Thursday, April 30, 2020

NPM 2020 - The Beginning and the End

It's the last day of April, the last of National Poetry Month. I started on this journey thinking about all the places I'd like to go in a time when we are staying in and staying home. Pictures of those places served as inspiration for my poems. At the end of this month I'm thinking back to beginnings and to one of the places that is in my thoughts every day, and one I desperately miss.
Longdale Elementary School, Glen Allen, VA  
September, 2019

It started out so well
a dream really
back to school
every day a teacher's life
until it all came crashing down

I miss the early mornings
late afternoons
greeting kids at breakfast
lunch in the cafeteria
waving goodbye to their buses

I miss the gap-toothed smiles
the eye-rolling
the unicorns (everywhere on everything)
I miss the high fives
the fist bumps
but mostly the hugs

I miss what was
wonder what might have been
mourn for what will never be
and want it back
each minute we've missed
since the doors were
shuttered

I long for a do-over
a time-machine
to take me back to
that first day
before I fell in love
and had my heart broken

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for this year's NPM project. I can't thank you enough for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

NPM 2020 - Scooters

It could have been any city street, crowded with traffic and pedestrians on the sidewalks. But the signs and multitude of scooters reminded us we weren't in an American city.

Taipei city streets, Taipei, Taiwan  
May, 2007

scooters everywhere
racing taxies and buses
forgive me, I'll walk

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

NPM 2020 - LOVE Sculpture

Today, versions of Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture can be found all around the world, but it didn't originate as a sculpture. It was actually an image for the MOMA Christmas card in 1965.  In 1970, the first sculpture was made and displayed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In 1973, the image appeared on a postage stamp.
LOVE Sculpture outside Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan  
May, 2007

With apologies to the Beatles ...

All you need is love
truth
spoken
and
heard
truth
lived
and
learned
truth
Love is all you need

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Monday, April 27, 2020

NPM 2020 - The Great Wall

When I went to China I was particularly excited about seeing the Great Wall. About 50 miles from Beijing, this section was built around 1505 and was restored in the 1950s and 1980s. You can imagine the disappointment as we headed out on a most rainy and foggy day to make our visit.

Today's poem is a cherita. A cherita is a poem that tells a story and  consists of a one-line stanza, followed by a two-line stanza, and then finishing with a three-line stanza.


Badaling section of the Great Wall, Yanqing District, China  
May, 2007

underneath umbrellas

we approached the wall
turn left or right, which path to take?

we skipped the crowds
did not regret
the harder climb

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

NPM 2020 - Roller Coasters

I love roller coasters. My son is often my partner in crime and will ride the craziest of coasters with me. Sometimes I get a bit nervous waiting for the ride, but once it's over, I'm ready to do it all again.
Fahrenheit roller coaster in Hershey Park, Hershey, PA
July, 2018

hold on to your hat
that first drop is a doozy
once is not enough

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

NPM 2020 - Ducklings

In the courtyard of my mother's nursing home is a small pond. A while back a duck and her ducklings took up residence. My mother loved to sit outside and watch them.
Small pond at  St. John's Home, Rochester, NY
July, 2018
man-made pond hosts ducks
off course and out place, but
ducklings bring a smile

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Friday, April 24, 2020

NPM 2020 on Poetry Friday - Poetry Sisters Write Skinny Poems

The challenge this month was to write a skinny poem with the theme of foresight (again) or spring, or both. A skinny poem consists of eleven lines. Lines 1 and 11 can be any length and line 11 must use the same words from line 1, though they can be rearranged. Lines 2, 6, and 10 must be identical. And finally, what makes this poem skinny, is that fact that all lines except for 1 and 11 (the first and last) may be only ONE WORD LONG. You can learn more about the form at The Skinny Poetry Journal.

In my initial drafts I pretty much failed this challenge as it related to theme, but I did manage a few relative to form. I did write a skinny poem for my mom earlier this week with a reference to spring. You can read it in Monday's post NPM 2020 - From the Window.  I did finally sit down to write at least one on point. Here are several offerings.

Skinny 1
I come from
where
mom
knows
best,
where
family’s
first.
Love’s
where
I come from.
Skinny 2
My favorite flowers are
tulips.
Brightly
colored
show-offs,
tulips
herald
spring’s
arrival.
Tulips
are my favorite flowers.

