Friends Old and New #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Rebecca Herzog is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, Sloth Reads. Perhaps you’ll join us?

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Thursday evening, while attending NCTE in Baltimore, a representative group of the Poetry Friday family gathered together in celebration of friendship and in honor of a rare treat of a visit from our very own visiting Aussie, Kat Apel. Thanks for organizing, Laura Shovan!

friends old and new

There is a food poem challenge in the offing, but I’m too tired to compose so you can read How to Make a Crab Cake by January Gill O’Neil here. Mine were delicious!

Thanks for hosting this week, Rebecca, and I look forward to seeing even more of the PF family IRL at NCTE in the next day or so! I’ll be presenting Friday afternoon about writing poetry from images along with Laura Purdie Salas and a team assembled by Wonderopolis. Come say hello!



A return visit #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, Today’s Little Ditty. Perhaps you’ll join us? Michelle is unveiling the latest edition of her anthology of poetry, The Best of Today’s Little Ditty: 2017-2018. Click here to get your paperback or Kindle version today!

I am beyond thrilled because a tanka I wrote last year was selected for inclusion in this lovely volume. I’m chuffed, as the Brits would say, and proud to have my sweet hummingbird buzzing around so many of my favorite poets and their magical words. It’s the first poem I have ever had published anywhere.  Here is how my poem looked when I first shared it with the Poetry Friday family.  It was written in response to a challenge to look out the window and write about what you see.

waiting patientlyI can’t wait to read the latest edition of the Today’s Little Ditty anthology from cover to cover and share the collection with my Kindergarten poets! Thanks for hosting this week, Michelle, and I look forward to meeting many of you IRL at NCTE next week! I’ll be presenting Friday afternoon about writing poetry from images along with Laura Purdie Salas and a team assembled by Wonderopolis. Come say hello!



Connected #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Tabatha Yeatts is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. Perhaps you’ll join us? Tabatha has a lovely invitation to the annual Winter Poetry Swap, in addition to poetry from Samantha Reynolds. I’m signing up for the swap right now!

I’ve been thinking about trees a lot lately. Their autumnal hues are breathtaking here in New England. I have also been reading lots of tree-related literature including The Overstory by Richard Powers. An amazing novel and a must read! You won’t look at trees the same way ever again. I am also interested in learning more about how trees communicate with each other. Can you imagine the information that flows from one to the next in the woods? A subterranean communication system we can not see, nor tap into. Curious and want to learn more? Check out this animated video from the BBC. It explains the Wood Wide Web.

These woody thoughts prompted the following draft of a poem.


Thanks for hosting this week, Tabatha. Bring on the poetry and if you take a walk in the woods this weekend, listen carefully.



Brand New Readers #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Catherine Flynn is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, Reading to the Core. Perhaps you’ll join us? I’m so glad to be back among friends after some time off while I settled in to a new year.

Catherine launched her post with a bit about gratitude. In these hectic first six weeks of school, I’ve been trying to record a bit of daily gratitude as part of my Evening Pages. I am truly grateful for a new crew of Kindergarteners who are kind, curious and love learning. We adopted a new reading curriculum (our first, if you can believe it!) this fall and so far I’m loving how engaged my emergent readers are as they explore favorite storybooks. They inspired my haiku, which I wrote during Writer’s Workshop over the last week or so. I read it to them today, and they helped me edit it a wee bit. It’s always good to have great feedback partners!

brand new readers

Thanks for hosting this week, Catherine. Bring on the poetry!










For the Love of Trees #PoetryFriday

Prince’s Gardens, London, July 2019

Welcome to Poetry Friday, everyone! I am excited and honored to host the roundup today for only the second time. Once again, I’m sweating it out and crossing my fingers, eyes, and toes that the link up works!

