2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 14 and Week 3 Prompts

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. We’ve made it half-way through our month of daily writing! My gift to you today isn’t hearts and flowers … it’s the Week 3 FOUND OBJECT prompts.

It’s Day 14 of our 2016 daily write-in. As you know, this year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. We have a new writing prompt for every day in February. The object of this project is to turn off our inner critics, play with a daily writing practice, and share the results in a community setting.

For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 2 FOUND OBJECTS at this post. At the end of the month, I’ll have prizes for the most frequent contributors. However, there’s no obligation to write every day. Drop in as often as you like.

Before we dive into something yummy, I have some Valentine’s Day news for you all. Middle grade author extraordinaire Lynda Mullaly Hunt is running her annual #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers Valentine’s giveaway. In a big show of love for teachers, Lynda and some MG author friends are giving away a HUGE package of middle grade books, including The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, to one lucky educator. Stop by Lynda’s post about the contest for more information.

I’m going to hold off on posting mid-point statistics, because we’ve got a lot to do today.

Now, let’s nosh on some found object poems.

dianeFOUND: Hot Potato

We’ve spent a little bit of time talking about the different categories of FOUND OBJECTS in this project. So far, our prompts have represented functional objects, art, toys, nature, and food. Today, we have an object from our last category: Signs.

This one was contributed by Diane Mayr. I’m sure it has some stories to tell.

Sonnets have long been used as expressions of love and romance. Violet Nesdoly’s Valentine’s Day poem is no exception.

Sonnet to a Potato
(with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee boiled, peel-mashed, deep fried as chips
in gravy drowned, sweet, baked, spiced hot with dips.
I laud thee for thy subterranean days,
thy secret growth all hidden from sun’s rays.
Fair starchy flesh thou’rt comfort to my lips.
Thy calories they fortify my hips.
Sweet staple nightshade fruit, I give thee praise
for skin of white or yellow, russet, red
for Yukon Gold, Kerr’s pink, purple or blue.
Thou giv’st thyself in pancakes, latkes, bread
skins, salads, hash browns, scallops, soup and stew.
Though sometimes named tater or spud instead
To thee, Potato, this sonnet is due!

~ Violet Nesdoly


Jessica Bigi is also using a form and elements of the list poem in her response today. Here is her acrostic poem:

Loaded Baked Potato
By Jessica Bigi

L icks
O lives
A vocados
D ill
E ndive
D elicious

B uttery broccoli beckons
A vocados
K ale cheesy chili
E ndive
D elicious

P otato
O nions
T omato
A luminum foil
T easpoon of salt
O ven baked smiles


Need a break from all that deliciousness?

When I looked at today’s FOUND OBJECT, I thought of the phrase “pomme de terre.” I studied French in middle and high school and remember thinking how lovely it was to call a plain old potato “apple of the earth.” But when I went to look up the phrase, I stumbled upon a ghost town: Pomme de Terre, Minnesota. Here’s the poem I’m working on:

Pomme de Terre, Minnesota
By Laura Shovan

All that remains
is the brick school house.
They laid the railroad
some distance to the north,
and picked another town
for county seat.
Even the potatoes
the town takes its name from
died on the vine.
What French travelers took
for pomme de terre
was wild turnip root.
Apple of the earth
this town was once.
Now its fruit
has gone to seed.


The Loaded PotatoCarol Varsalona has some comfort food digital compositions for us. You can find them at Beyond LiteracyLink.

Pierced by arrows of love
filled to the brim
a salty masterpiece-
comfort food
on a wintry day.

Here’s an important invitation from Carol: “I also would like to invite the bloggers of this community to the ISTELitChat next Sunday night at 9pm EST. I will be guest moderating the chat. The topic is the Power of Poetry. I know that this group of writers have powerful voices that should be heard via the chat. Happy Valentine’s Day!”


Here’s another poem that has me laughing today, from Heidi Mordhorst, who is hosting our project tomorrow.

Loaded Language

“Does this potato come with any toppings?”
“Lady, that’s a loaded question.”

“Whoa, that baked potato must be loaded!
Look at his white stretch limo!”

“Get a load of Baked Potato–
she thinks she’s so fancy in her cream-colored coat,
butter pat hat and her chives-and-cheese
statement necklace.”

“Baked Potato’s been down at Benny’s Bar & Grill all night.”
“Yep, he’ll be heading home loaded again…”

© Heidi Mordhorst 2016


The title of Diane Mayr’s poem says it all.

