Archives: Original Poem

Pet’s-Eye View: Writing with GRA’s Fenway and Hattie + Pet Crazy

Happy Poetry Friday! I took the summer off from blogging and I’m glad to be back with you. This week’s host for the Poetry Friday link-up is Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty.  Michelle’s blogging about the International Day of Peace (September 21) and invites us all to share a poem on the them of peace.

Sam and Rudy agree! Fenway and Hattie is a great read aloud.

It’s been a few years since I blogged about Victoria J. Coe’s first middle grade novel, the hilarious Fenway and Hattie. (Read that post here.)

The charm and humor of the Fenway books (the third title in the series publishes in January) is their point of view. Narrator Fenway is a rambunctious Jack Russell Terrier who doesn’t understand that his back yard isn’t a dog park and that slippery floors are not inherently evil. What a great read-aloud for kids.

Now Fenway is going global. Fenway and Hattie is this year’s Global Read Aloud for early readers. Congratulations to Victoria! (What is Global Read Aloud? Learn more here.)

And how serendipitous for us that the latest Poetry Friday book from Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell is the newly published Pet Crazy!

Victoria and I decided to go to the dogs — and cats. We put together a poetry writing extension for Fenway and Hattie using my poem from Pet Crazy as a model. Global Read Aloud participants can find more Fenway and Hattie resources at Victoria’s Padlet.

Welcome, Victoria!

Fenway and Hattie + Pet Crazy Mini Point of View Lesson

A creative writing extension for readers of Fenway and Hattie

Victoria and Kipper.

An invitation from Victoria J. Coe

Reading Fenway and Hattie gives students the chance to experience a dog’s point of view.  

Seeing the world from a new point of view is not only fun, but it also shows that our own perspective isn’t the only one out there.

Two people – or two species – can experience the exact same thing and interpret it very differently. That doesn’t mean that one is right and one is wrong. It just means your reality depends on your point of view.

Writing from a point of view different from our own is an even more powerful way of realizing there are at least two sides to every story.

Victoria and poet Laura Shovan (The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary) have collaborated on a creative writing extension for Fenway and Hattie!

In this mini-workshop, students will have their chance to think like a dog, or cat, or parrot as they write a short poem from an animal’s point of view. The mentor texts for this extension are Fenway and Hattie, by Victoria J. Coe, and the poem “Lost and Found,” by Laura Shovan, from Pet Crazy: A Poetry Friday Power Book.

After reading Fenway and Hattie, invite the whole class or small groups to do an analysis. Create a T-chart comparing how animals and humans view one of the following experiences:

Going to the vet

Moving to a new home

Learning to obey


Ready to write a poem describing an experience from a pet’s point of view? Our model poem is “Lost and Found,” by Laura Shovan (from Pet Crazy: A Poetry Friday Power Book). In this poem, a young cat goes exploring and can’t find its way back home.

Lost and Found
By Laura Shovan

I’m a curious cat.
My gray tail twitches.
I chase bird shadows
from lawn to lawn.
But when I sniff
and know I’ve lost
the scent of home,
I cry a sad song.
Meow! Meow!
Someone find me.
See my collar?
Call that number.
Take me home.

Some suggested “experiences” for young poets to write about include events from Fenway and Hattie:

  • Moving to a new home.
  • Meeting a new animal friend.
  • Being left out.
  • Describing a favorite human.
  • Something scary!
  • Learning to obey.
  • Asking for food.

After students share their writing, Victoria recommends these follow up questions:

    • What was surprising about thinking like an animal?
    • What did you learn about the pet’s point of view?
    • How would you describe the same event as a human kid?

Hints and helps from Victoria and Laura:

  • Kids can brainstorm their poems using a t-chart.
  • Prompt students to think about their five sense as their chosen animal. What would they hear, smell, and see from the pet’s-eye-view?
  • The goal is to write a poem, but it’s fine to draft in prose sentences.

Ordering information:

FENWAY AND HATTIE by Victoria J. Coe is available wherever books are sold, including: Your local independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Victoria J. Coe is the author of Fenway and Hattie, the 2017 Global Read Aloud book for Early Readers, as well as two additional Fenway and Hattie novels. She teaches creative writing to adults in Cambridge, MA. Find her online @victoriajcoe (twitter/IG) and at:


PET CRAZY: A POETRY FRIDAY POWER BOOK, by Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong, is available at Amazon and Pomelo Books.

