Delayed Sharing

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Every Wednesday I wait for two things: 1. the new episode of Arrow (I LOVE this show). 2. The new poetry prompt on Poetic Asides (via Writer’s Digest).

As soon as Arrow is over, I sit down with my poetry journal and consider the day’s poetry prompt. Sometimes I’m able to punch out a trio of haikus in fifteen minutes, but then there’s those weeks where it’ll take me a few days to figure out just one haiku. I love the challenge no matter how long it takes my muse to find the words.

Recently, I wrote about completing A Year of Haiku. Aside from sheer love of the craft and prompts from National Haiku Writing Month, I credit the prompts on Poetic Asides with helping me complete my haiku project. After all, my initial inspiration for a year of haiku came from prepping for last year’s November Poem A Day Challenge. At the conclusion of the challenge, I opted to continue visiting the site for weekly prompts as another source of inspiration. From there the goal of writing and submitting poetry for each week’s prompt was born.

I’ve kept up with the weekly goal without fail. However, I realized I’ve rarely shared the poetry I write for Poetic Asides outside of the comment section on the site. I’m not really sure why that is, but I think its time for that to change!

Here’s a sampling of the haikus I’ve written for recent prompts.

September 16, 2015
Prompt: hesitation

I.
fear of frost
stalls the garden
far too long

II.
our last words
at best unkind
I almost called

September 23, 2015
Prompt: spectacular

I.
yellow birch
gleaming gold
fall’s first day

II.
stones sparkle
a million
white moons

October 7, 2015
Prompt: spooky

I.
crows spike
midnight branches
full moon

II.
loons call nonstop
and then suddenly
— silence

III.

spiders crawl
where moonlight
does not shine

October 14, 2015
Prompt: watching the world go by

I.
sparrows fly
branch to feeder
seeds scatter

II.
passing cars
clip a pothole
birds scatter

III.
blue sky
turns to gold
clouds scatter

In the coming weeks, I’m hoping to make it habit of posting what I write for Wednesday Poetry Prompts as it occurs rather than in one big clump. Hope you’re in the mood for poetry!

What would you write for these prompts?

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c.b.w. 2015

Amish Friendship Bread

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Over the last 40 days (or so) I’ve been caught up in a baking frenzy that has swept my workplace: Amish Friendship Bread.  It all started when a colleague brought a freshly baked loaf of sweet bread and told us all to help ourselves.  I am already a nut for Amish baked goods after years of going to an Amish farm market in Indiana, (every year I head to Indy to visit my dad in the summer), so I dug right in!  I can’t even begin to say how excited I was to nosh on Amish bread well before my usual August binge.  It was so good, I asked if she would be willing to share the recipe so I could make it for myself.  Instead of writing it out for me, she handed over a large ziplock bag filled with pale goo and piece of paper with directions on what to do with my “starter.”

For the next six days, that goo sat on my counter and bubbled.  In between mushing the goo each day, I have to admit I was pretty fascinated with watching the yeast ferment.  On the sixth day, I got to add some ingredients and mush the bag some more until Day 10 or baking day arrived.

Baking day is where the real message of Amish Friendship bread comes through loud and clear. During the process, four cups of batter are pulled out and bagged for new starters.  These starters are then distributed to friends, family, neighbors, etc., while one is kept for yourself.  This creates an immediate connection with everyone in the circle as the next bake day arrives.  As the starter chain grows, the community grows and so does the sense of doing something meaningful.  Over the course of four batches, I realized I wasn’t baking alone and that created an instant kinship with every single person who had received a starter, including the people before and after my link in the chain. There is something magical and very warm about doing the same thing at the same time as those in my inner circle and beyond.  Every ten days that feeling comes back when I bake the next batch.

Better still, each batch yields two loaves of bread.  The sharing doesn’t end with starters!  It only continues as one loaf stays at home and the other is shared with others.  The office at work has been loaded with yummy loaves and muffins for weeks, while my grandparents always have a fresh loaf on their counter thanks to the baking efforts of me and my sister.

Batch #4 of Amish Friendship Bread

This experience has been very rewarding and tasty, so I thought I’d pass it along to my friends in the blogosphere.  The recipe for the starter is usually kept under wraps in order to keep the spirit of sharing alive, but I managed to find a starter recipe that matches up with the baking directions I received for my bread.  If you’re interested in starting an Amish Friendship Bread chain, go here for starter and baking recipes.

May we all be inspired to strengthen the bonds of friendship and keep strong the tradition of sharing.

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c.b. 2012