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,



Welcome to this week’s Poetry Friday party!

(If you’re wondering what Poetry Friday is and how it works, check out this post by Renee LaTulippe.)

This poem came to me one day after years of mulling about the importance of this little word, especially in contrast to its twin or. It’s wonderful to be able to say I’d like vanilla and chocolate, but it’s even better to be able to say I’m sad and I’m happy, I like this and I don’t, I want to go and I don’t want to go. I think and recognizes how messy and complicated we humans are in a way that or does not.

Please leave your link with Mr. Linky. I would of course love you to comment as well, and if you’re so inclined, to share your favorite word.

Have a lovely day and a lovely weekend. See you next week at Buffy’s Blog.


Night Fright

I am a ghost.
I live in the park.
I skulk all day.
I slip out after dark.

I drift along
unseen, alone,
haunting souls
of flesh and bone.

I skim the streets
the whole, long night.
I never fly higher—
I’d die of fright!


Happy Poetry Friday! I’m a little late, I know, but I only just finished writing. Thanks once again to Michelle Heidenrich Barnes for getting me to put fingers to keyboard and to Rebecca Herzog for asking us to consider what monsters are afraid of. Thanks too to Buffy Silverman who said let’s go post our poems.





Happy Poetry Friday!

I don’t have a poem to share today, but I did want to announce that I have posted a Soccerverse: Poems about Soccer Discussion and Activity Guide. The 11-page guide is free to download and includes a broad range of discussion questions about the poems. Most are organized around particular poems and focus on concepts such as line length, repetition, and metaphor. The guide also includes three writing activities (with pre-writing handouts) linked to specific mentor texts. Finally, because no poem is finished without revision, there are questions to consider when revising.

I hope that teachers, parents, and kids will find the guide useful. Please feel free to share the news that the guide is on my website and free to all.

Thank you to everyone who read the guide and gave me feedback on it!

Cheriee has the Poetry Friday roundup at her house today. See you there!




Artist: Marilyn Ackerman


Last week I shared the poem I wrote in response to Marilyn Ackerman’s inspiration piece (as part of our participation in Spark!). As her inspiration piece, I sent Marilyn the poem below, which I wrote at the end of the summer, as our middle child headed off to college.


On the eve of your departure

You leave your socks around the house
like snake skins, abandoned
under the table, by the couch, wherever
you happened to be when you kicked
them off. I was never able to break you
of the habit, no matter how many times
I asked. You’re leaving. I’m sitting
with my sadness, trying not to fold it up
and stuff it in a drawer. I wonder
who will go with me to the Lord and Taylor
to make fun of the clothes? Who
will go with me when I get my hair cut? Who
will go with me to the movies no one else
wants to see? It’s days before the answer
comes to me. These moments will curl
into memories, scattered around the house
like socks.

© Elizabeth Steinglass 2019


Marilyn’s response is posted above. I love the tone of the collage, the colors, texture, and movement. It feels somber, hopeful, and complicated to me. It feels a little like a room opening up, and there seems to be a cube leaving the wall. Is that a heart to the left? There’s both stillness and action. I find it fascinating that Marilyn included the bit of music at the bottom because our second child often used to sing and play music, and the house is missing that now.


I am sure I will do Spark again. I hope some of you will join me.

Happy Poetry Friday!