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Poetry Friday: Spooktober Continues!

I'm continuing to have fun with my Spooktober project - writing poems for kids based on a series of Inktober illustrator prompts. You can see the prompt list and the first week of poems here , and the second batch of poems here .  The prompts were aimed at adult illustrators instead of kids, so it's been both challenging and fun to play with them and try to find ways to make words like poison work for a young audience. It's also been fun to play with the various meanings a word can have, and try to subvert preconceived ideas a reader might bring to a poem based on that prompt. So here are this week's poems - I hope you're having as much spooky fun reading them as I'm having writing them!               This week our host for Poetry Friday is Jama over at Jama's Alphabet Soup .  Hop on over to the Poetry Friday post for links to a virtual buffet of poetic goodness!

Poetry Friday: More Spooktober Poems

I'm writing a poem for every day of October, playing with poems in or inspired by/adjacent to the senryu, haiku, and tanka poetic forms. You can read the first week's worth of my Spooktober poems, and see my prompt list, in this post .  I've had a lot of fun with the prompts this week!  I've got some publishing news to share today! I'm thrilled to have two poems included in the 10.10 Poetry Anthology: Celebrating 10 in 10 Different Ways , which includes poems from many Poetry Friday participants.  You can get a peek inside the anthology and order your own copy here .  The editor of the anthology, Bridget Magee , is our host for Poetry Friday this week. Hop on over to her blog to congratulate her on 10 years of blogging and the publication of this wonderful anthology, and to get links to the rest of today's Poetry Friday poems!

Poetry Friday: Spooktober

I've been immersed in poetry and verse in the past couple of weeks - first in a Novel in Verse virtual workshop led by the amazing Nikki Grimes and Padma Venkatraman, then in my own work as I dived in deep to apply all the insights and tips that I took away from that experience.  Poems arrived in my inbox this week, via the Academy of American Poets newsletter featuring a selection of poems for Indigenous Peoples' Day.  I particularly loved the poem by Rainy Dawn Ortiz that starts: Something Else. Some one else Some where else That place is here, In my home, We are here. You can read the rest of the poem and learn more about the poet here .  One of the things I love about being a part of Poetry Friday is the inspiration to play with different poetic forms. Thoughts about poetic forms were milling around in my mind when they bumped into Inktober, an annual event in which illustrators create a drawing each day during the month of October. Sparks flew and an idea was born. I searc
A poem about pandemics, and friendship, on this Poetry Friday. I awake to a world constrained by autumn fog that limits how far I can see. Train and bus carry me through the fog through the neighboring villages through the city towards my friend — but at each stop along the way the wider world remains hidden  behind a grey curtain. In the time before face masks and lockdowns,  we greeted each other each week with three kisses on the cheek. We drank tea, we talked, we wrote new words, we shopped at the farmer’s market together. Together   now,  for the first time in months we do not greet with three kisses but we drink tea and talk, and as we do, sun burns through fog, reveals mountain and city, pushes the boundaries of the world back out again to where they used to be. © 2021, Elisabeth Norton, All Rights Reserved Poetry Friday is being hosted by Laura Purdie Salas. You can find all the poetry goodness here .

Poetry Friday: What September Knows

My recent poem " What the Marmot Kno ws " was still rolling around in my head a couple of weeks ago when we were out on a Sunday afternoon bike ride. As I watched one yellow leaf drift slowly along the river, a sure sign that fall is coming, I started thinking about "What September Knows." Yesterday on our lunchtime walk, the squirrels were very busy, shaking hazelnuts down from the tree and running to hide them. And today, the path was dotted with crimson leaves. So I decided to finish off the poem that I started on that Sunday afternoon.  Our wonderful host for Poetry Friday today is Denise Krebs over at Dare to Care .  Inspired by another Poetry Friday poet, she wrote an "In A Word" poem. You can discover who inspired her, which creature she wrote about, and all the other poetry goodness awaiting you here . And Poetry Friday's own Laura Purdie Salas will be presenting a webinar next week (Wednesday, 22nd September) on the topic of Work For Hire: W

