2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 25

It’s Day 25 of our month-long daily writing project.

This year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. 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 4 FOUND OBJECTS at this post.

How is everyone feeling now that there are only five days of found object prompts left (counting today)? I’m still trying to catch up on a few days I missed last week. This may be the first year that I don’t complete my own challenge!

Hawaii 088FOUND: KEYS

As usual, I haven’t revealed any details or background information about the Day 25 found object until now.

This photograph was taken on our 2009 trip to Hawaii. I “found” the keys while we toured a submarine museum at the Pearl Harbor Memorial site. If I had shared that fact, would your responses to the keys have changed?

I was interested in the fact that the keys are numbered up to 144. In addition to being the square of 12, 144 happens to be the 12th number in the Fibonacci sequence. That inspired me to write a Fib poem today. The title can be read as part of the poem.

By Laura Shovan

on board,
each one tagged,
each numbered, labeled: PANTRY, TOOLS.
How many hands lost at sea long ago used these keys?


The keys reminded Donna Smith of a favorite literary character, Lewis Carroll’s Alice.

Donna says, “This poem is way longer than I’d had visions of… it just kept going and growing… a little like Alice…”

Key to Happiness

Alice to herself:
“Which do you pick, Alice
Which key will you choose?
If you pick the wrong one
You could stand to lose…”

“There’s really no wrong choice,”
She heard Cheshire Cat say,
“So pick any one;
Don’t think, don’t delay.”

Alice to herself:
“Be cautious, my dear,
Use careful detection;
One key could be lucky,
So take care in selection.”

“Please, go on,” said Cheshire,
“And make one your choice;
One key’s for a clock,
One’s for a Rolls Royce.”

Alice to herself:
“If you pick the wrong key
Don’t pout at your lot;
Perhaps it will still be
A pretty good spot.”

“Which one?” asked the Cat,
The big or the little?
The left or the right?
Or one in the middle?”

Alice to herself:
“One key may unlock
The best kind of thing,
Or maybe the worst
Is what it will bring.”

“There’s really no wrong choice,”
Cheshire Cat said once more,
“So pick any one, dear;
Just not 74.”

Alice to herself:
“Well, here goes nothing,
I’ll just take the dive
And say I want key number
One hundred five.”

“Oh, very good choice
You’ve done very well,
For this is the key
For something so swell!”

Alice to herself:
“Something that’s swell
Sounds pretty great!”
And with that CC handed her
Keys to some skates.

Then Alice went swiftly
Off down the street
Rejoicing that she’d
Picked a key that was sweet.

It wasn’t a Rolls Royce
Or other grand treasure
But a smallish-foot-sized

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved


A short poem from Jessica Bigi today. This one pairs nicely with Donna’s Alice theme.

By Jessica Bigi

Keys inside of keys
Unlocking doors


I see the repeating keys showing up in the repetition Heidi Mordhorst uses in her poem today.

The action of attraction

There are screws that hold us tight
there are hooks on which we hang
there are locks that shut us in
there are keys that shoot our bolts

whichever way the waves rise
whichever way the wind blows
whichever way the ship rolls
whichever way the floor jolts
we’re shot, we’re shut, we’re hooked, we’re screwed
our brassy hearts hang hard and cold
waiting for a touch, a hand
waiting for the warmth of skin

and when it comes we leap to it!
we buzz with loosing, waking need
to staterooms, quarters, lockers, deck —
and now the crossing can begin.

©Heidi Mordhorst 2016


Charles Waters is using the key not as a physical object, but as a metaphorical idea.

The Key
By Charles Waters

The key to unlocking
my heart is easy.
Be nice to others,
be nice to me.


I remember thinking that Carol Varsalona’s nest poem yesterday might have been written about today’s keys. Today, I’m thinking that Mary Lee Hahn’s keys poem has elements from  yesterday’s Phoebe nest.

The Key to Today’s Room

Listen for the first wren
who sings in the dark
at the end
of an endless

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016

Blogging alongside at: http://www.maryleehahn.com/2016/02/found-object-poem-project_25.html


Speaking of Carol Varsalona, she created a great key-shaped Wordle to go with today’s found object. Check it out here: http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2016/02/keys-to-learning.html.

Keys unlock doors to learning.
Teachers hold the key.
Students respond
in cultures
of trust and engagement
where passion
mixes with purpose
to evolve.

©CVarsalona, 2016


It’s great to see Molly Hogan joining us again. Glad you’re back, Molly!

A Constellation of Keys
By Molly Hogan

Common key cards
have no romance,
slipping into a pocket
without a wrinkle,
silent and disposable.

Carved metal keys
have character
and reassuring heft.
They clink happily
in a pocket,
socializing with spare change,
or if you please,
they sit in hand,
guaranteeing imminent access
or denying the same.

Patiently waiting on hooks,
a constellation of keys
has purpose,
power and potential,
silently offering up
an array of possibilities.


I like the way that a different setting in Diane Mayr’s poem changes my ideas about the keys.

Key Rack at My-Big-Heart Hotel

You asked for the key
but, typically, you
neglected to provide
your room number.

You take for granted
I know where you’ve
decided to settle in.
Not so.

This is no tiny inn.
I have singles,
the standard rooms,
and a Royal Suite.

Where would I put you?
I’d say utility closet
between the elevator
and the ice machine.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved


The more responses I read today, the more I realize that keys have deep connotations for many of us. A key is a symbolic object. Here is Linda Baie’s poem.

More Than Door Openers

Success shortcuts
Heart pathways
Kingdom streets
Happiness highways
Castle trails
Failure dead ends
Victory alleys

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved



DAY 26 FOUND OBJECT PROMPT (February 26 at Michael Ratcliffe’s Poetry)

Reminder: Tomorrow, Poetry Friday, we will be at Michael Ratcliffe’s new blog for Day 26.

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

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.