Thursday, June 08, 2017

The Poetry Friday Roundup is HERE!

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Greg Wagoner

Playing Checkers With Vincent

Maybe I should have let him win.

He was an honest player,
showing me I could double jump him.

(I had forgotten about double jumps.
That's how long it had been since
my last checkers game.)

I thanked him for the tip
and didn't double jump him that time.

That counts, doesn't it?

He was an earnest player,
thinking through the if-thens of every move,
his strategy as transparent as his joy.
At one point, when I had two kings to his one
but there were still lots of checkers on the board,
he wanted to quit
but didn't.

He didn't flip the board
until my win was inevitable,
laughing gleefully,
no need to concede
because it was time to clean up
for free summer lunch.

Mini corndogs and fries
with two choices from the salad bar.

Maybe I had it all wrong.
Maybe he's the one who let me win.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017

Welcome to Poetry Friday, the ultimate win-win! You share a poem -- win! -- and read a few others -- win!

There is still ONE slot open on The Poetry Friday Roundup Schedule for July-December 2017 is COMPLETE! Thanks, all!

Leave your link in the comments and I'll round you up into this post throughout the day. Let the weekly celebration of poetry begin!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Kat at Katwhiskers is first up, enjoying autumn in Melbourne (in contrast to Queensland's quick shift from summer to winter).

Laura at Writing the World for Kids had her poem "The Genre Chant" published in the Journal of Children's Literature!

Irene at Live Your Poem brings us Five for Friday -- a delightful hodgepodge of poetry!

Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup is sharing a picture book from Hawaii called 'Iwalani's Tree.

Linda at A Word Edgewise has created an amazing concrete poem for Laura Shovan's Daily Poem Project.

Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems shares a senryu to celebrate parade season.

Brenda at Friendly Fairytales has written a stunning affirmation of self and becoming.

Linda at TeacherDance shares her original take on the 10 words from Laura Shovan's Daily Poem Project.

Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone had me at Ted Kooser, but wowed me with her partner poem set in Maine.

Carmela at Teaching Authors has written a tectractys in honor of the woman who is the subject of her upcoming biography (along with fascinating process notes about the writing of her book).

Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge is back, and she's sharing two recently published haiku.

Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme is celebrating several beginnings today.

Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference looks inside a mermaid's pocket and makes some amazing discoveries.

Donna at Mainely Write is...avoiding joy???

Michelle at Michelle Kogan is having fun with fairies -- in both art and poetry -- this week.

Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink is visualizing joy as she awaits the arrival of a new grandbaby. Be sure you check out her joy-filled poem-video.

Tara at A Teaching Life had me at Mary Oliver and then again at peonies. Ahhh...

Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Writing shares Haiku #4 (and some process notes) in her ongoing series.

Jane at Raincity Librarian shares the "tip of the verse novel iceberg." Be sure to weigh in with YOUR favorites!

Iphigene at Gathering Books has written the fourth poem in her series "Open Spaces" which pairs her original paintings with poems. Number four is stunning!

Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town shares two original poems written in her first week of summer break.

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche wrote an "I Spy" poem from a Poets&Writers prompt.

Christie at Wondering and Wandering has a heavy heart today. Many will be able to share her sorrow.

Diane has a pair of offerings. At Random Noodling she's got a new project that will make all of you (cat lovers, especially) laugh out loud, and at Kurious Kitty, a tribute to Cole Porter.

Catherine at Reading to the Core shares a "most perfect" poem for the day!

Laura at Laura Shovan celebrates Meg Eden's upcoming debut YA novel with a fascinating "% Questions" interview and an accompanying poem.

Carol at Carol's Corner spotlights a couple of poems from OUT OF WONDER, a fabulous new-to-her collection of tribute poems.

Amy at The Poem Farm is raising some future stars for Diane's Katkus!

Little Willow at Bildungsroman shares a poem about grit and perseverance.

Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge wrote another haiku this week.

Kay at A Journey Through the Pages tried a charita for the first time, writing about her community theater experience.

