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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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.  

cardinal-calls-

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. 

1

2

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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Clouds Billow #PoetryFriday #PoemsOfPresence

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Jama Rattigan is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, Jama’s Alphabet Soup. Won’t you join us there? Today is National Chocolate Chip Day and you know how much Jama loves to bake. You might need a big glass of milk to drink while reading Jama’s deliciously delightful post. 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.

As we inch closer to summer and warmer weather, I find myself dreaming of the ocean. My parents are both from Maine, so growing up I spent a part of most summers at one aunt’s home on Peaks Island or another aunt’s on Chebeague Island. My family also, for many years, rented a cottage in Boothbay Harbor. In all three locations, I loved — and still do! — to walk along the shore collecting time- and tide-smoothed stones, sea glass, and picking wild blueberries. It was also fun to just sit and watch all the action on the water. Boats, bobbing birds, and the odd harbor seal provide hours of entertainment and a sense of peace.

Many members of my Tuesday night #TeachWrite writing accountability group have purchased the Write the Poem journal and are writing from “the ocean” prompt. Word associations provided include billows, deep, brine, offing, wave, flux, tide, and current. As I began to write my poem, I had one particular afternoon on Peaks last August in mind. Today’s poem, Clouds Billow, is my second offering to the #PoemsOfPresence collection.

Clouds billow

To learn more about Margaret Simon’s wonderful #PoemsOfPresence challenge, click here. Many thanks to Jama 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!

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NPM #ThoreaulyInspired Wrap Up and Kindergarten Cardinal Haiku #PoetryFriday

Happy May Day, everyone! Elizabeth Steinglass is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog.  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.

I absolutely loved National Poetry Month and my #ThoreaulyInspired project, but I’m pooped! Writing a poem draft a day is a labor of love, indeed. Here’s a Padlet of the poems that I either created from scratch or revisited and revised from the past. I do feel more connected to not only Thoreau but the changing world around me.

Made with Padlet

I also wanted to share some sweet haiku that several of my Kindergarteners chose to write on National Haiku Day last month. I shared a line with them during a ZOOM session and here’s what they added. Not bad for their first haiku!

cardinal haiku

So now it’s May, National Notebooking Month, and I’m looking forward to lots of scribbling about whatever comes my way.

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Thanks to Elizabeth for hosting this week’s celebration! Happy Friday, all, and be safe and well.

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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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Rana sylvatica #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 #16: Rana sylvatica

Stereoscope

A peek at my process

On April 16, 1858, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “The Rana sylvatica spawn at Hubbard’s Grove begins to kick free. This is early. I put some in a bottle, which being shaken in my walk, I find the embryos all separated from the ova when I get home. These are now regular little pollywogs and wiggle about in a lively manner when the water is shaken. They are chiefly tail and head. They look like the samara of the ash, and in both cases this winged or feather-like tail it is that transports them. I can already see their little feet or fins.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal X: August 8, 1857 – June 29, 1858, Chapter IX. April, 1858, p. 372)

Rana sylvatica refers to the wood frog that is abundant in our area. It is the species that I am head-starting here at home instead of my classroom. Thoreau refers to the hatchlings as pollywogs (can also be spelled polywog or polliwog), which is the term I grew up with. Nowadays, tadpole is used more commonly. These terms sent me down a research rabbit hole and I discovered that the translations from Middle English are pollywog, meaning head and to wiggle, and tadpole, meaning toad and head. Both perfect, wouldn’t you say?

Many educators like myself have many regrets about what we left behind in our classrooms mid-March when we were told to take what we thought we’d need for a few weeks. A few weeks has turned into, most likely, the remainder of the school year. While I took everything I needed for head-starting my little temporary houseguests, I did forget my stereoscope, which gives me and my students a much closer look at our tadpoles. Using this tool year after year inspired my poem, which I had planned to introduce to them next week online. Today’s journal entry selection inspired me to revisit is and refresh some of my word choices.

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.

Linda Baie takes over today. You can find the two lines she is proposing to the next host, Heidi Mordhorst, on her blog Teacher Dance. 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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Blue Heron #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 #15: Blue Heron

Hello, dear friend. Is that you_

A peek at my process

On April 15, 1855, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Returning, we had a fine view of a blue heron, standing erect and open to view on a meadow island, by the great swamp south of the bridge, looking as broad as a boy on the side, and then some sheldrakes sailing in the smooth water beyond. These soon sailed behind points of meadow. The heron flew away, and one male sheldrake flew past us low over the water, reconnoitring, large and brilliant black and white. When the heron takes to flight, what a change in size and appearance! It is presto change! There go two great undulating wings pinned together, but the body and neck must have been left behind somewhere.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal VII: September 1, 1854 – October 30, 1855, Chapter VIII. April, 1855, p. 310)

I have always been fond of blue herons. I remember seeing one for the first time as a child while vacationing on Cape Cod. A creature from the past, almost prehistoric, when viewed up close. We now have a particular spot on the Sudbury River where we often see a heron. We like to think it is the same one every time and that the same one returns every spring. Maybe it is! We saw our friend for the first time last week just taking off from that special spot. It flew right across the road in front of us, as if to say, “I’m back!”

A year ago, I drafted this blue heron poem. This project has provided me with the opportunity to revisit and revise selected poems thanks to HDT’s inspiration.

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…

My friend and Teach Write buddy, Leigh Anne Eck, takes over today. Leigh Anne offers up two clever lines. I wonder which Linda Baie will choose? You can find Leigh Anne’s new lines on her blog, A Day in the Life. 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 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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There Is A Tree #SOLC20 #SOL20 #PoetryFriday

Happy fourth and final Friday of the 2020 Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers. It’s the last Friday the SOLC and Poetry Friday intersect. Where has the time gone? Today I am again slicing up a bit of poetry. Poet Tabatha Yeatts is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, The Opposite of Indifference.  Won’t you join us there as well? Slicing poetry on Fridays during the SOLC has been a great way to flex those writing muscles. If you are ever wondering where to find the weekly host of Poetry Friday, you’ll find a list of hosts and their blog links here.

There is a very special tree downtown that I can see from our second-floor bedroom window. Every time I walk into that room this time of year, its chartreuse glow catches my eye. It is a small moment on my day that brings me hope.

There is a tree I see out the window (1)

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Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day during March. And thanks to Tabatha for hosting the poetic side of this week’s double celebration! Happy Friday, all, and be safe and well.

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Today I Took A Walk #SOLC20 #SOL20 #PoetryFriday

Happy third Friday of the 2020 Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers AND Poetry Friday, all! Today I’m slicing up a bit of poetry. Poet and artist Michelle Kogan is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog.  Won’t you join us there? Slicing poetry on Fridays during the SOLC is a great way to flex those writing muscles. If you are ever wondering where to find the weekly host of Poetry Friday, you’ll find a list of hosts and their blog links here.

Anyone feeling cooped up yet? It wasn’t the nicest of weather here in New England yesterday, so we weren’t able to get out and move around as usual. But today is a new day with a promise of 70 degrees this afternoon.

A year ago, I wrote a poem for my Kindergarten students based on a very special small moment — a walk on a favorite trail on a gorgeous early spring day. Today seems like the right day to revisit it. Perhaps it will inspire you to get outside and take a walk. I’d give anything to be taking that walk with my current students today. We will, but just not today.

Today I took a walk

 

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Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day during the month of March. And thanks to Michelle for hosting this poetic side of this week’s double celebration! Happy Friday, all, and be well.

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