Friday, April 2, 2021

happy npm! let's celebrate with a challenge

Greetings, Poets and Poetry Lovers!  Before we get to the main course, I'd like you to know that my April NPM project, inspired by the excellent experience of participating in Laura Shovan's February Poetry Projects on Facebook, is to host a group called PARADISE, PAVED: 


"We are poets who need a place to park the results of our daily writing practice. We're looking for accountability, community and feedback. It may not be grand or glamorous, but it's practical--and private. There are just two rules, beyond the basic rules of civil discourse and internet decency:
1) Any day that you post a poem, please offer comments to at least three other poets.
2) If you used any kind of prompt, share!

It's private so that our efforts can't be considered previously published on the web (which prevents submission to many journals and anthologies)--but it's open to whomever.  We'd love to have you if you need a place to post!

The time is upon us: both for the poetry fest which is April in the US of America, and for the monthly challenge of our Sunday Swaggers critique group.  Today we are swagging from a source within a source:  Linda Mitchell has directed us to a post at Jama's Alphabet Soup honoring Pat Schneider, a favorite of Jama's, who sadly passed this year.

Linda asked us to use Pat's poem "The Moon. Ten Times" as a model for seeing one thing many ways.  It is a wonderful catalog kind of poem and worthy of emulation.  I struggled--first to find a subject, and then to imagine it sufficiently from all angles.  What I've ended up with is kind of a chronology of concepts.

I can't even tell you now how I chose milk.



I'm excited to see what my fellow Swaggers have come up with, and you can too, at their blogs listed below.

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

Our first host of National Poetry Month is Mary Lee at A Year of Reading, where she introduces the Progressive Poem for this year and her Haiku Dairy I mean Diary for 2021. Party on, Poets!


  1. YOURS are the haiku-ish DAIRY!! (tee-hee) So. Much. Fun. I'm glad you chose milk. I think the less auspicious the topic, the more creative the comparisons. I'm particularly smitten by #6. The third line took me completely by surprise. Well played.

  2. These are so clever, Heidi! I love "swath of stars" and "my bowl/of teeth and bones."

  3. Oh, the moon was a wonderful topic - I would never have gotten there. "Mother of calves" is a poignant question, indeed...

  4. I think my favorite is the blank beginning to all the different varieties of cheese. <3

  5. My favorite is the same as Ruth's - #6 - The blank beginning of all the colors of cheese. I'll have to check out the FB group and think about joining. What a great idea! Thank you for creating it. Carol from The Apples in My Orchard

  6. Can you imagine taking a bath in MILK? That caught me more than the others, but I love them all, Heidi, & I love the topic. You may have struggled but that struggle came out on top!

  7. I love this form and your topic.
    "Human kindness...drink me" absolutely!

  8. I love the way you have to stretch to come up with 10 (or less) ways to talk about your topic. I am especially drawn to #10. I am also happy to have found out about the amazing poet and person Pat Schneider.
    Janet Clare F.

  9. Oh, this is fabulous! I love that you chose milk and went in so many creative directions. I can't choose a favorite, though #4 pulled me with that "lake of tears" over the blue table. What a wonderful response!

  10. I love all the comparisons for milk. My favorite, too, is the blank beginning of cheese--maybe I like cheese too much. I would love to join the Paradise, Paved group, if it's not too late.

  11. Wow, these are so much fun! #3 and #7 are my favorites! So much imagination in here, Heidi!

  12. Love all these milky views. But #8 hit me hardest. I once wrote a book for a series on baby animals called Meet a Baby Cow. How had I never understood before writing it that cows on a dairy must give birth to make milk, and their calf is usually taken away and fed with a bottle? I've since cut down on my milk drinking, but can't give up that blank beginning.

  13. I love that you've honored humble milk with this wonderful poem, Heidi! I admire how you're not afraid to use humor interspersed with the more lyrical perspectives, evoking different moods and emotions in the one poem. Thank you, also, for bringing attention to your NPM Facebook group—I've tried several times to click on the link, but it gives me the message: "This Content Isn't Available Right Now
    When this happens, it's usually because the owner only shared it with a small group of people, changed who can see it or it's been deleted." Let me know if you're able to fix that.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!