Poetry Princess Sara at Read Write Believe is a little late with her golden shovel, but wowser, has the wait been worth it!

Elaine at Wild Rose Reader wistfully shares a Naomi Shihab Nye poem upon her granddaughter' graduation from preschool.

Jone has a pair of offerings. At DeoWriter she shares a double cinquain that's shaped like a teardrop of sorrow, and at Check it Out, more joyous second grade poetry.

Amy at YMATRUZ Instinct shares a quote and three summery snippets of poetry. Cricket Booze Night made me laugh!

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe has been a bit busy recently. She has some "lyrics as poetry" to celebrate all the endings in her house.


  1. Oh, those last two lines! Beautifully done, Mary Lee!

  2. Haha. Yes - who knows what subtleties were at work that escaped your notice. ;)

    For a change, I'm organised this week! My post was up before I was - a Seasonal Rewind and a beaut Aussie poetry book.

    Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee!

  3. Love you. Thank you for being a great soul. Beautiful. x

  4. Thanks for the heads-up, Mary Lee, aboyt the roundup. Coming back soon to read your post!

  5. Hi Mary Lee - I'm in with a hodgepodge of poetry this week...
    Thank you for your poem and for being you!

  6. Cool poem. Like the ending; made me smile. :)

    This week I'm sharing a picture book from Hawaii called 'Iwalani's Tree:

    My post will go live at 6 a.m. Friday morning.

    Thanks so much for hosting!

  7. his strategy as transparent as his joy....what a great line! I love it. Thank you for hosting.
    I have a found poem which is also a concrete poem that comes out of the 5th annual daily poem project. I just joined the group and this is my first contribution.

  8. Thanks for hosting! And I love that checkers game. I'm sure you'd beat me, especially after that warm-up and those corn dogs. I'm glad I checked back just in time to get a slot on the fall schedule. Thinking about summer activities today, I posted a short parade slide show together with a senryu-type poem. "Parade" is here:

  9. Such an adorable poem. Love it. I'm in with Room to Bloom this week.

  10. There is often more than meets the eye and you've written just the example for that axiom, Mary Lee. Beautifully done. I'm glad you "found" your poem! I'm sharing a poem from Laura Shovan's poetry project that still continues: Thanks for hosting, and again for creating the roundup!

  11. What a great moment you captured in your poem, Mary Lee. I especially like those final two lines! Thanks for hosting this week! My post focuses on abandoned farmhouses with a poem from Ted Kooser and one of my own.

  12. Great poem, Mary Lee. I especially like the ending. Thanks so much for hosting.
    I'm sharing a tetractys poem this week, in honor of a little-known female mathematician. The post won't go live until after mid

  13. Enjoyed that poem, Mary Lee, full of warmth and fun and promise. Thanks for sharing and for hosting today! I'm in with a couple of haiku:
    Happy Summering!

  14. Such a a touching yet happy little vignette, Mary Lee - thanks for sharing it, and for hosting! I'm sharing the very first children's poem I ever posted on my blog, as I celebrate my 402nd blog post and nearly 5 years of blogging! (post goes live shortly after midnight)

  15. Enjoyed being there with you while you played Vincent, ML. Sweet moment to share. Thanks for hosting!
    I have poems about "ten things":

  16. Fun poem! Leaves me wondering and wishing I could have seen the game play.
    I have a poem about finding joy... or avoiding it!

  17. Ah what a fun poem Mary Lee, how long can we hold out until we break . . .I'm featuring Fairies this week, a poem of mine and one by Rose Fyleman, drop in for some fairy fun at:

  18. Oh, that is a beautiful poem, Mary Lee. Those last two lines..and the wonderful details throughout. The double jumps, the corndogs...fantastic!

  19. Mary Lee, you shared my word for the year-joy so this line really caught my interest: "his strategy as transparent as his joy." The last lines capitalized on this thought. Teacher / student relationships count! I have been thinking about joy all week as I await for the very late arrival of my first grandchild. My post is being created by a vital part of it is still in the works just like the little baby who is hiding. When the post is ready, it will go live (perhaps tomorrow, I will get a call to hop in the car to Virginia for a newborn to be on the scene).

