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.
Day #20: Lichen
A peek at my process —
On November 16, 1850, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “A truly good book is something
as wildly natural and primitive, mysterious and marvellous, ambrosial and fertile, as a fungus or a lichen.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal II: 1850 – September 15, 1851, Chapter I. 1850, p. 97)
The only British soldiers active on this Patriot’s Day 2020 are the British soldiers lichen (Cladonia cristatella) marching across a fence post in my backyard. There are many references to lichen throughout Thoreau’s journal, but this particular species was not described scientifically until 1858 by American botanist Edward Tuckerman in 1858. I’m not a lichenologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do find this particular species mysterious and marvelous. Having only seen British soldiers in person a handful of times, I was thrilled to discover it right here at home yesterday afternoon and it serves as the inspiration for my (first) attempt at an eight-lined definito poem, a form created by my amazing poet friend Heidi Mordhorst. A definito is a free-verse poem of 8-12 lines that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.
And now for…
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
It’s Rose Cappelli’s turn to provide lines today. You can find the lines she is proposing to the next host, Janice, on her blog, Imagine the Possibilities. We are inching closer to my turn, 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, deowriter
4 Liz Steinglass
5 Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
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, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
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
30 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!