Tag Archives: artichoke

From the Scraps: NPM20 Day 26

These last couple of days have felt like summer.  Temps rising into the high 80s, cloudless deep blue skies, lengthening days and so much time at home–it’s hard to believe we are still in April.  And we came home from the grocery store with an artichoke yesterday; a huge, round, green globe that ended up as part of our dinner tonight…and the subject of today’s poem.


In the Artichoke Scraps…

In the purple papery leaves

summer emerges

and I remember racing through the sprinklers

screaming as the cold droplets landed on warm skin

laughing with my sister

as we ran back and forth across the lawn


In the salty butter

I taste home

dinner like clockwork at 5

our family of 4 gathered around the dinner table

to eat and argue

mediated by dad and the dictionary


In the sharp spines

a fortress is present

circle the wagons

with our hearts, soft and tender, at the center

guarded carefully

closing tightly when necessary


In the leaves, the curves, the smells, and the taste

of an artichoke


my childhood



and love

all wrapped up in a thistle



Garden Poetry

My students are lucky.  They spend a half an hour in our school garden every week, growing vegetables, learning about bugs, noticing what grows well and what struggles, and tasting!  I often don’t get to go out with them, but today because of a shift in my schedule due to conferences, I joined them…and turned it into an opportunity for poetry writing!

I was drawn to the artichokes, purple and green knots growing strong and tall.  When my students sat down to write, so did I.




like dinosaur paws


holding a tender heart inside

tiny swords

protect that meaty center

purplish green

beckons…attracting me

and spotted ladybugs

When will they be ripe?

Douillard 2018

I know that photographs and visual images inspire my writing.  It’s true for many of my students as well.  During yesterday’s search for the ordinary, I noticed one of my students arranging jumpropes on the ground and photographing them.  And then this sometimes reluctant writer sat down to write.

Color Brain

Color strings sewing

my brain into thoughts,

ones about madness,

ones about fear,

ones about happiness,

ones about sickness,

ones about coldness,

and ones about love.

On the string of fear

the purple hides

with red,

next to blue and turquoise.


Leah's photo

How’s your poetry writing coming along?  What inspires your words and thoughts?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spiky

My week has been a whirlwind…a lovely long weekend in the Pacific Northwest followed by the beginning of the SDAWP Summer Institute. And in spite of the hectic nature of my re-entry into work life, interesting images swirl in my brain.

With a few hours in the morning before our flight back home, we decided to visit the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle City Center.  I’d heard good things about it, but the experience far exceeded my expectations.  The glass sculptures were exquisite!  This large spiky piece fits perfectly into the outline of the atrium structure behind it.


And the gardens were a perfect complement to the glass, plants and flowers matched in color and shape to the sculptures they accompanied. I fell in love with these unfamiliar flowers, their spiky petals seemed to attract the bees, creating a buzzing, moving tableau.


And not knowing the name of these flowers, they remind me of artichokes…perhaps a part of the spiky thistle family…that was also a part of my dinner tonight!


But I digress…  On the same grounds as the glass museum was the iconic Seattle Space Needle, an interesting spiky structure.  I didn’t head up to the top this time, but took a number of pictures from below.  This particular picture was taken from afar while riding the ferry from Bainbridge Island into the city.


We also found these whimsical interactive oversized spiky flowers…called Sonic Bloom…near the glass museum.  When you walk near them they interact with your presence, creating sounds as you move.  But even in silence, they are fun, bright and definitely brought a smile to my face.


So take a look around for the spiky this week.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #spiky for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Look up, down and all around in search of spiky.  Where will you find protrusions to share?  I look forward to seeing what you find!