Thursday, December 26, 2019

STEAM Themed poetry

Goodbye December...goodbye decade!

Are you having fun in the countdown? Scribbling lots? I hope so. Many thanks for writing friend, Michelle Kogan for hosting today's round-up on her beautiful blog.

On December 11, Teaching Authors interviewed poet-author, Kimberly Hutmacher. She shared a bit about how non-fiction and poetry writing often meet up. At the end of the interview she challenged readers to write a STEAM poem.

This year, all students in our school are involved in the district science fair for the first time in a while. I've been developing lessons to support the teacher's work in getting kids involved in Science Fair -- and having a blast. 

The challenge to write a STEAM poem met up with my recent science experiences and December's Writing Challenge at Ethical ELA.   I'm sharing a 'Skinny' and a 'Fib' poem from the week of prompts given by Glenda Funk

“The First Flight (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior,

Kitty Hawk
December 17, 1903
flight —
…twelve groundbreaking seconds.

(c)Linda Mitchell

Bain News Service, Publisher. Mme. Marie Curie. [No Date Recorded on Caption Card] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, .

Who Was Marie Curie?
A Fibonacci poem

that she
was barred from
learning beside boys
Maria Sklodowska was bright.
in secret school for girls, learning
mathematics and sciences
to Sorbonne University.
she sees
new atoms–
polonium and
radium. Stunning breakthroughs.
cannot be ignored!
A Nobel Prize for Maria.
not hide
this learning.
Now Madame Curie–
renown atomic physicist.
(c) Linda Mitchell

Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Most Wonderful Gift

Oh, my goodness...we made it to Poetry Friday!

What a day, what a week, what a season. I'm happy. There's so much good abounding in preparing for holidays.

Thank you, Buffy Silverman for hosting our round-up. I'm also basking in the shower of gifts that came with this Winter's Poetry Swap. Again, thank you Tabatha for being the master elf that makes sure it happens.

This year, my swap partner is Molly of Nix the Comfort Zone. Molly helps me see more of the world that is...and what could be. She helps me write better. She's an inspiration.

I've written this blog post several times in attempts to share her beautiful swap gifts that I received. But, in the end, nothing beats the gifts themselves.


A new journal, friendly to our planet...and a new friend for my tree.

Molly's Bird photo-cards are a treasure

And, the best...poetry.

A Gift from Molly 2019

A Gift
by Molly Hogan

If I could,
I'd wrap up an hour
watching the birds
from my garden window.

I'd fill a box
with the simple joys--
the tilt of titmouse's tufted head.
nuthatch's upside-dow tree walk,
and cardinal's crimson flash.

I'd add whooshes and flutters
and woodpeckers scalloping swoops
through the air.

Around them, I'd tuck a soundtrack
woven of the raucous squawks of jays,

the soft shuffle of sparrows
scratching the earth,
and the bright rustle of mourning doves
erupting in flight.

If I could,
I'd tie it all up with sunny ribbons
and strings of birch bark,

and gift you the birds...
the peace of the morning.

I am blessed. I am fortunate for the gifts of birdsong and sunny ribbons...grateful that Molly is a writing friend. I know I am better for it.

Thursday, December 12, 2019


Poetry Friday,

What welcome matter what else needs to be baked, stamped, mailed, practiced, holiday-ed, remembered. 

There are several haiku hashtags this month. Haiku is also welcome respite.

Our wonderful Jone has shared a prompt per day list to work from:

I've been haiku-ing away. The challenge I've given to myself is to stay classic with nature haiku in that crazy don't-have-to-stick-to-it 5-7-5 form.

Here's some that make me happy. Enjoy!

(c) Linda Mitchell. Photograph by Molly Hogan. facebook. 12/8/19

steep the hill to home
steeper still -- heaven’s footpath
each step closer now

-Linda Mitchell

snow would not protest
this sleigh on silent runners
writing winter poems
-Linda Mitchell 

The talented and recently published Liz Steinglass is hosting our round-up today! Slide over for a visit.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

And like that -- December. How fast this year of writing, that began with one little word, true, has flown. 


