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Welcome back to my month-long #WaterPoemProject, Poetry Friday friends.

It’s Day 19. We are almost at the three week mark!

If you’re new to this project, please read the Introduction and FAQ. Or you can watch this video of me describing how to participate. It’s on the YouTube channel Authors Everywhere.

For #WaterPoemProject regulars who are new to Poetry Friday, each week a kidlit blogger hosts poetry-related links and posts from around the kidlitosphere. This week’s host is Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, who is welcoming us — virtually — to the Poem Farm today. (Thanks, Amy!) Still confused? Renée LaTulippe has a great post about our weekly poetry party.

Let’s ask verse novelist and children’s book author Rachel Toalson to create a watery poetry prompt for us today.

Rachel poetry prompt is: Wishing Well

Image Credit: Abigail Low, Unsplash

Long ago (and in many parts of the world, still, today), water was a scarce and precious source of life. People in cultures across time believed that water had sacred properties, perhaps even hosted spirits and gods. And so wishing wells, places where ordinary people could speak their wishes and hope for the granting of that wish, became important symbols of water’s value to the world. Sometimes people traded armor or weapons for their wishes. Today people trade pennies or other coins.

Your poetry challenge is to write a list poem about all the wishes you would toss into a wishing well or pool. A list poem is simply a list that, in this case, can begin with “I wish…” or you can write “I wish” once and list all your wishes. Have fun. Use your imagination. And remember: No wish is too silly to record.

My example:

I wish…

I could swing at the park

I could see my mom and stepdad, sister, brother, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents

I could enjoy a trip to the frozen yogurt shop

Strawberries grew in my backyard

Chocolate was as good for you as vegetables

I had more time to read

I could write an unforgettable book

I didn’t have to do laundry

We knew all the mysterious of the ocean (or not)

Unicorns were real

I had perfect vision

I could stop thinking about my worries

I could find my favorite purple pen

Flowers could talk

I could go to Disney World

It would stop raining for a few days

All good dreams came true

We’d learn how to love each other better

No one went to bed hungry

The earth could heal itself

I could save the world

Image Credit: R. L. Toalson

***

I wish for you all to write a Wishing Well List poem before the end of the day tomorrow, Friday, April 10, 2020.

If you’re doing the #WaterPoemProject with a group, be sure to share or post your rough draft, read other people’s poems, and cheer for their efforts. Or leave your poem here, in the comments.

Rachel Toalson is an award-winning poet, essayist, and novelist who is the author
of multiple books, including This is How You Know, Life: a definition of terms, and
the three-book Crash Test Parents series, published in 2017. In addition to poetry
and essays, she has written multiple novels for early and middle grade readers
under the pen names R.L. Toalson and L.R. Patton. In addition, Rachel contributes poetry and essays to multiple print and online publications around the world. Born in Houston, Texas, Rachel lives in San Antonio with her husband and six sons. Find her online at http://www.racheltoalson.com/.

***

#WaterPoemProject Series Posts:

Project Introduction
FAQ
Prompt 1: Irene Latham, The Language of Water
Prompt 2: Elizabeth Steinglass, What Would a Raindrop Say?
Prompt 3: Linda Mitchell, Found Haiku
Prompt 4: Shari Green, Fogbow Fibonacci
Prompt 5: Margaret Simon, The Taste of Water
Prompt 6: Heather Meloche, The Shape of a Wave
Prompt 7: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, A Water Memory
Prompt 8: Laura Shovan, Rainy Day Opposites
Prompt 9: Kathryn Apel, Silly Solage
Prompt 10: Buffy Silverman, A Watery Home
Prompt 11: Kara Laughlin, Frozen Fog
Prompt 12: Debbie Levy, Jump into a Limerick
Prompt 13: Joy McCullough, What Are Water Bears?
Prompt 14: Linda Baie, Frozen Water Skinny
Prompt 15: Chris Baron, The Hidden World of Water
Prompt 16: Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Water Wordplay
Prompt 17: Susan Tan, The Sound of Water
Prompt 18: Mike Grosso, Waterplay!
Prompt 19: R. L. Toalson, Wishing Well
Prompt 20: Margarita Engle, Ode to the Shore
Prompt 21: Faye McCray, Poem in a Bubble
Prompt 22: Meg Eden, Surprising Connections

Please support the #WaterPoemProject authors by buying their books from your favorite independent bookstore.

17 responses to “#WaterPoemProject: Day 19, R. L. Toalson”

  1. Kay Jernigan McGriff says:

    I love this prompt and your response. There are so many things I wish right now, but I think topmost is I wish we as a people choose to cherish each other and create a better world for all.

  2. Mary Lee says:

    Such a fun project! I wish I had the time and energy to write my own poems AND try my hand at all the other projects!

  3. I like thinking about how wishes can be big or small, serious or fun. Thank you for this series about such an important resource, Laura. xx

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Amy. I love how Rachel interpreted the water theme to include a wishing well, because each poet’s wish list will be unique.

  4. Linda Baie says:

    Sometimes wishes change from day to day. It’s almost my older granddaughter’s birthday and I wish I could be with her to celebrate. They live close, but we have decided not to get together. I know we’ll Facetime, but hugs will be missing. Thanks for a great idea. Wishing wells are special all over the world!

  5. Sally Murphy says:

    I wish everyone could read that poem. It sums up so many simple things we can’t do right now (swing at the park, see people), some funny ones (unicorns!) and some serious ones (writing an unforgettable book) in a wonderful mix. Thank you.

    I also wish I could write a response. Will put my thinking cap on.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I loved the list poem. I’ve been dabbling more seriously into poetry writing lately. I’m going to write one for this prompt.

  7. Laura, the prompt is one that carries me into a different state of thought-a dreamlike state of floating ideas settling on a bed of wonders. Let me play around with this. Thank you for your project and I like others wish for the gift of time.

  8. This is the perfect prompt and mentor poem for this crazy time. I share all of Rachel’s wishes. I could go either way on the unicorns, but otherwise, yes to everything, especially these:
    “All good dreams came true

    We’d learn how to love each other better

    No one went to bed hungry

    The earth could heal itself

    I could save the world”
    Thank you for sharing your passion for poetry so tirelessly, Laura!

  9. […] Barnes, Water Wordplay Prompt 17: Susan Tan, The Sound of Water Prompt 18: Mike Grosso, Waterplay! Prompt 19: R. L. Toalson, Wishing Well Prompt 20: Margarita Engle, Ode to the Shore Prompt 21: Faye McCray, Poem in a Bubble Prompt 22: […]

  10. […] Barnes, Water Wordplay Prompt 17: Susan Tan, The Sound of Water Prompt 18: Mike Grosso, Waterplay! Prompt 19: R. L. Toalson, Wishing Well Prompt 20: Margarita Engle, Ode to the Shore Prompt 21: Faye McCray, Poem in a Bubble Prompt 22: […]

  11. […] Barnes, Water Wordplay Prompt 17: Susan Tan, The Sound of Water Prompt 18: Mike Grosso, Waterplay! Prompt 19: R. L. Toalson, Wishing Well Prompt 20: Margarita Engle, Ode to the Shore Prompt 21: Faye McCray, Poem in a Bubble Prompt 22: […]

  12. […] Barnes, Water Wordplay Prompt 17: Susan Tan, The Sound of Water Prompt 18: Mike Grosso, Waterplay! Prompt 19: R. L. Toalson, Wishing Well Prompt 20: Margarita Engle, Ode to the Shore Prompt 21: Faye McCray, Poem in a Bubble Prompt 22: […]

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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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