Poetry Friday – A Sacred Seven and Poetry Opps

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned contributor to Poetry Friday, Welcome!

We are a community of poets, writers, teachers, librarians, students, mothers, fathers, grandparents, lovers of literature, friends. We live around the country and around the world. Some of us know one another in person; others are connected via technology.

Every Friday (and Thursdays for some!) we share poetry. Please join us! If you have poetry to share, you can add your blog link at the bottom of this post. Leave a comment and then enjoy the wealth and richness of poetry offered this week at each of the links included.

That was the beautiful introduction Patricia Franz wrote a few weeks ago. I liked it so much, I asked her if I could use it today since I’m hosting. She graciously said yes, so here we are. WELCOME!

This week I learned a new form: the sacred seven. (I wonder if the name may have been inspired by a line in “Brahma” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

A Sacred Seven Poem
by Denise Krebs
inspired by Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese

My place in this world is given home and rest
as Mary Oliver declares my soft body in our
world, my body, myself, is safe here. No matter
that I may at times feel regret for the sad
consolation prize I won in being less than
on target in love and longing. Mighty hope
is found in this family of wild geese and me.

I learned about this form, called the sacred seven, in the Look Deeper Contest at the Florida State Poets Association that Jan shared last week. – In the sacred seven, “Starting at the left margin, take 7 lines from a poem you admire (not your own) and use the first letter in each line, in order, to begin each line in your poem about why you admire the other poem. Give credit to the other author.” I used the first letters of the last seven lines of “Wild Geese” to start each line of my poem. It’s funny how such a small constraint in a form (a prescribed beginning letter) can lead me places I would never have gone on my own: “regret for the sad / consolation prize” Hmmm…

Speaking of poetry contests, I looked up the California State Poetry Society contests and learned they have an annual and monthly contests. You do have two more weeks to submit a poem to the annual contest should you be interested. I wonder what contests are going on with poetry societies in your state/country?

This weekend I’m so busy with poetry and family times. The Poetry Marathon is on Saturday–Wish me luck! (Who’s joining me?)

The June OpenWrite begins on Saturday too. Do join us! Learn more here. There will be prompts and a writing community there to support you each day for the next five days. Margaret Simon will be hosting us on Sunday.

Finally, please leave your link in a comment below. I will round them up the old-fashioned way. Thanks!

Jama’s shares two Barbara Crooker poems and signing off for a summer blog break.

Karen Edmisten, in her powerful relationship poetry series, shares a lovely poem by January Gill O’Neil about being in the company of women.

Jane shares a very catchy and fun song that she and her child both learned in preschool. Have you heard it?

Marcie won an award! She is also spending the summer with Naomi Shihab Nye.

Tabatha shares an intriguing poem, “Death of an Irishwoman” by Michael Hartnett, as well as a sweet reminder that we don’t have to be good at things to do them.

Michelle has two poems, one is about flowers for fathers we hold dear and another about monarchs and their beloved milkweed. Complete with beautiful artwork.

Linda B. has some great stories about the fathers in her life, past and present. She’s such a good storyteller.

Kat got out her good camera, and she caught some magical small moments. She’s added sweet poems, just for us.

Sally and Matilda wrote a poem together. What a joyous time when one remembers to stop and listen. Be sure to watch Sally’s beautiful road trip video.

Amy had quite the experience this week, an experience she captured in a poem to remember. Also so many delicious third grade color poems!

Irene stepped back into early spring with a joyful quilt poem. And don’t miss this excellent reading list.

Matt has a wealth here, among them, a catalog of reading lists, a poem and song to encourage you to try something, and an opportunity for you to claim by the end of August if you want him to come for a classroom visit.

Patricia and time for dancing at the fourth wedding, preparation of the fifth wedding, and a new sugar maple seedling.

Jone snapped a gorgeous photo in a garden that takes me into our whole universe of connections.

Ramona shares a delightful children’s book full of all sorts of ways to start a poem.

Karen Eastland wrote a sweet limerick about her dastardly (though darling) garden visitors.

Carol L. had an early Father’s Day visit with her dad and a winner in a drawing for a copy of Picture Perfect Poetry, along with a sweet dragonfly haiku.

Carol V. has a lovely book review of Bless The Earth and a call to have Earth Day every day!

Poetry Friday – Musical Musings

Today is Poetry Friday and Tracey is our delightful host who has cooked up a thought-provoking post about inspiration.

My husband is the best playlist creator, and we’ve had a winner for this road trip. Today, as he drove, I pondered some of the sweet tunes I was listening to. I was feeling contemplative about my children, the mistakes I’ve made along the way in this life, and my lifelong commitment to love and hope. I chose lines from two of the songs and wrote this double golden shovel about my thoughts.