Poetry Friday: Thoughts about History and Timelines

History is a timeline of events, each event a dot too small to express the millions of experiences of a given day week month year of a given war earthquake flood famine drought tragedy Each dot on a timeline is a period, a pause that says “Stop! This is something you should know about.” The timeline pulls us inexorably forward, the dots behind us growing smaller as we look back over our shoulders. Some merge with the line, too small to stop anyone in their tracks anymore, the stories around that dot lost to time. But some dots are not diminished with time. Some dots will always make us pause to remember. ©2021, Elisabeth Norton, all rights reserved Our Poetry Friday host is Tricia over at The Miss Rumphious Effect. Hop over to her blog for all of today's poetic inspiration. I'd also like to highlight a wonderful poem 9/11/02 or One Year Later , written by my friend Jennifer in honor of some of the first responders to 9/11. 

Poetry Friday: Apple-Picking Time

 Some days the warmth of summer lingers, but the nights are getting cooler -- a sure sign of fall. Another sign is red apples and a ladder in the orchard. Our wonderful host for Poetry Friday is Heidi Mordhurst. Check out her juicy little universe for all the other wonderful poems that await you today!

Poetry Friday: Welcome to the Party!

Hi everyone! Thanks for coming to the Poetry Friday party today! I'm so glad you stopped by. Last week, Mary Lee Hahn reminded us of the August Poetry Peeps challenge :  We’re writing after the style of Jane Yolen’s eight line, rhyming poem, “What the Bear Knows,” a poem  written in honor of her 400th book ,  Bear Outside . Our topic is  What the ____ Knows .  I love Jane Yolen's work and was excited to take on this challenge.  We love to hike, and one of our favorite things to do when hiking is to look and listen for marmots. They are abundant in the Swiss Alps, and we have spent many a peaceful hour watching them, as other impatient hikers pass us by, unaware that silence and patience will be rewarded with glimpses like this:  I'm looking forward to reading the other Poetry Peeps responses, as well as all of your poetic goodness. Thanks for joining the party! You can add your links here. Click here to enter

Poetry Friday: Another First Day

Over the summer I've been inspired by the Poetry Friday poets who have written villanelles. This was a new form for me, and I have been simultaneously drawn to and intimidated by this form with its many restrictions. The Villanelle form was floating around in my creative primordial ooze all summer, but no evolution occurred until it bumped up against my desire to write a poem for my daughter's first day of school.  As expected, it was a challenging form to work with. I pretty quickly settled on the number of syllables, and the refrain lines and rhymes, but I was struggling with the second half. I was trying to work with a fixed meter (some sources I looked at said traditional villanelles are written in iambic pentameter). Finally I read over the first half of the poem and asked myself why I liked it so much better than the many lines I was throwing away. I realized that in those lines, I hadn't tried to follow a strict metric pattern, and I liked the internal rhyme that see

Poetry Friday: Summer Forest Jazz

 This week passed by in a whirl of appointments and to-do lists. One of the highlights we participating in Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong 's workshop on Poetry Anthologies. It was jam-packed with insights on the poetry market and practical tips about anthologies: both seeking publication in them, and producing them. If you're interested, they're holding the workshop again on October 16th. There are still a few spots available. For more details about the workshop and how to register, check out this post . My poem today was written early in the summer, before the recent extreme rain and intense storms. As I was biking through the forest, the sounds of summer around me made me want to play with onomotopaeia .  I stopped and pulled out my notebook and pen and tried to capture the essence of the sounds I was hearing. Those were the seeds of this poem. I've been revising it off and on over the summer and this is the version I'm happiest with (so far ;-). Thanks for stoppi

Poetry Friday: Nature's Lava Lamp

Another summer poem this week.  Last week while I was waiting for a train, I watched wisps of clouds slowly stretching, twisting and folding back in on themselves. It was mesmerizing - like watching nature's version of a lava lamp.  That experience inspired today's poem.  Mary Lee Hahn is our gracious host for Poetry Friday this week. I hope you'll stop by her blog where many other wonderful poems await you .

