Thursday, June 10, 2021

Welcome to Poetry Friday!


"Columbine Flowers" by wcurrierphoto is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Welcome to Colorado! I'm excited to introduce you to Jeannette Encinias, a new-to-me poet, whose glorious, richly detailed sensory images, remind me more than a little of one of my all-time favorite poets, Mary Oliver. Jeannette lives in the Pacific Northwest and has a book, Queen Owl Wings, coming out in November. I discovered Jeannette when a friend posted "Beneath the Sweater and the Skin" on Facebook earlier this week. This morning, when I was thinking about what I might post, I immediately thought of Jeannette's poem. I emailed to ask if it would be ok to share her work and link to her website, and she very graciously responded, within an hour. So here, without further ado, is my absolute favorite new-to-me poet!

"Beneath the Sweater and the Skin"

How many years of beauty do I have left?

she asks me.

How many more do you want?

Here. Here is 34. Here is 50.


When you are 80 years old

and your beauty rises in ways

your cells cannot even imagine now

and your wild bones grow luminous and

ripe, having carried the weight

of a passionate life.

Read the rest of the poem here

Jeannette Encinias

I went hunting on her website and discovered nine more poems. It was hard to choose only one, but I finally did. You will probably want to go to her site and read the rest though, because they really are lovely. 


I worry seriously
about only a handful of things.
Eyes to the ground
furrowed brow
beating heart

Then I remember
that I am here right now.
with good work and a big, bright love.
With a dog who just had a bath
after running in the mud
(Read the rest of this gorgeous poem here).
Jeannette Encinias

And now, include your link in the comments below and I will round them up! 

Thursday Night Posters
  • Linda Mitchell was first today with some found haiku from what seems like a gorgeous new picture book from Brain Pickings author, Maria Popova. 

  • Tabatha Yeatts reminds us that yesterday, June 10th, was Empathy Day. She shares a Nikki Grimes quote and also a Kim Stafford poem, “Curse of the Charmed Life.”

  • Michelle Kogan, whose lovely art shows up on my Facebook page several times each week, has not one, but two original poems today. One is inspired by the wind and the other one came from a photograph that Margaret Simon posted on her blog.

  • Ruth has “Vanishing,” a sobering poem about the disappearance of birds from our world.

  • Jone discovered a poem she wrote about ten years ago and revised it. The crafting is terrific!

  • Janice Scully reviews EVERYWHERE BLUE,  a novel-in-verse, about a 12-year-old oboe player whose brother has disappeared. I immediately had to go to my district’s ebook collection and check out! Sounds terrific! 

  • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is featuring  a poetry graffiti project in Philadelphia. What a cool project! Take five minutes to watch the video with people’s reactions. 

  • Robyn Hood Black has all kinds of fun craziness- graduations and family celebrations, plus a new home in the mountains, and then she is moving out of her artist’s studio. I’m tired just reading about all of the business in her life, but she managed to find time to post an Emily Dickens’ poem besides! 

  • Sally Murphy’s poem, “Leisure” by WH Davies makes a perfect companion to the poems I shared today. Be sure you leave a minute to walk on her beautiful winter beach (via video anyway!)

  • Matt Esenwine is headed to Maine, one of my favorite spots in the whole world, but first he stopped to share a poem about his wife that he first shared nine years ago, when, coincidentally, I was also hosting Poetry Friday! A crazy world. 

  • Catherine Flynn is pushing toward the end of the school year. Sitting on her back porch, she spotted her first firefly, several weeks earlier than usual, and wrote about it. 

  • Fellow Coloradoan, Linda Baie, who often works at a bookstore only a few blocks from my house offers a Russell Hoban poem with some great advice on puzzles and life!

  • Carol Varsalona is the final late-night poster, in with a collection she calls “Winters and Sprinters.”


Mary Lee, the ever-faithful tender of Poetry Friday, has posted the new Poetry Friday Host Sign-up calendar. Be sure to stop over and choose a date. 

  • Jama actually posted last night, but her link didn’t go live until 6:00 this morning, so I’m including it in the Friday offerings. Her poem, “The Blue Garden” by Helen Dunmore is more than a little bit magical, as are Jama’s musing’s about the poem. And the accompanying art is also ‘blue-tiful!” (To steal Matt Esenwine’s words)!

  • Denise Krebs comes to us all the way from Bahrain, in with a poem-prayer (one of my favorite genre), inspired by Ruth’s post last week. And then she goes on to play around with stress words (iambic or otherwise). A world unknown to me, but I know a lot of you can probably offer advice!

  • Mayra comes to us from the United Arab Emirate, with Elizabeth Acevedo’s “Unfurling People” from the beautiful poetry picture book WOKE: A YOUNG POET’S CALL TO JUSTICE. Mayra wonders how the book might have been different if written by women poets from an Asian background. I agree with her, a new book ready to be written!

