Friday, May 24, 2019

#GlobalClimateStrike: educating ourselves


No, I can't just walk out, not show up.  School doesn't work that way. (Although honestly I have wondered how long it would take to get any number of excellent child-related needs achieved, including climate salvation, if 3.2 million public school teachers all walked out together for a week. Hoo, mama, could we stir things up!)

But I did book a sub for a sick day, and the code I'm using is "Illness in Family" because the home of the human family is indeed ill.  I'll be heading down to the White House to stand with @JeromeFosterII for a livable future for our ailing planet, our ailing attitude.  I think my sign will say


THEIR FUTURE > OUR CONVENIENCE
  lead the way to the low-hanging fruit
TEACHERS FOR CLIMATE ACTION

I will not be joined by an old friend of mine and of climate action, Robin Galbraith, because she is actually a substitute teacher in my district and is working today, but I want to highlight the work she has been doing to train and become a presenter for the organization DRAWDOWN, which you can read about here.  This organization is attempting to communicate to the public hopeful ways to impact what seems like an insurmountable problem, something that those of us who some days wake up feeling defeated already can really use.  I'm looking forward to seeing Robin present soon.

Project Drawdown aims to share 100 solutions to reverse global warming.  But today even 100 seems like more than I can personally tackle, and when I look at the list, I don't even know what some of them mean.  So instead I Googled "low-hanging fruit personal climate action."

Well, would you look at that!  Here's a paper that is actually called:

INDIVIDUAL CARBON EMISSIONS: THE LOW-HANGING FRUIT

"The individual and household sector generates roughly 30 to 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and is a potential source of prompt and large emissions reductions. Yet the assumption that only extensive government regulation will generate substant-ial reductions from the sector is a barrier to change, particularly in a political environment hostile to regulation. This Article demonstrates that prompt and large reductions can be achieved without relying predominantly on regulatory measures. The Article identifies seven "low-hanging fruit:" actions that have the potential to achieve large reductions at less than half the cost of the leading current federal legislation, require limited up-front government expenditures, generate net savings for the individual, and do not confront other barriers

Although in isolation any one action may appear trivial, when multiplied across part or all of the roughly 110 million households in America, each can produce enormous emissions savings. These actions are the low-hanging fruit of individual and household emissions. They demand relatively little of individuals but produce prompt, significant CO2 emissions reductions when carried out in large numbers. They have the prospect not only of reducing emissions but also of kick-starting the process of engaging the public in its role of reducing emissions."

You guys, I am shocked to discover that the seven actions listed here are NOT AT ALL what I was expecting (which is kind of the point of the paper: we don't even know what we're doing that is heating up the planet)!  Look:


  • Reduce the component of motor vehicle idling that has net costs to the driver;
  • Reduce standby power electricity use;
  • Accelerate the substitution of compact fluorescent light bulbs for incandescent bulbs;
  • Adjust temperature settings two degrees in both summer and winter;
  • Decrease household thermostat settings on water heaters;
  • Maintain the recommended tire pressure in personal motor vehicles; and
  • Change air filters in personal motor vehicles at recommended intervals.

Friends, I have personally been driving on a flat tire for a week, ignoring the warning light on my dashboard.  I thought this research was going to say something sexy like "Ban single-use plastics!" or "Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing food waste!"  (Read through that article to see one human's "personal Climate Resolution [including] reducing food waste as a low hanging fruit to reduce GHG emissions and save scarce resources.")  But no, apparently I should start by UNPLUGGING all electronics that I am not actually using to avoid midnight vampire power sucking, as much as my refrigerator uses!

So if we can all take individual actions that will make a big difference, why would I bother going downtown (by Metro, of course) to demonstrate at the #WhiteHouseClimateStrike?  Well, because it's a visible platform, and I'm a communicator, and because our government does have a leading role to play even if it's not expensive and slow regulatory fixes.  The research paper points out that "It is quite possible that a well-managed public information campaign that had a budget of $1.5 billion and that reflected the most important advances in the social and behavioral sciences would generate reductions in the low-hanging fruit sufficient to achieve the 150 million ton target."

