Lichen #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

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 #20: Lichen

fungus algae united
fungus/algae/united/marching down my fence/AT EASE/no sound of feet/moving down the street/Cladonia cristatella

A peek at my process

On November 16, 1850, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “A truly good book is something
as wildly natural and primitive, mysterious and marvellous, ambrosial and fertile, as a fungus or a lichen.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal II: 1850 – September 15, 1851, Chapter I. 1850, p. 97)

The only British soldiers active on this Patriot’s Day 2020 are the British soldiers lichen (Cladonia cristatella) marching across a fence post in my backyard. There are many references to lichen throughout Thoreau’s journal, but this particular species was not described scientifically until 1858 by American botanist Edward Tuckerman in 1858. I’m not a lichenologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do find this particular species mysterious and marvelous. Having only seen British soldiers in person a handful of times, I was thrilled to discover it right here at home yesterday afternoon and it serves as the inspiration for my (first) attempt at an eight-lined definito poem, a form created by my amazing poet friend Heidi Mordhorst. A definito is a free-verse poem of 8-12 lines that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.

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
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away

It’s Rose Cappelli’s turn to provide lines today. You can find the lines she is proposing to the next host, Janice, on her blog, Imagine the Possibilities. We are inching closer to my turn, 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, 
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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Catkin #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #PoetryFriday #HaikuPoetryDay

Thanks to Molly Hogan, my New England neighbor to the north, for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup on her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone. This is the third roundup of National Poetry Month, and Molly is offering up some freshly baked bread and homemade jam today. Who wants a slice? Who knew bread baking was existential? My sourdough starter from Laura Shovan arrived yesterday, and I can’t wait to get started once I locate some bread flour!

And here’s what’s happening in my neck of the poetry woods today.

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

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 #17: Catkin

in your warm nap spot (1)

A peek at my process

On April 17, 1855, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “The second sallow catkin (or any willow) I have seen in blossom — there are three or four catkins on the twig partly open — I am about to clutch, but find already a bee curved close cue each half-opened catkin, intoxicated with its early sweet, — one perhaps a honey-bee, — so intent on its sweets or pollen that they do not dream of flying. ” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal VII: September 1, 1854 – October 30, 1855, Chapter XIII. April, 1855, p. 318)

Thoreau frequently records various catkin observations in his journals. Reading his work prompted me to look for spring catkins, too. I didn’t have to look too hard, as there’s a gorgeous weeping willow on the grounds of the Pierce House in nearby Lincoln, Massachusetts, where my husband and I walk most afternoons. The willow is brimming with catkins, so I stopped one afternoon this week to get a closer look. These dangling, cylindrical flower clusters were basking in the afternoon sun, and suddenly an image of a kitten — their feline name comes from the Middle Dutch word for kitten — curled up in the sun came to me. This image inspired today’s haiku for National Haiku Day.

willow

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.
Gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

Heidi Mordhorst takes the wheel today. I adore her spotted fawns taking their debut! You can find the two lines she is proposing to the next host, Mary Lee Hahn, on her blog, My Juicy Little Universe. I’m excited to provide 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 Big 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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Mouse-galleries #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #PoetryFriday

Thanks to Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup, the first roundup of National Poetry Month! Here’s what’s happening in my neck of the poetry woods today.

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

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 #3: Mouse-galleries

Gallery Mice (1)

A peek at my process

On April 2, 1860, Thoreau wrote, “The leaves being thus cleanly burned, you see amid their cinders countless mouse-galleries, where they have run all over the wood, especially in shrub oak land, these lines crossing each other ever foot and at every angle. ” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XIII: December 1, 1859 – July 31, 1860, Chapter V. April, 1860, p. 239)

Mouse-galleries? Now that’s a term new to me. It refers to a mouse’s fair-weather nest that is but a slight depression made in the ground. There was the obvious choice of playing off Thoreau’s image of the shallow shelter. But when conducting an image search, I couldn’t resist going in a more playful direction when I stumbled upon this delightful image from mohair-mouse-artist Charlotte Huttner’s magical website, Mouse Land. You must visit Charlotte’s site and Instagram feed, Charlotte’s Mice.  As Charlotte says, “Just spreading a little happiness.” Charlotte graciously granted me permission to use her image to accompany my words today.

