Friday, January 31, 2014

tenebrio molitor

It's that time of year again in Room 166...and perhaps this year the hard-won miracle is a bit more poignant.

our connection to these mealworms is anything but
their stage is our stage: child.
we take them from the dark, fearless, though daily we
molest them.
their aim is our aim: grow.

we watch them wriggle out of old skins, wild with
their change is our change: tough.
then we find them waxen white and frozen on their bran,
their wait is our wait: long.

[dedicated to my kindergarten team]

The Poetry Friday round-up is at The Miss Rumphius Effect with the lovely Tricia, down in my hometown of Richmond, VA.  See you there all weekend!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

putting faith in poetry

One of the reasons I like my UU congregation is that hardly a week goes by without a poem as part of the Sunday morning service--a poem read, typically, by a skilled orator.  I grew up in Lutheran churches also led by a skilled orator--my dad--but beyond the poetry of the scriptures, I can't recall a time when a contemporary poem was shared in church.

During all those years growing up Lutheran, a plain-looking magazine printed on newsprint was a fixture in our house:  The Christian Century.  What I didn't know was that my dad's favorite professional publication published a lot of contemporary poetry (and I think, in those days, that he didn't give a lot of attention to the poems either).  Now I am subscribed to this now glossier, very interesting, well-written magazine, thanks to Dad, and the poetry alone is well worth the time.

Here's a little allium-scented sample from the CC website.

Peeling the onion | Luci Shaw

There’s not much I don’t know about you—
yellow, red, sweet—grubbed up roots and all.
Essential for a vigorous cuisine, alerting
the sense—the crackle of your paper brown outer
skin, your translucent inner sheaths like
vegetable undergarments, your pungent heat
rising from sharp steel and cutting board
to my blurred eyes, your precise circles against
the wood, before the sizzle in the buttered pan.

Reluctant to relinquish our intimacy
your sharp essence clings to my fingers, like
a reputation. Hours later, in the dark, you season
the air around my hands, I’ll stud you with
stars of cloves to bury in the belly of the bird
before roasting. Or nestle your pearls
with a stalk of mint among the green peas....

Read the rest here, trying not to get distracted by Shrek, and peel back the layers of Poetry Friday by visiting Tara at A Teaching Life.


Friday, January 17, 2014

stopping by poets on a Friday morning

I'm a little wrung-out from a heavy-duty start to the I think I'll just pop by as many of my favorite blogs as I can for the virtual equivalent of a reviving cup of tea--if that's okay with you all.

Friday, January 10, 2014

in January it's so nice

We now resume our regularly scheduled programming...Happy New Year, everyone!

Update from Room 166: 
On January 2 I repeated a most successful lightbulb idea from last year.  Having read a number of books by Leo Lionni, we enjoyed Tillie and the Wall, in which Tillie, the youngest and most curious mouse living near a seemingly boundless wall, wonders what's on the other side.  After several tries, she hits on the idea of digging under it.  She tunnels along and emerges on the other side to find not the fantastical plants and animals she imagined, but regular mice just like herself.  All the same they're delighted to meet her and there is celebration with flags and confetti and a party. 

We talked about the old year and the new year, and how the new year is new but very much the same as the old--and then we "tunneled" under all the tables from 2013 to 2014,  cheering and greeting each other as we emerged on the not-so-different other side.  It's always delightful to celebrate.

On January 6 I opened up my raggedy, yellowed, dogeared big book of Chicken Soup with Rice for the 25th time and took yet another class of children on a foolish and fanciful trip around the year.  Of course we have to sing it, and just in case there is anyone who does not know Carole King's Really Rosie (a scripted, animated and most importantly scored conglomeration of Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library), here is the video we've been watching and moving to on all these days of indoor recess.  Most satisfactory kindergarten poetry, don't you agree?

I tell you once, I tell you twice,
all seasons of the year are nice
for eating chicken soup
eating chicken soup
eating chicken soup with rice!
(chicken soup, chicken soup with ri-ice)
Update from my own personal Writer's Workshop:
With critical help from members of the Poets' Garage (especially Liz Steinglass) and the generous Laura Shovan, I have finally completed a WIP that has been underway for more than five years!  It's a good feeling to have that done, and it was a great luxury to spend hours and hours pulling it together, especially those spent in Seaford, England at The Well Cottage.
No, this is not a gorgeous, charming and comfortable B&B offering writers' retreats--but it could be.  It's the new home of my mother-in-law and her partner, and they hosted us for Christmas AND provided poet support services that you couldn't pay enough for elsewhere.  I'm very grateful.
Please slip and slide on over to Mainely Write with Donna for this week's Poetry Friday round-up.