“…this Wyman lot…” #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 #21: “…this Wyman lot…” 

Woods Walk (updated)

A peek at my process

On April 21, 1859, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Setting pines all day. This makes two and a half days, with two men and a horse and cart to help me. We have set some four hundred trees at fifteen feet apart diamondwise, covering some two acres. I set every one with my own hand, while another digs the holes where I indicate, and occasionally helps the other dig up the trees…One man charged us five or six cents for them about a mile and a half distant! Got about one hundred and twenty from George Heywood’s land and the rest from the Brister lot and this Wyman lot itself. R. W. E. has bought a quarter of a pound of white pine seed at $4.00 per pound.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XII: March 2, 1859 – November 30, 1859, Chapter II. 1859, p. 152-153)

Woods Walk was inspired by walks around Walden Pond, and a particular spring morning spent at the adjacent Wyman Meadow vernal pool habitat, which literally springs to life in late March/early April. This is a simple, yet significant special place throughout the year, and I marvel at the many changes this natural community sees throughout the seasons. It is extra special to us because the “Wyman lot” Thoreau refers to is named for one of my husband’s ancestors who once owned the property.

As you’ll notice in the lines of my poem, the vernal pool habitat (or pond-hole as Thoreau sometimes referred to them) swells with activity in the late spring and then life recedes, as does Walden’s shoreline, as summer approaches. The chosen movement of the salamanders honors Thoreau’s passion for “sauntering.”

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.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

It’s Janice Scully’s turn to provide lines today. You can find the lines she is proposing to the next host, Julieanne, on her blog, Salt City Verse. We are inching closer to my turn, the 24th line on Friday. 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
28 Jessica Bigi at TBD
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



14 thoughts on ““…this Wyman lot…” #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #SOL20

  1. Chrisite, the backstory to your project is fascinating, especially since your husband’s family once owned the Wyman lot. I really like how you took us through the seasons and ended the poem with thoughts of hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun and fascinating poetry challenge! I really enjoyed your poem; loved the way the line “wood frog chorus quacks” rolled off my tongue and played in my head! Happy writing! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the connection between Thoreau’s writing, your husband’s ancestor, and you! We live on a street named for my great-grandfather, who bought the farm our property was once part of in 1910. The verbs you’ve used really bring your poem to life, and your ending reminds us to always keep hope in our hearts.


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s