Monday, February 15, 2016

welcome to the Found Objects project, day 15!

Ahhh....a snowy morning, a hot cup o' joe, and no school!  Thanks, George & Abe!


I have the honor today of helping out my friend and Maryland neighbor with her annual February Write-Along Challenge.  (Laura's kind of busy right now, with her NEW BOOK* set to come out in April.) This project goes by many names, and I'll let Laura herself explain it thoroughly at her new blog, but the short version is:

one interesting prompt per day in February = one new poem per participant per day

Laura is very careful to let everyone know that perfect attendance is not a requirement for participation, although some do challenge themselves to that discipline.  I'm in the other camp, joining in when I can, but since today's prompt is the Found Object photo that I provided, I'll be working on my draft along with rounding up the responses of others today.

And let's be frank, shall we?  Although each of us blasting out a poem-a-day may enjoy a blazing moment of transcendent poetic glory here and there, it will be a very rare poem shared that doesn't need some time to percolate (heh heh "percolate" get it?) and another few rounds of review and revision.  Most of our responses are very definitely drafts.  But as I noted earlier, there is something liberating about just Going For It--conceiving a poem, typing it, cutting and pasting it and clicking to put it out there, all in under an hour.  This practice exercises all kinds of muscles other than actual composition, doesn't it!?

Now, let's go find some transcendent poetic glory....

Jessica Bigi gives us a related round, brown textured treat:

Chocolate Chip Cookies


Vanilla splashes
Flowery fingerprints
Cookie dough everywhere
Spoonful of chocolate chips
Magic baking on trays
The best part of all
Slurping leftover
Batter off fingers
From the mixing bowl
We're Grandma's
Little bakers

~ Jessica Bigi


Matt Forrest Esenwine finds himself transported by engrained marketing slogans, and it works, by golly!

Maxwell’s Kitchen

I sipped away
as time ticked by;
the Last Drop, though,
is growing nigh.

© 2016 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Catherine Flynn writes: "I recently read Lisa Randall's Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe, and this poem is definitely under the influence of Randall's fascinating (although at times over my head) book."

Rings of sediment
line this mug of stone.
Remnants of cocoa
chart the history
of this poem.

Thin layers mark
many quick sips,
moments of confusion
or distraction.

Thicker layers tell
a tale of clarity,
ideas growing,
words flowing.

In the unfinished drops
at the bottom
I try to read the future,
and divine the fate
of the universe.

© Catherine Flynn

Laura also (in a phenomenon that I'm going to call "quantum entanglement," after Albert Einstein, but which I'm pretty sure has a different name when it's not about particle) connects the coffee in the mug to the surface of the Moon in a haiku:

La Luna flashes
her cappuccino craters
in my coffee mug

(c) Laura Shovan

And Mary Lee Hahn carries us far from the chill of this snowy morn, the strata of this half-empty cup:

Dregs

It's late summer.
All that's left of Bijou Creek
is a sinuous path of green
between low eroded hills.

In the cutbank of a gully we find
fossilized fragments of turtle shell,
and a Paleocene tree trunk
buried in its upright, growing position.


                                                                                    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016

We do enjoy hearing how others' poems come to be, so Mary Lee shares her process notes here.

I myself intended a similarly thoughtful poem of time and strata, layers and decumulation; I even titled the photo both "Caffeinocene Era" and "Capuccinocene Era".  But, being the photographer, I know what was really going on during the drinking of this cappucino a few Saturdays ago...


Weekly Planning

See that warm cinnamon foam
at the bottom? I drank my capuccino upside down;
I mean I planned my week of second grade upside down.
I came to the frothy, spicy cinnamon layer last
even though it was topmost when I took my giant overflowing cup
from the baristo.  I was the one who liberally sprinkled the cinnamon,
for heaven's sake.  I was the one who poured in the raw brown sugar
crystals, the sweetness.

And then I plunged in--
new marking period, new topics, good stuff! technology and tools,
observing the moon, change over time, measurement
in inches and centimeters, distinguishing
fact and opinion.  How to compile it all together
into a coherent whole?  How to layer the concepts
by period of the day, so that "social studies and information
literacy inquiry project" might also link with "well-constructed
investigation" and "justifying mathematical approach logically"?
Relishing the challenge and the time to tackle it, I
sat in that noisy food court cafe and I
planned the bejeesus out of Week 1.

And then last--
I mean actually last, I thought about our morning meeting,
a new greeting for a new quarter, personal sharing.  Last
I thought about the topmost layer, first things first,
the spicy cinnamon "hello I see you," the frothy foamy
"you have a life outside of school, it sounds like
you had fun," the liberally sprinkled "you belong here
in this class, in this family" of e pluribus unum, every color
from the espresso of Mali to the milky froth of Scotland + Belarus
to the cinnamon of Indonesia to the raw sugar of El Salvador

and as we know
technologytoolsmoonchangeinchescentimeters 
factopinionconceptsliteracymathematicalapproach
all that caffeinated coherent curriculum
none of it will happen
without the spicy cinnamon foam on top,
the sweet greeting, the "hello I see you,"
the "you belong here" of
"January, February, March April May--
I choose YOU. What do you say?"
 