I’ll not give up, for I’ll pray and
carry hope for us–Hope of sunny yellow.
You will continue to draw your lines
home whatever that is like, and
tonight may finally be when we all tire.
We will still make our tentative marks.
Are there enough remaining days of sun:
Young– and old-kissed?
So, to be true in our skin
let’s no longer hide ourselves and
set impossible ideals to handle
the pain and fears, the prison bars,
world-wide eternal collisions and
on and on and on where
fire once burned our resolve and I
We came there and firmly stood.
Can there still be hope where fear was?
Burn the clouds to where
Brighter days will surprise us. More I
Than. More you than. Starting was
the culmination of longing, to
sun shining and all of us free to be.

Striking lines:
Lyric from “We Are Young” by Fun: “I’ll carry you home tonight. We are young, so let’s set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.”
Lyric from “Once Upon Another Time” by Sara Bareilles: “And yellow lines and tire marks, sun-kissed skin and handle bars, and where I stood was where I was to be.”

Now, if you’d like, please  join me for a few moments on this musical road trip. The first song is by Sara Bareilles, “Once Upon Another Time.” I find it so hauntingly beautiful to listen to, and then to watch her sing it at the Kennedy Center, surrounded by all the gentle and mostly quiet musicians is mesmerizing.

The second song was “We are Young” by Fun. (Have you seen this fun scene from the movie Home Team? Harlan and his team mates sing “We are Young” to the girl he likes.)

Poetry Friday – On the Road Poems

Today is Poetry Friday. Janice Scully at Salt City Verse is hosting us today, patiently waiting for her flowers, as well as some gems from Picture Perfect Poetry. 

Newberry Volcanic National Monument

This week I’ve been on the road with my husband, my younger daughter, and her husband. We are seeing so many wonders and beauties of nature.

There was at least one bit of nature that wasn’t so beautiful, though. The western tent caterpillar. We had spent the afternoon hiking around the Newberry Volcanic National Monument, where the caterpillars of the western tent moth were ubiquitous. They begin to wrap themselves up in community tents when they first hatch into a 1/8 inch caterpillar, their first of seven moltings. We learned more details about the moth from the ranger–that they are a nuisance more than a destroyer, moths live their whole adult life in four days, they have many attackers–parasites and predators–and most larvae don’t make it to adulthood. We were grossed out by seeing them along the trails. We even continued to see them as we drove down the highways.
So far on our trip, when we get back to the car after seeing something amazing, I have been asking my family to give me words to describe what we saw. When we got into the car this time, I asked them to give me words–but not about the beauty of the glaciers and volcanic mountains in the distance or the otherworldly, gigantic lava beds we were hiking through. Instead, I asked for words to describe the western tent moth larva that had just been revolting us. Here’s what they said:

*Western Tent Moth Larva* • driven • brevity of life • deadlines • developing • independent • target on its back • prolific • stanky • ambitious • instinctual • clustered • crowded • squiggly • squirmy • restless • busy • unsettling • unsettled • paranoid • pre-metamorphosis • web of busyness • time is short • colorful

That night I suggested, “I have a bedtime activity. Let’s each write a haiku about the tent moth caterpillar.” I sent them the words and photos in our WhatsApp group. They are such good sports; everyone wrote their own haiku and shared it:
Katie: Unsettling cluster Brevity of life, thank God Stanky little worms Thomas: You know what I think What is more stank than one worm A million worms Keith: Brevity of life Restless merging into prolific Life is too driven Denise: Clustered web of larvae Instinctual ambition Time is short, slow down

Then the next morning, I finished up the collection of Jack Gilbert poems I’ve been reading. I came to a poem called, “The Sixth Meditation: Faces of God.” Jack Gilbert speaks of all of creation being made in the image of God–“rocks and galaxies, mathematics and rust” “slugs and grubs, nematodes…” And “Tent caterpillars, high in the trees, swarm out from their offensive shrouds to eat the green luxury bare.” What imagery!

I definitely prefer Genesis 1:27’s version, though, that says it’s humans who have been made in the image of God, not all those other stanky creatures.

"tent caterpillars, high in the trees, swarm out from their offensive shrouds to eat the green luxury bare" By Jack Gilbert

Poetry Friday – Clunker Exchange Poem “Unchained”

It’s Poetry Friday, and Patricia at Reverie is hosting. She has a sweet poem about one of the sugar pine seedlings she planted in the forest. Thank you, Patricia, for your lovely invitation to new and old Poetry Friday people.  

Here is my clunker poem, thanks to Linda. As soon as I saw her list of clunkers, this line jumped out at me: “only sure of light pushing her brush.” I thought of this painting my mom made when I was in college. It has always held mysteries and some answers for me about my mom and dad’s relationship. She did tell me the dark square represented my dad’s death. (He died when I was seven.)


She was unsure
before her partner
of the double chain broke
She didn’t put the darkness
into many words
only into paint
only into life and love
only sure of light pushing her brush
ever upwards

And here’s a golden shovel with the favorite part of Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day” poem I shared on Jone’s blog last week:

I am here today and I
don’t know when I will go.
Know this: I am
exactly in the time and place of
what is graced in
a full and favorable life. A
prayer is what I give, a prayer
is an upward awe-gaze.
I am here today to rest and
do nothing better than to
know, really know, God is
how I have peace
to live the days left, to
pay homage in rapt

Sibling poems, one line, more or less (continued).

