Poem-ish Pieces #PoetryFriday #NatureNurtures2020 #PoemsOfPresence

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Carol Varsalona is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, Beyond Literacy Link. Won’t you join us there? Carol has been very busy collecting wonderful #NatureNurtures2020 poems this spring from many contributors. You may find them here and it’s not too late to add your own!

If you are new to Poetry Friday (I’m looking at you, Teach Write friends!) and are ever wondering where to find the weekly host of the roundup, you’ll find a list of hosts and their blog links here.

In between ZOOM calls with students and colleagues, I’ve been trying to find time to step outside and experience what is turning into a most glorious spring here in New England. So much to hear and see, and what a relief from staring at the computer screen! I’ve had a chance to cobble together several #PoemsOfPresence this week, and hopefully there are more to come.  


On Wednesday afternoon I managed to squeeze in (MORE SCREEN TIME!) a wonderful webinar, Nature as Inspiration and Transformation: An Intro to Nature Poetry with poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Oh, was that balm for the soul! If you missed it, here’s the recording. Curl up with your notebook, something to write with, and a glass of refreshing ice tea or lemonade. It will be an hour well spent. I promise. 

One of the writing invitations Aimee provided was to take an interesting animal fact and use it as the first line in a poem. The fact that hummingbirds fly backwards immediately jumped (or is that flew?) out at me and this is what I came up with.

hummingbirds reverse (haiku)

And lastly, our Teach Write “Time to Write” group has begun to play around with common prompts, sharing our work with one another, and providing feedback from the heart, mind, and writers within us. This week we are using “the blank page.” That’s it. Just “the blank page,” and we were asked to use a blank page. I knew I wanted to go in the nature notebooking direction because I’ve been enjoying Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s nature writing and keeping a notebooking videos and Paula Bourque’s nature notebooking video, too — as have so many of you! It ended up being poem-ish. 



I’m longing for more time outdoors with my notebook. How about you? 

Many thanks to Carol for hosting the roundup this week. Be well, friends!



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Frogs #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

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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 #9: Frogs

Frog Wonders 2020

A peek at my process

On April 8, 1852, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “To-day I hear the croak of frogs in small pond-holes in the woods, and see dimples on the surface, which I suppose that they make, for when I approach they are silent and the dimples are no longer seen. They are very shy.  (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal III: September 16, 1851 – April 30, 1852, Chapter VII. April, 1852, p. 392)

We hear plenty of Spring Peepers peeping and Wood Frogs “quacking” in this part of New England on our daily afternoon walks. If my Kindergarteners and I were together, we would be making weekly visits out to our campus vernal pool to monitor the changes during this very busy amphibious season. Sadly we are not together in person, but we are Zooming online every day. They know I am head-starting wood frog eggs at home instead of in the classroom and I am sharing photos and videos (Tad Cam!) with them regularly, so they may do formal observations in the field notebooks they each made at home. We do this every year under the watchful eye of our Kindergarten conservation biologist-in-residence. It is just a little different this year. My poem, which addresses the frogs directly, is made up of the frog wonders they have shared with me.

And now for…

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Last week, members of the 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. My good friend and Wonder Buddy, Carol Varsalona, has a go at a line or two today on her blog, Beyond Literacy Link. I’m excited to provide the 24th line on Friday, April 24th. 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, 
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at 
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, 
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
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
Michelle Kogan

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Day 26: Writing for my students #NaPoWriMo #playwithpoetryNPM #PoetryFriday


It’s Poetry Friday! My dear poetry pal and fellow Wonderopolis Lead Ambassador, Carol Varsalona, is hosting the round up this week. I do hope you will visit her at Beyond Literacy Link as well as other PF participants throughout the upcoming week. Carol is lucky to live on the Long Island coast and that setting provides her with loads of poetic inspiration, even if it’s a foggy and gray day. Thanks for hosting the round up this week, Carol!

Add a little bit of body text

A peek into my poems and process.

  • Lately I have been trying to write more poetry to use with my students. Why not, right? We love to take nature walks so I wrote this one just for them. It’s perfect for Earth Day week, too!

Just four more days of National Poetry Month to go. If you are looking to share a little poetry wonder with your students, check out this Padlet of all the poetry-related wonders on Wonderopolis. Perhaps they’ll find a bit of inspiration here!


And introducing….

2019 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

On April 1, the Poetry Friday family launched the 7th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. (Click here to learn more.) Many of us have signed up to provide a line for the 2019 poem. Author/poet Matt Forrest Esenwine kicked things off with some familiar “found” phrases merged to get us going. Today’s line comes from Linda Kulp Trout at Write Time. Participants are having fun lifting favorite song lyrics to create the next line in the poem. I was excited to provide the 14th line on Sunday, April 14th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.


1 Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

2 Kat @Kathryn Apel

3 Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites

4 Jone @DeoWriter

5 Linda @TeacherDance

6 Tara @Going to Walden

7 Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown

8 Mary Lee @A Year of Reading

9 Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog

10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem

11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters

12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine @Dori Reads

14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering

15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink

17 Amy @The Poem Farm

18 Linda @A Word Edgewise

19 Heidi @my juicy little universe

20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog

21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan

22 Catherine @Reading to the Core

23 Penny @a penny and her jots

24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference

25 Jan @Bookseestudio

26 Linda @Write Time

27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro

28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass

29 Irene @Live Your Poem

30 Donna @Mainely Write

Spring is Here! #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog is our hostess this week serving up some springtime poetry goodness.


My Kindergarten poets are back to share this Poetry Friday post with me. They’ve been busily writing spring poetry and it’s amazing for me to see how independent they’ve become as writers this year. It just goes to show if you give them time, space, and inspiration, anything is possible! Our officially adopted writing curriculum doesn’t include poetry, but that doesn’t stop us from writing outside the boundaries of Writer’s Workshop. We write whenever we can — Literacy Workshop, Science Workshop, Genius Hour, you name it!


My writers are so independent at this point that I was able to sit down for a few minutes and scribble a bit myself. They love watching me and the other adults who might happen to be in the classroom at the time sitting and putting pen to paper. They watch for a while, smile, and then return to their work.

Today I am sharing just a few samples of what we will be submitting to Carol Varsalona for her Sense-sational Spring Gallery. Here’s the invitation she shared with all of us. Won’t you join in with us?



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

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