Birds of a Feather #PoetryFriday

Note: Poetry Friday is going live a tad early for our friends on the other side of the world where it is, in fact, Friday!

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Welcome to Poetry Friday, everyone! I am excited and honored to host PF today for the first time. I’m crossing my fingers, eyes, and toes that the link up works!

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(Photo: BlurryMe/Shutterstock)

This summer, I’ve been a tad bird obsessed. I’ve always been an ornithophile (it’s a thing!), but this summer I took my love of feathered friends to new heights. In July, I spent a week studying Citizen Science with 50 educators from around the U.S. at Cornell’s renowned Lab of Ornithology in the stunning Sapsucker Woods of Ithaca, NY. The BirdSleuth Educator Retreat was not only one of the best professional development opportunities I’ve explored, but it was personally fulfilling because I got to hang out with birds in their natural habitat and knowledgable bird nerds for a whole week. ‘Nuf said! 

A week or so ago, I threw out a bird-related poem challenge to anyone willing to fly along. Poems can be about a particular bird, birds in general, a dislike or fear of birds, and can be in any form. Like I said at the time, just wing it! Here are two haiku that made their way to me over the last week or so, as I’ve enjoyed time reading, rocking, and observing on my porch. 

mom and dad are free to roam

And then these friends joined us.

My near constant companions (final)

 

Lastly, in a moment of sheer madness I embedded a Padlet of the bird-related poetry I’ve written over the last year or so. To read each poem, just click on the individual image. To go directly to my Padlet, click here.

Made with Padlet

Now it’s time to grab a bevvy of some sort, curl up, and get ready for some Poetry Friday magic!

Please click my frog friend below to link your Poetry Friday post or to just enjoy what others have to offer this week. Thanks, everyone!

 

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The Blueberry Door #SOL

Blueberry Door

Once a year we step through this magical doorway, my mother, my sister, and me. What lies beyond its threshold? Blueberries. Rows and rows of succulent high bush blueberries ripe for the picking. And pick we do, the first week of August. I’ve lost track of how many years we’ve stepped into this black net-surrounded box to do this together. We arrive early in the morning, as soon as the orchard opens, to beat the heat and the crowds. The berries are large enough that it doesn’t take long to fill the green cardboard quart container and secure its precious antioxident-filled contents with a red hair net, as we refer to them.  It fills up even faster if you don’t stop to put them in your mouth so often! But who can resist?

While we pick, we chat, catch up on how our summers are progressing, gossip, and giggle. Oh yes, we giggle while the birds cheerily chirp in the woods nearby and while the orchard’s seasonal help, far from home, works steadily in the heat alongside us, conversing occasionally in a language we don’t understand. And when we are finished picking, we make our way back to the farm store in search of other delicious offerings — early apples, ripe peaches, sweet corn, and donuts. Hot out of the fryer apple cider donuts to be devoured back on my shady porch with cold lemonade. A sweet ending to our annual outing.

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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?

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“Some may wonder why,” a golden shovel, and a challenge reminder #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone is our lovely hostess this week. I had the great good fortune to meet Molly IRL, as they say, a couple of weeks ago at Heinemann’s annual teacher tour in Portsmouth, NH. Molly and I have been chatting through comments here on PF, on our Tuesday Slices, and in the TeachWrite Facebook community for some time. It was fun to finally meet face to face, albeit for just a short time…this time!

Molly has been crafting the most gorgeous sonnet for some time now, and it’s finally ready for it’s debut. Don’t miss it! You’ll be swept away by The Solace of the Ocean.

One of my goals for the summer was to try different types of writing (tipping my hat to you, Jennifer Laffin!), including new poetry forms. A golden shovel was on my hit list — taking a line from someone else’s poem and then using each word in that line as the last word of each line of the new poem. But which poem to borrow a line from?

I’ve been talking a lot about notebooks this summer with the goddess of writing notebooks, Michelle Haseltine, the TeachWrite community, and on other social media venues, so notebooks it is! Who better to borrow from then Ralph Fletcher, one of the pied pipers of the students-using-writing-notebooks community. His poem, It’s a Place, was the perfect fit. (Click the link to read his original text.)

So here it is, my first golden shovel, borrowing from Ralph’s first line, “Why am I keeping this notebook.”

