Category Archives: Personal

ICSPOTS (NPM ’16-Day 28)

One of the most fun parts of this April has been following the projects of various Poetry Friday friends. Donna, at Mainely Write, for example, has been posting vanity license plates she has photographed, a day for each letter of the alphabet, and using one of the day’s plates as a poem prompt.

When Adele Kenny’s blog (one of the places I check daily for poem-writing ideas) linked the poem “Which Way is Up?”—the thoughts of poet Tony Gruenewald on seeing a vanity plate flash by him on the road—I thought immediately of Donna’s project.

I surfed over to her website and on browsing through the variety of plates, a semblance of order began to suggest itself to me and, voila—a found poem!  Donna has generously allowed me to use plate photos from her blog for ICSPOTS. (Thanks Donna!)

Screen shot 2016-04-27 at 2.33.25 PM


© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly, Photos by Donna Smith (All rights reserved)

In case you didn’t get the message via the plate lingo, here it is, in translation (with my additions in parentheses):

Icy Spots(?)

Look up,
Love Jesu
North Star.

Oh my—
Are you salt?
(It’s) OK.

Anchor D(own).
You are loved.

We (are) grateful
You be brave,
Überkül (Extra cool)
Smoov (Smooth)



Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog.


Posted by on April 28, 2016 in Found, Personal, Poetry Friday, Religious


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No! (NPM ’16-Day 27)




lower the ceiling
stop dreaming and get real
distract the appetite
.    with cold water and celery
wipe that smile off your face
snuff out the candle of “what if…?”
turn off the music
leave the room
.   and don’t forget to close the door

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


The poem “Yes” by Catherine Doty (Adele Kenny’s poem prompt for April 24th) gave rise to this contrarian response.

In her Tips on how we might use the poems she links, Ms. Kenny says:

1. Don’t feel compelled to match your content to the examples—in fact, do just the opposite and make your poems as different as you possibly can. The inspiration titles and the example poems are only intended to trigger some poetry-spark that’s unique to you, to guide your thinking a little—don’t let them enter too deeply into your poems, don’t let their content become your content.

2. Let your reactions to the key words and poems surprise you. Begin with no expectations, and let your poems take you where they want to go.

I guess that happened with “No!”

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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Personal


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Solomon’s Seal (NPM ’16-Day 24)

Solomon’s Seal

lacy petticoat
green leaves bower leggy height
cure for many ills

texture complements
pieris, hostas, roses
salve for green-starved eyes

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


My sister gave me a Solomon’s Seal plant about a year ago. It did well. But when it came up this spring,  I had forgotten all about it and it took me a while to figure out what it was. Then I saw the telltale row of flowers under the leaves—so different from any other plant I’ve ever seen—and I remembered.

Solomon’s Seal has a reputation for being quite a healer. Ancients ground its roots to powder to made it into tea for stomach ailments, combined it with lard to smooth over bruised and freckled skin, expected it to aid in the healing of broken bones, hemorrhoids, and tumors. Despite its poisonous leaves and berries, it was credited with being a virtual medicine cabinet in one plant! Read more about it HERE.

I’m quite content to let it do its healing from a distance, with its beauty.


Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Haiku, Nature, Objects, Personal


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Tax Time (NPM ’16-Day 22)


Tax Time

Number crunches
what I need when I must do my

holds my numbers
generates report for
neighbourhood accountant—tax time
good friend.

all filled in right?
Have faith in tax person.
Rebate in bank account proves we’re
all done!

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Cinquain, Form poems, Personal


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Mother Speaks (NPM ’16-Day 19)

Mother Speaks

Do not
throw it away,
we’ll use it for patches.
We can always eat bread—and eggs.

Are you
reading again?
Still not done the dishes?
You could always weed the garden.

So much to do.
I’ll be in the garden.
Don’t be listening on the line.
Felt pens!

Can you
make some supper?
First you work, then you play.
We’ll have a picnic—I’ll make it

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


Yesterday’s prompt at NaPoWriMo was to:

“… write a poem that incorporates ‘the sound of home.’ Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore.”

I read the prompt in the morning and dismissed it. But then as I was making dinner last night, all these sayings that my mother had started coming back to me.

My mom was an amazing woman. As a mother of many children, she worked hard and expected me, as the eldest, to do my share. Mostly I was a pretty compliant kid, though I did choose inside jobs where I was routinely distracted by whatever was happening in the book I was reading at the time. I chose a counted syllable cinquain form to give the poem some ‘bones.’

*Na-yo is Low German expression that communicates a resigned “well yes.”


Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Cinquain, Form poems, Personal


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Spring’s Debutantes (NPM ’16-Day 16)

Spring’s Debutantes

Party deb Pansy and, before her, Crocus
whisper in royal shades of an amethyst queen.
Frilly Lilac and loose-limbed Wisteria
trailing scented clouds of hocus-pocus
languid on trellis and bower lean.
The starchy Tulip sisters dressed in flames
bring to this dance a daring new criteria,
strut a bold contrast to spring’s purple dames.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


Well, we’re over halfway through the month and still on track for writing one poem a day!

This poem is in the form of a san san—a new form to me. The 8-line san san has a set pattern of rhymes (a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d), and is supposed to contain three images. Read about it here.


Posted by on April 16, 2016 in Form poems, Nature, Personal


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Gratitude (NPM ’16-Day 13)


Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

I had a lovely experience of gratitude expressed to me last weekend.

A bit of backstory.

Years ago, it became customary for our church’s small groups to discuss Sunday’s sermon in their meetings. The church office provided sermon notes for that. In February of 2011, the pastor responsible for small groups asked me if I would write the notes, which included making up discussion questions and writing a prayer at the end.

Since only a few knew who did them, I got very little feedback. I wasn’t even sure they were being used. When we had a pastoral change in 2014 I thought that maybe the new pastors would release me from my responsibility. But no. The new pastor in charge of adult ministries wanted me to soldier on. So I did.

And I’ve been perfectly fine working in obscurity. I love Paul’s description of the church as a body where each of us plays a part, some visible, some hidden. In fact, I rather liked being a bit hidden—though I did explain to those sitting around me in church Sunday mornings why I brought my laptop and typed furiously through the sermon.

All that changed on Sunday—actually Saturday night, when I got a Direct Message on Twitter from our lead pastor, saying some nice things about those notes, asking me how long I had been doing them, and saying that he was going to encourage their use for his current sermon series. And so on Sunday morning, pastor spilled the beans on me and those notes, and I got a congregation’s worth of applause for five years of note-taking and -making.

It was lovely to get the thanks and recognition. But it also felt awkward—even dangerous (for I know how easily pride creeps in). Plus it was nice when no one knew who was responsible if there were typos or the questions were dumb. That era is over now I guess.

Because I’m writing a poem a day this month—and when you do that, everything you experience becomes potential poem material—the poem below was my piece for last Sunday. I wasn’t going to post it, but then I didn’t have anything suitable for Spiritual Journey Thursday, which seems like the right time to share it. (The form is a triolet.)




My name was mentioned today and there was applause
I was thanked and honored for work done backstage.
I’m glad I had no part in this because

my name was mentioned today and there was applause.
Now I’ll have to watch i’s and t’s and avoid faux pas
This incident is a kind of turning the page.

My name was mentioned today and there was applause.
It was nice to get thanked for something done backstage.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

james 4:10 1 Corinthians 12:14-26

(The notes I write are now online, in case you’re curious, on this page.)



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