{pf: poetry peeps try to byr a thoddaid}

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of July! Here’s the scoop: We’re each taking an empowering and inimitable line from Maya Angelou’s “And Still I Rise,” and from them creating acrostic poems. Each of those forty+ lines are available to poets to create something memorable – grounding, empowering and expansive – of their own. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on July 29th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.


Well, first off, you pronounce it beer ah TOE-thy’d, which won’t really help you write one, but hey, The More You Know.🌠 Second, once you get into the byr a thoddaid form, they’re… complicated? But, not actually HARD. I’ve decided that byr a thoddaid are like …long division. You might run out of attention before you finish all the steps (shout-out to my former students), but it is nothing that you cannot handle (Insert authoritative teacher-voice.).

That being said, let’s acknowledge: this seemed like a LOT of steps.

Mistakes were made. Repeatedly.

My process, when dealing with an unfamiliar form, is usually to read a ton of examples. Are there a ton of examples online that I like? No. Would I need to read them in Welsh or something to find a bunch of great ones? Probably. Did I spend more time faffing about on Google than I ought to have? Definitely. I kept thinking I HAD it, when it turned out I was forgetting the near rhyme and just concentrating on the end rhyme. At one point, I rhymed everything to the first stanza, which …could be done, I guess, but wasn’t one of the options listed. I finally pulled off a tiny one, but like that long division, it took longer than I felt it should have:

The season spills a thousand scents,

As summer twilight, liquescent

Shimmers, igniting dreams undreamt. Such light

Sparkles through stars at night.

So, that felt… like a good start, but then I heard people were making two stanza poems from their stanzas, I felt I ought to step up a bit. Also, it was time to pull out the Canva and make-believe I knew what I was doing…

Full disclosure, these are from my backyard nectarine and plum trees, but one of the loveliest things about this area is the many, many sidewalk fruit trees, and of an evening, you will see families – small children, whole rafts of folks in the national clothing of their home countries – with boxes, bags, little red wagons and step-stools, all out to get stone fruit for jam, for eating out of hand, to dry it, and more. It’s …it makes me feel like SOMETHING is going right in the world. Friends, I will gladly take this one thing.

Want to see the attempts of the peeps who also assayed this adventure? Tricia’s is here. Sara’s is here. Laura got inspired here, and Liz’s link is here. Cousin Mary Lee’s is here. Michelle K.’s poem is here. More Poetry Peeps will be added as the weekend progresses, so check back later for the full round-up.

Meanwhile, Poetry Friday is hosted by Catherine, at Reading to the Core. Thanks, Catherine!


And here it is, the end of a week, when just days – or hours – or months ago, you never thought you’d get here. See how much you’ve done with what you’ve got? Remember — like long division, life is nothing that you cannot handle. Take that deep breath of summer sweet, and hold fast. Happy Weekend.

{poetry friday: p7 string, rope, thread, chain…*}

I set up this post Tuesday morning, trying for an upbeat tone despite still processing the hate crimes shootings on May 14 and 15 in Buffalo and Southern California. By Tuesday night, I couldn’t face writing something else – I have no words. Today is for poetry, not tragedy, so I’m posting what I have. Perhaps other words will come later; right now there is only… a soul-deep heaviness.

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of June! Here’s the scoop: We’re doing byr a thoddaid! Yes, it is INDEED a Welsh form, good guess. It’s got more than a few rules, so buckle up, Buttercup: 1.) A byr a thoddaid is a quatrain or series of quartrains, divided into two combined couplets. 2.) One couplet contains 8 syllables for each line with an aa end rhyme. The other couplet contains 10 syllables in the first line and 6 syllables in the second. 3.) The 10-syllable line of this other couplet has an end rhyme near the end of the line (but not AT the end). 4.) The 6-syllable line of this other couplet has a link (either rhyme, alliteration, etc.) to the end word of the 10-syllable line and then an end rhyme. 5.) Additionally, the couplets can appear in alternating orders like a traditional quatrain. WHEW. Are you in? (Are you scared?! I am, not gonna lie.) You’ve got a month to study up on the rules and craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on June 24th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.