Some may wonder why (Golden Shovel)
Some may wonder why
But its who I am
Whiling away the hours, my pen and I
Words sounds, feelings, oddities, life, stored away for safe keeping
Ready and waiting for a time such as this
To be quarried like gemstones from my notebook

Poetry challenge reminder: I’m hosting Poetry Friday next week, on August 17. I threw a bird-related poem challenge out last week to anyone willing to fly along. Your poem can be about any bird you like, or birds in general. It can be in any form you like. Just wing it! If you are stumped, take a look at all the bird-related wonders on Wonderopolis.org. Choose one and create a “found” poem by highlighting key words, or why not try a “blackout poem,” crossing out/covering up unused words.

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Thanks for visiting and join us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Welcome to the 21st Century! #SOL

Phones

Sometimes an image is all you need. Yesterday was a big day for me. I know! What took me so long, right? Time to contact the Smithsonian or Antiques Roadshow. I’m not sure which!

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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?

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I Hear You and a bird poem challenge! #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Mary Lee at A Year of Reading is our hostess this week. She has a blitz poem waiting for you!

The unofficial theme for my summer has turned out to be birds. I had the good fortune to spend 5 days in July at the Bird Sleuth Educator Retreat which takes place at Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s stunning campus in Ithaca’s Sapsucker Woods. Wow…what a gorgeous spot! If you are addicted to their feeder and pond cams, as I am, then you know what I’m talking about.

I’m a novice bird watcher, not a certified bird nerd, but I’m working on it. While there are a number of birds I am able to recognize by sight, I’m completely useless at identifying them by sound when birding or enjoying their chorus from my porch. To help me expand my repertoire, I’ve been studying bird mnemonics (geeky, I know), since I returned. These phonetic interpretations are swimming around in my head and some of them worked their way into a slightly cheeky list with a twist poem.

I hear you
I hear you.
But who are you?
Caw-caw-caw-caw-koodle-yah; koodle-yah
Po-ta-to-chip
Cheer-up; cheer-a-lee; cheer-ee-o, whinny
Are you laughing at me?
Tit-tit-tit-tit
Chk-a-dee-dee-dee
Jay-jay-jay
Do you want me to go away?
Chiddik; chiddik
Cheer-cheer-cheer-purty-purty-purty-
Hooo-ah hoo-hoo-hoo
But where are you?
Keeeeeeeeer
Conk-a-reeeeeeeee
Cheeva; cheeva; cheeva fer-da; fer-da; fer-da; here; here; here peter-peter-peter-
Who’s Peter?

And now for a challenge: I’m hosting Poetry Friday in two weeks — August 17 — and I’d love to throw a bird-related poem challenge out to anyone willing to fly along. Join me!

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Thanks for visiting and join us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Where I’m From #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Catherine at Reading to the Core is our hostess this week. She has a wonderful preview of the latest in Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong’s Poetry Friday Anthology series, Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud. I, for one, can’t wait to see this collection IRL and share with my principal. This will be the first year we have Morning Announcements and I think a copy will make the perfect gift for her. Don’t you? Congratulations to Catherine, who also has a poem in the book, “Walking for a Cause.” Hooray!

During the summer months, many educators are reading Sara K. Ahmed’s brilliant book Being The Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension (Heinemann, 2018). In her chapter “Exploring Our Identities,” Sara suggests having students craft their own “Where I’m From” poems, featuring details about their identity. This idea originally stemmed from George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From.” (You can read more about Lyon’s original poetry challenge here.) What a wonderful exercise for students to focus in on what has been meaningful to them in their lives, and has helped shape their identity.

I’ve been playing around with this challenge all summer, digging deep into the memories of my childhood. There are so many! Which to use? These are the handful that rose to the top of the heap.

I_m from
I’m from
Bleacher seats in Fenway Park
Scribbling box scores
On my father’s knee
Sandcastles carefully crafted
On the beaches of
Peaks Island and Dennis
The backseat of an unairconditioned blue 60s Chevy
Crayons melting in the back window
Chugging from coast to coast
On an adventure filled with memories to last a lifetime
I’m from the bottom of a tin bucket filling up
Kerplink kerplunk
With lowbush blueberries
Coated in salty Boothbay air
Drifting across the gut
That secret opening in the woods
Along Stony Brook
Where moss is damp and cool on a hot summer day
And the hope of fairy spotting lives on
A classroom in the basement
Teaching stuffed animals and anyone who’d listen
Rehearsing for today, tomorrow
I’m from roots sunk deep
In Scottish peat
Slathered in haggis and thick cut orange marmalade
A wee dram for good measure

If you’ve tried a “Where I’m From,” I’d love to hear about your journey!

 

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Thanks for visiting and join us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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