Poetry Friday: “Poetry…Cubed!” wraps up today!

Before I get to today’s post, I just wanted to mention that – in case you missed it – I shared a few new peeks of my debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press, 2017) this past Tuesday! The advance copy arrived in the mail while I was at the New England SCBWI conference, and what a welcome home gift it was.

So now I’m back from my conference, and have a few more poems to share as we wrap up this month-long writing challenge I call “Poetry…Cubed!” – based on the premise of the The Food Network show, “Chopped!

Writers were asked to use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem – any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. The only hitch was that a reference to all three images needed to be included in the poem.

Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky person would be chosen at random to receive a copy of the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Pomelo Books, 2015). Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared a number of entries, and today, we have FIVE more poems!

But first…here are the three images (click on any to enlarge):


(All images courtesy of Katherine Esenwine

The first poem is by Brenda Davis Harsham, who saw all sorts of emotion within those pictures:

Van Gogh the Trickster

With his swirling strokes,
flowers unfold, stars twinkle,
Japanese screen images flirt,
couples lean in, sowers seed,
and your eye is tricked
into thinking
paint is real,
happiness lasts,
and youth is forever.

– © 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham, all rights reserved


Today’s second entry is a haiku from The Poetry Princess herself, Joy Acey:

Eye of the Tiger
on the silver movie screen
a white hibiscus

© 2017 Joy Acey,  all rights reserved

Third, we have a poem from Karen Eastlund, who was inspired to write this poem after she saw a billboard on the way to her aunt & uncle’s house:

Best Billboard

The billboard caught my eye immediately
Not for its bright colors
Or flowery words
But for the humor

Take one home to your mother-in-law

We laughed our way to
My uncle’s house
And then we laughed some more

– © 2017 Karen Eastlund,  all rights reserved


Our fourth poem comes from Donna Smith, who took a break from packing (in advance of a big move), to write a poem for this challenge:


My vision clouded
By these walls,
But on the other side
The blossoms
Of sweeter times
Days of freedom
Behind and ahead
In glory

– © 2017 Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Last but certainly not least, is a poem by Kay Jernigan McGriff, who weaves all 3 images into a spring scene:


A clenched bud
unfurls its petals
one by one
as spring unspools
before my eyes.

Bees dance
across the petals
step by step
as spring writes a new
saga across earth’s screen.

– © 2017 Kay Jernigan McGriff, all rights reserved

And out of all the entries…who is our randomly-picked winner??

Brenda Davis Harsham!

Congratulations, Brenda! I’ll get your copy of the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations to you as soon as possible!


REMEMBER: Irene Latham‘s annual Progressive Poem continues! Each day throughout April a different person adds a line – until we have a complete, 30-poet poem on April 30.

added my line yesterday which means there are only a few days left, but if you’d like to follow along and see how it’s been progressing, here’s the schedule:

1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at a penny and her jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids


If you still can’t get enough poetry, head over to Teaching Authors, where JoAnn Early Macken and crew are celebrating today’s Poetry Friday roundup with April showers!


Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 5, 2017!

Pre-orders are available now by clicking the image of the cover to the right, or if you prefer, you can wait til Sept. 5 and purchase it at your favorite local bookstore.

(Good grief, this is all really happening…)


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21 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Poetry…Cubed!” wraps up today!

  1. Hi Matt, This was a great challenge, with powerful images. I’ve been quite swamped this month. Although you are finished with your drawing, I thought I’d share my late entry with you.

    Ode to Georgia O’Keeffe

    Georgia journeyed
    through the clouds
    capturing a
    pristine sky,
    clutter free of
    and cities

    Her keen eye
    clicked away
    like a camera’s
    shutter, exposing
    flora’s simple
    in the
    of her

    ©2017 Michelle Kogan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lindabaie

    All the poems your images collected are wonderful today, too, Matt. This is a fun challenge, maybe one to set for ourselves? Have a lovely weekend!


  3. haitiruth

    I love your challenge, and it’s fun to see people’s different takes on it! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  4. Congratulations to you, Matt, on your book. What a wonderful surprise was waiting for you. Your challenge was an amazing one for us to wrap our heads around. The poems you showcased today were all wonderful and unique.


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