Thursday, September 09, 2021

Poetry Friday is Here!

Hello all. I've been away for a while, so I'm happy to be back and hosting this week. I lost my mother on June 30th and am still mourning her. I feel adrift, or perhaps untethered is a better word. I've had a hard time writing, starting many poems but finding myself unable to follow through and finish them. I have, however, been reading and reflecting.

Today I'd like to share a poem by Barbara Crooker. 

is a river you wade in until you get to the other side.
But I am here, stuck in the middle, water parting
around my ankles, moving downstream
over the flat rocks. I'm not able to lift a foot,
move on. Instead, I'm going to stay here
in the shallows with my sorrow, nurture it
like a cranky baby, rock it in my arms.

Read the poem in its entirety.


I'm rounding things up old school today, so please leave your link in the comments and I'll add you to the post throughout the day. Happy poetry Friday all.


Linda Mitchell of A Word Edgewise shares the poem The Office Building by Helen Hoyt.

Jama Rattigan is back from her summer blog break and is sharing Mary Oliver's dog poems.

Michelle Kogan shares an original poem entitled Winged Harvest-Eating.

Matt Forrest Essenwine shares an original poem about food at the fair.

Jone MacCulloch shares a photo accompanied by an original poem and a reminder

Robyn Hood Black shares an original poem, a poetic excerpt by Shelley, and a 9-11 remembrance.

Linda Baie of Teacher Dance shares a book review and an original poem for 9-11.

At Gathering Books, Myra is sharing the poem A New Language by Casandra Lopez.

Catherine Flynn of Reading to the Core shares the poem The Web by Alison Hawthorne Deming.

Becky Herzog of Sloth Reads shares a number of original poems written for her Poemtember poetry list.

Alan Wright of Poetry Pizzazz is playing with form and shares an original rondelet.

Carol Varsalona of Beyond Literacy Link shares original poems on 9-11.

Kat Apel shares the poem Farewell Town by Fan Yun and an original poem she wrote in Chines. (Don't worry, it's translated!)  

At Unexpected Intersections, Elisabeth Norton shares her poetic thoughts on history and timelines.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater of The Poem Farm shares an original poem entitled Make a Line.

Ruth of There is no such thing as a God-foresaken town shares Sonnet 73 by Shakespeare.

At Reflections on the Teche, Margaret Simon shares an original poem entitled My Favorite Things.

Janice Scully of Salt City Verse shares information on the Carnegie Library and an original poem entitled If Not For the Library and Books.

Susan Thomsen of Chicken Spaghetti shares information about the book The Best American Poetry 2021, which comes out at the end of September.

Mary Lee Hahn of A(nother) Year of Reading shares an original sonnet entitled Summer's End.

Karen Edmisten shares the poem Ode to Teachers by Pat Mora.

At The Apples in My Orchard, Carol shares an original poem entitled Goldenrod Prairie Walk.

Joann Early Macken shares an original chimney swift haiku and a video she filmed of a bird cloud funneling into a chimney.

Denise Krebs of Dare to Care shares two original poems about faith in dark times.

Heidi Mordhorst of my juicy little universe is sharing an original poem entitled Back to School.


  1. " I'm going to stay here
    in the shallows with my sorrow,"
    Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the death of my Father in Law. We were fortunate that he was able to pass surrounded by family and a lot of love. My husband has been grieving ... along with the rest of us. I will share this with my family tomorrow. They will understand. Thank you so very much for sharing this poem on this day. It's good to see you back.
    I have a poem of response to 'The Office Building' By Helen Hoyt. And, Hamish and I read 14 Cows for America's the best remembering story for an ox this week.
    Thank you for hosting! September is a busy time.

    1. Those were the lines that got me, too, Linda. Very touching poem.

  2. So sorry about your mom. Barbara's poem describes grief so perfectly. I wonder if she wrote it after her mother died. Her husband passed away earlier this year so maybe she was thinking of him when she wrote it.

    I'm returning to PF this week after being on summer blog break. I'm sharing some of Mary Oliver's dog poems in celebration of what would have been her 86th birthday. My link will go live at 6 a.m. Friday.

    Thanks for hosting!!

  3. Sending thoughts for you for the loss of your mom. Thanks for sharing Barbara Crooker's evocative, moving poem, that so sensitively carries and shares thoughts of grief.

    I'm sharing a ghazal poem inspired by all the birds that have been feeding and visiting my backyard sunflowers.

    Thanks for hosting the roundup!

  4. THoughts & prayers for your mom,Tish - I lost mine on New Year's Eve, and I know it's difficult. Thanks for sharing this moving, thoughtful poem.

    I've been busy announcing at the local fair, so I'm re-sharing a fair-related poem I wrote several years ago:

  5. Oh Trish, I understand. This poem best illustrates grief. The opening line
    is a river you wade in until you get to the other side.
    But I am here, stuck in the middle

    I understand the stuck in the middle. May your mother's memory be a blessing.

    I had an unexpected reminder presented to me today.

  6. Oh, Tricia - long-distance hugs to you and prayers for you and yours. Thank you for your post today and for hosting. I have a small nod to grief today within my post - it’s about squirrels and skies.

