Thursday, January 30, 2020

Call of Words from Stacey Joy's Prompt

Good Friday Poets,

We've arrived at the last Friday of the first are those resolutions holding up? My relationship with "at ease" is growing. This week, DeoWriter hosts the Poetry-Friday Round Up. Thank you, Jone!

I enjoyed a week of writing prompts from Ethical ELA with guest, Stacey Joy (@Joyteamstars). The week of writing from these exercises is intense. It's a little hard for me to keep up. In fact, on Day 5 I fell asleep drafting my poem and woke up dazed in the early hours in a downstairs chair. Ha! 

Nevertheless, I'm amazed at the poems teacher-writers are able to produce quickly. Stacey Joy's prompts helped me connect with memories and write in new ways. 

Day 5 Challenge was 'Call of Words

My Response:

Word List gathered from, Telling My Father, by James Crews, a poem featured on The Slowdown  on the day of the challenge.



storm door
orange juice

Linda's Poem (still untitled)

I found a poem
early this morning

drinking coffee
at the kitchen table.
It was stirring in sugar

watching through the window
at crows perched on power lines
squabbling over night news
from opposite sides of the street.
The written page was eyeliner streaked
after a long night.
Quietly, I grabbed orange juice
from the fridge. Stepped through
the storm door
onto the porch
leaving poem
to write us
some sunlight.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Patch of sunlight taken by Linda

Thursday, January 23, 2020


Hello Poets,

I live several hours drive from where I grew up -- a very beautiful place in western New York State. I don't get there as often as I like. So, I follow some outstanding photographers on twitter from that area. It's a joy to see beautiful photos of familiar spaces. 

One photographer is Jerome Davis (@jdavis2731). His photos make my fingers itch to write alongside his artistry...which occurred one early day in January -- the title for this poem.

Davis, Jerome. “Thursday Morning Glow! It Was Crazy to See It Snowing and the Sun Shinning so Bright. @john_kucko @WHEC_SPensgen @StormHour @News_8 @news10nbc @13WHAM” Twitter, Twitter, 10 Jan. 2020,


There’s no word
for sun meeting snow--
no multi-color rainbow
over pointing fingers
or squeals of delight
no insta-click
from below.
Just glow upon
falling upon this resting field
quilt on my bed

(c) Linda Mitchell

Thanks to Kat Apel for hosting our Poetry Friday Round-Up 
this week. She's got an update on Aussie Kidlit fundraising for 
fire relief and recovery and a new animal poem to share!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Science Kick Poems

Poet Friends,

Hooray for time to read poems, hear poems and maybe even do some scribbling of poems. Thank you, Catherine at Reading to the Core for hosting today's round-up.

I've been on a science kick this school year. A teacher I work with said about a particular topic coming up in 6th grade, "It's such a good opportunity to talk with kids about life." I like that...I think I'm adopting that as my reason.

At any rate, I've been eyeing the National Geographic Education certification course and poking around their blog. I came across this photo and recognized a word that young learners I know struggle to grasp the full meaning of:

Pryzborski, Paul. “The Chesapeake Watershed.” NASA, NASA, 2015,

This article from National Geographic Education came across my twitter feed in the past week--ah ha! Something to write about. 


I read the article and found lines that fit the 5-7-5 model that was used to teach children haiku centuries ago. Here's a page of my notebook where I listed them:

my notebook, Linda Mitchell
Words found and arranged by Linda 

Looking for syllable counts and arranging lines was a good way for careful reading...but the poetry isn't quite "pretty" enough for me yet. That word precipitation, even though I spaced it out by syllable is too utilitarian for me. Hmmmm.

Then, I thought a definito poem form, invented by Heidi Mordhorst, could really help kids understand what a watershed is. Here's the definito too.


Like snake shed skin
left behind for us to find on the ground
land sheds water
from high to low
vapor to cloud
to rain to falling and--
collecting in serpent shaped streams
joining rivers seeking
the ocean again.
This water covered land
we all must protect is a watershed.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Have a great Poetry Friday and weekend. I will take time to reflect on Dr. King and the journey we are on to his dreams. I feel that there are miles to go. I'm thankful for his leadership.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Pretty Words for Haiku

Hello Poets,

Sally Murphy hosts Poetry Friday from Southwest Australia where our collectively held breath waits for news of relief from the terrible bush fires. 

