Thursday, December 30, 2021

December 31, 2021

Happy New Year!

Thank you, Carol, for hosting a poetry round-up as 2021 crosses the finish line. Fingers crossed that all of us and the whole world are much healthier in 2022. 

Poetry Friday friends introduced me to one little word. I think 2021 might have been the fifth year I select a word to think about throughout the year. I couldn't tell you what my first four words were. They were adjectives I wanted to describe myself or verbs that I wanted to do... play was one.  

As I've mentioned, I've been inspired by Irene Latham's Artspeak. I love her weekly publications--that she somehow makes look easy. I made my o-l-w for 2021 more of a challenge along the lines of  Artspeak. 2021 was the year of the ox on the Chinese calendar. I took ox as my o-l-w with no idea how it would unfold or if I would have the persistence to write 52 ox poems.

As of today, I know that I could because I have!

Some learning took place along the way that I'm astonished at and grateful for.

First, the ox became an ally by the name of Hamish when I saw a funny picture of an ox named Hamish last January after a google search. And then we were off on our journey.

Lessons from Hamish
one-little-word ‘21 

 Life is trust -- increased over time. 

Alertness doesn’t wreck a surprise—
only richens the day. 

Sometimes walk, sometimes ride
friends help when I can’t decide. 

Patience, like trust, cannot be purchased
or forged. It’s a hard-won character trait. 

Simple is good, better, and best
a fresh air walk heals spirits fast. 

Words are intention, meaning, and tone.
giddyap mornings, evenings -- whoa

Fear is a predatory enemy
use one's bulk to face this foe. 

I am enough. You are too.
Living each day is the work we do.

Linda Mitchell. 12/31. All rights reserved.

There is a final haibun and haiku from Hamish and me over on his padlet. 
We both thank you for your friendly support in 2021 and hope that 2022 is a year that you grow and thrive.

I hope you'll join me on my new journey with my o-l-w, star. I've started a secret pinterest board of images, poems and ideas (many from you) that I will reveal at the end of 2022. It's just another fun way to enjoy the ride. Happy New '22. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021


Hello Poetry Friends,

Thank you, Buffy Silverman, for hosting our round-up on such a busy weekend for many around the world. You are a poetry hero!

I'm part of a group of bloggers that post once a month for Spiritual Thursday. This month's theme and writing prompt from Christine Margocs is beautiful: "waiting", with a side of "hope."  

I would typically tackle December's theme with gusto. But, words for a post have eluded me. This month has been busy and wonderful and full, held a few cranky moments, and, did I already say busy? I have wanted so much to just slow down. 

Now that I'm on winter break I have and I think the lullaby below finally addresses December's Spiritual Thursday theme...not so much with the actual words which are a retelling of the nativity. But, the idea of singing these words to a little one...a next generation to carry on a faith. 

Lullaby for Waiting

If I had a stable
I'd fill it with hay.

Then to my ox
what could I say?

Come to the stable
let's rest inside.

Wait now with me
for the holy child.

How will we know
when he's born?

Will there be angels
singing 'til morn?

Who are these shepherds
running fast? wanting in?

Where are these folks from--
looking for him?

My ox and I'll--
listen to angel
music in flight.

And welcome shepherds
in from the night.

Make room for the wise
following a star.

A star they've studied
long from afar.

We'll be in our stable
warm in the hay.

This ox and I,
we've learned to wait.

For miracles great
in places small.

Emanuel is born
hope for us all.

Linda Mitchell. All rights reserved

I found a discarded book in the local library sale that had perfect colors for a collage project I'm working on...and who did I find near the last page of credits but, Hamish! What a friend. I've got to stop being surprised at finding him. See for yourself over on his padlet.

PS. I've been inspired by Kat Apel's digital erasure poems. I'm not sure how she does this...but for those that want to give it a try, this is how I did it. I scanned a page of text. Then, inserted the jpg into a power point slide and used the tools to draw and add shapes. Then, I uploaded it to the padlet. 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

This Photograph Wants to be a Poem

Hello Poetry Friends,

I'm at the kitchen table watching my college kids play cribbage and talk about classes and grades and future plans. I am a happy mama. 

This week's writing prompt from This Photo Wants to be a Poem is adorable! 

I drafted a quick poem in response this morning.

And, then...THEN I thought, I'd google "Ox" and "Dance." Who did I discover posing over at a coffee company but Hamish -- in coat and tails no less! 

Wingenroth, Lauren. “These Retired Ballroom Dancers Started a Dance-Themed Coffee Company.” Dance Magazine, Dancemedia, 9 Dec. 2021,

We both had a good laugh. I printed out the article about how a pair of professional dancers started a dance-themed coffee company to see if I could find any poetry in it. Of course, I did! It's a fun little tanka the ballerinas above would approve of to be found over on Hamish's padlet. 

Before you go, make sure to check out this article featuring our Janet Wong at Children's Poetry Summit. It's fantastic!

