Thursday, March 26, 2020

Poetry in a Pandemic

Good Friday to you and all poems out there together, separately -- six feet apart.

What a weird world. 

Like you, I've been feeling emotions, getting a grip, learning to live in self-isolation. And, hey! I've been trying to write too. There is a boon of freely offered writing prompts and projects online. 

Liz Garton Scanlon offered a tutorial on writing an etheree. The etherees below are a mash-up of nursery rhymes, covid-19 observations and...well, you tell me.

Falling Off Nursery Rhymes

Two etherees

one today for
extra wishes
that might turn into
horses to someday ride
trit-trotting Boston to Lynn
holding up baby so she won't
tumble into that Gloucester puddle
up to her tummy, face mask on her chin.

(c) Linda Mitchell


poor old
Mother Hubbard's
stockpiled cupboard
cannot hold one more fear.
Her little dog laughs to see
his leash for lots more walks and treats.
When grandchildren call for a check-in 
she’s happy to chat and weeps happy tears.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Margaret Simon offers poetry readings for kids from one to ninety-nine at her youtube channel. Her calm reading and spotlights on where her prompts come from (Michelle Hiedenrich Barns' Today's Little Ditty) in this video. My response to her call.

Outside My Window

spring is walking
along the sidewalk six feet
between each blossom

(c) Linda Mitchell

Laura Shovan's #WaterPoemProject  invites distance learners, again from third to grade ninety-nine to respond to a daily prompt the same way poets have been in her annual February Poem Project. Daily prompts are given by a variety of published and unpublished (me!) authors. It's fun. And, I aim to bring my fun to it. My response to Irene Latham's prompt on Day 1

Be well friends. Use this time of social distancing for creativity, if you can. I look forward to seeing what others are sharing in today's Poetry Friday Round-up at The Opposite of Indifference. Thanks heaps to Tabatha for hosting. 


  1. My, you have been busy writing! Your second etheree creates a perfect image of what many of us are going through. Although I do not have a dog, I do know many dogs are so glad their humans are home! Lots of walks and time outdoors. The rhythm of Bath Tub Monsoon is so playful and love the alliteration in the water-logged whiskers! It was a joy to visit tonight!

  2. Poor Mother Hubbard, I think she needs some light hearted poetry–thanks for introducing me to this new poem form Linda, I'll have to check it out! Love your "Bath Tub Monsoon," and the fun kitty with ears peeking out. Looks like you've been busy with your pen, thanks for this fruitful post!

  3. Those etherees seem the perfect blend of poetry for a time such as this - so much mood and attitood! And your haiku is SO clever!! Wow - you are making good use of this social distancing. Take care and hang in there! xx

  4. Linda, your poetry continues to shine! Thank you for sharing... I especially like those water logged whiskers. Great graphic, too! Thank you! xo

  5. Wow. I absolutely love your etherees and the way they skip around from now to nursery rhymes and from silly to serious. Fabulous!

  6. Linda, you have certainly tapped into your creativity. These poems are a bright spot in my #QuarantineLife. Each poem is delightful but #1 hits home for me with its last line. I'm seeing more and more facemasks on grocery shoppers these days but wondering where people are getting their masks. Bath Tub Monsoon made me smile.

  7. I love your etherees, Linda, that Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard that cannot hold one more fear! Hooray for her! And that 'bathtub monsoon'- wonderful. Thanks for so much poetry today!

  8. Thanks for sharing -- it's wonderful to see that you're using self-isolation time to be creative. Those etherees are fun!

  9. The poetic challenges are endless and rise to new heights here! I was certain that Mother Hubbard would find TP in that cupboard! Haha. Love the happy tears also. Thanks for these etherees... I must learn about them. And thanks for this post.... most rewarding.

  10. I love the creativity that blossoms through your post. I am trying to balance different kinds of creativity through this time of self-isolation--cooking, crocheting and writing.

  11. I love your etherees--such odd and beautiful mash-ups. And I love that you highlight the upsides of all the craziness right now, too. Hugs!

  12. Thanks, Linda! Your etherees are delightful, and thanks for showing me a new form. I especially liked the one about Old Mother Hubbard and the reference to the dog walks and treats. Can relate here!

  13. What a lot of great poetry, Linda! Your etherees are a mirror of these times, struggling to make sense of it all. I LOVE your haiku which seems more about acceptance. And your Bath Tub Monsoon is just plain FUN!

  14. I love the sense of playfulness in your etheree poems. It's hard to keep up with all the wonderful projects out there to join in. Thanks for the shout out.

  15. You've been busy creating. My favorite was your haiku. And Bath Tub Monsoon is full of fun. Keep playing!

  16. Here's some more love for your etherees! Mother Hubbard resonates with me -- I've been thinking the dogs of the world are enjoying all the extra walks! And the full cupboards...including the perfect.

  17. What a rich post, Linda. I'm in awe of how creative you've been during this time. I feel like I've been spinning in place for the most part. Liz's etheree video was great and I especially enjoyed your second response. I also loved Spring's social distancing walking blossoms in your response to Margaret's prompt. I simply can't keep up with all the prompts out there! Poetry is blooming for sure! Thanks for sharing all your contributions to the garden :)

  18. Great post, Linda! And thanks for modeling creativity during social distancing. I'm trying, with words and photography. It's a challenging time for all of us.

  19. You have strengthened your creativity muscles so much that you can pick up all these prompts with one hand and shake your imagination all over them with the other! Go, Linda!

  20. Your poetry shows that you are taking this crisis and turning it into art, Linda! Brava! Your stanza about Mother Hubbard resonates with me as well, as my Smidgey dog is happy with her extra walks and treats. And the 'six feet' reference in your Outside My Window poem is spot-on! Thanks for the bounty of poetry goodness today. :)

  21. Oh, your Muses have been having a field day, Linda, even if students can't have a real one right now! So enjoyed your whole post. "Mother Hubbard's/stockpiled cupboard/cannot hold one more fear" - that is a seriously weighty few lines. (Virtual) hugs to you!

  22. I am in awe of your creativity, Linda! Your etherees are very clever, and you're right: Mother Hubbard's cupboard "cannot hold one more fear." Thank goodness "spring is walking" outside our windows!

  23. You've been on a writing tear! That face mask at the end of your first etheree is a sad moment, but these are difficult times.


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