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 today 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!

And now for…

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On Wednesday, 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. Jone MacCulloch takes over today, again offering a line choice for the next host. You can find Jone’s line on her blog, Deo Writer. 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, 
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
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

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Day 19: List and Borrowed Line Poems #NaPoWriMo #playwithpoetryNPM #PoetryFriday

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It’s Poetry Friday! My dear poetry and notebook-keeping mentor, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, is hosting the round up this week. I do hope you will visit her at The Poem Farm, and lots of other PF participants throughout the upcoming week. In addition to her sweet (and often sad) poem project about John and Betsy, Amy offers up a bit of “how to advice” for writing list poems, the form which her poem takes today. My Kindergarten poets love writing list poems, so I have been working on one, too, with different words for walking that I have been collecting.

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— Christie Wyman, 2019 (draft)

 

And now for more playing with poetry!

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A collaborative poem written by Margaret Simon and her students.

Yesterday my #playwithpoetry playmate Margaret Simon honored me by borrowing a line from my haiku I shared on Wednesday. (Click here to see her original post.) Today I am repaying the favor by borrowing a line from a collaborative poem she wrote with her students — “In the spring-sprinkled garden.”

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I turned to one of my #playwithpoetry tools, magnetic poetry, for the rest of the poem.
In the spring-sprinkled garden
In the spring-sprinkled garden” appears courtesy of Margaret Simon and friends.

A peek into my poems and process.

  • I’ve been collecting words for a long time. My list poem about walking features just some of the many words for walking, one of my favorite pastimes. A favorite walk of mine and my husband’s is the nearby Emerson-Thoreau Amble. Dear friends Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson enjoyed walking together, and one of their favorite woodland walks was the 1.7 mile path that began behind Emerson’s home and ended at nearby Walden Pond.  You can read more about this walk here. The “good friends” in my poem was inspired by these famous good friends.
  • Here in New England we are only just beginning to see true signs of spring in our gardens. “Sprinkled” is the perfect way to describe the hints of color beginning to crop up here and there.
  • The photo in my spring poem is of a long, narrow garden bed that runs alongside my driveway. It makes me happy when I pull in and see some sprinkles of color.
  • When the sun is shining, and there is a light breeze blowing, the intoxicating perfume from my early spring bulbs in bloom wafts in through my open windows. It is truly delicious!

One full week of National Poetry Month to go, gang. 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!

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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 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe. 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.

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

Is it too late? #PoetryFriday #youthclimatestrike

It’s Poetry Friday and Heidi Mordhorst of My Juicy Little Universe is hosting the round up this week. Won’t you join us there?

Heidi is heading to the Youth Climate Strike in Washington, DC. and she sent out a somber call to action to all of us, one of which was the following: “For us messengers and communicators, the action is to WRITE. Writing is an action. Write a story or article for a kids’ magazine, write a poem for the kids you know, write an ode to teen activists. Yes, celebrate nature, but don’t sugarcoat. Kids can take the truth. They already feel the truth even if they don’t know the truth; now they need ways to perceive it, process it, act on it themselves. Adult teachers, writers, poets: gather your grief and get out there and WRITE!”

Many of you know that my Kindergarten students and I — indeed my entire school community — see ourselves as stewards of the wildlife who make their home in our abutting conservation land and specifically the vernal pool system that lies within it. While we celebrate wildlife, we also believe it is critical that we teach our students about the delicate balance that must be maintained in order to preserve all forms of life. During National Poetry Month last year, I “gather(ed) up (my) grief” and wrote the following poem of caution for my students:

Is it too late_ (1)

Is it too late? What action will you and your students take?

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Thanks to Heidi for hosting this week’s round up and for attending the strike! Happy Poetry Friday, all!

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