Friday, November 25, 2022

Poetry Sisters Write Recipe Poems

The challenge we undertook this month was to write recipe poems. I had a lot of starts and stops on our Zoom call Sunday. I wasn't really loving any of my poems. (Isn't this how I always begin these posts?) I was prepared to share a draft of at least one poem, but then I received some profoundly sad news and started thinking about the path to healing we all walk in the face of unimaginable loss.

This poem is my response to this news.


Recipe for Healing

marinate in denial
   gradually absorb this terrible news

broil in anger
   briefly, to avoid bitterness and resentment

stew in bargaining
   with just a pinch of "if only" and "what ifs"

simmer in depression
   until the fog of sadness lifts

steep in acceptance
   acknowledging change and loss

knead and fold
shape and prove
REST and RISE

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

    Would you like to try the next challenge? In December we are letting box inspire us. Your poem can be about a box, in the form of a box, about Boxing day, a boxing match, etc. Let your imagination run wild! We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on December 30th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems!  in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

    I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. Happy poetry Friday friends!

    Friday, October 28, 2022

    Poetry Sisters Write Dansas

    The challenge this month was to write in the form of the dansa. We took our cues about the form at Writer's Digest. I had trouble starting this one, so I did a little more digging into the form to see if there might be some other ways to approach it. I found the explanation at Poetry Magnum Opus to be particularly helpful because it showed related forms.

    The dansa is a poem generally written in 3 stanzas with a refrain at the end of each stanza. The first stanza is a quintain, while the rest are quatrains. While there is no set meter, these poems as originally conceived were written in lines of 6 or 7 syllables. The rhyme scheme is AbbaA/bbaA/bbaA, where A is the refrain.

    As you might guess from the name, the dansa was actually a poem set to music meant for joyful dancing. I found the joyful part hard to come by. Every poem I attempted turned to some heavy topic, even if it didn't start there. Nothing worked. I finally gave up on all the ideas I tried out when our group met on Zoom this week and decided to look for a line of poetry to use as my refrain. This actually yielded a lot of good ideas. Ultimately, I turned to Emily for inspiration and used a line from the poem Forever – is composed of Nows – (690)

    Forever is Composed of Nows

    Forever is composed of nows
    Seize the day, be brave and try
    Do some things that terrify
    Sheer a sheep, milk some cows
         Forever is composed of nows

    Take a lesson, learn to fly
    Join a contest eating pie
    Climb a live oak’s beckoning boughs
         Forever is composed of nows

    Sing your child a lullaby
    Find a church and testify
    Dance on tables, raise eyebrows
         Forever is composed of nows

    Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

    You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

      You're invited to our challenge in the month of November! Here's the scoop: we're creating recipe poems! Your choice of form, length, meter, or topic, but each poem will be an assemblage of elements, using recipe text/cooking instructions to create …something. From a recipe for disaster, to your favorite aperitif, you have a month to craft your creation and serve it forth on November 25th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

      I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jone Rush MacCulloch. Happy poetry Friday friends!

      Friday, September 30, 2022

      Poetry Sisters Write Definitos

      The challenge this month was to write in the form of the definito. Head on over to Heidi Mordhorst's place, my juicy little universe, to learn more about the roots of this form. Essentially, this is a poem that focuses on the meaning of a "less common" word through word play. It is written in free verse and consists of 8-12 lines, with the last word of the poem the word being defined. These poems are aimed at readers ages 8-12, so getting this right was a challenge.

      I spent some time perusing vocabulary lists for 4th- and 5th-grade students. I found a few words I liked, but none that really struck a chord. Then I pulled out the book L is for Lollygag: Quirky Words for a Clever Tongue, written by the Chronicle Books Staff. Within minutes I had a gaggle of words to write about.


      The word that I ultimately settled on was betwixt. During our Zoom meeting Sara suggested I break the word and put the poem in between the word parts. I just couldn't get that out of my mind. I don't usually title my poems, but I thought I might try some variation of this suggestion. Here's what I came up with.

      Be- (insert definition here) -twixt

      not engine or caboose
           but railcar

      not elementary or high school
           but middle

      not once upon a time or happily ever after
           but the action in between

      not Oreo chocolate
           but vanilla cream

      not first base or second
           but playing a game of pickle

      when you're stuck in the middle
           you're BETWIXT

      Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

      You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

        Would you like to try the next challenge? In October we are writing in the form of the Dansa. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on October 28th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

        I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. Happy poetry Friday friends!

        Friday, August 26, 2022

        Poetry Sisters Write Bop Poems

        This month's challenge was to write a Bop poem. This form requires 3 stanzas, each followed by a refrain. The first and third stanzas each have 6 lines, while the second stanza has 8. What's interesting about this form is that presents a problem, explores it, and then resolves it or describes the attempt to solve it. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest.

        We decided that we would use the common refrain "Let's kick that can down the road."

        I spent some time brainstorming ideas, and they were all political, and depressing. When I dug a little deeper and more literally, I couldn't stop thinking about summer nights playing Kick the Can. Do you know this game?

        With this game and others in mind, this is the poem I came up with. I'll admit I did alter the refrain a bit.

        Choosing teams was always hard
        no one wanted a little sister tagging along
        but mom insisted 
        they were so much older
        I adored them
        what could they do?

        They kicked that can down the road.

