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


  1. Oh! What a delicious gift - and your response was perfect. You are a pair of poetry sweeties!

  2. Gorgeous haibun response poem Linda, your prose captured me and moves smoothly into your fun haiku. Thanks for sharing Laura's lovely treasure swaps–and poem too!

  3. Laura's poem is delicious and your response, perfect! It amazes me that just a week ago you weren't familiar with haibun! Wow! Once again, you rose to the challenge! The information you shared about your manuscript (a manuscript!) is soooo exciting. Congratulations to you on moving your work forward, and how wonderful that Laura has been a part of this process.

  4. Those cookies look amazing! I love this exchange and how it connects poets everywhere. What lovely gifts from Laura and a new form to play with. Your poem made me wish I could whisk you right here to see the cane fields. Our farmers are hard at work harvesting.

  5. Linda, so excited for the progress on your work-in-progress!! GO YOU! And what yumminess yours and Laura's words are. Thank you! xo

  6. Terrific to hear about your new project, Linda, & this delicious post makes me think I need to have breakfast. Well done on the haibun. I love your intro of the collective that came together to make "a world of goodness".

  7. Linda, I love the playfulness of the line "A world of goodness" -- it transitions the reader from your wide-ranging prose musings to the sweet haiku. How lucky I am to be that friend!

    It was a pleasure to work with you over the past several months. I know the Poetry Friday community is going to love your fascinating project as much as I do. Keep up the amazing work!

  8. Drool-worthy post, Linda. Enjoyed Laura's poem and you did a great job with the haibun (love how you used the ingredient label for inspiration). Those cookies look so yummy . . .

  9. Can you believe this Marylander hasn't tried Berger cookies? Guess I'd better resolve to do that in 2019. I was happy to hear that you have a collective biography manuscript and that Laura helped you with it! She's a terrific ally. :-)

    1. you must rectify this situation....STAT!

    2. Ehhhh...there are many things I love about my adopted state of Maryland, my adopted city of Baltimore...but Berger cookies ain't one of them. However! See below. : )

    3. Seriously -- next Pisces poets birthday lunch, we are having Berger cookies.

  10. You are so inspiring! I can't wait to hear more about this WIP, and you didn't just think about trying a haibun (like someone I know, heh heh), you wrote one...and nailed it!

  11. Wow wow wow--Your haibun! I just love what you did with the slight surrealism of "the endless blue table. Salty
    seas bring cocoa ships from Africa"
    and your haiku is also a perfect reply to Laura's poem. Also, you could have a second career in marketing. You made me want to rush right over to TWA for some assistance and support!

    Honored to know you and your collective biography, Linda!

  12. This is wonderful work, Linda. You must be so excited with your treasures and your response to Laura's gifts. The prose piece is a great lead-in to your haiku. Well done, my friend!


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