Published by Poetry Summit View all posts by Poetry Summit, et al. “Janet Wong: The Children's Poetry Scene in America: A RECAP OF #NCTE21.” Children's Poetry Summit, Word Press, 16 Dec. 2021,

Thank you, Jone, for hosting this week's poetry round-up! While you're visiting, be sure to sign up for the New Year's postcard exchange. It's lots of fun!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Winter Poem Swap Warm Fuzzies

Hello Friends,

It's so nice to meet you in a place of poetry. Please visit Merely Day by Day for a round-up of this week's poetry offerings. Poetry Friday blog visits are like cookies without calories. Thank you, Cathy!

I am fortunate to have received a wonderful winter poem swap gift from Carmela Martino with not just one but two beautiful poems and a thoughtful gift.

Share this bounty with me!

Delightful winter poem swap gifts from Carmela

Year-End Reflection

As this year draws to a close,
I recall many moments of grace,
and let go of those laden with woes,
sitting alone in this quiet place.

I recall many moments of grace.
Giving thanks for my blessings, I sigh,
sitting alone in this quiet place,
a single candle flickering nearby.

Giving thanks for my blessings, I sigh.
I'm filled with warmth from deep within.
With a single candle flickering nearby,
I look ahead to the year about to begin.

I'm filled with warmth from deep within.
Letting go of moments laden with woes,
I look ahead to the year about to begin,
as this year draws to a close.

@Carmela A. Martino 2021

Isn't Year-End-Reflections beautiful? Carmela wrote that she thought she'd try a pantoum. That's a pretty brilliant try, I think.

Additionally, I received a glass jar with colorful paper in it to accompany this poem...

Good Things

A morning walk
beneath blue skies.
A cardinal calling
as it flies.

A smiling stranger
holds a door.
A new museum
to explore.

The patter of
much-needed rain.
A breath of air
that's sweet again.

A lovely dinner
with a friend.
A stunning sunset
at day's end.

The flavor of a 
favorite tea.
A comfy chair
and time to read.

Record these joys
on little cards
and save them in
your Good Things jar.

@2021 Carmela A. Martino

Guess what my first good thing is?

My new Good Things Jar. Thank you, Carmela!

There is a new poem on Hamish's padlet for advent.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Winding Down the Year

Hello December!

It's really hard to believe that this calendar year is coming to a close. Thank goodness for the season of Advent and Christmas through New Year festivities to keep me smiling.

This month, Molly challenged our Inklings:

I chose a new-to-me form, the Interlocking Rubiyat

I thought I had never read or heard a poem like this before. But, it is well known...especially in this famous poem sometimes read in December as snow begins to fall in my part of the world. 

'stopping by Woods on a Snowy evening' - robert frost (powerful life poetry)

And in the serendipity of poetry life, this Poem-a-Day from Saturday 11/27 popped up just to show me that the rubaiyat has more to teach me.  Fancies, by Mrs. Minot Carter is not interlocking...but it is a rubaiyat.


Mrs. Minot Carter

If we could return from our last long rest
And seek out the ones we loved the best,
Though not in a form to cause them fear,
Just gently to let them feel us near,

Would we come in the scent of the evening flowers
Bringing to mind past happy hours?
read the rest here

The rules of interlocking rubaiyat:

  • Comprised of quatrains following an aaba rhyme pattern.
  • Each successive quatrain picks up the unrhymed line as the rhyme for that stanza. So three-stanza rubaiyat might rhyme so: aaba/bbcb/ccdc. Sometimes the final stanza, as in Frost's example above, rhymes all four lines.
  • Lines are usually tetrameter and pentameter (mine are 10 syllables).

As I am saying goodbye to 2021 I am beginning to finish up a year's journey with Hamish. We will always be friends. But, his time as my main word squeeze is winding down. Our time together has been far richer than I hoped for. Again, I want to thank Irene Latham for the inspiration from her ArtSpeak padlet boards. I've been wowed by her work so many times. In 2021, I flat out took a page out of her padlet to give my own a try. My writing is forever changed. 

I have plans for 2022. But, more on that later. It's time to give Hamish some time with interlocking rubaiyat.

How to Say Goodbye? 

This year winds down, an old clock ticking slow 
wind blusters north and south now, seeking snow. 
A friend I’ve made and loved is moving on 
I don’t know how to say goodbye -- let go. 

I need a farewell star to wish upon 
a steady light for us to see and count on. 
Sure as any flashlight at midnight's dark, 
shining bright and holding us in common. 

These winter days grow short and early dark. 
Quick-scurry squirrels chase acorns in the park 
fists and cheeks full of bounty to be stored 
treasure maps marked by tiny chatter marks. 

My words, those acorns, fond memories stored 
will keep me warm and fed through lonely storms 
until we can wind up the clock again 
to meet as old and reunited friends.

Linda Mitchell 12/21
all rights reserved

Hamish has a few words at his padlet: 

Thanks to Michelle who hosts our Poetry Friday Round-up at MoreArt4All. Please stop by and enjoy the richness of her creativity!