Friday, October 28, 2011
All Souls’ over, the roast seeds eaten, I set
on a backporch post our sculpted pumpkin
under the weather, warm still for November.
Night and day it gapes in at us
through the kitchen window, going soft
in the head. Sleepwalker-slow, a black rash of ants
harrows this hollow globe, munching
the pale peach flesh, sucking its seasoned
last juices dry. In a week, when the ants and
humming flies are done, only a hard remorseless light
drills and tenants it through and through. Within,
it turns mould-black in patches, stays
days like this while the weather takes it
in its shifty arms: wide eye-spaces shine,
the disapproving mouth holds firm....
~ Eamon Grennan
Read the rest here, and snack on the roasty toasty Poetry Friday noodles of autumn with Diane at Random Noodling.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Then there are the kids who are positioned-and-located somewhere in between, like Bryon. He recently arrived from an English-speaking African country and is "in progress" on this measure of mathematical concept acquisition.
Me, with an encouraging smile and a flourish as I place a yellow Unifix cube beneath but not touching my chin:
And where is the yellow cube, Bryon?
Umm....That might be a trick question. [with sudden insight] I know! Before your neck!
Maybe Bryon's trick answer makes you think of a poem located somewhere like mine below. Leave it in the comments and I'll round up on Friday.
Before my neck
there was just a little necklet
which I wore laced with pearls
of baby powder, jewels
of new baby blink, charmed
with welcome kisses
Heidi Mordhorst 2011
all rights reserved
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Maybe it's a teacher thing, or maybe it's just me: I am inordinately excited by the arrival of a new rug for my classroom. (We've made do with unsatisfactory ruglike arrangements for two months.) Our meeting area--where so much talking and listening, teaching and learning go on--is defined by The Carpet, so how the carpet looks and feels is important.
Isn't my new rug beautiful? It's so beautiful I had to write a poem about it.
I lie down by a river
of lightning and leaves.
My arms span a sky
like a mine full of gold;
turtles in treetops nibble my toes.
A cloudburst of apples
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Yesterday after reading a book about what didn't frighten a certain boy at bedtime, we were talking about why it was the little brown owl at the end that DID frighten him. I wondered whether it was because the owl was the only real creature out in his tree, "because I know that there's no such thing as a golden gorilla or a unicorn or a green goblin, and I know there are no pink dinosaurs, at least not in our time--"
"Yeah, dinosaurs were on the earth long ago, back in the--in the--1950's."
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Lunch time is so early for us that snack time is a necessity, around about 1:15 every day. We were finishing off a very large box of graham crackers brought in by Talia, who is Chinese-American.
"These are the ones I brought in, right?"
"They're good!...I really like Chinese food."
Friday, October 7, 2011
There is certainly no doubt that kindergarteners can begin to understand Big Ideas such as analysis and collaboration, but I'm not sure it's very productive, in the third week of school, to ask 5-year-olds a Unifying Question such as "How do identifying and describing attributes help you understand your world and organize your ideas?" More mystifying to me is that we the teachers seem to be DIScouraged from developing these eleven Thinking and Academic Skills through projects or topics that are thematically integrated and relevant to children's experience of what's happening outside school--you know, such as apples. Why not do both?
But it's Poetry Friday and I must step down off my apple crate to allow Robert Frost to speak, literally. The poem below (which is nearly suitable for kindergarten, but not quite) can be heard in Frost's own growly tones at The Poetry Foundation website. Robert Frost knew how to keep it concrete for sure.
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.
~ Robert Frost
More "keeping it real through poetry" at Great Kid Books with Mary Ann today, where she highlights April's Poetry Tag collection and sets the stage for the new and thrilling p*tag collection for teen readers, now available here! Download the divine!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
"This morning we're going to do something new called Weekend Snapshot. A snapshot is an old-fashioned name for a camera picture. Put your camera up, close your eyes and look at your weekend. What did you play this weekend? What did you eat this weekend? Where did you go? When you find one important picture, press the button and take a snapshot. Now draw and write it on this paper."
[some minutes later, empty paper]
"Soren, what important little thing are you going to draw?"
"I don't know."
"I don't know when was the weekend."
Perhaps you, too, occasionally lose track of whole chunks of time.....Leave your poetic response in the comments.
I found a piece of lost time
in the grass today,
gleaming silver like a coin.
It's in my pocket, round
as an old turnip-shaped watch.
Who knows when I'll need it?
I could use it when I'm late
for school, use it when I'm not
quite finished with my homework
or the last six pages of a book
and my mom stands there saying
"Time for bed." The thing ticks
softly, like a friend talking
just a bit too quietly to hear.
Maybe I will keep it instead.
—Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved
I am not a watch.
I hate sucky ticks
And pushy tocks!
And second hands that push me with a bang!
Hurry furry thing!
To the finish line.
I'd rather stop
To someone else's beat.
Lose the time.
Cruise the line that's fine.
2011, all rights reserved
Kate, I like the sound of "a piece of lost time" ticking softly in your pocket. Coins don't usually make that kind of noise!
Jeanne, your vision of a watch as a "Hurry furry thing!" is also striking.
Thank you both for stopping by. Here's mine...
Remember that time
when you sneezed and it sounded like
Yeah, that was so funny!
Remember that time
five minutes ago
when we built that pyramid
and then a tornado knocked it down?
I remember that, I think.
Remember that time
when I forgot my lunch on the bus
and I had to order grilled cheese?
Remember that time
at the weekend
when you did something really special
at that place with those people?
I don’t know when was the weekend.
~ Heidi Mordhorst 2011
DRAFT all rights reserved