  7. Among other special relatives, I think of my mom every day, Tricia. She's been gone a long time, but still stays with me. A dearest gift a colleague gave me when she died was Barbara Crooker's "Gold" which holds the poignant poem you've shared. I'm so sorry for your and your family's loss. It always seems too quick and finds me wanting more time. I'm sharing a ne picture book about a poem in a pocket today with special thoughts to those we honor on 9/11. Thanks for hosting us.

    1. Yikes! Here is my link:

  8. Sending you lots of light and love during these times. Poetry captures grief so poignantly and hopefully it proves to be healing/comforting for you too.
    Here is my Poetry Friday offering today:

  9. I am so sorry about your mother, Tricia. Grief can be paralyzing, and that last line of Barbara Crooker's poem is haunting.
    Today I'm sharing "The Web" by Alison Hawthorne Deming.
    Sending you hugs, and thank you for hosting!

  10. I'm so sorry about your mom. I cannot imagine your sorrow. Barbara's poem is as much felt as it is read--I love all the senses she uses in it. Thank your for sharing it.

    I am playing catch up on last year's Poemtober Challenge. I am also asking people to comment with their spooky word suggestions for my 2021 list. (the link goes live in the wee hours of Friday)

  11. Sincere condolences Tricia. That feeling of being slightly untethered and adrift is a common emotion in such difficult times. Your reading has brought some solace no doubt and led to this quite apt poem. Poetry is a safe harbour for the full gamut of emotions we humans feel.
    Today I'm sharing a new poetry form (for me) -the Rondelet (French in origin) Here is the link:

  12. Tricia, I, like the others extend sincere condolences for your loss. It is difficult to move out from grief's hands. I found Crocker's opening lines to be so telling: "Grief
    is a river you wade in until you get to the other side." After losing two friends this summer, it is certain that life is fragile and uncertain. The poem you shared is a fitting one for a grieving world turning its heart and mind to the 9/11 Day of Remembrance. I write with vivid memories of that day that horrified my village on Long Island that lost 45 people in the NYC rubble.

  13. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your Mum, Trish. I can't imagine - and nor do I want to - the overwhelming sadness you are feeling. Thank-you for being here with us, during these so-hard days. Take care.

    I've spent this week indulging - relearning the past. It's been fun.

  14. I'm so sorry for your loss. Grief is a journey without a fixed timeline or endpoint. Thank you for hosting us today. I hope that you will continue to find solace in poetry.

    I'm in a reflective mood today.

  15. Dear Tricia,

    Please accept my sympathy. I understand and wish you love and some laughter in your memories as you wrap yourself in the shawl of October sunlight grief. Your mom's voice will keep guiding you. Thank you for hosting and for sharing such a perfect poem. It touched me deeply, and I'll be hand-copying it.

    Over at The Poem Farm I am sharing a poem about making marks, following the line.


  16. I'm so sorry! This poem is perfect. I have some Shakespeare today.

  17. I’m sorry for your loss. The grief poem is full of self-acceptance. Thank you for hosting poetry Friday, Tricia.

  18. Barbara Crooker is a favorite of mine. I have two of her books and follow her on Facebook. Did she recently lose her husband? She writes with such heart and real feelings.
    Grief is a hard thing to figure out. For women, the loss of a mother is one of the hardest losses. Let yourself go through the grief. My post is after Rodgers and Hammerstein and Laura Purdie Salas: My Favorite Things.

  19. Hi Tricia, I'm late, but put me on the list!

  20. Tricia, so sorry about your mom. Thinking of you. Thanks for taking the time to host.

  21. Tricia, I am so sorry about your mother's passing. I send you virtual hugs and much sympathy.

    Chicken Spaghetti is in the Poetry Friday house with a post about the book The Best American Poetry 2021.

  22. Everyone's grief journey is their own, so however long it takes you to get across that river is the right amount of time. I hope you can feel the love and support of all of us who have lost mothers (and fathers and other loved ones) standing in the river with you. Lean on us whenever you need to.

    Thank you for hosting. I have a sonnet for September today:

  23. Tricia, I'm so very sorry about your mother. (My own mom hasn't been the same in so many ways since she had Covid last year. How are we ever ready for this? I'm very sorry.) Crooker's poem captures your grief so beautifully; I only wish you didn't have to wade through it. Thank you for taking the time to host amidst all this. My post this week is here.

  24. Tricia, I am so sorry for your loss. At this point, I can only imagine how hard it is to move on. I am trying to prepare myself for my parents' passing, as they have definitely aged in the last few years. I hope you can receive some peace and take comfort in your memories of your mom. Thank you for hosting. My link for this week is:
    Take care, Carol

  25. Sorry, I sent you the unpublished link by mistake. Here is the correct link:

  26. Oh, what a beautiful poem! I'm so sorry for your great loss.
    I've posted a chimney swift haiku & a link to the video I filmed last night of a bird cloud funneling into a chimney:

  27. Tricia, wow. I'm sorry for your loss and send my condolences. I can see that you are finding consolation in reading and reflecting. That is a beautiful poem by Crooker. Peace to you.

    Thank you for rounding up our posts today:

  28. Late today, Tricia, due the start finally of real school for PreK. You know, I *just* came across this poem this week, searching for something suitable for a friend in grief. I ended up sending her a link to my UU minister's sermon. Let me know if you'd like the link. My own post is brief: Wishing you the joy of your memories along with the sadness.

  29. Thank you for hosting! I finally got to read everyone's posts!