Thursday, December 21, 2023


Oh, my goodness...WORD and I are sitting with feet up enjoying a cozy cuppa as we wind down the final days of 2023.

There is never enough writing time or time to think about writing. This year was no exception. But, we've done what we could.

I am delighted to share gifts received from Carol Labuzzetta in our recent Winter Poetry Swap. Thank you, Tabatha, for keeping this tradition. I so appreciate your organization of this annual event.

Pretty, pretty jewelry from Carol looks nice with my winter scarf & mittens

What a beautiful poem...if I can live up to these words in 2024
I will be satisfied. Carol inspires me --her jewelry matches the poem!

Isn't Carol's handmade jewelry exquisite? Her time, attention to detail, and word choice are much, much appreciated. I am always glad for a mentor text that I see in this poem. Thank you, Carol. I enjoy the sparkly necklace, earrings, and poem immensely.

Next Friday, I'll be traveling. I'll probably skip posting. However, I have WORD #51 and #52 on the padlet. It has been quite a journey for WORD and me. We began 2023 as strangers but are now besties.

WORD has given me permission to let go and choose a new O-L-W for 2024. I'll introduce it in early January. 

For now, poetry friends, thank you for your friendship. Thank you for all the beautiful words of 2023. Keep healthy, safe, and strong until we meet in 2024.

Thank you, Jone, for hosting our Poetry Friday round-up this weekend. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Cento...or mash-up

 Hello Poetry People,

My goodness...what a week! I came out of the Covid-cave because the CDC (thus my employer) says that after six days, you return to work. Ta-da! 

However, I've been pretty pooped.

Thank goodness my family has been taking care of me and don't mind when I go to bed at 5:30 in the afternoon. I'm fine...getting better every day and very thankful for the wonders of Paxlovid. 

This was a perfect time to play with form ala Susan at Chicken Spaghetti. Last week, she alternated lines from Seuss' One Fish, Two Fish and, a Shakespeare Sonnet. Her work and the idea hit me just right. I loved it! I started playing around with different poems for mash-ups. I think, technically, these poems are centos. But, mash-up sounds better to me.

I'm sharing two...just because I can't choose which one I like more. 

Word and I have been playing with Elfchen's...practice #2 is on the padlet.

Thank you, Janice Scully, for hosting the round-up this week at Salt City Verse.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Light and Dark

Greetings Spiritual Thursday Writers and Poetry Friday Friends,

Thank you, Jone McCullough for the wonderful prompt, Dark and Light. She's managing some tragic news unexpectedly. And, thank you Patricia for a rich Poetry Friday poem and post. You inspire me at Reverie.

I have a dark and light experience going on right now. I'm in bed with a case of covid. YUCK! But, my family just adopted two adorable kitten brothers that are keeping my spirits up. This is after our last cat was suffering more bad days than good and was put to sleep just after Thanksgiving.

Life comes fast and furious sometimes. These drafty draft poems are event-specific from where I am isolating. I might work them into something later. For now, they are the Light and Dark of me.

Light and Dark

Dark is war
rumors of war

bits of shrapnel
bomb dust everywhere.

A December day

weighing Autumn’s coin

against Winter’s bill 

now due.

Dark is an airport terminal

of canceled flights.

No arrival tonight. Dark is seawater filling tunnels.

Death erasing life.
Grief gushing in.
Each reading eye

picks up shards

of dark

both dull and sharp again.

How to spend
dark currency?

If only I could buy light
to drive away this fear
before we all fall asleep.
Light is scent

of cookies baking.
Or, Kittens snuggled
at my side.
Light is a gift of

handknit socks
perfect on my feet.

Light is a December smile.

Secrets without long
to wait.

Candles lit and glowing

overcoming grief with cheer. Sounds of carolers

singing in the street
laughing off forgotten words
still keeping up a beat.
Light is as




Peace finding everyone,
finding everyone before
we fall asleep.

Drafty-draft Linda Mitchell 12/8/23

I'm practicing elfchens based on the Poetry Pals December invitation. There's one on Word's padlet.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Welcome December

Hello Poets,

It's December -- Wow! How did that happen so fast?

The Inklings challenge this month comes from Molly. 

luc bat 

I found rhyming before the end of a line a challenge. 

