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Monday, March 9, 2015

forward...preaCH and unhitCH!

Welcome to Week Two of the Forward...MarCH CHallenge, in which I and other intrepid souls will compose five more poems using five more punCHy, active words ending in -CH.

Today's word is "preaCH," and here I go:

The Good News

Preacher stands in the pulpit,
reads the sermon for the day,
each word settling heavy and deep;
all our little gaps are filled.  We
carry those heavy words
home; they don’t carry us.

HM 2015
all rights reserved

My, that came out a little dark (don't take it personally, Dad).  I had some other ideas for today's word also--the birds singing over the melting snow this warmer weekend are preaching spring for sure--but lesson plans beckon.

Margaret Simon joins us for the first time this month with a lovely tanka, and wants us to know that a coulee is a ditCH in South Louisiana (not be confused with a coulis, which you pour over your dessert.  They both flow).  This is in response to the Ditty of the Month Club challenge to write a tanka with Margarita Engle.  Margaret will be posting this poem on her blog along with the description of how it came to be, inspired by a photo challenge from Kim Douillard.

Sun overlooks
blessing a lonely smoke stack.
Coulee wildflowers
preach yellow sonnets
while moon graces morning clouds.

--Margaret Simon

Donna Smith returns with TWO bonus poems: first a double acrostic reverso shape poem using the word churCH instead of preaCH.  Fancy stuff that works for me!

And from Saturday (flexing her poetry muscles in preparation for her rounds in the March Madness Poetry Tournament), Donna gives us a follow-up to her "Twitch of Sick" from last week:

Screw Medicine

I need a little medicine;
the stuff you said to use  -
not the grape-y liquid, but
the ones that look like screws.
I'm feeling somewhat better from
my knees down to my toes;
but my hunch is that I need to take
just one or two of those.
Screw medicine is really good
for when you're sick in bed,
It makes me feel much better
from my knees up to my head!
©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

And I owe an apology to both Diane and Donna for today:  their poems use the word "un/hitCH" because my original list of words included "unhitCH" before I revised it slightly.  They get full credit, of course, due to Operator Error.  I love the practical tone of this "take-the-bull-by-the-horns" poem by Diane.
Hitch Your Wagon

How's that expression go?
"Hitch your wagon to a star"?
Just how far is the closest star?
More years than you'll have.
Of course, if your goal
is procrastination, then
you'll shine, shine, shine!

Take my advice--step in front
of that wagon, insert your head
and buckle up the collar, attach
the traces. You can click
to yourself if you'd like--no
further motivation is necessary.
Lay back your ears and go.
         --Diane Mayr

And now for a ride in Donna's wagon...


Hitch up the wagon we're ready to roll...
hitch up your britches or you'll catch a cold...
hitch this to that so it'll be stronger...
hitch that to this to make it be longer...

Unhitch the wagon, put horses away...
unhitch your britches, it's been a long day...
unhitch the ropes and unhitch the ties...
unhitch the the sun, the moon's on the rise!

Joy also had  "unhitch" on her calendar--again, my apologies!  Look at this nice use of the idea:

broom sedge seeds unhitch
from their whiskery branches
floating in the breeze

Mary Lee DID have "preaCH" on her list, and takes me to task to leaving "teaCH" off it.  I guess I thought that would just be so obvious...but look how she got it in anyway!

A Note to My Students

Stop me if I start to preach.
That’s not my job;
I’m here to teach.

And if I talk and talk and talk,
remind me - gently –
I should stop

and listen more
and let you speak,
discover, wonder,


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

And Carol's is almost a twin to Mary Lee's (and both make me notice that I DO sometimes want to preach in my classroom!).

When I prepare to teach
I don't want to preach.
Sermons are meant for church,
and deliberate soul search.

When I stand and teach
I don't want to preach.
I want passion to spill-
learners engaged in the thrill.

Learning is messy
and that is so.
Keep the students 
engaged, on the go.

Jone joins in with Selma on her mind, like so many of us...


In Selma
thousands marched
in hopes of freedom
and equality.
Thousand march
still and
preach themes
of freedom and equality
only the choir
seems to hear.

© 2015 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved

 Play along by posting your "preaCH" (or "hitCH") poem in the comments or by emailing me!


  1. Oops, I've been working from the list I copied down to keep me on track. I didn't realize it had changed. Are there any other changes?

    I don't think your poem is dark, Heidi. Sometimes church words are heavy, but not dark if you choose to color them with optimism. (But, really, I shouldn't be commenting on the whole church thing since I'm an atheist.)

  2. Good advice, Diane!

    Heidi, I checked and double-checked, not believing that the word TEACH isn't on your list! I worked it into today's poem!


    A Note to My Students

    Stop me if I start to preach.
    That’s not my job;
    I’m here to teach.

    And if I talk and talk and talk,
    remind me - gently –
    I should stop

    and listen more
    and let you speak,
    discover, wonder,


    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

  3. Thanks for posting. That Donna is one for the champions. I hope I don't have a round with her on MMPoetry. Here's the link to my blog that tells the story with images. https://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/overlooked/

  4. Wow! March is really prompting some fun poetry! Sorry I didn't notice the word list change.

  5. Heidi, my poem using the word preach is on my blog site, http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2015/03/teachers-as-facilitators-of-learning.html. My poem has a similar bent as Mary Lee's. Interesting!

  6. Heidi,
    You threw me a boomerang. I wrote all of your words on my calendar, and so I wrote a haiku today using "unhitched" too.
    I even linked to you from my blog.

    broom sedge seeds unhitch
    from their whiskery branches
    floating in the breeze

    There were four other words you changed/refined, so I'll try not to let this happen again.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!