  • Sending lots of love and good wishes to Molly  in Maine. It’s been a difficult spring, but she writes that poetry, both at work and at home, is saving her. Today she has an original poem, “After the Diagnosis.” 

  • Elisabeth Norton takes us on a stroll to her pond (in my next life I am so going to live by water!), where she’s discovered a new creature, and written a s-s-simply s-s-superb original haiku. 

  • Irene Latham has completed what seems to me the Ironman Triathlon of poetry- she’s writing to a specific topic- Spring; she’s found a gorgeous piece of art- Mary Cassatt’s Spring: Margot Standing in the Garden;” and then she’s used Carl Sandburg’s “Summer Stars” as a mentor text to write “Margot Says Hello to Spring.” I’m exhausted thinking about this!

  • Margaret Simon, who hosted last week, is going through a bunch of rigmarole learning to use Word Press’ changes to their platform. And so she borrowed Heidi Mordhorst’s format, the definition, to write about it. 

  • Karen Eastlund is having a super-fun week with her grandchildren, who are very talented and also funny poets! Drop by her blog to read a poem from each of them. 



  • Another Carol, Carol Labuzzetta, witnessed a small miracle this week. She took lots of beautiful pictures and wrote a story poem. Be sure to stop by to read it. 

  • April Halprin Wayland posted a poem that she promised would blow our minds. Man oh man, was she right! DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT miss this absolutely glorious poem!!! Wow to the wow to the wow!

  • Jonathan, an ELA teacher from Hampton, Virginia, has been visited by an old friend that I think many teachers are facing right now! At least he has the gumption to write an original poem about it, which is a lot more than I am doing right now!

  • The brilliant and oh-so-creative Mary Lee has started PoemPairs, a new series on her blog. Earlier this week, she paired a picture book with a podcast, today it’s an original poem with a podcast about learning languages, and in particular, languages that are disappearing. Oh, and did I mention she’s learning Arabic?!? And while you are there, sign up to host Poetry Friday one week during the next six months. 

  • Donnetta, like Jonathon, expresses many teachers’ realities in her original poem, “Summer Break So Far.” I can definitely relate!

  • And last but not least, let’s welcome Marilyn Miner, who is posting on Poetry Friday for the very first time! She has an original poem, “The Shed,” that makes me wonder if she has somehow been in my garage!

Thanks so much for posting all of these lovely poetic offerings this week! I feel like the Universe is speaking to me about being more alert and more present in my life! OK, OK, I get it!!!

Be sure to stop by Mary Lee's blog to sign up to host Poetry Friday!


Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, my....oh, MY! What a beautiful pair of poems you've shared. None of the words are particularly fancy...but that language sweeps me off my feet. Thank you so much for introducing us to this poet. Yes, I think I'll take a peek at her website. What a great way for me to dive into summer and break. Thank you!
I needed a little inspiration from twitter this week. Brain Pickings never disappoints. Thanks so much for hosting. I've loved my little visit to Colorado.

jama said...

Thanks for introducing us to Jeanette's work! Enjoyed the poems you linked to and will definitely spend more time at her website.

This week I'm sharing "The Blue Garden" by Helen Dunmore:

Thanks for hosting! (my link will go live at 6 a.m. Friday)

Tabatha said...

Beauty among the worry, history (and beauty) in your face...lovely! Thanks for hosting us today and sharing Jeannette Encinias' work. I have a post about "Empathy Day" and a poem by Kim Stafford:

michelle kogan said...

Gorgeous and in the moment poems Carol, thanks for sharing them and introducing Jeannette Encinias, a new to me poet!

I'm sharing a Potpourri–a little music, art, and more Sky poetry:

Thanks for rounding us up!

Ruth said...

Thank you for hosting! Today I have a poem by Brittney Corrigan called "Vanishing."

Jone said...

Thank you for the intro to Jeanette. A PNW poet? I am in. I found a poem I don't remember writing.

Janice Scully said...

Thank you for introducing me to this poet! I love the juxtaposition of aging and awareness and gratitude of ordinary beauty all around. I have written a post about a novel in verse I just read: Everything Blue.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Thanks for hosting this week, Carol. How exciting to read the work of such a wonderful rising poet! I am showcasing poetry graffiti this week on Today's Little Ditty.

Robyn Hood Black said...

What gorgeous writing! Thank you for the introduction - I look forward to following your advice and link and savoring more of this fine work. I'm in this week with thoughts - and an Emily Dickinson poem - about boxes:
Thank you so much for hosting, Carol!

Jean said...

Wow! What a voice and vision!

Sally Murphy said...

