Friday, May 31, 2024

Poetry Sisters in Homage to Body Parts and Lucille Clifton

This month's challenge was to write in the style of Lucille Clifton while paying homage to a body part, as she does in the poem homage to my hips. Our Zoom call was a week early this month, allowing for time off for Memorial Day weekend. We all bumped up against body image and body weariness (a much better word than age) issues. Considering our bodies in this way was deeply humbling.

After many stops and starts on poems about various body parts (feet, calves, ears), I have two drafts to share. I haven't mastered Clifton's tone, but it was fun to try.

homage to my brain

this brain is a big brain
not genius big, but
packed with Jeopardy categories'
useless facts big.
this brain is a science brain
a nerdy brain
that muses on temperature and pressure
and the solubility of carbon dioxide in water
when soda goes flat.
this brain is a pessimistic brain
sometimes apocalyptic brain
filled with existential what-ifs
prompted by social media
and doom scrolling.
this brain is a noisy brain
a disobedient brain
refusing to quiet
standing in the way of
a good night’s sleep.

homage to my feet

these feet are powerful feet
they have marched
in formation and run
hilly miles. these feet
are expressive feet
oozing with joy in
going barefoot in the grass
dipping into tepid pools
soaking in a warm, salty tub.
these feet are pilgrim’s feet
climbing mountains in Tibet
or walking the serpentine
path of a labyrinth
every step a meditation
and prayer. these feet are
political feet, walking miles
in communion, standing
up for people and
the planet.

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

You can find the poems shared by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

    Would you like to try the next challenge? In June, we’re writing poems about wabi-sabi, with Wabi-sabi as the title. In Andrew Juniper's book Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence, wabi sabi is defined this way. 

    Wabi-sabi is an aesthetic that finds beauty in things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Taken from the Japanese words wabi, which translates to less is more, and sabi, which means attentive melancholy, wabi-sabi refers to an awareness of the transient nature of earthly things and a corresponding pleasure in the things that bear the mark of this impermanence.

    In his book Wabi-Sabi Simple, Richard Powell described wabi-sabi as a philosophy that acknowledges a lifestyle that appreciates and accepts three simple truths: "Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." Will you write with us? Good! You have a month to craft your creation and share it on May 31st in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems!  

    This week, Janice Scully at Salt City Verse is hosting Poetry Friday. I hope you'll take some time to check out all the poetic things being shared today. Happy Poetry Friday, friends!

    Tuesday, April 30, 2024

    NPM 2024 - Book Spine Poem 30

    For National Poetry Month this year, I am perusing my bookshelves and building book spine poems. Since someone pointed out I'd written poems about spring, summer, and fall, I knew I couldn't leave out winter.


    Zero is the leaves on the tree
    How do you know it's winter?
    Animals
    snack, snooze, skedaddle
    snowflakes fall
    Old bear
    time to sleep
    wait, rest, pause
    Footprints in the snow
    bear snores on
    Time flies
    On a snow-melting day
    snowman - cold = puddle
    Wake up world!
    Spring is here

    Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

    Sources
    • Zero Is the Leaves on the Tree by Betsy Franco, illustrations by Sino Arihara
    • How Do You Know It's Winter? by Ruth Owen
    • Picture This: Animals by Margaret Hynes, illustrations by Andy Crisp
    • Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready For Winter by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrations by Claudine Gévry
    • Snowflakes Fall by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrations by Steven Kellogg
    • Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
    • Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
    • Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature by Marcie Flinchum Atkins
    • Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka
    • Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illustrations by Jane Chapman
    • Time Flies by Eric Rohmann
    • On a Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring by Buffy Silverman
    • Snowman - Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrations by Micha Archer
    • Wake Up, World!: A Day In the Life of Children Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer
    • Spring is Here: A Bear and Mole Story by Will Hillenbrand

    It's hard to believe this is the last day of April and the last book spine poem for a while. You can find all the poems I've written this month on the Book Spine Poems page. I can't thank you enough for joining me on this journey.

    Monday, April 29, 2024

    NPM 2024 - Book Spine Poem 29

        For National Poetry Month this year, I am perusing my bookshelves and building book spine poems.


    Stichin' and Pullin' a Gee's Bend Quilt

    Eight hands round
    growing patterns
    inch by inch
    stitch by stitch
    the seasons sewn

    Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

    Sources
    • Stitchin' and Pullin' A Gee's Bend Quilt by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrations by Cozbi A. Cabrera
    • Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet by Ann Whitford Paul, illustrations by Jeanette Winter
    • Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell
    • Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
    • Stitch by Stitch: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly Sews Her Way to Freedom by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon
    • The Seasons Sewn: A Year in Patchwork by Ann Whitford Paul, illustrations by Michael McCurdy
    I hope you'll come back again to see what new poem I've cobbled together. You can find all the poems I've written this month on the Book Spine Poems page

    Sunday, April 28, 2024

    NPM 2024 - Book Spine Poem 28

       For National Poetry Month this year, I am perusing my bookshelves and building book spine poems.


    Climb into my lap
    here’s a little poem
    you read to me, I’ll read to you
    books day by day
    love in the library

    Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

    Sources
    • Climb Into My Lap: First Poems to Read Together, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrations by Kathryn Brown
    • Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry, collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrations by Polly Dunbar
    • You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrations by Michael Emberley
    • Books Day By Day: Anniversaries, Anecdotes, and Activities by Susan Ohanian
    • Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrations by Yas Imamura
    I hope you'll come back again to see what new poem I've cobbled together. You can find all the poems I've written this month on the Book Spine Poems page

    Saturday, April 27, 2024

    NPM 2024 - Book Spine Poem 27

    For National Poetry Month this year, I am perusing my bookshelves and building book spine poems.


