Thursday, October 19, 2017

National Day on Writing

Today is National Day on Writing, a day to celebrate the joy and importance of writing.  Click on the link to find resources for teachers, tips for writers, and information about how to join the conversation on WhyIWrite. You can also listen to podcasts of authors talking about their process and reasons for becoming a writer.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my own writing process. I  have always loved to write, but it doesn't always come easy. Here is a #poemsketch I wrote about my sometimes struggle with words.  It is still a work-in-progress, but it's late and this what I have so far.


Sometimes writing feels like
a Chinese Finger Trap—

The harder I try 
to pull  words   
onto the page,
the more they stick
inside my brain—

But finally  
when I stop,

to take a breath—

Words somehow 
seem to know

and suddenly
they begin         to let go.

©Linda Kulp Trout

A big thank you to Leigh Anne over at A Day in the Life for hosting this week's Poetry Friday.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Talking With Animals and PET CRAZY

The doe’s eyes meet mine—
a silent conversation

When we lock eyes with an animal, for even just a second, we can sense what they are feeling.  I believe they can sense what we are feeling too. Without a single word, we can communicate and begin to understand each other.

My cat is very good at communicating what she wants.  When I'm in her favorite chair, she sits on the floor glaring up at me until I move. As soon as I do, she claims it as her own.

When I was teaching, I always enjoyed reading the poems my students wrote about their pets. Children love to write about animals.  I just wish I would have had the fabulous PET CRAZY by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong to share with them.  The poems are so relatable.  What child hasn't wished for a special pet or worried about a sick pet?  There is even a poem about communicating with a pet!  The activities in  PET CRAZY are fantastic because they invite young writers to create their own poems. What a timesaver to have the text and activities in one place!

If you are a parent and grandparent, winter break is not that far away.  PET CRAZY would be a wonderful way to encourage creativity and support your child's reading and writing skills over the break.  It's on my list of holiday gifts for seven year old granddaughter.  I know she'll love it.

A big thank you to Irene at Live Your Poem for gathering a bounty of poetry goodness this week.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Poem for International Dot Day!

First Picture

When Mama showed
your picture to me—
a little dot
was all I could see.

So then I wondered,
Who would you be?

A brother, a sister—
it didn’t matter to me.

Because that little dot, 
I could see— 
was already part
of our family.

©2017 Linda Kulp Trout

Have you read THE DOT by Peter H. Reynolds?  If not, I hope you will, especially if you have young children.  The story will inspire you to make your mark and follow your own creativity.

I wanted to write a poem to celebrate International Dot Day,  but I couldn't decide on what I wanted my "dot" poem to be about. Then, last night I read a new book by the very talented Cynthia Rylant titled LIFE.  The very first line in the book is "Life begins small." I stopped and read it again. "Life begins small." Such a beautiful truth.

It occurred to me that no matter if we are rich or poor, our race, religion, or where we live, we ALL begin the same way-- small.   

Then I started thinking about the excitement of seeing that very first sonogram.  That little human dot that sends the whole family dreaming about this new life.  It's amazing that even before we are born, we begin to "make our mark" on the world.  I wanted to celebrate that! 

 A big thank you to Michelle for hosting this week at Today's Little Ditty where you'll find more "dot" poems and other poetry wonders.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Children are Teachers

After so much sadness in the news this week, these precious little faces give me hope.

                                                            Pia and Victor

Young children don’t build walls.  They don't see language, race, religion, or disability as a barrier.  Their hearts are open to love and acceptance.  They find a way to learn and grow, and play together. Children are teachers. We can learn much from them.

Although they've been friends for a while, the two cuties above inspired this little poem.

I met a girl today.
She doesn't understand
the words I say.

we can laugh and
we can play.


I made a new friend

-©Linda Kulp Trout

Peace and love be with you.

 A special thank you to Kay for hosting today at A Journey Through the Pages

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Mystery

Yesterday, I watched two tiny fledglings in our yard.  I don't know much about birds and can only identify a few of them.  I couldn't get a clear picture, but later when I checked the internet, I believe they were Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. The picture and description seemed to fit.

Anyway, as I watched these two babies trying to learn how to fly, I noticed that Mama was giving all of her attention to just one of them.  She stayed very close to it and raised a ruckus when other birds came near.  The other fledgling was way on the other side of the yard and just kind of hopped about and fluttered on its own.  Mama pretty much ignored the little guy.

I went out to get a closer look, and all three flew under a nearby shrub.  Soon after that, it started to rain, and I didn't see them again. But, I've been wondering about those babies ever since.  Did Mama really have a favorite?    If so, why did she choose that one over the other? They both looked exactly the same in size, coloring, and ability.  Well, all that wondering led to this poem.

Baby Bird

Today I watched you
on our lawn
walk, hop, flutter—
learning how
to fly.

On the other side,
your brother
was learning too—
Your mama
close by
protecting him.

But, you—
she left you
all alone
to survive
on your own.

I wonder…


©Linda Kulp Trout

A special thank you to Donna for hosting today's Poetry Friday at Mainely Write.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Poetry Friday

Today is  National Macaroni and Cheese Day, and it's the theme for this week's Poetry Friday.

My seven-year old granddaughter and I are having our own week writing retreat this week, so I only have time for a quick post.  Evie and I wrote this poem together. It was inspired by her little brother, Victor, who loves macaroni and cheese. He does enjoy a few other foods, but macaroni and cheese is one of his favorites.

                                                        Here's Victor enjoying his lunch.  

Picky Eater

Macaroni and cheese,
macaroni and cheese,

Victor only eats
macaroni and cheese.

Don’t give him pasta,
tacos, spinach, or peas.

He will not eat them,
even if you say, “Please.”

Victor only eats
macaroni and cheese,

Macaroni and cheese,
macaroni and cheese.

All Victor wants is
macaroni and cheese!

©Linda Kulp Trout and Evelyn Kulp

Tabatha is hosting our celebration today at The Opposite of Indifference. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Poetry Friday

Father's Day

I don’t remember him.
(He left when I was three.)

He never ever calls.
He doesn't visit me.

I hug my pillow close
pretending it’s my dad.

Growing up without him—
makes my heart feel sad.

If he were here with me,
I know what I would say:

I still love you, Daddy.
Happy Father’s Day.

©Linda Kulp Trout

I had planned to write a happy poem to celebrate Father's Day.  Instead, I kept thinking about how for many children, Father's Day is difficult.  This is the poem that wanted to be written tonight.  It still needs work, but here's what I have so far.

A big thank you to Carol for hosting today's Poetry Friday.