Since my last post, I have packed for and gone on a vacation which required an airplane (and many hours with a mask. MANY hours. But, it worked), crashed my computer (which gave me some panicky moments with three Works In Progress, let me say), then crashed Himself’s computer because we connected it to MY drive (oops). Additionally, I’ve been juggling two volunteer projects, and the micro-managing director makes me regret every moment, plus I got one of my best friends involved, and she’s suffering through the micro-managing too. Ugh. Can we still blame the pandemic for everything? Y’know what? I’m just going to do so. I have been at the end of my rope, people, and I’m not even kidding. So, when I remembered our poetry theme this month was just a poem using the word “string, rope, thread, or chain,” I snickered, wondering if I was being tied up, tripped, or hanging on.

Well, I’ve decided it’s all of the above, though I’m thinking the rope and chains are mostly bent on tripping me. Still, I’ll hang on…(and volunteer for fewer things)

It has been such a blurry, busy month that the Poetry Sisters crew didn’t even get to hang out on our usual Zoom – so I’m super eager to see what everyone’s doing. Make sure you visit Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect, Sara @ Read Write Believe, Kelly @ Art & Words, and Michelle @ More Art 4 All is here with twine, while Carol @ Beyond Literacy Link finds that thread binds us. More Poetry Peeps will check in on this challenge during the weekend, so stay tuned for a full round-up.


Want more? Poetry Friday today is hosted by Linda at A Word Edgewise, and you’ll find lots of other lovely poetry to brighten your Friday there. Thanks, Linda!

Hang in there, friends — even if you feel yourself dangling by a thread… tie a knot, and hold on. And if you have to drop, it’s all right to let go and fall – those who love you have got you.

{pssst! poetry peeps!}

Hey, Poetry Peeps! Since this month’s challenge is an ekphrastic dodoitsu – the humorous short poetry form with four lines, a 7-7-7-5 syllabic pattern, and topics on love or work – I thought I’d share an ekphrastic image or two for inspiration. You can find images anywhere, but the Poetry Sisters just dumped a bunch from their individual phones into a central pot. And now I’m sharing a few of mine, which you’re welcome to use or ignore:

Hope this is useful. See you March 25th when we post with the tag #PoetryPals.

{pf: p7 make exquisite corpses! er…}

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of March! Here’s the scoop: We’re doing an ekphrastic dodoitsu! The humorous dodoitsu form has four lines with a 7-7-7-5 syllabic pattern, and its topics are usually love or work. There’s lots to riff on wryly about love and work, right? Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to a.) find an image for ekphrastic inspiration, and b.) craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on March 25th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.


Yes, poetry peeps we will indeed make exquisite corpses! Eventually. Wow, that’s just not a sentence a well-placed comma will save, is it? Oh, well…

This exquisite corpse challenge was one I wasn’t quite sure about to begin with — I’ve tried writing exquisite corpse short stories before, and it’s like the worst sort of Mad Libs. Our group has a bunch of rule followers in it (*raises both hands*) so we tend to try to counteract that by being light on the rules. We didn’t try for patterns or anything – each writer was responsible for a single line, and that was that.

The Poetry Sisters came up with an order of operations – who starts, who finishes, do we want a topic or a pattern, or how are we doing this? – and then the texts begin to fly.

Liz: Okay, here’s my line. Wait… I might want to shorten it, if you haven’t started yours or sent it on…?

Me: Oops, too late.

EC Group Draft

This month, odd one out, running short on days and sleep,
This month, past meets pride, roots ripped from native soil still somehow grow.
The once-bright future dims. Shadows grow
But there, near canyon rim, in broken light
the yearling hawk shrieked in futile fury
and the steel-edged clouds looked away
trees bow and bend on a blustery day
that rattles old oak leaves down the street.


The imagery is stunning – broken light through canyon rims, yearling hawks, steel-edged clouds and trees bowing and bending. A rattle of leaves on asphalt finishes us – and we’re moving out and away from where we began.

This month, Liz begins, and then gathers images of time and light and rest — things from the natural world as well as things which are impacted during this winter month. I echoed the same two words as I began my line, because I am all about the pattern and though we had decided against sticking strictly to one, I couldn’t help myself. I also assembled elements from the natural world as well as adding symbolic elements from February – the Lunar New Year, celebrated largely by Asian communities, and Black History Month.

…And then I passed my line on…

… to Kelly who is Anarchy with aquamarine hair. She was not here to follow my lead – and I honestly, I couldn’t expect her to be. For those following along, the whole point of the exercise is Different lines, even though I was clinging with my teeth and my fingernails to Same.

