Thursday, December 29, 2022

December 30 BOX

Hello Everyone,

Happy New Year! And, thank you to Patricia who is graciously hosting our round-up today at Reverie.

The Poetry Sisters (#PoetryPals) December inspiration challenge is BOX

My response:

A final star poem closes out the year on Star's padlet. Thank you for being a part of her journey.

Wherever you are and whatever traditions you follow, I hope you have some winter time to rest and enjoy family--including our Poetry Friday family. We all need that!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

December 23. Short Poetry

Hello Everyone,

Merry Christmas! Thank you, Irene, for hosting this week's round-up at Live Your Poem. Irene inspired these state-shaped ornaments with some she made and shared on her blog. I saw the idea and had to give it a go with my paper scraps and the very irregular borders (fussy cut!) of Virginia.

2 Ornaments in the shape of VA by Linda

I also saw this "poetry lesson" cartoon on twitter weeks ago. I love it! Using this form as a mentor text can lead to a pile of's sort of addicting. And, wouldn't this be fun with students?

These poems are fun to mimic. 

Linda Mitchell 12-23-22

A poem like Monday. Linda Mitchell 12/22

A poem like Friday. Linda Mitchell 12/22

Star is in the process of exiting the 2022 stage. She sure has sparkled. Find the latest on her padlet. Star's padlet is also inspired by Irene's Art Speak collection. Live Your Poem is an endless source of inspiration I am grateful for. Thank you, Irene.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

This Photo Wants to be a Poem Takeover!

Good Morning!

Our usual host, Margaret Simon, is a bit busy today so I'm taking over her blog space to bring you, This Photo Wants to be a Poem. Perhaps you remember that 'This Photo...' began with a weekly prompt with Laura Purdie Salas and then moved to Margaret's Reflections on the River Teche where she tends it weekly. She'll be back soon.

Margaret shared this photo as a prompt for a quick-write or short poem today. See where it takes you.

My draft:

Winter wears dangle earrings
diamonds of ice
flash against snow
She doesn't worry
that they'll melt
as December
welcomes a January Jeweler
who does the best work
in temperatures
below zero.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Your turn!

Write a small poem in the comments section. Blogger has changed the way that commenters are identified. So, if you aren't signed in to Blogger, please sign your comment so that we know who to respond to. Support other writers who stop by for some writing time today.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Spark #53

It feels like a Friday -- Hooray!

Thank you, Karen Edmisten for hosting our round-up today. 

I apologize for the formatting of this post. Sometimes, when I copy and paste, extra white space is what I get and I cannot then get rid of it.

Have you ever heard of Get Sparked? It's a group of artists that participate in periodic art exchanges. One artist sends an inspiration piece and a second artist responds. Recently, Jone McCulloch and I sparked!

Jone sent me this beautiful inspiration poem:

Early Dawn

dreams whisper
to wake before sunrise
slipper shuffle to writing room
coffee in hand

to wake before sunrise
word play, journal time
coffee in hand
quiet blankets the house

word play, journal time
old photograph invites a poem
quiet blankets the house
darkness gives way to a pink-gray sky

old photograph invites a poem
rain and wind strike up a chorus
darkness gives way to a pink-gray sky
grasp the pen and begin

rain and wind strike up a chorus
slipper shuffle to writing room
grasp the pen and begin
dreams whisper

©Jone Rush MacCulloch

I responded with this collage--I'm giving it the same title.

Early Dawn. Collage. Linda Mitchell

I really like the two side by side in the design suggested by power point:

Inspiration and Response

It's not easy saying goodbye to star...but her year is drawing to a close. Only two more poems after this on her padlet.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Winter Poem Swap Goodness


OK, who's had snow? Would you be willing to share some?

Although, if I could transport myself to Australia's summer at no cost--I would be tempted by that too.

I'm loving getting ready for the holidays. this year. Last year, Santa announced her retirement, and my adult children were enlisted as replacements. Now, my most taxing duties after work are cookie baking and decorating my wacky Charlie Brown tree.

Branches from a brush pile.
They hold special ornaments really well.
It's wacky--we like it that way.

