Thursday, March 9, 2017

Poetry Friday 3/10/17

Happy Poetry Friday!

The bell is ringing, doors burst open and everyone rushing out to their favorite poetry sites. Thank goodness, Michelle H. Barns is hosting a roundup at:
 Today's Little Ditty.

I discovered Today's Little Ditty a couple of years ago. I was drawn to Michelle's tremendous love for poetry but more her support and enthusiasm for fellow poets. She conducts thoughtful interviews of poets and invites readers to take up a challenge suggested by the person she has interviewed. She is super encouraging to those just starting to feel brave enough to connect with the poetry world beyond their computer screens. I highly recommend a visit to her blog.

This month, Michelle interviewed one of my favorite poets, Helen Frost who has not one but TWO shiny new books coming out. Her challenge for Michelle's readers was to write an "Ode Poem". 

Fortunately, there was a great mentor poem to follow. And, my friend Merriam-Webster never fails to help me understand when I don't.

Because I love TLD's so much I went off in search of something to "ODE". It's not as easy as it sounds. It's like someone asking you to say somethin'  in another language you can speak. Which word, idea, which thing to choose?

I started with sorting through some old photo albums and came across some beauties. But, this photo of my cousin's swim bag wanted more attention than the others. So, it is to my cousin Julie's swim bag that my ode is written.

Photo by me 

Summer Stuff

Swim bag knows our kids are
up to their knees in shivery water-- 
Fingernails full of grit from
combing moats into sand.
Opening the cabin brings
Aunties with bowls of potato salad
walking paths across new grass.
 Uncles fire up a grill one-handed
 tipping beer bottles with the other,
coughing at the smell of too much
lighter fluid. Again.
When will you join in?
 Later….around the fire
 When sun-kissed shoulders need shield
 from scary stories
 spun over sparks,
 and roasting marshmallows.
Remember me
in Winter’s fast.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Where the kids splash


  1. Wonderful, Linda. I love the idea of the swim bag waiting for all that fun to be had before sharing its contents when needed. A very clever ode.

  2. I wonder if you realize just how much you've grown as a poet over those last two years, Linda. Not that I'm taking any credit for that, mind you, but I will say the TLD community wouldn't be the same without you! Month after month, I admire the way you take on each challenge and OWN it.

  3. I want to go there! It sounds idyllic.
    Also, this;
    'Fingernails full of grit from
    combing moats into sand.'

  4. Nice, Linda!! Such a closeness felt - an aliveness to this object.

  5. Your descriptions are so evocative Linda!
    "Fingernails full of grit
    from combing moats in sand"
    is especially vivid.
    Then, that surprise ending!

    And, your top to the post is a lovely essay.


  6. How fun to collect the memories from an old gym bag. I like that last part when the bag talks to us!

  7. I love how alive and vivid this poem is. We're welcoming summer in my side of the world and this just made me quite excited to greet it.

  8. I'm ready for summer and the "swim bag" lets's go! Rich poem and posting Linda!

  9. What a wonderfully evocative poem, Linda - makes me yearn for summer.

  10. Oh how I needed this poem to transport me away! Our weather recently has just been dreadful - everyone is sick and grumpy and absolutely miserable trudging through slush and sludge. How did you know I needed this poetic escape to transport me to summer's warm embrace? So beautiful,and so fun!

  11. Such a fun-filled poem, Linda! I do love the pic of the swimming hole...wish I was there!

  12. It sounds like you took a piece of your family and shared it with us. That feels like an honor. Looks like a fun swimming hole.

  13. I love this, Linda, both the poem and the photo. Makes me long for summer.

  14. I, too, often start a writing project by going through photos. I really love what you've done with this one.

  15. I love this, Linda. You make me long for summer during this week of winter temps in the middle of an early spring.

  16. Gone there with you...and thinking about how, each Memorial Day, I get out the swim bag to find the leftovers of last summer. Especially like "when sun-kissed shoulders need shield
    from scary stories
    spun over sparks"

  17. As I go through posts of friends who are thirsty for summer, I remain grateful knowing that we have the sun the whole year long here in Singapore. Sending you sunlight and sunshiny days!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!