Thursday, April 27, 2023

Poetry Friday: Pull Up a Chair, the Roundup is Here!


It's been sort of a poetic week around here. Tuesday I added my line to the Progressive Poem, and Sunday was my blog birthday. Seventeen years old, my little corner of the Internet. I looked up the appropriate gift for a seventeenth anniversary, and it's furniture. So below you'll find two poems with chairs in them. The first one came to my mind immediately and the second one showed up on the Poetry Foundation when I went looking for another chair. 


This is my second time hosting Poetry Friday from Uganda, and the last time I had poems about tables. Today I'm inviting you to pull up a chair and sit a while. My porch is quite small, but some people can sit there, and the rest can cram into my tiny living room. Come to think of it, you might want to bring a chair with you, maybe one of those camp chairs people keep in the trunk of the car, just in case. My husband will whip us up something to eat, I bet.

Just a word about the time zone: we're seven hours ahead of Eastern time here, so keep that in mind when it may seem as though I'm taking a while. I might be asleep! Just sit quietly, there in your chair, and I'll be up soon. Leave your comment and I will round up the old fashioned way, as fast as I can. I've enabled comment moderation, so you won't see your comment right away.

The Patience of Ordinary Things

by Pat Schneider

It is a kind of love, is it not?

How the cup holds the tea,

How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,

How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes

Or toes. How soles of feet know

Where they're supposed to be.

I've been thinking about the patience

Of ordinary things...

Here's the rest.



Shaker Chair

by Jeffrey Harrison


To make a chair an angel would want to sit on 

is an intimidating proposition,

even though a jewel-encrusted throne

or wingback armchair with cloud-soft cushions

is not called for, only a simple rocker.

Besides, most of the work is done: I bought a kit.

But I still may not be equal to the task.

Will I be patient enough? Or will I splinter,

in haste and frustration, some crucial element?

Will I be able to make the chair a form

of worship, as the Shakers did, even though 

I'll only be fitting pre-made parts together?

If I fail at this it's even worse

than if I'd tried to make a chair from scratch

and failed. Afraid to begin, I avoid the box

where it's learned against the bookshelf for a week.

Click here for the second stanza.



In Uganda, I think the most commonly used sentence is: "You are welcome." Everybody says it, even the security guard who's searching your car. You are welcome, friends! I'm so glad to have you here! And I'm looking forward to a whole bunch of great poetry! (And it's also Poem in Your Pocket Day on Poetry Friday this week - tell us if you've got a poem in your pocket!)


Jama has an interview with Charles Ghigna about his new book, The Father Goose Treasury of Poetry. This link will go live at 6 a.m. EST on Poetry Friday. Can't wait to read it, Jama!

It's Friday morning in Uganda, and I just woke to an inbox full of links! Happy day! 

Anastasia's in with a haiku asking a question to which I'd really like an answer. 

Michelle has a poem in her pocket today, and it's a beaut! She even has instructions on a good way to fold your pocket poem. Plus, she's written a poem in imitation of Pablo Neruda, and since that's the Poetry Sisters' challenge for this week, I'm sure it's the first of many! Looking forward to reading them all! 

Ramona's written a poem called "Adoration," and it's illustrated with a bounty of gorgeous spring photos. Ahhhh, lovely! 

Laura has been having a busy NPM, but she's in with a poem about Smaug (shiver!) and a challenge. 


Janice  is sharing a haiku and a video of the moment that inspired it. It's a breath of spring!

Linda sent a lovely surprise! I had been regretting that today's roundup didn't have any feathers in it, since Feather is my OLW. I decided that I'd leave it that way, but now a Feather Letter has arrived from a friend! I had never heard of these, and I love the idea and Linda's gift. Thanks so much, Linda! 


If spring is here, summer must be on its way! Tabitha has news about this year's Summer Poem Swaps! I won't be participating this year due to distance (it takes approximately three months for a letter from the US to get here), but I have loved this experience in the past. Tabitha also has a Denise Levertov poem about a broken sandal, plus a great story about what happened when Levertov took a risk as a child and sent her poems to a famous poet.

Laura has a post full of riches, too. She's shared a link to a conversation on teaching poetry (sounds so good!), plus a read alike to go along with her new book, Welcome to Monsterville.

Once again I'm very sad to find that somehow my network won't let me visit Jone. But I hope you won't have the same problem! She has an interview with a poet who's just published a book of haiku about trees. I would love to read both the post and the book! (Edit: Jone thoughtfully sent me pdfs of her post, and it's definitely one you shouldn't miss!)

I finished posting everything that was in my inbox when I woke, and I was just about to go eat breakfast and watch some birds on the porch, but two more came in while I was posting, so here they are before I go!