I enjoy trips to the mailbox for old-fashioned Christmas cards and photos. This week, the most delightful winter poem swap arrived from Janice Scully. She's recently back from some amazing travels and shared a lovely Madonna medal and s beautiful mini-quilt. The colors are so festive and the sewn lines are wonderfully straight. I've done a bit of sewing lately and my lines do NOT look as straight and even as hers. I'm using my mini-quilt to keep my tea cup warm these late fall mornings--at least until I need a refill and my senior cat steals it as a pillow.

mini-quilt, medal and poem from Janice

Star responded to Janice's poem. Find it on the Star padlet.

By Janice Scully

I have an hour,
to wonder in peace,
touch the grass,
watch the geese.

when my chores are done,
I'll ponder the sky,
the clouds
the sun,

by the apple tree,
and hope to spy
a hummingbird
come whirring by.

I sincerely hope you are enjoying this time of year wherever you live. Peace on Earth remains an earnest wish and prayer. 

Our wonderful friend at More Art 4 All is hosting this week's round-up. Make sure to stop in and say hello. Thank you, Michelle.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Answer to an Unasked Question

Hello Poets,

It's December -- isn't it wonderful? Thank you, Catherine, for hosting our round-up this week. 

This month, Molly challenged the Inklings to write a poem that answered an unasked question.

I had plans to write a children's poem...instead, I wandered into a much younger adult self.

If You Found This Letter

It will be after one of the kids

broke your My Sister, My Friend frame. 

Or, you, tired of the fading plastic
in your sunny window
and it slipped out from
behind our photo.

We were so young

No husbands or kids,

pets, bills, or in-laws yet.

Mom was still with us.

Every time I run a cloth 
over the glass of my frame which is not often enough— I remember waiting for the summer carnival saving up allowance for the midway.

That booth with its purple curtain
and, us, jammed onto the bench,

I pause over our smiling mouths
not a wrinkle in sight.

That photo is still my favorite.


it will be hard to remember

But, I wrote it all down
and tucked it behind the photo.
You’ll find it.

I know you will.

And, I’ll bet you write back.

-draft. Linda Mitchell

See more Inkling responses to this challenge:

Reflections on the Teche
Reading to the Core
My Juicy Little Universe
Nix the Comfort Zone
A(nother) Year of Reading

There's a new golden shovel on Star's padlet. It's hard to believe it's time to begin saying goodbye to Star. She's been a good friend this year. Just a few more weeks of poems for her.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

A Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving, Poets!

Poetry Friday Round-up

By: Linda Mitchell
Yield: Infinite
Prep time: 20 min. – 2 days
Total time: One Friday to a lifetime 


    Poem reading | to taste (research can be used as a substitute) 
    Whatever inspiration you have on hand. Mentor texts work well 
    Writing | to one’s liking 
    1 pinch editing 
    Handful of Photographs, video or illustrations 
    Smattering of links 
    1 Blog (a blog of a friend will do) 
    1 Poetry Friday badge 


    Spend some time reading poems until inspired to jot down thoughts. Use the notes to draft an original poem or, find a poem of similar theme from any source. The Poetry Foundation, Poem Hunter, American Academy of Poetry and No Water River are great stores of poetry. However, you are not limited to them. You can go rogue.
     At some point, gather all thoughts, original or found poetry and arrange in a post on your blog. Fold in photographs or illustrations one at a time. Sprinkle with links—especially a link to the round-up host. Don’t forget to edit. Reading your work aloud helps. If you do miss this step, it’s acceptable to revise a post…even after publishing. 
     Once published, find the Poetry Friday host online blog. Read the post thoughtfully and add a link to your post as directed. Take a moment to thank the host for the time they spend sharing your post and poetry worldwide.  Thank you, Ruth for hosting the round-up this week at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town.
     Visiting all the Poetry Friday blogs is not required. However, if the spirit moves you, visit to several Poetry Friday blogs. It is helpful to reader and writer. Write comments that highlight the good and well written poems. When possible, mark your post with the Poetry Friday badge. 

Special Information 

    Poetry Friday is open to anyone who wishes to participate. There are no additional requirements, fees or calories! Some blogs specialize in poems for teachers or children. Others serve as great anthologies…while others offer original work.
    Mary Lee Hahn sends out a call for hosts twice a year (December/July) and arranges a calendar of hosts. Several participants offer special events such as poetry swaps, monthly challenges and postcard exchanges. These are not required but can be frosting on one’s cake! 