        I didn’t think I was annoying
        though they often swore it was true
        running faster than I ever could
        they tried to lose me or hid
        but I heard their whispered voices
        wondered how I could fit in
        wanted so badly to play their games
        what could they do?

        They kicked that can down the road.

        In the fading light of summer
        they sometimes humored me
        let me join for hide and seek
        but they never searched me out
        eventually, they moved away
        no thought for the sibling left behind

        They kicked that can down the road.

        Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

        You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Tanita also happens to be our hostess extraordinaire this week.

          Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing Definito poems. You can learn more about this form at Heidi Mordhorst's place, my juicy little universe. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on September 30th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

          I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Tanita Davis. Happy poetry Friday friends. 

          BTW, Tanita's blog is a bit wonky this weekend. You can check out all the Poetry Friday posts here.

          Friday, July 29, 2022

          Poetry Sisters Write Phrase Acrostics to Maya Angelou

          This month's challenge was to write a phrase acrostic. Is that even a thing? We chose our phrases from the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Whew! Talk about a challenge ... I tried to approach this as a "backwards" golden shovel, with the words at the beginning of each line instead of the end. This was a bad analogy for me, as I couldn't get the golden shovel form out of my mind. I wrote several drafts and tried to write someting that reflected the spirit of Angelou's poem, but couldn't seem to make it work. 

          Instead, I challenged myself to use not one, but two lines in each poem. After some tinkering, I wrote two poems that include two lines from the Angelou poem, with one forming the beginning words of each line, and the other forming the end words of each line. They need work, but I have solid drafts to play with.

          Poem 1
          With an open mind and heart, with just
          the whisper of an idea, she wrote with what felt like
          certainty ... a first draft tinged with hopes
          of literary magic, of a perfect twist of phrase like springing
          tides ... rising, rising, lifting words on high

          Poem 2
          Just another day of asking why
          like that time he wondered if stars are
          moons or could be … he looked at you
          and before you could answer you were beset
          like moths to a flame with more questions … do all planets dance with
          suns and on and on … the incessant chatter and his smile erased the gloom

          Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

          I missed our Zoom this week, so I have no idea what my sisters have written or how far off the mark I might be. I can't wait to read them! You can read their pieces at the links below. 

            Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing Bop poems. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest: The Bop. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on August 26th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

            I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Marcie Clinchum Atkins. Happy poetry Friday friends. 

            Friday, June 24, 2022

            Poetry Sisters Write Byr a Thoddaid

            This month's challenge was to write in the form of Byr a Thoddaid. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest. It has a lot going on in terms of rhyme and meter and frankly, looked a bit complicated. Once I got started, it wasn't so bad. The form I used was this suggested option:

            xxxxxxxA
            xxxxxxxA
            xxxxxxxBxc
            xcxxxB

            I was inspired to write to this photo Liz Garton Scanlon took while hiking the West Highland Way.

            Photo by Liz Garton Scanlon, 2022.  

            I couldn't get this sweet image out of my head. Since I have a hard time writing to form without a topic, I decided to focus on these lambs. Here's my poem.

            West Highland Lambs

            Lambing season arrives each spring
            when tender-hearted little things
            roam the Scottish countryside. Rain or shine
            they twine beside the lane

            two undisturbed by those who pass.
            A mother and her bonnie lass
            quietly witness with wonder this pair
            under a sky so fair.

            Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

            Interestingly, after writing this poem I found a different description of this form that I actually like a bit better. Instead of 3 rhymes, it uses only 2. You can read more about this version at Poetry Magnum Opus. Here is the form they suggest:

            xxxxxxxA
            xxxxxxxA
            xxxxxxxA-xb                 
            xxbxxA

            Needless to say, I decided to try again with this form. Here's a second poem written to the photo of the lambs.

            they followed the West Highland Way
            discovering beauty each day
            mother and daughter under gray skies spied
            in a hide in the hay

            two lambs twined together asleep
            this sight made their open hearts weep
            mother and daughter felt bone-deep wonder
            found oneness with wee sheep

            Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

            I'm not sure I followed the rules exactly, as the guideline is "the main rhyme appears somewhere near the end of a longer line and the end word is a secondary rhyme... The last syllable is echoed  somewhere in the first half of the next line as secondary rhyme, alliteration, consonance or assonance." I didn't use the same approach in each stanza. In the first the words rhyme (spied/hide). In the second I've used assonance (wonder, oneness). I'm not sure I like this as much as the first, but there are ideas here I like. I'll need to keep playing with this form.

            You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

              Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing acrostic phrase poems. Choose any line from the poem "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou and use each word in the phrase to begin a new line of your poem. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on July 29th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

              I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core. Happy poetry Friday friends. 

              Friday, May 27, 2022

              Poetry Sisters Write to the Theme of String/Thread/Rope/Chain

              This month's challenge was to write a poem using the words or theme of string, thread, rope, and/or chain. I thought a lot about kites and sewing, but none of my ideas really hit the mark. Yesterday I spent a few minutes watching an industrious spider and decided that was what I wanted to write about. 

              Spider Triolet

              They swing and dangle in the air
              spiders spinning webs of string
              patterned with unconscious flair
              They swing and dangle in the air
              perfect traps designed to snare
              insects walking or on the wing
              They swing and dangle in the air
              spiders spinning webs of string

              Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

              You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

                Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing poems in the form of Byr a Thoddaid. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on June 24th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

                I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise. Happy poetry Friday friends.