Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

Now, I know what you're thinking.
She doesn't look like a 
                    superhero. She looks like a dainty little lady.
                    Never underestimate dainty little ladies.

                                    ~Laurie Halse Anderson, Thank You, Sarah:
                                      The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

I'm surrounded by family and too much food. What a lucky poet am I! And, I'm wishing you the same. 

Thank you, Ruth, for hosting this week's round-up at There's No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town.

November is

A gravy word

mixed of all the year's juices

with a little salt and pepper
and dark-by-five spice.

It runs in muddy

after football and lacrosse

wanting a shower and dinner 

before homework time.

November is a chilly

rainy day chat

with a cuppa cocoa

or, a book.

Maybe a cat or dog

sleep near your fireplace.

November is for remembering

our First Peoples

Veteran’s who stepped up


and voting for who

will lead until next

In November we put our feet up

eat a little too much
watching the parade

after raking blessings

into orange and gold quilts
to cover f
lower beds 

for winter sleep.

(c) Linda Mitchell 11/25/21

I came across a painting of St. Luke while perusing one day. St. Luke's biblical symbol is an ox. Imagine my delight when I found Hamish by Luke's side in the painting. Hamish has a  Thanksgiving prayer on his padlet

Thursday, November 18, 2021


Hello Poets,

This week is Folk Tale Week. I didn't even know such a thing existed...but look! It's a real thing. If you haven't participated yet, you can certainly finish out the week with some of the prompts. Here's the scoop as I found it on Instagram:

From what I've learned, any creative type can play along...but the original inspiration comes from illustrators.  I have several folktale drafts from this week. Here's one from day one...a warm-up using this beautiful 1938 painting by Nicholas Roerich I found on

Hamish and I were just delighted when this daily poem showed up in our inbox from Poem-a-day from the American Academy of Poets. 

Ultra Orator Spell
By Soham Patel

I become the song I’ve been
singing alone in this field with you.
What deal did we make that leaps
so far behind both into the horizon 
and from it? Some grim comfort
has come my way in the form
of an ox. 
Read the rest here

It was even more fun when poetry friends saw it and shared it with us too. Isn't it amazing how Hamish has enabled me to see and discover this year? What a guy!

Of course, we celebrated, Hamish and I, by combining this poem with folk tale week. our golden shovel on his padlet: 

Thank you, Carol for hosting our Poetry Friday round-up at Beyond Literacy Link. Pop over to her blog for a feast of beautiful images and words.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

November 12

Ahhhhhhhh, Friday.

Thank you, Matt, at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme for hosting this week's round-up. It's fun watching your stack of published books grow taller and taller.

I'm home from my travels and looking forward to the holidays. Being in Williamsburg last week reminded me to invite you to Virginia's annual poetry contest. 

The Poetry Society of Virginia annual poetry contest is open to all. Just a few well-marked categories are strictly for Society members and/or Virginia residents. There is a small fee for each entry. Or, one can join the society for the cost of submitting seven poems.

#18 is sponsored by the Williamsburg Poetry Guild and is open to all.
A sense of Place Urquhart Memorial.
"Places— manmade, natural, personal, or historical— inform poetry with the power to evoke the past and transcend the present. Any form. Any subject. 48 line limit. Awards: $50, $30, $20."

Below is the 3rd place winner of the 2021 Cenie Moon Prize, a category for a poem of any form about a woman or, women with a 48 line limit.

Rowing Lessons


Remember, little sister

when Mom taught us
how to row together?


We took turns

settling into the dinghy’s center seat

trussed up in orange life jackets.


She showed us how to grip,

brace against  the oarlocks,

bend forward

dipping oars  into the water--

     just a little bit

before pulling.


Snapshots collected of us laughing

concentrating on synchronizing,

plunging too deep

pulling us right off our seats.


Remember that time you breathed, look up

as a pair of blue herons 

flew over

rowing wingbeats

so harmonious

that today we 

wear gold necklaces 

with heron pendants 

rowing through

our lives

bracing, dipping, pulling--

space for our sisterhood

between our oars.

(c) Linda Mitchell 2021

The deadline for the PSV contest is January 19th, Edgar Allen Poe's birthday. Good luck!

The Poetry Society of Virginia

Hamish and I spent some time thinking about the oxen of yesteryear and now while we were in Williamsburg. And, he reminded me to post last week's ox poem. Both poems are on his padlet.

Thursday, November 4, 2021


Happy Poetry Friday,

Hamish and I are on the road again. We are at our Virginia Association of School Librarians Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia.

I know, I know...two conferences within two weeks is a lot for this librarian lady. Thankfully, Hamish has carried my heavy bookbags and helped me deliver signs (I'm the signage committee chair) to our beloved librarians working tirelessly for Virginia's students and school staff.

Signs painted by:  Walker's Colonial American Sign LLC. “Colonial American Sign Company Homepage - Our Story.” Walker's Colonial American Sign LLC, Squarespace,

The Inkling challenge this month was from me:

For November, write a poem that includes the idea of                    percentage./percent. Percentages are all around us in recipes, prices, assessments, statistics. Include the idea of percentage in your poem in some way.


I’ve overthought this poem by 95%.

Comparatively, 95% of poets over-think.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

In my case, a thief stole my favorite pen.

My favorite pen drew houses with four windows.
Any open window forced a door to slam.

The front door slammed when I left.

I left without any goodbye words.

Goodbye words were impossible to find.

So, I rocked myself to sleep that night.

By myself, that night I thought nothing’s fair--
How could this be fair? No pen -- no words.

No words -- waiting to be found--

I’ve overthought this poem by 95% again.

(c) Linda Mitchell November '21

I invite you to write a poem of percent. I'd love to see it when you do. November nudges switching up recipes -- oven-roasting and soup stirring -- Thanksgiving pies! As you measure out ingredients by double or half think of how it could become part or all of a poem.

More Inkling Poems of Percent:

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Grateful for a Gift of Time

 Hello Friends,

     It's been quite an intense first quarter of school. And, I'm away at a second conference this year. It's wonderful to learn with others who also spend their days with a school library as their classroom. 

     I didn't think I'd write a post at all for today until I received unexpected gifts.

Williamsburg, VA

     The first, a perfectly beautiful fall day. Crisp, clear, cool enough for a vest but not cold...perfection. And, the second gift was a bit of time with nothing on my schedule. I decided to walk around. I bought an old-fashioned hot chocolate, found a bench in the sun, and read a delightful book until my phone alarm reminded me it was time to return to the conference center for meetings.

Williamsburg, VA

     What gifts... sweeter by the surprise of them. 

Williamsburg, VA

     I am fortunate. I am grateful. 

     Denise is hosting our Spiritual Thursday round-up at Dare to Care. Thank you, Denise!