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Friday, March 5, 2021

sunday swagger challenge: prompt mashup

It's the first Friday of the month and my critique group--the Sunday Swaggers--despite the wild ride in our classrooms, schools and physical BODIES, is soldiering on with a monthly challenge.  Today Margaret of Reflections on the Teche feeds our delight in the refreshing force that is Amanda Gorman by sending us to find a poem through a scavenger hunt.

That would be enough to get us going, but IN ADDITION we would like to give a nod to today's Poetry Friday host, Kat Apel, who just last week shared a seat-of-the-pants poetry form called the LaMiPoFri.  It's ideal for people like me who are sitting down at 6:30 am to a) write my Poetry Friday post including b) writing a response to my group's challenge. Here's how Kat describes it:

"What is a lamipofri? It’s a poetry snapshot that’s quickly scribed, to give people an insight into the world around you at a given point in time – that point being the last minute as you’re scrambling for a Poetry Friday poem to post! Hence the name: LAst MInute of a POetry FRIday! The trick with the lamipofri is to pause, take a moment to look around and share that moment with others. But don’t take too long, or the moment will pass!"

I've always called such last-minute poems Instadrafts™ but Kat's has the special feature of focusing on the moment.

So here we have it: three words from Ta-Nehisi Coates's BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME. It is taking me months to read this book, so painful is it for me to understand his experience of growing up in a Black body. It takes me 10 minutes and an effort to revisit pages 11 (my 'lucky' birthdate, next week), 22 and 33, but here are the words I choose:

declaration ~ edge ~ suspended

and here is the out-the-window poetry moment they become.


Find the rest of our group's responses here:

-Catherine at Reading to the Core -Margaret at Reflections on the Teche -Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
-Linda at A Word Edgewise

Many thanks to the unwitting conglomeration that led to this AmGorScaHuLaMiPoFri, and thanks and congratulations to our host Kat on her new book A BIRD IN THE HERD (the egret has landed hee hee hee).  May we step, eyes wide open and socks on, toward a warmer Reality.


BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME (written to his teen son), p. 10-11


  1. AmGorScaHuLaMiPoFri is a mouthful! Yes, your poem also was my Friday morning, underdressed, freezing my sweet bippy off walking the dogs. Looking forward to seeing you later :-)

  2. Another new word, AmGorMiPoFri, for us to play with! This challenge is inviting, Heidi. Your instadraft is filled with the promise of what awaits me in Virginia (weather-wise). I also am waiting for a full declaration of spring to warm my heart (and body). Thanks for the invite to the online party.

  3. Ohhhh, I hope you get warm weather soon that's for real and not just fooling!

  4. Oh, yowzers. I had to do a google to find out what 27 degrees equates to - and it's freezing! And worse. Brrrr. So glad you could pull together so many challenges into one short bite with a mouthful of an acronym! And yes, the egret has landed, indeed! (I may have used that a time or two myself, in socials this week.😹)

  5. The combination of prompts produced a lovely 'instadraft' poem, Heidi. March is a wiley weather month - bare ankles at 27 degrees - yowza! Thanks for the introduction to Ta-Nehisi Coates' book. I can see why it is taking you a while to read it - brutal.

  6. So I totally missed the Amanda Gorman connection to this prompt. She is such an inspiration. I agree with about Between the World and Me. I don't think I ever finished it because I found it so painful. Thank you for reminding me to go back to this book. Your poem is a perfect "insight into the world around you at a given point in time" but doesn't feel "insta" at all. Hints of spring are few here in CT, but I can feel the warmth of that "extended sunshine" and am also dreaming "of a change in the weather."

  7. Toward a warmer Reality, indeed. If you get a chance, read the WCW spring poem that Karen Edmisten shared. Yours pairs well.

  8. This is such a lovely, surreal kind of poem. I think you made magic here! THe line with "suspended" in it is my favorite. Also, so sorry I missed the gathering last night!

  9. I love it! Fall frozen suspended...is a great description of that sneaky winter goddess who blows a strong cold wind right at dismissal time.

  10. We had a lovely week of good weather, until Thursday! I love & understand your poem, Heidi, the 'flip-flop' of March.

  11. Disappointment in your poem, but hope too, because we know spring comes. I agree that Coates's work is painful to read because he writes the truth so clearly. I read one of his essays about institutional racism, which so many white people are so threatened by.

  12. I am glad to know I am not the only one who waits to the last minute. And your poem describes my week. That glorious sunshine was sometimes deceptive in the actual temperature, but my feet were determined to be bare anyway.

  13. Heidi, I love how you mashed all these prompts together to serve up a sumptuous feast. I especially love how creatively you used the word "edge" and then had us briefly "suspended" before falling. Wonderful!

  14. Love Amanda Gorman's book scavenger hunt idea and so enjoyed following you on your own AmGorScaHuLaMiPoFri journey, Heidi! :) Thanks for this!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!