The Poetry Marathon is coming up! Write a poem an hour for 12 or 24 hours. It starts Saturday morning, June 15. Sign up here.

Finally, have you heard of Jessica Jacobs and Peter Metres? They each published a book of poetry with almost the same cover. When they learned of the other’s book cover, they started a conversation and realized they and their books had a lot more in common than just their covers. I’ve ordered both of their books after reading and watching their conversations.

Poetry Friday – Trinet

It’s Poetry Friday and Jone MacCulloch is hosting today. She has an interview with Carol Labuzzetta about the new anthology Picture Perfect Poetry, published this week. Thank you for hosting, Jone. 

I remember when I learned that pigs are not able to look up into the sky. Did you know that little fact?

I learned it last year in a trinet by Alan j Wright. I was amused by his poem, and the form was new for me. I often like to try new forms, but I didn’t. Then just last week Alan revisited the trinet, so I was reminded to give it a try. The trinet is 7 lines, with word counts of 2-2-6-6-2-2-2. (Thank you, Alan for the inspiration!)


windswept wonders

wistful terms

welcome to the whistling expressions stirred

haunting the lexicon mining for words

whimsy inferred

sometimes absurd

communication heard

I thought the shape of the first one looked like an angel, so I had to try a second one.


speaks warnings

wears wings

wondering who started idea they’re singing

guiding, pointing the way to heaven

angel guest

visiting Earth

commissioned above

Image by b0red from Pixabay

A third one, looking much less angelic, was for this week’s “This Photo Wants to be a Poem” at Margaret’s Reflections on the Teche.


Encircling umbra

Brilliance ablaze

Magical dance of moon and sun

New celestial feats eclipse our understanding

Oohing ahhing

Awestruck, unparalleled

Eyewitnesses ensorcelled

Image by Dave Davidson from Pixabay


Poetry Friday – A Date

Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is over at Irene Latham’s Live Your Poem blog. She has today’s line of the Progressive Poem, pockets full of poems, prayers and more. Thank you for hosting Irene.

Today’s #Verselove prompt is to write about a date night. Do join in if you want to draft a poem with us.

A Date

By Kevin McFadden

The first seated takes the chance he’ll be
stood up. She’s getting on with the hope she may
get off. One and one make one
in this riddle. Or, more closely, comedy routine:
first, impressions; second, observations.

I wrote a sevenling about a strange date I had with my boyfriend.

We went to that park in Long Beach
It has a beautiful walking path around a lake
I thought a break-up was imminent
We walked and then sat looking at the water
And you asked me to marry you
I was surprised and didn’t answer
Today, we both can’t remember the name of the park

Seven years later, I finally said yes.


Poetry Friday – Ode to the Western Fence Lizard

It’s Poetry Friday and Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is the host. She has written a heart-wrenching pantoum about her sweet Cooper.

Thank you to the Poetry Sisters for including us in their March challenge to write a pantoum about an animal. This past week, I spent a few days in the San Diego area, where I met the ubiquitous Western Fence Lizard.

Western Fence Lizard on the trail at Torrey Pines

Ode to the Western Fence Lizard

King of Torrey Pines, Western Fence Lizard
Your deep sunny pushups warm your cold blood
Darting and dashing safely, young Wizard
Horny tight scales keep you dry in flashfloods

Your deep sunny pushups warm your cold blood
Those climbing toes! Longer than your femurs!
Horny tight scales keep you dry in flashfloods
Look at your stunning view, O, Daydreamer

Those climbing toes! Longer than your femurs!
Your dark shadow shows two tails and two heads
Look at your stunning view, O, Daydreamer
If your tail is caught it can safely shed

Your dark shadow shows two tails and two heads
No worries for you where you build your home
If your tail is caught it can safely shed
As human houses tumble into the foam

No worries for you where you build your home
Darting and dashing safely, young Wizard
As human houses tumble into the foam
King of Torrey Pines, Western Fence Lizard

One of the Western Fence Lizard’s views

Poetry Friday – Dragons

Today is Poetry Friday and Laura Purdie Salas is hosting. Thank you, Laura, and Congratulations on publication of your new sweet Oskar’s Voyage.

This sculpture will be on display this year for the year of the dragon at the Desert Hills Outlet Malls in Cabazon, California.

It was a cold and cloudy day at the mall today. This dragon statue called to me from across the way. I went over to get a good glimpse, and take its picture.

Now I’m sitting here Thursday evening listening to the rain fall on my roof, reading my Lunar New Year postcards again, enjoying each one. Thank you, all who participated.


What has happened
to the dragon’s reputation?
When I was a child,
dragons were one dimensional,
storied only to be slain.
It was quaint.
The good guy
slayed the dragon
and saved the princess.

Now, the world
has far too many dragons
that need slaying,
so princesses
and good guys alike
have a little dragon blood
in their veins
to set the world on fire
with hope and humanity.