Thursday, April 29, 2021

April's Poetry Friday Bonus!

Hooray! A Bonus Poetry Friday

This weekend, I help move a college kid out of the dorms back to home base. College is great and all...but, I look forward to wrapping my hard-working kid in some TLC.

Matt at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme is hosting our round-up. What joy it's been to see his publication successes with poems in anthologies and books of his own. Keep writing Matt! 

I've had fun reading poetry projects of others as prompts in April. Thank you, Susan, at Soul Blossom Living for providing a menu of doings. And, thank you poets for the inspiration. 

Diane, at Random Noodling, inspires with her annual poetry month project of ekphrastic cherita from women's art. 

I took a recent tweet about artist Faith Ringgold for more inspiration.

Story Quilter

Faith of a woman--

stitched in fabric, thread, ink, and paint.

Ancestral prayers quilted to hope unseen.

It’s easy to fly– all you need
is somewhere you can’t get to any other way*

a gospel of truths
covering our way ‘til amen.

*Faith Ringgold. Tar Beach (Crown 1991)

(c) Linda Mitchell

Faith Ringgold and her Story Quilt, Tar Beach.

Linda at Teacher Dance is crafting poems of wabi-sabi. I love her poem and photo pairings. 

Photos and Golden Shovel by me

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I cannot stop photographing Nature

--stills of my favorite woods. I always

return to this dying tree. She wears 

a shrug of lichen in every season. The

gray boldly dressed in greens. Colors

her little seedling self pushed out of

her way as she once sought the sun. The

nerve of life, catches my lens-- my spirit.

© Linda Mitchell

More mailbox goodness...a poem in a pocket for Poem in Your Pocket Day from a poet friend is always good.

Poem by a friend in a Pocket from a friend, Jan G. Annino at Bookseedstudio

Our friend Hamish plods on...this week with an ox that's a bit cheeky with the word, w.i.r.e. Hamish would love a good scratch behind the ears and a catch-up. Find him and his newest poem pal, Wire Ox.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day Writing from Reading


How wonderful that Earth Day corresponds with Poetry celebrations. I've been enjoying Poetry Friday blogs this month and the project's writers have taken on. 

Catherine, at Reading to the Core, has been writing wild in response to her reading of Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World, by Katheryn Aalto (Timber Press, 2020). She also hosts our round-up today. Make sure to read her latest.

I was taken with Lauret Savoy (Day 15 of Catherine's project)which led me to Dr. Savoy's website and an essay taken from her latest book, Trace (Counterpoint 2015). What beautiful writing and weaving together of history and science. I highly recommend reading Savoy's excerpt from TraceLetter to America published for From that gorgeous five-minute read I came away with gems of words for this found poem...

After Reading Letter to America
A Story in Return

Sound asked Magic other ways
to wander the horizon 

That map’s paper landscape
mean landforms surface
and, sinuous rivers

Once, the continent
wore no toponyms between fields 

Imagination quieting
left no mark 

The home for Saint Found
recall a world bespattered
with remnants of echoes 

A nod to marks of the snowy range
erasing faith,
future spilled

words found by Linda Mitchell

Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge has spent April with dewdrops of the haiku of Issa as translated by David G. Lanoue. I'm paying homage with...

haiku and photo by me April '21

And, is there anything more fun than personal mail in your mailbox from a poet friend? I don't think so. It's good to be in a community of poets.

postcards by Jone and Irene

Hamish's Ox-Tales

Last week, I was taken with Janice Scully's phrase, a little history before her Salt City poem--which I hope is growing into a collection. Hamish found some history friends from the American Revolutionary War days to add to his padlet: 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Students Teach Me

Happy Friday!

Ramadan began this week. In years past, I've made space in our school library for students who fast.  I remember one year an especially lovely group of students visited the library rather than sit in the cafeteria during their lunchtime. 

While fasting, these young people were personable, kind, fun, and friendly. They played fierce games of Uno or read silently, sometimes from a Qu'ran, or worked on jigsaw puzzles.

This year, students cannot collect in the library (don't worry another place has been arranged). During Ramadan, I miss students teaching me about their faith by observing them living it.  Ramadan Mubarak, friends.

