ten words from the article for a found poem.

Linda Baie introduced this month's news article, Ditch the grammar and teach children storytelling instead.  as well as ten words from the article to use in a found poem. I took chance on a found...concrete poem with nine of them. Can you spy which one is missing?   

internal, frustrated, storytelling, direction, craft, territory, happy, robots, natural, stuff

Swing on over to A Year of Reading for some fun on the Poetry Friday playground this week. Thank you, Mary Lee for hosting. I'll play you a round of checkers or two. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Poetry Friday

Last week, I was intrigued by Diane Mayr's part II description of the Massachusett's Poetry Festival she attended on her blog, Random Noodling. The writing prompt given to her from the flower stall called to a love poem in me I didn't even know was there. 

Thanks, Diane. 

And, thanks to Buffy Silverman for hosting Poetry Friday this week on Buffy's Blog

After the Rain, it all Looked Different

We kissed, that first time. Remember?  After
the storm burst--me laughing at  the

sight of you slip-sliding in the rain.

Thunder chased us.  It

was you, glistening with August raindrops, my all

became your summer soaked face that looked

like love, and since then, I've never known different.

(c) Linda Mitchell

15 Words or Less

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Poetry Friday 5/26


It's the end of the school year....which feels like a hyped up version of the time between Thanksgiving and New Years. Between all the duties to attend to at the school where I work and all the events to attend for my own children, my writing time has come to a standstill. This always makes me grouchy.....which accounts for the haiku venting below.

For a much more positive and enlightened Poetry Friday....stop by Margaret Simon's Reflections on the Teche.  She inspires me with her words on a daily basis. And, is a good cure for grouchy!

(c) Linda Mitchell

(c) Linda Mitchell

15 Words or Less

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Poetry Friday Anniversary

First, thanks to Keisha for hosting our Poetry Friday round-up this week. Her weekly writing invitations have become a part of my writing life. A visit to Whispers from The Ridge is a treat and very worth the trip. 

A year ago, I embarked on a journey to a Highlights Workshop for verse novel writers in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. My time in that workshop was incredible. I allowed myself time to write in the company of other writers.

My question one year ago was, am I good enough? Can I do this thing of writing a novel in verse? My answers are what I shared last week. But, I'd like to allow a year's perspective of writing to elaborate.

Yes:  I can write a novel in verse. If I am anything, I am a goals setter--and achiever. So, if I work toward my goal of a novel in verse I will do it.

No: I am a writer. I may write a novel in verse or two or more. However, it might not be published. The market for all writing is highly competitive. I'm not sure I can write a marketable novel in verse at the same time it's in demand in light of the competition. That's simply the truth of it for many writers.

Maybe So: Silly things keep me from writing. Sometimes, I don't write unless inspired....or here's a good one...I don't write if I haven't researched enough. I don't know "enough" about my topic to write. So, I'd better spend some time looking up facts.....three hours later I look up from social media and my time for writing has gone. Maybe working on the discipline of writing really is important.

It Depends: Right now, my work as wife and mom to my family and as a full-time public school librarian keeps my plate full. Any writing I do is on the fringes of what time any of the hundreds of people in those circles need with each other.

But still....I write. I'm forever grateful to Jan Godown Annino at Bookseedstudio for holding my hand through figuring out the nuts and bolts of PF. Now that I've achieved a year Poetry Friday posts, I may take a Friday or two off. I may just read what others contribute.

Today's Little Ditty's writing challenge comes out of Michelle Barns' interview with Melissa Manlove: Write a poem that explores how writing (or a book) is like something else. Contributors share their work on Michelle's (@MichelleHBarns) May 2017 padlet. Here's my response to the challenge.....this is me....still writing. Happily.


When a poem pauses,
she places a hand
over her heart
sensing the matter
and meter of the universe
which is itself,
Free verse or rhyme,
sonnet or haiku
form matters less
than the half-life of each word,
                each syllable
moving through time, space
and consciousness
settling where it will.
A poem knows those gazers
with telescopes
and butterfly nets
jumping and grasping at
notions to anchor to a page
as finite as a constellation.

