Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by a word or phrase mined from the pages of Henry David Thoreau’s jewel-laden journals. I have left my challenge open so that the poems may take any form — haiku, free verse, borrowed line, blackout –and who knows which direction they will go in.
Day #22: Earth Day
A peek at my process —
On April 22, 1855, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “To Assabet stone bridge. Tree sparrows still. See a song sparrow getting its breakfast in the water on the meadow like a wader. Red maple yesterday, — an early one by further stone bridge. Bahm-of-Gilead probably to-morrow. The black currant is just begun to expand leaf — probably, yesterday elsewhere — a little earlier than the red. Though my hands are cold this morning I have not worn gloves for a few mornings past, — a week or ten days. The grass is crow become rapidly green by the sides of the road, promising dandelions and buttercups.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal VII: September 1, 1854 – October 30, 1855, Chapter XIII. 1855, p. 328)
I had my fingers crossed I’d find the perfect Earth Day-ish journal entry on April 22 somewhere in Thoreau’s writings. Something that mentioned the earth, its beauty, its grandeur, or our responsibility as its citizens for protecting it. But in all honesty, while Earth Day wasn’t celebrated during Thoreau’s time, every day was Earth Day to him. Day after day, he never took for granted all that surrounded him. He never ceased to notice or be marveled by any of it — the sparrow’s song, the budding of red maples, black currants, dandelions, buttercups, or the fact that he no longer had to wear gloves on a daily basis because the temperature was rising. He never missed a thing, and neither should we.
My two Earth Day poems today are variations on a theme. The top is in Fibonacci format — 6 lines with the word count 1/1/2/3/5/8 — and the other a Black Jack — 3 lines each with 7 syllables.
And now for…
Our Poetry Friday family launched the 8th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche is taking over this year as the organizer. Many members of the #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2020 poem. Here’s our sweet poem’s adventure thus far.
Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.
I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn
Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold
hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees
Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.
We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.
I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
It’s Julieanne Harmatz’ turn to provide lines today. You can find the lines she is proposing to the next host, Ruth, on her blog, To Read. To Write. To Be. We are inching closer to my lap of the relay, the 24th line on Friday. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.
1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, deowriter
4 Liz Steinglass
5 Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
7 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel hosted at Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
24 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
28 Jessica Bigi at TBD
29 Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces
30 Michelle Kogan
In other news…I am also excited to share that I have joined the Teach Write blogging team and will be writing a Poetry Ponderings blog post for them every month. My first offering, Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring, is now live. And my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek!
2 thoughts on “#EarthDay #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #WaldenWednesday”
I love this idea that every day was Earth Day for Thoreau. It’s such a powerful thought that curiosity can be our guide for the kinds of changes we need to make in the world. I’ve also never heard of a blackjack poem. Thanks for introducing me to something new!
You are so welcome! Perhaps you’ll try one some day.