Friday, July 16, 2010

come on in; the water's fine

Welcome to my first-ever Poetry Friday host post! I'm thrilled to have the honor and let me say it was no small thing to get a slot--this community is full of eager beavers, swimming through the hot dams of summer to get in line for this job. Thanks to Mary Lee for sharing.

With the beach and the pool and camps called "Adventure Island" and "River Ecology," not to mention the family foray Tuesday night out into a drizzle that became a shower that became a torrent complete with lightning and thunder, I'm feeling pleasantly water-logged. Here's a suitably wet poem from my files that I just rediscovered.

Water Becomes You

This water coming into your hands,
it’s old—older than today,
older than you are,
older than the oldest people you know.

This water has been around:
playing over and under the world,
coming up in different wells,
turning through the air into nothing.

This water will make its home in you,
become a part of you,
moving in your very thoughts:
old water welling up in new hands.

~Heidi Mordhorst 2007
all rights reserved

I'm looking forward to whatever you're sending my way, Poetry People.
Leave your links as comments and I'll compile them morning, noon and night!

Early Birds

Shelley points us in the direction of her "grassroots epic" Rain: A Dust Bowl Story in poems which recreates our grandparents' era. I'll need some time at this site...

Tabatha has returned from Canada with a bilingual poem she found by the cliffs at the end of the trail, The End of Land. I always wish for more "situational poetry" installations, for the chance to be surprised by a poem in an unexpected place.

Little Willow shares Egyptian Serenade by George William Curtis. Nice to meet you, LW, and thanks for leading me to GWC--an interesting guy, especially for us UU folks.

At the Poem Farm, Amy has her own poem about poetry (#8 of 107 in her PoWriYe) as well as a few comments on her free verse inspirations. : )

Charles aka Father Goose has been getting kids going at summer poetry workshops with Riddle Rhyme poems--two of which are perfect companions to Amy's "Flying My Poem"!

Oops--I made a mistake earlier...Laura E. is "out of the office" but leaves us with a piece by Mirabai and her reflections on it at Teach Poetry K-12. I'm grateful for the introduction to a new voice.

Mary Lee at A Year of Reading is contemplating a visit back home to a small town with an exquisite poem by Gregory Djanikian. There is surely another exquisite poem lurking in the detonation of Matchbox cars on the 4th of July...

Toby is buzzing about the thoughts of bees at The Writer's Armchair, just long enough to give her easy-over detective time to get wired for an encounter at the self-storage place. I'm intrigued...both by what bees think and the fate of Emma Trace!

At Author Amok I find that like me, Laura Sh. loves no-poems (which is funny 'cause I think we are both yes-people). No-poems are unrelated to noh-drama, but couldn't we all use a summer like that? Sadly, this is not to be for Laura; see her No-ode to Summer.

Laura #3 of the morning (Laura S.) has a laugh for anyone who may be a beginning writer, a jaded and uninspired writer, or a writer who doesn't know how to take the piss, particularly out of herself: "Do You Have Any Advice for Those of Us Just Starting Out?" by Ron Koertge.

[Report on the experience of hosting: I have nothing--NOTHING--else to do today, so I can follow and wallow to my heart's content in every linky direction y'all are taking me, and it's putting me in a VERY good mood!]
Midday Muses

Diane weighs in with writing advice from Snoopy at Random Noodling, introduces us (or maybe just me) to Eleanor Ross Taylor at Kurious Kitty, and quotes the eminent Eleanor at Kurious Kitty's Kwotes. [Fancy keeping up with THREE blogs!] Personally I think Eleanor deserves an award simply for titling a 1960 collection of poems Wilderness of Ladies, but I'm sure there's more to discover than that.

Over at Dori Reads, Doraine shares Two Voices in a Meadow as a metaphor for the writer's life, an interpretation that adds a new layer of interest to Richard Wilbur's finely tuned milkweed and stone.

Jama whets our appetite just in time for National Ice Cream Day on July 18th with two video scoops of Bleezer's Ice Cream! Sadly, the recommended strawberry-vanilla twist would not crank my freezer; my standard order is mint chocolate chip in a cup, with Coffee Heath Bar Crunch reserved for special occasions. And I have fond memories of Haagen Dazs cappucino flavor back in the 80' doesn't exist anymore, but check THIS out, speaking of beezzzz!

And in a graceful transition, we flow from cappucino ice cream to free verse coffee in a cup: Stenhouse offers a mentor poem from Liz Hale.

Alison extends us a "don't be creative" creativity challenge in the form of a photo at
Wistful Wanderings. I'm thinking that we need an expression like "Break a leg" for writers who need encouragement to get on with our creative work but who might be stifled by that often vacuous "Be creative!" command....

Linda of Write Time reminds us that all those disused objects we hang onto DO have an important use, with a couple of
poems about objects that hold memories.