It's time to come inside, find warmth, be still.

This first Friday of the month, my Sunday Night Swaggers are sharing a challenge: Beauty in the Un-noteworthy/Ugly.

Check out Molly's May '17 blog post where she first wrote in response to this prompt. I found some haiku embedded in her work there. 

like a star above
this burst of starling beauty
finds beauty within

a walk on the beach
more unexpected beauty
rainbow of colors

skeletal remains
have a delicate beauty
maybe we find poems

-Molly's words found by Linda 2019

Looking for ugly and un-noteworthy is challenging when you are more accustomed to looking for and noting the good, the beautiful...the worthy.
Paris '19
I turned to my camera roll for ideas. Recent photos made me think...maybe--graffiti? street art? I challenged myself to pair what could be considered ugly to a beautiful poetic form, a sonnet.

Paris '19

More Sunday Night Swaggers Write to this prompt: Reading to the Core Nix the Comfort Zone My Juicy Little Universe Reflections on the Teche

Many thanks to

(fiction, instead of lies)

for hosting this Friday's poetry round up!

Paris '19

Thursday, November 28, 2019


It's Black Friday AND Poetry Friday. 

Wishing all my compatriots a great feast and time to kick back with family. I'm away for the weekend and will be catching up slowly with PF posts. 

Thanks to Bridget at wee words for wee ones for hosting this holiday weekend. Her post last week about laundry in Switzerland was fantastic. I hope you get a chance to read it.

I have another response to a prompt from the writing challenge from Ethical ELA. Write a nonet.


November exhales a long-held breath
across fields covered in first snow--
time for growing now over.
Grieving Demeter weeps
worrying corn husks
as handkerchief.
Sun bows low

Pie for Breakfast

Nothing better than a piece of pie
for my breakfast -- the day after
actual photo of my breakfast!

Thanksgiving or Christmas or
Chanukah or New Year
any day, really
leftover pie
is there for
me to

both poems (c) Linda Mitchell

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Time to Talk

Dear Poetry Friday,

At mid-month I feel November's pull inward. Robert Frost's A Time to Talk got into me this week. Pausing work for the "luxury" of a conversation isn't always easy for me. But, friendship, I've learned, is more than luxury.

A Time to Talk
by Robert

When a friend calls me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, “What is it?”
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; partial gift of John Winslow and Mary Winslow Poole

Pop over to Michelle's blog, Today's Little Ditty. It's one of my favorite places to visit on Poetry Friday! She's celebrating the publication of Today's Little Ditty III and running a writing challenge playing with fun and funny words this month AND hosting our weekly round-up. I need to get my ditty written. Have you written yours yet?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Meeting Joy

Poetry Friday,

I've pondered over you this week...wondering until late what I would post. Keeping focused has been a task. I'm thankful that Irene is hosting our poetry round-up at Live Your Poem. Her Butterfly Hours Memoir Project has been rich reading. She is a constant inspiration.

photo credit: LwcyD Pixabay

Early this week, teacher Paul Hankins posted this interview from TIME Magazine on facebook.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

National Author's Day 2019

Hooray for National Author's Day -- which also happens to be Poetry Friday.

Why do we celebrate National Authors Day ?

As a school librarian, author's day is a bit of my every day. But, I don't mind officially celebrating. My hot drink of choice to enjoy with a good book is mocha-coffee. You?

Many thanks to Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for hosting this week's round-up. I appreciated her post two weeks ago, If I could write like...

My Sunday Night Swaggers are sharing responses to our November challenge.

But then, I struggled to find just ONE author for a mentor text. I mean, there are so many!  I dithered a long time.

Finally, I went to a favorite places to play with mentor text, Renee La Tulippe's No Water River. At her site is a series, The History of American Children's Poets by Renee and Lee Bennett Hopkins who were only able to complete four episodes before Lee's passing this year. Each is a treasure.

Since I spend research time in the 1930s I selected Episode 2 to find a mentor text...and oh, Carl Sandburg is there! His poems are pure joy to play with aren't they?


