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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

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
crisscrossing
a mere tracery of snow
I sigh,
resigned,
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.”

Tracks
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
crisscross
the soft, garden mud.

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

Straight, simple
lines
obtuse, acute, right angles

father would be
proud
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

Photographic-memories
Focalizes-snowflakes
Zagging-pathways
Artic-blizzards
African zebras
Snow-white sand
Rover tracks
Moon dust
Dreams of
Walking on
The Moon
History remembered
Roger-Roger
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?

Tracks

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.

Hugs:
unsolicited
payback.

©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

lines
squiggles
curly-ques
zentangle
wooshes
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.

INDECISION
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!

THE WALK

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
FOUND OBJECT: SCULPTURE IN THE WOODS
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.

22 responses to “2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 9”

  1. I think I totally missed the note somewhere that these were tire tracks in the snow. I’ll claim lack of experience since this is a scene I never see in South Louisiana.

    I am excited about hosting tomorrow. You can leave your poems here in the comments and I’ll grab them up for the post. If you want to email me directly, that’s OK, too.

    Happy writing!

    • Jessica Bigi says:

      what is your e-mail

    • I’m ready to unveil my Day 10 offering, Margaret and Laura. I took some liberties: remixed Margaret’s photo to accompany my words, fantasized what the triad image represented, played with color tones, and found some lessons after the writing in a stilled room. The photo was so serene that I slipped into a reflective stance. See http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2016/02/a-hushed-quiet.html.

      Shortcut to the poem:

      As I sit by the window,
      the morning sun
      drifts on in,
      singing the praises
      of yet another day.
      A zen-like quality emerges.
      Rays bouncing from
      winter white blankets
      bring outdoors in.
      A hushed quiet
      envelops the room.
      In a corner,
      upon a mat of bamboo,
      cut-open pods of grace
      in triad formation
      adorn a desk
      of muted colors.
      Indoor life merges
      with outdoor sights
      in a seasonal burst,
      reminding me that
      new life is waiting
      in an early spring.

      ©Carol Varsalona, 2016

    • Laura Shovan says:

      That’s funny, Margaret! I hadn’t even thought that this was a regional thing, but so it is.

  2. Violet N. says:

    Day 10

    I’ve seen these in dried flower arrangements. But I didn’t know about the folk culture of phobia around them.

    This is a found poem for a found object—an erasure poem from an article I found about a fear of bumps and holes called trypophobia. (The article is “What is Trypophobia? And is it real?” on the Mental Floss site.)

    Trypophobia

    skin crawls, heart flutters
    shoulders tighten, I shiver
    crazy revulsion to holes, bumps
    images of holes, parasites
    bot flies, worms, ravages of disease
    pregnant suriname toad
    lotus seed head
    give people trypophobic
    heebie jeebies
    soap bubbles trigger
    nightmares

    ~ Violet Nesdoly

  3. I don’t read others’ poems first! I find I’m too influenced by what I read, or whether someone else has gone where I’m inclined to go already.

    Day 10
    anthropology

    once thought to be
    an elaborately carved musical
    instrument used
    only on the wedding day
    of a woman born under
    the eleventh moon

    it is now understood to be
    a deliberately culled muscular
    implement used
    only on the winding way
    of a man burned under
    the oppressive soon

    context is everything

  4. Day 9

    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.

  5. Molly Hogan says:

    What will I do when Feb. is gone and I can no longer start my morning (and end my day) by enjoying the incredible craft, creativity, and variety of this group of writers?

  6. Here’s a kids’ poem about the same Day 10 objects.

    Making Sense

    First it’s something to see–
    almost black among the greens and yellows,
    scalloped around the edges like
    crayon clouds or flowers,
    clouds full of black hailstones–
    or it’s a leopard-skin jellyfish.

    Next it’s something to hold–
    not weighty like a microphone
    or a metal shower head,
    but light and hollow, not plastic
    and not wood, part smooth
    and part ridged and rumpled.

    Now it’s something to hear–
    take it by the curving handle oh!
    is that a stem? and shake, shake
    shake–those blackish beads or
    beans or oh! they’re seeds!
    they make a marvelous rattling!

    ~Heidi Mordhorst 2016
    all rights reserved

  7. Donna Smith says:

    Well, I didn’t do any research on these beforehand, but now reading some posts, I may have to do that. Seems there’s more than meets the eye!

    PODS

    Purposefully popping
    Out of open overcoat
    Dropping down dirtward
    Seeds snuggling, silently sprout.

    ©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

    *PS to Laura – when I try to post, and hover over the green Post Comment box, it always disappears, as if the settings are to go all white when hovered over. I can still click there and it posts, but it is strange.

  8. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    Day 10

    when your plate is full —
    seed ideas lined up in rows —
    give thanks for fulsome seasons

    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

    http://www.maryleehahn.com/2016/02/found-object-poem-project_10.html

  9. Here is my poem for Day 10. I’m glad I wrote before reading all the other contributions. I’m amazed at how different each is even while sharing things in common.

    INDECISION

    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.

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

    (c) Charles Waters 2016

  11. […] 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 McGriff, Charles Waters. […]

  12. […] 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. […]

  13. […] 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. […]

  14. […] 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. […]

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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