Swap treasures in the mail! #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! I’m back after a bit of a hiatus while the school year finished up. Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is our hostess this week, and she’s showcasing some sweet summer souvenirs!

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On the very first morning of my summer vacation from school, our mail carrier delivered a delightful package from poetry swap-mate Brenda Harsham, who blogs at Friendly Fairy Tales. It was bursting with color, ladybugs, and a friendship theme. What a way to begin the season!

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the best friends appear when you need them like ladybugs — Brenda Harsham

I adore ladybugs (how did she know?), so I will treasure her creative offering. I also chuckled when I saw Brenda’s return address on the envelope and realized we live SO CLOSE to one another and I know exactly where she lives! Let’s meet some day, Brenda!

And then, a few days later, this arrived.

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The True Definition of Vernal Pool
Vernal pools, could just as easily be called poke puddles, observation opportunities or wonders water. These pools typically fill when kindergarteners are indoors missing the outdoors due to seasonal weather. If you’re fortunate, Mrs. Wyman will bridge the gap between vernal pools and lessons with jackets, boots, journals, pencils and a wander plan. Hands will get muddy, wonders will arise, research will begin. Poems about frogs, leaves crustaceans and life cycles will be written. These pools will continue to lure insiders out-of-doors whenever there are learners near a Massachusetts woods and Mrs. Wyman to lead them. — Linda Mitchell

Wow. I’m not going to lie. This left me in a puddle of the-school-year-just-ended-and-I’m-a-bit-of-an-emotional-wreck tears. Some of you know of my fondness for vernal pools. Ok. Let’s be honest. It’s an obsession! I write about them often, in both poetry and prose. Linda Mitchell (we ARE going to meet IRL one day, Linda!), who blogs at A Word Edgewise, followed along faithfully during the month of April, as I wrote a poem a day about vernal pools as part of poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s 1 Subject 30 Ways challenge. My journey began here.  Linda had never heard of vernal pools and…well… “poems are teachers,” as Amy’s book is so aptly titled. Now Linda knows all about them! And her card will be treasured along with Brenda’s.

Many thanks to Tabatha Yeatts, who brilliantly coordinated this summer poetry swap!

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I hope you’ll join Tricia and the rest of us for some summer Poetry Friday fun here!

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Gifts in the Mail #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! Rebecca at Sloth Reads is our hostess this week. She’s got a super review of I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: and Other Nonsense For mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups written by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith. I’ve been meaning to get a look at this book, and I’m grateful to Rebecca for lighting a fire under me. It looks terrific!

I’m sure you’ve seen lovely poetry postcards here and there from Jone MacCulloch’s students at Silver Star School in Washington state over the last month or so.  Each year her students lovingly create and send out these works of art during National Poetry Month. April was such a crazy month that I completely forget about signing up. And then these lovely gifts arrived in the mail.

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Having just participated in Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s National Poetry Month informal study of her wonderful Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann, 2017), it was only fitting that I receive a poem that does just that — teach! Alexis does a lovely job here of teaching me about the importance of the Mandan people’s permanent villages made from individual earthen homes. Alexis whet my appetite for learning more about the Mandan people!

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And Sarah D’s fun, amphibious poem was particularly appropriate for me as my focus for Amy’s challenge was vernal pools, which found me writing a poem every day for 30 days about vernal pools and their inhabitants. How fun that this particular poem hopped into my mailbox! Well done, Sarah!

I Love Frogs! (1)

Frogs are fun to write about, aren’t they, Sarah D? This is one of my 30 poems that my Kindergarten scientists have been enjoying. Ribbit!

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I hope you’ll join Rebecca and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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The Greens of Spring #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Brenda Harsham is hosting this week’s celebration on Friendly Fairy Tales and I’m joining in the fun by jumping in to the not-so-way-back time machine for today’s offerings. I’m resting up a bit from participating in Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s amazingly fun “1 Subject 30 Ways” project. Having written 30 poems related to vernal pools over the last month, I’m filling my creative well back up again and luxuriating in daily scribbles in my writer’s notebook with no agenda, no deadline.

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I also had the enormous pleasure of participating in this year’s Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem in April, contributing line 18 to our gorgeously collaborative work, “Poet’s Jasmine, Blooming Lovely.” If you haven’t met our sweet Jas yet, I hope you’ll stop by Live Your Poem, where the project’s organizer, Irene Latham, will continue to care for our young poet.