Before we get started, here’s an important announcement about next week’s roundup from its host, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. “Please note that on Poetry Friday August 23 we will celebrate the life of Lee Bennett Hopkins here at The Poem Farm. At Jone MacCulloch’s great suggestion, I invite everyone who wishes to write and share a poem inspired by or including a line from a LBH poem. Tag with #DearOneLBH. Thank you. xo, Amy.” I, like many of you I’m sure, have been thumbing through the many anthologies Lee graced us with, trying to decide which poem and which line. How to choose?

And now for this week’s roundup. I tossed out a tree theme for this week, and I can’t wait to see what some folks might share. Since I was a child, I’ve always loved trees — sitting under them, swinging from rope swings tied to them, marveling in their varied bark, leaves, and blossoms, and of course climbing them. My very first beloved poet, David McCord, unknowingly gave me permission!

Every Time I Climb a Tree by David McCord

I featured Mr. McCord’s work in a previous post, and had completely forgotten that I referenced a video of Renee LaTulippe interviewing Lee about McCord! That has a very “six degrees of separation” feel to it at the moment!

Mary Oliver adored and was inspired by trees, too. What do trees call out to you?

When I Am Among the Trees

As a writer, poet, and sometimes artist, trees continue to inspire me.

A Poet's Trees

Early Spring Trees

tall shirakaba

Tree Cookies

Even tree cookies (my Kindergarteners love this term!) speak to me — literally and figuratively!



During our trip to the UK in July, my husband and I fell completely and utterly head over heels in love with a stunning and very old linden tree on the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral, where we were staying. We had no idea where the intoxicating perfume was coming from as we walked the sacred grounds. We followed our noses and eventually spent many happy hours on the bench below it’s delicate branches throughout our stay in the cathedral close that week. The cathedral was built between 1220 and 1258, and lindens are rumored to be able to live up to 1,000 years, so who knows how old our lovely linden is!

Lovely Linden

Thanks for joining me in this arboraceous roundup. Click the link and bring on the poetry!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Afternoon at Fairyland #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and the uber-talented Molly Hogan is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone. Perhaps you’ll join us? Molly’s sharing a sweet poem she wrote using a found title. Don’t miss it. It’s out of this world! (Pun very much intended!) Lastly, the literary world lost two giants this week — Toni Morrison and now Lee Bennett Hopkins. The lights in the Milky Way will dim for now, but perhaps shine brighter? That’s my hope, at least.

Next week it’s my turn to host. I’ve thrown out a tree-related theme if you’d care to tag along.


My offering this week is a draft of a small poetic moment from my afternoon at Fairyland Pond, a spot I retreat to often in nearby Concord, Massachusetts. It was a favorite of Thoreau’s and is for me, too. When I first arrived, all was quiet, but then things began to change. A note on the form the poem takes. I, like many of you, enjoy a daily dose of poetry on Tracy K. Smith’s podcast The Slowdown. I’ve noticed that many of the poems she features are narrative in form, almost storylike. I thought I’d take the form for a test drive. Join me!

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C0BBCFD8-078C-41C7-A8EE-B41A1A323F3BThanks for hosting this week, Molly. Bring on the poetry!










Kicking a clunker down the road #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Linda Mitchell is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, A Word Edgewise. Perhaps you’ll join us?

Linda’s giving away clunkers — lines, thoughts and bits of poems — discarded or abandoned from her writing journals. Do any interest you? One drew me in — “As she walks the road…” It’s my first day of summer vacation, so I thought I’ll let it simmer for a bit and see what, if anything, would happen

His call as she walks the road .png

I adore northern cardinals, and it seems I’m a bit of a cardinal magnet lately. One has been visiting me outside my classroom every afternoon this week, his familiar chip chip chip flowing in and out of my open window. And then, as I returned home today, I was visited by yet another cardinal. Has he followed me home?

And now for my clunker. I’m giving away “Do you think they talk?” I’m working on something with that as the opening line, but it’s not ready…yet. I’d love to see what someone else does with it, too!

Thanks for hosting this week, Linda. Bring on the poetry!