The Poetry Sisters wrote bop poems this month. They have three stanzas (6 lines, 8 lines, 6 lines) and a repeating refrain. Additionally, the three stanzas should 1. introduce a problem, 2. elaborate on it, and 3. solve it. Our shared refrain was “Let’s kick that can down the road.”
My first challenge was to thing of something I’d “kick down the road” without trying to fix it. Something I can absolutely do without. Well, that’s easy…dusting!
Here’s what the rest of the Poetry Sisters came up with this month:
Next month, we’ll be writing Heidi’s Definito Poems: the definito is a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem. Join us if you’d like!
We had a nice turnout for the July meet-up of Ohio Women on the Fly. Spirits were high as we walked from the parking lot at Antrim Lake to the Olentangy River, which runs near the south and east sides of the lake. The clouds were building, but we weren’t worried — rain was not in the forecast.
We got soaked. Drenched. We were soggy, and by the time we got back to cars when it was starting to get dark, muddy up to our knees.
It was great fun. It was an adventure. When was the last time you had an adventure (the kind involving lots of water and mud)? I highly recommend it.
Every time I go fly fishing, the experience is new. No two times on a river are the same. That’s why fly fishing is a sport I love.
Catherine gave the Inklings this month’s challenge to write a poem about sports. Here’s what the rest of the crew came up with, and Molly has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup to boot.
This month’s Poetry Sisters challenge didn’t seem tricky when the idea was hatched. Phrase Acrostics are pretty much reverse Golden Shovels, with the striking line on the left rather than the right. But then er…uh..someone suggested using phrases from the iconic poem by Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise.” That’s when the challenge got tricky more complicated and interesting. How could we borrow phrases from this poem while still honoring the poet and the spirit of the poem without being appropriationist? Reading and rereading the poem with the intention to uphold Angelou’s purpose led me to these two drafts, which weave lines and meanings like a braided rug on a warm wood floor. Both of the titles, as well as the striking lines, come from Angelou’s poem.
Heidi gave the Inklings our challenge this month: “There are so many ways in which we’ve all (but especially as women, as educators) had to be persistent, despite our weariness. Write a poem (for kids or adults) about PERSISTENCE. If you write for kids, maybe try a definito!” Little did she know her words would hold So. Much. More. Truth. in these past couple of weeks.
Here are the rules for writing a definito: “the definito is a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.“
And here’s how the rest of the crew met Heidi’s challenge:
The Poetry Sisters’ challenge this month was to write Welsh Byr a Thoddaid Poems. There are a ton of rules, but when you get right down to it, the form consists of lots of syllable-counting and attention to rhymes.
My first cat, Jennyanydots, achieved the status of Truly Old Cat. She passed at the age of 21 and was a tiny thing (maybe 6 pounds in the end) with a mighty voice for wailing when she couldn’t find her “tribe.”
Hemingway is a big guy (14 pounds) and not old yet — only 7-9 (he was a rescue) — so why is he starting the yowling-for-no-reason? Maybe just to give me a poem topic!
Molly’s challenge to the Inklings this month was “to write a poem about some sort of domestic task.” My loss of control in the garden is embarrassingly similar to my approach to housekeeping — tidy up just enough to get by until time and energy (and usually company coming) converge to inspire a deeper cleaning.
“The show” is in full force right now in my garden. I never cease to be amazed at the transition from the exciting first tentative emergence of spring green and bloom to summer’s (seemingly sudden) surge of exuberant (over)growth.
Here’s how the rest of the Inklings interpreted this challenge:
The Poetry Sisters’ challenge for this month was to write a poem with the theme of string, thread, rope, or chain. My brainstorming took me on a trip down memory lane, beginning with a visual memory of our precisely clothes-pinned swim suits and beach towels in a perfect suit-towel-suit-towel pattern on the clothesline.
Then came crafting memories. So many of the crafts I learned from and with my mother used thread or string: macrame, cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, sewing.
My mother’s mother was a home ec teacher and somewhat of a tyrant when it came to precision. Mom had to baste every seam before stitching it, and if her basting stitches were not perfectly even, she had to rip them out and start over. At the time, I never fully appreciated how much Mom had to dial back when she taught me “thread arts.”
I was definitely indoctrinated in “follow the pattern,” which left me with a healthy appreciation for rituals, routines, mentor texts, patterns, instructions, and recipes, but I also have developed a deep joy found in trial-and-error, guess-and-check, innovation, and experimentation.
Linda gave us our Inkling challenge for this month, suggesting that we “Honor someone’s April Poetry project in some way with a poem in the spirit of their project, a response poem, or some way that suits you.”
I am honoring Amy, who wrote poems in response to proverbs. I’m also honoring Tanita, who did the same, with a few twists. I didn’t dig into the history of the proverb, the way Tanita did, but like her, I wrote short enough to put my poem on a sticky note (also honoring Laura PS) along with a sketch.
one deer pair of mallards hawk on the outfield fence unseen bird chorus in the woods coal train
Today’s proverb is “Rain does not fall on one roof alone.” The contrast between the vibrant urban wildlife and the seemingly endless coal train reminded me that every human action has consequences that reverberate well beyond the point of impact. We must learn to be less myopic.
Here’s how the rest of the Inklings interpreted the challenge:
I’m for photosynthetic optimism – the bulbous kind you plant in the fall in spite of squirrels who dig ruthlessly and urban deer who nibble indiscriminately, the kind that seed packets hold through the winter believing in butterflies and hummingbirds before they’ve ever known sun and rain.
Here’s to the blazing green energy of plants– from the toughest blade of crabgrass to the most tender spring ephemeral, from the massive trunks of riverbed sycamores to the tiniest pond-floating duckweeds.
I’m for the plants – for the roots who go about their work silently, mysteriously, collaborating with mycorrhizal fungi.
And I’m for the leaves of trees – especially sweet gum’s stars and ginkgo’s fans.
I’m for the way we share the air with plants – us breathing out, plants breathing in. I’m for the generous chemistry of leaves, combining carbon dioxide with water and sun, creating carbon building blocks for itself, then sharing the extras back into the soil for the microbes.
What moves me? What plays me like a needle in a groove? Plants.
The Poetry Sisters’ challenge for this month was to write in the style of Taylor Mali. The poem I used as my mentor text is Silver-Lined Heart. Next month we are writing poems around the words string, thread, rope, or chain.
Happy Last Friday of National Poetry Month 2022! All of my NPM poems are archived here. Jone has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Jone Rush MacCulloch. Like last weekend, I will be away from my computer this weekend and will look forward to catching up on your posts next week!