Friday, May 27, 2022

Poetry Friday: String, Thread, Rope, Chain

Photo taken at the Renwick Gallery, Washington D.C.
Exhibit:  This Present Moment, Crafting a Better World

May's challenge was to write a poem using the words string, thread, rope and/or chain.  I struggled with this one. For starters, I couldn't make our monthly ZOOM session, and found out how much I need that push to get going.  Frankly,  a LOT of  us missed this month's session---too much going on.  And then I cast about for any excuse not to begin: Time was running short. I should work on my novel. No one else was going to make it either, right? 

But...then Tanita said she was posting on Friday. I couldn't let her post alone. So... I just let the words take me where they took me.  Today's post is by grace.  

String, Thread, Rope, Chain

I think of elephants, 
knotted trunk and tail
a string of calves and mothers, 
no one lost

I think of bobbins,
wound tight with promise
of seams and hems and darts
no undone thread

I think of water,
shining in the shadowed well,
roped to light by gentle bucket,
no splintered days

I think of paper,
turned on small fingers,
looped, linked, chained to
no finite end

I think of all
that binds, yet earth
again is broken to hold
those we hold
no more

        ----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved) 

My sister poets can be found here:


Poetry Friday is hosted today by Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

Friday, April 29, 2022

Poetry Friday: Taylor Mali is...

April's challenge for Poetry Month was to write "in the style of" Taylor Mali.  If you're only vaguely familiar with this poet (as I was) here's a great link to several of his spoken word poems.  They are sweeping, circular explorations, sturdy with extended metaphor, and pointedly opinionated. During our ZOOM session, I tried to explain why Mali's long, re-iterative poems hit a nerve for me, and why such poems are a joy to dive into, but even so, I had to agree that WRITING in that style was going to be a big ask. 

So I went back and re-engaged with that list of his poems. One, called Labeling Keys, sang to me. His father's secret language for coding which key belonged to which lock is a beautiful way to talk about poetry---and it reminded my that any form can be a a way to unlock what you want to say. So, despite my love of his expansive poetry, my "in the style of Taylor Mali" poem is concise. 

Haiku concise.  Yeah.  That was a surprise. 

 I did try to imitate his flair for unusual metaphor, his humor, his repetition, and his penchant for mild swearing. If you feel like it, drop me  a "Taylor Mali is...." haiku  in the comments. 

Getting There

Taylor Mali is
the road unpaved; throwing bones;
the long confession

Taylor Mali is
what you wish you’d said right then—
tart as blackberries

Taylor Mali is
the backbeat; what’s up your sleeve;
your heart exploding

Taylor Mali is
waking up past your bus stop;
a backpack of bees

Taylor Mali is 
an unfolding map of words;
not your damn haiku

----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved) 

My Poetry Sisters' "in the style of" Taylor Mali poems are here:


Poetry Friday is hosted today by  Jone Rush MacCulloch.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Poetry Friday: It's Greek Japanese to Me (Ekphrastic Dodoitsu)

Creating together--it's our 2022 poetry theme. For March, we're exploring the Japanese form of dodoitsu, which is a four line poem that's syllable-based, using a 7-7-7-5 pattern. Thematically, the form often talks of love or work, using a comic twist to leaven its commentary. 

To make this challenge more communal, we each donated to a pool of off-beat photos, and wrote in response to as many of them as we wished.  (That's the ekphrastic part-- a Greek word describing "a vivid, often dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined.") 

I wrote two dodoitsu, one mentioning work, and both about love. 

(thanks to Mary Lee Hahn for the image)

(thanks to Liz Garton Scanlon for the image)

More wonderfully wry and vivid dodoitsu here: 


Poetry Friday is hosted today by The Poem Farm.