Woods Walk #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 and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

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Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is letting your title open the door. As Amy notes, the words in the title need not appear again in the text, but (hopefully) guide the reader in to take a closer look. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. Woods Walk was inspired by my walk around Walden Pond on Tuesday, and time spent at the adjacent Wyman Meadow vernal pool habitat (named for a relative of my husband’s, we recently discovered!), which literally springs to life in late March.

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I am fortunate enough to live just a few minutes drive away, and enjoy visiting Thoreau’s simple, yet significant special place throughout the year. I couldn’t help but wonder at the many changes this natural community sees throughout the seasons.

As you’ll notice in the lines of my poem, the vernal pool habitat (or pond-hole as Thoreau sometimes referred to it) swells with activity in the late spring and then life recedes, as does Walden’s shoreline, as summer approaches. The chosen movement of the salamanders honors Thoreau’s love of “sauntering.”

Woods Walk (1)

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began is beginning to make her way in the world and find her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

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This post is 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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Frogs and Jasmine’s Journey #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo #ProgressivePoem

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 and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is repetition. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. When thinking about today’s challenge from Amy, my favorite amphibious friends leapt into my brain. The model poem for I Love Frogs! is a favorite repetitive poem in many Kindergarten classrooms — I Love Mud! (author unknown)

I Love Frogs! (1)

 

And now for the main event…Jasmine’s Journey!

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I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLit Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, who landed safely, began wrapping her rootlet around a trellis and is beginning to make her way in the world. The process has been fascinating to follow and I am excited to dive in for the first time with a line just past the middle of the month.

Our special assignment given by Heidi, before the first seeds of this poetic, community garden were sown by Liz, was to write down our initial impressions, reactions, and predictions. When I read “Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched,” I had only just finished reading Melissa Stewart’s wonderful new book, A Seed Is The Start, about the seed life cycle. Lots of images were swirling in my head of seeds sleeping, hibernating even, until it is time for their debut. The coating cracks open and roots go down, shoots/stems go up, and the fun begins! I jotted down my wonders on my desktop sticky note and hid them.

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Needless to say I was excited for the journey! And it only got better when I learned of Jasmine’s TRUE identity. Keep reading!

So here goes. My line, the last, is in bold letters.

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.
Oh, what wonderful dreams she had!
Blooming in midnight moonlight, dancing with
the pulse of a thousand stars, sweet Jasmine
invented a game.

“Moon?” she called across warm honeyed air.
“I’m sad you’re alone; come join Owl and me.
We’re feasting on stardrops, we’ll share them with you.”
“Come find me,” Moon called, hiding behind a cloud.

Secure in talons’ embrace, Jasmine rose
and set. She split, twining up Owl’s toes, pale
moonbeams sliding in between, Whoosh, Jasmine goes.
Owl flew Jasmine between clouds and moon to Lee’s party!

Moon, that wily bright balloon, was NOT alone.
Jas grinned,

stretched,

reached,

wrapped

a new,

around          tender

rootlet

a trellis Sky held out to her, made of braided wind and song.
Her green melody line twisted and clung.
Because she was twining poet’s jasmine, she 

I hope Michelle Heidenrich Barnes will forgive me for making Jasmine a hybrid of night-blooming jasmine and poet’s jasmine, because…It’s a thing! Poet’s Jasmine is a thing!

Climbing Jasmines (click here for more)

Twining jasmine vines, such as poet’s or common jasmine, (Jasminum officinale) and evergreen jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) will thrive in sunny or part shade locations, but flower production will be greater in sunny areas. Poet’s jasmine is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10. It is deciduous in colder regions and semi-evergreen in warmer areas. Poet’s jasmine climbs to 10 or 20 feet and is prized for its fragrant white flowers. Evergreen or pink jasmine, grows well in USDA zones 8 through 11, climbing quickly 20 feet on a trellis, arbor or fence to provide a good screen. Grow these climbing jasmines in part shade if your primary purpose is to block unsightly views.

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Tag! You’re it, Michelle Kogan! Take good care of our Jas. Isn’t she lovely? And she comes from a long line (dare I say vine?) of poets! Perhaps you’ll paint her portrait some day. You are just the artist for the job!

I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

 

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This post is 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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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!

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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? 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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Wordplay #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 poetic technique chosen by Amy is to experiment with words. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. Can you spot the new word I’m unveiling today? Wait for it…

Pool growing, Wind blowing

Introducing…GALLUMPING! Hey, it’s hard to move around a muddy vernal pool in those oh-so-fashionable and essential hip waders. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

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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 and begun wrapping herself around a trellis. 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.

*******************************************************

This post is 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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 8.21.35 AM

 

 

 

Beware! Take care! #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 poetic technique chosen by Amy is a word or brief phrase end. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. The idea for today’s poem originated from a desire to give salamanders some air time. Frogs need to share the spotlight with these very shy creatures.

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My Kindergarten naturalists loved meeting Spotty up close on Wednesday when our biologist-in-residence, Emilie, met us at our vernal pool. We talked about the spots serving as a warning to predators and that they have a toxic substance in their bodies that is distasteful to those who decide to try them for a snack. This led me to collect other examples of vernal pool inhabitant defense mechanisms, and Beware was born.

Beware Take Care
Beware
Take care
Eft’s neon warning
Daphnia’s shape shifting
Green frog’s alarm-call yelp
Spring peeper’s aggressive trill
Snapping turtle’s serrated shell and saw-toothed tail
Four-toed salamander’s disconcerting dancing disconnected tail
Predaceous diving beetle’s piercing mandible
Water snake’s merciless and painful bite
Salamander’s noxious skin secretion
Dragonfly’s airborne assault
Predator
Induced
Defense

How seriously cool is it that four-toed salamanders can disconnect their tail and that it keeps moving? Disconcerting to say the least!

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 taken off on a journey with Owl by the light of the moon. 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.

*******************************************************

This post is 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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 8.21.35 AM

 

 

 

After the Pool Dries #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 poetic technique chosen by Amy is a title coming right from your text. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. After the Pool Dries conjures up, I hope, an image of a swinging party which, as all good things do, comes to an end.

After the pool dries

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 taken off on a journey with Owl by the light of the moon. 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.

*******************************************************

This post is 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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 8.21.35 AM

 

 

 

Simile #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 poetic technique chosen by Amy is simile. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. The image that came to me was of an elementary school emptying out in the summer, only to fill up again with friends old and new in the fall.

Like a school...

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 taken off on a journey with Owl by the light of the moon. 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.

*******************************************************

This post is 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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 8.21.35 AM