SOLC Day 4: Inkling Challenge

March 2022 SOLC–Day 4
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

I love quotations. I always have good intentions about collecting them in one neat little notebook. But you know what they say about good intentions…

Still, when Margaret posed our Inkling group challenge for this month, I was immediately intrigued. She asked us to write a poem in response to a quotation or inspired by a quotation or whatever. Somehow other than a little tinkering a week or so ago, I haven’t worked on anything. It’s been a week! So, I’m not thrilled with last week’s tinkering or tonight’s last gasp effort, but here they are:

The first response is a golden shovel with the strike line, “…just take it bird by bird” from Annie Lamott’s wonderful book, “Bird by Bird.”

I am repeatedly saved by the birds

There are some days that just 
poach your brains. They take
aim at ease and whittle away. It
all seems hopeless, but then a single bird
song ripples the air; something feathered flies by. 
Thank god for that bird.

©Molly Hogan

The next is a response to one of my favorite proverbs, “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

He says it’s my mantra
It drives him crazy
as he’s more of a 
crash-bash-fly-through kind of guy
though I suspect 
he’ll object 
to that classification
(and to any unintended innuendos
some minds might attach to it)

Recognizing my own nature
I cheer for the tortoise
plodding along
making headway
bit by bit
no flash or dazzle
in the race at its own pace
just steady and true
steady and true.

©Molly Hogan, draft

If you’re interested in reading what the other Inklings have done with this challenge, check out their posts:

Linda Mitchell
Margaret Simon
Catherine Flynn
Heidi Mordhorst
MaryLee Hahn

The Poetry Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Kat Apel at her blog. She’s celebrating the release of her newest verse novel, “What Snail Knows”.

23 thoughts on “SOLC Day 4: Inkling Challenge

  1. Debbie Lynn says:

    I always enjoy your stories and poems. “A bird song ripples the air” I love this line because I often only come up with ‘bird tweets or birdsongs’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I love “bird song ripples the air” and your attention to the tortoise in you. Both worthy responses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I really liked the challenge concept, Margaret, but somehow missed seeing it until late and then got swamped. Maybe this will be the spark I need to write down meaningful quotations in a small notebook.


  3. kd0602 says:

    I love the egg reference (poach your brain) in the bird poem…and I love Bird by Bird!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Your comment made me realize how hopelessly I’ve mixed my metaphors in that poem. lol Also, I was thinking I need to reread that book. Anne Lamott is wonderful!


  4. >I cheer for the tortoise< Slow and steady, this is where I am right now. Thank you for these words, these images. They carry power and beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Denise Krebs says:

    Molly, brava! Even with your being unhappy with these drafts, we like them. Some stand-out lines for me: “crash-bash-fly-through kind of guy” and I love love the whole bird poem. “I am repeatedly saved by the birds” Amen! Good for you stopping to listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, sometimes we need the tortoise’s pace to find the right words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It’s interesting to consider how pace impacts writing. How sometimes fast and furious happens and other times slow and methodical is the order of the day.


  7. katswhiskers says:

    I could so relate to your title; I am repeatedly saved by the birds. (And it is so you!) As I type this, it’s golden hour, after a short, sharp downpour; the hills are ringing with lorikeets, celebrating a last sip of sweetness before nightfall.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda Mitchell says:

    You ARE saved by the birds…we can see that in your photographs and your writing. Love that striking line…to get to through the week, through to posting and through the challenge. You are one tough writer lady!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] Lee Hahn @ A(nother) Year of ReadingMolly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort ZoneHeidi Mordhorst @ My Juicy Little UniverseLinda Mitchell @ A Word EdgewiseMargaret Simon @ […]


  10. Yes, “Thank god for that bird,” and that walk with nature they both seem to smooth out all the bumps that come tumbling out… And I think the tortoise has the right idea to, the present, the process, thanks Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. These are both wonderful, Molly. Of course I’m partial to the first poem. I am also “repeatedly saved by the birds.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. maryleehahn says:

    I love them both — I come from both bird love and tortoise speed.

    Liked by 2 people

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