Laura Shovan’s middle grade novel-in-verse, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, is a NCTE 2017 Notable Verse Novel and won CYBILS and Nerdy Book Club awards for poetry. She is a longtime poet-in-the-schools and the author and editor of three books of poetry for adults. Laura is a contributor to Pet Crazy: A Poetry Friday Power Book, by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Visit her at:


Poetry Friday: #10FoundWords

Poetry Friday blogger and picture book author Penny Klosterman is hosting all of the poetry links today. Stop by A PENNY AND HER JOTS for more poetry posts from around the web and around the world.

Happy February, everyone. This week, we kicked off my annual poem project, which has moved over to Facebook.

This year’s theme is #10FoundWords. We have a daily news story, speech, or current event selected by a project member. That person chooses 10 words from the news source, which makes up our word bank for the day.

Because we’re all writing with the same daily prompts, my favorite part of the project is reading the response poems. I notice the ways our writing overlaps, and cheer people on when their poems are unexpected, when there’s an innovation. (You can still join the project. Leave a note in the comments if you’d like to give it a try.)

Speaking of news — scroll to the bottom of the page for two announcements: an event with me and YA author Heidi Heilig, and a book giveaway.

Here’s one of my own poems, written as a warm-up exercise.

By Laura Shovan

Remember learning long division?
This was long ago, 20th Century math.
Historical stuff. We’re talking
a solid wall between two different numbers.
The smaller number makes its appeal.
“Let me inside. It’s cold.
I’m suffering out here.”
The wall stays up because
that’s how division has always
been calculated. But the big number
is overcome with a generous spirit.
It sneaks the shivering digits inside,
counts how many will fit.
Soon, there are numbers
climbing on the roof, thankful numbers
tunneling underneath.
It’s a kind of freedom,
the way they gather on all sides
of the wall, which looks thinner,
less substantial, surrounded
by the orderly many.

This was Warm-up #6: January 29, 2017. Kip Rechea was in charge of this day’s #10FoundWords and news source.

20th Century

Source: An appeal from the mayor of Berlin not to build a wall across the U.S. border with Mexico.

Still here? Great! Thanks for sticking with me. I’ve got two announcements.

Announcement #1: On February 8, I’m hosting YA author Heidi Heilig (THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE) as part of the Master Storytellers series run by the Ivy Bookshop. Join me and Heidi as we discuss the broad appeal of young adult fiction. You can find details and RSVP here. If you’re in town for AWP, it’s a short trip up to Baltimore. Hope to see you there.

Announcement #2: Foundry Media is giving away four copies of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY on Goodreads. Sign up here to join the giveaway.

Announcement #3: (When I said “two announcements,” I was simply stating an alternate fact.) I’m excited to share that THE LAST FIFTH GRADE is a finalist for a Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award!

Poetry Friday: #10FoundWords

Thanks to Carol Varsalona for hosting Poetry Friday this week. Carol’s blog is Beyond Literacy Link, always a great resource for writing and education. Stop by for more of this week’s Poetry Friday posts.

It’s the last Poetry Friday of January. That means I am gearing up for the annual February daily poem project.

This year, I’m encouraging participants to engage with current events, news articles, political speeches, and interviews. Each day, we’ll be using 10 Found Words from a news-related source and building our poems around those words.

The February poetry project grew so large last year that I can no longer host it here at my blog. Instead, we are writing together in a closed Facebook group.

Interested? Read the full introductory post here. If you’d like to join the group, leave me a note in the comments. I will add you ASAP.

We’ve been working on a few warm-up poems before the project officially starts on February 1. Here’s my draft of the day. Do you think it’s “Unfair!”?

Under the Rug
By Laura Shovan

The arc-shaped flow
of his solar-blonde hair
defies gravity. Fluid,
odd, its color scorched
as a drought-tossed field
of wheat. When the wind
rattles its dried-out stalks,
the whole plain shifts, lifts
as if the hidden door of Hell,
slammed shut for so long,
has swung wide open
in the middle of America.

10 Words — found by Heather Meloche:


Source: “Weird wave found in Venus’ wind-whipped atmosphere,” by Ashley Yeager, Science News, January 17, 2017.

Press Conference Found Poem #2

I’m still mining this week’s pre-inaugural press conference for found poetry. Today’s poem is pulled word for word, unabridged from an exchange between the president-elect and a reporter. In addition to the repetitiveness of Trump’s speech (repetition *is* a poetic technique, after all), the contrast between the two speakers, and the irony of Trump’s use of the word “rude” are what interests me.

Source material: NY Times transcript of January 11, 2017 press conference.