Mary Lee's nailed the Neruda challenge, and she's even got birds! Welcome, Mary Lee!

And Karen's appreciating pencils today! Pencils are indeed wonderful, and Karen's going to use hers tomorrow to write the second last line of the Progressive Poem.


7:20, and I'm at my desk in the back of my classroom. I got eleven species this morning during breakfast, and then some parrots while I was heading out to work. I always think a bird checklist is a kind of poem, so maybe I'll share it later, but right now I have to update with the three posts that came in since Karen's.


Lou shared a post on the right to read. I'm with you, Lou, being grateful for the chance to get to learn to read, and the opportunity to read whatever I want. And she also wrote a lovely triolet called "You."

Linda is plaintively asking, "Is it spring yet?" She's also generously sharing the poetry postcards she's received this month!

Denise has written a powerful poem about gun violence, and she's also sharing a Carl Sandburg poem on the same topic. 

Well, I just got done teaching. The sixth graders and I were wrestling with that age-old question, where is the cat? (See photo.) Now the question is, where am I? I got evicted from my classroom for a math lesson (maths as we call it here), and evicted from my normal work spot in the library because they're getting ready for a poetry and music event this evening, so I've found a corner in the dining room and lugged my grading here to spend my free period. 

But before I start my grading, I need to share Bridget's link that came in while I was teaching. She's got a poem in her pocket, and she shares the poem - and the pocket! - with us.

Karin has today's line for the Progressive Poem! Only two more lines after today! 

Catherine is continuing her hope alphabet, and today T is for Hope. And T is also for Taproots. Lovely, Catherine!

Molly has been thinking about Shel Silverstein and idioms, and she's got a limerick to share that came from those musings.


Rose's NPM didn't go quite the way she had planned, but she did end up making some progress on a writing project. She shares some poems from her work in progress.

Margaret says, "My students, when they hear the word poetry, breathe a sigh of relief and joy. I am lucky they are young and haven’t been stained by the bee that says poetry is hard." I always love it when she shares her students' work!


Irene's in with a wonderful interview with Zaro Weil, a French poet, as well as one of her poems. She also has an original poem based on a painting. It leaves me singing a "blue-sky kind of tune"!

Carol has a whole lovely collection of spring poems for us! Head on over to enjoy the bounty.

Amy is continuing her NPM project. She's been writing hourly poems in the voice of an old barn. Today's is 11 PM, and the barn is remembering moments from the past. So vivid and beautiful! 

Heidi is Neruding (she invented that verb and I like it!). Writing in the style of Pablo Neruda, she's produced an "Ode to Resistance." My favorite line is "disturbing the path/ of the ants/ on their way/ to the honey." What a perfect image! 


Liz is Neruding too, plus she has a haiku for us. Her Neruda poem asks the great man a whole bunch of questions (like "Is exile a way to be lost?/ Is exile a way to lose yourself?"), and I sure wish he were still around to answer them!

I always like to share a Tiel Aisha Ansari poem whenever I host. Here's one she posted in February called "Sleep." I can't decide which of the metaphors I like best!

And now that I'm done teaching and meeting with students and posting all the links that have come in so far, here are the birds I saw at breakfast and while leaving for work this morning. I think their names alone are a poem:

Red-eyed dove

Eastern Plantain-eater

Hadada Ibis

Black Kite

Woodland Kingfisher

Broad-billed Roller

Fork-tailed Drongo

Pied Crow

Rüppell's Starling

African Thrush

Northern Gray-headed Sparrow

Meyer's Parrot

Patricia has written a yarn (Y is for Yarn) about Huck and Gila and their encounter in the desert. Check out Patricia's NPM project: 30 poems in 30 days with 30 forms! 


Sarah has a giveaway today of the book My Paati's Saris, by Jyoti Rajan Gopal. Head over and leave a comment to be eligible to win.

JoAnn's sharing pictures and a poem about milkweed. Like others in the roundup, JoAnn has been doing an NPM project with a daily poem! Way to go! 

There's more Neruding from Tanita, who wrote a sonnet to her upper arms. What a fabulous topic, and I think I'm going to be reading this poem to my upper arms. Wow! 

Susan has a bird haiku, and it's not just a generic bird, but a Louisiana Waterthrush. Inspired by Susan's poem, I went to eBird and listened to its sound.

I just got home from our evening poetry and music event at school, and now that I've rounded up the rest of this evening's links, I'm pretty tired. It's been sixteen hours since my alarm woke me, so I'm going to close down for the night, but don't worry -- you can keep sending links, and I'll post them in the morning!

Good Saturday morning! I slept in (it's 8:30 now), but here I am to add more links!