This morning I the early-bird managed to sleep through a
3.6 magnitude earthquake here in Maryland. It was just a rumble under the bed, but I was sorry I missed it--until it hit me that with Haiti's 6-month tribulation in mind there might be something wrong about wishing to experience an earthquake. And now look who has dropped by to bring weight to this feeling: Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town, who lives and teaches in Haiti, and who shares earthquake poems by Haitian poets. I stand shaken. I hadn't met Ruth before; hello to you!

I'm also pleased to meet B.C. of
The Small Nouns, who shares a brave-indeed poem about the lost habit of flying, plus some sources for those looking for a poetry stretch. I'll be heading to ohboywhatfun Big Tent Poetry so that I can fail to muster up any response to those as well as Tricia's Monday Poetry Stretches at The Miss Rumphius Effect. *sigh*

And now a sigh of satisfaction at the romance and gravity of a wedding: over at Wild Rose Reader, Elaine's daughter is now married! Today she shares her
wedding poem for (and some great photos of) the new couple, inspired by a Margaret Atwood work. All good wishes for this new beginning!

Always happy to meet another fan of Mary Oliver ("poet laureate of UU's"). Nancy at
Maine Mornings joins Poetry Friday for the first time and shares a poem that "more or less//kills me/with delight" called "Mindful". Scroll down to read a very mindful visit to Nancy's garden for dinner. Bliss.

Andromeda is in today with a review at
a wrung sponge of African Acrostics by Avis Harley. Ya gotta love a reviewer that can inject poetry into her description itself: "These poems can be drunk in quickly in long droughts of gold and dusk or drawn out lazily ..." Because of their ritual abuse in classrooms across America I have held acrostics in low esteem, but I can see that I have been hasty...just compare this zebra example to the wild stripes included in Andi's review!
[Hm. 10:40 pm. Guess I did have a few other things to do today.]

Janet has Mouse Mess for us at
All About the Books, a favorite read-aloud for early grades.

At Check It Out, Jone shares her progress through and response to
Ted Kooser's Poetry Home Repair Manual. As if that weren't enough, she has a response to this week's Poetry Stretch at Deo Writer!

Theresa at Looking for the Write Words shares thoughts on how to be a
good friend today--and stay that way!

Until I read the Richard Wilbur poems over at Dori Reads today, I didn't know I might like to listen to
Richard Wilbur talk. Karen makes it easy at The Blog With the Shockingly Clever Title (TBWTSCT?) by directing us to The Web of Stories, which looks like a cool place to hang out, too. Very cool.

Barbara of the Write Sisters fogs up the place with a
steamy poem from Pattiann Rogers which brings new meaning to the idea of "the birds and the bees."

Linking nicely to Linda's poems about memorial objects, Jeannine writes today about
Stuff and Silence and choosing both what to keep in your house and in your writing. And indeed, the mess gets worse before it gets better!

Erin's posting for the first time today with
a poem every child should know (what a good idea for a modern series too!) at Little Kid Lit. I like the old-fashioned idea that poetry is a duty as well as a delight.

Kelly finishes up with a not very "cheatery" post that leads to some good basic reminders on going beyond the polished poem to a polished manuscript. Nothing like a little practical advice.

Thank you, thank you to all who participated today! And now I shall follow that most reliable piece of practical advice and Go To Bed. See you next Friday!


  1. I'm a Mary Lee fan, so hi to her!

    Thanks for hosting. I'm inviting folks to visit a site set in their grandparents' era.

    Just click! And you're welcome to comment.

  2. Thanks for hosting this week!

    I posted Egyptian Serenade at Bildungsroman.

  3. Oh...I love this idea, imagery, title. I want to swim and bathe and drink this poem of water "oldest than the oldest people you know". Today I highlight PUMPKIN BUTTERFLY by you and BORROWED NAMES by Jeannine Atkins and poem #8 in a series of Poetry Friday poems about poetry. This one is called "Flying My Poem", and it's at
    Thank you for hosting, Heidi!
    Amy ("swimming through the hot dams...")

  4. Thanks, Heidi! I've been doing poetry writing workshops for kids at various libraries this summer. One of the kinds of poems they enjoy writing -- and guessing from each other -- is the Riddle Rhyme poem! Here are few to help get your kids started @ The FATHER GOOSE blog

  5. Hi Heidi,

    Thanks for hosting. Today I blog about a Hindu poet at


    Laura Evans
    all things poetry

  6. LOVE your water poem!

    I've got one today about what it's like to go home to a small town, something I'll be doing tomorrow.

    Glad to share my roundup slot with you -- everyone should get to have the fun of hosting this party!

  7. Hi Heidi!

    I like your poem a lot :-) It would be great for science class, to accompany their water cycle unit.
    I have water in my post today, too.
    Will be in touch re: our walk!