It’s a Disgrace What Took Place
Trump Press Conference Found Poem

By Laura Shovan

Since you’re attacking us,
can you give us a question?
Mr. President-elect —

                                                Go ahead.

Mr. President-elect,
since you are attacking
our news organization —

                                                Not you.

Can you give us a chance?

                                                Your organization
                                                is terrible.

You are attacking
our news organization.
Can you give us a chance
to ask a question, Sir?
Sir, can you —


Mr. President-elect,
can you say –

                                                He’s asking a question.
                                                Don’t be rude.
                                                Don’t be rude.

Can you give us a question
since you’re attacking us?
Can you give us a question?

                                                Don’t be rude. No.
                                                I’m not going to
                                                give you a question
                                                I’m not
                                                going to give you
                                                a question.

Can you state…

                                                You are fake news.
                                                Go ahead.

Sir, can you categorically
state that nobody –

No, Mr. President-elect,
that’s not appropriate.

                                                Go ahead.

For those of you involved in activism right now, the January 21 Women’s March organizers posted an important video here.

If you can’t march, but you are a crafter, the Pussyhat Project is taking donations of pink hats for the March.

Poetry Friday: Found Poem Assignment

Keri is hosting Poetry Friday this week at Keri Recommends.

The pen is a mighty weapon, according to the old saying.

To help kick off inauguration week in the spirit of activism, poets and authors all over the U.S. are performing at WRITERS RESIST events. You can read about the movement at PEN America. Writers Resist has its own website with a listing of readings across the nation.

I will be representing 100 Thousand Poets for Change at the Baltimore City Writers Resist reading. Information about the event is here.

After last week’s poetry exercise with a bit of Thoreau, I had a feeling that our President-Elect’s words would make some revealing poems. Yesterday, I posted a political poetry assignment on Facebook. Here it is:

I challenge everyone to create a cross-out or found poem out of Trump’s recent press conference. Here is a link to the transcript.

Please post your poem — text or picture — in the comments or at your own blog. Thanks to Amy Ludwig Vanderwater and Diane Mayr, who shared their poems on Facebook.

For my response, I was interested in the rhythm of Trump’s repetitious, overlapping phrases. I went through the transcript and highlighted sentences driven by “I.” Here is my own response to the prompt. Though these phrases lack context, I did not rewrite or re-order any of Trump’s words.

I Messages
Trump Press Conference Found Poem

by Laura Shovan

I think we probably maybe won,
I do have to say that and I must say that.
I’ve just gone up a notch.
As to what I think of you?
OK, I guess you could say.
And I will say, I said,
that I will be the greatest.
And I mean that, I really –
I think you’ll be very impressed.
I tell this to people all the time,
and I told many people.
I have no dealings.
I have no deals that could happen.
And I have no loans.
I have very, very little debt.
I have assets. I have very little debt.
I have very low debt. But I have no loans.
And I thought that was important.
I certified that. So I have no deals.
I have no loans. And I have no dealings.
I just don’t want to.
Because I’m president.
I didn’t know about that, but it’s a nice thing.
I have something that others don’t have.
I understand they want a president
to run the country.
I would be able to do that if I wanted to.
I’d do a very good job.
I think it’s one of the reasons I got elected.
I think the people of this country
did not want to see what was happening.
I think it was disgraceful.
And I say that, I think it’s a disgrace
that information was false and fake.
I think they’re going to suffer the consequences.
I guess the advantage I have is
that I can speak.
And I think it’s very unfair.

Introducing: Calcifer the Library Dragon

Poetry Friday,sm

Our good friend Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is hosting Poetry Friday this week. You’ll find all of the links at her blog, Today’s Little Ditty.

We are having a big celebration at the Shovan house this weekend, Poetry Friday friends. After a year of planning, hard-work, painting, and poetry-writing, our Little Free Library is finally open for visitors!

I don’t know why dragons have proliferated in our front yard. We have a dragon whirligig. His name is Clyde and he’s riding a bicycle. We have a napping dragon. That’s Kip — he’s asleep in an orange hammock. And there’s a blue dragon on a flag who needs a name.

So it only made sense to go with a dragon theme for our Little Free Library. (If you’d like to learn more about Little Free Libraries, stop by the website. )

Our library dragon is named for a fire demon from the book Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones. Both the book and the Miyazaki movie are family favorites. Here’s the movie trailer, which makes me want to watch the movie right now. I love, love, love this film. So much so that my teen and I watched it in Japanese, just to see if the experience was different.

