Poetry Friday: Definitos



Last month, Heidi Mordhorst posed our Sunday writing critique group the challenge of writing a definito, a fabulous poetry form that she created and defined many moons ago. In short, Heidi describes the definito as “a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.” I soon discovered that, even though I came up with word after word to use, the poems are much more challenging to write than I expected. Here are three of mine.


when there’s only
not two or three

©Molly Hogan, 2019



When challenges rise
like a flooding river
hold tight in the current
bend with the flow
Be strong
Be tough
Don’t let go…
Be resilient

©Molly Hogan, 2019

And then, just for kicks… and without a photo—


Upchuck, throw up
heave, hurl, spew

Tossing cookies
sick with flu

What’s a queasy
kid to do?

Nauseous, achy
don’t feel great?

Grab a bucket!

You’re going to…

©Molly Hogan, 2019

This week, Heidi‘s highlighting definitos as she hosts Poetry Friday at her blog, My Juicy Little Universe. Make sure to stop by to read more about the evolution of the form and to see some examples. Keep your eyes open while you wander through the Roundup, as  there will be plenty more definitos around! Then, consider trying your hand at writing one, but be forewarned: Writing these is kind of addictive! 


Color Poem and Poetry Swap

unnamedMy last poetry swap of the summer arrived this past week and what a beauty it is! Jone Macculloch shared a picture of her west coast ocean with me, using a line from my recent east coast ocean sonnet to create an accompanying golden shovel poem. Her word choice and alliteration are delightful and her fabulous photo captures a heart in the surf. Really!? Isn’t it wonderful? IMG_2889 (2).jpgThe color, celadon!, is just fabulous and one I probably couldn’t have named, but as soon as I read it, I recognized it. I’m also delighted that the photo is neatly tucked into a magnetic frame that now has a place of honor on my refrigerator, in the midst of some other treasures. Every time I see it, I think of the ocean’s splendor and of poetry connections across the country. Thanks so much, Jone, for ending my first poetry swap experience so beautifully!


Jone’s poem reminded me of  a post by Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe way back in July. Heidi hosted the Poetry Friday Roundup and shared some recent PD experiences. One thing she shared was a wonderful color poem she’d written in response to this prompt: “We imagined that we had met a cloud of our favorite color on the street and taken a handful… ”

I had played around with this prompt some, but had forgotten about it until thoughts of celadon inspired me to look for it again. Here’s my draft response to the prompt:


Some call you dark purple
but I call you
glamour surrounds you
a mysterious shadow
separating you from paler hues
Within your depths
black and purple
have kindled a new shade
warm yet regal
I reach my hand out to you
and feel a charge
startling, powerful
soft like plush ermine
hard like a faceted gem
we walk together
me at your heels
and I hear echoes of
late blooming lilacs
brushing against each other
in a spring tempest
their bruised blossoms
perfume the air

M. Hogan ©2018

I think I’ll toy around with this a bit more and I may revisit this prompt again–maybe I’ll write about celadon! Thanks for the inspiration, Heidi and Jone! While I’m shouting out  thanks, a huge one goes to Tabatha Yeatts for organizing the Summer Poetry Swap. It’s been a wonderful experience to participate, rewarding in so many ways. Thank you so much, Tabatha!

Poetry Friday this week is hosted by the inspirational Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. Margaret has been very busy recently with all things wonderful associated with her newly published book, Bayou Song. This week she’s sharing a poetry swap poem she received and a poem she wrote. Both were inspired by other poems. Poems sparking more and more poetry! Gotta love that!