Skinny 3
My heart breaks
inside.
Pandemic
isolation
sucks!
Inside
social
distancing,
staying
inside
breaks my heart

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Christie Wyman at Wondering & Wandering. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

NPM 2020 - By the River

I've mentioned more than once my love for the mountains. As I reflect on the poems I've written so  far this month, more than a few have been inspired by mountain settings. This one is no different. My sweet friend Christen took me to her family's cabin as a birthday treat two summers ago. The river just outside the front door was ice cold, but oh so refreshing.

Today's poem is written in rhyme royal, which is a seven-line stanza in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme a/b/a/b/b/c/c.
Conway River, Standardsville, VA
August, 2018

Such happy hours spent along this bank
two barefoot wading downstream tossing stones
with hands cupped sure we bent and scooped and drank
post hike a dip helped soothe our weary bones
a perfect day without our ringing phones
a day along the river can't be beat
but time spent with a friend is just as sweet 

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

NPM 2020 - Missing Baseball

It really doesn't feel like spring, not without baseball. We've missed the anticipation and excitement of opening day. I'm missing cheering against the Yankees. I missing attending the games of our local AA team. I missing the the clink of a bat hitting a ball and the loudspeaker echoing through the neighborhood as the UR team plays not far from my backyard. I so miss baseball.

Today's poem is a  Zeno. The  Zeno, a form invented by J. Patrick Lewis, is a 10-line verse form with a repeating syllable count of 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1. The rhyme scheme is abcdefdghd.
Nationals Park, Washington,  DC 
September,  2016

Bottom of the ninth, need one out
wind up, fast ball,
strike one!
Crowd
roars approval.
Batter
cowed,
strikes two and three!
Fans stand
proud.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

NPM 2020 - Studio Row

I've written before about my love for Nimrod Hall as a writer's retreat. Each of my experiences there occurred during an artist's retreat. On the final night of retreat, the artists open their studios and rooms and showcase the work they have done throughout the week. Now, I have not done any painting since elementary school art class, but in recent years it's become something I'd like to try.
   
Studio Row at Nimrod Hall,  Bath County, VA
July, 2019

mountain
retreat beckons
ignites the artist's zeal
to set to canvas, color, light,
and life

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Monday, April 20, 2020

NPM 2020 - From the Window

On Easter Sunday my brother and his wife, my niece and her husband, and my grand niece stood in the park across the street from my mother's nursing home while holding signs and waving. I'd give anything to be in that park right now.
   
The view of Highland Park from St. John's Home (6th floor), Rochester, NY
April 2018 and March 2019

A Skinny Poem for My Mom

She sees you.
It’s
her
favorite
view.
It’s
spring
outside.
Today
it’s
you she sees

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

Here's the Easter Sunday view from the park. That's my mom looking out. (Thanks to Cathy Stohr for the photo.)

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

NPM 2020 - Rooftops

In 2007 I traveled with faculty colleagues to Taiwan, China, and Tibet. The trip was life-changing. I met so many kind people, saw so many incredible historical places, and had experiences I won't forget. Even in some of the grandest places, my eyes were drawn to features and minor details that can  sometimes be overlooked.
The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
May, 2007

all over China
my eyes were drawn
to rooftops
but no more-so than in
the Forbidden City
the golden eaves
the dragons
all declared
this space was not for
ordinary people

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

NPM 2020 - Desert Cactus

After many years of teaching about desert ecosystems and the adaptations of the plants and animals that live there, I finally get to experience the wonder and beauty of the desert for myself.
Prickly Pear at the Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ
February 2020

Who knew there was so much beauty
in a humble prickly pear?
The colors beg you draw nearer,
while the spines warn you away.
Live a little!
It's worth the sharp sting
to taste the sweet and tart.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2020

NPM 2020 on a Poetry Friday - In the Garden

I  love gardens. I suppose that's because  I have a black thumb and am enamored of things  I can't grow.  When I travel, I particularly like to visit botanical gardens and take in the local flora  (and sometimes fauna as well).  I'm  also quite fond of the gardens in my own backyard. Not my literal backyard, but my city.
February, 2020

field trip in February
sweet and silly eight year olds
undeterred by rain
smiles all around
and love--big, big love