The library was a group project. Mr. S did all of the carpentry. The resident teen, Miss Jay, designed and painted the panels. And I wrote the poem and organized the books.

Poem? Of course! A library dragon must have a poem — and a cup of hot cocoa to enjoy with his books.

img_20160904_102033A Message from Calcifer
By Laura Shovan (with help from the dragon)

I am a library dragon.
Don’t be afraid of my looks.
My tail’s long and stunning,
My eyes green and cunning,
But I am a lover of books.

I am a library dragon.
My treasure, I’m happy to share.
My hoard has no gold,
But if you are bold,
You may borrow a book from my lair.


Our library will stock children’s and young adult books, picture books through YA. We have a lot of children and dog walkers in our neighborhood — Brampton Hills in Ellicott City, MD, so we’re hoping people will make use of it.

Calcifer’s Little Free Library has its own Facebook page. (Check it out or join here.) And we plan to add an Instagram account soon. If you live in Central Maryland, come see us this Sunday. We’re having a grand opening read-along and picnic from 11-1, right in the front yard.

Here is a gallery of library photos, so you can see the full design. One of the coolest features, which you can’t see here, is that the library is painted GOLD on the inside. Why? Because books are a treasure.

img_20160911_153347978_hdr img_20160911_153312344 img_20160911_143439290_hdr-1 img_20160904_102138

Poetry Friday: Tournament Rap

PF tag

Franki and Mary Lee are hosting the Poetry Friday link-up this week. It’s at A Year of Reading, where they have a new book I’ve been moooning over.

Happy Poetry Friday!

On Sunday,  I had a chance to observe Olympian Jordan Burroughs working with high school wrestlers on Maryland’s national team. The team of about 60 teens will be competing in Fargo, North Dakota this weekend. It’s the freestyle wrestling national championships.

Although he gave it up after middle school, my son wrestled for many years. Here’s a poem I wrote when I was a mat-mom. In a way, it’s a found poem, a rap made up of the names of wrestling moves and the things coaches say to their athletes.

I hope you enjoy the sounds and rhythms of this poem, even if you don’t know wrestling terminology.

Tournament Rap

Wizzer. Cement mixer.
Lateral drop.

Cross-face him. Headlock in.
Base up, don’t stop.

Knees off the mat. Suck it back.
Break him down.

Tighten your grip. Wrist control.
Don’t reach ’round.

Don’t stop. Penetrate!
Get close, you’re too far.

Keep turning. Don’t stop now.
Sink the arm bar.

Get the pin. Get the win.
Take shot after shot.

Stay focused. Keep moving,
and don’t ever stop.


The top wrestler has control over her opponent, earning her two points for the take down.

Poetry Friday: Concrete Cat

PF tag

My good friend  Tabatha Yeatts is hosting Poetry Friday this week. Head over to THE OPPOSITE OF INDIFFERENCE to join the poetry party.

Happy Poetry Friday!

Today, I’m sharing a concrete poem written by a poet named Jackie Kozell. Let’s take a look at it first, and then I’ll share the story behind this poem.

Jackie is a talented artist, which you can see in the shape of the poem. But her artist’s eye also makes her observant — a skill poets rely on.


Concrete Cat Poem

Poem by Jackie Kozell. Shared by permission of the poet.


I love “A small shadow     running to a corner” with the pause for white space in the middle. The “razor filled mouth” is a great visual and sensory image. Then there are details like the mouse and the bold letter W for the cat’s nose. Notice that the words “back legs” fall on the cat’s haunches and the words “claws grip” lead our eyes down the front legs.

Ready for the back story? Before the school year ended, my cousin gave a copy of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY to her daughter’s 6th grade teacher. The class was doing a poetry unit and tried some of the writing prompts in the back of my book. Jackie, as you guessed, is my cousin’s daughter.

I love the pacing in this poem as we wait for the cat to pounce on its prey. Awesome job, Jackie!

If you liked this poem, I recommend Betsy Franco’s book, A CURIOUS COLLECTION OF CATS: CONCRETE POEMS. Back at my old blog, Author Amok, you’ll find a classroom workshop in concrete poems, based on Betsy’s book. The link is here.

betsy franco

Find out more at the Penguin Random House website.

2016 Found Object Poem Project: Wrap Up

PF tag

It’s Poetry Friday! Found Object Poet Linda Baie is hosting this week’s poetry links at Teacher Dance.

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone. Today, I’m wrapping up the annual daily write-in project.

