Day 29: How Gratitude Is Like an Inflatable Kayak

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

This month, our Poetry Princess challenge was to write inspired by poet Taylor Mali. I enjoy hearing Taylor Mali’s work–and attended a virtual workshop with him a couple of months ago! But I like to write short, and spoken word poetry is not my own style. Ack! Then I remembered I had my “sticky note poem” commitment for National Poetry Month, and that would give me a good excuse to stick with short! In reading through some of his work online, I really enjoyed, “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog.”  I let that inspire my own poem, “How Gratitude Is Like an Inflatable Kayak.” I loved the idea of comparing this lofty, abstract concept with something very concrete and down to earth. Here’s my poem–THREE sticky notes, so I guess Mali’s work influenced mine lengthwise, too;>) And following the poem is a bit of my prewriting.


What can I compare to what?
A bit of brainstorming

I’m looking forward to seeing what my Poetry Sisters have come up with. We had such a wonderful live write last Sunday, but, as usual, we didn’t actually share our drafts–just our thoughts and approaches.


Mary Lee

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

And don’t miss the final Poetry Friday Roundup of National Poetry Month, hosted by poet Jone Rush MacCulloch.




19 Responses

  1. LOL. That kayak won’t blow itself up! Ha! I love how carefree the poem and the photo are.

  2. Laura, this is the first time I saw 3 post-it notes make 1 poem. This form, plus your photo makes an interesting image poem. I have been trying out different forms for metaphor poem and soon will post my blog.

  3. LOVE it! That last stanza-note with its parentheticals and its rhymes is my favorite!

  4. ALWAYS so admiring of your process and pre-writing. And the final sticky notes are wonderful!

  5. Love the picture, Laura, & “rest above the chop” is enduring advice! I think Mali would approve!

  6. Oh, the Minnesota memories are filling my head! My mother-in-law once gave us a foldable canoe. Hahaha. Needless to say, it was not too seaworthy. That aside, I really love your poem about gratitude. And I’ve been on some rough waters up north when I was surely grateful for a worthy canoe. Great post, Laura. The abstract and the concrete tied nicely with a bow.

  7. Laura, that is so beautiful! Every point is true and hits home. Thank you! I am working on my poem and will post later.

  8. Och, you rule-breaker, you!
    But those three sticky notes are WELL worth it. I really like this, especially the ending… though we need to discuss the paint…!

  9. I suppose 3 sticky notes is Mali-ish in the realm of sticky note poems! I love the beginning of this poem for so many reasons, so the first sticky note is my favorite.

  10. I love this poem! I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal this year and it feels like I’ve been strengthening my gratitude muscles. Saving it. xo

  11. I so love a process post, Laura. You mentor so many of us in that way. Your post-it project has been inspiring, too. Saying so much with so little space. Brevity is good thing. Cheers!

  12. Yes, yes…you do have to put in the work, breath by breath, before you can rest easy (beware the chop) for a while. I think you succesfully Malified your sticky notes!

  13. …and your poetry happens, ‘one breath at a time”.…so well done, Laura! Paired with that photo, this trio makes my heart fill with hope, and I’m grateful.

  14. I love the work of Taylor Mali. I actually wrote a couple of Mali inspired poems in April but have not shared them.

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