I’m on my tenth year of writing poems every day in February—except that in 2016 I wrote a poem every other day, so really it’s the ninth year of poems every day, and the tenth year of February poems.
Here’s a sampling of a few so far this month, and a bit about how they came to be.
lost and found
spider’s sticky net’s
gone missing from shed’s shingles
next to the plum tree
a hummingbird hovers by
a tiny shimmering nest
© Karin Fisher-Golton, 2023
On February 3, I was having a busy day and thought I’d keep the task compact with a haiku. I also wanted to write about my husband’s wonderful discovery of a hummingbird nest in the tree outside our living room window. A short poetry form, and especially one that tends to be about nature, was fitting for the topic. What I wanted to say didn’t quite fit into a haiku, but worked well as a tanka (5-7-5-7-7 syllables).
Variations on a Bumper Sticker
PLEASE BE PATIENT
Please be patient, student driver.
Please be a student of a patient driver.
Pleas: Be a student; Be a patient driver.
Please have patience with students and drivers.
Please be a student of patience, drivers.
Please have patience with patients, students, and drivers.
Please realize some patients are students and drivers.
Please drive students toward patience driving.
Please study patience as a driver.
Please be patient with student drivers.
Please be patient with this student driver.
© Karin Fisher-Golton, 2023
On February 12, I was taking a walk with my dog. This is prime poem development time for me. The “PLEASE BE PATIENT / STUDENT DRIVER” bumper sticker caught my eye. I liked the idea of switching the two main words to create “Please be a student of a patient driver” (the second variation in the final poem). I struggled on and off all day trying to write a poem about that idea, and then came to realize there were many more variations, and a list poem was much more interesting and illustrated the idea better. Another time that I am reminded to show, don’t tell.
When writing a poem each day, on occasion my plans go astray. I try out a phrase but get stuck in a daze. Then come up with a word, but it just sounds absurd. I want a bonanza but get a dry stanza. My simile’s “as” has little pizazz. So I try for a rhyme, but the beat’s out of time. Then somehow I find, through my heart and my mind, that I do, in fact, know what to say. © Karin Fisher-Golton, 2023
Daniel Ari has been writing a limerick every day based on the previous day’s Wordle over on Facebook for months. You can peruse this very entertaining endeavor here. I recommend it highly with a caveat to my children’s book crowd that many of the poems are of a PG-13 nature. Daniel occasionally varies the limerick form by adding more pairs of the shorter lines. He coined the excellent term “limeriff.” I’ve been wanting to try one and, on February 15, found a topic that fit.
It’s Poetry Friday. Enjoy many more Friday poems, by visiting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Molly Hogan’s Nix the Comfort Zone. Molly is in Maine, where the trees are in a different stage from our plum here in California. Her poem and photos remind me of the beauty and strength of trees in snow. Thank you, Molly!
Dog walking is prime poetry time for me too. 🙂 Thank you for your poems – of course the hummingbird would be blurry!
Thanks, Irene! I like knowing that dog walking is poetry time for you too. How lovely to thinking of a world full of dog walkers with poems bouncing around their thoughts.
I got a kick out of your poems, Karin 🙂 So much to say about studying, driving, and being patient! “I want a bonanza/but get a dry stanza” made me laugh. Congrats on ten years of February poems!
Thanks, Tabatha! My teen son learning to drive is not that far behind me, so that topic revved up easily.
Oh, the Wordle as a poetry prompt. I never thought of that! Taking note of that one.
“I want a bonanza/but get a dry stanza” made me laugh. Been there many times!
I agree–such a great idea. And Daniel’s poems are so fun.
Thanks for letting me know you are sometimes along on the non-bonanza stanza ride with me!
I enjoyed your poems. The first is my favorite! I love the alliteration and that hummingbird! (I’m a huge fan of hummingbird, not a fan of spiders.) : )
Thank you! Luckily the spider is off screen in this one.
I loved all you shared, the discoveries, the clever ‘patience’, and the frustration, Karin. Congrats for keeping going with your February journey.
Thanks so much, Linda.
I love the sampling of your February feats, Karin! Your bumper sticker poem sticks with me. 😉
Thanks for being along for the ride! : )
I enjoyed all of these poems. The student driver one is my favorite–such fun with varying the words just a bit each time.
Thanks! It was fun seeing how far I could take those variations.
These are all fantastic, but for me, too, the student driver one is my favorite. Punctuation and word order can create such different stories! And I do love me a process post. Thanks for sharing your thinking!
Thanks so much! I’m an editor as well as a writer, and I realized both the elements you mention relate to that for me–my interest in the impact of punctuation and word order, and my fascination with the creative process.
I recently saw a student driver sticker so your poem’s timing is perfect. Fun to see what you’ve been up to in February. A poem a day is quite a feat!
Thanks! I love that timing.
It is a feat, but one that seems much more doable as the years go by. I love how much I start noticing poem potential. And I appreciated the inspiration of your blog post. I’m off to go look for some old school photos momentarily.
Hee hee hee–
“My simile’s “as”
has little pizazz.”
But I like them all and good for you–a poem a day is good discipline. I’m doing mine with Laura Shovan’s group and that helps–are you going it alone, with only Wordle limeriffs to egg you on?
Thanks! I have a online group with three other poets. We’ve done this together for the whole ten years. It’s good to have company and inspiration in such an endeavor.
OMG – the bumper sticker list poem was so FUN! Jotted that one down to play with myself, along with the limeriff! Thanks for that resource!
That’s great! I’d love to see what you create.
Having taught three daughters to drive, I loved the variations on the bumper sticker. 🙂 Yay for a poem a day!
Thanks! My son is a fairly new driver, so it those variations were rarin’ to go.
Oh, these are all utterly delightful, and lucky you to have found a hummingbird nest! I think I’m most intrigued by your list poem with its many variations on one phrase. (I’ll tuck that idea away to play with later.) Thanks for sharing some of your poetry bounty!
Thanks so much! I’d love to see what you come up with if you try the variations.
Karin, wow, in that last poem you avoided all the stumbles that you describe! So effective rhythm and rhyme. I also love what you did with the bumper sticker. My favorite: “Please be a student of patience, drivers.”
Oh, thank you! I love what you said about the last poem–and how you said it.