Thursday, January 27, 2022

Artist Date with Marilyn Nelson

Happy Friday, Poets

Look at us running into February. 

I had an unexpected and wonderful artist date this week. On Sunday, I was catching up on e-mails, cleaning out my inbox when I came across an invitation for a free talk by Marilyn Nelson about her new book: Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculpture's Life (Christy Ottaviano Books. Jan 22). 

I registered for the event and tuned in. 

Listening to Marilyn Nelson was such a treat. I adore her work. She's published many works and she is at the top of my list of geniuses.  Prompted to visit her website...I bumped into this poem and now love her even more. 

The Dimensions of the Milky Way

  Discovered by Harlow Shapley, 1918


Behind the men’s dorm
at dusk on a late May evening,
Carver lowers the paper
and watches the light change.
He tries to see earth
across a distance
of twenty-five thousand light-years,
from the center of the Milky Way:
a grain of pollen, a spore
of galactic dust.
He looks around:
that shagbark, those(read the rest here)

In her talk, Ms. Nelson passed on some appreciated craft advice. I've added it to a photograph of Augusta Savage from this magazine article from Black Past, Augusta Savage

Foster, C. (2007, August 15). Augusta Savage (1892-1962).

I've ordered Nelson's book and eagerly await its arrival. Go on over to Live Your Poem. Irene is graciously hosting our round-up today. Thank you, Irene!

Thank you, Jone for the marvelous postcard exchange. I am enjoying the beautiful words and images of New Year greetings. Stay tuned for a presentation of them.

For stargazers, there's a new poem on the padlet inspired by the Poetry Pals challenge. It originated with something in an interview of Biologist E.O. Wilson who passed away in December. An earlier interview of him with Ira Flatow was re-aired on Science Friday (Jan 7th) in memory. In the interview, Wilson said: The Ideal scientist thinks like a poet and works like a bookkeeper.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Poetry Friday 1/21

My mood has been overly serious lately. 

Ever get like that? I need a good laugh or a light-hearted poem to bring me some cheer. 

Monday is the American Library Association Youth Media Awards --but for me, it's Newbery Day. I love tuning in to the broadcast of ALA Youth Media Award Chairpeople announcing the honor and winning books in all the categories. I really do clap and cheer from behind my screen. Someday, I'd love to see the announcements in person.

For information about awards click here

Since the pandemic began, I've had a much harder time sitting still with a book. Thank goodness for audiobooks! I laugh at the reminders from my paid account for how many credits I need to use -- when they should know full well that I'll use them all up on NEWBERY DAY! 

This leads me to the silly little ditty below. I'll be thinking It's Newbery Day (even though the Caldecott and many more awards are also announced) until Monday. 

It's Newbery Day

It's Newbery Day
Champion books
are announced today!
fans cheer
and readers praise
on Newbery Day!

Which books will win?
I don't know
award committees
read books fast
read books slow.

Poetry, mystery
nonfiction galore...
picture books, comic books
audiobooks and more!
So many great reads
out in bookstores
and libraries
where interesting titles
are what I see.
Stunning book covers
fill me with glee.

Which are the winners?
I can't wait to see.
It's Newbery Day today!

(c) Linda Mitchell. Jan 22

Thank you, Tabatha, for hosting this week's round-up at your wonderful The Opposite of Indifference

Another star poem is shining on the padlet.

ALSC Winners 2022:

Thursday, January 13, 2022

La Paz on a Snow Day

I like this January!

It started out with a week of snow days. Whoo-hoo! My college girl and my college boy are still home at the end of winter break so we've spent time chatting and making food and watching shows together. College boy likes making cookies! 

We really enjoyed Street Food: Latin America on Netflix. I was delighted to hear some of the opening lines of the episode from La Paz, Bolivia. They led to a golden shovel below.

Thanks, Mary Lee for hosting this week's round-up!

La Paz on a Snow Day

It looks like the sky flipped upside down and the stars are on the floor.
~ Sumaya Prado

On the snowiest day this year,  i
is as cold as a mountain peak. The world  looks 
innocent in its fluffy white coat -- Christmas-card  like 

Cocoa in hand, I turn on  the 
screen and sigh at a scene of  sky 
over La Paz, Bolivia. My heart has  flipped. 

This is the delightful  upside 
of winter. I can hunker  down  
in pajama pants on my couch.  And-- 

through wonders of  the 
internets, visit cities, worlds, and even  stars 
far, far away from my snow day. There  are-- 

moments like this,  on 
occasion, that give my heart rest,  the 
chance to slow dance across my kitchen  floor.

Linda Mitchell, January '22. All rights reserved

Star and I continue to get to know each other this year. On New Year's Day, there was a beautiful poem from the Acadamy of American Poets delivered to my inbox. I enjoyed it so much I went looking for more poems by the poet...and of course, there was one I loved with STAR in it. It's over on the Star padlet. 

