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.  

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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. 

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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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Great Meadows #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #PoetryFriday

Thanks to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup, the second roundup of National Poetry Month! I can’t wait to see what Amy (and her little mouse friend) do with the words life, across, and curse. Here’s what’s happening in my neck of the poetry woods today.

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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 #10: Great Meadows

Great Meadows

A peek at my process

On April 10, 1852, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Down river to half a mile below
Carlisle Bridge, the river being high, yet not high for the spring. Saw and heard the white-bellied swallows this morning for the first time. Took boat at Stedman Buttrick’s, a gunner’s boat, smelling of muskrats and provided with slats for bushing the boat. Having got into the Great Meadows, after grounding once or twice on low spits of grass ground, we begin to see ducks which we have scared, flying low over the water, always with
a striking parallelism in the direction of their flight.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal III: September 16, 1851 – April 30, 1852, Chapter VII. April, 1852, p. 394)

Today’s concrete poem, which mirrors the image of the trees and their reflection in the water, is about a place that is very special to me and my husband, and apparently HDT — Great Meadows. Henry visited what is now the Concord Unit of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge often both on foot and via canoe. You can find us there on sunny Sunday afternoons walking the woodland and riverside trails (Henry’s canoe view), and the manmade dike trail that spans the wetlands, separating it into two pools. At times the birdsong — mostly red-wing blackbirds — is cacophonous but lovely. And it is always a bonus when a great blue heron or two are nestled among the cattails fishing for a snack.

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. Matt Forrest Esenwine takes over today, again offering a line choice for the next host. You can find Matt’s line options on his blog, Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme. 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

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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