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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Sunset Streams #PoetryFriday #poemsofpresence

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, Today’s Little Ditty.  Won’t you join us there? If you are new to Poetry Friday and are ever wondering where to find the weekly host of Poetry Friday, you’ll find a list of hosts and their blog links here.

Michelle welcomed the one and only Nikki Grimes for a visit and celebration of her new stunner of a book, Southwest Sunrise. Nikki’s lovely verse, accompanied by gorgeous artwork from Wendell Minor, celebrates the beauty of a part of our vast country I have yet to explore.

Nikki threw out a challenge for us to create a poem inspired by either an image from the book or another. I chose Michelle’s image of a fence covered with “an abundance of blooms,” which spoke to me, and I’ve borrow her words for my first line. I went for Nikki’s bonus points by creating a haiku (or tanka), my go-to form. It’s just a quick draft, but…

abundance of blooms

And speaking of fine weather, we have finally had the most gorgeous week of weather here in New England. Each day was filled with the most glorious sunshine after what has been a dreary and chilly early spring. We aren’t out of the woods yet, since a touch of snow is predicted for overnight tonight, but this week has me feeling much more hopeful about what is to come, both literally and metaphorically speaking.

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One stunner of an early evening, while scribbling in my notebook on the porch, the following poem of presence came to me.

Sunset streams (1)

Many thanks to Michelle for hosting our festive event this week, and for Nikki’s generous time, too. Be well, friends!



Turkey Soup, Kinder Poets, and TLD #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Bridget Magee is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, wee words for wee ones. Perhaps you’ll join us?

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The most heavenly aroma is wafting through our home this morning, as the carcass from yesterday’s Thanksgiving meal simmers in a pot of broth, onions, carrots, and celery. This is a welcome scent, as my poor husband has been down with the flu and pneumonia since my return from NCTE. While he had to miss our family’s festive gathering yesterday, the healing vapors from our stockpot are helping him to feel he hasn’t missed out entirely. He usually cooks the bird in our home, and then we bring it to my parent’s home just a few minutes down the road. Not this year.

thankful I am feeling thankful for so much this year. My Kindergarten poets asked if we could write a group poem about being thankful together. My answer? Of course! Here is our sloppy copy. We will work on editing it together next week, and I will wave my magic poetry midwifery wand around a wee bit.

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I am also feeling incredibly thankful for Michelle Heidenrich Barnes and her wonderful team of poetry reviewers at Today’s Little Ditty. My copy of The Best of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018 was waiting for me when I returned from NCTE, and I was thrilled my little hummingbird tanka was selected for inclusion in the Window Poems category.


I have been working my way through the book, reading each challenge, and marvelling at everyone’s work. Have you ordered your copy yet? It’s the perfect Black Friday or Small Business Saturday purchase! I will be certain to make taking up the Ditty of the Month Club challenges part of my regular routine. How about you?

Thanks for hosting this week, Bridget. So nice to “meet” you! Now bring on the poetry with a slice of pumpkin pie on the side!



A return visit #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, Today’s Little Ditty. Perhaps you’ll join us? Michelle is unveiling the latest edition of her anthology of poetry, The Best of Today’s Little Ditty: 2017-2018. Click here to get your paperback or Kindle version today!

I am beyond thrilled because a tanka I wrote last year was selected for inclusion in this lovely volume. I’m chuffed, as the Brits would say, and proud to have my sweet hummingbird buzzing around so many of my favorite poets and their magical words. It’s the first poem I have ever had published anywhere.  Here is how my poem looked when I first shared it with the Poetry Friday family.  It was written in response to a challenge to look out the window and write about what you see.

waiting patientlyI can’t wait to read the latest edition of the Today’s Little Ditty anthology from cover to cover and share the collection with my Kindergarten poets! Thanks for hosting this week, Michelle, and I look forward to meeting many of you IRL at NCTE next week! I’ll be presenting Friday afternoon about writing poetry from images along with Laura Purdie Salas and a team assembled by Wonderopolis. Come say hello!



Instructions to a Kindergarten Writer’s Notebook #PoetryFriday #notebookday #nationalnotebookday

It’s Poetry Friday and my poetry playmate Margaret Simon is our gracious hostess this week for the poetry roundup. Perhaps you’ll join us? Margaret is has some lovely (and fun!) Pi-Ku for us to enjoy. I confess I had never heard of Pi-Ku (syllable count 3.14…….) before. Can’t wait to try!

Two weeks ago, at the end of an interview with Elizabeth Steinglass, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes threw out a challenge to poets one and all — write a poem giving instructions to an inanimate object about how to do its job. Elizabeth has a terrific poem in her new book, Soccerverse, that does just that — Instructions for the Field. You can read the interview here.

Seeing as yesterday was National Notebook Day, I thought I’d dive into my notebook and tackle this month’s challenge with a poem giving instructions to my Kindergarten writers’ notebooks. Here are two sneak peeks inside notebooks in my classroom.

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Here’s what I came up with.

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Have you taken on this month’s challenge? If so, why not add it to the Padlet created to collect these wonderful instruction poems.

And just for fun, here are two other notebook and writing-related poems to share.

Some may wonder why (Golden Shovel)
A Golden Shovel using “Why am I keeping this notebook” as an anchor line.

Brave writer
A wee bit of free verse written with my Kindergarten writers in mind.

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