Luc bat for December

Good morning December

your pink cheeks—holly berry bright
in weakened winter’s light.

Welcome, won’t you step right inside?
You’re in time for Yuletide

cheer and toasting beside our tree

Please stay a while with me--

friends by the fire, cozy and warm.

Linda Mitchell 12/1

Word and I stumbled across a teeny poem in a book I was weeding from my library. It's on the padlet.

Check out some more luc bat poems from our Inkling friends.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving


I'm grateful to this community of writers and readers. I always want to write much more than I do. Life has a way of keeping that from happening. But, Poetry Friday gives me a weekly goal of writing something worth sharing...even if only in draft form. It is a good habit and I thank you for being my accountability partner.

Our friend, Ruth, is hosting this week's round-up from her far away corner of the world. I'm thankful for that. This long weekend has been important for me to catch up on many things.

Last week, Ruth asked us to consider surprises.


Linda Mitchell 11.25.23

No Surprise Triolet

Linda Mitchell 11.25.23

The word on Word's padlet is now...simple, small, and, sincere.

Happy Thanksgiving 2023

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Folktale Week Poetry

How is Folktale Week going for you?

I've been squeezing time into life outside of work to read and think about fairy tales. I've enjoyed some old tales from this book in the public domain.

Why do we humans love fairytales so much? Poet Zaro Weils says,

"For a well-told tale is the universal expression of imaginative communication, something which we humans = the great species of communicators - not just need, but are compelled to share...what greater goal can there be than to attract our young charges into a universe where we can sit together around the up ideas."

I love how shorter days and cooler nights nudge me to turn inward. These old stories are good company.

Some pantoum play from my Folk Tale Week morning writes. 

Folktale Week '23

I posted another poem from this week on Word's padlet. Word and I are in talks over what my O-L-W for 2024 should be. There are several possibilities. Word is an expert. I'm listening.

Irene Latham is hosting our round-up this week on her blog, Live Your Poem. Don't miss stopping by her post for lots of poetry goodness.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Folktale Week is Coming

Hello Poets,

I hope US friends can find a veteran to salute in some way today. I'm grateful that on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 nations of our world chose peace over war. 

Next week, November 13 - 19th is Folktale Week. This is a week of prompts presented to artists around the globe to respond to. Although Folktale Week began with illustrators, artists of all forms and formats are invited to participate.

This year's prompts are...


I'm hoping to have some fun with these words over the next week. Maybe you'll join in too?

I was poking around for fairytale poems and found a poem inside this poem by Edith Weaver.

Lost Cinderella

By Edith Weaver

Little rich girl, with bells,
come running lightly as
the fawn of the fairytales
treading on musical leaves;

come running through the precious path
in the hypnotic forest
where nothing dares fall into a clutter of death
till you are past,

where the wind stands straight as an elm
to offer fringed shelter
and pale blossoms smile through an atmosphere
glossy as water.

The wolves and the witches will not deign
to lift their muzzles
from counting a spoil of screaming bone
to taste a tinkerbell

and your fortunate body has no skeleton
but cakes and perfume
that wrinkles the noses of neighboring children
who do not know you

but primly wait in the summerhouse
for the promised party
side by side with a council of solemn dolls
who try you in memory.

Do you see the pink highlighted words of a poem I found inside Weaver's poem? It's a great way to get into the vibe of Folktale Week.

Thank you, Karen Edminsten, for hosting this week's round-up. I've caught up with Word's padlet. Still on track for 52 word poems in 2023.

Little Red Riding Hood. [United States: publisher not transcribed] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023


Alphabet Soup Anyone?

Maybe. This post is serving double duty for Spiritual Journey Thursday (SJT) and Poetry Friday (PF). I'll be away from writing --at the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) when you read this. 

School librarians are good people. Like busy professionals in many areas, they're juggling a lot more than the basics these days. M
y annual state conference is a place of renewal. I slow down to listen to my colleagues and discuss what's going on in my professional life. I gain energy for the work by attending.

I try to give back as well. I've chaired the signage committee for a few years. This year, I'm in charge of bringing the snacks for Thursday's 'Snack Break with Vendors.' Raising four kids prepared me to buy snacks for hundreds. lol. 

