Wandering and wondering #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 #30: Wandering and wondering

Wandering and Wondering

A peek at my process

Today’s final poem was inspired by the mutual connection I feel to Thoreau through the pages of his journal and mine. While our intent differs in some respects, this month-long poetic journey has shown me that we do indeed share a mutual admiration for all things natural and a sense of joy from time spent wandering and then reflecting upon the experience.

And now for…

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30 days ago, on April 1st, 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 signed up to provide a line for the 2020 poem, and last Friday was my turn, so I contributed the line  “Something familiar, I know so well.” 

Today it was Michelle Kogan’s turn to bring our sweet poem home on her blog. Not only did Michelle finish up the poem, but she created a musical interpretation using what else? Her banjo! The explorer in our poem didn’t travel terribly far but nonetheless had an adventure. Sometimes the best adventures happen close to home. Don’t you think? Thoreau certainly knew that.

So here it is in its entirety — the Progressive Poem 2020!

Progressive Poem 2020 (untitled)

Many thanks to all contributors to this years’ poem. It was so fun to collaborate with you!

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 Mainely Write
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

And lastly, 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 May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up next week. 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 in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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Place Names #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 #29: Place Names

Place Names

A peek at my process

On April 29, 1856, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “To Cedar Swamp…Do not sail well till I reach Dove Rock, then glide swiftly up the stream…scared a small dark-brown hawk from an apple tree, which flew off low to another apple tree beside Barrett’s Pond.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal VIII: November 1, 1855 – August 15, 1856, Chapter V!. 1856, p. 316-317)

Place names were clearly important to Thoreau. Thank goodness they were, because he left behind a trail of breadcrumbs for us to follow in his footsteps. Today’s list poem is made up of place names scattered through his journal entries, many of which I am able to visit today.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Our Poetry Friday family has 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, and Friday was my turn.

Here’s where the poem stands with just a day to go!

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Today it’s Fran Haley’s turn to provide a line choice for Michelle Kogan to choose from and bring it home. You can find Fran’s lines on her blog, Lit Bits and Pieces. An extra special welcome to Fran who is joining the Progressive Poem, Poetry Friday, and NPM family of poets for the first time!

Here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive Poem. I really don’t want it to end! Does it have to?

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 Mainely Write
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

And lastly, 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 May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. 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 in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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Nature #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 #28: Nature

Nature (final)
nature
infinite expectation
uncertainty broad and unexplored
from scraggy hillside to partridge drum
lies out there as old, and yet as new
varies every day
growth and changes of the seasons
influence of the elements
the eye never twice
rests upon the same prospect
much more does a
character show newly and variedly
if directly seen

 

A peek at my process

On April 28, 1841, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “I approach a great nature with infinite expectation and uncertainty, not knowing what I may meet. It lies as broad and unexplored before me as a scraggy hillside or pasture. I may hear a fox bark, or a partridge drum, or some bird new to these localities may fly up. It lies out there as old, and yet as new. The aspect of the woods varies every day, what with their growth and the changes of the seasons and the influence of the elements, so that the eye of the forester never twice rests upon the same prospect. Much more does a character show newly and variedly, if directly seen.(The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal I: 1837-1846, Chapter V. 1841, p. 254)

It would be hard to improve upon Thoreau’s thoughts about nature from this entry. In fact, I found his words so eloquent, that I scooped them up and formed them into a concrete found poem in the shape of a drumlin. Drumlins, and their geological opposites — kettle holes — dot the landscape here in Massachusetts and may be found all over the world. The image in the background is the namesake drumlin at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, just down the road from us in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Drumlins are giant deposits of sediment formed during the last glacial retreat. Their whale-like shape is steep in the front and tapers to a tail in the direction of the ice flow. The view from the top of this particular drumlin on a clear day is lovely, and Thoreau wrote about it in his journal in 1853.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Our Poetry Friday family has 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, and Friday was my turn.

Here’s where things stand with our sweet poem’s adventure thus far.

