Thursday, May 28, 2020

Poetry Friday - Can We Change?

            Poetry Friday is hosted by Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading. She's sharing about a challenge given a few years ago by Gene Luen Yang he called "Reading Without Walls" and some beautiful poems by a poet you may or may not know: Marilyn Chin.
           The latest tragedy, the terrible and unnecessary death of George Floyd has happened and my mind swerves to a different sorrow. Mary Lee's sharing of this challenge is one all of us should pay attention to.

            It's been about ten weeks since I've 'mostly' been at home. Things are changing; days have changed. I'm planning to spend more time with the grandgirls, guiding them through a kind of 'summer camp' of learning, in lieu of all the past camps they usually have attended in the past. And, the bookstore is opening, albeit on a limited and restricted schedule. Being flexible feels like the key to good days now. April's poetry challenges and the #PoemsofPresence challenge from Margaret Simon at Today's Little Ditty, then on twitter has been a boost for everyday poetry, plus reading and simply enjoying other's beautiful and thoughtful words. 

          Last week for Poetry Friday, April Halprin Wayland proposed a new form here at Teaching Authors. We could choose a word, perhaps a favorite, and write from all the words that can be found within it. We can do that ourselves or, wonderful find, we can go to a site called Word Maker and let it do the work. I did try myself, but then succumbed to the invitation of this site.

          I chose the word, serendipity, long a favorite. I love that things happen with great connections yet without understanding how, but they do!

          Thus, a poem emerged in response to where we are in this time we could never have imagined. I am hopeful that our new and changing world will help those in most need. 

We Are Intrepid

Now that we  are riding fewer riptides,
though some types
try to be trendy,
try to pretend
a different present,
follow the spin from the president.
I am only inspired
by truth-tellers who take pride
in helping us understand how to reset,
how to gather good resources for proper nests,
protecting within changing tides ­–
the needy,
our peers,
even welcome those who deny.
We see truth with our eyes.
We feel it ripen.
Now, we have a spirit
like our elders,
ready to create a new destiny.

Linda Baie © 



  1. I am impressed with your poem from April's challenge and your choice of word, serendipity was a fertile starting point. Your lines:
    "try to pretend
    a different present,
    follow the spin from the president." are so poignantly true. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and words, Linda. :)

  2. Wow! What a poem from Serendipity. I saw that challenge -- and meant to take it. Then, life whooshed in this week. I have so enjoyed writing with you for #poemsofpresence. It's the best pick-me-up at the end of each day, sharing a little poem. Forgive me for taking a break from following the president's spin. I try to keep up and then need breaks or, I'll go crazy with the anger his words and actions bring me.

  3. Linda, I love the turn with the last five lines. Indeed, we are learning to see truth with our eyes, since we cannot rely on words at all. Yes, truth has to ripen, perhaps even bear fruit, before we can claim the spirit that leads us to a new future. I guess the challenge is for each of us to figure out how to encourage the ripening of truth. I think that's one of the jobs of poets!

  4. Serendipity is one of my favorite words too. What a fun challenge -- you fashioned a timely poem that spoke to the truths we must see and acknowledge. I still bemoan others who remain willfully blind . . .

  5. Linda,
    Thank you for this poem that comes at a pivotal point in New York's opening. With optimism, I claim your words:
    we have a spirit
    like our elders,
    ready to create a new destiny.
    Peace to you, Linda. I hope your summer is filled with many sweet moments with the grandgirls.

  6. WOW. What a ton of words came from serendipity! Thanks for sharing the link to the Word Maker; that makes things go much faster, doesn't it? Lovely lines: Now, we have a spirit
    like our elders,
    ready to create a new destiny.

    Here's to that!

  7. You chose a rich seed-word, and what grew from it is simply gorgeous...and marvelously TRUE. Two thumbs up.

  8. Thanks to everyone. I've been busy with bookstore work today, little time to respond, but this was a good challenge to help say what I thought important. Now with the new and terrible news, time to write and do more!

  9. Wow, Linda! I love this poem, how you ended each line with a word from the word serendipity. Did you find that the word choices led your poem? I like these kinds of prompts because they surprise me, often revealing something I needed to say. I'm so glad you will be doing Gran-camp with your girls. My daughters are already planning what Gran-camp will look like for their boys. I'm so gloriously tired.

    1. With babies around, I imagine you are tired! Usually the girls would just visit & we'd think up something fun, but this time, the goal is more specific, including all the areas but within their chosen topic. As for the poem, I knew I wanted to write about our time right now, trying to open, yet still not receiving any help from the federal government, though our own governor is doing a great job. I started finding the words, then used the Word Finder, and started! Thanks, Margaret. Have a great weekend!

  10. Wow! What a challenge. And what a great word you chose.
    The line "We see the truth with our eyes" really stuck with me becuase it is so hard to know what the truth is unless it is from our own eyes. Beautiful poem. I've book marked that challenge so I can go back and try it myself!

  11. Am so impressed with what you did with this challenge and the way you made it speak so well about these times.

  12. Bravo, Linda! What an amazing poem you have crafted, perfect for this time of uncertainty and unrest. How have we gotten to this point? I love that you end on a positive note, looking forward to "a new destiny." Serendipity is a favorite word of mine, too, and this form is right up my alley. I can't wait to try it. Thank you for this inspiring post!

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  14. Linda! I love love LOVE what you did with your In One Word poem! And unlike me, you chose a beautiful word as a starting point and then tackled what was foremost on your mind...these truth-twisted times we live in. Truth shall overcome. I have to believe this. Sending love!

  15. Thanks again each of you! More bookstore work has filled up my Saturday, too, but I love that you enjoyed the poem. Now you need to try this out, too. Well, not April; she's already done it!

  16. WOW! This is fabulous, Linda! <--- I wrote that before I looked up at the other comments and saw that I'm joining a chorus of WOWs. You deserve every one of them. Just brilliant. It sounds like you have a special summer planned. :)

  17. What an inspiring poem–You packed so much in from serendipity and tied it in so sensitively to our times. I hope we can reach a balance in this new "destiny" that will serve the underserved or cared for. I'm sure your grandgirls are looking forward to spending time with you. Thanks Linda.

  18. You picked a great word to start from, Linda! I don't blame you for getting a little help from Word Maker...figuring out how to use the words is challenge enough! Good job!

  19. Thanks much, Michelle, Michelle, and Tabatha. I do continue to have hope, but the poem, written before these recents tragic days, feels unfinished. Now it is time for revision, for the poem and for our country!

  20. I've been having trouble with posting comments. Anyway, I love your poem, your call to action and I wondered how may words Serendipity afforded you to choose from. I'm glad you are getting back to the things and people you love


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