Poetry Friday: Finding a Poem

Last night I was at a total loss about what to share today. For some reason, I remembered this post by Irene Latham about using Google Arts & Culture as a source for images for her annual Artspeak! poetry project. When I opened the site, these stunning images greeted me.

These are all pieces of glass, but this image in particular reminded me of malachite.

Stained glass fragment, 13th century, via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I wanted to confirm what I thought I knew about this stunning green mineral, so I Googled it and this image popped up.

Which led to this poem:

He pressed a polished malachite heart
into my hand;
whispered, “to match your eyes,”
then hurried off to Mrs. King’s calculus class.

No one noticed
as I sprouted gossamer wings
and floated

the stratosphere.

© Catherine Flynn, 2018

Please be sure to visit Carol’s Corner for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

Poetry Friday: Pheasant Haiku

Two surprises arrived last week: an early snow storm and a ring-necked pheasant. We have never seen a pheasant in our yard, so his presence was quite thrilling. His sudden appearance was explained when I found out that a local landowner had stocked his property with 100 birds. This is a common practice in our area, and these gorgeous birds may have wandered onto our property in the past, but I was too busy to notice.

dressed for dinner
a pheasant feasts on seeds
scattered on snow

© Catherine Flynn, 2018

I hope you all had a joyous Thanksgiving feast. I am forever grateful for this generous, nurturing community of poets. Thank you for all your friendship and support! Please be sure to visit Irene Latham, one of the kindest people I know, at Live Your Poem, for the Poetry Friday Roundup!

Poetry Friday: Forever Friends?

I didn’t get much writing done in October. I probably won’t get much writing done in November, either. But I keep plugging away. Slow and steady, right? Today’s poem is my response to Michelle Heidenrich Barnes‘s October(!) ditty challenge from Calef Brown. He asked us to “Write a poem or a story about two anthropomorphized objects.” 

I thought about this for days, but kept coming up empty. Then, on Halloween, it finally came to me. I have a drawer full of pins to match almost every book and subject from the third grade curriculum I taught for many years. I don’t wear them too much any more, but I have a cat pin I often wear on Halloween. Bingo! Finally, several drafts later, here is my still-needs-work-but-it’s-come-a-long-way draft.

Forever Friends?

Trapped inside a box of baubles,
An enamel mouse and rhinestone cat
Grew restless and began to squabble
On their cushiony, cottony mat.

“If I had legs, I’d crouch and pounce,
Then grab your shimmering tail.
You’d be completely trounced,”
that feline loudly railed.

“If I had legs, I’d dart and dash,
Evading your golden claws,
zipping past you in a flash,”
the wee brave mouse guffawed.

“If only we could reach the rim,”
bemoaned the paralyzed pair.
“We’d be free to stretch our limbs,
and breathe in pure fresh air.

“This lid won’t budge; we’re out of luck.
Why don’t we make amends?
No lark for us. We’re truly stuck.
Let’s bury our grudge and be friends.”

© Catherine Flynn, 2018

Will the truce last?

Thank you, Michelle and Calef for this thought-provoking challenge! Please be sure to visit Linda Baie at Teacher Dance for the Poetry Friday Roundup!


Poetry Friday: Sydell Rosenberg’s H is for Haiku

“It’s amazing what you can see when you just sit quietly and look.”
Jacqueline Kelly, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Looking closely and seeing familiar objects in new and unique ways is the essence of poetry. H is For Haiku is a joyful collection of haiku by Sydell Rosenberg, a poet and New York City public school teacher who passed away in 1996, that celebrates everyday life 17 syllables at a time. Rosenberg’s daughter, Amy Losak, has lovingly gathered 26 poems to fulfill her mother’s dream of publishing a book of haiku for children. (Read more about this journey here.)

I love that this collection begins with the word adventure, for that’s exactly what H is For Haiku is. Readers step into a world where children’s daily lives and dreams spill across the page, just as the universe seems to be pouring out of a cat’s tail in the first poem. What child hasn’t thought of monsters when they see lobsters in a tank or wondered about turtles perched on a rock?

Rosenberg’s haiku are also full of the joy of language. Young readers may not know what a jaunt is, but they will to go on one with a “wide-eyed doll” after reading the poem for the letter C. The subject of each poem does not necessarily begin with the letter the poem represents. This inventiveness shows children how playful language can be. After reading “a squirrel sweeps up sunbeams/with her transparent tail,” who won’t be inspired to notice the world in new way?

 This collection is spirited, inventive, and fun. Sawsan Chalabi’s whimsical illustrations fill H is For Haiku with a diverse cast of expressive characters that perfectly complement the tone of Rosenberg’s poems. After reading H is For Haiku, children of all ages will pay closer attention as they go about their day, always on the lookout for the poetry hiding in unexpected corners of their world.

Honoring Syd’s life,
crafted with her daughter’s love:
H is For Haiku

Thank you, Amy Losak, for giving us the gift of your mother’s poetry.

Please be sure to visit Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty for the Poetry Friday Roundup.



Poetry Friday: The Wondrous Wonderpus

Without intending to, I ended up taking a hiatus from blogging during October. I have missed all my poetry pals, though, so I’m determined to at least get pack to posting on Fridays.

In September, the lovely and generous Irene Latham invited her readers and friends to share “some octopus poems and art” to be featured on her blog during October, otherwise known as #NationalOctopusMonth. I’ve never been a huge fan of octopuses, but I am a HUGE fan of Irene and all her writing, so I dove into learning more about the fascinating creatures.

I soon discovered the wonderpus octopus (Wunderpus photogenicus)who lives in the coastal waters near Indonesia and Malaysia. This beautiful little octopus inspired this poem, “The Wondrous Wonderpus.”



By Jenny (JennyHuang) from Taipei (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Thank you again to Irene, for always being such an inspiration. Please be sure to visit Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup for the Poetry Friday Roundup!