Thursday, December 30, 2021

Poetry Friday is Here!

 I thought about Poetry Friday a couple of days ago. And then this happened about ten miles from where I live today. And about six hundred families have lost their homes. And in between tracking down people I love, and seeing if any of Rooney's buddies might need shelter. I just kind of forgot. Leave your posts in the comments and I will round up in the morning. 

Thank you for all of your kind words and prayers and your patience with what has to to be the world's worst Poetry Friday hosting ever. In spite of several suggestions that I could skip the roundup today, I'm at least going to try. Thank you for all of your kind words...

An update on the fire- We have had about six inches of snow since yesterday afternoon, our first snow in over two hundred days. It's also bitterly cold. Right now, I’m absolutely heartbroken thinking not only about the 600+ families that have lost homes, but somehow, the thing that is bothering the most is the animals. Some pets have been confirmed dead, however, some are believed to be alive, and wandering the neighborhoods around the fires. People aren’t being given much access yet to the fire area, but some have managed to build little shelters, in case their pets happen to come home. Thinking about all of those poor animals, looking for their people, out in the cold, makes me so, so sad. Amy Ludwig Vanderwater’s poem about building forts for pets was written with an entirely different intent and context, but even so, it  made me cry. 

The Bell Sisters

In the spirit of collabellation (according to Heidi Mordhorst) and/or tintinnabulation (Carol Varsalona, The Poetry Sisters and, I think, a few friends, are writing about bells this month:

  • Michelle Kogan joins the Bell Sisters with a really clever rhyming list poem. 

  • Bridget McGee not only has a really clever rhyming poem, but she has lots and lots of plans for 2022. I think her journals will make great gifts and will definitely be ordering a few!

  • Janice Scully gives a history lesson, about the “salt bells” around Syracuse, New York. I love history wrapped in stories and think this would make a great picture book! Plus, she has an original poem, “Bells.” 

  • Sara Lewis Holmes started her combination poem/history lesson/life lesson with a sculpture, The Robert A. Taft Memorial and Carillon. So much history! So much truth!

  • Heidi Mordhorst wrote in a new-to-me genre, the “Blitz” poem. Plus, she has a not-to-be missed bonus offering, a “Blessing for the New Year” by Nadia Bolz-Weber. 

  • Carol Varsalona enriched my vocabulary with a new word  “tintinnabulation.” I love her story about Santa ringing the bells on her Christmas tree as much as I love her bell poem.

  • Laura Purdie Salas has an original poem, “Bell Song” published on top of a beautiful photograph. 

  • Mary Lee went a different route than most of the bell poems. Her haibun (combination of prose/haiku is about family Christmas traditions, including a very special homemade ornament. 

  • Over at Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia also wrote her bell poem based on a story from her life. She wrote in another new to me genre, the Bob and Wheel. I'm definitely gathering some ideas for forms I might want to try this year!

  • Tanita Davis brings the final (so far, anyway) bell poems. She includes a beautiful list poem, "Canticum Camapanarum" and then an original poem, where she connects bells and joy.

Endings and Beginnings

  • Tabatha Yeatts’ offering, “Dispensable Other,” is more than a little sobering. I’m feeling more than a little discouraged by all that is “unlovely” about our world right now…

  • Linda Mitchell is wrapping up her “Year of the Ox” poems, and will be moving on to a new word, “Star.” Can’t wait to see what this new series will hold. 

  • Fellow Coloradoan, Linda Baie, is just finishing a collection of nature poems, one for each day of the year, that she read in 2021. She sharied an intriguing new collection, TIGER, TIGER, BURNING BRIGHT. This volume, collected by Fiona Waters, features a year’s worth of animal poems. I think I might need these books!

  • At Reading to the Core, Catherine Flynn used a quote to write a golden shovel, perfect for the threshold of 2021/2022.

  • Donnetta Norris also has a beautiful end of year golden shovel prayer-poem, "Calm."

  • Irene is wrapping up her Artspeak year and promises to share her new theme next week. She has a lovely original poem, “Map to a New Year,” written in response to a Mary Cassatt drawing. 

