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, <>.


  1. What an interesting poem; love that grain of truth. Also a great line from The Goldfinch (which I still need to read!). Sorry to hear about the tech issues; hope this weekend is much better. :)

  2. I wonder what it is the wicked one wants? You don't say so I'm left in suspense by you poem. An offer of riches for nothing in return is always tempting.;)

    1. I may have to write myself and you an answer! Stay tuned.

  3. Hope the weekend turns into a lovely one, Linda. There are many of those fairy tales of those blinded by the lure of riches, or MORE! You've written a lesson from a librarian!

  4. Linda, I read The Goldfinch twice this year - an astonishing novel with so many lines that are, in themselves, works of art. Not to mention astonishing twists and unforgettable characters (even to the little dog Popper). Fascinating poem. Ox knows. Animals so often do ... I am linking that flourdust to stardust and fearing for the Miller and what he's really agreeing. Nothing is free. The makings of a long fairy-tale (cautionary tale?) poem! Love this.

  5. You spin such an intriguing tale from that wicked line.

  6. I love the leap from Donna Tartt's line to your poem. As one of my professors always said, "there is nothing new under the sun." Sadly, we have too much proof these days that greed is always present. Great job, Linda!

  7. Linda, I must read that book. I always promise I will but my TBR pile is sky high now. You turned out an interesting poem/tale. Greed is always a culprit that destroys the sweetest starts. I, too, want to know the miller's path. Follow-up poem?

  8. Ooh, you clever tale-teller poet, Linda! That Goldfinch line inspired an instant classic. :)

  9. I listened to The Goldfinch when it came out. It is one I want to/need to read with my eyes.

    If this poem was intended to be a reminder to me to continue putting one foot in front of the other and not be distracted by shiny things (or the dark ones that threaten me daily), then IT WORKED.

    Thank you.

  10. Thanks for your tale-poem Linda, temptation can creep up on one anytime…
    Intriguing poem you wove, and yes I'm looking forward to a sequel here. Hope the Tech-glitch monster has subsided or at least crawled under some extra cable, good luck!

  11. I do love fairy tales! And I also love your fairy tale poem. You distill something powerful from these archetypal images.

    Hope the tech fairies smile on you!

  12. "stars in his flour-dusted eyes"- I love this. Great job meeting the challenge!

  13. Oh, a cautionary tale indeed! I agree with Kimberly, I love "stars in his flour-dusted eyes"-great image!

  14. Such a great response to the prompt! Poetry Friday always makes me feel better, too!

  15. Oh, I love those "flour-dusted eyes" and the whole fairy tale vibe. You've nailed it!


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