Tricia has an "Ode to a Basket of Trinkets" in the style of Neruda. I've really enjoyed all the Neruding!

Carol is in with a subject close to my heart: miscarriage. Her poetry post is here and it links to her touching prose narrative here. She's also celebrating her 1900th post!

Matt's joining in on Poetry Saturday. He's at a conference and hasn't been able to post, but he has an interview with Ryan Van Cleave about his new book The Witness Trees.


jama said...

Happy Blog Birthday -- 17 years is a good long time! Congratulations!!

Love your chair poems -- the Schneider one, in particular, is a favorite. The link to the rest of the second poem didn't work for me.
Not to worry, I'll just sit in a quiet corner of your porch until I can access it. :)

Thank you for hosting this week!!

jama said...

Forgot to leave my link. I have an interview with Charles Ghigna about his new book, The Father Goose Treasury of Poetry:

My link goes live at 6 a.m. EST.

Thanks again, Ruth!

Lou Piccolo said...

Happy blog birthday! Seventeen years - almost as long as my youngest child has been alive. That's very impressive. Thank you for hosting and for the lovely poems. I'm going to bring my rocking chair, is that allowed?
Just a question: do we post the links to our Poetry Friday posts in a message or is there a linky thingy somewhere that I'm not seeing?

Ramona said...

Congrats on 17 years of blogging, Ruth! I love how you turned to poetry about furniture and especially, chairs. Both poems are lovely, but my favorite is "The Shaker Chair." I recently donated the chair I rocked my babies in to the mothers' room at our church. On occasion, I open the door and say, "Hello!"
It would be lovely to sit on your porch for a bit and enjoy something whipped up by your husband. We'll enjoy our gathering even if it's not in person.
I haven't written much poetry this month, but spring called and I answered today with a poem, "Adoration."

laurasalas said...

Thank you for hosting, Ruth! Looking forward to coming back to read this weekend. I'm in with "Smaug Returns," from my Digging for Poems NPM project.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Congrats and Happy Blog Birthday, Ruth! Thanks for hosting. (I just left a signpost for here at my blog this week - didn't get a post up.) Happy Last-Bit-of-Poetry-Month....

Janice Scully said...

Hi Ruth! 17 years of blogging is quite an accomplishment and a gift for poetry bloggers. Thanks for sharing these poems, unknown to me. I'm sharing a haiku for day 28 of NPM at Salt City Verse at

Linda Mitchell said...

Hello Ruth! I'm so glad you are hosting today. The poem I'm sharing is just for you. I look forward to a weekend and lots of poems. Linda

Tabatha said...

Hi Ruth! Thanks for making us welcome! Both of your chair poems are also welcoming. Congrats on the blog birthday!
My post is about sandals and swaps:

author amok said...

Hi, Ruth. Thank you for hosting this week! The opening of "The Patience of Ordinary Things" is lovely -- "How the cup holds the tea." It reminds me of Naomi Shihab Nye's poem "Famous."

I'm highlighting Julie Larios' poetry collection Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures as a read alike for my new book (released this week!) Welcome to Monsterville.

Laura Shovan

Jone MacCulloch said...

I have a fabulous interview with Sally Walker. She has a new book of haiku about trees.

Karen Eastlund said...

Thanks so much for hosting... from Uganda! I love the chair poems... the patience, the love. I've got a little poem celebrating pencils this week...
Also, stop back tomorrow for my line in the progressive poem! Cheers!

Lou Piccolo said...

Hi again, I didn’t include the link to my post which is about protecting our right to read. Here it is!

Bridget Magee said...

I chair-ish this post, Ruth! Thank you for hosting. I've got a tiny poem in my pocket post today:

Karin Fisher-Golton said...

I've got the Progressive Poem on my blog: Thank you for hosting, Ruth! I looking forward to perusing here more in the daylight hours tomorrow.

Catherine Flynn said...

Thank you for welcoming us to your blog today, Ruth! And congratulations on 17 years of blogging! I love both of the poems you've shared, especially "The Patience of Ordinary Things." Windows are so generous! Today I'm finding hope in taproots.

mbhmaine said...

That Pat Schneider poem is a favorite of mine. I wasn't planning on posting today, so I'm dashing off a quick comment as I run out the door, and will be back to enjoy your post more thoroughly later. Thanks so much for hosting this week and congratulations on your years of blogging! Wow! I'm in with a limerick this week.

Rose Cappelli said...

What a lovely, inviting post, Ruth! Your porch is lovely. And thank you for the two poems. I was not familiar with either, but I especially love the "The Patience of Ordinary Things" and will be carrying that one with me through the day. Today I'm confessing that although I didn't quite finish my April Poetry Project, there were lessons learned.

