Friday, April 30, 2021

NPM 2021 - Poetry Friday, Found Poem 30, and Writing With My Poetry Sisters

Welcome Poetry Friday friends! This year for National Poetry Month I wrote and shared found poems, most of which were science- or nature-themed. Even though my poetry sisters and I are sharing the results of this month's challenge today, I couldn't let the month pass without completing one final poem in this series.

Today's found poem comes from Seashells: More Than a Home, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. Unlike other found poems I have written this month, this one uses words and phrases in an order that is different from the way they appear in the text.


at home in the sea
live a secret life
some float and dive
dodge and dart
skim and glide 
through the water

some spend time
on the ocean floor
scrape and grind
sand and mud
tunnel into the seabed

in time, a curious afterlife 
as treasures 
in all shapes, 
sizes and colors
wash up on beaches
all over the Earth

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

You can find links to all the found poems I've written this month on the NPM 2021 page. I also shared these poems as images on my Instagram, which is a good place to go if you want to see them all in one place.  

This month's Poetry Sisters challenge was to write a poem in the style of Linda Hogan's "Innocence." I spent a lot of time thinking about (stressing over) this one and was feeling really lost. We had an opportunity to exchange ideas before we met on Sunday, and our subsequent conversation about form and topic really helped me think about how to proceed. Since I have volcanoes on the brain, I decided to use a variation of Hogan's first line and begin with "There is nothing more __."  The word I chose was constructive. The poem didn't go where I expected, but they rarely do. This one is untitled.

There is nothing more constructive
than an active volcano
eerily silent for centuries then
suddenly roaring to life
with a mighty rumble
belching ash, cinder, and smoke
into the sky 
while fissures in the earth
ooze lava in a scorching
blanket of molten rock

Beneath the surface, Vulcan
hammers away at the smithy 
forging weapons of war
Earth tremors have me wondering
who has wronged whom, 
and why
We do not learn from our missteps
conflict is inevitable, as unavoidable
as an island newly formed
from a volcano awoken

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. 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 ekphrastic poems. Share your poem on May 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 Matt Forrest Esenwine. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. Congratulations, Tricia, on a month's worth of wonderful found poems! Melissa Stewart is one of my favorite nonfiction picture book authors, and I adore the poem you found in her words. I also love that you chose "constructive" as your starting point for volcanoes and the layers of meaning in your final stanza.

  2. I'm enjoying the idea of "found poems" - it reminds us that poetic moments are all around us, if we recognize them. I really liked your untitled poem - especially starting with 'constructive' to describe something we often think of as destructive. Wonderful imagery and really thought-provoking - thanks!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS! Those blacksmiths! And the fact that we don't ever learn. And that all that, in the end, results in an island! Amazing!

  4. You last stanza has so much to ponder. We don't learn from our missteps... but islands form from the debris. Yikes!

    You've done a wonderful job of found poems for the whole month - such an inspiration!

  5. As unavoidable as an island! That packs such a punch. I'm loving your series of found poems, too---i haven't commented much but I've been noticing them. What a cool way to both honor other's work and create your own for Poetry Month.

  6. Vulcan hammers, unavoidable islands...some great imagery here, Tricia. I love both of these - and am amazed you could write so well in such a short amount of time! Well done!

  7. I like that you chose the words, "curious afterlife" in your poem from Melissa's book, Tricia. My family has taken that book to the beach with us ever since it came out, a treasure for us. And I remember you writing a bit about your volcano curiosity. The poem is thoughtful, so now I'm wondering about "Earth tremors have me wondering
    who has wronged whom,
    and why". Congratulations for all your poetry found this month!

  8. Ooh, nice - especially that last stanza. We do not learn, and trouble is indeed as inevitable as volcanoes waking...

    1. Ooh, I might steal your words for revision. Maybe the last line should read "from a volcano awoken."

  9. Love all the strong verbs in your found poem. And your constructive volcano poem too. This morning I finished reading The Midnight Library, and the sentiments in the volcano chapter in that matched your poem.

  10. Tricia, I do enjoy reading and writing found poems. Melissa Stewart's books are always filled with details for eager young minds. "a curious afterlife" is an interesting interpretation that resonates with me. As for you innocence poem, I am studying it to use as a mentor text when writing to this topic. I marked my calendar for the end of May to see if I can join the challenge.

  11. Oh, that curious afterlife is fabulous. I love Melissa's FEATHERS and SEASHELLS! And your second poem is powerful in imagery and meaning. I like the first two stanzas standing alone...

    1. Yes, I would rather do without the last stanza, but “in the style of” made me want to follow her form. I do think it needs some serious revision.

  12. Thank you so much for your delightful poetry featuring so many picture books. Your poems have made me wonder, taught me things I didn't know, and made me smile. Additionally, I have requested more than one book as a result of my stops. Thank you!

  13. I love your volcano poem - I have been watching the wreckage in St. Vincent with sadness but also fascination.

  14. Your found poems this month have been absolutely amazing! Ih haven't read them all (never did figure out the balance between writing a poem a day and reading other people's poems). I have been longing for the beach, your poem makes me miss that sandy heaven even more!

    1. Carol, I have not mastered that balance either, but I do spend May going back and visiting the projects I didn't get to follow in April. It's a wonderful treat.

  15. Such wonderful poems, Tricia. I am with you and Carol that I just can barely get my own 30 poems written and so wish for more time to enjoy everyone else's projects. May is perfect for that. Will give myself that grace from now on. And I just may join you for the ekphrastic challenge. That's one of my favorite forms/prompts. -- Christie @