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: Water Strider

photo via Unsplash

Earlier this week, I stood mesmerized by the water striders in a pool of still water at the edge of our little local wetland. Time stopped as I watched them go about their business in the six square feet of liquid neighborhood they call home. Oh, to be so small that my feet only dent the surface of water!

Michelle has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Michelle Kogan.

Poetry Friday: Bike Stories

cottonwood blizzard
almost mulberry season
first bike ride of spring

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

A few years ago on the original A Year of Reading, I did a series of “Bike Stories.” Now that the first ride of the season has been — Ahhh CHOO! — survived, it’s time to get out more frequently and see what lessons and stories can be found this year!

The schedule is COMPLETE for roundup hosts July – December! Thanks, all!

Buffy has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Buffy Silverman.

Poetry Friday — Call for Roundup Hosts

It’s that time again. Six months have passed since last we queued up to host the Poetry Friday roundups.

What is the Poetry Friday roundup? A gathering of links to posts featuring original or shared poems, or reviews of poetry books. A carnival of poetry posts. Here is an explanation that Rene LaTulippe shared on her blog, No Water River, and here is an article Susan Thomsen wrote for the Poetry Foundation.

Who can do the Poetry Friday roundup? Anyone who is willing to gather the links in some way, shape, or form (Mr. Linky, “old school” in the comments, or ???) on the Friday of your choice. If you are new to the Poetry Friday community, jump right in, but perhaps choose a date later on so that we can spend some time getting to know each other.

How do you do a Poetry Friday roundup? If you’re not sure, stick around for a couple of weeks and watch…and learn! One thing we’re finding out is that folks who schedule their posts, or who live in a different time zone than you, appreciate it when the roundup post goes live sometime on Thursday.

How do I get the code for the PF Roundup Schedule for the sidebar of my blog? You can grab the list from the sidebar here at A(nother) Year of Reading, or I’d be happy to send it to you if you leave me your email address. 

Why would I do a Poetry Friday Roundup? Community, community, community. It’s like hosting a poetry party on your blog!

Put your request in the comments and I’ll update the calendar frequently. Feel free to share this post on Twitter (I left and I’m not missing it…much).

And now for the where and when:

1 Janice at Salt City Verse
8 Jan at Bookseed Studio
15 Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections
22 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
29 Marcie at Marcie Flinchum Atkins

5 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
19 Dave at Leap of Dave
26 Tanita at {fiction, instead of lies}

2 Linda at TeacherDance
9 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
16 Kat at Kathryn Apel
23 Rose at Imagine the Possibilities
30 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

7 Sarah Grace at Sarah Grace Tuttle
14 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
21 Bridget at wee words for wee ones
28 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch

4 Heidi at my juicy little universe
11 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
18 Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup
25 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

2 Catherine at Reading to the Core
9 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
16 Karen at Karen Edmisten*
23 Irene at Live Your Poem
30 Patricia at Reverie

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


summertime clothesline
sun-bleached swimsuits and towels
functional design

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

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

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

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.

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: Cusp

poppy will bloom soon
now the buds are tightly clenched
time will loosen them

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

Carmela has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Teaching Authors.

Edited to add…

Yesterday morning was cloudy and drizzly. As I cleaned oak flowers out of the garden beds, I turned a corner, saw this, and literally said out loud, “Well, hello there!” At the base of the plant were the three prickly bud covers that had been shrugged off or thrown off when the poppy…popped. Let us remember that when our hearts are clenched tightly against the world, there will come a time when we’re ready to throw off our shell and blaze again with glory, in spite of everything.

Poetry Friday: Courage

Awhile back, Margaret shared extra sheets of build-your-own-metaphor-dice that Taylor Mali had sent for her students. I rolled “courage will be a sparkling needle” and it felt like the Universe was speaking directly to me. Earlier in the day I had posted my embroidered mandala for this week (19 of 52 weeks of embroidery mandalas).

Rose has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Imagine the Possibilities.

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.


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.