Thursday, May 24, 2018

the country where she lives


I'm pleased today to participate in a photo-poetry exchange hosted by Margaret Simon over at Reflections on the Teche.  Back in April, Margaret got excited by a photo posted on Molly Hogan's blog, wrote about it, and wanted others to enjoy the challenge.

I love writing about art, particularly photographs, so even though I missed Margaret's sign-up, I was so thrilled to join in and even out the numbers.

My exchange partner is Ruth Hersey of the blog There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town, who lives in Haiti.  She sent me the below photo of her local geography, which prompted me to do quite a bit of reading about Haiti and its history. I found myself with very mixed feelings about the photo, my reading, and what I know to be true about Ruth's experience of her adopted country.  I hope my poem captures some of that.




Journey over to Margaret's today where she's rounding up all the photo-poetry exchanges, and enjoy.  We have such brave talents in our midst, cycling inspiration round and round to whomever might need some!  Thank you, Margaret, and thank you, Ruth.


Friday, May 18, 2018

these are days: maysong

Greetings from the sodden mid-Atlantic, where on Mother's Day I looked at my weather app and saw something I truly thought was some kind of misprint, user error, data glitch.

Alas, this ten-day forecast has been pretty much accurate, and although my class got lucky with outdoor recess on Monday and Tuesday, today will be our 3rd straight day of indoor recess--in May!

May, of all months, the most voluptuous and enticing of all months,
the month when April showers are to have brought swathes of flowers, when a young person's fancy turns to thoughts of

I CANNOT SPEND A SINGLE  'NOTHER MINUTE INSIDE THIS CLASSROOM EVEN IF TODAY IS THE DAY THAT OUR CHRYSALISES CRACK OPEN & BECOME BUTTERFLIES.


I personally will not be sodden and down-trodden (even as I think with respect and compassion on those of  Muslim students and colleagues who are navigating this dreary gray week of AP's and exams WHILE FASTING) because I will be playing this poem on repeat.  I posted it in April of 2016 as part of my "Lyrics as Poetry" series, but it was a Monday and no one was paying attention...

so here's Natalie Merchant, with 10,000 Maniacs and line breaks by me.

These Are Days


These are the days

These are days 
you'll remember
Never before and never since
I promise
will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it
you'll know it's true 
that you are blessed and lucky
It's true 
that you are touched by something 
that will grow and bloom in you.

These are days 
you'll remember
When May is rushing over you 
with desire
to be part of the miracles you see
in every hour
You'll know it's true 
that you are blessed and lucky
It's true 
that you are touched by something 
that will grow and bloom in you

These are days

These are the days you might fill with laughter 
until you break
These days you might feel a shaft of light 
make its way across your face
And when you do 
you'll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It's true
you'll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs 
and know they're speaking to you,
to you. 
Play loud against the rain-dimmed sunrise and the rain-bent trees and the rain-rusted azaleas.

"These Are Days" by Natalie Merchant and Rob Buck
from the album Our Time in Eden, 1992

The round-up today is with Rebecca at Sloth Reads.  Slog on over and see what sun peeks from between the clouds....I'm just no good at raining.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

a little slice of earth: free verse poems by 2nd graders


No fancy introduction today;  just the glory of sensory poems
inspired by one "little slice of earth," composed by 7-8's!



the clover
      by Caleb

three leaves
smooth stem
clover blowing
in the wind
very fragile



purple flower
   by Eldana

purple bulbs
light scent
lemon orange
very peaceful
smooth and
hairie  soft
and greenie!



Black cracked stick     
     by Eric

Its smooth wood
makes me slow
like a sloth, I hear
nothing. it’s peaceful like
a mouse.  all I smell 
is grassy dust.  that’s right

 


clover
   by Max

clover   round    3
circles   soft   green
hole

  



plant 
    by Ines

green like
a pillow
long and
skinny
smells like
strawberries
a little blue
very good
for me!


purple poem
   by Xavier

a smooth stem
and
green and brown
quiet
air   purple flowers
green
leaves   the colors
                                are
                                green and purple

A Different Stick 
      by Patrick 
 
Browny
Broken
Dusty
Jagged
Grassy
Pointy
Cracked
    looks like 
         bamboo



dandelion 
    by Sophia

A hairy soft
dandelion
smells like
raspberries
looks like a lion
from the top.
Root is smooth and
smells like a soggy
wet dog!



Rocky Mountain
       by Elena

Gray and sparkly
rough and
bumpy     nothing
but  blank!
It’s just a thing
peaceful and quiet
Nothing to be
                                 heard but something
                                 to seek



 clover
     by Kathy

bright clover
light green
silent and fuzzy
smells vegetabley and
      cucumbery




Beautiful purple flower
    by Tyler

Purple flower smooth and
U purple flowe
R. green smooth leaves
Purple leaves smooth & soft
Like dog’s fur.

Elegant purple flower

  
Two Rocks
     by Ziva

Piece by piece broken
and clean slowly chipping
away.  Clanking four
sounds, bink, chip, clip
and pip.
                 white and
light gray    building
                             together     look
                             like waves from an ocean’s
                             weather.


 dandelion
       by Henry

fluffy dandelion
           white
       and green
           smells
       like vanilla
           and
      gasoline its
fluff is like
a lion’s mane
soft like fur



purple flowers
     by Arya

purpleflowers greenleaves wildbreeze

roots   leaves     slowly growing

wind  blowing    roots  growing

rain    pouring    sun  growing  
 





And there you have it!  I guess it's hard to bemoan my own slow pace of writing when I'm busy helping this happen.  Jama is helping us happen today by rounding up at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  See you there!
***************
MORNING ADDENDUM!  I forgot while wrangling all these poems and photos that my TLD Anthology Poem "A History of Your Voice" is featured at Michelle Kogan's Mother's Day blog post!  Please enjoy it, and a beach-day photo of me and my dear, delightful mother HERE!  In fact I will be with my mother and father this weekend helping them get ready for a move nearer to us--hooray!--and so my comments will be scarce, I'm afraid.  But thank you for yours!