That's two...two weeks of January, and two star poems. Only fifty weeks to go! 

Thursday, January 6, 2022


re-cycled papers collage. Linda M. Jan '22

Hello, 2022 Poets,

Thank you, Carol, for hosting the first round-up of this year. The Inkling challenge for this month comes from Heidi. 

Read the rest here

This poem has lots going on with a rhyme scheme and meter and stanzas -- and its tone is of a long-ago memory for young readers. All of us charged into writing only to find out that there was an ingredient our efforts left out of early drafts. This, of course, made the challenge more fun! In the end, we encouraged each other to drop rigidly sticking to the recipe and just "write the thing." That ends up being the most fun. 

Here's my latest revision.


We sit on the stairs 
top step of today 
still in jammies but wide awake 
wiping sleep-spun webs away 
a whole sun’s rise to share. 

We climb up the stairs 
after a morning of play 
lunchtime yummies, toys put away 
Mom says, after nap time today 
there'll be long shadow hours to share 

We run downstairs 
into late afternoon recharged and refreshed, 
set to zoom to the swingset – 
we fly to the moon 
spaceship adventures to share 

We sit on the stairs 
bottom step of today 
after bath sleepy – still awake 
we read storybooks before we pray 
then sleep ‘neath starry sky we share.

Linda Mitchell. All rights reserved

Find more Inkling responses to the Lost Lagoon challenge:

My one-little-word, star, is on a new padlet for 2022. Right now, it's a little lonely single poem. Friends will join soon. A couple of snow days after winter break provided time for extra play-time at my craft table. Thank you, Mother Nature! Have a look at Star's new padlet

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

SJT: One Little Word


Re-cycled paper collage by Linda M. Jan 5, 2022

Hello Sojourners,

   Margaret asked us to share thoughts about our one-little-word for 2022.  

   I had so much fun with my one-little-word, ox, last year, that I chose a word that I could explore similarly in this year. I had several possibilities scattered throughout my journals. But, by end of last summer, one word kept calling me back…star. 

   Star is such a simple noun, like love or rose, I wondered if it had enough for me to explore for an entire year. But still, my word of choice is star.

 My process whenever I start out on any project, whether it be a  lesson, professional development, or collage project is to define my terms. I look up (a lot of googling) what things mean. I try to find literal and figurative definitions that relate to other things. How something is like something else or important to something else—the telling of that is an important part of my spiritual journey. I've learned that making connections is something God urges me to do. 

 As Spiritual Journey Thursday often puts my spirit in closer touch with my religious faith I decided to look up “star” in a Bible concordance. There are several free online versions. I chose According to it, star is found fifteen times in the NIV version and seventeen times in The Message version of The Bible. 

 Four of these references to star are found in Matthew 2:2-10 in the account of the Magi. This sent me in search of an astronomer’s thoughts on ‘The Star of Bethlehem’ in December 2020’s All About Space magazine. There is an online article one can read for free: ‘What was the Star of Bethlehem?” 

 According to the article, questions about this star are asked a lot during the Christmas holidays. One thing that astronomers agree on is that the “star” probably wasn’t a star at all. Theories presented are a process of elimination of why not a star. 

• Stars rise and set they don’t stay in one place 
• Comets also move—and at that time were bad omens, not something to follow 
• Novas and supernovas leave measurable remnants. None have been found. Also, without telescopes, these phenomena a galaxy away would be nearly impossible to see 
• According to Matthew, once the Magi arrived in Bethlehem they needed to ask—“Where is the king of the Jews that’s been born?” So, maybe they were looking at more than one star. Maybe they were considering astrology more than astronomy. 

 So what was that star that is vital to the story of Christ’s birth and part of all the manger scenes and Christmas cards and carols? Possibly the star was a conjunction…a conjunction is “when two or more celestial bodies appear to meet in the night sky from our location on Earth. These events can continue every night in a similar location for days or weeks.” 

 Ah-ha! Getting closer. Right? But, stars still rise and set. Planets move eastward in the sky (not west toward Bethlehem “from the east”). There are several conjunctions astrologers have been able to identify in the BC era…including an alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, the moon, and the sun…when Jupiter is in retrograde -- when a celestial being such as the planet Jupiter appears to move westward instead of the east with stars in the night sky. Maybe this is the answer? Maybe astronomers still don't know.

 The last line of the article made me giggle as the astronomer suggests: “ Maybe it was simply a miracle.” 

 I have much to learn about “star” yet in my spiritual journey. But, I see lots and lots of possibilities already. I'm excited to move into 2022 to do this. Like last year, I’ll post a poem a week related to star on this padlet

Lookout, 2022, I'm aiming for the stars!