Thursday, January 20, 2022

Poetry Friday 1/21

My mood has been overly serious lately. 

Ever get like that? I need a good laugh or a light-hearted poem to bring me some cheer. 

Monday is the American Library Association Youth Media Awards --but for me, it's Newbery Day. I love tuning in to the broadcast of ALA Youth Media Award Chairpeople announcing the honor and winning books in all the categories. I really do clap and cheer from behind my screen. Someday, I'd love to see the announcements in person.

For information about awards click here

Since the pandemic began, I've had a much harder time sitting still with a book. Thank goodness for audiobooks! I laugh at the reminders from my paid account for how many credits I need to use -- when they should know full well that I'll use them all up on NEWBERY DAY! 

This leads me to the silly little ditty below. I'll be thinking It's Newbery Day (even though the Caldecott and many more awards are also announced) until Monday. 

It's Newbery Day

It's Newbery Day
Champion books
are announced today!
fans cheer
and readers praise
on Newbery Day!

Which books will win?
I don't know
award committees
read books fast
read books slow.

Poetry, mystery
nonfiction galore...
picture books, comic books
audiobooks and more!
So many great reads
out in bookstores
and libraries
where interesting titles
are what I see.
Stunning book covers
fill me with glee.

Which are the winners?
I can't wait to see.
It's Newbery Day today!

(c) Linda Mitchell. Jan 22

Thank you, Tabatha, for hosting this week's round-up at your wonderful The Opposite of Indifference

Another star poem is shining on the padlet.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

La Paz on a Snow Day

I like this January!

It started out with a week of snow days. Whoo-hoo! My college girl and my college boy are still home at the end of winter break so we've spent time chatting and making food and watching shows together. College boy likes making cookies! 

We really enjoyed Street Food: Latin America on Netflix. I was delighted to hear some of the opening lines of the episode from La Paz, Bolivia. They led to a golden shovel below.

Thanks, Mary Lee for hosting this week's round-up!

La Paz on a Snow Day

It looks like the sky flipped upside down and the stars are on the floor.
~ Sumaya Prado

On the snowiest day this year,  i
is as cold as a mountain peak. The world  looks 
innocent in its fluffy white coat -- Christmas-card  like 

Cocoa in hand, I turn on  the 
screen and sigh at a scene of  sky 
over La Paz, Bolivia. My heart has  flipped. 

This is the delightful  upside 
of winter. I can hunker  down  
in pajama pants on my couch.  And-- 

through wonders of  the 
internets, visit cities, worlds, and even  stars 
far, far away from my snow day. There  are-- 

moments like this,  on 
occasion, that give my heart rest,  the 
chance to slow dance across my kitchen  floor.

Linda Mitchell, January '22. All rights reserved

Star and I continue to get to know each other this year. On New Year's Day, there was a beautiful poem from the Acadamy of American Poets delivered to my inbox. I enjoyed it so much I went looking for more poems by the poet...and of course, there was one I loved with STAR in it. It's over on the Star padlet. 

That's two...two weeks of January, and two star poems. Only fifty weeks to go! 

Thursday, January 6, 2022


re-cycled papers collage. Linda M. Jan '22

Hello, 2022 Poets,

Thank you, Carol, for hosting the first round-up of this year. The Inkling challenge for this month comes from Heidi. 

Read the rest here

This poem has lots going on with a rhyme scheme and meter and stanzas -- and its tone is of a long-ago memory for young readers. All of us charged into writing only to find out that there was an ingredient our efforts left out of early drafts. This, of course, made the challenge more fun! In the end, we encouraged each other to drop rigidly sticking to the recipe and just "write the thing." That ends up being the most fun. 

Here's my latest revision.


We sit on the stairs 
top step of today 
still in jammies but wide awake 
wiping sleep-spun webs away 
a whole sun’s rise to share. 

We climb up the stairs 
after a morning of play 
lunchtime yummies, toys put away 
Mom says, after nap time today 
there'll be long shadow hours to share 

We run downstairs 
into late afternoon recharged and refreshed, 
set to zoom to the swingset – 
we fly to the moon 
spaceship adventures to share 

We sit on the stairs 
bottom step of today 
after bath sleepy – still awake 
we read storybooks before we pray 
then sleep ‘neath starry sky we share.