Beautiful poems. Thank you for introducing us. I especially found myself nodding along to the second one which echoed my thoughts this morning about being grateful. My post on this is at

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

I'd not heard of Encinias, so thanks for sharing her work with us. So beautifully personal yet universal. Today I'm re-sharing a poem I wrote for my wife, which I originally published 9 years ago - coincidentally, on the exact day that you were hosting PF!

Catherine Flynn said...

Thank you for hosting this week, Carol! Thank you, too, for introducing us to Jeannette Encinias and her beautiful poetry. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work! Today I'm sharing a short poem inspired by the first firefly sighting of the summer.

Linda B said...

Lovely to meet this new poet, Carol. I will read more of her work later, and loved the end of the 2nd poem, "It's all been so much beauty among/the worry." Being outside as often as possible was part of my joy during these past months. Today, I'm sharing a poem by Russell Hoban, with advice learned from a jigsaw puzzle. Thanks for hosting!

Carol Varsalona said...

Thank you so much, Carol, for the introduction to a new poet, Jeannette Encinias, and for hosting. I love these lines from one of her poems, "Then I remember
that I am here right now." What a beautiful quote to keep besides me
Tonight, I am sharing reflections and a new-to-me format, dodoitsu. The title of my post "Reflections on Winter and Sprinters" and can be found atg I am grandma sitting this weekend so I will try to catch breaks to read through as many posts as I can but I may still read some next Monday to catch myself up.

Denise Krebs said...

Thank you, Carol, for hosting this sweet gathering of Poetry Friday Posts. I appreciated meeting Jeannette Encinias and her beautiful poems. "Nourished" made me stop and think of so many more things I am grateful for. Indeed. As Linda said, her words are not fancy--yet full, rich and evocative. Thanks!

GatheringBooks said...

Thank you so much for hosting this week, dear Carol.
What a great reminder - to capture beauty amidst anxiety. Beautiful.
Here is my Poetry Friday offering:

mbhmaine said...

Thank you so much for hosting, Carol, and for sharing the poems of Jeannette Encinias. I can see why you were smitten with her work, and am so glad you linked up some other poems for us to savor. These are the kinds of poems that merit multiple rereads. I'm in with this:

Mary Lee said...

I'll come back in a bit to read more of Jeannette Encinias' poems and to leave a link to my Poetry Friday offering, but for now, the call for roundup hosts for July-December is live!

Irene Latham said...

Beautiful! Thank you, Carol, for this introduction. I've got the latest ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem "Margot Says Hello to Spring."
Happy poetry friday, and happy Colorado summer! xo

Margaret Simon said...

Jeannette is just the kind of poet I like to read, accessible and authentic. Thanks for sharing her work today. I have written a definito to a Merriam-Webster Word-of-the-day, rigmarole. Thanks for hosting.

Elisabeth said...

What gorgeous language! Thank you for introducing us to this poet. I look forward to reading more of her work.

I've got another poem inspired by the pond this week - but it's not about frogs or tadpoles!

Thanks for hosting the round-up today!

Karen Eastlund said...

Thanks for the intro to an interesting poet and for hosting. Visit me to see poems by my grandkids at

Carol Labuzzetta said...

Thank you for this introduction to a new poet. I will visit her website for more. I am inspired by nature and the human spirit as well. Thanks for hosting this week's round-up as well!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carol! I'm late to the party with today's post from TeachingAuthors. I've posted a poem by Cathy Ross that will blow your mind...I promise. Here's the link:

Thank you for today's poems--I'm just now reading the first part of each poem and will click on the links and luxuriate in them!

Ruth said...

Now I've turned in all my grades and proctored my last test, so I'm back to read what everybody wrote! Thanks for what you've shared today! I like the push to think of beauty in such a different way from US culture!

Jonathan Rivera said...

Thank you for sharing those beautiful poems. And thanks for hosting!
My poem is posted:

I'll be reading and commenting later tonight. Take care friends.

Mary Lee said...

Wow. You knocked it out of the ballpark with this new-to-us poet. I'm swooning over the two you shared and anxious to go back and read them all! This is what I needed to remember today:
"It's all been so much beauty among
the worry."

I've started a new...thing on the blog (we'll see if it lasts) called PoemPairs. I didn't intend for today's poem to be a PoemPair, but then I listened to the Poetry Unbound podcast.

Donnetta Norris said...

Thank you for sharing your new favorite poet. Her writing is beautiful. Today I wrote about taking on too much during Summer Break.

Marilyn Miner said...

I was determined not to let another Friday go by without posting a poem. I've been reluctant to join this group for stupid reasons! I love reading your posts and have for years! Thank you for leading the way!

Mary Lee said...

Thanks again for hosting. Your final comments...that's what I love about doing the roundup "old school:" finding connections and themes that emerge. This was definitely a week with lots of reminders to be present and notice!

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