Archive for May 4th, 2017

Poetry Friday is at Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.


Last week, I attended the memorial celebration for Linda’s dad. I was surprised to find out he loved poetry. So his daughters used poetry to voice their thoughts and memories of him.  Linda wrote a limerick and her sister Sallie wrote a series of 12 haiku.

After the service, I spoke with Linda’s sister Sallie. Sallie told me a story. Her father loved ice cream. He’d eat ice cream every night and served it to his multiple cats. Even on the night before he died, he had ice cream. She said a day later when all the family had gathered and were enjoying being together telling stories about his life, they heard the chiming of an ice cream truck. They live down a country road. The ice cream truck rarely comes, but it came that day. Serendipity or a message from her father, I felt compelled to share my favorite line of poetry.

This line is in Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Ringing in her book A Maze Me.

by Naomi Shihab Nye

A baby, I stood in my crib to hear
the dingy-ding of a vegetable truck approaching.

When I was bigger, my mom took me out
to the street
to meet the man who rang the bell and
he tossed me
a tangerine…the first thing I ever caught.
I thought he was
a magic man.

My mom said there used to be milk trucks too.
She said, Look hard, he’ll be gone soon.
And she was right. He disappeared.

Now, when I hear an ice-cream truck chiming
its bells, I fly.
Even if I’m not hungry–just to watch it pass.

Mailmen with their chime of dogs barking
up and down the street are magic too.

They are all bringers.
I want to be a bringer.

I want to drive a truck full of eggplants
down the smallest street.
I want to be someone making music
with my coming.

My friend Dani heard this story and made a graphic for me. To celebrate Naomi’s beautiful line, I decided to write a Golden Shovel. The poem emerged as a tribute to my mother and all mothers who sing to their children.


A baby, I
heard lullabies soft and low. I want
to hear her sing again, to
be that child hungry for the world, to be
laughing, listening, someone
who finds joy in making
songs of nonsense, music
only a mother loves with
an unexpectant heart. I hold my
ears close to the rain on the window. A song is coming.

–Margaret Simon, after Naomi Shihab Nye

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Find the round up of Spiritual Journey posts at Donna’s site, Mainly Write

Today our spiritual Thursday bloggers are writing about Donna’s one little word, Reach.  This was my word in 2015.  I chose it that year as I was finishing a manuscript that I wanted to publish.  That book is still not a book, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the word Reach.

When I searched my blog for Reach, I found this quote above.  Sometimes wisdom comes to me.  Today I needed to see this again.  I needed to remember that all we can do at any one time is to be present to it.

I switched my classroom Wonder calendar to May and found this quote waiting for me.

Personal Courage Month

Many of us have big things we’d like to do, but we’re too nervous or shy to try them. Try doing one thing this month that will get you closer to the big thing you’d like to do–tell someone about it, ask for help, read a book about it.

I have an idea that I will be sharing with an upper administrator today.  Fingers crossed he gets it, understands my goals, and pushes me forward to meet them.

I have an idea for a poetry book.  I’m reading, researching, experiencing, and playing with words.  It’s about process, practice, practice, and process.

I will revise my works in progress again and again until they are ready for the wider world.  Confidence, patience, persistence.

Reaching is hard work.

Reaching is stretching till it hurts.  Hold.  Then stretch more.

Reaching is shooting for the moon and landing among the stars.  I’m OK with the stars.  I have friends there.


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