2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 9

It’s Day 9 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 1 FOUND OBJECTS at this post.

Sometimes, in the middle of this month of daily writing, I hit the doldrums — a stretch of days when I don’t have much to say, don’t feel very happy with what I’ve written. It’s good practice for me to share these poems anyway, to put the focus on effort instead of outcome. Are you there yet?

I put aside the computer earlier than usual yesterday, so I added several poems to our Day 8 collection this afternoon. I hope you’ll have a chance to go back and read them all.

PLEASE NOTE: This year, a few friendly bloggers have volunteered to host a day or two. Tomorrow’s post, which is DAY 10, will be at Margaret Simon’s blog, Reflections on the Teche. Leave your Day 10 responses here, in the comments, as usual. I will get your writing to Margaret.

hahnFOUND: Tire Tracks in Snow

Mary Lee Hahn contributed today’s found object. It’s tempting to put this image in the Art category. The snow qualifies it as Nature, but the tire tracks are a sort of Functional Object. What do you think?

Threat of snow is enough to cancel schools here in Maryland, and that’s exactly what happened today. It’s been snowing all day, but the ground is so warm that roads are merely wet. Still, no school. Not so where Molly Hogan lives.

Winter Sorrow
by  Molly Hogan

Looking at the treadmarks
a mere tracery of snow
I sigh,
No snow day.


Today’s prompt also has Diane Mayr thinking about the weather.

Winter Weather
By Diane Mayr

“…bread, milk, and eggs are popular panic-buys everywhere from Knoxville to New England.” Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, January 22, 2016

Why is it common
sense rarely
survives a forecast
of winter weather?

Hold onto it, and
your sense of humor.
Your sense of wonder,
too. The only sense

worth leaving out
in the cold, is your
sense of entitlement.
Give that one the boot.


It was Donna Smith’s comment on yesterday’s post that sent me off on my poetic adventure today. Donna — thanks for comparing the tracks to “a fresh piece of paper staring at me.”

By Laura Shovan

The lines on my paper
have all gone astray.
They zig, then they zag.
They invite me to play.
The lines where I  write
zip diagonally
with no pattern or form,
so  my verse must be free.
The lines you are reading
fell loose in a wave.
I prodded and poked,
but they just won’t behave.


Like me, Jone Rush MacCulloch used the object as a jumping off point to think about the process of writing.

Wheelbarrow tracks
the soft, garden mud.

Having rained
three nights ago
the dirt
is like modeling clay.

Straight, simple
obtuse, acute, right angles

father would be
geometry in the soil

Wheelbarrow tracks
parallel lines
in which I compose a ditty.

By Jone Rush MacCulloch


Jessica Bigi and I had a little conversation about one of her lines. African zebras in a poem about tracks in the snow? Yes! Notice how the “zagging,” “blizzards,” and “zebras” sound in a row. Wonderful.

Walking on the Moon
By Jessica Bigi

African zebras
Snow-white sand
Rover tracks
Moon dust
Dreams of
Walking on
The Moon
History remembered
okay for liftoff


After the stillness and waiting of our Day 8 Forest Face prompt, I’m enjoying all of the zippy vrooming movement in our poems today. Here is Linda Baie’s haiku.

snowy night vrooming
motorcycle scrapbook page –
tracks at sunrise

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved


Let’s welcome Poetry Friday blogger Violet Nesdoly to our project. Great to see you here, Violet! This is another poem where the crossing tracks inspired some wordplay.

Reading the Prints
By Violet Nesdoly

The animals that passed by here
were very focused and in gear
their noses sharp, following prey
perhaps a mate, or the day’s pay.
And the exhaust-filled, oily scent
suggests excessive speed their bent.
The younger of this species, though
lie lazy angels in the snow
their tracks characterized by curve
of laughing play and show-off verve.

Violet Nesdoly


Carol Varsalona is cross-posting here and at Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life, “as part of a series of thoughts on moving into new directions.” Check out Carol’s full post here: http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2016/02/moving-out-from-maze.html. For me, this poem ties together yesterday’s sculpture in the woods and today’s snow tracks.

A webbed maze of stripes
flash before me,
boldly jutting into infinite space.
Laser-like rays shoot forth
in powerful strokes
like high-rise steel
reaching unknown heights.
They catch the sparkles
glistening in the sun
with a hint of iridescent fabric
shining light upon the path.

And as if a force is guiding me,
I move out from the maze
with a tribe of dreamers
ready to face another day
of clearing old, worn paths
to make way for the new.
With vigor and verve,
I move into the light.

©Carol Varsalona, 2016


What a wonderful portrait poem Mary Lee Hahn created from today’s found object?


Under each of his
uncut fingernails is a
half-moon of black.

No fewer than twelve
jangling keychains
hang from his backpack.

He returns from the library
joy on his face
hugging his new stack.

After twenty-two weeks
his brave facade
is cracked.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Mary Lee is blogging alongside our projet.  You can read her full post here: http://www.maryleehahn.com/2016/02/found-object-poem-project-tracks.html


Here’s a note from Donna Smith, who blogs at Mainely Write: “This just reminded me of Maine in winter…parking lots are often littered with cars because no one can see the lines. It isn’t that they can’t figure out where or how to park – it’s more like ‘Yea, I can park wherever I want to!’” More fun wordplay here!

What Lines?

Tire track,
Don’t look back,
Keep the forward roll!
East or west,
There’s no best;
Parking takes its toll.
Northward track,
Southern tack,
Snow rules are so droll.
Covered line?
That’s just fine;
Drive where’er you will!
Winter fools
Discard rules;
Driving takes no skill.

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved


Do you know about zentangles? They appear in Margaret Simon’s poem today.

Inside My Sketchbook
By Margaret Simon

splots and dots
intersections of highways
microscopic leaves
the tiniest speck
my tears


Late arrivals:

Catherine Flynn tried something new today:

“These criss-crossing tire tracks reminded me of a hashtag, so I wrote my poem as a tweet:”

#Snowpocalypse A blizzard is coming! We might get three feet! Buy gallons of milk! Stock up on bread! Final accumulation? A measly two flakes.

By Catherine Flynn


The repetition in Kay’s poem reflects the pattern of the tracks.

By Kay McGriff

Swoosh, swoosh
Cars crawl
down the snowy street
leaving tracks that mark
their indecision.
Swoosh, swoosh.
Pull in, back out,
turn around.
Do I stay? Do I go?
Swoosh, swoosh.


What an unexpected image Charles Waters found in the tire tracks!


Crunching my boots
through another snowstorm,
each footprint a temporary tattoo
against the frosted prairie.

(c) Charles Waters 2016

SimonSee you at Margaret’s blog tomorrow for Day 10.

Reminder: Leave your Day 10 responses in the comments of this post for Margaret Simon, who is hosting tomorrow’s FOUND OBJECT poems. Her blog is Reflections on the Teche.

If you’d like to read 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, Carols Varsalona, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, Donna Smith, Diane Mayr, Joanne R. Polner, Kay McGriff, Molly Hogan, Mary Lee Hahn, Catherine Flynn, Jone Rush MacCulloch.