(c)  Heidi Mordhorst 2016


Well, it would appear that I have met a goal of mine without intending to...could this be my first slam poetry composition?

Diane Mayr has come by to remark, "I took what I thought was the obvious path, but, I guess it was only obvious to me. The variety of subjects amazes me!"

On the Seconds Table

Clay in his hands
I had spun--rising,
molded--into a vessel.

I'd been transformed
into soft stone by
fire, yet I was
still vulnerable.

He covers me now
with silica and
oxides--knowing my
potential. I have
good lines.

The warmth of a coat
is augmented by fire.

Like the Wicked Witch
I feel I am melting.
Melting, melting...

I stand strong.
Turn incandescent.

Then cool. Ping! Ping!

At first glance [Ping!]
I am a beauty.

Ping! Ping!

Crazed! In a word,
imperfect--but,
inside...inside,
I remain stone.

I survived. And, I,
still have purpose.

© Diane Mayr

And here's Buffy Silverman, firing on her second cup of the morning:

Cuppa Joe

Inhaling the scent of morning,
cold fingers curl
around a steaming mug.

She takes a sip
and stops to savor

the jolt of caffeine
the warmth of routine
the start of a new day.

© Buffy Silverman

Carol Varsalona has fashioned a digital composition for us...I think I can share it "wholecloth"...



So, at 7:30 9:30 pm, it would seem that that's all the entries for today. there are still three more to post!  Welcome to Julieanne!
Stainworthy

The lip curls
just
so
it can carry
warmth
toward its early morning partner.

The solid presence
reassures
and softens the light,
and lifts the spirit.

Left alone
it bears
a stain of worthy use.
Waiting for tomorrow.

© Julieanne Harmatz 2016
Charles joins in today too, with this tribute to one who fills the cup:

HOT CHOCOLATE
My once ivory coffee cup
now has hot chocolate
rings, reminding me of
the warm beverage that
thawed out my insides
minutes ago.
As trees shiver-sneeze
outside my window,
Grandma pours another
cup of love into my mug,
dunks in a marshmallow
 then says, “Be thankful for
what you have.”

(c) Charles Waters 2016

And here's Linda Baie, our hands-on finale:

A Cupful of Story

Beginnings:
A cupful of hands,
dug the clay,
formed it round,
to finish in the kiln.
Meanwhile:
Another cupful of hands
harvested the pods,
gathered the cocoa beans,
shipped them off to the world.
Next:
A cupful of hands
ground the beans,
prepared the cocoa,
to sell at a grocery.
Finally:
Your cupful of hands
brought the cocoa home,
heated the milk,
stirred in the chocolate,
touched the cup to the lips.
smelled and sipped.

Hmmm
This cup remembers hands.

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

And, for the final finale, Donna's little sip, with a lovely title:

Time in a Cup

Like tree rings and
Layers of rock,
A chocolate trail
Records time
In a cup.

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Jone joins late, and if I'm not mistaken, has the chance to feel an influence  from all the previous poems to create hers:

Morning Mocha
 
Chocolate moon craters
lava steam

Use the mug
as a hand warmer

before morning work
starts

before students
arrive

daily ritual

© 2016 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved

Thanks to all who participated today and most especially to Laura for chivvying us all along in this most inspirational way!

*****************************************
*Laura's new book is The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary and it's due out from Wendy Lamb Books on April 12.  The book is enjoying a thrilling amount of pre-publicity, so pre-order now to make sure it's in your hands as soon as possible!

http://laurashovan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/TLFGEE.jpg

23 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting today, Heidi and for the book shout-out. Wow -- Jessica's poem is wonderful. There's snow on the ground and the kid doesn't have school. Chocolate chip cookies sound like a great way to spend the day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. No snow here, but with -5 degree temps, they can't start the school buses...so no school today here, either!

    Maxwell’s Kitchen

    I sipped away
    as time ticked by;
    the Last Drop, though,
    is growing nigh.

    © 2016 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for hosting today, Heidi, and for being so clear about the "draft" status of these poems. I recently read Lisa Randall's Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe, and this poem is definitely under the influence of Randall's fascinating (although at times over my head) book.

    Rings of sediment
    line this mug of stone.
    Remnants of cocoa
    chart the history
    of this poem.

    Thin layers mark
    many quick sips,
    moments of confusion
    or distraction.

    Thicker layers tell
    a tale of clarity,
    ideas growing,
    words flowing.

