Thursday, October 12, 2023

Friday the Thirteenth

I never used to pay Friday the thirteenth much attention...until March 13th, 2020. That Friday the thirteenth was the day we were sent home from school for an indefinite amount of time and the world seemed to dissolve into COVID weirdness.

You can't blame me for being a little Paraskevedekatriaphobic-- someone who is afraid of Friday the 13th. 

There are plenty of people wary of the number thirteen no matter what! This fear is triskaidekaphobia, not a word that trips off the tongue easily. 

A rondel has thirteen eight-syllable lines. Ooooh. There's a poetry connection

This poem is still a bit clunky, much like its inspiration word, triskaidekaphobia. C'est la vie times 13!

It’s triskaidekaphobia!

A menacing diagnosis

with no hopeful prognosis.

We’re stuck in paranoia.

Our fear, our fright, our phobias

of one plus two plus four plus six–

It’s triskaidekaphobia!

A menacing diagnosis.

No baker’s dozen mania.

Rondel readings can provoke us.

New teenagers just alarm us.

Thursday night brings insomnia.

It’s triskaidekaphobia!

Linda Mitchell

There's a new poem on Word's padlet. If it's beautiful fall's spring elsewhere. Inspiration comes from Jama's Tuesday blog of beautiful things. I loved the artist, David Bromley, who she featured a few weeks ago.

Next week, I'll be at a School Librarian's conference in Florida. I'm giving myself permission to take a break from blogging. See you in a couple of weeks.

Thank you, Catherine, at Reading to the Core for hosting this week's round-up.


  1. Linda, I can tell you had a lot of fun with this! Not easy working with a 13 syllable word, but look what you made! Brilliant! I look forward to your collection!! Your Covid Friday the 13th story does take me feelings about the 13th changed when our youngest son was born on the 13th. Every since then I've taken all 13s (Fridays or otherwise) to be charmed not cursed. Thank you, and enjoy your conference and blog break. xo

  2. Such interesting words! Phobia word construction is always fascinating. Amazing that you were able to work triskaidekaphobia into a poem!

  3. Very brave of you to attempt - and brilliant! Well done!

  4. I too am shuddering at Friday the 13th after your poem! It's been a lucky day for me, though, since it's the last weekday of my October break. It started on Monday with Ugandan Independence Day. I'm so happy to have the time to read PF posts today! Ruth,

  5. Your poem is fun and scary at the same time. Brava!! I'm sure you're the only person who's ever used triskaidekaphobia in a poem. I usually shudder a little when I see Friday the 13th on the calendar.

    Enjoyed your Bromley-inspired poem too!! Love "blue dome of sky" and mention of bunnies. :)

    Have fun at the conference!

  6. "New teenagers just alarm us." - hahaha! Love that. I'm fine with 13s, but I did get an email saying due to threats all Weight Watchers studios are closed today. Not sure what that's about, but it seems threats are everywhere these days. I wish is were ONLY on 13s.

  7. Linda, so fun! I love the last stanza with the examples of baker's dozen, new teens, rondel line counts. Lots of 13's to fear. I didn't realize March 13, 2020 was the day COVID weirdness started here. You and many others will definitely remember that 13 with trepidation.

  8. "New teenagers just alarm us" -- fun line, Linda! Your whole poem is great fun. Is the 13th when the NBA shut down? That was when my son realized things were serious. Have fun at your conference!

  9. This poem is quite a mouthful! Good for you for including such a tricky diagnosis, or phobia, or whatever! Yes, it is amusing! Thanks! Enjoy your conference.

  10. What a fun poem. I hadn't thought of the connection with Friday the 13 and the world shutting down in 2020. Enjoy your conference.

  11. Just like you to find a poetry connection and WORK IT so effectively! And look! It's the fifteenth! We survived Friday the 13th!

  12. Florida sunshine invites all to enjoy so have fun at your convention, Linda. Your blog post is out of this world with hard-to-pronounce words and interesting thoughts. Nice work for pre-Halloween fun!

  13. Is it significant that this is the 13th comment on this post? I love the playfulness of your poem, Linda, and admire your adventurous writing spirit!

  14. Touché Linda, what a salute to Friday the 13th–love the rhyming in there it adds a little levity to it all. The 13th of October if it lands on a Friday is okay with me, that has/was my dad's birthday. And in your padlet poem I like the idea of being, "some part of spring?" I'll try remembering this in a few months. Have a lovely conference and couple of weeks!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!