Poetry Friday: Summer's Celebration

After a stormy start, summer sun is finally here. It's been a busy couple of weeks, but as I go here and there on walks and errands, I am always delighted by these fuzzy wisteria seedpods. Today's poem is a little celebration of summer and the many delights it brings. Our Poetry Friday host today is Rebecca Herzog over at Sloth Reads . What a perfect place to hang out and enjoy all the poetry on offer this week !

Poetry Friday: Stopping by the Path on a Summer Day

A few weeks ago a bicycle appeared, parked on a side path that branches off of the primary footpath through our village. That footpath (really, for feet, bicycles and scooters) is heavily traveled, especially mornings and afternoons when school is in session.  We walked past this bike on many a lunch-time walk and errand, and periodically the bicycle would be in a different place. Sometimes it was parked right at the junction of the two paths, and other times it was half-way up the side path to the little quartier where we live.  I guess it's the writer in me - I see stories everywhere - and I kept wondering: whose bike is this? why is it parked here? who moves it? One day, as I was wondering, my brain started riffing on Robert Frost's poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening .  Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. You can read the rest of the poem here .   After we go

Poetry Friday: Storm-felled Pine

Storms and their aftermath have been on my mind this week. Walking in the park a couple of days ago, we discovered this tree, a victim of a recent storm's fierce winds.  This week our Poetry Friday host is Laura Shovan, who has written a wonderful poem celebrating a woman whose contribution to a classic Hollywood film was erased. You can check out her poem, and find links to all the other Poetry Friday poets, here .

Poetry Friday: Another Mindful Poem

After another busy week, it feels like a good day for another mindful poem. This one, like the one I shared last month , is from the anthology, Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems (edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson).  Mind Wanting More by Holly J. Hughes Only a beige slat of sun above the horizon, like a shade pulled not quite down. Otherwise, clouds. Sea rippled here and there. Birds reluctant to fly. The mind wants a shaft of sun to stir the grey porridge of clouds, ... You can read the rest of the poem here .  This is one of my go-to poems when life gets busy. It reminds me that even the most hectic of days contain moments of joy and stillness, if I can slow down or stop for a moment to let myself see them. This week our Poetry Friday host is Buffy Silverman . Head on over to the Poetry Friday post to see what moments of joy and inspiration await you.

Poetry Friday

 Walks to the pond continue to be a highlight of our daily routine, even though we haven't seen any tadpoles for more than two weeks. When we last saw them, they were in the shallower end of the pond, where the reeds are more dense. This also happens to be as far away as they could get from the deepest part of the pond where the salamanders like to swim. The reeds have gotten quite tall so it's nearly impossible to tell if any tadpoles will survive to frog-dom.  There are five mature frogs living in the pond. They are quite entertaining to watch and listen to. They will have occasional spats over preferred spots for hanging out, but most of the time, they are resting lightly on plants, their little heads poking out of the water. Here are three of them, sunning themselves and enjoying the lily pads that have recently emerged. This week we were surprised to see a new animal in the pond.  At first I only saw the tail end of a slender body slipping between the rocks just in front o

Poetry Friday: Oasis

Summer seems eager to usher spring out the door: the daylight is lasting longer, the temperatures are getting warmer, and everywhere we look, flowers are blooming. On every walk I'm delighted by wisteria, foxglove, candytuft, snowball viburnum and more. (Aren't flower names wonderfully poetic?) This week they mowed the grass at the park where we take our lunchtime walks. These patches of wildflowers that were left for the insects to enjoy inspired my poem this week. Our host today is Margaret at Reflections on the Teche . Click over to see what other poetic delights await you on this Poetry Friday.

