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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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.

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 #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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Woodchuck #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #SOL20

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. 

Today, because it is Tuesday, I also welcome Slice of Life visitors! My post is both poem-ish and Slice-ish!

Day #7: Woodchuck

Animalia Chordata Mammalia (2)

A peek at my process

On April 7, 1859, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “I saw a hole (probably of a woodchuck) partly dug on the cast side of the hill, and three or four large stones lay on the fresh sand-heap thrown out, which the woodchuck had pushed tip from below. One was about six inches long by four or more wide and might weigh four pounds, and, looking into the hole, whose bottom I could not see, I saw another nearly as large about three feet down, on its way up. I have seen their holes dug in much worse places than this. (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XII: March 2, 1859 – November 30, 1859, Chapter II. April, 1859, p. 118)

We dread the return of the woodchucks, or groundhogs as we refer to them, every year. Their elaborate tunnel system makes its way through a slope between our uphill neighbors and our backyard. As my poem/Slice mentions, they tear their way through the garden every year, but this year we are going to fight back with coyote urine recommended by our local garden center and by choosing from a selection of flowers and vegetables they apparently resist. We will try anything! Click here to see the suggestions.

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 is Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring. And last week my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offered up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Teach Write Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek at our posts!

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Last 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. Catherine Flynn takes a turn today, again offering a line choice (it’s now officially a thing) for the next host, Tara.  You can find Catherine’s line choices on her blog, Reading to the Core. 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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Sun Dog #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

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 #6: Sun Dog

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A peek at my process

On April 5, 1859, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Mr. Haines, who travelled over the lots with us this very cold and blustering day, was over eighty. ‘What raw, blustering weather!’ said I to my employer to-day. ‘Yes,’ answered he. ‘Did you see those two sun-dogs on Saturday?’ They are a pretty sure sign of cold and windy weather. (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XII: March 2, 1859 – November 30, 1859, Chapter II. April, 1859, p. 115)

I confess to never having heard the term “sun dog” (or sun-dog) until reading this particular journal entry. In fact, I don’t recall learning much about the sun or moon phases as a student, but they do intrigue me. Eager to learn more, I turned to my good friends at Wonderopolis for help. As luck would have it, Wonderopolis Wonder of the Day #1665, What Is a Sun Dog? was waiting for me! I used the text from the Wonder for today’s blackout poem. In addition, here’s a more conventional layout of the poem created with Canva.

Sun Dog (2)

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 is Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring. And last week my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offered up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Teach Write Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek at our posts!

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

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. Kay McGriff takes a turn today, again offering a line choice (it’s now officially a thing) for the next host, Catherine.  You can find Kay’s line choices on her blog. 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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Brown Season #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

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 #5: Brown Season

Wheat Wood Hickory (tanka)

 

A peek at my process

On April 4, 1859, Thoreau wrote, Methinks the peculiar and interesting Brown Season
of the spring lasts from the time the snow generally begins to go off — as this year the fore part of March — till the frost is generally (or entirely?) out. Perhaps it will be through the first week of April this year. (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XII: March 2, 1859 – November 30, 1859, Chapter II. April, 1859, p. 113)

Spring — at least here in New England — really does have two parts. Brown Season and perhaps Green Season. My tanka today intends to reflect nature’s monochromatic palette that hides a flurry of activity beneath the leaf litter. April truly is a month of transformation, once the last of the snow melts and the earth begins to thaw.

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 earlier this week my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offered up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Teach Write Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek!

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

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. Buffy Silverman takes over today, again offering a line choice for the next host, Kay.  I know which line I want her to choose. Do you? You can find Buffy’s line choices on her blog. 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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Look Forth Through the Mizzle #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

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 #4: Mizzle

Look forth through the mizzle

A peek at my process

On April 3, 1859, Thoreau wrote, “I have for some weeks been insisting on the beauty and richness of the most and saturated crust of the earth. It has seemed to me more attractive and living than ever…teeming with life, especially in the rainy days.” And further on, “It does not rain hard to-day, but mizzles…” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XII: March 2, 1859 – November 30, 1859, Chapter II. April, 1859, p. 109-110)

What a magnificent word — mizzles. Perfect, I think, for not only capturing the light drizzly rain but perhaps the miserable feeling one has when it continues for days. Days void of sun, as we have experienced here in New England for the last 3-4 days. My free-verse found poem today borrows or “lifts” lines from Thoreau’s entries which mirror my own observations 161 years on. How lucky we are to have this exquisite phenological reference. Credit is also due to Margaret Simon and her former students for “spring-sprinkled.” I’ve adored this term since they used it in a collaborative poem last year. You may read their original poem here.

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 yesterday my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offered up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Teach Write Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek!

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

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. Liz Steinglass takes over today, again offering a line choice for the next host. You can find Liz’s lines on her blog. 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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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…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

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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Worm-piles #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

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 #2: Worm-piles

worm-piles on pavement (haiku) (1)

A peek at my process

On April 1, 1860, Thoreau wrote, “Worm-piles abundant this morning.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XIII: December 1, 1859 – July 31, 1860, Chapter V. April, 1860, p. 237)

I couldn’t resist “worm-piles” for my playful haiku today! During an early morning walk on Sunday, after it had rained all night long and into the wee hours of the morning, my husband and I saw many worms crawling across the puddly track up at our local high school. It got me wondering why do worms leave the adjacent grass, dirt, and on this morning, mud, for a different surface? What could this seemingly barren surface have to offer them? Survival, it turns out! I did a little investigating and discovered that worm burrows fill with water when it rains and the worms can’t get enough oxygen when the soil is flooded. They move to drier “ground” so they can breathe. Interesting!

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. I hope you will take a peek!

And now for…

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Yesterday 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. Irene is back at it with line two today, offering the next host a choice of two lines. This years’ poem is quickly becoming a “choose your own adventure” project! You can find Irene’s offerings on her blog, Live Your Poem. 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

I Heard The First Real Robin’s Song #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth

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 #1: I heard the first real robin’s song

I heard the first real robin's song

A peek at my process

On March 31, 1860, Thoreau wrote, “I hear the first real robin’s song…”

I have been waking to the dawn chorus that is performed daily outside of my window for weeks now, and a robin is always one of the first participants. I knew instantly this was the line I would lift for today’s poem draft. The only change I made to his text was to use “heard” instead of “hear.” Writing rhymed couplets are new-ish for me, so I am flexing some new writing muscles 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. I hope you will take a peek!

And introducing…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Starting today members of the Poetry Friday family have 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. Poet Donna Smith kicked things off this morning with a first line (a choice of two, actually) to get us going. You can find her line here on her blog, Mainly Write. 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

Borrowing a Line from NSN #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Mary Lee Hahn is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on A Year of Reading. Perhaps you’ll join us? She’s offered up the work of brilliant poet Naomi Shihab Nye as a possible theme for anyone interested. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Poetry Foundation named Ms. Nye their Young People’s Poet Laureate, the first Arab-American to receive this great honor. Huzzah!

After reading this article about Ms. Nye’s appointment in Texas Monthly, one line jumped out at me to be borrowed for a line in a poem — “there’s no place that poetry doesn’t live.” Now that I’m writing regularly in my writing notebook (thank you, Teach Write!), I find myself scribbling down so much that I see, hear, feel, notice, and wonder about. These bits and pieces of seemingly nothing odds and ends continue to amaze me at how they often become something.

There's no place that poetry doesn't live

Thanks for hosting this week, Mary Lee. Bring on the poetry!

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