Linda Mitchell. All rights reserved

Find more Inkling responses to the Lost Lagoon challenge:

My one-little-word, star, is on a new padlet for 2022. Right now, it's a little lonely single poem. Friends will join soon. A couple of snow days after winter break provided time for extra play-time at my craft table. Thank you, Mother Nature! Have a look at Star's new padlet

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

SJT: One Little Word


Re-cycled paper collage by Linda M. Jan 5, 2022

Hello Sojourners,

   Margaret asked us to share thoughts about our one-little-word for 2022.  

   I had so much fun with my one-little-word, ox, last year, that I chose a word that I could explore similarly in this year. I had several possibilities scattered throughout my journals. But, by end of last summer, one word kept calling me back…star. 

   Star is such a simple noun, like love or rose, I wondered if it had enough for me to explore for an entire year. But still, my word of choice is star.

 My process whenever I start out on any project, whether it be a  lesson, professional development, or collage project is to define my terms. I look up (a lot of googling) what things mean. I try to find literal and figurative definitions that relate to other things. How something is like something else or important to something else—the telling of that is an important part of my spiritual journey. I've learned that making connections is something God urges me to do. 

 As Spiritual Journey Thursday often puts my spirit in closer touch with my religious faith I decided to look up “star” in a Bible concordance. There are several free online versions. I chose According to it, star is found fifteen times in the NIV version and seventeen times in The Message version of The Bible. 

 Four of these references to star are found in Matthew 2:2-10 in the account of the Magi. This sent me in search of an astronomer’s thoughts on ‘The Star of Bethlehem’ in December 2020’s All About Space magazine. There is an online article one can read for free: ‘What was the Star of Bethlehem?” 

 According to the article, questions about this star are asked a lot during the Christmas holidays. One thing that astronomers agree on is that the “star” probably wasn’t a star at all. Theories presented are a process of elimination of why not a star. 

• Stars rise and set they don’t stay in one place 
• Comets also move—and at that time were bad omens, not something to follow 
• Novas and supernovas leave measurable remnants. None have been found. Also, without telescopes, these phenomena a galaxy away would be nearly impossible to see 
• According to Matthew, once the Magi arrived in Bethlehem they needed to ask—“Where is the king of the Jews that’s been born?” So, maybe they were looking at more than one star. Maybe they were considering astrology more than astronomy. 

 So what was that star that is vital to the story of Christ’s birth and part of all the manger scenes and Christmas cards and carols? Possibly the star was a conjunction…a conjunction is “when two or more celestial bodies appear to meet in the night sky from our location on Earth. These events can continue every night in a similar location for days or weeks.” 

 Ah-ha! Getting closer. Right? But, stars still rise and set. Planets move eastward in the sky (not west toward Bethlehem “from the east”). There are several conjunctions astrologers have been able to identify in the BC era…including an alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, the moon, and the sun…when Jupiter is in retrograde -- when a celestial being such as the planet Jupiter appears to move westward instead of the east with stars in the night sky. Maybe this is the answer? Maybe astronomers still don't know.

 The last line of the article made me giggle as the astronomer suggests: “ Maybe it was simply a miracle.” 

 I have much to learn about “star” yet in my spiritual journey. But, I see lots and lots of possibilities already. I'm excited to move into 2022 to do this. Like last year, I’ll post a poem a week related to star on this padlet

Lookout, 2022, I'm aiming for the stars!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

December 31, 2021

Happy New Year!

Thank you, Carol, for hosting a poetry round-up as 2021 crosses the finish line. Fingers crossed that all of us and the whole world are much healthier in 2022. 

Poetry Friday friends introduced me to one little word. I think 2021 might have been the fifth year I select a word to think about throughout the year. I couldn't tell you what my first four words were. They were adjectives I wanted to describe myself or verbs that I wanted to do... play was one.  

As I've mentioned, I've been inspired by Irene Latham's Artspeak. I love her weekly publications--that she somehow makes look easy. I made my o-l-w for 2021 more of a challenge along the lines of  Artspeak. 2021 was the year of the ox on the Chinese calendar. I took ox as my o-l-w with no idea how it would unfold or if I would have the persistence to write 52 ox poems.

As of today, I know that I could because I have!

Some learning took place along the way that I'm astonished at and grateful for.

First, the ox became an ally by the name of Hamish when I saw a funny picture of an ox named Hamish last January after a google search. And then we were off on our journey.