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Carl Sandburg


Halloween pounces
on black cat paws.
Rubs ‘round 
glowing orange
And with a hiss—
scampers invisible
into night.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Wardrobe of Dreams

I color store fronts orange
as children head back to school.
I offer row upon row
of princess glitter, frogs
spiderwebs and vampire blood.

I am a source to be reckoned with.
The last week of October
children age
 one to ninety-nine
walk through my doors expectantly
an identity
under twenty bucks.
Werewolf masks
unicorn horns
magic wands, black cat ears
or, leggings to outfit a lizard.
I am a costume
But, everyone knows
I’m the wardrobe
of your dreams.    

(c) Linda Mitchell

Halloween Leaves

Jenni Rodriguez listens to Halloween night.
Dry leaves
skitter and scrap over neighborhood sidewalks
catching in fake spiderwebs draped over shrubbery.
Wind driven whispers play with Mrs. Attleboro’s porch chimes
cause littlest trick-or-treaters to titter as they fill
pumpkins with lollipops and chocolates.
The duet of wind and leaves keep Jenni guessing at where
will swirl next. They brush her ears with burnt-orange summer voices.
Jenni Rodriguez listens.

(c) Linda Mitchell

More Swaggers meet the first Friday challenge:

Molly  @
Heidi @

Catherine @
Margaret @

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Recipe for Sky

At last...Friday. I'm ready. You?

This week two wonderful events occurred that led to this post.

First, my friend Molly posted a photograph on facebook that I fell head over heels for -- and gave me permission to use it as a writing prompt.

Then, I discovered Jama's Alphabet Soup  is hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up. I simply love the creative combination of foodie, photographer, writer and blogger Jama is. I look forward to each new post from her. 

All I can possibly do in response is to share a recipe poem.

Hogan, Molly. “Photograph.” Facebook Post, 13 Oct. 2019,

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Appalachian Haibun & haiku

Happy Poetry Friday Poets,

Catherine is hosting our cozy round-up over at Reading to the Core. Stop by for a fill-up of her writing wisdom and craft expertise. She's one of the best!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Swaggers Write Xenos

Hellooooooooooo October!

In my head, I lift my face to crisp air, falling leaves and Vs of geese....real life is still pretty hot and summery in Virginia. That's OK. I can still sip a pumpkin latte in the air-conditioning of my car. Right? 

Our Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by story-teller and poet extraordinaire, Cheriee at Library Matters. Cheriee has been sharing bits of memoir verse with us on a weekly basis...and I always look forward to the next installment.

Since it's the first Poetry Friday of the Month, my SUNDAY NIGHT SWAGGER friends are all taking a crack at Xeno poems. This challenge was offered by Margaret. 

Xeno at Swagger blogs

Catherine: Reading to the Core
Heidi: My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret: Reflections on the Teche
Molly: Nix the Comfort Zone

 I was stumped on where to begin. So, begin with the definition.


I'm joining Jone at Deo Writer for Poemtober 19: Using the daily prompts for Inktober, write a poem each day. Here is this year’s prompts:

And, finally, I've volunteered as a Cybils judge in the Poetry category. I've just picked up one of the books and am going to dig in this weekend. What a "rough" job! :)  Good luck to all the nominees. I can already tell decision making won't be easy.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Poetry Play -- little ditties

Good Friday Poets,

I'm back from a quick visit to my daughters at their universities. Both are doing well in their studies and lives and I am as happy for them as I miss both being at home with me. My son was a great travel buddy...and is also considering where he will be studying as a freshman next year -- a win-win. Woot!

Carol at Beyond Literacy hosts our poetry round-up this week. Stop by for a full dose of poetry and her extra special touches of kindness, creativity and inspiration. 

One of my favorite places for poetry inspiration is animal pics on twitter. 

Come play!
Fennec Foxes

When stacking
fennec foxes
forget about
Foxes stack
aside and atop
each other.
First mama
next, sister
then brother.

Rune of sky wakens
wakens sky and rune

plays the spinneret
Sheeda’s spinneret play

(c) Linda Mitchell