Gravity is such a nuisance.
Poem understands
creative arcs are brief
and glancing, fueled by bravado
and as much heartache.

She gathers the inks--
and pens of scribblers--
and sighs.
She knows.

© Linda Mitchell

15 Words or Less Thursday

Thursday, May 11, 2017

5/12/17 Poetry Friday

Almost a year ago, I attended a wonderful writer's retreat at Highlights in Honesdale, Pennsylvania for verse-novel writers. 

This retreat was transformative for me. Truly, my question going into the retreat was (and often remains) am I good enough to do this thing? Can I really write a novel in verse?

First, thank you to Keisha for hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up. I enjoy Keisha's weekly reflections, poems and writing invitations. I highly recommend a visit to her Whisper from the Ridge. 

As with so many writers, I learned that my answer is....

Maybe so
It depends.....

The attendees of the retreat were as welcoming and as encouraging as I could have hoped for. Kathy Erskine and Alma Fullerton are exceptionally knowledgeable and skilled teachers. I learned so much!

One thing that I learned is that I have more to discover about story crafting. I want to do this work. Happily, work involves reading lots of novels in verse. Kathy Erskine has a fantastic list of Verse Novel a Day for Poetry Month. It's well worth checking out.

When I looked over her list, I was mentally checking off what novels in verse I had already read and, novels in verse on the shelf at my middle school library where I am a Teacher Librarian. I thought that other verse-writers might be interested to see what's typically on a library shelf nowadays. Perhaps my catalog can enrich your knowledge. The photos below are screen shots from the library catalog at my school.

Please note....not every single title on this list is strictly a verse novel. For example, Engle's Enchanted Air and Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming are memoirs. Grimes' One Last Word is a collection. However, when I'm talking verse novels with teachers and students I include these because of the element of the story to discover. If anyone is a's a verse novelist!

I have more to say about Highlights...and my learnings next week when I celebrate a year of writing since attending in May 2016. But, if there are any teachers in the house.....Highlights is offering a $200 discount on a writer's retreat for Teacher Appreciation Week. Woot! 

For now, I'm Poetry Friday partying with A Teaching Life. Join us! Thank you, Tara, for hosting. 

15 Words or Less on May 11th

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Poetry Friday May 5, 2017

One of the nicest delights of #NPM17 & #wonderbreak is that despite trepidation over going public as a poet on social media....some really wonderful people shared poetry back with me. This came at just the right time. How did my friend, Gladys, know that I needed it the very moment after she sent it to me?

Join Jama Rattigan for some homecooked Poetry Friday goodness on the Poetry Friday Round-Up at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Thank you, Jama!

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

15 Words or Less

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Celebrating #wonderbreak Week 4

I can see the finish line! Just two more days of new poems and I will have met my goal. Woooo Hooo! 

Head on over to Teaching Authors for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Ten Self-Doubts During National Poetry Month:
1. I can't do this
2. This poem is stupid
3. My public posts look needy...silly and/or self-conceited
4. OMG! I don't have a poem for tomorrow!
5. I should really stick to my day job. I'm terrible at this
6. So what if I miss a day? Nobody's gonna care
7. What if Rhymezone can't save this one?
8. I love my thesaurus so much I could marry it!
9. I'm tired.....can't be creative when I'm tired
10. Why am I doing this again?

But guess what Self-Doubt? You didn't win! I have beat you.

Sunday, April 30th....the big ta-DA! If you can find it (tee hee). A Poem of Address after Irene Latham's invitation on Michelle H. Barn's Today's Little Ditty interview in 2014.

Saturday, April 29

Friday, April 28 Laura Purdie Salas' 15 Words or Less weekly challenge

Thursday, April 27 Michelle Barns & Kwame Alexander challenged us to a Clerihew at Today's Little Ditty back in 2015.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This golden shovel poem was inspired by the photo paired with it. The child in the photo is Randi and she attends school with the generous sponsorship of folks who have never met her but care about a little girl in Uganda going to school. If you'd like to see more photos of Randi you can at this link:

I almost got through National Poetry Month without a limerick? Yikes!