    1. I completed my post, Visualizing Joy. It can be found at

  20. I love that twist of truth at the end, Mary Lee. I'm in today with a poem about peonies:

  21. I love how discovered he let you win and I'm so happy to read you are helping again with the summer lunch program. I'm in today with Haiku #4!

  22. I grew up playing Scrabble with my parents and my grandmother, and none of them ever let me win. It was all about building character. ;-)

    This week I've shared a handful of great verse novels:

  23. Hi Mary Lee,
    Thanks for hosting. We're a bit late in our posting. Here's ours:

    Lovely poem. I like poems that capture moments...simple moments and their beauty.

  24. Thank you for hosting! I have two original poems today. I love your checkers poem. :-)

  25. Oops, and here's the link:

  26. I have a heavy heart this week.

  27. I love how you used the mini-corn dogs to intensify the impact of the ending!

    I have a new project at Random Noodling--Katku.

    And Kurious Kitty is celebrating Cole Porter.

  28. Thanks for hosting. I enjoyed your story of playing checkers. I'm here today with an I Spy poem prompted by Poets and Writers.


  29. Sorry I missed the call for hosting. Next time. I was never a big checker player, but I love your final insight. Today I'm sharing Lisa Jarnot's "This Most Perfect Hill."
    Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee!

  30. I'm here late, Mary Lee! Today, I've got an interview with poet Meg Eden, whose debut YA novel publishes next week. She has some fascinating insights about making the shift from poetry to long-form fiction. Plus -- a poem!

    Thanks for hosting. Coming back to read your poem!

  31. Finally back to participate in Poetry Friday! I love your poem- it reminds me of some of the poems Don Graves used to write- a story with a big truth at the end. Reminds me of how blessed we are to have the privilege of working with children!

  32. I'm back to tell you how much I love this poem, Mary Lee. In this brief narrative, you've captured one of those moments where we learn empathy, how to truly think about another person's feelings and situation. So powerful!

  33. Oops! I read and commented without even thinking about Poetry Friday.

    Today I have a poem about kittens...and life.

  34. Happy Friday, and thanks for hosting! I posted - It Couldn't Be Done by Edgar Guest - at my blog, Bildungsroman.

  35. What a great poem Mary Lee! I do love those last two lines, perfect. Thank you for hosting today! I am trying another haiku this week thanks to you! Underwater Dance

  36. That is quite some game of checkers you describe beautifully! Today I tried my very first cherita:

  37. Hi, Mary Lee! How fun to play with someone who truly does PLAY, with a competitive spirit and yet delight in every engagement, no matter the outcome. This is how I feel about playing Scrabble over the internet with my Dad! I swear I can see his mind working on the board, even though we are miles and miles apart.

    My Poetry Friday post today is a delayed posting of my Golden Shovel, which my Poetry Sisters did last week. (I was traveling, but it was also general procrastination!) In any case, I'm finally up with my poem, and sighing because my sisters all did it SUCH justice and I feel late to the party....

  38. Mary Lee,

    Thanks for doing the roundup this week. Enjoyed your poem.

    At Wild Rose Reader, I have a favorite poem by Naomi Shihab Nye: "What Is Supposed to Happen." It was brought to mind yesterday--my older granddaughter's last day of preschool--as I watched her play with friends at an end-of-the-school-year picnic.

  39. Thank you for the round up. The title reminded me of the book I just finished about Vincent and his brother Theo. I am late. Here's the personal:

  40. And now school:

  41. Love the way you ended the poem, Mary Lee. The last two lines..ahhh...beautiful! Thank you for the roundup this week.

  42. Hi, Mary Lee! Another sign of mush-brain --I actually wrote my post early this week and scheduled it,but forgot that you still have to hit "Publish"! So here it it, on the late side, musing on endings:

    Thanks for hosting--love that open, joyful Vincent, coaching himself and you across the board!


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