Sally and Kat Apel are part of #authorsforfireys on twitter where tweeps can bid on all kinds of goods and services in exchange for donations for fire fighting, relief and eventual recovery.  I haven't yet figured out how to translate my USD to AUD....but I'm betting my friend PayPal will help.

I have some pretty words spun into haiku to share this week.

We had a mid-day snow storm on Tuesday sending us all home from school and work early and keeping us in the next day. It was wonderful! Even the moon came out to see the delight.

(c) Linda Mitchell

And, some found haiku from my on-line Bible study. This morning's passage was Psalm 84. I read The Message translation.

sparrows and swallows
angel armies take to skies
god-traveled selah 

found by Linda

Thursday, January 2, 2020

To One Little Word or Not

Hello Poetry First Friday 2020!

It's so nice to meet you all in the first days of the western new year.

The Waterford crystal ball in Times Square. Peter Foley/EPA, via Shutterstock via The New York Times Morning Briefing 12/30

At a recent meeting of The Sunday Night Swaggers:


I suggested we share our One-Little-Word for 2020 as our theme this first Friday of the month. The conversation quickly turned to five unique opinions on One-Little-Word. Huh!

We turned to Heidi whose task was to determine this week's theme and she pointed out that her quip, "To word or not to word," in the midst of our talk was a theme revealed. Ta da!

I am of a mind to choose a word to work toward... a word that I hope will be a presence in my writing life over the next twelve months. Last year, my word was TRUE.  And, as I look over the fifty blog posts of 2019 I see that TRUE did show up. I am pleased.

What do I want? What do I want to grow into? What do I want to bless my writing life in 2020?
As it turns out, I'm going to break the OLW rule with a two word phrase, at ease.

This phrase, spoken by an authority figure to subordinates allows them to relax, be real, say what they really mean and think. I like that idea so much that I looked for more words to define, at-ease. As it turns out I like ALL the synonyms. I claim them all under the umbrella of at ease.

I'm starting my at-ease journey with a Bop poem.

At Ease
By Linda Mitchell

A friend once told me,
Put your heart down.
Her instruction brimmed with love,
and a smile in her voice.
Had I been holding my heart
up too high and too away?

A bridge over troubled waters.

My friend, from China,
gave me a word picture
that made sense in her language.
I puzzled to understand it in mine.
Deadlines, instructions, train schedules
mountains still had to be climbed.

A bridge over troubled waters.

Put your heart down
in the cradle of your chest
where lungs breathe in and out--
lifeblood is restored and refreshed.
Be at ease in the details.

let them bubble and laugh and splash.

A bridge over troubled waters.

Head on over to Carol's Corner for New Year Poetry celebration with an amazing Maya Angelou poem. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Spaces Between: Spiritual Thursday



A student came into our library asking for a book by an author of something they already had checked out. The language for this came out a bit jumbled and the Library Assistant and I struggled to understand. I asked for a spelling... got to the student's account, saw the author's name and then understood that the student was looking for a nonfiction book by the same author.

This student is part of a group that is having a difficult time of it in our country. They needed a safe space to find themselves as a human being learning to make their way in our world. 

I'm grateful to share space with this student and able to help fill space between us with affirming words. Spaces in times like this
change me far more than I change them.

Spaces between 1/9/2020



I have added a desire to become part of Spiritual Thursday in 2020. I don't really do resolutions or challenges. I prefer to celebrate what can be celebrated and work on what needs improvement. I stay plenty busy with that.

Yet, for a few years, I've seen the Spiritual Thursday posts and wanted "in." So, here I am.

This week, on a drive to a haircut I caught the end of a Fresh Air Favorites interview of journalist David Carr by Terry Gross. I hadn't heard of Mr. Carr...who passed away in 2015. But, his conversation with Terry really made me listen.

I found myself repeating the words, spaces between people aloud,  in my my head. I think about loaning a new neighbor a lawn rake, a two hour phone call with my longest held friend...

I hope to honor Mr. Carr's words. 

Photo taken on vacation...spaces between people on a lake cruise caught my eye
See you in the spaces. Visit Margaret, who is hosting January's Spiritual Thursday at Reflections on the Teche.