Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Spiritual Thursday October


This month's inspiration comes from Margaret who shared this quote-prompt from the Enneagram Institute

"Consider the Holy Ideas today: No matter what type you are, in Holy Love, our sense of separateness dissolves, and we know ourselves as arising from the brilliant light of Divine Love that creates and sustains the universe."

    (c) Linda Mitchell

Thursday, September 24, 2020

This Poem is a Nest: Review

And then it was the last Friday of

When Boyds Mills Press asked if I'd like to review This Poem is a Nest by Irene Latham (2020) I answered with a quick

Yes, please!

Latham, Irene, and Johanna Wright. This Poem Is a Nest. Wordsong, an Imprint of Boyds Mills & Kane, 2020.

Truth is, I'm inclined to love this book. I've liked all of the books that Irene has written. I enjoy her blogs, Live Your Poem, and Artspeak. I find her writing sensitive and sincere and extraordinarily creative.  

I wasn't quite prepared for how much This Poem is a Nest startled me a bit as a reader and a writer (Spoiler--this is a positive review).

This Poem is a Nest begins with a four-part prose poem about a nest in each season. The following pages hold nestlings or small found poems from the original prose poem. 

I know, right?  What a concept! So creative. Thankfully, Latham understands that readers are bound to ask, How did you write this? and includes thoughtful Tips From a Nest-Builder: How to Find Nestlings (101-103) as well as a sweet invitation to write (101-103).

This Poem is a Nest is filled with all kinds of fantastic words that are soft, spongy, or connective or glittery or weather resistant....very much like bits of stuff birds build with. Here's a small sampling:


The nestlings from these words and more knocked my socks off. Each is not only a surprising visual image but a moment captured in a way that delights. Nestlings are magical.

These nestlings provoked too--which surprised me. Why? I wondered, is she using this word again here...and here. She already used that word. 

But, I was only beginning to discover Latham's gemstone path. After reading several sections of the collection I grew more anchored in the various shades and layers of meaning her words hold. I'm in awe of the crafting Latham and her editor must have enjoyed together. This Poem is a Nest is for language-lovers, word-lovers, and thinkers too.
I also wondered ...why are titles of many poems longer than the poems themselves? After holding several nestlings in my gaze, however, I see that Latham delivers experiences in a different, new, and surprising way...which is a feat in the world of poetry. Aren't all poets cutting edge creative? Latham surely stands out with This Poem is a Nest.

I look forward to sharing this collection with my middle school students.  Young people often describe life in ways that charm me in the way that these nestlings do. There is delightful wordplay at work in This Poem is a Nest. I know my students will love reading these short poems together. 

This Poem is a Nest is a collection for children of any age and the adults that share a world with them. 

Do not miss the delight of this nest.

In Latham's words, I wish you a cup of stars this week,  (Hope 56)...and the boat and sky and the ladder and mouse squeaks. I hope you find all the nestlings and bring them to your reader's heart. 

PS: Because this author is our Poetry Friday friend, Irene, I'm sharing one of the sweetest pages of the book. 

Isn't this page quintessentially our kind poetry friend? Well done Irene. This is a beautiful book and you should be proud. I predict awards!

Please visit Jone's NEW website for the rest of Poetry Friday! Thanks for hosting, Jone!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Goals for Constitution Day

Hello Poets,

It feels as if it's been a year since last Friday. How does time do that to me? To us? 

Please drop by Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme for a full dose of this week's poetry celebration. Thank you, Matt, for hosting our round-up. It's such a pleasure watching your growing success as a poet and published author.

It's Consitution Day (September 17th). After seeing a poet friend post goals for an entirely different topic, I realized that I too have goals -- as a person privileged to live within the freedoms and boundaries of the United States Constitution. 

First, a reminder of the beautifully written Preamble to the Constitution:


We, the People of the United States, in order to form
a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide 
for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings
of liberty to our selves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States of America.

Goals for Constitution Day

Live up to my part of
     We the People
Participate in building
     a more perfect union
Insist peacefully on justice
     even in and especially in protest
Contribute toward
     national tranquility
Appreciate grave sacrifices made
     for our common defense
Advocate for the well being of
     our community, country
     and whole world
Share blessings of liberty 
     with family, friends, neighbors
     now and going forward
     as someone of
The United States of America

(c) Linda Mitchell -- draft

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Etheree Found in Notes of 9/11 Elegies

Those of us that can remember, do.

We remember where and when and who we reached out to in our confusion and grief. We've healed, sort of. There's a way to go. 

I like finding poetry. I like finding words to fit into poetry patterns. The painting below by Ejay Weiss is from the 9/11 Memorial website. It grabbed and held my attention. As I read the description I started plucking words until I had a pile. What to do with a pile of words but make them into an etheree. 

First the painting...

9-11 Elegy/Ghost City, Panel 4 by Ejay Weiss

If you click on the link, you will find curator notes...that all the words that the etheree below is made from.

Etheree found in notes on 9/11 Elegies
Painting by
Ejay Weiss



evoke blue

rendered bright by

plumes of smoke and ash.

Enraged red and black earth

low witness of this attack

unthinkable atrocity

ghost footprints of catastrophe

left in a world overcome with absence

poet in conversation, Linda Mitchell
September 2020

Be sure to visit Keisha at Whispers from the Ridge for this week's roundup.

Spiritual Thursday

Thursday, September 3, 2020

In a Word, Futbol

September mood 2020 Linda Mitchell

Hello there, September! 

Come on in -- let's catch up. Have you noticed the unusual times? Being month nine in the line-up may have encumbered your view. I'm hoping that you'll bring gentleness to the end of the summer. We sure could use it.

This week, Carol is rounding up our poetry at Beyond Literacy. Be sure to visit her there for all the goodies.

After a summer break, the Sunday Night Swaggers are back to challenging each other. This month's challenge comes from Catherine who asked us to write an In One Word poem introduced to our community by April Wayland. 

I wrote a haibun with tanka for the word, futbol.


A year or maybe a century ago I used to arrive at school, gather my lunch bag, purse, and phone, and head into a crowd of tweens and teens at my school’s main entrance. Always, there was at least one game of futbol running. On the outer fringes, past knots of kids chatting, texting—heads bent over phones, backpacks piled up in heaps—goals. In that grassy area right outside the library entrance, students in futbol logo t-shirts ran full speed. You’d think it was an actual World Cup match. I made my way through the shampoo scented spectators spiced with fresh bubble gum, breakfast burritos, and yellow bus exhaust. Good morning, excuse me, good morning, excuse me…a mix that always felt like a blessing as the game stretched into overtime until the first bell.

past the parking lot

a familiar shout -- foul!

ball sails, kids bolt

umph! Keeper hit by a lout

world cup middle school futbol