In January, I invited everyone to join me for a month-long project, writing in response to found objects (the original post is here). This is the fourth time I’ve celebrated my February birthday with a daily project that gives back to the writing community.

In 2013, I sent original postcard poems to 44 friends. In 2014, Author Amok turned into a poetic version of a Color Run, with poets doused in all the shades of the rainbow for writing inspiration.

And for 2015, we wrote a poem for every day in February in response to sound clips.

This year’s theme was FOUND OBJECTS. Thanks to everyone who sent in objects for us to use as prompts! We wrote about 29 objects from a variety of categories: Toys, Food, Functional Objects, Art, Antiques, Nature, and Signs.

I was unprepared for the amazing response our project had this year. Here are the numbers.

2014’s Pantone Poem Project: 14 poets, 144 poems about colors.

2015’s Sound Poem Project: 14 poets, 177 poems about sounds.

2016’s Found Object Poem Project: 28 poets, 346 poems about objects.

We nearly doubled the number of participants and the number of poems this year! Yes, this February included Leap Day, but we can’t attribute all that writing to a single day. It takes stamina and commitment to complete this project.

The most-written-about objects were early in the month:

Lotus Pods (Day 10, 17 poems)

Antique Store Dolls (Day 6, 16 Poems)


Least written about objects were:

Garlic Bud (Day 28, 6 poems)

Horse Figurine (Day 20, 7 poems)

Maybe we were running out of steam by the last ten days. All five of the days I skipped this year were in the final ten days of the project.

There were five people who completed the challenge, writing a poem for each of our 29 prompts. As promised, I will be sending prizes to these prolific poets: look for something fun from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Petite Paperie.










Our 29-poem writers are: Linda Baie, Jessica Bigi, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, and last year’s winner, Charles Waters.

Congratulations to all of you on a great month of writing!

Before we get to a list of links for each day, I wanted to give special kudos to one poet, Jessica Bigi. Jessica was new to our project this year. I have appreciated her enthusiasm for our community and watching her poetry develop over the last month.

2011 Summer A 225On our final day, I posted one last found object prompt for everyone to try. I wasn’t going to post any responses, but Jessica’s poem is so striking that I had to share it today.

The object is a door-knocker. What I did not tell you is that this is the door of a famous house, Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott set her novel, LITTLE WOMEN.

By Jessica Bigi

At age seven he
showed himself
to me wings of
golden sunshine
me inside a room
of a locust tree
looking through a
window to his world
and still to this day
I will never know why
though I have
never told a soul
until today
I guess age seven
is magical
and this a
Griffin knows

Would you like to go back and revisit all of the poems in our project? If your name is missing from any of these days and its important to you to see it listed, please let me know.

Project Announcement

Model Responses and the Week 1 Prompts

Monday, February 1
FOUND OBJECT: 100 year-old Mailing Box
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Molly Hogan, Mary Lee Hahn, Linda Baie, Jessica Bigi, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Catherine Flynn, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Brenda Harsham, Charles Waters, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Jan Godown Annino.

Tuesday, February 2
FOUND OBJECT: Fancy Produce
Poems by: Mary Lee Hahn, Jessica Bigi, Diane Mayr, Molly Hogan, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Margaret Simon, Jennifer Lewis, Charles Waters, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Jan Godown Annino.

Wednesday, February 3
Poems by: Jessica Bigi, Margaret Simon, Diane Mayr, Mary Lee Hahn, Molly Hogan, Linda Baie, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona.

Thursday, February 4
Poems by: Jessica Bigi, Diane Mayr, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Molly Hogan, Mary Lee Hahn, Linda Baie, Carol Varsalona, Catherine Flynn, Charles Waters, Donna Smith, Jan Godown Annino.

Friday, February 5 at Guest Blog, Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
Poems by: Matt Forrest Esenwine, Jessica Bigi, Diane Mayr, Molly Hogan, Margaret Simon, Carol Varsalona, Laura Shovan, Mary Lee Hahn, Linda Baie, Charles Waters, Donna Smith.

Saturday, February 6
FOUND OBJECT: Antique Dolls
Poems by: Jennifer Lewis, Diane Mayr, Linda Baie,  Molly Hogan, Catherine Flynn, Heidi Mordhorst, Laura Shovan, Carol Varsalona, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Mary Lee Hahn, Jessica Bigi, Margaret Simon, Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, Donna Smith, Jone Rush  MacCulloch.

Sunday, February 7
FOUND OBJECT: Blood Letting Knife
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Jessica Bigi, Laura Shovan, Catherine Flynn, Linda Baie, Molly Hogan, Carol Varsalona, Mary Lee Hahn, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Charles Waters, Donna Smith, Jone Rush MacCulloch.