  8. Oh, your ode d'eau! It ripples, it flows, inward and outward, so current, so timeless. I love it.

    My little poem about bees is at The Writer's Armchair. Enjoy your first hosting of P.F., Heidi, and thanks for rounding up!

  9. Hi, Heidi! Beautiful concept to your poem. There's something comforting in the idea of ancient water.

    I have an original anti-ode (or No-ode) to summer. I'm dedicating it to all parents who are juggling working at home and bored kids.

  10. Heidi, I love your poem. Water fascinates me, and ever since I wrote a book about the water cycle, poems have bubbled through my brain about it, though I haven't actually written any! You've inspired me to move that up on my ideas list.

    I have a poem by Ron Koertge today, "Do You Have Any Advice for Those of Us Just Starting Out?"

    And I've also got the 15 Words or Less poems on a dangerous topic at Anybody can come by and add a poem.

    Thanks for hosting, Heidi! Glad you beat out some of the eager beavers:>)

  11. Hi Heidi! I hope you enjoy your first time as a P.F. rounder-upper!

    Love your poem! I recently read something (and I hope I can remember where, so that I can find it again) where the writer spoke about water being the same as that drunk by the dinosaurs. That thought stopped me in my tracks!

    Come to Random Noodling for a Snoopy inspired poem-of-sorts.

    Kurious Kitty has a poem by Eleanor Ross Taylor, "To a Young Writer," and at Kurious K's Kwotes there's a quote from Taylor, too.

  12. Thanks for hosting, Heidi. I have a poem today at DoriReads by Richard Wilbur, "Two Voices in a Meadow."

  13. Good morning! We have a great poem titled "Coffee" this morning on The Stenhouse Blog. Enjoy!

  14. Love your poem, Heidi! Favorite line: "This water has been around: playing over and under the world."

    Today I'm celebrating National Ice Cream Month with two scoops of Prelutsky:

    Thanks for hosting!

  15. What a wonderful poem, Heidi. I would give just about anything for a good rain--we haven't seen water fall from the sky in over two months.

    I have an image prompt for the poets out there at Wistful Wanderings.

  16. Hi Heidi, love your poem! Thanks for hosting today. I have two poems about the objects in our lives and how they help us keep memories alive.

  17. I love your poem's last line. Thanks for hosting. Images and imagery must be in the air today. I wrote about visual response poems this morning:

  18. Heidi,

    Thanks so much for doing the roundup this week!

    At Wild Rose Reader, I have the wedding poem that I wrote for my daughter Sara and her husband Jerry. It was inspired by Margaret Atwood's poem "You Begin."

  19. This is my first post. I'm impressed with everyone's choices. I appreciate having a network of people who love poetry! Thank you everyone.
    I'm a huge fan of Mary Oliver and I thought I'd start with a favorite - Mindful.

  20. I love that last line "old water welling up in new hands" so beautiful!! I am in this week with a review of African Acrostics at A Wrung Sponge. Thanks for hosting!

  21. Thanks for hosting.
    Today's offering at All About the Books is the rhyming story, Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley. It is one of the first books I read to first-graders during their visits to library. They love the colorful pictures of the mouse doing everyday activities using kitchen utensils -- raking up cornflake leaves with a fork, bathing in a teacup. Most of all, the children love being able to predict the last line of the story using the rhyming words as their clue.

  22. I have two. One is responses to reading Kooser's book on poetry:

    The other is an orignal pome for the Poetry Stretch:

    Thank you for hosting. Isn't fun?

  23. Hi Heidi,
    I was especially drawn to the last stanza. There is something magical about water whether it's the soothing sound of rain at night or the water lapping at the shores of the lake or the waves at the ocean. The water becomes a part of you...perfect.
    Here is my contribution for the Friday celebration. Thanks for hosting. ~Theresa

  24. Thanks for hosting, Heidi!

    Today I'm sharing a website called "Web of Stories" where you can listen to loads of short snippets of interviews and poetry readings with the likes of Richard Wilbur. Sheer heaven.

    The post is here.

  25. Great poem, Heidi! Over at we have a hot and steamy poem of seduction to go with the weather. Hope you'll stop by!

  26. Heidi,Thank you for the beautiful reminder of how water comes into and changes our lives.

    And for hosting today! I wrote about how revising a clutter of words into poems can be like housecleaning at

  27. Hello Heidi,

    Thanks for hosting this week, and thanks for sharing your poem.

    This is my first time participating in Poetry Friday. I've posted a poem from Poems Every Child Should Know at

  28. Thanks for hosting! I'm in with a quote from Diana Lockward and a link to a post about putting together a strong poetry collection. Here's my link info:

  29. Hi, Heidi! May I say, you are doing an awesome job as a first-time Poetry Friday post. Your enthusiasm is shining through!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!