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Archive for April 13th, 2012

30 Day Poetry Challenge: Day 13 Write a poem a child would like.

When I teach writing to students, we workshop our writing pieces.  I write when they write.  I pass out sticky notes. (Kids love colorful sticky notes.)  They label their notes with a plus, a question mark, and a triangle.  We call these notes “Criticycles.”  They are our way of critiquing.  The plus is something you like, the question mark a question, and the triangle a suggestion for a change.  When I saw the challenge for today, I thought, “That will be easy.”  All I needed to do was look through my school journal and find a page full of sticky notes that told me I had caught a good poem.  This poem I wrote in writing camp last summer.  (I am doing two this summer, so leave me a comment or send an email if you are interested.)

We take a writing marathon on one day of the writing camp.  On the marathon, we tour around town with writers’ eyes.  Most shop owners are happy to have us come in when we say we are writers.  On this day, we went into the downtown bookstore.  I had a discussion with one of my students and her mother about the book, “Heaven is for Real.”  Then I opened it up and stole a line.  This jump-started my poem.  The illustration shows the criticycles from my students, so I knew I had a winner.  Sometimes when fishing for poems, we catch one.  Sometimes, we catch a boot.  My students usually let me know loud and clear what I have caught.

The knockout punch is the one they didn’t see coming.
Like the wave that flips your peaceful float
Twirling you under the salty water
whipping you upside down

You can see the air, the reflection of sunlight calls you up
Can you find it?
Will you swim long enough to catch a breath?
Will you find the shore?

Relax.
Release tension.
Don’t fight the wave.

God will take you in His arms
and carry you home.

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