A Letter Poem. Another inspiration from Michelle Barns' poetry blog, Today's Little Ditty.
Photo credit: Ibrahim Najjar." Ibrahim Najjar - Sand River - Mara Kenya July 2015. N.p., July 2015. Web

Another Reverso after the form invented by Marilyn Singer that she calls, Reverso.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#wonderbreak week 3

Wow! I made it through week three of National Poetry Month. I'm starting to feel like that little engine. I notice that because I am sharing poems on social media with people I know and don't know that I tend to censor myself a bit. This week I attempted to be a bit more real at least a couple of times.

Thank you commenters. I've read every comment and they grow my confidence. The Poetry Friday community has been so very kind. 

Head on over to the exceptionally multi-talented Tabatha Yeatts', The Opposite of Indifference, for this week's Poetry Friday round-up.

Friday, April 21 2017. Inspired by Laura Purdie Salas' 15 Words or Less Challenge

Thursday, April 20, 2017A tanka inspired by Margarita Engle's visit to Today's Little Ditty with Michelle Barns.
Account, UNESCOVerified. "UNESCO (@UNESCO)." Twitter. Twitter, 13 Apr. 2017. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Cequina, Japoi. "Faces of the World." National Geographic. My Shot, 18 Apr. 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

A Deeper Wisdom poem inspired by Joyce Sidman's visit to Today's Little Ditty with Michelle Barns.
The Sower." Van Gogh Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017. 

April 17, 2017. A Xeno inspired by J. Patrick Lewis' visit to Today's Little Ditty with Michelle Barns.

April 16, 2017
(c)Linda Mitchell

April 15, 2017 Inspired by Jone McCullough's  NaPoWriMo Poetry Friday offering of 4/14

April 14, 2017 The translation of Ontario is literally beautiful water.
(c) Linda Mitchell

Saturday, April 8, 2017

#Wonderbreak Week2

Wow! I made it through WEEK TWO of National Poetry Month with #wonderbreak inspiration from Laura Purdie Salas. I'm doing a little snoopy dance over this because I'm on spring break with three teenagers mixing visits with friends and family and fun things for them to do. We fill our days!

Find the Poetry Friday Round-up with Dori Reads and have some fun. I apologize to poets that I read each week....spring break driving will slow me down. But, I'll visit at some point between now and next Friday.

April 13, 2017 Corning Glass Museum in New York State is worth a trip.
(c) Linda Mitchell

April 12, 2017 -- on the road -- kinda tough to get a poem complete. Haiku will do!

April 11, 2017
(c) Linda Mitchell

April 10, 2017

April 9, 2017
Vagianos, Alanna, and Damon Dahlen. "60 Stunning Photos Of Girls Going To School Around The Globe." The Huffington Post., 11 Mar. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

Saturday, April 8th
(c) Linda Mitchell
Free Photo: Rain, Raindrops, City, Weather - Free Image on
Pixabay - 2179933. Pixabay, 28 Mar. 2017. Web. 06 Apr. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

#wonderbreak April is Poetry Month

Friday, April 7, 2017 

A week and a day of new poems. Wow! I have been worried about keeping up. Week one is done. Now, I'll try for week two. Scroll down to check out any new poems since 3/31. No pressure to read them all. 

Please DO visit lovely and talented Irene Latham who is hosting this Poetry Friday Round-Up at Live Your Poem.
(c) Linda Mitchell

Thursday, April 6th. This kinda feels like cheating....write a haiku for a giveaway....poets can do that in their sleep!


April 5th (These are the jokes, folks)

April 4th
(c) Linda Mitchell 

April 3rd

April 2nd 

April 1st

March 31 NPM Eve
Photo Credit: Cynthia Lord --from a recent facebook post

I'm joining Laura Purdie Salas for Poetry Month fun with

If you want to know the ins and outs of National Poetry Month, check out The American Academy of Poets.


The goal? One poem each day .... inspired by a daily wonder. I've got the start above....but have no idea what it will look like when I'm done.

Take a peek at this week's Poetry Friday Roundup with Amy VanDerwater at The Poem Farm