Friday, March 2, 2018

March Madness Poetry Begins

It's Poetry Friday, so it is fitting that many poets and poem lovers are gearing up for March Madness Poetry.  I've made the cut for the competition (despite my stupor lately)...
Register yourself (as an individual) and/or your class (even homeschoolers!) to vote for your favorite poems.
There will be an insane number of poems and variety of styles and usage of words at Ed DeCaria's in March!

Today I am sharing the post from Laura Shovan's Wind Down from February's Ekphrastic poetry challenge.  The inspiration is a painting by Patty Gulledge.  I truly wanted to do something serious...but as I looked at the buoys and thought about the rows of buoys lined up to be painted afresh each spring to ready them for duty, the very last line, the punchline of a joke, kept coming to me...
You have to go with what you are given.

Buoy's Team

Like worn out team shirts
After the last game
The buoys were brought in
To repaint and stain
Then strung on a line
By their ropes left to dry
Freshened buoy colors
Tickled the eye
“Are all you ropes good?”
Fisherman asked the lot,
One rope replied,
“I’m a frayed knot!”

by Donna JT Smith

The painting reminded me that I had taken pictures a few years back of buoys being repainted, getting ready for putting in traps again.  Each lobsterman has his own unique paint pattern so they know the right buoys to pull.  I remember my grandfather telling me that it would be dangerous to touch another lobsterman's traps. Fishermen respected property and boundaries.

Now head on over to Renée LaTulippe's No River Water where she has links to more poetry and is hosting Michelle H. Barnes and her ditty anthologies!

More info on March Madness Poetry:
The March Madness Poetry tournament officially opens tomorrow at 8 pm.  This is when the poets will get their assigned word and 36 hours to write a poem using it.  If you haven't registered to participate in the voting community either as an individual or a class of students (home schoolers, too) you can do that at any time!  This should be lots of fun for adults and kids alike, though the poems are geared to kids K-12.  

Here's the schedule for the bouts (click on the link below it to take you to the original page):
  1. Log in with Facebook. (Alternatively, sign up using email and log in.)
  2. For each match-up, read both poems and consider the merits of each.
  3. After deciding on your favorite, click the appropriate button to cast your vote. Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
Things to Consider in Making a Choice
  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete's assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.
Hope you get to play!


  1. That house in the last picture will float! :-) I like to watch the fishermen unload, tossing scraps to the seals and seagulls.

  2. Good luck with your March poetry! I love these familiar signs of spring, local traditions and customs that help us mark the passing of time, and get us excited for each new season. Man oh man, am I ever ready for spring!!

    1. Our roads are like riding a bucking horse - frost heaves are plentiful! Just coming into mud season that overlaps the beginning of spring.

  3. Har, a frayed knot!
    Good luck in the Madness!

  4. I love how this poem just insisted on having its own way. Hah! Good luck with your March Madness Poetry.

    1. You don't stop a persistent poem.
      Thanks, Molly! I'm looking forward - sweating a bit - to get the word tomorrow night!

  5. Wonderful that you'll be in the 'madness' Donna. I'll come by to register! You know I love your poem, and didn't know each fisherman had unique colors. Makes sense of course. Happy Writing!

    1. I wish I remembered what my grandfather's colors were! I'll have to ask my brother - he remember EVERYTHING!

  6. Good luck with March Madness! I have fond memories of my years of competing!

    1. Thanks! Yes, it is fun...a little frazzling...but mostly fun.

  7. Best do what your poem tells you to! (I've never had luck forcing a poem to be what it's not either.) Love your ending, Donna. It's perfect. :) Good luck in March Madness!

    1. Thanks, Michelle!
      No, you can't force words to comply with your wishes. I've tried. They'll wrestle you to the ground.

  8. That last line makes me laugh every time! Good luck with the poetry madness this month!


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