So it is a governmental responsibility to PROMOTE the scientific evidence that we American humans and our fossil-fueled modern advances in comfortable and convenient living are going to have GIVE SOMETHING UP to preserve the planet for our children. And also, if 14-year-old girls can go sit alone with their signs on a street bench, next to a police station, in front of a state house for weeks on end to bravely plead for my adult help, then by golly I can spend a morning in front of the White House trying to give it! @kidlit4climate

And here's my wee poem, which will not fit on a demonstration sign:

Stand up, sit down, shout
Take time to teach
Raise your voice; the
Iron is hot 
Kick up a fuss
Every action counts

Every action counts, even if it's only that you put a sign (painfully ironically) in your car window today and drive around showing that "I SUPPORT THE CLIMATE STRIKE FOR OUR FUTURE."

**************************************************
The round-up today is with Dani Burtsfeld at Doing the Work That Matters. Yeah, let's do that! And felicitations to all who are finishing up their school years today, with thanks for that work too.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

#mayku

 Image result for twitter logo

white birds flap on screen
seventeen syllables
give or take a few



I've been intermittently com-posting some haiku on Twitter, late inspired by Liz Garton Scanlon's 11-year April tradition.  Why not round them up, now that I've planned how to get peacefully and productively through all the meddlesome, tedious EOY assessments and all the emotionality that comes with the end of another year of 2nd grade?

By the way, if you haven't read this piece on that complex emotionality for teachers, please do.  If you're not a teacher, you'll learn a lot, and if you are you'll feel deeply and well represented.


For Teachers of Children in Poverty, The End of the Year Brings Mixed Emotions

So here they are:


painted lady chrysalis
leaks neon blue and scarlet
inner beauty


alone, sun on my
burger, glass of rose'
cause for poetry

    (in response to this one from @lisagerlits)
     I ought to have a dog
    to walk--for poetry's sake
    if not his or mine



the round cans wax
then wane to empty drawer
cat food calendar


fat green
molecule of miracle
first tomato


ivy gone awry
persistent oils, tangled roots
hard learned lessons ooze


hundreds of tiny
deeprooted weeds sprout each night
they will not be stopped


the flaming plane
is not "out of the blue"
we see it coming


waiting all day
for the thunder to roll
sun just carries on

I'm so late with my post this week (didn't know I was going to do one!) but even so I'm sure that our host and my friend Margaret at Reflections on the Teche won't mind my tardiness. She has pi-ku so I'll be in good company!

Friday, May 3, 2019

round-up and rest

Thanks for a great month, PF people!  I'm still struggling with a persistent and extremely frustrating inability to comment on certain Blogger blogs, including my own, so I'm going lay low this month until the worldwide tech community helps me figure it out and meanwhile get some submitting done.

#ClimateCrisis PSA:  Many climate protection organizations are calling on adults to join the students across the globe who have been striking on Fridays for the future of their planet IN A GENERAL STRIKE on Friday, May 24.  I've booked a sub and will be out demonstrating.  I love this formulation of the moment from howapt.com:
"Climate change, the defining challenge of our lifetime. It is, of course, not the only major, systemic issue we face and, for many, it is not the most important in day-to-day lives marked by injustice and inequality in a system that privileges the few. But it is an issue that touches nearly everyone and that permeates our systems, exacerbates inequality, and sharpens injustice.... climate change is real, it’s caused by humans, [and] there’s still time to fight it."

I enjoyed so much about our playful, narrative April this year, and I'm grateful for the commitment of all the folks listed below who contributed, including to the Progressive Poem (and of course to Irene for instigating once again), but the grand finale kudos goes to Donna Smith, who made our whole funky found poem into an actual song, ukelele accompaniment provided!  Aren't we all a multitalented bunch?




And here's the playlist of the Progressive Poem, whence the lines all came from--an eclectic mix, for sure.

Here is a list of each line's source:

L1 The Who, ‘I Can See for Miles’/The Beach Boys, ‘Endless Summer’
L2 The Beach Boys, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’/Dean Martin, ‘When You’re Smiling’
L3 The Jamies, ‘Summertime, Summertime’
L4 The Doors, Summer’s Almost Gone’/Led Zeppelin ‘Good Times, Bad Times’
L5 Ray Bradbury, “Dandelion Wine”
L6 Joni Mitchell, “Chelsea Morning”
L7 Paul Simon, “Kodachrome,” “Dazzling Blue”
L8 Dan Fogelberg, “Run for the Roses”
L9 Spice Girls, “Wannabe”/Will Smith, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”
L10 The Beatles, “Good Day Sunshine”
L11 The Carpenters, “Top of the World”
L12 Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Underneath the Lovely London Sky” from Mary Poppins Returns
L13 Carole King, “Hi-de-ho (That Old Sweet Roll)”
L14 Steve Miller, “Fly Like An Eagle”
L15 Don Felder, “Wild Life”
L16 Nowleen Leeroy, “Song of the Sea” (lullaby)
L17 Sara Bareilles, “She Used to Be Mine” from WAITRESS
L18 Stevie Wonder, “Isn’t She Lovely”
L19 R.E.M., “Find the River”
L20 Carole King, “Way Over Yonder”
L21 Mint Juleps, “Groovin” by the Young Rascals
L22 Jack Johnson, “Upside Down”
L23 Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) “Rainbow Connection” from the Muppet Movie
L24 The Foo Fighters, “Learning to Fly”
L25 Tina Turner, “The Best”
L26 The Partridge Family, “Summer Days”
L27 The Pointer Sister’s, “We Are Family”
L28 Indigo Girls, “Power of Two”
L29 David Bowie, "Let's Dance"
L30 Donna's Song

Jama's rounding us up today at her brain-candy blog Alphabet Soup.   Happy May to all!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

npm19: all of the above 29/30





One last hurrah:  yesterday I was texting someone about the new Soil Science Club and I managed to send a message about



soul science

under the sharp green blades of   lightly
hold it between your thumbs and blow

are the grains  the clods  the dusts
from whence you came  of middle earth

sand  clay  silt    layers that call for
a hole is to dig and delve

a trip into a pit  deep and deeper hold
your breath in the tunnel  the sundered

under  the dark deposits  the buried
fossils of the prehistoric self   a

way to make of the soul a practical
system of study   dispassionate measures

that leave you sweaty  streaked with
dirt under the nails   in need of a long bath

Thursday, April 25, 2019

npm19: all of the above 24/25/26

26
Wow, after writing choosing my Progressive Poem line and sinking deep into Spring Break last week, it was hard to remember that April was still NPMing with a vengeance!  I missed a few days because, you know, LIFE (although I am now pleased to report that our 16yo has chosen a new school which we hope will do more of the academic support that we've been doing ourselves & fie on my public school system for failing to serve his needs & thanks for listening)--but here we are again addressing
all of the above.

 It really mattered at the beginning of the month when I codified the range of topics (also describable as "distraction moves") in the badge you see here, because I've been playing with these four ideas all month.  Below in this post you can find yesterday's poem, which plays with choice c).  I've tried golden shovels, acrostics, lots of free verse forms, and some funky "silver shovels" where the striking line sits at the left margin.  I've done some poetry play a la Mary Lee & Co with Metaphor Dice, the Random Word Generator, and the postings of other bloggers.

My topics have included our earth and the climate crisis; spring, obviously; the richly inspiring last name of a person I randomly met at school (and who was up for the amusement of being written about); and of course a little about my own states of being.  In other words, this is all working out just as I didn't really plan it, my National Poetry Month UnProject.  Just as well, because there's a fair amount of pain flying around.



Constant hot-hued jangling of earthly spring
keeps me in a state of emergency, lovestruck
and full of desperate rescue intention,
uneasy truth of Eden hovering above:

There is no haven in heavens above.
What good is poetry, what action can my intention
achieve? I dig and strike and strike again, and struck
by words I speak, I spread this spring.


Now I'm late for school, where yesterday dandelions became "alien sheep grazing yellow in the grass," and though it be little, the power of poetry was fierce once again in the hearts of the children for whom we have to save this planet.  Our host today is Carol at Beyond Literacy Link; graze on over to the goodness that grows.

24/25

my
genes wear me out.
erring on the side of risk I
always go too far. I'm lured
in by a hundred wild ideas,
ten good projects the
tithe I pay
on
any given day.




Tuesday, April 23, 2019

npm19: all of the above 22/23



Here's one favorite of many for classroom use by Tom Chapin.  This year urgency crept into the lesson.  I think I scared some 2nd graders today.  But we'll stay calm, BE COOL, and take action to bring down Earth's fever.



The Bad News about This Pretty Planet
 by Ms. Mordhorst                             by John Forster & Tom Chapin © 1988

Have you heard?
This pretty planet is dying,
spinning hotly through space,
and where You're used to seeing a garden, 
where You're hoping to find a harbor, 
instead You're finding an unholy place
of flood and fire, bare and burned.

Gentle blue chokes on giant islands of plastic;
perilous winds spin us around.
All through the long night of ignorance 
we waited, we wasted. Now can we do
what it takes to be safe
'til the morning light?



Go here to read a piece subtitled "In the face of unprecedented assaults on planet Earth, what good is poetry?" 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

npm19: progressive poems lands here


Welcome to all, especially those who are following this year's Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, an annual April tradition begun in 2012 by Irene Latham of Live Your Poem.  One by one we bring a new line, developing the idea of the poem and spinning it in new directions. This year we're challenging ourselves to build a found poem out of song lines, as suggested on April 1 by our kickoff poet Matt Forrest Esenwine.  Read about this project and enjoy data on previous progressive poems HERE.

Well.  I had been planning to pump up the action with some B-52's beachiness here, but by the time the poem reached me, Amy and Linda had suddenly, interestingly, taken a different tack:

                                    "it's not easy to know
                                     less than one minute old"

"WHO, WHO, WHO?!" I shouted inwardly.  We've had an I, we've had a we, we've had a you, then another we, then an I, then a you again. But I wanted a line with we, you AND I together to the end, and I wanted a line with how--my thought was to find a line that would show that the relationship between these deep divers was new and untried (less than one minute old!), that it wouldn't be easy to know how the waltzing would go...

and the B-52's let me down!  I tried "Rock Lobster," "Nude Beach" and "Dry County," "Roam" and "Song for a Future Generation,"  "Dirty Back Roads" and "Deadbeat Club," and none of them produced exactly what I was looking for (although I did spend a tremendous hour or so reliving the extreme lunatical lyrical glory that is the B-52's).  Here's one I'd forgotten about, making me heartily wish I could work some cake into the scenario (you only need the middle 2-3 minutes of this 6-minute song to get the idea)...



So next I tried Natalie Merchant and the lovely "Milly and Molly and Maggie and May," which is an E.E. Cummings poem set to music, involves the ocean, and which also offers an ending assonance:

as small as a world and as large as alone

--which was cool, except that the emphasis was on small and alone, and still nothing happened. So then I tried Natalie's first outfit, 10,000 Maniacs, and an all-time favorite, "These Are Days," which gave me this line:

to be part of the miracles you see in every hour

--nice, but a little cheesy without its abundant context, and which again did not feel as active or forward-moving as I wanted. So I turned to that other great export of Athens, Georgia: R.E.M.  When you can figure out what Michael Stipe is singing (and sometimes even when you can't), you know it's definitely poetry.

I looked for some watery songs and and fell upon "Find the River," which is a folkier number of theirs and offered a line that didn't include its delicious "bergamot and vetiver" but which finally cements that WE and whizzes us along to the brink of something fabulous-- plus a rhyme. Plus "minute" and "years." Plus a light at the bottom of the deep? Please listen to this whole gorgeous song to get the full effect of the line!




KIDLITOSPHERE
PROGRESSIVE POEM 2019 - DAY 19

Endless summer; I can see for miles...
Fun, fun, fun - and the whole world smiles.
No time for school - just time to play,
we swim the laughin' sea each and every day.