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Molly Hogan at Nix the comfort zone. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

NPM 2020 - Golden Gate

A few days after my high school graduation I was in the hospital having reconstructive surgery on my ankle (gymnastics injury). Shortly after I came home, I got on my first plane (Continental Airlines) and flew to San Francisco. My aunt and uncle living in Walnut Creek, CA sent me the plane ticket as a graduation gift. While there I took in everything I possibly could. I remember being incredibly disappointed that it was so foggy on the day of our visit to see the Golden Gate Bridge.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA
July, 1983

rising through the fog
orange vermillion towers
span the golden strait

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

NPM 2020 - The Castle

I have mixed feelings about castles. I love to see them from the outside, admire the architecture and  design, wander the grounds and gardens. However, once inside I find I'm disturbed, even disenchanted, by the opulence.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
June 1990

Walt's inspiration
this schloss upon a hillside
Disney's can't compare

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

NPM 2020 - Mosiacs

When I travel, I like to look beyond the tall buildings and "standard" attractions (though those can  be wonderful), to look at the art and architectural nuances that catch my eye. Yesterday it was murals. Today it's mosaics.
River Walk Mosaic, San Antonio, TX
August, 2000

Strolling the River Walk
following the crowds
you miss them
these magnificent birds
their tails with one hundred eyes
watching you pass by
in a needless hurry
never really seeing
the beauty in 
extraordinary details

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2020

NPM 2020 - Murals

I'm fascinated by murals, what they are expressing, and what they say about the artist and the place they are found. The  first time I  saw this one,  I couldn't get Yggdrasil and mythology out of my mind.
City of Rochester Public Market, Rochester, NY
July, 2019

for centuries they nailed
an owl to a barn door
to ward off evil
and lightning

but this owl
guards the dryad
living in the tree
that keeps watch
over the market

together they are
worthy sentinels
of this space where
flowers and vegetables
flourish

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

NPM 2020 - Covered Bridges

When I was growing up my parents took me to Washington, DC  several years in a row during spring break to visit my sister. On the way we took side trips to national parks, antique shops, and roadside attractions. One year we mapped out a route that had us visiting numerous covered bridges in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Utica Mills Covered Bridge,  Frederick County,  MD
April, 1980

after a while
they all looked alike
narrow and rickety
stretching over creeks and streams
but crossing each one was
an adventure

dad drove slowly across
the single lane bridge
while we nervously held
a collective breath
as the timbers groaned
and tires thumped

the car felt too big
the bridge too small
I could almost stretch
my hand through the window
and touch the passing beams

once safely on the other side
we stopped to celebrate
snap a picture
marvel at the engineering
before unfolding the map
and plotting our course 
to the next covered bridge

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.


That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

NPM 2020 - On the Sea

The more we stay in, the more I want to get out. And not just out, but away. Far, far, away ...
Cancun, Mexico
June, 2011

set sail
blue waves calling
tack and turn through the wind
leave all your cares behind, breathe in
the sea

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Friday, April 10, 2020

NPM 2020 on Poetry Friday - The Beach

On the first day of National Poetry Month, I shared a poem that ended with the line  "I'll take the mountains." Today I'm thinking differently.
Virginia Beach, VA
April 2019

spring sunrise at the beach
quiet winds and birds my friends
waiting for the waves
to wash over my feet
the shock takes me back
to dipping my toes in
a cool mountain stream
in both places
barefoot is best

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

Thursday, April 09, 2020

NPM 2020 - Nimrod Hall

During the summer of 2018 I had the opportunity to spend a weekend at Nimrod Hall in Bath  County, Virginia. Established in 1783  as a hunting lodge, it now serves as a place for artists and writers to gather. I was even luckier to  return for  another 5 days  during the summer of 2019. On the Nimrod  Hall property are a number of abandoned cabins from Camp Nimrod, the site of summer camps for boys and girls from the 1930's to the 1980's.
Camp Nimrod Cabins, Bath County, VA
July, 2018

the signs warn trespassers
do not enter
do not approach
so the cabins are 
photographed and painted 
from afar

but I was THAT child
the one that touched wet paint
crawled under fences
climbed over locked gates
the one determined to
turn no, do not, can not 
into yes

each walk past the cabins
took me closer 
filled me with longing to
peer into the windows
tiptoe up the steps
open the rotting  door

but the responsible adult
silenced the inner child
and settled for making memories
from a distance

