Olio

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Isn’t olio a great word? I confess it’s one I know only because I enjoy crossword puzzles. It’s an odd little word in which three out of four letters are vowels. This is apparently quite helpful for  puzzle designers, who use it with great frequency. In addition to those handy three vowels, olio also has great fun-to-say synonyms–words like hodgepodge and mishmash. (On a side note, idle curiosity led me to look into other synonyms (#rabbithole) and on to the coolest word ever– gallimaufry. ga-lə-ˈmȯ-frē. Just take a second and say it a few times. It’s a beaut!)

With my first two professional days behind me and the first day with students zooming down the pike, I’m feeling a bit scattered. It seemed like the perfect time to round up some odds and ends and offer up an olio of poems. (And aren’t those last three words fun to say together!?)

Photo Laura P. Salas

Way back in July, Laura Purdie Salas posted this interesting and amusing photo for her 15 words or less weekly challenge. I didn’t share my poems then, because I was pressed for time, and I also had a tough time with the 15 word limit. Here are two of my efforts:

Holy Cow!

Made of plaster
headed to pasture
wants to go faster
Incipient disaster!

©Molly Hogan, 2019

The Farmer’s Successful Plea

Cow’s on the flatbed. Go, go, go!
Mama in the truck says, “No! No! No!”
Papa looking sheepish, on his knees
“Can’t Bessie come camping? Please, please, please!”

©Molly Hogan, 2019

I also have a couple more definitos to share. If you’re not familiar with this form, it was invented by the Master of Word Play, Heidi Mordhorst, and is quite addictive. In a nutshell, it’s an 8-12 line poem that uses wordplay to define a word. That word is the final word in the poem. You can check out her post for a longer definition and some examples. I’ve opted to leave my poems untitled this time so you can try to guess the word as you go!

Won the game?
Aced the test?
Bubbling over
with happiness?

Sing or dance!
Don’t just hint.
Express your joy!
Be jubilant!

©Molly Hogan, 2019

She lifts a hand
with lazy grace
no urge to move,
still, in one place
indolent, slow
a slothful pace
Energy lost
to summer’s heat
sluggish, listless
lounging in seat,
languid

©Molly Hogan, 2019

Finally, I’ve been enjoying some of my last pockets of free time down at the river’s edge. I’m including a poem sparked by an image from a recent morning.

cormorant skims
over dawn-gilded waters
autumn whispers hello

©Molly Hogan, 2019

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This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by Kat Apel, who is sharing all sorts of delightful book news from Down Under. She’s reviewing two new picture books written by friends and the exciting news that this week she signed the contract for her second picture book. Woohoo! Go, Kat!

38 thoughts on “Olio

  1. Your delightful bovine poems mooooooved me! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretsmn says:

    So much to love about this post overflowing with cow-wit and finished off with beauty in a single image. Inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tabatha says:

    Your olio of poems touches on so many emotions! I love the inventiveness here. Good luck with the first week of school — your creative muscles are ready to flex!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Tabatha. I’m hoping those creative muscles keep flexing and don’t cramp up! I appreciate the good luck wishes, as back to school bad dreams have been haunting me of late!

      Like

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    That photo….I saw it on fb and just gasped. It is so beautiful! One day, I need to see your river. It has given ME such joy through your photos and we haven’t even met in person.
    Autumn is whispering hello. I saw a first geese “V” last night. It’s still hot as heck but the geese know what’s on the horizon.
    This is just a fabulous Olio! I’m glad to be introduced to the word as well. Thanks for the treats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Autumn really is hovering on the doorstep. Mornings have been chilly here and the birds are moving. The air and the light just feel different. On another note, Linda, you have an open invitation to come visit me and the river any time you’d like!

      Like

  5. lindabaie says:

    I know the word ‘olio’ from past theater work & it is a wonderful one to use in your post today. I enjoyed all the poems, love the word “languid”. It almost defines itself when spoken I think. And your picture, the cormorant skims-simply gorgeous. Yes, school starting, autumn’s calling. Best wishes for a wonderful first day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m swooning over that last image and poem! Perfection!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am lifelong crossword puzzle guy. I have never seen olio! Thanks for the addition to my crossword puzzle life. My dad did crosswords and so do I. Our daughter, a Molly!, does them in bed at night with her husband. We are in fine company. I also now love the Sunday New York Times puzzle! Once our sister-in-law suggested using my iPhone for those impossible clues, Sunday puzzle life is now a beautiful thing coming up with all the theme clues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I used to work on the Sunday New York Times puzzle every weekend, but rarely do any more. I loved picking away at it all week. It always surprised me how I could come up with more and more answers as the week wore on.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What fun reading your poems aloud and catching their rhythm.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. And lastly, how is this for a mission statement from a high powered school district in the Boston area!
    “Joy in learning, curiosity in life, and compassion in all we do.”
    Lexington, MA Schools mission statement
    Those are some laudable ideals to guide teachers in their daily life in the classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Donna Smith says:

    Gorgeous photo! And cute cow poems!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. katswhiskers says:

    So much to appreciate here, Molly. Had to giggle at both those cow poems. I was in Rockhampton during the week – beef capital of Australia. There are bulls (of Laura’s variety) on every street corner. But none on trailers. (Can’t believe I’ll be seeing you in two months time!!! So exciting!)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. haitiruth says:

    What a post full of treasures! I especially enjoyed your definitos. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your cow poems made me laugh out loud, Molly! Thank you for that. Your definitos are perfection, as is your final autumn-tinged image. Wishing you a great school year!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. cvarsalona says:

    Imaginative creativity is illustrated in your olio of poems, Molly. I had fun reading all of them this morning. I would love if you sent me your last poem for the Abundant Autumn Gallery. Simply wonderful work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks so much, Carol! I sent you an image poem of the final poem on Twitter under #EmbraceableSummer. It could really go with either season, so feel free to switch it to Abundant Autumn. Thanks so much for asking!

      Like

  15. laurashovan222 says:

    Molly, the first two lines of “Holy Cow!” made me laugh out loud. Your poem goes hilariously well with the photo. Good luck with the start of school.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I love your olio of poems (and the chance to learn new words). My crossword puzzle makers have let me down–they seem to prever oboe for the three-vowel, one consonant word). Best wishes for the start of a new school year.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What a joyful collection of poems, whatever word you choose! (I was first introduced to “gallimaufry” as the name of a craft shop we used to frequent when I was young, and “mishmash” was one of many nicknames I’ve had!) Thanks for the smiles, giggles, and sighs, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Joyce Ray says:

    I love your “olio of poems” post. Thanks for this word that rolls on the tongue. I discovered “gaullimaufry” a couple of years ago and just love it. I guess I missed Heidi’s “definito” poems, but love yours. I’ll check out Heidi’s post. Your cow poems are humorous! Best wishes as you enter another school year! I wonder where you are in Maine, Molly. We live in Maine in summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow! It’s a pasture FULL of fun poems! I love that you tuck away photos, prompts, and forms that spark something and mess with them more later. I’m terrible at that. These are all a delight, but that final one, the cormorant one–that’s the one that will stay with me. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. mbhmaine says:

    A Pasture FULL! Ha! 🙂 I’m generally terrible at going back to my notebooks to revisit ideas (It’s a goal!), but I do keep images up on my desk top, and the visual is a good reminder. I cleared the decks before school started with this post! lol

    Like

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