More Poem-ish Pieces #PoetryFriday #NatureNurtures2020 #PoemsOfPresence

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Mary Lee Hahn is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, A Year of Reading. Won’t you join us there? Mary Lee has a wonderful intro to the work of poet Marilyn Chin. Mary Lee is prepping for a conversation she’ll be facilitating with her soon. I’m signing up. How about you? 

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.

Here is my own personal round-up of #poemsofpresence for the week. What a fun challenge this was! Many thanks to Michelle for hosting at Today’s Little Ditty and Margaret for masterminding this challenge! All four of my poems were inspired by moments in or around my garden and farmer’s porch (a.k.a. our summer living room).

farmer's porch perfume counter

Why is it

the scribbled note

hostile takeover

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

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The snow is sprinkled… #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem

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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 #18: The snow is sprinkled…

At winter's end

A peek at my process

On April 18, 1854, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “The snow is sprinkled along the street with the large scales of buds from the trees; thus revealing; what kind of fall is going on at this season.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal VI: December 1853 – August 1854, Chapter V. April, 1854, p. 202)

Just when it felt like we were turning the corner, leaving winter-ish weather behind us, Mother Nature decided to sprinkle snow along my street through the night and into the morning. Thoreau recorded similar weather in his journal on this day in 1854. With a 60-degree temperature prediction for tomorrow, this early spring snow won’t linger long, so I snuck outside and tiptoed through my garden to see the impact of this unwelcome blanket on my spring bulbs. The robins and a very vocal Carolina wren are letting me know everything is going to be alright.

Credit to my friend Molly Hogan for “snow blossoms.” When Molly saw a picture of my Japanese maple covered with snow this morning, she gifted me a seed for my poem — snow blossoms. Thanks, Molly!

And now for…

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Our 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.  Here’s our sweet poem thus far.

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn

Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold
hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown

It’s Mary Lee Hahn’s turn today. You can find the two lines she is proposing to the next host, Tabatha, on her blog, A Year of Reading. We are inching closer to my turn, the 24th line next 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, 
deowriter
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at 
https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
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, 
thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
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
28 Jessica Bigi at TBD
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

In other news…I am also excited to share that I have joined the Teach Write blogging team and will be writing a Poetry Ponderings blog post for them every month. My first offering, Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring, is now live. And my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek!

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Borrowing a Line from NSN #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Mary Lee Hahn is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on A Year of Reading. Perhaps you’ll join us? She’s offered up the work of brilliant poet Naomi Shihab Nye as a possible theme for anyone interested. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Poetry Foundation named Ms. Nye their Young People’s Poet Laureate, the first Arab-American to receive this great honor. Huzzah!

After reading this article about Ms. Nye’s appointment in Texas Monthly, one line jumped out at me to be borrowed for a line in a poem — “there’s no place that poetry doesn’t live.” Now that I’m writing regularly in my writing notebook (thank you, Teach Write!), I find myself scribbling down so much that I see, hear, feel, notice, and wonder about. These bits and pieces of seemingly nothing odds and ends continue to amaze me at how they often become something.

There's no place that poetry doesn't live

Thanks for hosting this week, Mary Lee. Bring on the poetry!

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Day 8: Magnetic Poetry #NaPoWriMo #playwithpoetryNPM

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It’s National Poetry Month! My #NaPoWriMo Poem-A-Day project is Playing With Poetry. I am tagging along with Margaret Simon, Jone MacCulloch, and Mary Lee Hahn. We will be playing with Haikubes, Magnetic Poetry, Metaphor Dice, and Paint Chip Poetry (I raided Home Depot).  I’m even throwing in nail polish color names as inspiration, just for fun! Play along, if you’d like! We are using the Twitter hashtag #playwithpoetryNPM to see what poetic mischief everyone is getting into.

One more magnetic poem before turning my attention back to paint chips. This one’s for my sweet husband who is tolerating all my #playwithpoetry paraphernalia — paint chips, magnets, cubes, etc… — being spread across our dining room table for the month of April!

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And introducing….

2019 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

On Monday, 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 one of my #playwithpoetryNPM playmates, Mary Lee Hahn.  Participants are having fun combining two found phrases in favorite song lyrics. I’m 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.

April

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

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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Vernal Pool Beautifuls and Funnies #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 use striking words. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. After 22 days of writing a poem-a-day, my well is, admittedly, beginning to run dry. I turned to my Kindergarten naturalists/poets for inspiration this afternoon. Today was our first day back after spring break and the wood frog eggs from our vernal pool that we are head-starting arrived, so our classroom was buzzing with excitement.

The mentor text I chose for today’s challenge is this week’s Poem of the Week in our classroom, Mary Lee Hahn’s Earth, You Are. 

Earth, You Are (Mary Lee Hahn)

This wonderful Earth Day-themed poem can be found in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations: Holiday Poems for the Whole Year compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2015). As a class, we brainstormed the “beautifuls” and “funnies” of our vernal pool — the soothing sound of birds, salamander smiles, many shades of green, eggs like Jell-o…

Vernal Pool beautiful and funny

Using our list, I selected one from each category (so many gems to choose from!) — beautiful, shiny water and funny frog games of Hide and Seek and Peek a Boo — to be used. Thesaurus.com helped us generate some more striking words — sparkling for shiny, comical for funny.

Vernal Pool, You Are (2)

It will be fun to create more “beautiful” and “funny” pairs using their ideas. Stay tuned!

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 has begun making her way in the world, and has at long last 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 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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