::sigh::

This comes up time after time after time. Some of us are deeply uncomfortable with things like blank verse, unrhymed verse, long or prose poems, and a lack of guardrails in the form of meter and syllabic requirements… and the rest of us like to construct our plane while it’s taking off. It often makes collaborating on a single poem very difficult (witness that we haven’t attempted that since…2018?), but it also often gives us unexpectedly strong results when doing something wholly off-the-cuff and new… like this.

And helpfully (?) the second step in our exercise was to… revise and resubmit. Rotate, wring, and repeat – and snip these phrases free like decoupage. Take this cloth and from it cut a whole new dress… Yes, I think we’ve exhausted our metaphors, but look how awesomely we did it! – Laura’s version is here, and Liz came up with this. Sara’s variation is here, and Cousin Mary Lee took a whole new direction. Andi‘s variation is here, and Kelly’s edited us here. Michelle K joins the fun and even brings a band. Carol V. worked in another variation on a Corpse and played along as well. Finally, Tricia’s poem is here, and she’s hosting the rest of the Poetry Friday crew this week, probably (hopefully?) sans additional corpses. More Poetry Peeps may post throughout the day – I truly can’t wait to see where else this project takes my fellow poets – so check back as we round up all the …um, corpses. (Cue lines from Monty Python: Bring out your dead…!)


We had a great group of words, to begin with, but it took a while to feel comfortable cutting anyone’s lines – even though we all agreed that we were wholly free to fold, spindle, and mutilate the original. Eventually, I came up with an initial stanza:

february.

It’s this month – odd one out,
Running short on days and light and sleep,
All this month, past meets pride,
Roots ripped from native soil still grow by leaps,
And rising, shriek defiance like a hawk,
That dervished by the wind, still grips its rock.

(It was brassy-loud and bold, and I liked it – but a few of us had talked about writing a new draft another day, to see how the lines and words moved us in a new moment… so, I waited. Sure enough, Wednesday, I didn’t feel like that bright and brassy winner, so wrote a new stanza:)

As this month’s brightness fails,
Emergent beauty stripped to steel-edged gray,
Shadows, grown bolder now
Erode late winter’s crisply bright display…
As sabers rattle, we get Cold War chills,
In broken light sift scraps to find goodwill.

Not the most… upbeat conclusion. Here, the fresh wind doesn’t rattle us and turn us around. The emergence of brightness has shifted to steel-edged gray. But, even broken, the light persists.

San Francisco Zoo 21

Now more than ever, when things feel like a tsunami about to break over our heads, we needs the world of words to warm us, nourish us, and keep us going. So friends, as always, tell your stories. Write your poems. Say your piece, and sing your songs. Be well, and do well. Stay warm, in this last gasp of winter, and find the peace and beauty in this world – and as always, don’t forget to share it. Happy Weekend.

{pf: poetry peeps eavesdropped & overheard}

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of February! Here’s the scoop: We’re doing Exquisite Corpse poetry. These collaborative poems necessarily involve yourself and at least one other passing lines or stanzas along, so now’s the time to start choosing compatriots. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on February 25th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.


Seeing as I’ve stayed in lately, I was fully prepared to use the random conversations the neighbor has with the postman for my “eavesdropped and overheard” when I overheard something wholly unintentionally. The Boy was on a work Zoom with a coworker that turned personal. A young female in a male-dominated field, she was desperate for advice over what to me seemed a clear case of workplace harassment. I won’t recount details, but a single line I couldn’t erase from memory. She said, “I don’t want to ruin his life forever.”

You can imagine the angst and dread in her voice as she said it, and my chills as I heard it. “Ruin” is the same hyperbole used in the 2016 California court case when a judge handed down a six month sentence to a man who assaulted an unconscious woman. As his whole life shouldn’t be ruined, he was given six months – of which he served three. “Ruin” is a word used for thousand year old civilization remains, for catastrophic damage after a tsunami, not for a person being confronted with the consequences of their actions. I wanted to tell my husband’s young coworker this and so many, many other things… but it was neither my conversation nor my business, so I poured the words into a poem.

(Thank goodness for poetry.)

I searched first for a form that had repetition, and the pantoum lent itself neatly, as the thoughts I had bounced around in different order, sometimes making sense, other times making new ideas. I suspect all the reasons, defenses, excuses and facts bounced through this woman’s head as well. I’m not sure I like all the lines equally… I’m not sure that I wouldn’t, a day or two later, want to say something else, but this is a pantoum written in a single, heated, emotional moment. It’s all I have to bring today— This, and my heart beside—

NO: A Choice in Two Voices

Does a single choice shape every endeavor?
(Without your consent NO still means no.)
“I don’t want to ruin his life forever.”
(Your choice belongs solely to you, you know.)