Monday, February 8
FOUND OBJECT: Sculpture in the Woods
Poems by: Laura Shovan, Jessica Bigi, Heidi Mordhorst, Carol Varsalona, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, Donna Smith, Diane Mayr, Joanne R. Polner, Kay McGriff, Molly Hogan, Mary Lee Hahn, Catherine Flynn, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Charles Waters.

Tuesday, February 9
FOUND OBJECT: Tire Tracks in Snow
Poems by: Molly Hogan, Jessica Bigi, Linda Baie, Violet Nesdoly, Carol Varsalona, Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Laura Shovan, Diane Mayr, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Catherine Flynn, Kay McGiff, Charles Waters, Margaret Simon.

Wednesday, February 10 at Guest Blog, Reflections on the Teche
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, Jessica Bigi, Molly Hogan, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Buffy Silverman, Catherine Flynn, Linda Baie, Carol Varsalona, Violet Nesdoly, Heidi Mordhorst, Donna Smith, Mary Lee Hahn, Margaret Simon, Jone Rush MacCulloch.

Thursday, February 11
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Carol Varsalona, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Violet Nesdoly, Donna Smith, Jessica Bigi, Mary Lee Hahn, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Margaret Simon, Catherine Flynn, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Charles Waters.

Friday, February 12
FOUND OBJECT: Whipped Cream
Poems by: Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Jessica Bigi, Margaret Simon, Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Catherine Flynn, Linda Baie, Carol Varsalona,  Matt Forrest Esenwine, Laura Shovan, Heidi Mordhorst, Charles Waters.

Saturday, February 13
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Jessica Bigi, Margaret Simon, Linda Baie, Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Catherine Flynn, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Charles Waters.

Sunday, February 14
Poems by: Violet Nesdoly, Jessica Bigi, Laura Shovan, Carol Varsalona, Heidi Mordhorst, Diane Mayr, Linda Baie, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Charles Waters, Molly Hogan.

Monday, February 15 at Guest Blog, My Juicy Little Universe
Poems by: Jessica Bigi, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Catherine Flynn, Laura Shovan, Mary Lee Hahn, Heidi Mordhorst, Diane Mayr, Buffy Silverman, Carol Varsalona, Linda Baie, Donna Smith, Julieanne Harmatz, Jone Rush  MacCulloch, Charles Waters.

Tuesday, February 16
Poems by: Victoria Costa, Jessica Bigi, Laura Shovan, Carol Varsalona, Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Catherine Flynn, Diane Mayr, Linda Baie, Robyn Hood Black, Buffy Silverman, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Charles Waters.

Wednesday, February 17 at Guest Blog, Mainely Write
FOUND OBJECT: Hot  Pink Sandal
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Jessica Bigi, Carol Varsalona, Linda Baie, Catherine Flynn, Mary Lee Hahn, Buffy Silverman, Donna Smith, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Laura Shovan, Heidi Mordhorst, Margaret Simon, Charles Waters.

Thursday, February 18
FOUND OBJECT: “Typewriter Eraser, Scale X” Sculpture
Poems by: Jessica Bigi, Diane Mayr, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Mary Lee Hahn, Linda Baie, Catherine Flynn, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Charles Water, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Buffy Silverman.

Friday, February 19
Poems by: Mary Lee Hahn, Jessica Bigi, Donna Smith, Linda Baie, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, Carol Varsalona, Heather Meloche, Laura Shovan.

Saturday, February 20 at Guest Blog, Deowriter
FOUND OBJECT: Horse Figurine
Poems by: Donna Smith, Jessica Bigi, Margaret Simon, Linda Baie, Carol Varsalona, Charles Waters, Jone Rush MacCulloch.

Sunday, February 21
FOUND OBJECT: Antique Sewing Machine
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Linda Baie, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Jessica Bigi, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Charles Waters, Catherine Flynn.

Monday, February 22
FOUND OBJECT: Stick Insect
Poems by: Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Jessica Bigi, Charles Watesr, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Linda Baie, Diane Mayr.

Tuesday, February 23 at Guest Blog, BOOKSEED STUDIO
FOUND OBJECT: Library of Congress Cart
Poems by: Jan Godown Annino, Jessica Bigi, Donna Smith, Linda Baie, Laura Shovan, Carol Varsalona, Diane Mayr, Mary Lee Hahn, Charles Waters, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Heidi Mordhorst.

