Poetry Friday: National Poetry Month Warm-Up

T.S. Eliot may think that “April is the cruelest month,” but I’m over March and looking forward to National Poetry Month. I’ve been planning a project that I’m excited about, but am not ready to share the details today. While I was tidying up my classroom this afternoon it occurred to me that some book spine poetry would be a good way to warm up for next month. Here are a few short poems, courtesy of some of my favorite authors.

Ask me
how to heal a broken wing:
I wonder
how to read a book.
Follow the recipe
after dark.
You nest here with me,
this place I know.
The wisdom of trees
sweep up the sun
green on green
If you come to Earth,
a world of wonders.
Footprints on the roof.

Looking forward to seeing you all next week for the beginning of National Poetry Month. In the meantime, be sure to visit Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

Poetry Friday: March Swagger Challenge

It’s the first Friday of March. Time for another Sunday Swagger Challenge. Each month, one member of my critique group poses a challenge for us all to respond to. This month, Margaret Simon posed a very flexible prompt: “Using any book, choose three page numbers. On the chosen pages, find one word to use. Write a poem.”

This seemed very manageable. One of my students has been reading Kate DiCamillo’s books, and Kate’s exquisite use of language has always inspired me, so I pulled a copy of Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures off the shelf and found these three words: variations, floating, glowing

An image of clouds came into my head as I considered these words. Here is the draft I came up with:


Tenuous ideas cling together,
like water droplets fusing
into wisps of clouds floating
in an azure sky.

Slowly, word by word,
a line forms.
Line follows line
until they coalesce 
into a poemling,
glowing with promise.

Maybe this baby poem,
fragile as it is,
is a variation on an old theme.

No matter.
Just as clouds come in all
shapes and sizes,
possibilities for poems
are infinite.

And so we keep on

Draft, © 2021, Catherine Flynn

Photo by Brett Jordan via Unsplash

Please be sure to visit my fellow Swaggers to read their responses to Margaret’s challenge:

Heidi Mordhorst @ My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone

Then be sure to head to Kat Apel’s blog for the Poetry Friday Roundup.