  • Ruth and her family ended their year with a visit to a new-to-me place, Cheekwood, in Nashville, Tennessee. Photographs from her visit include a sculpture called “Tree Poem.”

  • Matt Esenwine is celebrating a very successful year and looking forward to the publication of his newest book, I AM TODAY, on January 25th. 

  • Tim Kulp reflects on the word, “Enough,” which so many of us have said often this year. And then he gives us the gift of a very clever story poem!

  • From her cozy cabin deep in the woods, Carol Labuzetta sends the gift of a holiday alphabetic, inspired by Maurice Sendak's class, ALLIGATORS ALL AROUND.

  • I’m closing with Robyn Hood Black’s Rainier Maria Rilke quote. Her Instagram video is really fun, for those of us who are typewriter nerds. 

 "And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things."


Michelle Kogan said...

Carol I'm so sorry, that fire looks devastating. Sending thoughts and prayers out to all there.
My post is all about Bells from the Poetry Sisters December poem prompt–I wrote a list poem, and have pics of different bells from Japan's ringing New Years Bells celebration, along with a short video of Big Ben from a past New Years celebration: Thanks for hosting, be safe!

Carol Varsalona said...

Carol, I heard on the news about the devastation in Colorado and did not realize that it was so close to your home. It is hard to believe that this Christmas there are so many frightening events occurring. Please take care and thank you for hosting Poetry Friday. Using the challenge the Poetry Sisters offered, my slice is about the bells that ring in my home every Christmas and now in my daughter's home. I also share photos of my Christmas tree and my grandgirls preparing to decorate their tree. Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the families who lost their homes.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Oh, Carol - I didn't realize this was so close to you either. I've been contacting my Denver-area friends and family and they are not in harm's way in the city. Prayers for all suffering such losses.
I just have a quote by a poet today - some words of wisdom for the New Year from Rainer Maria Rilke. (And a link to a video of the quote being typed out by yours truly for those who love the sound of typewriters.)
Thank you for hosting, especially during such stress.

Bridget Magee said...

Goodness gracious! I'm so sorry - sending light and love to you and all those affected.
My post is a preview of what's new in '22 at wee words for wee ones.

Tabatha said...

Hi Carol, I'm impressed that you are hosting even with so much to handle on your end. Thank you. I hope that the fires resolve soon and that those affected receive aid. I felt bad that I had posted something serious, unrelated to New Year's, but "Crip Camp" is empowering and inspirational and we do need to deal with the sadness of this year as we say goodbye to it. So maybe my post is "timely" after all. Wishing you a safe and love-abundant 2022!

Amy LV said...

Carol, My heart is with your community. Please let me know ( if you wish for me to host today for you as I would be happy to.

At The Poem Farm, I have a little poem about making forts and a suggestion to write from the two words, "Go ahead."

Peace and love to you and yours. xo, a.

Catherine Flynn said...

What a terrible tragedy! I hope you are safe and that the fires are brought under control quickly.
Today I'm sharing a Golden Shovel inspired by the wise words of a neuroscientist.
Be well!

Linda Mitchell said...

Carol, I'm so sorry. I hadn't been paying attention to news. My sister texted me last night about the fires as we have loved ones right up against the evacuation zone. Please, let us know how to help when it is time. It's such a terrible situation. Please, above all, be safe. I'm thinking of you in my prayer time.
For Poetry Friday, I'm closing out my year of ox and starting a new year of stars.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Carol, thank you for being here despite this fire, yet another climate change tragedy. Maybe you could just let these comments themselves be the round-up--a fitting ending to a year in which we all had to let things just be as they were: unusual, often messy, and precious anyway. Sending strength and rescue to your nearby communities, and dear wishes to all Poetry Friday folk for a manageable New Year! I'm ringing bells with the Poetry Sisters today too:

Linda B said...