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

NPM 2020 - Mountain Cairn

I've collected rocks since I was a child. I like to pick them up when I travel as a small souvenir of places I've been. I also like to photograph rocks and rock formations. I find cairns particularly interesting.
Cairn in the mountains of Tibet at 5000 m (16,400 feet)
May, 2007

Genesis 31: 45-46
“And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made a heap..."
It's not much
this heap of stones
made by human hands
marking a trail
echoing a traveler's shout
“I was here!”

I grab a pebble
near the cairn
turn it over in my hand
slip it in my pocket
committing this mountain
this place
to memory

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

NPM 2020 - Natural Bridge

Have you ever seen something that takes your breath away?  That makes you wonder in awe at the power of the natural world? It doesn't need to be on the scale of the Grand Canyon. It can something  as "small" as a 215-foot tall limestone gorge carved out by a creek.
Natural Bridge State Park, VA
August, 2015

In Earth science it's known as
karst topography
textbooks describe it
what it is
how it's formed
but to see the limestone gorge—
undeniable evidence of
the power of water—
is wondrous
and unfathomable

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Monday, April 06, 2020

NPM 2020 - Back in Time

Sometimes my desire to travel is not to another place, but another time.  And honestly, who doesn't  wish to go back in time every so often?

Vroom Road, Spencerport, NY
Easter Sunday, 1968

that crabapple tree
grew as we did over time
though it never went out of fashion

I'd give anything
to go back in time
to race the dog to the barn
blow bubbles in the yard
recapture the home in my heart

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

NPM 2020 - Written in Stone

Sometimes beauty is found in the most unusual places. Similarly, so is inspiration. For today's poem I wrote a Sedoka. A sedoka is an unrhymed poem made up of two three-line katauta, each with syllable counts of 5/7/7. 
George Washington National Forest,  Nelson County, Virginia
June 2017

beauty abounds
in birds and fragrant flowers
in sea and sky and moonlight

but you don't see it
in yourself, your own beauty
even though it's etched in stone

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

NPM 2020 - To Market

I adore the farmer's market, so whenever I travel, I make it a point to visit an outdoor market.  These  two markets were vastly different from any other I'd experienced.
Durian fruit in a market in Taipei, Taiwan
May, 2007

Market in Lhasa, Tibet
May, 2007

So many unknowns
fragrances like no other
be  brave ... try a bite

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Friday, April 03, 2020

NPM 2020 on Poetry Friday - My Writing Cabin

In September of 2009 I spent a glorious few days in the company of poets. Spending my days immersed in reading, writing, and talking poetry was like finding my people. It was, in a word, heaven.
My cabin at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center, Milanville, PA
September  2009 (before the Barn was built!)

home away from home
you have all the world to write
heart and pen? meet paper

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

Thursday, April 02, 2020

NPM 2020 - A Vacant Lot

On trips to visit my mother I like to drive through many different neighborhoods in the city of Rochester, from some of the wealthiest, to some of the poorest. While the rundown areas sadden me, my spirits are always lifted by one vacant lot. Surrounded by boarded up homes, someone still tends to it with love, and seeing it always gives me hope and makes me smile.
Corner of Goodman Ave and Eisenberg Place, Rochester, NY
July 2015

A city blighted
so many broken homes
the old neighborhoods
aren’t the same
yet hope springs eternal
in a vacant lot
filled with the promise
that flowers bring

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

NPM 2020 - Armchair Travelers

My plan for National Poetry Month this year was to focus on poems of math and numbers. However, in this time of COVID-19 and staying at home, I thought a bit of armchair traveling might be warranted. While I don't have photos of all the places I've been, I have a lot of wonderful memories. I hope you'll join me on this journey.

Cashiers Valley in Jackson County, North Carolina
August, 2008

Summer at the shore
sand .. sun .. screaming gulls and crowds
I'll take the mountains

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow.