Thursday, May 20, 2021



And then, 37 chapters of the best book ever came to a close, the last chapter having been a wild and unexpected roller coaster of still-so-much-to-learn, of heartbreak and triumph!  Congratulations to you, Mary Lee, a teacher and poet of extraordinary insight and imagination.  I hope my poem does your name and your work justice.





Christie at Wondering and Wandering rounds up all the tributes to Mary Lee this on!



Friday, May 14, 2021

brood X: cicada magic

ALERT:  My poem using the word "buffeted" is up against Rebekah Hoeft's in the first round of the (May) MADNESS POETRY TOURNAMENT!  You'll laugh when you see how alike our poems are in some important ways...but only YOU can decide which is the better poem for kids.  Go here to vote for your favorite by 5pm today, and join in the madness all month!


It's time.  The soil temperature in Maryland has reached 64*, and the 17-year periodical cicadas know in their entomological exoskeletons that it's time, finally, to emerge from the ground in 16 states* across the eastern half of the US.  The last time was in 2004, when my daughter was just 5 and I was her nursery school teacher.  Her class was the Caterpillar Class, and out came the cicadas, just as they prepared to emerge from their chrysalises as Kindergarten Butterflies. We called our end-of-year celebration "Fly-Away Day."

I wrote this poem that year, and then sent a revised version to Pomelo Books for THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® FOR SCIENCE edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (2014).  They very kindly printed up these gorgeous postcards, of which I still have not billions or trillions, but quite a few!** Thank you, Janet and Sylvia!

Enjoy, share widely, and listen for the subtle thrumming, the slow swelling, and the afternoon throb.

This wonderful book is still in print--teachers especially, grab it now if you don't have a copy!  Thanks to our Poetry Friday host today, the delightfully impressive Irene Latham at Live Your Poem.  Swarm on over, friends!

*I'm just going to go ahead and count D.C. as a state already, and I'm going to call it by my favorite proposed new name: Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.

**If you would like 1-5 postcards, send me an email with your mailing address...but I  won't be able to get them out until Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, May 7, 2021

the church of hybrid preK


Things to know:
*I go to school and teach 10 kids in person each morning, then zip home to teach 9 kids on Zoom each afternoon.
*all our specialists are virtual


Our host this week for the Poetry Friday round-up is with Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones. I appreciate her and every one of you teachers and mothers out there--are there any nurses among us?  And when is Poet Appreciation Week? 😉


*This poem draws from the humble litany of Cheryl Dumesnil's "Today's Sermon".