2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 13

It’s Day 13 of our 2016 daily write-in. This year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. We have a new writing prompt for every day in February.

For those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 2 FOUND OBJECT prompts at this post.

We’re almost at the mid-way point! The project has grown in both participants and in poems produced this year. Tomorrow, along with the Week 3 prompts, I will share some early project statistics with you.

Important reminder: I can only take contributions left in the comments. Unless you have an art element that must be emailed, please leave your poems here, marked with the day, so I know which object you are writing in response to. I’m thrilled that so many people are participating this year, but I’m unable to keep track of poems sent in by email. Thanks for understanding!

baieFOUND: Sculpture? Skelton?

When Linda Baie of the blog Teacher Dance sent in this object, I knew I had to include it.

As you know by now, I don’t ask for information on the objects. Sometimes the contributor identifies what’s in the picture. This was not one of those times.

I have very little idea of what this object might be. I’m excited to hear what everyone makes of it!

It makes me happy when I hear that the Found Object of the day took someone down an unexpected path. Diane Mayr wrote in, “The object looked to me to be a seed pod, and when I was researching seed pods, I found the Jimson weed.  Wikipedia had an excerpt from The History and Present State of Virginia (1705) in its article on Jimson weed.  I ‘borrowed’ it for this poem.”

Psychedelic Jamestown, 1676: A Found Poem
By Diane Mayr

An early plant
gather’d very young
for a boil’d salad
by some of the soldiers
ate plentifully of it.

The effect of which
was a very pleasant comedy.
They turned natural fools.

One would blow up
a feather in the air.
Another would dart
straws at it with much fury.

And another, stark naked,
was sitting up in a corner
like a monkey, grinning.

A fourth would fondly kiss
and paw his companions
with a countenance
more antic than any
in a Dutch droll.

A thousand such simple
tricks they played
and after eleven days
returned themselves again
not remembering any
thing that had passed.


I also guessed at what the object might be and ended up leaning on information from an article in my poem. My response is 75% found poem. The last four lines are my own addition.

Found Poem
Pufferfish: National Geographic Kids
By Laura Shovan

These clumsy
fill their elastic
with water,
blow them
selves up-
several times
normal size.
Imagine seeing
a trick like that
right before
your hungry eyes.


Jessica Bigi’s poem, along with adorable art, made me laugh out loud. I didn’t “see” this when I looked at our Found Object, but of course it could be…


DAY 13 art and poem by Jessica Bigi.

all year
She sewed
that day
she saw


Another found poem?! We were really searching for information on today’s object.
Margaret Simon writes, “I know from my research that the picture is not a porcupine, but it sure looks like one.  I played with a found poem today.  I took the text of a Wonderopolis article, copied it into Word, crossed out word, and rewrote a final draft to revise.  I enjoyed the process.  Again, thanks for this invitation to play with poetry every day.”
porcupinePorcupine Found Poem for Two Voices
Love animals?
Give them a hug.
A porcupine?
What’s the big deal?
Sharp quills!
The prickliest!
Quill pigs Quill pigs
Like arrows,
quills detach.
Tiny needles
to pierce to pierce
an important lesson
from a porcupine–
Don’t touch! Don’t touch!
by Margaret Simon
Found from Wonderopolis “Can Porcupines Shoot Their Quills?”
And here is our object contributor, Linda Baie, with her response. Such fun wordplay in this poem.

Close Encounters – Advice?

And if you know a puffer fish
at times, they make a ball.
They float away from danger,
quite the smartest act of all.

No one can imagine hidden
in the amazing moon-like puff,
is a prickle that more than tickles
and you’ll soon be feeling rough.

Don’t take a bite or lickle it.
It’ll stop your taste of any dish.
And you certainly cannot tickle it,
the pretty prickle puffer fish.

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved


More play with form! Mary Lee Hahn has what is sometimes called a “counting out” rhyme, a form that hearkens back to schoolyard games.

Jumprope Rhyme




never want to
meet you
or find you
in my dish

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016


Donna Smith says, “Just started listing all the words to go with spiny – no clue what it was, but that was okay. And since my maiden name is on the prickly, spiny list… I wrote that out, too!” What a clever, creative response to our found object!

A Pointed Remark

Ah, looks like a spiny problem –
A prickly situation!
I bristled when I heard the barbs
With spinous insinuation.

A piercingly sharp comment –
Painful thorn in my side;
It’s best to dodge the scratches;
Avoid the burrs of the snide.

@Donna J Thistle Smith, all rights reserved


Charles Waters’ poem makes a nice pairing with Donna’s response for today.

By Charles Waters

Green with envy,
your needle point prickliness
hides the ugliness you
feel inside yourself.


Please visit Carol Varsalona’s blog Beyond LiteracyLink for a full post about her process in drafting today’s poem.

Prickly Pal
looking at me,
what noticings
do I see?
-wooden carving
-round hole on side
-sharpened quills
-big open eyed
Will you join me
for a feast
at my table,
you woodland beast?
But wait, you are not
a friendly guest
your sharpened edges
would prick my chest.
©CVarsalona, 2016


Catherine Flynn took two of our guesses and combined them into one poem.

“Defense Mechanism”
By Catherine Flynn

Instead of blending
into the background, melting
out of sight, pufferfish shout


Ballooning, tripling
in size, drawing
their swords, warning


Porcupine of the sea.


We had some funny poems today. From the first line of Jone MacCulloch’s poem, I was smiling along with our object.

Oh hedgie
you prickly little rascal
I want to hold you
in my hands
those poky spikes
keep me away

Who made you?
Why do you smile?
Were you carve from one piece?
What secrets do you keep?

© 2016 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved




See you tomorrow for Day 14 and the Week 3 FOUND OBJECTS.

Interested in what we’ve written so far? Here are links to this week’s poems:

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.

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

Monday, February 8
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.

Tuesday, February 9
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.

Wednesday, February 10 at 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.

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.

Friday, February 12
Poems by: Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Jessica Bigi, Margaret Simon, Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Linda Baie, Carol Varsalona,  Matt Forrest Esenwine, Laura Shovan, Heidi Mordhorst.