    Count Down to Fall

    Shrinking days, frosty nights
    summer green to autumn gold
    goodbye summer, hello autumn
    leaf by leaf
    leaves fall down
    in November
    a chill in the air
    every autumn comes the bear

    Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

    Sources
    • Count Down to Fall by Fran Hawk, illustrations by Sherry Neidigh
    • Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems About Fall by Laura Purdie Salas
    • Summer Green to Autumn Gold: Uncovering Leaves' Hidden Colors by Mia Posada
    • Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
    • Leaf by Leaf: Autumn Poems, selected by Barbara Rogasky, photographs by Marc Tauss
    • Leaves Fall Down: Learning About Autumn Leaves by Lisa Bullard, illustrations by Nadine Takvorian
    • In November by Cynthia Rylant, illustrations by Jill Kastner
    • A Chill in the Air: Nature Poems for Fall and Winter by John Frank, illustrations by Mike Reed
    • Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
    I hope you'll come back again to see what new poem I've cobbled together. You can find all the poems I've written this month on the Book Spine Poems page

    Friday, April 26, 2024

    Poetry Sisters Write Poems to Unanswerable Questions

    This month the Poetry Sisters' challenge was to dream up an unanswerable question and answer it in a poem. For example, in the poem "How Many How Much," Shel Silverstein asked, "How many slams in an old screen door?" 

    On our Zoom call Sunday, we spent 5 minutes generating questions on our own, and then we shared them. It gave us a lot of ideas to work with! I tried writing to a couple of different prompts but found that every poem I started wound its way to an answer, which was not the point. Ultimately, I ended up with lots of questions and no answers. 

    Ode to Wonder

    How many ticks in a grandfather clock?
    How many rings in a bell?
    How many days in a rotating Earth?
    How many pails from a well?

    How many songs in 88 keys?
    How many drops in the rain?
    How many spins on a merry-go-round
    How many thoughts in a brain?

    Who made the stars?
    What makes them shine?
    Is there life beyond Earth in space?
    Where are lost souls?
    When are they found?
    Why have they fallen from grace?

    The why of the world
    is a curious thing
    with so many questions to ponder.
    Sit down for a bit
    and think big things
    there's so much for us to wonder.

    Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

    You can find the poems shared by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

      Would you like to try the next challenge? In May we’re writing in the style of Lucille Clifton and are writing poem about body parts ala "Homage to My Hips." Are you in? Good! You have a month to craft your creation and share it on May 31st in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems!  

      In addition to this poem, I have been building a book spine poem each day to celebrate National Poetry Month. I hope you'll pop over to my April 26 post to check it out and explore some of the other poems I've written. If you've been following the Progressive Poem, you might like my April 25 poem, which was inspired by the unfolding plight of the poem's characters.

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

      NPM 2024 - Book Spine Poem 26

      Happy Poetry Friday! For National Poetry Month this year, I am perusing my bookshelves and building book spine poems.


      Up in the garden and down in the dirt
      a seed is the start
      When green becomes tomatoes
      my father’s hands
      Pick! Pull! Snap!
      Tops and bottoms
      first, peas to the table
      corn
      rah, rah, radishes
      fresh, delicious
      Let’s eat!

      Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

      Sources
      • Up In the Garden and Down In the Dirt by Kate Messner, art by Christopher Silas Neal
      • A Seed Is the Start by Melissa Stewart
      • When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano, pictures by Julie Morstad
      • My Father's Hands by Joanne Ryder, illustrations by Mark Graham
      • Pick, Pull, Snap!: Where Once a Flower Bloomed by Lola Schaefer, illustrations by Lindsay Barrett George
      • Tops & Bottoms, adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens
      • First Peas to the Table by Susan Grigsby, illustrations by Nicole Tadgell
      • Corn by Gail Gibbons
      • Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre
      • Fresh Delicious: Poems From the Farmer's Market by Irene Latham, illustrations by Mique Moriuchi
      • Let's Eat!: What Children Eat Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer
      I hope you'll come back again to see what new poem I've cobbled together. You can find all the poems I've written this month on the Book Spine Poems page

      This week, Poetry Friday is hosted by Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. I hope you'll take some time to check out all the poetic things being shared today.

      Thursday, April 25, 2024

      NPM 2024 - Book Spine Poem 25

      For National Poetry Month this year, I am perusing my bookshelves and building book spine poems. Today's poem was inspired by this year's Progressive Poem. (See the list of participants to follow the poem. It began with Patricia Franze at Reverie.)


      The journey
      out of the dust
      dreamers
      the undefeated
      illegal
      chasing freedom
      unspoken
      unsettling truths
      This child, every child
      now and then
      an American story

      Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

      Sources
      • The Journey by Sarah Stewart, illustrations by David Small
      • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
      • Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
      • The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrations by Kadir Nelson
      • Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrations by Giovanni Rigano
      • Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts by Nikki Grimes, illustrations by Michele Wood
      • Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
      • Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery by Mark Charles and Soong-Chan Rah
      • This Child, Every Child: A Book About the World's Children by David J. Smith, illustrations by Shelagh Armstrong
      • Now and Then by Claire Philip, illustrations by Greg Paprocki
      • An American Story by Kwame Alexander, art by Dare Coulter
      I hope you'll come back again to see what new poem I've cobbled together. You can find all the poems I've written this month on the Book Spine Poems page