Wednesday, February 24
Poems by: Jessica Bigi, Diane Mayr, Heidi Mordhorst, Mary Lee Hahn, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Linda Baie, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Jone Rush MacCulloch.

Thursday, February 25
FOUND OBJECT: Pearl Harbor Keys
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Donna Smith, Jessica Bigi, Heidi Mordhorst, Charles Waters, Mary Lee Hahn,  Carol Varsalona, Molly Hogan, Linda Baie.

Friday, February 26 at Guest Blog, Michael Ratcliffe’s Poetry
Poems by: Michael Ratcliffe, Diane Mayr, Jessica Bigi, Heidi Mordhorst, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Mary Lee Hahn, Molly Hogan, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie.

Saturday, February 27
FOUND OBJECT: Architectural Ruins
Poems by: Jessica Bigi, Carol Varsalona, Diane Mayr, Molly Hogan, Linda Baie, Donna Smith, Buffy Silverman, Margaret Simon, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, Mary Lee Hahn.

Sunday, February 28 at Guest Blog, Bookseed Studio
Poems by: Carol Varsalona, Margaret Simon, Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, Donna Smith, Jessica Bigi.

Sunday, February 29
FOUND OBJECT: Carnival Truck
Poems by: Jessica Bigi, Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, Mary Lee Hahn, Linda Baie, Carol Varsalona, Molly Hogan, Donna Smith.

Before we close the project, I’d like to send a special thank you to all of my guest hosts: Matt Forrest Esenwine, Margaret Simon, Heidi Mordhorst, Donna Smith, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Jan Godown Annino, and Mike Ratcliffe. It was a lot of work to get the poems posted every day and I could not have done it (sanity intact) without all of you.

Since participation in this project has made such a jump, I will be looking for a different platform next year — one where we can all upload our own poems to community page that we share. Ideas? Suggestions? Leave a comment.

Before you know it, National Poetry Month will be here. I will not be doing a NPM project this year. Instead, I’ll be getting ready to launch my debut children’s novel!

Until then, enjoy the 2016 20th Anniversary National Poetry Month poster.


You can request a free poster from the Academy of American Poets.


2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 29

Dear friends, thank you for taking the leap and writing with me every day (or most days, or some days) during the month of February. I’m astounded by the number of people who participated this year. The poems everyone shared were a marvel. I loved seeing resonances and echoes between the poems every day, just as much as I enjoyed the outliers, the outside-the-box poems.

It is Leap Day, the 29th and last day of our month-long daily writing project.

This year’s theme has been FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are finding this project for the first time, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND OBJECTS at this post.

A few notes before we get to today’s poems:

I will continue adding poems to each day through Wednesday, March 2 only. If you’d like to catch up on a few days you missed, now is the time.

I will post a wrap-up of the project on Friday, March 4 for Poetry Friday. That post will include a working list of poets for each day of the project. It’s up to you whether you want to double check or not. Please get corrections to me no later than Monday, March 7.

I will post a list of the prizes this Friday, and winners early next week. I hope that covers everything. On to today…


Thanks to Diane Mayr of the blog Random Noodling for sending in a celebratory object for our last day. Whether you consider this a functional object or a toy (aren’t toys functional objects?), I hope you enjoy writing about it today.

Let’s start with Diane’s poem, since she found our source of inspiration for today.

I have to agree with Diane when she says, “I’m glad the month is over, but I’m also sorry that the challenge has ended.”

In the Kingdom of Strip Mall
By Diane Mayr

Two ponies rest in
a pick-up bed while
the giant, weighed down
by bags of trinkets, trades
out a tarnished royal
carriage for a tethered
helicopter. Not even
a bereft child dares
to question the actions
of this prince of a man.


Mary Lee Hahn left a lovely note for all of us. “It’s been a great month of writing, and for that, I thank you, Laura, for a fabulous challenge. To the other writers, I express my regrets that I didn’t have more time this month to be a better community member. I read all of your poems, but my praises and comments to you stayed inside my head and my heart.”


After a lifetime spent galloping in circles,
I’m finally going to put some actual distance beneath these hooves.

I’ve got this chance to move forward,
and I’ll enjoy the ride before the next place I park.

The blur of landscape as we roar down the road
is an art I admire, but have never been able to achieve.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016


I’m enjoying all of these end of project notes. Here is Linda Baie’s: “I’ve loved reading everyone’s poems, and they have always served as lovely inspiration. Thanks all for a beautiful month, plus a leap day, too!”

