Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sick Day, Aunt's Photo & Mentor Poems

I caught the yuck and spent last Friday fighting off a fever--giving me more than usual time on my laptop where I admired a photo of aspens shared by my Aunt Kathleen and more Poetry Friday blog visits than normal.

Amy Vanderwater's Falling in Love with Meter post got me.  Also, Brenda Harsham's  To Be a Covered Bridge and Diane Mayr's found Haiku in Frost's After Apple Picking
I want to do all of that!

So, what was a red-nosed, coughy kid (at heart) home in bed to do between naps and sips of tea? Started with aspens...

Aspens, by Edward Thomas

All day and night, save winter, every weather,
Above the inn, the smithy, and the shop,
The aspens at the cross-roads talk together
Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.

and ... read the rest here

Then read again and again....finding lines of haiku ala Diane Mayr.
Haiku Lines found within Edward's Aspens 

Continued the golden trail with Matthew Brenneman.
 "This was a family 's home from around 1880s Oh the stories it could tell of life back in that time"
Photo credit
 Kathleen Lauritsen

Finished up by taking a dash of Brenda Harsham's poem To Be a Covered Bridge at Friendly Fairy Tales and a pinch Amy's Vanderwater's Sitting & Writing as mentor texts for this response to Aunt Kathleen's photo paired with Brenneman's poem above.


I've seen friendship flourish
as aspens at high altitude. Not just sunny weather
flags-- but smile-warmed moments  
     piled on top of each other forming a foundation.
And, upon 
this one can build a home.

So, that you’ll seldom find one without another,
 falls of friends fortified against a winter of alone.
Friendship burns bright long past the wick and oil.
       And, see aspens full circling this old
house, holding hands--hearts aglow.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by the creative and generous Laura Salas at Writing the World for Kids. Do stop by and visit poets this Friday and on Thursdays when Laura hosts at 15 word poem challenge prompt. Thank you, Laura!


  1. Wow, Linda! You've certainly set the bar high for sick days with such feverish productivity! I especially enjoyed your trio of haiku with the repeating "aspens shake their leaves." Lovely! I do hope you're feeling better now and can enjoy Poetry Friday without "the yuck."

  2. Wow. What a super-productive week you've had! All beautiful - but I'm especially savouring/rereading your... untitled final piece.

    (What is in the foreground of that Aspen pic? #curiouskat #cantmakeitout)

    1. Oh, I should fix the post to share that. It's an old abandoned house in Black Hawk, Co. from the 1800s. Cool, isn't it?! I'll add a bit about that in the caption.

  3. Well, because I live in the land of aspens, I adore that your "sick day" yielded such 'gold', Linda. Aspen give such glory this time of year, and we never tire of new pictures, the "gold in them thar hills". I love each one, but you've written a beauty at the end. It is so sweet using the picture from your aunt and I love the ending: "And, see aspens full circling this old/house, holding hands--hearts aglow."

  4. Thanks for the shout-out Linda! I'm so happy you enjoyed the Frost and Found exercise.

  5. Glad you had some extra time to pour into these glowing aspen inspired poems! Hope you're feeling better too.

  6. I love that image of the aspens birthing through a secret network of roots, and always staying close. Redwoods do that, too. Related trees stand in groves for thousands of years. Have you heard of the quaking aspen? It's a native of CA, and I was reading about it just yesterday to include it in a story. I'm honored you were moved to write a poem using some of the feeling of my covered bridge poem. You used your fever to good effect. I think I have a fever today, and I'm grateful to have a cup of tea and read some poetry goodness in our Friday world.

  7. My, Linda - that was crazy productive for a sick day! I hope you are feeling as fresh as your beautiful words this week. I think of you PF friends out there in the aspens... what a glorious sights and sounds they must offer - though I loved your including the poems above, which are haunting, too. And your lines - esp. "falls of friends fortified against a winter of alone" - now, that is good medicine.

  8. Such lovely adventures with aspens you share here. I'm impressed you could create while sick. I usually just hunker under the blankets and shiver and feel sorry for myself. I hope you are feeling much better now! And I love how your post and poetry are filled with the inspiration of others from Poetry Friday--just like the aspens are connected and nourishing each other through their roots!

  9. Ugh, I've been sick too, but it does give me some much-needed time to sit and reflect!

  10. You actually have me wishing for a sick day to play with poetry. I don't want to be sick, but I do want to have time to write when I'm not feeling like I have so much else to attend to. Because poetry takes attention.
    I love the resulting poem about friendship. "falls of friends fortified against a winter of alone." I like to think this poem speaks of our growing friendship. One of these days we will hold hands. Until then, hugs across the miles. Hope you're feeling better.

  11. Thank you for sharing your meanderings! Boy howdy did you ever make some lemonade that day! I just finished listening to The Hidden Life of Trees. There's a fascinating bit about aspens in it!

  12. Linda, these poems are beautiful! I do hope you are feeling better. Poetry is like the chicken soup that makes it all better isn't it. I admire the aspen poems. I am ready for "falls of friends" in this season of autumn!

  13. What treasures you've mined! I can't imagine living in one of those sod houses, but being surrounded by "aspens...holding hands--hearts aglow" would make it easier. Thank you for sharing these beauties. Hope you're feeling better!

  14. See how a physical sick day leads to a soulful health day? Embrace the fever. Love your three aspen haiku I mean your stand of aspen haiku joined at the roots "in the bare moonlight/at the crossroads talk"

  15. 1. Too soon for the yuck, Linda! 2. Feel better! 3. What a productive sick day you appear to have had, though. That Aspens haiku is super! :-) -- Christie @

  16. "Friendship burns bright long past the wick and oil." -- lovely! Hope you are feeling good.

  17. So sorry you've been ill. My husband's dealing with the "yuck" right now and I'm hoping not to catch it. Love ALL the poems you share here. I was especially struck by the lines in Matthew Brenneman's about the common root that binds the aspens together, and the way your friendship poem echoes similar themes.

  18. I've had this tab open ALL week! I do that when I want to get back to's only taken me over a week to do! Certainly you must be feeling better by now. I just loved your collection of aspen poems. They are such a special tree - "fortified against a winter of alone".
    Glad I got back here.


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