Pools in woods floored with leaves #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 #13:…pools in woods floored with leaves…

Pool growing, Wind blowing

A peek at my process

On April 13, 1855, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “The small croaking frogs are now generally heard in all those stagnant ponds or pools in woods floored with leaves, which are mainly dried up in the summer. At first, perhaps, you hear but one or two dry croaks,
but, if you sit patiently, you may hear quite a concert of them at last,…” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal VII: September 1, 1854 – October 30, 1855, Chapter VIII. April, 1855, p. 304)

Those “pools in woods floored with leaves” are the vernal pools that my students and I love to explore in the conservation land behind our school. In the spring, we are often accompanied by our amazing Kindergarten Biologist-in-Residence, Emilie, from Grassroots Wildlife Conservation. Under Emilie’s watchful eye, we headstart wood frog eggs in our classroom — this year my home! I honor Emilie in my poem as the “Biologist gallumping!” She actually does this with grace and style in her hip waders with attached boots!

Henry was fond of vernal pools, too. His journal entries for March, April, and even May, across the years, report activity in pools he encountered on his daily walks. His many names for them, and names that we still use in this part of New England, include woodland pools, spring-holes, pond-holes, hollows, mud pools, and ditches. Whatever name you use, vernal pools are teeming with life — at least until they begin to dry up as the rain decreases and the sun’s rays begin to dry them. I wrote today’s poem for my students as they begin to meet those who inhabit, at least for a short time, these secret pools in the woods. To learn more, check out Wonderopolis “Wonder of the Day” #2105: What Is a Vernal Pool?

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.

Our little poem travels down under today into the very capable kayak-paddle-holding hands of Kat Apel. Kat, again, offers a line choice for the next host, Margaret. You can find her new lines on her blog, Kat’s Whiskers. 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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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…

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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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Rainbow and Equation Poem #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! Poetess and author Laura Purdie Salas is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, Writing the World for Kids.  Won’t you join us there?

Equation Poem

Related to her new book, Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations, Laura has a fun, quick writing challenge for us this week: write an equation poem. What fun! She’s even set up a Padlet to collect them. My class’ participation in Global School Play Day 2019 on Wednesday inspired my offering.

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On Tuesday morning, the most magnificent rainbow appeared in the sky just as families in cars and buses filled with excited children were making their way to school. Cars pulled over, parents and staff snapped pictures as children squealed with joy. What a way to start another day of learning and growing together!

With this image still vivid in my memory, I scrambled for pen and paper when my students were safely delivered to PE class. I scribbled down words, thoughts, and feelings that came to mind, knowing that there was a poem amongst those faded pastel hues. Later that day, I curled up with a cup of tea and my scribbles. Wondering what more I might add to my ideas, I searched Wonderopolis (a great source for poetic inspiration) for a wonder about rainbows. I found Wonder of the Day #116: Why Do Rainbows Appear? and mined a few more descriptors and facts from the text. After some gentle nudges, a rainbow appeared. 

Rainbow (3)

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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. Thank you for hosting, Laura!