    In the unfinished drops
    at the bottom
    I try to read the future,
    and divine the fate
    of the universe.

    © Catherine Flynn

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi again, Heidi. Now that I've had my morning caffeine, I'm ready to share a lunar haiku.

    La Luna flashes
    her cappuccino craters
    in my coffee mug

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dregs

    It's late summer.
    All that's left of Bijou Creek
    is a sinuous path of green
    between low eroded hills.

    In the cutbank of a gully we find
    fossilized fragments of turtle shell,
    and a Paleocene tree trunk
    buried in its upright, growing position.


    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016

    Process notes here: http://www.maryleehahn.com/2016/02/found-object-poem-project-dregs.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. On the Seconds Table


    Clay in his hands
    I had spun--rising,
    molded--into a vessel.

    I'd been transformed
    into soft stone by
    fire, yet I was
    still vulnerable.

    He covers me now
    with silica and
    oxides--knowing my
    potential. I have
    good lines.

    The warmth of a coat
    is augmented by fire.

    Like the Wicked Witch
    I feel I am melting.
    Melting, melting...

    I stand strong.
    Turn incandescent.

    Then cool. Ping! Ping!

    At first glance [Ping!]
    I am a beauty.

    Ping! Ping!

    Crazed! In a word,
    imperfect--but,
    inside...inside,
    I remain stone.

    I survived. And, I,
    still have purpose.

    © Diane Mayr

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I took what I thought was the obvious path, but, I guess it was only obvious to me. The variety of subjects amazes me!

      Delete
    2. Diane -- I love how you wrote this poem in the voice of the mug. "Crazed" is a great word here.

      Delete
  7. Hiya Heidi--if Weekly Planning ends up in a slam poetry competition, you must have someone video and post it! Here's my take, written while drinking the second cup of the morning:

    Cuppa Joe

    Inhaling the scent of morning,
    cold fingers curl
    around a steaming mug.

    She takes a sip
    and stops to savor

    the jolt of caffeine
    the warmth of routine
    the start of a new day.

    © Buffy Silverman


    ReplyDelete
  8. Heidi, I love the way your coffee poem turned into a meditation/ verbal spill about teaching. One or two more people have posted their Day 15 poems at my blog. It's like a double shot of espresso.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Heidi, thank you for hosting today and placing my digital composition at your blog. Your Taylor Mali-like poetry slam poem was full of teacher wisdom as you planned the layers of your week. I loved the depth to which you plunged into your cup. As always, I am amazed by the thoughts and perspectives of everyone's poems.

    ReplyDelete
  10. New to this work. This found object spoke to me as did so many of the poets on this page.

    Stainworthy

    The lip curls
    just
    so
    it can carry
    warmth
    toward its early morning partner.

    The solid presence
    reassures
    and softens the light,
    and lifts the spirit.

    Left alone
    it bears
    a stain of worthy use.
    Waiting for tomorrow.

    © Julieanne Harmatz 2016

    ReplyDelete
  11. I left my poem over on Laura's post. Here it is Heidi.

    Day 15

    A Cupful of Story

    Beginnings:
    A cupful of hands,
    dug the clay,
    formed it round,
    to finish in the kiln.
    Meanwhile:
    Another cupful of hands
    harvested the pods,
    gathered the cocoa beans,
    shipped them off to the world.
    Next:
    A cupful of hands
    ground the beans,
    prepared the cocoa,
    to sell at a grocery.
    Finally:
    Your cupful of hands
    brought the cocoa home,
    heated the milk,
    stirred in the chocolate,
    touched the cup to the lips.
    smelled and sipped.

    Hmmm
    This cup remembers hands.
    Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

    ReplyDelete
  12. A little late but...

    Time in a Cup

    Like tree rings and
    Layers of rock,
    A chocolate trail
    Records time
    In a cup.

    ©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for hosting with so many frothy offerings. Your "slam" poem hit me right in the gut, where I live with my students. Your free form anchored by the first line all the way to the continuous word slam dunked it. I may be back with a poem, but no promises.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Everyone here amazes me with productivity this month... thanks for stepping in to host, Heidi, and for your oh-so-wonderful poem. ("Hello I see you" - the most basic/important thing!)

    I am particularly smitten with Mary Lee's "Dregs" - and her knack for delivering great last lines!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for hosting wonderful poems every one :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for hosting today, Heidi! Gearing up to hosting tomorrow... so watching what you do!
    They were all great responses to your image! With recollections of pottery, coffee and chocolate it spoke to everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for hosting. I am late and this is what I have: https://deowriter.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/found-objects-poetry-challenge-day-15/

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Actually there was no influence from others. I never look at the poetry before submitting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Actually there was no influence from others. I never look at the poetry before submitting.

    ReplyDelete