Without your consent, NO still means NO –
No negotiation, this two letter word.
Your choice belongs solely to you. You know
If you change your mind, your “no” will still be heard.

No negotiation, this two-letter word –
No need to ever defend those letters.
If you change your mind, your “no” will still be heard
You choose, so you’re still the pace-setter.

No need to ever defend those letters,
“I don’t want to ruin his life forever…”
You choose, so you’re still the pace-setter
This single choice could shape every endeavor.


There’s an awful lot of poetic scuttlebutt being passed on the interwebs today. Laura’s poem is here. Cousin Mary Lee is over hearing over here, while Sara is here listening. Liz is is right here. Miss Andi’s beautiful tribute is here. Here’s Michelle’s artful and art-filled post, and here’s Carol V’s. More Poetry Peeps may yet be stopping by, so stay tuned.

Need more? Poetry Friday today is hosted by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem. Thanks, Irene!


Happy Weekend – it’s sometimes a cold, hard world out there as we all know. Keep warm, keep well, and keep going, friends. You’ve got this.

{psst! poetry peeps!}


Happy January, Poetry Peeps!

How’s the listening in and overhearing going? Don’t forget your “eavesdropped” conversation doesn’t have to be hearing Actual People (TM) since many of us are avoiding them just now – hearing a radio DJ in someone else’s car, taking the words from a billboard or a sign in front of a building where you’re not going – those all count, too. You’ve got time left to craft your creation(s) in any form, then share your offering with the rest of us on January 28 in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. See you then!

{p7 ring in the new year on pf}

Poetry Peeps! Thank you for poetry-ing along with us in 2021. You’re invited to our revels in the new year! Here’s the scoop for January: We’re stickybeaks and earwigs. We’re listening in, and overhearing. This month, we’re writing the poetry of Eavesdropped & Overheard. In tribute to the overheard poetry of longtime Poetry Friday maven Susan Thomsen @Chicken Spaghetti, we’re taking what we hear and using it…somehow. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on January 28 in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Vallejo 111

It’s new year’s eve… evening, after dark, and I’m just now posting. In my defense, I attended a memorial service yesterday, and it somehow wiped my entire brain. A few of us are beginning the new year in a more thoughtful frame of mind than we expected, but though I am late, I hope you still didn’t miss Sara’s ringing out the year poem. Kelly’s bell poem is here, and Laura’s jingles along here. Tricia’s is here, and Cousin Mary Lee’s poem (sadly not a rage acrostic) is here. Poetry Friday is ably hosted at Carol’s Corner and we’re all keeping Carol in our thoughts as she opens her home to her neighbors. More Poetry Peeps are ringing in – Michelle K and Carol V. are all sleigh bells and sound waves. My newest relative, Heidi, is blitzing in, along with Janice. More Poetry Peeps may yet be ringing in, so stay tuned.


One of the questions I asked whilst trying to compose a poem this month was why. Why bells? What are they for? What do they do? Why am I one of those people who has to stop, turn, triangulate and figure out where they’re coming from? (Granted, I do that with particularly loud birds, too, but stay with me here.) One of the other poetry sisters mentioned that she lives near an historical carillon that she has often heard, but never paid much attention to – which is bewildering to me. How could she not know every little thing about the bells in her neck of the woods? We determined that in her historic town, there are bells everywhere. Here on the decidedly late-to-American-history West Coast…? Not so much.

And yet, this has been a season of bells. Tiny silver ones were played on Christmas Eve. At the memorial service yesterday, the carillon played through the keyboard of the organ. The Boy’s chimes are bells of a sort, made of titanium rods. Why do I love bells? Because to me, they sing.

sounding joy

ringing
silver made sound
stills commonplace clamor
burnishes the fleeting moment
and sings

I had so many reasons I like bells that Mary Lee suggested I write a list poem. Whenever I think of joy in poetic form, I always go back to Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno”, which is to me the most joyous list poem in the world. So, with a nod to my favorite Christoper and Jeoffry, I will consider bells.

canticum campanarum

for I will consider the ring of bells
for they are both legion and legend
for they denote both curve and clarity,
for they peal out times and seasons,
for they bless unions and get us started,
for they resound alarms and herald change
for they knell a death, and muffled, toll of absence
for their tongues herald both law and declaration,
for they symbolize a liberty both damaged, yet resilient,
for when your bell is rung, you are done,
for they apocryphally ring on angel’s wings
for they arrive with us, on us

for in their peal is laughter
for they cry pax

Alarms, warnings, joys, sorrows, meeting, parting – all voiced in song of bells. They’re kind of neat, when you think about it.