What stars did the Pilgrims see? There's a new haiku on Star's padlet. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Tonight's Poem

Hello Poets.

Happy end of this week. I'm looking forward to the weekend to prepare for the coming holidays. 

The poem below was inspired by this painting/illustration by Graham Franciose found on Twitter.

Thank you, Jama for hosting our Poetry Friday round-up!

A new little haiku on Star's padlet today

Thursday, November 10, 2022

After Buffy Silverman's Gold Blooming Days

Hello Poetry Lovers,

I'm on the road again this weekend. Thank goodness for audiobooks. I'll be driving far but to family and that's the best. I might not respond to posts until my return. In the meantime, say thanks to our Veterans and enjoy beautiful autumn. 

Thank you Buffy Silverman for hosting our round-up this week. This poem is for you--Mwah!

The Poetry Sisters are calling for recipe poems this month. I'm practicing with a Recipe for Stargazing...on the padlet  

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Inklings Folk Tale Week Challenge

Happy November,

It's my turn to challenge inklings with a writing prompt. 

Even though #folktaleweek was started by illustrators, creatives of any kind can join in. I use the words as prompts for poems. 

It's funny. My poem at first doesn't strike me as very folktale-y. But, it could be...we've been living through a scary tale for a while in many parts of the world. Once Upon a Time, Victory was inspired by Barbara Crooker's poem, And Now October, shared by Karen Eastland on Poetry Friday last week. It harkens back to a gentler time before so much societal stress. 

Once Upon a Time...

by Linda Mitchell. 11/4/22

Thanks to photos sent to me by a friend who saw star shapes in autumn leaves, there is also a #folktaleweek poem on Star's padlet. 

See how Inklings responded to the prompt:

I am at the Virginia Association of School Librarians' conference today--my PF responses could be a bit later this week.

Thursday, October 27, 2022


Trick-or-Treat! It's sooooooo close to Halloween and I've already eaten my candy quota!

Are you ready? Do you have a spunky or spooky poem? This one was sparked by artwork featured on Jama's "Nine Cool Things on a Tuesday," post from October 4th. 

Janet Hill's Halloween Party: Nine Cool Things on a Tuesday

Linda Mitchell 10/28/22

Here's a Halloween treat for you on Star's padlet.

Thank you, Jone for hosting today's Poetry Friday round-up with publication news!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Afghan Poetry

Oh, do I love it when poetry surprises me in life.

I was watching the news several nights ago and there was a spot about four living poets from Afghanistan. I learned a bit more about how important poetry is in Afghan culture and history. I see more students from Afghan families in school this year. I can't help but want to know more about things that connect us -- especially if it's poetry.

I went looking for poems in English by the poets from the news spot...even with google's help that wasn't a simple thing to do.

However, I did find this 2020 article from Time Magazine: 

This article is from before the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan. I wonder how poets are faring there these days. So many people there are suffering.

One of the poets in the news spot is Shafiqa Khpalwak who now lives in the US and is a published poet and student of Peace Studies at Wellesly University. Some of her poems appear in Adi Magazine. I copied a snippet of Khpalwak's poem, I Shall Write a Poem, and turned it into a postcard. It's displayed on my desk at school. If one of my students spots it, reads it, and is interested I will give it to them and make another. Poetry will connect us.


Thank you, Bridget Magee, for hosting this week's Poetry round-up.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Triolet Play

Hello Poets,

Until recently, I didn't know that ATC stands for artist trading card. These trading cards are popular among artists and crafters as collector's items...similar to any other trading card. The criteria for making an ATC is simple. It needs to be art of the maker's choice but fit into a standard trading 2.5 x 3.5 pocket.

Another thing that I'm learning from the art world is the term, happy mail, which is old-fashioned letterbox mail. It can be a note, ATC, or supplies for making art. Recently, I received some happy mail from Jone in the form of a mixed media ATC. Isn't it sweet? It called for a poem.

