Welcome to Poetry Friday!

I can’t help but note that it’s May 1, the day after the last day of National Poetry Month. Is everyone exhausted? I know I am. I think I lost steam after about two weeks. To those of you who wrote a poem or shared a video or did anything else every day of the month, congratulations! It’s an impressive feat.

Though honestly, at this point, I’m impressed by everything everyone is doing and not doing. This certainly feels like a time for all of us to manage as we can and be understanding of ourselves and others.

Last Saturday I was supposed to appear at Scrawl Books in Reston, Virginia to celebrate what should have been Independent Bookstore Day. The day has been rescheduled for August, but the store asked those of us who were to attend if we’d make videos. This isn’t something I have any experience doing, but I gave it a try. I looked all over the house for a reasonable spot and recorded myself reading seven poems and describing two activities for kids to do at home. One is to color blank jerseys like those above (feel free to drag the image to your desktop). This is something my kids did for hours and hours. The other is to write a mask poem. I turned over the recording to my oldest who snapped his fingers and turned it into a video. Here you go, my first ever video offered with generous permission from Boyds Mills & Kane. Their guidelines allow me to share it on open platforms for two weeks and on closed platforms through the end of June. They would be thrilled to know (marketing@bmkbooks.com) if and how educators are using it. (You can also find a link to a Soccerverse Discussion and Activity Guide on my home page.)



What, if anything, are you doing for the first time while staying at home?

I do hope you all are well in every sense of the word during this awful time. We are fine and safe and together but devastated by the losses all around us.

Thank goodness for family, poetry, and friends.




My participation in Laura Shovan’s Water Poem Project has drifted a bit, but I’m still checking in now and then.

Margarita Engle invited us to write an ode about water. With everything happening it feels like a perfect time to write a poem of appreciation. I wrote this one about my mother’s backyard swimming pool. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever swim there again but I can certainly remember.

Meg Eden invited us to make a list of favorite words and compare one of them to water. I wasn’t sure if she meant favorite words or concepts or both. Cat is one of my favorite things and purr is one of my favorite words. I worked both of them into this poem. I really enjoyed this challenge. I will definitely do it again.


Water’s Ways

water pools in puddles
on the floor or maybe on a chair,

water weaves in and out
of your feet

silent, water
gives you no clue
as to its whereabouts

water purrs,
curled up in a wave
or a pot

mewing water entices you
to come and play

oh, but water roars
when it wants more

in many ways water
is a cat

Elizabeth Steinglass


Happy Poetry Friday to you all. The round-up is at Nix the comfort zone.


Wishing you all my best,


I wrote this for Laura’s Shovan’s Water Poem Project. On Day 15 Chris Baron challenged us to look beneath the surface of water. Apparently that was truly challenging for me. As you can see I saw a lot more above than below.

I was even more off topic on Day 9 with Kat Appel’s challenge to write a solage. A solage is a humorous three line poem. The first two lines rhyme. The third line is one word that adds a twist. My twist was leaving out the water!



You say this poem has to rhyme?
Breaking rules is my favorite crime.
Free verse.

Elizabeth Steinglass


Today I also have a poem at Tabatha Yeatt’s blog The Opposite of Indifference. She is running a series for National Poetry Month, poems with the theme What I Wish You Knew. I am feeing incredibly grateful to Tabatha for thinking of this and organizing it and to the writers for sharing their experiences.

I hope you’re all hanging in there. I had some definite mood swings this week, but we are healthy and safe and together. I hope you and yours are well.

Amy has the roundup at The Poem Farm. See you there!







This form is called a skinny. A skinny has 11 lines, the first and last can be any length; they must use the same words, but the words can be in a different order. Lines 2-10 are one word each, lines 2, 6 and 10 are the same word. I find this form challenging to say the least. My goal was to get the words in lines 1 and 11 in a different order and to have slightly different meanings. Sheesh!

I wrote this for Linda Baie’s prompt on Day 14 on Laura Shovan’s Water Poem Project.

Happy National Poetry Month!




I am happy to add the next line of this year’s progressive poem. Irene Latham started this NPM tradition in 2012. This year Margaret Simon graciously agreed to keep it going. Donna started us off by offering two possible first lines. Irene and Jone have continued this pattern, so I have done it as well. I can’t help but think we poets have all had the experience of revising until we find ourselves going back and forth between two options, so we are now  joyfully taking advantage of the opportunity to let someone else make the final choice. Buffy, that’s you.


Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes

and a banjo passed down from my gram.   (Option A)

a notebook and my best felt-tip pen.   (Option B) 


I hope you all have a good day today,








Happy Poetry Friday and National Poetry Month! This year I don’t have a particular plan other than to write and post every day. For the last 11 days I’ve been participating in Laura Shovan’s Water Poem Project. I love daily prompts because I can get started without having to wonder what to write about. I end up writing poems I never would have written otherwise. I wrote the concrete or shape poem above in response to Heather Meloche’s prompt. I watched a video of ocean waves and this “poured” out. I had hoped to insert the words on an image, but I don’t have the technical know-how, so I did this instead. I think I like it even better.

Amy VanDerwater’s prompt was to write a water memory poem, and I’m so very glad she did, because I remembered this moment with my sister.



Who else
would run outside
in the drenching rain?
Who else would agree
to pour buckets
over her head,
lather her hair in shampoo
on the driveway?
Who else
would sing and dance
in soaking t-shirts and jeans?
Who else
would say yes
to my crazy ideas?
Remember those few moments
when we were the beautiful, carefree girls
on TV?

Elizabeth Steinglass


I hope you are finding ways to celebrate poetry and community this month, while staying well, physically and emotionally.

Heidi has the round up today at my juicy little universe. Tomorrow I’ll be adding the next line of this year’s progressive poem. Jone MacCulloch has the line (or is that lines?) for today.

Wishing you all my best,



Happy National Poetry Month! I don’t have a particular project this year, but I’m going to try to post something every day. I’ve been trying to keep up with Laura Shovan’s #WaterPoemProject, so I may be posting a lot of water poems. Today’s prompt by Buffy Silverman was to write a mask poem from the point of view of an animal about their watery home. I may also give other people’s projects and prompts a try. We’ll see.

I hope you are well.


When will it be time to plant again?

When will it be time to plant again?
When will the risk of frost pass
so seeds can safely shed their coats?
When will the earth be welcoming?

Today the sun is bright.
We all run out to feel its warmth.
Is it time? we wonder, yearning
to see the slender sprouts

elbow the dark aside,
raise their tiny green flags,
and stake their claim.

Elizabeth Steinglass


For  most plants I think the answer to the question is not yet. One exception is apparently lettuce which prefers cooler weather. So that is what we planted last Thursday. I’ve never done this before, but I simply couldn’t wait. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I hope you are all hanging in there and that you and yours are well and safe. I am feeling especially appreciative to have poetry which grounds me and connects me to all of you.

Happy Poetry Friday. Tabatha has the round up at The Opposite of Indifference.



Hello Friends,

I hope you are all finding ways to stay well and find comfort these days. Like everyone I am needing art and community, something in abundance on Poetry Friday and at Spark! For those of you who are unfamiliar Spark is an inspirational art exchange. Visual artists inspire writers and writers inspire visual artists. When I participated a couple of weeks ago. I was matched with Elisabeth Mazzilli, a textile artist who hooks rugs. This immediately made me smile because when I was a kid, my mom went through a serious hooked rug phase. I still have a few of them. Above is the piece Elisabeth sent me. Here is the poem, I wrote in response.


night crossing
fireflies signaling
the moon


I know my details are off. Those are dragonflies, not fireflies and that’s the sun, not the moon, but that’s okay. The inspiration piece is simply meant to inspire a creative response. For some reason, Elisabeth’s piece absolutely compelled me to write haiku. I tried a few approaches to my response piece, and they were all haiku.


Here is the poem I sent Elisabeth for her inspiration.


I collect worries

I collect worries
the way others collect stamps.
I paste them to my skull
without concern for resale value.
At night when others sleep,
I page through them,
remembering where I got them,
how much I paid,
what else was happening at the time.
I savor them,
the way others hold onto places
they will never go.


Here is the piece she made in response over a mere 10 days.



Isn’t it incredible? Look there’s me and my quill and all my worries. I especially love the ribbons of worries and all the little knots.


That’s it for me this week. I look forward to reading your posts and to seeing you here more often.

Sending all good wishes,