 

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Today it’s Jessica Bigi’s turn to provide a line choice for Fran to choose from. You may find her lines on Mainely Write, as they have a guest appearance there today!

Here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive Poem. I really don’t want it to end! Does it have to?

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 Mainely Write
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

And lastly, 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 May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. 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 in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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“Snows hard in afternoon…” #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 #27: “Snows hard in afternoon…”

Copy of Winter's Final Curtain Call

A peek at my process

On April 27, 1858, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Snows hard in afternoon and evening. Quite wintry. About an inch on ground the next morning.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal X: August 8, 1957-June 29, 1858, Chapter IX. 1858, p. 385)

Snow is sadly in the forecast for us tonight and the early o. It isn’t unusual for us to still have a few flurries this time of year in New England, but fortunately, they don’t last for very long.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Our Poetry Friday family has 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, and Friday was my turn.

Here’s where things stand with our sweet poem’s adventure thus far.

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Today it’s Robyn Hood Black’s turn to conjure up new lines for Jessica to choose from. You may find them on her blog, Life on the Deckle Edge.

Here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive Poem. I really don’t want it to end! Does it have to?

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 Mainely Write
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

And lastly, 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 May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. 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 in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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“The frogs at a distance” #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 #26: “The frogs at a distance…”

Tiny frogs

A peek at my process

On April 26, 1852, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “The frogs at a distance are now so numerous that, instead of the distinct shrill peeps, it is one dreamy sound. It is not easy to tell where or how far off they are. When you have reached their pool, they seem to recede as you advance. As you squat by the side of the pool, you still see no motion in the water, though your ears ring with the sound, seemingly and probably within three feet. I sat for ten minutes on the watch, waving my hand over the water that they might betray themselves, a tortoise, with his head out, a few feet off, watching me all the while, till at last I caught sight of a frog under a leaf, and caught and pocketed him ; but when I looked afterward, he had escaped. The moment the dog stepped into the water they stopped. They are very shy. Hundreds filled the air with their shrill peep. Yet two or three could be distinguished by some peculiarity or variation in their note. Are these different?” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal III: September 16, 1951-April 30, 1852, Chapter VII. 1852, p. 469-470)

There are numerous references to frogs in Thoreau’s journal entries. He spent a great deal of time observing them in various stages of their metamorphosis and in any number of habitats. His observations, and subsequent recordings, of the variation in the sounds they made, and the details of their appearance is remarkable. He had a great deal of patience it would seem! When we headstart wood frogs in my classroom, I always have several Kindergarteners who would stare into the tank at them for hours if I let them. I am truly grateful for the teachable moments and opportunities their presence provides.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Our Poetry Friday family has 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, and yesterday it was my turn.

Here’s where things stand with our sweet poem’s adventure 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
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty’s sake.
But wait, what’s that delicious smell?
Something familiar, I know so well.

It’s a campfire. I follow my nose. I see

Today Dani Burtsfield and Margaret Simon are collaborating on new line offerings. You may find them on Dani’s blog, Doing the Work That Matters.

Here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive Poem. I really don’t want it to end!

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

And lastly, 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 May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. 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 in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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Horace Mann #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 #25: Horace Mann

Upon the esker's edge

A peek at my process

On April 25, 1861, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Horace Mann brings me apparently a pigeon hawk. The two middle tail-feathers are not tipped with white and are pointed almost as a woodpecker’s.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XIV: August 1, 1860 – November 3, 1861, Chapter VI. 1861, p. 338)

You may have noticed that the inspiration for my poem today is Thoreau’s reference to Horace Mann, yet he does not appear in my poem. I am continuously amazed by who Thoreau either knew personally or corresponded with throughout his life. Horace Mann is one such acquaintance. His list of friends also included fellow Concordians and writers Louisa May Alcott and her father, Bronson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and, most famously, Ralph Waldo Emerson. They all lay in rest together at the top of what is now known as “Authors Ridge” in the bucolic Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts, which Thoreau was hired to survey.

