Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happy 2019 - OLW

Hello 2019

It's nice to meet you. We have so much to explore and discover and learn together. Come, sit and chat for a bit before we begin.

I'm heading into this future with one-little-word. This word has been on my mind in one form or another for some time. For a while it was steadfast, then persistence....and then patience. But, my friend, Diane warned me to never to pray for patience lest I be tested by it. I thought about "present" but that seemed too much on the 'mindfulness' bandwagon for us.

See...I want to be active and seeking in this future that we are entering together. I am looking to be...


Yes, my one little word for our time together is true. I hope you like it. Or, I hope it grows on you and me until we ... are true together.

Ready? I'll drive. Get your coat.

Truth Serum

We made it from the ground-up corn in the old back pasture.
Pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence,   
popped it right in.
That frog song wanting nothing but echo?   
We used that.
Stirred it widely. Noticed the clouds while stirring.
Called upon our ancient great aunts and their long slow eyes   
of summer. Dropped in their names.   
Added a mint leaf now and then   
to hearten the broth. Added a note of cheer and worry.   
Orange butterfly between the claps of thunder?   
Perfect. And once we had it,
had smelled and tasted the fragrant syrup,   
placing the pan on a back burner for keeping,   
the sorrow lifted in small ways.
We boiled down the lies in another pan till they disappeared.
We washed that pan.

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Truth Serum” from 
You and Yours. Copyright © 2005 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., You & Yours (BOA Editions Ltd., 2005)

Truth Serum

By Linda Mitchell

I’m making truth serum
in this new year.
Cookbooks, magazines,
my usual recipe sources lack
just-right ingredients.
Except poetry--
Some language is flowy
and measurements unfamiliar
but I can work with it.
Frozen, sharp words
slap against my door.
They make my nose run
and ears ache when I step out.
Ice and snow cover
my mailbox where--
an old fashioned letter
addressed in a warm hand sits.
It advises some elements
aren’t available just yet.
Wait, the letter implores.
Truth cannot be hurried.

Visit Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children for a proper round-up of poetry this week. 

Thank you for hosting, Sylvia. 


  1. Hello, friend. This is a little word to hold onto for a while. I believe it will take you farther than a year. As I was reading Naomi's poem, I was thinking you should write your own truth serum poem. What ingredients would you put in? I feel compelled to write a warm old-fashioned letter to you.

  2. I've not taken part in the OLW - but I do always find it intriguing and inspiring to read the reasons behind the choices for those who are. I think I would like to mix up some Truth Serum... Thank-you for sharing both versions.

  3. Dear Linda, I love that Poetry is your True. And what fun to address the new year... love it! Thank you!

  4. Wow! I love both Truth Serum poems. True is such a good word for this year. I hope we all can learn from it and ride along with you.

  5. Both awesome poems, Linda. I'm hoping your "word" will cover the year for all of us! Love "boiled down the lies" & your ending "Truth cannot be hurried." Guess we will need some 'patience' for this year, right?

  6. That last line is marvelous, Linda! I'm still searching for my one word. Once I find it, I know it will ring true. Thanks for sharing these truth poems!

  7. Thanks for sharing that Nye poem, Linda, it's new to me. I love your poem response, and the way it concluded with that last, powerful, line.

  8. "Truth cannnot be hurried." Great ending! I'm looking forward to a year of "being true" together!

  9. "...I can work with it."

    And I hope you'll share the results! Have a great 2019.

  10. Oh, I love this, Linda! Your true voice rings out loud and clear through every line. Here's to helping one another find what's true. Happy New Year!

  11. Wow, so wonderful. And what a great OLW!

  12. I love the wide variety in OLWs I am discovering here. They aren't always verbs - in fact, the words that aren't verbs often stop me in my tracks to really ponder what they might look like for someone. "Truth cannot be hurried" - for me, that takes a deliberate effort. Thank you for your post!

  13. Two truthful serums, filled with many layers… Thank you for both Linda. I like the turn your poem took after your lines,
    "Frozen, sharp words
    slap against my door."
    Good things sometimes take a while to brew… have fun getting to know "truth" this year.

  14. I love how these two work together. Yes to boiling the lies away and washing that pan!

  15. Linda, the word "wait" sets up your last line very nicely. Truth comes in all different forms: full truth, partial truth, and ethical truth. It is an interesting choice and you handled it well in this post. May truth guide you on your 2019 journey.


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