Changeover Delayed #PoetryFriday

My “Playing with Poetry” workshop participants are playing around with ekphrastic poetry this week. We shared images with one another for inspiration — paintings, photographs, wood block prints, etc… Some of you here know me well enough to know that I leapt (bad pun intended) at the chance to write to the vernal pool photograph taken and shared by participant Marilyn Miner.

Pondering where to go with it, several influences came into play. The first was that we have had record amounts of rain here in New England this summer, giving vernal pools a much longer active season that usual. The second was that I’ve been reading Natalie Goldberg’s Three Simple Lines: A Writer’s Pilgrimage into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku. I love knowing that the haiku masters often ignored what we now consider the standard 5/7/5 format and were pithy and humorous. And lastly, we will soon begin a week in a vacation rental, which has me pondering the busyness of changeover day process.

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Molly, for hosting this week and keeping the glass half full in regards to the progression of summer. (Anyone else live with someone who proclaims “Summer’s over!” each and every Fourth of July? Honestly!) Add porch rocker to the list for me, Molly! That’s where you’ll find me morning, noon, and night, reading, dozing, writing, and listening to my “every day birds” and the Assabet River rolling by. You can find Molly’s roundup on her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone. Thanks for hosting, Molly.

Summer Dreams #PoetryFriday

Summer break, all 72 days of it, goes by in the blink of an eye. Every year, within days of school finishing up, I try to make a list of all I wish to accomplish. The list is usually made up of a combination of chores and tasks as well as fun to-dos. This year I’m adding some of each to my Summer Bingo card, inspired by my notebooking buddy, Michelle Haseltine.

I used the squares on my personal Summer Bingo card to inspire this list poem, a form teacher-writer participants in my “Playing with Poetry” workshop for Teach Write dabbled with this week. Some of our lists were of a powerful and serious nature, while others were more light-hearted and playful. This time around, mine fell into the latter category.

Summer Dreams

Picnics packed

Hikes taken

Blueberries picked 

Kayaks paddled

Life List birds found

Garden beds planted

Junk purged

Ice cream flavors tried

Books read

Poems written

Friends visited

Family aided

Whoosh!

Summer’s gone

— Christie Wyman, 2021 (draft)

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Margaret, for inviting us to join her on the banks of her beloved bayou for this Poetry Friday. You can find the roundup on her brilliant blog, Reflections on the Teche Thanks for hosting, Margaret, and congratulations to all teacher-poet participants who contributed to Bridge the Distance. I’m looking forward to reading your work when my copy arrives.

brilliant blazes flash #PoetryFriday

I know! I know! NPM is over and I can’t help myself! New birds keep showing up!

I have never had Baltimore Orioles before, so I am BEYOND thrilled that this handsome devil has been hanging around my apple tree and front garden since at least last Saturday. I heard they were in my neck of the woods — MetroWest of Boston — a few weeks back, so when I put out my hummingbird nectar feeder at the end of April, I figured I’d chance it with orange halves and grape jelly. BINGO! And the Mrs. made an appearance mid-week, too. I hope they stick around for a while. I love hearing their unique squeak from wherever I am, indoors or out.

And some fun news…I am very excited to be leading the month-long “Playing with Poetry” course this July for Teach Write. If you know of any teachers who are interested in learning how to incorporate more poetry into their classroom lives (or if you are!), I’d love to have them join me! To learn more, click here.

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Irene, for inviting us to join her on this Poetry Friday. You can find the roundup on her blog, Live Your Poem Thanks for hosting, Irene! I am hosting next week and I am looking forward to seeing everyone!

Tiny Bird #AvianAllusions #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by the avian world. 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 #6: Tiny Bird (free verse)

A peek at my process — I anxiously await the return of the hummingbird to our garden. It’s week’s away, but I can’t wait until my squeaky, ruby-throated friends return to the nectar feeder in our front yard. Our front porch rockers are the best place for spying on them. This is one of the first bird-related poems I wrote and shared. I’m dipping into the archives today while I recover from Moderna dose #2 on Sunday afternoon.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 9.37.10 AM

Participants in the Poetry Friday community have launched the 9th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche took over last year as the organizer. Jan Annino takes over today, choosing a line from two gifted to her by Irene Latham. You may read her lines here on her blog, Bookseedstudio. I’m excited to provide the 29th and penultimate line on Thursday, April 29th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

2021 Progressive Poem Itinerary:

1 Kat Apel at katswhiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at https://timgels.com
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

The Birds on the Wall #AvianAllusions #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by the avian world. 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 #5: The Birds on the Wall

A peek at my process — In 1898, Milton Bradley (yes, the game company) began publishing a series of linen-backed bird charts for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Six of these antique charts hung in the den of the house I grew up in just outside of Boston, having been handed down through the family. I was fascinated by them as a child, and have loved birds ever since. The series of chromolithographs (prints of watercolor paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes), was released over 26 years. Mass Audubon, which pre-dates the National Audubon Society, was founded in Boston by Harriet Hemenway in 1886. The charts were originally printed to raise awareness about the bird slaughter being committed to supply feathers for women’s hats. Thank goodness for Mrs. Hemenway! My dream is for several of the family charts to hang on my den walls one day.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 9.37.10 AM