Spring has finally arrived in the northeast, and I think it’s here to stay. In just one short week filled with intense, unseasonably high temperatures, the world around us has come to life.

Green Tanka

This tanka from last spring feels appropriate for this week. The number of shades of green that appear each spring continues to amaze me.

Copy of Open for the season, cry the robin and red-winged blackbird Flags, banners, and bunting billow in the early spring breeze Earth_s springtime awakening beckons me, my senses No

Is there anything more cheerful then daffodils that greet you in the morning?

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I hope you’ll join Brenda and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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How Many Times #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Oh my! Happy very last day of National Poetry Month and the final day of this poetic challenge. I have been 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 wrote and shared a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, was also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s used her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. For those of you who did not follow along, her posts all month long were a treasure trove of poetic knowledge. Don’t miss them before they disappear on Thursday. Thank you, Amy!

Today’s 30th and final poetic technique chosen by Amy is to use sensory language. In Poems Are Teachers, Amy suggests minimizing, or omitting altogether, visual descriptors, forcing the author (and reader) to rely on their remaining senses. My subject is, and was all month-long, vernal pools. While I adore our local vernal pool, I am equally fond of the walk along the trail to get to it. It is a journey I would gladly take daily if I had the time to do so. For today’s final installment, I have chosen to honor the well trod path that guides me and my Kindergarten naturalists to our beloved vernal pool. I have intentionally not included an image alongside my words, as I so often do, hoping readers will be able to imagine this magical walk we take. Join me!

How Many Times
How many times
Have my feet tread this path
Soft mulch underfoot
Each step
Releasing pine’s soothing perfume
As I make my way
Through the sea of green to you
The dew of an evening past
Gently raining down upon my face
The brook’s familiar murmur
And Bird’s sweet melody 
Guiding my way
Until I am at peace
Calm 
Still
How many times 
Have my feet tread this path
Never growing tired of 
This journey
Or destination

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, made her way in the world and found 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 take a peek at Jasmine’s journey by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  Doraine’s final line today was exquisite!

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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Metaphor #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Greetings from NY’s gorgeous Hudson Valley, where I’m on a mini road trip. 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 to use a metaphor. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. In yesterday’s list poem, I referred to vernal pools, a type of wetland habitat, as a biological supermarket. The number of animal species who find nourishment in this smorgasbord of an ecosystem is astounding! I wish I could take credit for that wonderful metaphor, but alas, I cannot. I also wish I could remember where I stumbled upon this clever phrase in my research on the subject over the last few years. It seemed the perfect anchor for a freestyle haiku.

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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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Is it too late? #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!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to leave a question in the air. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. My love for this unique habitat is often overshadowed by the nagging feeling that it could possibly be too late to protect it in the long term. I took a list of descriptors from my writer’s notebook and ended with a twist — the question of if it’s too late.

Is it too late_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 how it ends.

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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Startled by Nature #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo #PoetryFriday

Greetings from NY’s Hudson Valley, where I’m on a mini road trip. It’s a drippy, dreary day, but I’m wishing you a happy Poetry Friday and tail end of National Poetry Month! Many thanks to Irene Latham for hosting our weekly get together today over at Live Your Poem. If you haven’t seen the amazing poems she’s been crafting daily this month (yes, daily!), related to Harlem Renaissance artists, you’ve been missing out on a treat! 

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 to start with a startle. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. The most startling fact about wood frogs, and indeed many frogs, is that they go into a state of torpor — a subdued metabolic rate — in the winter. Yes, they appear dead, but when the warm rains of spring arrive, they begin to thaw and come back to life. Is it magic? No. Their body generates an anti-freeze-like substance that keeps them alive in most, but not all, frigid temperatures. Once I established my startle, I knew it had to be a shape poem, too! Can you see the frog?

FrogcicleEctothermic treatNot on any seaside menu Your frozen state fools many Mother Nature's anti-freeze keeps you safefrom Old Man Winter's frigid grasp Buried safe On Forest's floor
Frogsicle
Ectothermic treat
Not on any seaside menu
Your frozen state fools many
Mother Nature’s anti-freeze keeps you safe
From Old Man Winter’s frigid grasp
Buried safe
On Forest’s floor
Snug beneath your leaf litter comforter
You wait
Patiently
Knowing
Spring’s warming rains
Breathe new life into your lungs

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 hear what she says!

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

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

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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