Poetry Friday: Swimming Lessons

Happy Friday everyone! I've been nattering on about the frogs and tadpoles and salamanders quite a bit, but they are not the only younglings we've seen this spring. A couple of weeks ago, my husband was lucky enough to get a brief glimpse of a Mama Duck leading her ducklings across the grass, but they had disappeared into the hedge by the time he tried to point them out to me. Ever since then I've been eagerly looking for them, hoping to catch them on another field trip.  Earlier this week, we were walking in a light rain when we saw a lone duck on a log in the moat. "Something looks odd about how she's standing," I said to my husband. "Look at how her wings are positioned." That's when we realized - this was Mama Duck, sheltering her ducklings from the rain! We were excited to see them, even if we couldn't see them, since Mama was such a good umbrella. Yesterday, it was overcast but not raining, and Mama Duck had her ducklings out for a swi

Poetry Friday: A Mindful Poem

Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments on my Poetry Friday post last week! I’m glad you enjoyed hearing about springtime at the pond.  The tadpoles are visibly bigger than last week, and this week we learned that they’re not the only younglings in the pond. One day as we approached, we heard more croaking than we've ever heard before. As we neared the pond, we found out why. Two young salamanders and an adult were actively swimming in the deep center of the pond. One of the adult frogs was sitting in the reeds near the center of the pond croaking frequently, and more tadpoles than we had ever seen together were clustered in the shallow water near the edge of the pond.  It's fascinating getting these glimpses into the world of this pond. I'll continue to share updates from time to time, especially when we see our first pollywogs. Even though yesterday was a holiday here, it’s been a busy week for me. When I get busy, meditation and poetry help me feel anchored in the p

Poetry Friday: A Tricube for Spring

Last month, in honor of National Poetry Month, my friend Bridget Magee over at Wee Words for Wee Ones wrote a poem a day using photos as her inspiration. Now Bridget has inspired me to use a photo as the inspiration for my poem today.  (that's a lot of inspiration :-) We've been waiting all spring for the frogs to emerge from hibernation at the pond, and a little over a week ago, I heard this fellow. It took me a while to find him though. Can you find him too? I believe this is a pond frog, a species that is common here in Switzerland. Inspired by the frog and a new poetic form I discovered in last week's poetry Friday, my poem this week is a  tricube , a mathematical poetic form introduced by Phillip Larrea. The rules are simple: Each line contains three syllables.   Each stanza contains three lines. Each poem contains three stanzas. The frogs haven't wasted any time since emerging from hibernation. Those tiny black dots with tails in the next photo are tadpoles! I h

Poetry Friday: Full Circle

I've always viewed scrapbooking as a form of storytelling. It's how we preserve the stories of the people and experiences in our lives. One of the first scrapbook pages I ever made was called "I is for Immigrant."  My poem today is a poetic interpretation of that page. It's a shape poem - a poetic form where the words on the page form a shape related to the content of the poem. This week's Poetry Friday is hosted by Matt Forrest at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme . Hop over here to find links to the other writers participating this week.

Poetry Friday: World Book & Copyright Day

  Today is Unesco's World Book and Copyright Day . I was fortunate enough to start my educational life at a school that encouraged reading, and it was there that my love of story took root.  Mine was a fairly solitary childhood, but with a book, I could enter the worlds of the characters I was reading about, and they became my companions.  I read about dragons, sentient space ships, and the life of a family in political exile.  I read books set in space, fantasy worlds, Siberia, England and New Zealand.  I read books by contemporary authors, and authors long dead.  I read poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction.  Books took me on journeys through time and space and around the world, and all the while offered me a safe place to curl up in when I needed it. Once I was showing our neighbor our apartment (we have the same floor plan and she wanted to see how we were using the space). When we came around the corner to the study, she gasped. "You have so many books!" I looked

National Poetry Month

Last April I posted a golden shovel poem based on Robert Frost's "Ghost House." Now, a year later, almost to the day, I'm posting about poetry again, with yet another nod to Robert Frost.  It's been a poetic year for me. It's also been a year with limited time for writing. Perhaps that's why, since writing that poem last April, I've been spending more and more time in poetry. I've discovered new favorite poems , and new favorite poets . New poetry is becoming a part of my DNA, the words and phrases coming to mind spontaneously as they resonate on the same frequency as my life. Yesterday, walking in the park, I saw this fellow standing in the stream. As soon as I saw him standing there, the opening lines of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken"  sprang to mind: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the under