Poetry Friday: The Roundup is Here!

Welcome to the Poetry Friday Roundup! (Find our more about Poetry Friday in this post by Renée LaTulippe here.)

When our world came screeching to a halt last March, my local indie bookstore, The Hickory Stick Bookshop, soon reopened for phone orders and curbside pickup. I was happy to keep them busy. But I was even happier when they reopened for in-person (with masks, plenty of hand sanitizer, and social distancing, of course) shopping. On my first trip, I found this book on the display table in the children’s section.

I have been a fan of Emily Winfield Martin’s work since I first discovered it several years ago. To have a whole book of her fanciful, dream-like images felt like a gift. The fact that there were “little scraps of larger stories” included with each image was an added bonus.

Since I brought The Imaginaries home, I have delved deep into the images and the ideas and feelings they stir in me. They have inspired quite a few poems, and I can’t wait to share Winfield-Martin’s paintings and words with my students. Here is one of my favorite images from the book and the poem it inspired.

“She never told anyone what she saw at the edge of the world.” Emily Winfield Martin

“The Edge of the World”

At the edge of the world
rocks rise from the fathomless
blue-green sea
spangled with starfish
forming countless constellations
that glimmer in the sun.

Explorers, untethered
from home, follow
limitless wonderings
to this far horizon,
braving perilous shoals
searching for secret songs
and untold stories
seeking unimaginable creatures,
discovering this truth:

Here there be mermaids.

© Catherine Flynn, 2020

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Poetry Friday: The Comet

For the past week or so, I’ve appreciated being distracted by Comet Neowise. I was lucky to see our latest celestial visitor with and without binoculars one night last week, but because of the weather, I haven’t been able to spot it since then. Many friends have shared their pictures though, so I feel like I’ve gotten my fair share of sightings. How could I not be inspired to write a poem?

The Comet

A massive ball
(three miles wide!)
of ice and dust
sailing through
the solar system,
pulled by gravity,
warmed by the sun,
is suddenly a
a cosmic exclamation mark,
a reminder to look up,
to be dazzled,
to dream.

© Catherine Flynn, 2020

Comet Neowise over Caliente, CA by Jason Hullinger / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) via Wikimedia

Please be sure to visit my poetry pal, Margaret Simon, at Reflections on the Teche for the Poetry Friday Roundup.