Participants in the Poetry Friday community have launched the 9th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche took over last year as the organizer. Poet/author takes the reins once again today, choosing a line from two gifted to her by Donna Smith. You may read her lines here on her blog, Live Your Poem. I’m excited to provide the 29th and penultimate line on Thursday, April 29th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

2021 Progressive Poem Itinerary:

1 Kat Apel at katswhiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at https://timgels.com
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

How to be a bird watcher #AvianAllusions #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by the avian world. 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 #4: How to be a bird watcher (How-to poem)

A peek at my process — Today’s how-to poem was written with my Kindergarten ornithologists in mind, but includes sound advice for novice bird watchers of any age. I miss having my students curled up in the window of my classroom observation center, peering out at the busy traffic at our feeder station through binoculars, field guide in hand. For now we must settle for shared observations of Cornell’s amazing live FeederWatch cams while we ZOOM together. Occasionally they send me photos on Seesaw of birds they’ve spotted in their own yards or on walks with their families, so this, I believe, is time well spent.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 9.37.10 AM

Participants in the Poetry Friday community have launched the 9th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche took over last year as the organizer. Poet Donna Smith takes over today, choosing a line from two gifted to her by Mary Lee Hahn. You may read her lines here on her blog, Mainly Write. I’m excited to provide the 29th and penultimate line on Thursday, April 29th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

2021 Progressive Poem Itinerary:

1 Kat Apel at katswhiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at https://timgels.com
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Small Silent Signs #AvianAllusions #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by the avian world. 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 #3: Small Silent Signs (free verse)

A peek at my process

I enjoy writing poetry for my Kindergarten naturalists — often didactic, as is Small Silent Signs. While they are on the brink of becoming more independent as readers, they love poetry that they can learn by heart. My students are remote for the year, but we are still exploring the change in seasons together, but apart. Spotting evidence of nearby nesting birds is a true sign of spring.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 9.37.10 AM

Participants in the Poetry Friday community have launched the 9th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche took over last year as the organizer. The #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2021 poem. Poet/educator Mary Lee Hahn takes over today, choosing a line from two gifted to her by Linda Mitchell. You may read her lines here on her blog, A Year of Reading. I’m excited to provide the 29th and penultimate line on Thursday, April 29th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

2021 Progressive Poem Itinerary:

1 Kat Apel at katswhiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at https://timgels.com
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Distraction Display #AvianAllusions #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #PoetryFriday

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by the avian world. 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.

It’s Poetry Friday, and Mary Lee Hahn is hosting this first roundup of National Poetry Month on her blog, A Year of Reading. Mary Lee’s NPM project is #haikudiary, and I am excited to follow along. As luck would have it, my poetic offering today is a haiku, too! Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee!

Day #2: Distraction Display (haiku)

A peek at my process

The kildeer is a fascinating creature. My husband and I see them often as we walk the perimeter of local conservation land incorporating pastures and plowed fields, two of their preferred haunts. Kildeer craft scrape nests — quite literally a “scrape” in the ground — to lay their eggs in. If the protective parents feel threatened by what they feel are potential predators (both the human or animal variety), they may begin what is known as a distraction display — pretending to be wounded, exposing a pseudo broken wing. It’s quite a sight to see, this flair for the dramatic.

And introducing…

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 9.37.10 AM

Yesterday, members of the Poetry Friday family launched the 9th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche took over last year as the organizer. Many members of the #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2021 poem. Poet Linda Mitchell has now solidified the first line (chosen from two Kat Apel gifted her with) to get us going. You can find her lines here on her blog, A Word Edgewise. I’m excited to provide the 29th and penultimate line on Thursday, April 29th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

2021 Progressive Poem Itinerary:

1 Kat Apel at katswhiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at https://timgels.com
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Words Take Wing #AvianAllusions #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by the avian world. 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 #1: Words Take Wing

A peek at my process

I love the unpredictability of birds. You never know how they will respond or react to their environment. Writing is often similar. You may have a plan and think you know where a piece of writing is headed, and then it changes direction. A bit like a bird.

And introducing…

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 9.37.10 AM

Starting today members of the Poetry Friday family have launched the 9th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche took over last year as the organizer. Many members of the #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2021 poem. Australian Poet and author, Kat Apel, kicked things off this morning with a first line (or two) to get us going. You can find her lines here on her blog, Kat’s Whiskers I’m excited to provide the 29th and penultimate line on Thursday, April 29th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

2021 Progressive Poem Itinerary:

1 Kat Apel at katswhiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at https://timgels.com
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Words Take Wing #PoetryFriday #NikkiGrimes

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Irene Latham is hosting this week’s festive gathering on her blog, Live Your Poem. Won’t you join us there? This week we are celebrating the one and only Nikki Grimes and her amazing accomplishments. If you don’t follow Nikki on Twitter (@nikkigrimes9), you are missing out. Her words are uplifting and always inspiring. And her recent memoir in poems, Ordinary Hazards, is on top of my summer stack waiting for me one week from today when my school year FINALLY wraps up. 

If you are new to Poetry Friday 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.

The inspiration for my poem is Nikki’s fabulous verse novel Words with Wings and it’s heroine, Gabby. I threw out “words with wings” to my Kindergarten poets, and one astute young naturalist/writer said words having wings reminded him of dandelion seeds floating in the air. His image served as the seed for my poem. 

Words take wingMany thanks to Irene for hosting this most joyous of roundups, and for all of Nikki’s words that have taken wing and flown into our hearts. Be well, friends!

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