Just waiting on the Ritz Bitz! (Please ignore hubby's side of the garage in the background)

Can you believe it's November already! This month is my turn to challenge the Inklings with a poem prompt. 

Write a prose piece–find a poem in it.

  • Or, write a poem, and expand it into a prose piece
  • Or, find a prose piece, transform it into a poem
  • Or, find a poem and transpose it into a prose piece
  • Any interpretation of this prompt is perfect
  • Going rogue is acceptable too
  • If you end up writing longer than a page of prose, share just a snippet

I didn't intend to write a poem that also had to do with Spiritual Journey Thursday. Frankly, I'm pressed for time (see above) and was looking for a quick and easy poem to post. Mary Lee recently shared a super cool prompt she got from Padrig O'Touma's blog. I thought I'd give it a try. By the time I was finished, I realized that this routine renews me each day. I need time to write, time to poem to feel whole and healthy.

Ordinary Meditation

Waking before the alarm
my cat walks me to the kitchen
Every morning it’s the same
before  the sun has risen 

My cat walks me to the kitchen

our table is Peace Island

Before the sun has risen

I’ve been waiting in my sleep for this 

Our table is Peace Island

purring cat and tapping keys

I’ve been waiting in my sleep for this
each cell in every nerve at ease

Purring cat and tapping keys

Every morning it’s the same
each cell in every nerve at ease
waking before the alarm

Linda Mitchell, November 2023

The prose inspiration for this poem came from journal writing:

Read more Inkling takes on this prompt at: Reflections on the Teche Reading to the Core My Juicy Little Universe Nix the Comfort Zone A(noth)er Year of Reading

Poet-author Buffy Silverman is hosting our round-up this weekend. I'll catch up with posts (and Word's padlet) as I can after my conference...thanks for reading and stay as safe as you can out there. The world feels a bit dangerous these days.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Giant Artist's Date

Friday Poets, I've missed you!

I've been elbow-deep in a gathering of school librarians from all 50 states and US Territories in Tampa, Florida for the American Association of School Librarians Conference. 

In addition to a tremendous amount of information related to how to library with kids these days, there were many encounters with art and creativity.

I started out at the Tampa Art Museum. If you ever have a chance to visit, do! It's not huge, you can cover a lot of amazing art throughout a wide span of history in a few hours. Of course, I was drawn to art that had words embedded in it.

In homage to his home
His signature, Love, is
stars, numbers, and stenciled letters.
Yield Brother,
his call for civility
recognized as a peace sign.
words found by Linda Mitchell Oct '23

Back at the conference center, illustrator Nikkolas Smith shared his inspirational message, 

"You can be an ally by making art with those that need an ally." 

Indeed, Mr. Smith is an ally of kids with books that bring children into a world of creativity and beauty.

Mr. Smith also shared an artivist prompt: Think about how you would complete this sentence: 

"When I was ten years old, I made art of...." 

Gosh, when I was ten...I arranged bookshelves in my room in all kinds of ways...which I am still doing. How about that?!

Finally, my favorite speaker was Nic Stone, author of many tremendous middle-grade books. Years ago, she submitted a manuscript. The editor at that time said that although they liked the manuscript, they couldn't sell it. Then asked, do you have anything else? Like a good author, she said, yes...and half a day of intense-writing later, submitted the first part of her debut novel. Dear Martin. 

Ember Press. 2018

Now, Stone is seeing that first manuscript coming out in 2024. It's about mental health...and I can't wait to read it. Her creative prompt to us all was to describe the difference between nonfiction and fiction with one, two-letter word, if

She sees nonfiction as what is. Fiction is what if? Stone went on to illustrate this difference with stories from her life and finished by asking her audience to think about our what if?  I'm still daydreaming about my if...what's yours?

For Nic Stone

This is a story of what is:

war, floods, fire, death.

What if


rewrite the words?
What if


write peace, health, life?

What if


Linda Mitchell

Truly, this is a thumbnail catch-up of AASL. There was much, much more. But, I wanted to share a little bit.

Look! I found our friend Buffy Silverman's book in the wild...OK, the exhibit hall. It's truly beautiful, Buffy. I'm proud of you.

Now, I'm preparing for my STATE conference starting November 1st. No rest for the weary! 

Thank you, Carol, for hosting our round-up this week at The Apples in My Orchard.