étoile du soir is the star of Star's padlet: today:

Speaking of stars, head on over to Matt's blog Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme for all the fun of this week's Poetry.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Wordy 30

Oooooooh, Poets

I had a day off school yesterday and went to lunch with a couple of library friends and then on to the biggest discount bookstore I've ever seen. I didn't spend too much money. But, I had fun browsing for a couple of hours--agog at how many books were collected, displayed, and on sale for deep discounts. 

When I got home, two books I asked my local public library to purchase were on hold for me. Thank you, Jama, for recommending Susan Branch's Distilled Genius (Spring Stree Publications. 2022)...and whoever recommended No Voice Too Small. Fourteen Young Americans Making History (Charlesbridge. 2020). I'm just loving both of these. The first is an artist's date...the second as a mentor text.

Mary Lee's challenge to the Inklings this month is to write a Wordy-30.

See how the other Inklings tackled the Wordy 30:

Mary Lee

Star's padlet is sporting a new poem along a nautical theme.

Thank you, Sarah Grace Tuttle, for hosting our round-up today. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Nebulous Definito

Hello, Last Friday of September,

Except for the odd monster hurricane, what a beautiful month! I really hate to see September go...except that October is arriving. And, I do love pumpkins, pumpkin spice and fall leaves.

The Poetry Pals challenged us to write a definito, this form was invented by our own Heidi Mordhorst--and is super fun to write.

Things that lift a star's spirits...that's what's new on Star's padlet today.

Please visit The Opposite of Indifference for the full round-up of Poetry Friday posts. Thanks for hosting, Tabatha!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Since Last Constitution Day

Hello Friday!

September 17th was Constitution Day in the US. This year, I celebrated that the Constitution of my nation still holds. It has been attacked and challenged. Yet, so far, our Constitution and federal form of government in the US continue to work by and for the people. I am grateful and acutely aware of how fragile the ideas of this old battleship of a document are. My drafty poem is a bit dark.

I had fun with poetry prompts from Ethical ELA's Open Write this week. A super fun prompt involving my favorite Earth, Wind & Fire song f and this photo generated a poem for Star's padlet:

Be sure to visit Rose at Imagine the Possibilities. She's hosting our round-up this week and I'm still in awe of her riff on St. Milay last week. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

September 16

Hello Poets,

Last weekend, I visited the Mexican Genuises: A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience. It was wonderful -- truly an artist date. 

I've always appreciated that Kahlo and Rivera were artists. But neither of their styles has been my aesthetic. To be honest, I just thought Kahlo's art was edgy and weird.  I enjoyed how the immersive experience took me into the world of these two in a different way. 

The exhibit was held in a warehouse turned movie studio. Each exhibit space included reproductions of art as well as objects from the time period and culture. I loved the leather chairs in the first space to sit and watch a huge mural by Rivera animated from a black and white sketch to full painting. 

Another room was set up like a kitchen with dishes and cooking utensils--all of this with painted reproductions, menus, and sound recordings of kitchen preparations.

The grand finale of this visit was a massive hall that played a 360-degree presentation of sight and sound. I was grateful for a swivel stool I could turn around and around as the scenery changed on the ceiling, floor, and every inch of the walls. 

As guests exited, we were invited to color in a community Rivera-styled wall mural and play with hands-on objects and dioramas of the Mexican geniuses. Fun!

In the mural coloring and fun objects room

There won't be a Kahlo or Rivera painting on my dining room wall anytime soon. But, I appreciate how these two lived their art and both produced large collections of work to enjoy. I'm so glad for the experience with their work.


Borne by pain 
you lived corseted 
unable to contain all you would express. 
 Painting was the way--  

Artists and communists 
even democratic thinkers
of your day wanted to know
and keep up with you.  


Stars over Coyoacán drank your colors 
red and ochre birth blood 
post-surgical black and green.
Again and again. 

In the future,
we think we can know you console you.


I have receipts for trinkets
and copies of your work.
Still, stars remember the flavor of your colors
as I wander a dark world looking at
and wondering about your art.

--Linda Mitchell--draft

This painting by Alan Syliboy sparkled on my twitter feed this week...just look at all those stars! See the poem inspired by them on Star's padlet 

Be sure to stop by Kat Apel's blog for the latest and greatest on her work and a round-u[ of our Poetry Friday friends.