So, that’s it from me for 2021 – which feels so weird to write, because the last twelve months seem like some bizarre fever dream. It’s been a joy to write with you. Happy Hogmanay, and health, joy, and hearth wishes to you.

{pf: poetry peeps in gratitude for autumn}

Greetings! Welcome to another Poetry Peeps adventure on Poetry Friday!

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of December! Here’s the scoop: We’ve got a ringing in our ears! Clock chimes, the Liberty bell, church bells, school bells, ding-dong merrily – we’ll be writing with bells on about bells of all kinds. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on December 31st (riiiight before your hopefully safe New Year’s shindig, so plan ahead) in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Well, speaking of planning ahead, I certainly expected this post to go better, but my body is insisting on lying flat instead of sitting up doing much. Ah, well. For more brilliant takes on our November ode, don’t miss Sara’s poem, Laura’s poem, and Tricia’s is here. Poetry Friday is ably hosted by Ruth coming to us from the intriguingly named There Is No Such Thing As A God-forsaken Town. Ruth joined us in writing an ode today, so yay Ruth! Michelle K. shares her ode here, Linda M’s is here, while Linda B’s is here! Heidi’s ode is an acrostic! Jone’s ode is here, and Carol V’s praise is here. More Poetry Peeps may check-in throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for my very slow round-up.


Our precis this month was to write a poem that was an ode to autumn. Odes tend to have three sections – a kind of a layering that moves from an initial thought, a shift deeper, and then a turning toward the end. Some of us banged away on the form before we thought about rhyme while others of us jumped straightaway into trying to find thematic words that went with rhyme. In an attempt not to recreate our hymns to autumn of 2015, some Poetry Sisters discussed challenging themselves to create their poems non-nature focused. Ouch! Other than pumpkin-spiced everything, which is wholly unnatural anyway (okay, maybe not, but close), most people who love autumn tend to love… the nature of it! Frosts and changed leaves and drifts of leaves and big-headed mums and the swift drift of woodsmoke, and… hm. I obviously could write a poem about my love for the trees and leaves and such, but I also love a concept that makes me dig past the obvious, so I fiddled around and did some thinking… What happens in my life without fail, every autumn?

winter concert practice

September, late, and in an airless box,
We fan our pages, desperate for a breeze.
Sight-reading scores with one eye on the clock
In sweating ranks. Our voices drone like bees

As we commit each note and bright reprise
To memory. We dream of early nights
When sudden sundown catches by surprise
October rooms gilded by firelight.
For then, we’ll know these notes and harmonize!
And stand prepared for performance spotlight.
Or so we fool ourselves and fantasize
But late November tells us otherwise…

For EVERY YEAR the winter concert looms
As sudden as an iceberg in the fog!
That shrugged off “some day” morphs. Impending doom
Accompanies the notes through which we slog…

But…every singer warming up to C,
The orchestra, while tuning to their A
Know life with music gives no guarantees,
But feeds the soul. – Reason enough to stay.


I hope you had a lovely Thursday, filled with just as much noise and tumult or peace and quiet as your soul craved, with celebration of family and repudiation of the wholesale murder and greed from which the original American holiday sprung. I was wholly satisfied with my first visit to family since the Great Isolation began; even sitting in a chair and doing nothing but laughing at our collective goofiness was a precious, precious gift I will never take for granted again. Happy autumn, happy weekend.

{pf: poetry peeps play with words}

Greetings! Welcome to another Poetry Peeps adventure on Poetry Friday!


Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of November! Here’s the scoop: This month, we’re writing an Ode to Autumn. An ode is a lyrical song-like poem, and like the ancient Greeks, modern humans also enjoy marking an occasion with a song. Whether you choose an irregular ode with no set pattern or rhyme, or the ten-line, three-to-five stanza famed by Homer himself, we hope you’ll join us in singing in the season of leaf-fall and perfect pie. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on November 26th (the Friday after Thanksgiving, so plan ahead) in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.


