Poetry Friday: Equations

Pink Sky by Margaret Simon

The striking line, “You can’t sum it up. A life.” comes from the poem “The Hurting Kind” from the book THE HURTING KIND by Ada Limón.

The poem itself, in response to Margaret Simon’s gorgeous photo, is a “This Photo Wants to Be a Poem…” poem, which was Margaret’s challenge this month for the Inklings.

Here’s how the rest of the crew met Margaret’s challenge:

Linda@A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Molly@Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine@Reading to the Core
Margaret@Reflections on the Teche

Linda B. has the first Poetry Friday roundup of September at TeacherDance.

Poetry Friday: Don’t Even Bother

(via Unsplash)
Don’t Even Bother

Dust?
What’s the fuss?
I’ll give it a nudge
but only if
I must. C’mon,

Let’s kick that can down the road.

Dust disgusts me not.
I’m nonplussed
by robust drifts
of the stuff.
Don’t like it on shelves?
Give it a brush.
Don’t like it atop books?
Give it a puff. Seriously,

Let’s kick that can down the road.

I’m an adult.
I’ve hushed
the unjust voices in my head
that would insult 
this dust-encrusted home.
Trust me,

Let’s kick that can down the road.


© Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

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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:

Tanita has the Poetry Friday roundup this week @ {fiction, instead of lies}

Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
Sara @ Read Write Believe
Laura @ Laura Purdie Salas
Liz @ Liz Garton Scanlon
Kelly @ Kelly Ramsdell
Andi @ A Wrung Sponge

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!

Poetry Friday: Flyfishing in the Rain

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Fly Fishing, Olentangy River

It wasn’t supposed to rain,
but it did.

At first there was only the sound of water in water –
riffle tumbling over shallow stones.

Next, the sound of water in treetops –
rain approaching river
carried by wind and cloud.

Then, suddenly, the sound of water on water –
drops dimpling river,
elemental hush of reunion.

Sky water and Earth water and me – 
body made of water
standing in water
blessed by water.


© Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

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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.

Silly us.

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.

Molly@Nix the Comfort Zone
Linda@A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Catherine@Reading to the Core
Margaret@Reflections on the Teche

Poetry Friday: Woven

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.

Into A Daybreak That’s Wondrously Clear

But for the song of the chickadee,
still settles over zinnias, sweet peas;

like air born swimmers,
dust shimmers;

I’ll let go of the darkness of night,
rise, flutter, a monarch in flight.


© Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

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Bringing the Gifts That My Ancestors Gave

Into. Not between or behind. Neither sideways, nor                                                    
a halfway maybe. Into, with all the force of                                                          
daybreak and tide swell. With both feet.                                              
That’s where we’re headed, so we might as well go                                                    
wondrously, wisely, wholeheartedly, with                                              
clear-eyed vision. Leading, lifting, rising into tomorrow.  


© Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

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Here’s what the rest of the Poetry Sisters came up with this month:

Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
Tanita @ {fiction, instead of lies}
Sara @ Read Write Believe
Laura @ Laura Purdie Salas
Liz @ Liz Garton Scanlon
Kelly @ Kelly Ramsdell
Andi @ A Wrung Sponge

Next month, we’ll be writing Bop poems. Join us if you’d like!

Marcie, a fellow Sealey Challenge reader, has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup.

Poetry Friday: Persistence Definito

photo via Unsplash

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:

Linda@A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Molly@Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine@Reading to the Core
Margaret@Reflections on the Teche

Janice has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Salt City Verse.

Poetry Friday: You Can’t Fool Me

“Walking” the Cat

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!

Here’s what the rest of the Poetry Sisters came up with this month:
Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
Tanita @ {fiction, instead of lies}
Sara @ Read Write Believe
Laura @ Laura Purdie Salas
Liz @ Liz Garton Scanlon
Kelly @ Kelly Ramsdell
Andi @ A Wrung Sponge

Next month we are writing acrostic phrase poems. Choose any line from the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and use each word in the phrase to begin a new line of your poem.

Catherine has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Reading to the Core.

Poetry Friday: Giving Up Or Letting Go?

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:

Linda@A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Molly@Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine@Reading to the Core
Margaret@Reflections on the Teche

Karen has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at “The Blog With the Shockingly Clever Title.”

The signup for Poetry Friday hosts July-December 2022 is here!

Poetry Friday: Six Strands

SIX STRANDS

I.
summertime clothesline
sun-bleached swimsuits and towels
functional design


II.
taming tough jute
	knot
after follow-the-diagram 
	knot
precisely forming each
	knot
every creation now
	lost
to time. Unraveled.


III.
Simplicity patterns and fabric on bolts –
Orth’s Department Store –
a place for dreaming.
Later, pinning pattern pieces –
cutting carefully –
no place for dreaming.


IV.
counting cross stitches
design emerges slowly
meticulously
time-lapse with needle and thread
if you follow the pattern


V.
The Conundrum of Patterns

They are everywhere.
They are beautiful.
They teach discipline.
They limit creativity.
They encourage innovation.
They connect us.
They are thread;
we are needles.


VI.
pull
one thread
at a time
to unravel
the apron string's knot --
a tangle of patterns,
precision, and perfection.
Examine each beautiful strand.
Make them into something wholly...you.



© Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

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.

Here’s what the rest of the Poetry Sisters came up with this month:
Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
Tanita @ {fiction, instead of lies}
Sara @ Read Write Believe
Laura @ Laura Purdie Salas
Liz @ Liz Garton Scanlon
Kelly @ Kelly Ramsdell
Andi @ A Wrung Sponge

Next month, we’re writing Welsh Byr a Thoddaid Poems. Time for some serious rule-following! Join us if you’d like…or dare!!

Linda has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at A Word Edgewise.

Poetry Friday: In Honor Of

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.

MORNING WALK

one deer
pair of mallards
hawk on the outfield fence
unseen bird chorus in the woods
coal train

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

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:

Linda@A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Molly@Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine@Reading to the Core
Margaret is spending time with family this weekend.

Jama has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

Poetry Friday: My Chlorophyll Heart

My Chlorophyll Heart

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.


© Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

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.

Here’s what the rest of the Poetry Sisters came up with:
Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
Tanita @ {fiction, instead of lies}
Sara @ Read Write Believe
Laura @ Laura Purdie Salas
Liz @ Liz Garton Scanlon
Kelly @ Kelly Ramsdell
Andi @ A Wrung Sponge

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!