Lessons from Hamish
one-little-word ‘21 

 Life is trust -- increased over time. 

Alertness doesn’t wreck a surprise—
only richens the day. 

Sometimes walk, sometimes ride
friends help when I can’t decide. 

Patience, like trust, cannot be purchased
or forged. It’s a hard-won character trait. 

Simple is good, better, and best
a fresh air walk heals spirits fast. 

Words are intention, meaning, and tone.
giddyap mornings, evenings -- whoa

Fear is a predatory enemy
use one's bulk to face this foe. 

I am enough. You are too.
Living each day is the work we do.

Linda Mitchell. 12/31. All rights reserved.

There is a final haibun and haiku from Hamish and me over on his padlet. 
We both thank you for your friendly support in 2021 and hope that 2022 is a year that you grow and thrive.

I hope you'll join me on my new journey with my o-l-w, star. I've started a secret pinterest board of images, poems and ideas (many from you) that I will reveal at the end of 2022. It's just another fun way to enjoy the ride. Happy New '22. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021


Hello Poetry Friends,

Thank you, Buffy Silverman, for hosting our round-up on such a busy weekend for many around the world. You are a poetry hero!

I'm part of a group of bloggers that post once a month for Spiritual Thursday. This month's theme and writing prompt from Christine Margocs is beautiful: "waiting", with a side of "hope."  

I would typically tackle December's theme with gusto. But, words for a post have eluded me. This month has been busy and wonderful and full, held a few cranky moments, and, did I already say busy? I have wanted so much to just slow down. 

Now that I'm on winter break I have and I think the lullaby below finally addresses December's Spiritual Thursday theme...not so much with the actual words which are a retelling of the nativity. But, the idea of singing these words to a little one...a next generation to carry on a faith. 

Lullaby for Waiting

If I had a stable
I'd fill it with hay.

Then to my ox
what could I say?

Come to the stable
let's rest inside.

Wait now with me
for the holy child.

How will we know
when he's born?

Will there be angels
singing 'til morn?

Who are these shepherds
running fast? wanting in?

Where are these folks from--
looking for him?

My ox and I'll--
listen to angel
music in flight.

And welcome shepherds
in from the night.

Make room for the wise
following a star.

A star they've studied
long from afar.

We'll be in our stable
warm in the hay.

This ox and I,
we've learned to wait.

For miracles great
in places small.

Emanuel is born
hope for us all.

Linda Mitchell. All rights reserved

I found a discarded book in the local library sale that had perfect colors for a collage project I'm working on...and who did I find near the last page of credits but, Hamish! What a friend. I've got to stop being surprised at finding him. See for yourself over on his padlet.

PS. I've been inspired by Kat Apel's digital erasure poems. I'm not sure how she does this...but for those that want to give it a try, this is how I did it. I scanned a page of text. Then, inserted the jpg into a power point slide and used the tools to draw and add shapes. Then, I uploaded it to the padlet. 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

This Photograph Wants to be a Poem

Hello Poetry Friends,

I'm at the kitchen table watching my college kids play cribbage and talk about classes and grades and future plans. I am a happy mama. 

This week's writing prompt from This Photo Wants to be a Poem is adorable! 

I drafted a quick poem in response this morning.

And, then...THEN I thought, I'd google "Ox" and "Dance." Who did I discover posing over at a coffee company but Hamish -- in coat and tails no less! 

Wingenroth, Lauren. “These Retired Ballroom Dancers Started a Dance-Themed Coffee Company.” Dance Magazine, Dancemedia, 9 Dec. 2021,

We both had a good laugh. I printed out the article about how a pair of professional dancers started a dance-themed coffee company to see if I could find any poetry in it. Of course, I did! It's a fun little tanka the ballerinas above would approve of to be found over on Hamish's padlet. 

Before you go, make sure to check out this article featuring our Janet Wong at Children's Poetry Summit. It's fantastic!

Published by Poetry Summit View all posts by Poetry Summit, et al. “Janet Wong: The Children's Poetry Scene in America: A RECAP OF #NCTE21.” Children's Poetry Summit, Word Press, 16 Dec. 2021,

Thank you, Jone, for hosting this week's poetry round-up! While you're visiting, be sure to sign up for the New Year's postcard exchange. It's lots of fun!