Sleepy Hollow connects to several trails in Concord that we frequently walk. Every once in a while I stop to visit the authors, and it was one such visit several years ago that inspired today’s poem. It’s been living in my subconscious for quite some time and I keep meaning to put pen to paper. Seeing the reference to Mann nudged me in that direction today, and I stopped by the ridge this morning for some fresh photos. “Garden of the living” was borrowed from Emerson’s remarks at the opening of Sleepy Hollow in 1855. “The pond below” refers to manmade Cat’s Pond, which was again surveyed by Thoreau.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Our Poetry Friday family has 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, and yesterday it was my turn.

Here’s where things stand with our sweet poem’s adventure 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
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty’s sake.
But wait, what’s that delicious smell?
Something familiar, I know so well.

Today it’s Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s turn over at The Poem Farm. She has offered up two intriguing and delicious options for Dani to choose from tomorrow

Here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive Poem. I don’t want it to end!

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

And lastly, 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 May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. 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 in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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Bird mnemonics #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #PoetryFriday

Welcome to Poetry Friday, everyone! I am excited and honored to host the roundup this week and to be offering up the next line for the Progressive Poem. As usual, I’m sweating it out and crossing my fingers, eyes, and toes that everything goes according to plan. For those of you new to Poetry Friday, welcome, and here’s a link to our weekly hosting schedule.

First…

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 #24: Bird mnemonics

I hear you (3)

A peek at my process

On April 24, 1852, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Heard again (in the village) that vetter-vetter-vetter-vetter-vet’, or tchi-tchi-tchi-tchi-tchi-tchi-tchi’ very rapidly repeated, which I heard April 23d,’ and perhaps the same that I saw April 17th (described April 18th)? I am pretty sure it is the pine warbler, yellow beneath, with faint olivaceous marks on the sides, olivaceous above, tail forked, about the size of a yellow-bird. I have not seen the fox-colored sparrow for some weeks. Thought I saw a loon on Walden yesterday.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal III: September 16, 1851 – April 30, 1852, Chapter VII. 1852, p. 464)

As a certified Bird Nerd, I am fascinated by bird mnemonics, as Thoreau appears to have been as well. There are many entries in his journal that include his attempts at recording the birdsong that became familiar to him. I am learning to recognize birds both by sight and sound — birding by ear. I wish Henry were around to teach me a thing or two! Some of the phonetic interpretations I have been studying worked their way into an almost-list-like poem. To learn more, check out Wonderopolis.org’s “What Are Bird Song Mnemonics?

And now for…

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Our Poetry Friday family has 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, and now it is my turn! Dun-dun-duuuuuun!

Here’s where things stand with our sweet poem’s adventure 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
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty’s sake

On Thursday, Ruth rather astutely noticed a lack of smell in the sense category. I’m going with…

But wait, what’s that delicious smell? (I chose this option because it leaves it open-ended which direction the smell is coming from. Ruth’s other option — But what’s that smell up there ahead? — was equally wonderful, but I believe lead to the shore of the lake. I wanted the mystery to linger longer!)

So I’m offering up to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, the poem’s next host…

  1. Something familiar, I know so well. (Could be food or a spring flower. Our explorer is getting quite hungry at this point, but the “whispering breeze” and “promise of spring” make me think more floral. What say you, Amy? Fresh biscuits, pancakes, muffins, or an early spring flower?)
  2. Lily of the valley pealing her bells. (Going with personification and a near rhyme. The spring flower route is in honor of May Day, the day after our poem ends. It also plays around with scent vs. sound. We wouldn’t have the gorgeous scent if the “whispering breeze” didn’t make the bells “peal.”)

Now I turn things over to Amy at The Poem Farm. I can’t wait to see what she does while writing in Betsy the Camper. That’s where the magic happens! Scroll on down to the bottom, so you can see where the poem heads next week.

Thanks for joining me for this week’s roundup. Click the link and bring on the poetry, friends!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

And here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive 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

And lastly, 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 May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. 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 in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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