Our wordplay poems this month are based on the very fun “________is a Word” poem challenge first introduced by Nikki Grimes when she visited with Michelle Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty. We had many directions we could go with these – so many that I, at least, had trouble choosing a word. Sometimes wordplay presents us an embarrassment of riches! When that happens, we have Laura on hand with her poetry dice to help us narrow things down.

Though many of these wordplay poems seem to land on concrete nouns for their defining roots, I began with an adjective. I chose “hungry” because honestly, when I started writing, I was.

HUNGER

Hungry is a hollow word:
The ‘h’ deflates a sigh
the ‘un-‘ hums onward greedily
Craves Havarti on dark rye…

Hungry swings its syllables
– two snicked-tight pantry doors
That house honey for your hotcakes:
Won’t you have some? Have some more!

Hungry growls its g-r-y,
Like stomachs growl their rage.
A hangry belly is the root
Of many a harsh rampage!

Hungry – just hung up on food?
Or starved, unfilled, abased?
That hungry ends with anguished “Why?”
We have extra, “just in case.”*

So, here’s to ‘hungry,’
Since the word we’ve chopped up to mincemeat
Has left me with a hole inside…
I’m just famished. Let’s go eat.

During our poetry time this month, The Poetry Sisters had a fun discussion about some of the words Laura rolled from the poetry Metaphor Dice. After rolling words we could use easily, we hit upon the word virtuous, to much commentary. It’s a difficult word, carrying baggage heavy enough for its own overhead compartment. Kelly reminded us of Míshlê from the Hebrew Bible, more familiar to some as the Proverbs (of Solomon). This book has a section called the Praise of the Virtuous Woman which Orthodox gentlemen sometimes sing to their wives. It’s a lovely image, but unfortunately, my 19th century British and American Literature undergraduate degree left me with the Nathaniel Hawthorne version of “virtuous.” It’s a hardtack, narrow, Puritanical, word, for me. The judgment I find within it is reflected in the poem I wrote. And, I’m aware – this technically isn’t quite fulfilling the wordplay challenge, because it’s less about the shapes and sounds of the word than my loathing of its meaning, but – oh, well, right?

Virtually Virtue

Virtuous is a sharp-edged word
It cleaves us with its ‘v’
and two looped ‘u’s restrain and herd
the ‘O’ for a pillory.

The frowning ‘ir’ looks down its nose,
At slattern, slanted ‘s’
A judging word, with narrowed eyes
Existing to oppress.

Though Puritans of Olden Days
Would judge me as unfit
History records less white than gray
Of those narrow hypocrites!

Um… Yay, Pilgrims? Happy Thanksgiving?


*clears throat*

Anyway! I loved doing those, and some of our discussion on this form really sparked some thoughts for me. I think I’m going to revisit wordplay poems during my “Gratitudinal” project this November.

Meanwhile, the Poetry Peeps in our digital neighborhood have superbly entertaining wordplay on tap. Sara’s poem is here. Cousin Mary Lee’s is here. Andromeda drops in here, and Tricia’s poem is here. Kelly’s poem is here as is Laura’s. Liz joins the party JoAnn’s poem is here. Rose’s poem is here, while Heidi’s is here. Carol’s playing along, and Michelle is too.. More Poetry Peeps will potentially be popping in all day, so stay tuned for a round-up of wordplay links.


Well, there goes October. What a strange end – torrents and floods in this state, and a wild, windy nor’easter on the other coast. Seems it might be a nippy winter – so I hope you have some wonderful autumnal adventures ahead to see you through. If you’d like to begin your adventures this morning, read more poetry! Poetry Friday today is genially hosted by Linda at Teacher Dance, and costumes are welcome (also, can you believe I’d forgotten it was almost Halloween!? Obviously I need to get out of my writing cave more often)! Here’s to the scarecrows and slightly spooky scares in store.


*I’m always horrified by the statistic that according the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations presented a few years ago, that the world produces agriculturally over one and a half times enough food to feed everyone, everywhere. But, that would require equal distribution, or sharing… something humanity hasn’t learned to do.

{poetry peeps in september: tanka-traders}

You’re invited to try our challenge in the month of September! We’re writing tanka in response to a poem we love from the Poetry Friday universe. Choose to respond to an original poem of any sort, from anyone who participates in Poetry Fridays – give us a link to the original poem, then go tanka-trading away, and make something tanka-true and new. Are you thinking of a poem you love? Good! There’s still time to play with your 5-7-5 creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on September 24th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.