Checkerberry #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #SOL20

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by a word or phrase mined from the pages of Henry David Thoreau’s jewel-laden journals. I have left my challenge open so that the poems may take any form — haiku, free verse, borrowed line, blackout –and who knows which direction they will go in. 

Today, because it is Tuesday, I also welcome Slice of Life visitors! My post is both poem-ish and a slice, as my inspiration from Thoreau’s journal today brings back a very specific memory.

Day #14: Checkerberry


A peek at my process

On April 16, 1852, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “As I turned round the corner of Hubbard’s Grove, saw a woodchuck, the first of the season…I squatted down and surveyed him at my leisure…I sat down by his side within a foot. I talked to him quasi forest lingo, baby-talk, at any rate in a conciliatory tone, and thought that I had some influence on him.
He gritted his teeth less…He had a rather mild look. I spoke kindly to him. I reached checkerberry leaves to his mouth. I stretched my hands over him, though he turned up his head and still gritted a little. I laid my hand on him, but immediately took it off again, instinct not being wholly overcome.
 (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal III: September 16, 1851 – April 30, 1852, Chapter VII. April, 1852, p. 420-422.)

I stray today from matching days with Thoreau’s journal. Checkerberry caught my eye, as it is a flavor from my childhood. When I hear its name, memories come flooding back to me. It’s a flavor that isn’t familiar to many, as it isn’t readily available. The best way to describe it is probably that it’s similar to wintergreen. For my memory poem, I used the “I remember…/I remember…/I remember…/But mostly I remember…” format.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Our Poetry Friday family launched the 8th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche is taking over this year as the organizer. Many members of the #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2020 poem. Here’s our sweet poem thus far.

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake.
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song,
and night melts into a rose gold dawn.

Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold.
Hints of sun lightly dapple the trees,
calling out the sleepy bees.

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.

The poem’s new hostess, Margaret Simon, has her turn today, again offering a line choice for the next host, Leigh Anne.  You can find Margaret’s line choices on her blog, Reflections on the Teche. I’m excited to provide the 24th line on Friday, April 24th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at 
Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, 
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at
7 Catherine Flynn at 
Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at 
Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at 
Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at 
Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel hosted at 
Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at 
A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at 
Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at 
Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at 
A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at 
Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at 
My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at
 A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at 
Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at 
Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at 
Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at 
To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth,
24 Christie Wyman at 
Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at 
The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at 
Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at 
Life on the Deckle Edge
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
Michelle Kogan

In other news…I am also excited to share that I have joined the Teach Write blogging team and will be writing a Poetry Ponderings blog post for them every month. My first offering, Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring, is now live. And my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek!

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 10.30.26 AM


Screen Shot 2020-04-07 at 8.29.59 AM

5 thoughts on “Checkerberry #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #SOL20

  1. Christie, thank you for sharing this sweet memory with us. I don’t know checkerberries, but what a great word! I love the image of the “baby pink deliciousness…on doily-lined plates.” Baking for someone is a true “gesture of love.”


  2. I love your repeated I remember form. “Minty checkerberry burst” is a great description. This is not a familiar flavor to me.
    Are you doing Laura Shovan’s Water Poem Project? Yesterday the prompt was to use a favorite word in a water poem. That word checkerberry intrigued me, too. I used it in this poem:
    “Drive-through Snowballs Sold Here”

    Checkerberry cheeks
    Minty mouth
    shower of winter

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Checkerberry is such an interesting word. I never heard of this flavor before today but I can imagine how this pink deliciousness would make an indelible mark. I like your format and especially the ending.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s