Poetry Friday: Naomi Shihab Nye Inspired Golden Shovels


Thanks to Irene at Live Your Poem for hosting Poetry Friday.

Posting late.  We’ve been traveling today.  I tried posting via phone but it wouldn’t post correctly.

I’m heading to Western Washington University to hear Naomi Shihab Nye. She’s giving the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.

My students in Poetry Rocks have been consuming some of the poems and created poem collages for me to take as a display for the event.

If ever I was to consider a poet a mentor, it would be Nye. As I was preparing for this weekend, I realized that I have quite a collection of her books.


So in honor of attending this event, I’ve written two Golden Shovels. The lines are taken from the poem, Because of Libraries, We Can Say These Things by Naomi Shihab Nye.

Open Heart

She will have a book to open

Late at night, she

walks into the garden. Will

the moon appear and have

a veil? Along the outer edge, a

troop of fireflies cast light on the book

lost years ago when the grandmother moved to

the city.  The old lady reaches for the spine. Her heart open.

©jone rush macculloch

The Grey Cat

as the best place for sitting

The lilacs in the evening were as

fragrant as the perfume her nana wore. The

last time they were together, they walked to the best

secret of the village. A place

for sipping tea and book exchanges for

the price of a story. The grey cat with green eyes remained sitting.

©jone rush macculloch

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7 Responses to Poetry Friday: Naomi Shihab Nye Inspired Golden Shovels

  1. Ramona says:

    Oh, Jone, both of these are lovely! As was the evening I got to spend sitting with you and listening to Naomi last night. So glad I saw you in Fairhaven and then luckily saw you just as we entered the performing arts center last night.

  2. maryleehahn says:

    Oh, swoon! These are fabulous!

  3. Irene Latham says:

    Wow, Jone, these are LOVELY! Lucky you listening to Naomi Shihab Nye… and THANK YOU for the postcard in the mail, which I enjoyed as ever. xo

  4. Love your beautiful golden shovels. I struggle with this form, but you did a lovely job.

  5. mbhmaine says:

    I saw her speak in Maine last year–what a treat! As are your fabulous golden shovels! They are both filled with warmth and connection. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the lecture!!

  6. What a beautiful post, Jone! I’m so envious that you’ll be at the lecture. Nye is such a wise, generous person and poet, I know it will be wonderful. Your Golden Shovels are gorgeous. They’re both so inviting, I want to sit and sip tea with friends all day!

  7. These are both beautiful, though I love your second poem, “The Grey Cat.” So much warmth exchanged in the lines of this poem, in
    “the best
    secret of the village. A place
    for sipping tea and book exchanges for
    the price of a story.”
    Beautiful! Enjoy the talk, how I’d love to hear her speak–hope you’ll share some with us, thanks Jone!

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