The Past We’ve Lost

That fifty cents took a long time saving-
penny by penny plopped in a jar.
Papa said I’d grow up to be a banker.
If I knew about money, I’d go far.

Now all I wanted was to ride the horses,
go round and round, pretend I was tough.
I did chores for Mama to earn the pennies:
swept, washed dishes till I had enough.

They pulled into the park last Saturday.
I had to eat breakfast, was ready to run.
Two shiny quarters appeared from Ma’s pocket.
She sent me with a smile, best wishes for fun.

Yep, those horses galloped like the wind.
Up and down, and round and round I went.
I was a whoopin’, hollerin’ cowboy,
appreciating the value of my fifty cents.

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved



Drawing by Jessica Bigi

Thanks to Jessica Bigi, not only for this acrostic poem, but for the drawing that goes with it.

By Jessica Bigi

C alligraphy horses marching

A B C –1 2 3

R acing rhymes across paper

O utlines of a story

U sing imagination

S entence horseshoes

E nchanting endings

L etters laughter learning


Charles Waters has a rhyming poem today. The rhymes themselves make me think of carnival music.

By Charles Waters

Candy colored poles,
riding up and down,
horses prancing,
people dancing
above ground …


carol vThe title of Carol Varsalona’s digital creation is perfect for today.


Donna Smith noticed the word “Library” on the building and used that in her poem.


I wanted to go get a book,
So I hopped upon my horse
The horse went round and round
But I got no closer, of course.

I stuck out my thumb for a bit
And hitched a ride on a truck
And then, my horse and I
Had much better book hunting luck

We made it to the library
Where I found something to read
Then jumped back on the truck
In the saddle of my white steed

We still went round and round
As the trucker took us back;
It’s hard to ride too far away
If the horse won’t leave its track.

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

And Molly Hogan left us a note and a poem today. Thanks for this gift of a poem, Molly!

“Today’s picture was perfect. The carnival may be packed away, but rich memories linger and we’re all winners for having come along on the ride. Thank you!”

Laura’s Carnival
By Molly Hogan

The carnival arrives
on a wintery breeze
A sensory extravaganza
with an open invitation,
“You can’t win
if you don’t play!”
So, dive on in
Ride on waves of words,
rhythm and rhyme,
alliteration and syncopation.
Visit the funhouse
where words twist and twine
into intriguing shapes
and mirrors reflect new images
into eternity.
Try your skill on the games.
Select words like a sharpshooter
Picking off targets.
With all your strength and wit,
set your pen onto paper
with a resounding crash.
“Ring the bell!
Ring the bell!”
Overindulge on tasty terms
and luscious prose.
Wipe the grease from your chin.
Take a spin on the carousel,
up and down,
hang on and enjoy the ride.

But all good things
must come to an end.
It’s time
to pack up the party
shut down the fun
No days left
in this carnival’s run.
Phrases litter the ground
and crumpled papers
rustle in the wind
“Step right up!
Everyone’s a winner!”


2011 Summer A 225Just for fun: Here’s a bonus found object to enjoy on your own. I won’t be sharing poems in a post, but feel free to leave them in the comments. I hope you will post them on your own blogs and websites. I’ll give you a little history on this object during the wrap-up.

Interested in what we’ve written so far? Here are links to our recent poems (I will update this list soon — apologies to those I missed):

Sunday, February 21
FOUND OBJECT: Antique Sewing Machine
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Linda Baie, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Jessica Bigi, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Charles Waters.

Note: You will find links to all of  the Week 1, 2, and 3 poems at this post.

Monday, February 22
FOUND OBJECT: Stick Insect
Poems by: Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona, Jessica Bigi, Charles Watesr, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Linda Baie, Diane Mayr.

Tuesday, February 23 at BOOKSEED STUDIO
FOUND OBJECT: Library of Congress Cart
Poems by: Jan Godown Annino, Jessica Bigi, Donna Smith, Linda Baie, Laura Shovan, Carol Varsalona, Diane Mayr, Mary Lee Hahn, Charles Waters, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Heidi Mordhorst.

Wednesday, February 24
Poems by: Jessica Bigi, Diane Mayr, Heidi Mordhorst, Mary Lee Hahn, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Linda Baie, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Donna Smith, Carol Varsalona.

Thursday, February 25
FOUND OBJECT: Pearl Harbor Keys

Friday, February 26 at Michael Ratcliffe’s Poetry

Saturday, February 27
FOUND OBJECT: Architectural Ruins

Sunday, February 28 at Bookseed Studio