Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy 2021: OLW

Happy New Year, Poets!

I'm so glad we are writing and reading together at this fresh start.

Since joining the Poetry Friday community I've enjoyed selecting one little word. It's more writerly than a resolution. Last year, I broke the rules with a phrase, at-ease

Yikes! Perhaps breaking of the rules added to our 2020 jinx. I'm steering clear of that in 2021 with a word and practice that I've admired of Irene Latham. She not only chooses a word but also writes a related poem each week, posting the poems on a padlet. 

I like the practice of her idea and the surprises that her word lead me to as a reader.

Without any further ado, I present my one-little-word 2021.


I've been collecting artwork, quotations, proverbs, symbolism, and zoological bits of information about Ox and Oxen. 2021 is the Year of the Ox in the Asian calendar.

I'm looking forward to where Ox leads. 


There are reports of people knocking on doors and
offering to lay pine straw...then ask for exorbitant fees.
                                                    ~facebook 8/14/20

Ox is big.
He's not hungry
all the time,
but would eat
if food were offered.

The miller's daughter
brings wildflowers to Ox
to munch in the evenings
after his days walking
patient circles
grinding grain.

Ox loves the chokeberries
the girl gathers 
in her skirts to feed him
with red-purple streaked palms.

She's berrying in the thicket
when the Wicked One arrives.
Ox sniffs the air,

The miller swats big Ox
with his stick
Ox looks up
Stomp, snort.

The miller pays no mind
to Ox as he says, yes
to the Wicked One.

Ox shakes his head
turns his ears this way and that
listening for waxwing trills
listening for the girl
who must be in the thicket still--

Ox lows,
nooooo, nooooo, nooooo

(c) Linda Mitchell -- draft

Make sure you hop on over to Ruth's There's No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town for our first 2021 Round-up. She's wondering what we'd like to burn from 2020 as well as what unexpected happiness we will hold onto. Thank you, Ruth. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas

How wonderful that Christmas falls on Poetry Friday. 

A gift!

So many are celebrating and taking the week off until 2021. Thank you, poets, for the relief you provided this year. Reading your poems and the poems of others you offered has been vital to my mental health. I'm keeping you all in my thoughts as we rush into a new year.

Thanks also, to Irene Latham for hosting our round-up this holiday. I have so enjoyed learning from and with her at her blog, Live Your Poem. Make sure to stop by for some goodies.

Susan Bruck's post from last week inspired the haiga below. 

in hibernation
we live on light memories
lengthening of days

writing this haiku
my mindfulness is now yours
counting syllables

(c)Linda Mitchell--drafts

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Someday is now

 Hello Poets,

Who's got snow? Me! Well, frozen rain on top of snow that can't drain quick enough at 34 degrees. 


I have used my TWO snow days to read a book (an actually paper-pages book!), cook, bake, craft....and sleep-in until the cat and dog demand breakfast. What a lovely tiny break.

Are you familiar with this C.S. Lewis quote?

"But someday you will be old enough for fairy tales again."

It's true! I pulled the leather-bound copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales off a shelf and am reading old stories again. My goodness, they were violent. I don't remember as much of that from my younger days. 

Fairy tales are seeping into my current writing. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about a miller saying, yes to The Wicked One...Janice asked, "What did the Wicked One want?" 

I'm writing my way to an answer. 

A flock of waxwings is called a museum

I was a great reader of fairy tales. I tried to read the entire fairy tale section of the library.     ~Beverly Cleary

A Museum, A Thicket, Gravel

A flock of waxwings is called a museum.
A cluster of chokecherries -- a thicket.
Gravel litters the ground beneath birds feeding.
Our miller wonders what the Wicked One wants.
He prepares his heart to say goodbye to Ox
still stamping at the turning lantern gear
or, fabric for flour sacks, even flour itself.


The Wicked One merely wants what's behind the mill.
That scrubby land back yonder?
That bird thicket in gravelly soil?


Wicked One hands over a velvet sack of gold coin.
This is a payment.
There will be more.
I'll return in three year's time
to claim what is mine.

Wicked vanishes
Miller runs round into the house
calling for his wife.
Ox plods and lows.

(c) Linda Mitchell -- draft

This week's poetry round-up host is our painter-poet friend, Michelle Kogan. Make sure you stop in for a bit more poetry. She is a gracious host.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Winter Poem Swap WOW!

