Poetry Friday: National Author’s Day Challenge

downloadLinda Mitchell posed our monthly Swagger challenge this time around. She suggested that since November 1st was National Author’s Day, we should find a mentor author and create a poem inspired by that individual. I loved the idea! I brought home Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon, considered some Ogden Nash poetry and also revisited Helen Frost’s fabulous Step Gently Out. After much debate, I decided to use the latter as my mentor text. This beautiful book pairs Frost’s poetry with Rick Lieder’s gorgeous photographs. It’s a winning combination and a favorite of mine, combining two of my greatest pleasures–poetry and photography.

Step Gently Out

It begins,
“Step gently out,
be still,
and watch
a single blade
of grass.
An ant
climbs up
to look
A honeybee flies past.”

I worked last minute to pull this all together, so I could post tonight, but it’s still drafty.

foggy start (1)

pink sky eagle (1)

dual herons (1)

gilded cormorant (1)closer kingfisher (1)

DSC_0724 (1)

whole world come alive

Step gently out,
be steady
and slow.
tendrilled fog
mime river’s flow.

An eagle perches
in pinkened skies,
observes the scene
with ancient eyes.

Two herons soar
high above,
silhouetted in
silent flight.

A cormorant
skims along the river
gilded in
dawning light.

Kingfisher pauses
after rattling call,
then plummets in
plunging dive.

Rising sun
crests the trees.
Feel your spirits
spark, revive.

Mornings at the river…
watch the whole world
come alive.

©Molly Hogan, 2019

To visit my fellow Swaggers and check out their National Author Day-inspired posts, click on their names:
Margaret Simon
Heidi Mordhorst
Linda Mitchell
Catherine Flynn

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. She’s sharing two fabulous poems by Samantha Reynolds and an invitation to a winter poetry swap.

19 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: National Author’s Day Challenge

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Absolutely lovely. The images as well as the words. Love tendrilled fog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is stunning, Molly! Your photos and words are magical. I especially love “watch tendrilled fog/mime river’s flow.” Even though this feels “drafty” to you, I think you’re onto something big!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tabatha says:

    I like those verbs! Great mentor text. Are you thinking about coming up with a book manuscript yourself? (Go for it!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    Molly! This collection is incredible! What a gorgeous pairing of photos and poetry. You really are past poem writing and into book/collection writing. This river of yours feels partly mine too as I look at your photos…I want to meet the cormorant and kingfisher and eagle in person….and you’ve allowed me to. A brilliant post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks for a great challenge, Linda. I wish this month had allowed me to spend a bit more time with it! Also, come visit and we’ll head down to the river 🙂 I’d love to host the Swaggers 🙂


  5. lindabaie says:

    “Watch tendrilled fog/mime river’s flow” is a favorite, Molly, but each one catches a moment, just as Frost does in her book. Draft they may be, but beautifully captured pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, as I read your “poem story”, I felt close to your river and couldn’t wait for each stanza. I love the sequence and the dreamy quality of each stanza.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As always, your combinations of photos and words feel sewn, woven together, not just layered. “Step gently out” is such a lovely beginning, could work for so MANY kinds of entrances into the world, but especially nature. I adore the tendrilled fog but my favorite stanza/photo is the gilded cormorant, the way the shapes echo the rising sun and all those nice short i sounds….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. cweichel says:

    Like others before me, I love the images and poetry together.
    PS, if I were doing this challenge, I’m not sure I could resist Ogden Nash, a favourite poet of mine since I was a child.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Wow! Your words and images and photos are breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’d love to see your poem turn into a picture book eventually, it’s lovely Molly, thanks!


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