You had only to rise, lean from your window,
the curtain opens on a portrait of today.
Kodachrome greens, dazzling blue,
It's the chance of a lifetime,

make it last forever-ready? Set? Let's Go!
Come, we'll take a walk, the sun is shining down,
Not a cloud in the sky got the sun in my eyes.
Tomorrow's here. It's called today.

Gonna get me a piece o' the sky.
I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea
and there's a tiger in my veins.
Oh, won't you come with me waltzing the waves,
                                                                        diving the deep?
It's not easy to know
less than one minute old  

we're closer now than light years to go

************************************************

Gosh, I hope that gives Buffy something to go on! Below is the complete list of contributors and lines, and I close with mighty thanks to Irene for making this thang happen every year, and to Amy for hosting today at The Poem Farm.  Happy spring holy days to all to celebrate!

NEW!!! You asked for it and now it exists--THE PLAYLIST!

************************************************
Found Lines:
L1 The Who, 'I Can See for Miles' / The Beach Boys, 'Endless Summer'
L2 The Beach Boys, 'Fun, Fun, Fun'/Dean Martin, "When You're Smiling"
L3 The Jamies, "Summertime, Summertime'
L4 The Doors, 'Summer's Almost Gone' / Led Zeppelin, 'Good Times, Bad Times'
L5 Ray Bradbury, 'Dandelion Wine'
L6 Joni Mitchell, "Chelsea Morning"
L7 Paul Simon, "Kodachrome," "Dazzling Blue"
L8 Dan Fogelberg, "Run for the Roses"
L9 Spice Girls, "Wannabe"/Will Smith, "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
L10 The Beatles, "Good Day Sunshine"
L11 The Carpenters, "Top of the World"
L12 Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Underneath the Lovely London Sky" from MARY POPPINS
L13 Carole King, "Hi-de-ho (That Sweet Roll)"
L14 Steve Miller, "Fly Like An Eagle"
L15 Don Felder, "Wild Life"
L16 Nowlenn Leroy, "Song of the Sea" (lullaby)
L17 Sara Bareilles, "She Used to Be Mine" from WAITRESS
L18 Stevie Wonder, "Isn't She Lovely"
L19 R.E.M., "Find the River"

And you can see the list of Poem Line Contributors in the right sidebar!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

npm19: all of the above 17










Rejection
is the title I selected.
Random
are the words that appeared.

Angry's
not the color of the notes.
Neither
could we call them garrulous.

Melting
is what happens to my hope,
little
meltings, little coolings

collecting
on the surface of my heart.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

npm19: all of the above 15/16

Image result for heptadecagon








Buzdygon
    for Lauren and Jake

You don't notice it at first
so close to an ordinary circle
it appears, until you give it
a fraction more attention
hear the slight vibration
of magnetic poles around the edges.

This is no ordinary circle--
no, not even a regular heptadecagon
with its subtle bending song
of seventeen sides.

This figure will confound you
with complexity, will hit you
with the force of a ceremonial mace,
leave you quavering, semi-shaking
in your shoes, all the hairs on
your head risen in amazement at the
surprising dimensions of seventeen-and-a-

half sides.

©Heidi Mordhorst

Sunday, April 14, 2019

npm19: all of the above 14



suddenly a
tornado watch
ripples our screens
unhinges good sense
concern careens
kindling wind

©Heidi Mordhorst


Saturday, April 13, 2019

npm19: all of the above 13



      my back lawn + metaphor dice =




Friday, April 12, 2019

npm19: all of the above 11/12



There's a whirlwind of poetry play going on around the Kidlitosphere this month, and we do all need more play in our lives.  Margaret has been using some of the toys with her students: Metaphor Dice, paint chips, Magnetic Poetry, Haikubes.  However, reading her April 10 post, a line caught my eye and became my plaything.  I hope Margaret doesn't mind.

 


The Poet Evolves

Gathering words from
the air
not using any toys

Gathering toys from
the words
Not using any air

Gathering air from
the toys
not using any words

**************************************
In conclusion, evolution is overrated. 😏

Scroll down and see some of my other efforts from this unProject this week.  Then go gather some words from the air over at Live Your Poem with Irene, and don't miss Margaret's contribution to the Progressive Poem at Reflections on the Teche.