 Hello Friends,

It's Friday. Let's share poetry. Thank you, Buffy, for rounding up all links so that we can share even more this first night of Hannukah in a second week of advent. What a delicious time of year.

I am a fortunate poet to be able to share a poem in conversation with Tabatha who sent me the most delightful package of Winter Poetry Swap goodies.

First, the poem. I'm delighted that Tabatha took a line from a duplex I wrote to spark her own duplex of response. It becomes our poem to share with you.

Clear The Wreck

by Tabatha Yeatts
from a line by Linda Mitchell

Poets throw lines to clear the wreck
concealed in the secret sea.

     We discover the ship, sunk in the sea,
     Half-whole, half-hidden by sand.

Other poets, faces hidden by sand,
wield pens to pry open portholes.

    Pry them open! What resides inside 
    that barnacled hull? What treasures await? 

Lost treasures scuttle from sight and page,
Will there be enough air for the search? 

    As we search, our attention divides
    between our breath and pens in hand.

Trusty pens dig through rubble
tossing dreck aside. So much debris!

    The ship's debris lies heavy and cold.
    We turn the pens on high, watch it scatter.

Pile high the spoils! Time to ascend.
Poets throw lines to clear the wreck.

Tabatha also fed my latest obsession of mixed media art by sending along some fun and arty scrapbooking papers to play with along with a box of AFFIRMATORS! 50 Affirmation Cards to Help Yourself--without the self-Helpy-Ness!

Oh, boy do I feel seen, Seen, SEEN! 
And, it's pretty great. I thought I'd share an affirmation card with you all and see where it takes you in your writing. If something sparks...please share!

Nothing is Wasted

No experience is ever wasted--even if
what I'm working on turns out to be a total
dumpster fire. When I spend time on a 
project, it's always* good practice. Plus, it
makes me better at making whatever-that-
thing-is. And if what I was trying to make was
a dumpster fire, then I'm already five steps
ahead of the game.

*Well, at least 98.7% of the time.

Happiest of holidays to you and yours. Stay safe, stay healthy we...I...need you.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

What's Always True

 Hello Poetry, Hello Friday

I'm a tad grumpy. My technology didn't work perfectly today. My brain didn't remember everything and, my house feels too small for all the people that work and live in it. 

I'm glad for Friday! Better yet, Mary Lee is hosting our round-up this week with a cover reveal for Irene Latham's next book at A Year of Reading. Hooray! I'm starting to feel better already just having typed this paragraph. 

This month's SWAGGER from Molly is a fun promptGo to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.”

My selected line:

Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it's going to kill us. --Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

What’s Always True

A fairy tale’s miller

has every necessary

tool for success –

a millstone turning

an ox plodding round

and round in a turret

his wife minding home and hearth

their daughter sweeping the yard.

But, a wicked one invariably intrudes to tempt.

    If you give me

    what to you looks like nothing,

    I’ll make you wealthy beyond

    Your wildest dreams.

Of course, our miller

agrees even though

Ox snorts and stamps with warning

turning the mill spindle faster.

The miller’s wife would know a stench of evil as his daughter  would shudder with dread. Yet our miller, stars in his flour-dusted eyes always says yes.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Strada, Jacobus, -1588. Ox-Powered Machine for Grinding or Milling Grain. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Spiritual Thursday December Round-up

 Hello Friends,

Are you in the quiet of December? The hushing of our northern hemisphere as it settles down for a long winter's nap? Or, are you in the hub-bub of holiday preparations? Either way, we've made it to a milestone...the end of 2020. My goodness. So few of us are unscathed. Many of us that participate in Spiritual Thursday have prayer requests. If you pray, please take a moment to ask for healing, safety, protection, and holy covering for those in need.

I chose the word reflection as an inspiration for December for the action of reflecting on what has been. December snow and ice can also bring reflected light. 

A mirror cannot be a mirror without a backing. The backing must be darker than the glass for an image to reflect back. 2020 was a seriously dark backing for us. For me, there are some silver linings from 2020. I hope you have found some too.

Some friends also reflecting today:
Ruth at There is No Such Place as a God-Forsaken Town
Carol at Beyond Literacy
Karen at Karen's got a Blog
Fran at Little Bits and Pieces
Julie at November Reflection

Outside the Dining Room window Linda M.

Reflection. noun. 2. the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it. 3. "the reflection of light"

Kayaking at Silver Spring, Florida Linda M.