Amy LV said...

Thank you, Ruth. You always host with such love. I am a Pat Schneider fan, and this Jeffrey Harrison poem is so beautiful too. Thank you. I will be copying them in.

Today at The Poem Farm, I'm in with Day 28 of my National Poetry Month project following the hours of Old Barn. We're at 11:00 PM, and Old Barn is remembering the night hours away...

Happy 17! It is an honor to be on your porch.

xo, a.

Author Amok said...

Hi, Ruth! When you get a second, would you check the link to my post, please? Looks like it's broken. Thank you!!

Margaret Simon said...

I have to come back to read. Here's my post:

Irene Latham said...

Dear Ruth, thank you for making us so welcome on your just-right-size porch! Yay for 17 years!!! I'm featuring a beautiful new book WHEN POEMS FALL FROM THE SKY by French poet for children Zaro Weil...and a new ArtSpeak: Light poem. Hurray for all those "you are welcome"s in your Ugandan life. Thanks for sharing with us and for hosting today. xo

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I feel VERY welcome, Ruth, and I would sit on your porch with or without a chair and even stand for a good while if I got to stand next to you. Meeting you in person, I suddenly realize, is on my bucket list, wherever you may be in the world! Happy Blog Birthday (almost to the age of majority!) and thanks for hosting. <3 I'm Neruding with the others today and invite your young writers especially to submit work from Uganda to WHISPERshout Magazine!

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, congratulations on your 17th year of blogging. Thank you for inviting us to pull up a chair. I would have done this earlier last night but I fell asleep trying to get my blog post together. I found myself this morning in the same position as last night so I hurried with my post to send it off to Uganda. I added new image poems to my Springsations Gallery Padlet here that we sent to me this week. I have to admit that my padlet is blooming with vitality and poetic goodness, despite the soaking rain. My post from the Creativity Zone is at I would love for you to add one of your image poems or just a photo from Uganda for my gallery.

Liz Garton Scanlon said...

Thank you for hosting! I'm posting my 28th haiku of the month today, but ALSO my "In the Style of Neruda..." poem with my poetry sisters!

LOVE the chair poems, too!!

Sarah Grace Tuttle said...

Thank you for hosting, and for welcoming us to such a friendly space. The poems you posted are delightful! Today, I'm giving awa a copy of My Paati's Saris on my blog. Link is here!

Patricia Franz said...

Thanks for hosting, Ruth. I'm finishing NPM with Y is for Yarn (a poem, featuring desert critters).

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you for hosting and welcoming us all to your porch--I look forward to relaxing with more poetry! My post today is NPM #28, "Come On, Milkweed!" at

tanita✿davis said...

I, too, am "Neruding." Hah.
Thank you for hosting today, and for the beautiful "thing" poems; I ought to try that sometime, just writing a poem about a loved object that sparks bigger thoughts. Happy 17th Blogversary!

Susan T. said...

Hi, Ruth. Thank you for hosting all of us today. I'm in with a bird haiku. (Love your list!)

Susan Thomsen

Karin Fisher-Golton said...

Thank you for hosting and for those two wonderful poems. They both touched my heart. I also loved thinking about your porch in Uganda and learning about "You are welcome." It all made me think of the book The Welcome Chair by Rosemary Wells with illustrations by Jerry Pinkney. If you don't know about it yet, I think it's calling to you!

Tricia said...

Thank you for hosting and for sharing these two poems, both of which are new to me.
I'm also in today with a poem in the style of Neruda.

Carol Labuzzetta said...

Ruth, Thanks so much for hosting! I actually wrote two posts today but put the first as a link in my second post which contains a modern haiku.I wrote on a serious subject in the first post. The haiku alludes to this subject.

I also wanted to comment on the shaker chair poem you shared. The end fits with my topics so well...the hopes and dreams to see a healthy baby rocked in the chair.
Thank you, again! You are always so welcoming in your posts! ~ Carol ~ From The Apples in My Orchard

laurasalas said...

Thank you for these poems--I love that Schneider one. The towel licking. The generosity of a window! Beautiful. Thanks again for hosting us, Ruth, and making us welcome :>)

Anonymous said...

So sorry I’m late to the party, Ruth! I’m at a three day conference where I’m presenting a couple of poetry workshops so I have not been able to be online much, but I did post an interview with author, poet, and editor Ryan Van Cleave about his new Book THE WITNESS TREES:

Love the poems you shared, especially the first because learning to be patient has always been a challenge of mine. Thanks for sharing!

Linda B said...

Hi again, Ruth. I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying your commenting now & then during your day, love reading about it, and that bird list, wow! Happy Saturday, I guess almost over for you!