Valentine’s Day Cheap Date
By Diane Mayr

Cards come stuffed with hugs and kisses,
but on Valentine’s Day my fondest wish is
for a fine baked potato loaded, please,
with butter, bacon, and a half-pound of cheese.


Linda Baie says, “I guess it’s the times that made me go the way I did, a little funny, a little sad.”

Society Woe – Mistaken Identity

They heard some words about
a potato loaded.
The lady at the back screamed out, so loud.
He said ‘twas from the kiosk at the corner,”
but all he felt was turmoil from the crowd.

Again, he mentioned “loaded” to the people.
This time, they froze, raised hands high in the air.
He laughed and shouted, “Wait, you’re all misguided;
this is a tater, not a shooter. Don’t despair.

His over-loaded, steaming baked potato
cheered those who had felt foolish and mistaken.
“Whew!” they answered, then asked about the butter,
then sour cream, the shredded cheese and bacon.

He answered this by pulling out his package
The odor swirled, and everyone cried “MORE”!
People need to listen well to others,
especially to a stranger at the door.

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved


My grandmother used to tell stories about baking potatoes in the campfire. Jone MacCulloch’s poem took me back to those stories.

Potato Bake

around the campfire
in the embers
foil wrapped
like aliens

we play
hot potato
when ready to eat

© 2016 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved


Mary Lee Hahn writes, “I ignored the potato and went with LOADED, in a trio of haiku snapshots.”


moisture-dark clouds
snagged in winter-bare branches —
freezing drizzle

bedding, towels, jeans,
shirts, socks, underwear, sweaters —
laundry marathon

all that was not said
hangs suspended by a thread —
proceed with caution

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016



In a way, I feel like all of our poems were odes today. Here is Donna Smith’s version.

Ode to a Loaded Potato
By Donna Smith

Oh, potato,
humble one,
Our relationship
Is over-done;
I cannot have
Another taste
If I want to still
Reduce my waist.
And so baked friend
I say to you
A fond farewell –
So long, adieu.
Maybe someday,
When I am able,
With rekindled love
And reset table
I will indulge with
Sour cream,
Crisp bacon bits
And cheesy stream.
But for now
My love must wait;
I flirt with celery
On my plate.


One more ode! This one is from Charles Waters of the blog Poetry Time.

By Charles Waters

Oh you vitamin stuffed nutrient.
Be still my heart you
starchy, mineral,
power packed carbohydrate.
Whether mashed, baked, roasted,
drizzled in olive oil,
sprinkled with sea salt,
seasoned with garlic, basil,
dill weed, oregano and more …
My tummy is thankful
for your nourishment.


Molly Hogan says, “As soon as I saw this photo, the words to the counting rhyme ‘One potato, two potato…’ popped into my head and wouldn’t release their grip.”

One potato
Two potato
Three potato

Dig a fork
into the skin
let steam escape
each pore

Drop a pat
of butter on
or broccoli

Load it up
with sour cream
melted cheese
and more

Shovel in
a steaming bite
A flavor to

One potato
Two potato
Three potato

by Molly Hogan


As promised, instead of candy hearts, I’m leaving you with the Week 3 FOUND OBJECTS to savor. We will have three guest hosts this week. Thank you to Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe (tomorrow — Day 15), Donna Smith at Mainely Write (Day 17), and Jone Rush MacCulloch at DeoWriter (Day 20) for helping out.

Ready, writers?


DAY 15 PROMPT contributed by Heidi Mordhorst (February 15 at MY JUICY LITTLE UNIVERSE)

Street Art in St. Louis

DAY 16 PROMPT contributed by Carol Varsalona (February 16)


DAY 17 PROMPT contributed by Donna Smith (February 17 at MAINELY WRITE)


DAY 18 PROMPT contributed by Jan Godown Annino (February 18)

deer skull

DAY 19 PROMPT contributed by Mike Ratcliffe (February 19)


DAY 20 PROMPT contributed by Jone Rush MacCulloch (February 20 at DEOWRITER)


DAY 21 PROMPT contributed by Matt Forrest Esenwine (February 21)

Leave your writing in the blog comments (feel free to post a poem or response in the comments of any project-related post). Be sure to note which day/prompt your poem or prose short goes with so I can post it on the correct day. Send in your writing ANY TIME — early, late. As long as I receive it by February 29, it will be posted along with the object of the day.

Perfect attendance is not a requirement of this project. Write and share your work as often as you like, even if it’s only once. The goal is to practice and share, not to polish, and certainly not to aim for perfection.

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, Charles Waters, Donna Smith.

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, Charles Waters.

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, Margaret Simon.

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, 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
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.