I watched all the evening, Carol, was at the bookstore earlier & people kept coming in with more terrible news. I guess 2021 ends as it mostly has been, full of tragedy. Thanks for hosting. I am sharing a new anthology with poems about animals for every day of the year! Best wishes to your friends with animals in need. I saw on the news many people with animals trailers coming in to try to round up all the animals in the fields, they said a huge challenge because they would be so frightened.

Irene Latham said...

Dear Carol, I've been in my own bubble and unaware of this news... so sorry to hear. Sending hugs, love, and gratitude. xo

laurasalas said...

Terrifying. Thanks for being here to host, Carol. May the poetry shared bring some distraction and peace. I'm in with a poem about bells at

Ruth said...

Thank you for hosting in spite of everything! What a nightmare! I spent some time at a beautiful place and I'm sharing some poetic photos.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Oh no, Carol - how terrible! I can understand why your attention would be diverted. Thank you for hosting, nonetheless. Today I'm looking back at this past year as well as my ten years in the kidlit world, and looking towards 2022:

Janice Scully said...

I saw it on the news! How awful! I'm glad you are safe. Thank you for hosting in spite of it, Carol. I wrote a poem about bells inspired by the Poetry Princess prompt. I'm at Salt City Verse,

Mary Lee said...

Carol, I'm like so many others, over here in my own bubble, not realizing fires were raging through the Denver area. I'm so glad that you and Linda B. and all my other Denver/Colorado people are out of harm's way...for now.

I agree with Heidi -- just let these comments stand as the roundup for this week. And do let us know how we can help, especially if one of Rooney's pals is in need.

I'm in with a haibun about one particular bell:

Sara said...

I saw the news yesterday, and was stunned at the sudden destruction. Horrific. Glad you are safe, and thank you for putting up a post today. Holding your whole community in my thoughts.

I'm writing about bells with my Poetry Sisters Here's my link:

Tim Kulp said...

I am sorry to hear this Carol. I just heard about the fires and how fast they spread. That is horrifying. You community will be in my family's prayers. Having had a house fire, I know that thoughts & prayers help but so does donation and action. Please let me know how my community can help yours.

Tricia said...

Carol, I hope you are safe. This is just devastating and I'm sure you know many who have been touched by this incredible disaster. Please know I'm thinking of you and sending prayers.
I too wrote about bells with my Poetry Sisters. My link is:

Carol Labuzzetta said...

Dear Carol,
I am so sorry to hear your community is experiencing this loss. Fire is so devastating. Thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone in your area. We flew into Denver this fall and the area is beautiful. I hope the fires are put out as soon as possible and that everyone stays safe. For Poetry Friday this week, I was inspired by a couple of classics last night - Maurice Sendak and Carole King.

Thanks for hosting, especially during this difficult time!
Take care, Carol from The Apples in My Orchard.

Janice Scully said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donnetta Norris said...

Carol, I am so very sorry for all you and your neighbors are experiencing right now. I pray God's blessings and peace upon every family. Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday despite all you have going on right now.

tanita✿davis said...

Carol, what an awful thing. I'm glad you're able to be a neighbor to your community just now. Thanks for hosting, and when you get around to rounding-up, I'm here:

skanny17 said...

I stopped by yesterday but did not leave a comment. I am so sorry for all of those affected by this horrible fire. How almost unbelievable and tragic especially all the loss of those animals. I am glad there seems to be very little loss of life, or I am not up to date on the news reports. I always wish that in these kinds of disasters that someone would post a list of "items" ie maybe a clock or a set of toys or treasures that someone lost and would want replaced so if anyone had something and they were willing to part with it, they could send it on to someone who could get it to the right person. I am looking at downsizing and want to give away nice items rather then sell them and I imagine there would be others, but have no idea how this kind of project could work when the basics are so vitally more important. Sending prayers to your area. I can't believe that you were able to come back and put in links as you did during this awful time. Sending you my best and if there are ways to help out, please let us know. I know contributions help so we can at least do that.
Janet Clare F.

Laura Lynn Benson said...

My heart sits with yours…

Carmela Martino said...

I am so sad for all those affected by the fire, including a writing friend who lost her house. I'm holding you all in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for hosting this amazing round-up despite all that's going on.