Yasser, Rawan. “Photo by Rawan Yasser on Unsplash.” Beautiful Free Images & Pictures, Squarespace, 24 Dec. 2019, 

Jama is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-up this week. Make sure to pop over to her place for poems and tasty treats she's sure to have to go with them.

Hamish has added a poem about Zebu to his padlet. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Writing from Reading #NPM

Hello Friends,

Happy Poetry Friday. I hope you are enjoying this month of poetry celebration as much as I am.

Some Aprils I challenge myself to a daily project to keep up with as a poet. This year, I'm flitting around the projects of other poets as a reader.

One of those poets is Tabatha who is hosting our Poetry Friday round-up this week at The Opposite of Indifference. She is learning languages and challenges poets to write a poem in two languages. Wow, right? 

Here is a poem in two languages inspired by visits to Michelle Barns' Today's Little Ditty who's April Poetry project is Filling the Well.

Mary Lee Hahn is keeping a beautiful #haikudiary at A Year of Reading. I try to keep up.

writing before dawn
using up night's costly ink 
paper whippoorwills 

(c) Linda Mitchell

Laura Purdie Salas is writing equation poems. Every time I see one, I want to write one too...or, is that two?

“Carl H. Claudy Photography Collection, 1906-1910.” Slideshow | NASM.XXXX.0549_ref9 , National Air and Space Museum, 2021, Equation Poem -Linda Mitchell

“Carl H. Claudy Photography Collection, 1906-1910.” Slideshow | NASM.XXXX.0549_ref9 , National Air and Space Museum, 2021, Equation Poem -Linda Mitchell

And, Hamish has new friends this week over on his padlet. After reading Jone McCullough's interview with Alan Wolf about his new book, The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep, (2020. Penguin Random House) about the Donner Party, I had to find out more about oxen that were in the party. They have some hindsight advice, in the tone of Gwendolyn Brooks, for humans of 1846.

Tell me how your NPM is going!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Eight Ways, Easter Oxen & Progressive Poem

  Good Friday Friends,

April is here! Welcome, to the month-of-opening. Mary Lee heads up this week's Poetry Round-up at a Year of Reading.  

There are three parts to this week's post. A SWAGGER Challenge, Easter Oxen, and The Progressive Poem. Take your pick or enjoy it all.


I challenged my SWAGGERs to write: Something seen in many ways. Pattern a poem after Pat Schneider's The Moon Ten Times as appears on Jama's blog here. You choose the 'number of times.' Ten is not a required number. 

Eight Ways an Octopus 

1. Story Inspiration
    beneath the deep   
    On the edge of a kelp forest...

2. Notebook doodles
    quick ink-sketch 
    school escape

3. Rock garden artisan
    designs a gate
    shut--to sleep safe

4. Camouflage fashionista
    plays hide and seek
    Color and chic!

5. Jet fighter pilot
    strikes targets
    with precision beak

6. Problem solver
    brain muscle
    operates tools to deceive

7. Creative Contortionist
    tight-fitting moves
    any time, any space

8. Blue blood poet
    three fluid hearts
    swim-lines of grace

(c) Linda Mitchell

If you are interested in a call for poems about octopuses and other cephalopods, click here.

See how other SWAGGERs met this challenge. Catherine Heidi Margaret Molly


Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?! There are Easter oxen! In Florence, Italy oxen pull a cart that includes fireworks each year to the Duomo on Easter Day. You can find them hanging out with Hamish here. 


The Progressive Poem is rolling. It began with Kat Apel offering two lines to choose from and a lovely concise description of the project. 

From Kat's two lines to choose from I chose....         

  I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!

Mary Lee can choose:     Easily contagious sharing smiles is my plan.

                                    Don't fret about a fever, loss of smell, or taste

All Things New


Spring has entered my part of the world. 

I am enjoying Earth's flowering. Today is also Maundy Thursday, a sacred day for Christians. 

My prayer is that Christ-followers find, and renew a commitment to the commandment Christ gave at his last supper. 

Happy Easter to all who celebrate.

Thank you, Karen Eastlund for hosting Spiritual Thursday this month.