On that log we sit together #SOL18 #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s writing technique chosen by Amy is to start with setting. While this is a poetry challenge, starting with setting is certainly a wonderful way to begin many forms of writing. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. In between two sections of our magical vernal pool is a finger of land — a tiny cape, geographically speaking — with a perfectly placed log. I’m not sure if nature placed this downed limb there, a habitat unto itself, or if the Forest and Trail Association who maintain the trails leading to the pool did, but it’s perfect.

On that log we sit together (no photo)

That log is a favorite spot of mine and my students. When sitting on either side of it, we face water, have water behind us, and water to one side. It’s the perfect place to stop and rest for a while, to become part of the vernal pool habitat if only for a few brief moments.  We sit and listen, watch, wonder, and sometimes sketch in our field notebooks. Do you have a picture in your head of our special place?

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Does it look something like this? If only you could come with us and experience it for yourself.

I also hope you will stop by Live Your Poem daily to follow along the journey of the 2018 KidLit Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. The poem will magically, and quite literally this year, be growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine has now safely landed, begun wrapping herself around a trellis, and is beginning to grow. The process is fascinating and this year I am diving in for the first time with a line right in the middle of the month — April 18th.  I’m up tomorrow and nervous as all get out!


Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday. Won’t you join us? This post is also part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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18 thoughts on “On that log we sit together #SOL18 #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

  1. What a rich classroom for your students! You poem is wonderfully crafted with shape and words. Your line “Noticing more shades of green” resonates with me as each spring my husband and I find ourselves commenting on how many shades of green there are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll go ahead and confess that this was the first time I had heard the term “vernal pool.” Thanks for introducing me to the concept and to this special place. Your poem captures it perfectly. It reminds me of similar quiet moments I have enjoyed. I especially like the reference to so many shades of green as well as the line “just a speck of a day.” Your students are fortunate to be able to spend time out of doors, and nature certainly jazzes up your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the layout you used with the curve in the text and the photo of the log – I just want to join all of you. Thank you for encouragement. I bought Amy’s book for my summer reading and am thinking about playing around with it for myself this summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mandy! Even if you can’t produce a poem each day, it’s been fun to to read the pages (literally 2-3 max.) each day to follow along with what she’s doing. At the bottom of each post she mentions the next day’s topic, so it’s easy to find it and give it a look-see. Cheers!


  4. The picture of your students on the log is priceless. I love the shape of your poem and the thought of you all sitting on that log together. Pausing. Being mindful. Observing. Putting aside the busyness and expectations and just being there. I so wish I could join you IRL, but it’s been a treat this month to do so through your wonderful poetry. And kudos to you for signing up for the Progressive Poem! I can’t wait to read your line tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This brings back some lovely memories of time I spent in the woods as a child. I want to sit on that log, too.


  6. What fortunate little learners your kiddos are to have access to this amazing vernal pool! I love this technique from Amy. It will definitely be one I will try with my budding poets.


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