Winter Poem Swap Kindness #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Michelle Kogan is our hostess for this final Poetry Friday roundup of 2019. I hope to see you there! Michelle shares a call to action for the sake of our earth’s climate. We’ve got to act and fast!

I do believe (fibonacci)

In keeping with Michelle’s urgent message, here’s a fib I created for my Kindergarten naturalists. They are the next generation of stewards for the earth, after all.

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For this years’ annual Winter Poem Swap, our wonderful organizer, Tabatha, paired me with none other than herself! She is a truly talented, kind, and generous soul.

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Tabatha knows of my love of all-things-nature. I’ve been wanting to read Gooley’s The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs for some time now, and my goal of nurturing my creative side outside of writing poetry is one step closer with the help of Nature Art Workshop. (Would you believe I instantly thought of Michelle’s stunning artwork as I was thumbing through this? If only!) I’m certain you might see my dabblings here soon!

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And Tabatha’s kindness did not stop there. Inside this wintery folio she had tucked a note, lovely handmade necklace (can’t wait to wear that!), and a poem card featuring her poem, When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Cat.

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Tabatha knows I am a Kindergarten teacher and when her daughter was my students’ age, she responded ” A cat,” when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. A purrfect (sorry!) response, don’t you think? I can just hear one of my kiddos saying that and explaining why, as Tabatha does in her poem. I think she captured beautifully the playfulness of a kitten, as well as the moodiness and cat-titude (sorry again!) to come.

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Using Canva, one of my favorite creative go-tos, I thought this sweet image of a kitten was an ideal match for her words. Thank you, Tabatha! I hope you enjoy this wee gesture of thanks.

Many thanks for hosting this week, Michelle. Now let’s bring on the poetry as we crawl towards the new year.

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Connected #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Tabatha Yeatts is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. Perhaps you’ll join us? Tabatha has a lovely invitation to the annual Winter Poetry Swap, in addition to poetry from Samantha Reynolds. I’m signing up for the swap right now!

I’ve been thinking about trees a lot lately. Their autumnal hues are breathtaking here in New England. I have also been reading lots of tree-related literature including The Overstory by Richard Powers. An amazing novel and a must read! You won’t look at trees the same way ever again. I am also interested in learning more about how trees communicate with each other. Can you imagine the information that flows from one to the next in the woods? A subterranean communication system we can not see, nor tap into. Curious and want to learn more? Check out this animated video from the BBC. It explains the Wood Wide Web.

These woody thoughts prompted the following draft of a poem.

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Thanks for hosting this week, Tabatha. Bring on the poetry and if you take a walk in the woods this weekend, listen carefully.

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Day 24: Haiku Generator #NaPoWriMo #playwithpoetryNPM

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My #NaPoWriMo Poem-A-Day project is Playing With Poetry. I am tagging along with Margaret Simon, Jone MacCulloch, Molly Hogan, and Mary Lee Hahn. We will be playing with Haikubes, Magnetic Poetry, Metaphor Dice, and Paint Chip Poetry (I raided Home Depot).  I’m even throwing in nail polish color names as inspiration, just for fun! Play along, if you’d like! We are using the Twitter hashtag #playwithpoetryNPM to see what poetic mischief everyone is getting into.

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A peek into my poem and process:

  • We have a tulip that’s a newcomer in our garden this spring. I can’t remember her name, but she’s a stunner. I love how rose-like the layers of petals are. I’ve been wanting to write about her since she made her first appearance here the other day.
  • Have you ever tried Poem Generator online? I noticed a few folks using it to drum up a bit of inspiration, so I thought I’d give it a try. I selected the Haiku option and ran word choices through a few times. I didn’t love (or even like, for that matter) any of them in their entirety, but the last one created a phrase I thought was worth hanging on to — “at the perfect sky.”

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And now for….

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 Tabatha Yeatts. You may find her line here on her blog. Participants are having fun song lyrics. I was excited to provide the 14th line on April 14th. You can read it here. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens next! Here’s the itinerary for the rest of 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

Love Is #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! Tabatha Yeatts is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, The Opposite of Indifference.  

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On Monday, during his monthly-ish appearance on NPR’s Morning Edition, poet/author Kwame Alexander issued his latest poetic challenge to loyal teacher listeners. Listen up, teachers! Kwame’s talking to us!  The challenge this time is to give the following prompt to our students: “Love is…” and see what they come up with. Participants may submit individual lines, an entire poem, or even an audio file. On Valentine’s Day, Kwame will be back to share submissions with host, Rachel Martin. I can’t wait to get started with my Kindergarten poets next week. 

I’ll be honest. I wish Kwame’s visits with Rachel occurred weekly and not monthly-ish. Their rapport with one another is endearing, to say the least. What a way to start your morning! These segments usually air when my husband and I are just sitting down at our kitchen island to eat breakfast together before heading off to work. As soon as Rachel begins her intro, my husband says, “Here’s your Kwame! Poetry time!” We listen together. Together. I think that’s part of why I love these segments so much. It’s a small moment in the day that my husband and I share. He knows the role poetry — reading and writing — plays in my life, and appreciates that it’s a part of who I am, just as history is for him. 

To get caught up on some of these poetry segments, you can listen to:

For more information about Kwame’s current “Love is” challenge, or to submit your students’ poetic offerings, click here

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Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. I hope you’ll join us on this Poetry Friday by posting a bit of poetry — your’s or someone else’s — and leaving a comment here or there.

Swap treasures in the mail! #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! I’m back after a bit of a hiatus while the school year finished up. Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is our hostess this week, and she’s showcasing some sweet summer souvenirs!

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On the very first morning of my summer vacation from school, our mail carrier delivered a delightful package from poetry swap-mate Brenda Harsham, who blogs at Friendly Fairy Tales. It was bursting with color, ladybugs, and a friendship theme. What a way to begin the season!

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the best friends appear when you need them like ladybugs — Brenda Harsham

I adore ladybugs (how did she know?), so I will treasure her creative offering. I also chuckled when I saw Brenda’s return address on the envelope and realized we live SO CLOSE to one another and I know exactly where she lives! Let’s meet some day, Brenda!

And then, a few days later, this arrived.

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The True Definition of Vernal Pool
Vernal pools, could just as easily be called poke puddles, observation opportunities or wonders water. These pools typically fill when kindergarteners are indoors missing the outdoors due to seasonal weather. If you’re fortunate, Mrs. Wyman will bridge the gap between vernal pools and lessons with jackets, boots, journals, pencils and a wander plan. Hands will get muddy, wonders will arise, research will begin. Poems about frogs, leaves crustaceans and life cycles will be written. These pools will continue to lure insiders out-of-doors whenever there are learners near a Massachusetts woods and Mrs. Wyman to lead them. — Linda Mitchell

Wow. I’m not going to lie. This left me in a puddle of the-school-year-just-ended-and-I’m-a-bit-of-an-emotional-wreck tears. Some of you know of my fondness for vernal pools. Ok. Let’s be honest. It’s an obsession! I write about them often, in both poetry and prose. Linda Mitchell (we ARE going to meet IRL one day, Linda!), who blogs at A Word Edgewise, followed along faithfully during the month of April, as I wrote a poem a day about vernal pools as part of poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s 1 Subject 30 Ways challenge. My journey began here.  Linda had never heard of vernal pools and…well… “poems are teachers,” as Amy’s book is so aptly titled. Now Linda knows all about them! And her card will be treasured along with Brenda’s.

Many thanks to Tabatha Yeatts, who brilliantly coordinated this summer poetry swap!

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I hope you’ll join Tricia and the rest of us for some summer Poetry Friday fun here!

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