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Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Rose at Imagine the Possibilities.

The Open Write over at Ethical ELA was happening this week. I participated for a few days. On Saturday, Denise Krebs offered this writing prompt: write an ode to a childhood love. I thought about my diary from 1975 which I still have tucked away in my closet. It’s something of a miracle that I still have it because my childhood home was flooded in 1979. I’m not sure how this diary escaped.

Time was that when I looked at my diary, all I could see was the struggling teenager, flip-flopping from I like Robby to I like Bobby. I had tucked slips of paper into the diary, notes from friends and poems. Yes, poems.

Today I’m trying a different perspective of my younger self. I am thinking more kindly toward her. She was developing, in the process of becoming. No one is perfect when they are 14. Actually, I am not perfect now. We are constantly in a period of discovery about who we are, who and what we love. I think this diary may hold a precious girl, one in need of love.

“One Year Diary” circa 1975

“One Year Diary”

Golden pages
wrapped in a keyless lock,
you locked away all my dreams
and screams for truth and understanding.

I was standing at the threshold of who I am.
You honored the me I was
with timeless sanctity.

Notes and poems tucked in
like folds of a blanket, nestling
moments I wanted to keep (and forget.)

Cursive swirls and exaggerated tittles,
my fourteen year old soul remains
buried here.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Poetry Friday is hosted this week Down Under with Kat Apel.

In Dictionary for a Better World, Charles Waters writes about Courage using a cinquain form. “Sometimes courage can be…” The form is simple: five lines with a syllable count of 2, 4, 6, 8, 2. Sometimes these simple forms open up possibilities for writing that we wouldn’t normally explore.

I’m listening to The Book of Hope with Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams. I explored the topic with a cinquain to model for my students.

Sometimes
poetry
is hiding in plain sight
you can find poetry in your mind
look hard

Brayden, 3rd grade

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Image by Linda Mitchell
Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is with Carol at Beyond Literacy Link

I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for my lesson on Friday. I really don’t have a good excuse. It just happened, so I opened my desk drawer and pulled out metaphor dice. I wasn’t really sure how this writing tool would work with my young students. This year my gifted classes include third and fourth graders. Do they even know what a metaphor is?

The beauty of Taylor Mali’s Metaphor Dice is their adaptability across every grade level and writing ability. In fact, they can be the just right teaching tool or game you need on a Friday when you don’t have a poem in your pocket.

After a few rounds of metaphor dice writing, my 4th grade student Adelyn said, “Do you ever get so involved in writing that you forget to breathe?” I think that sums up a successful writing session.

Today I am sharing one of my metaphor dice poems.

My birth is a bright songbird
singing a morning lullaby.

Each new day is a birth–
a chance to discover joy,
to hear the bright song
of the cardinal or chickadee.

Wake up!
Every day is a birth day!

Margaret Simon, draft
My notebook+ metaphor dice

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Poetry Friday is hosted today by Linda at Teacher Dance.

This month’s Inkling challenge was mine to create. I invited my writing group to share any poem that they may have written to This Photo Wants to be a Poem prompt. I post a photo prompt once a week on Wednesdays. My photos come from my own iPhone photos or from Instagram friend’s photos, by permission.

I enjoy the craft of writing a small poem. Many of the ones I write bring about some deeper wisdom. Often I surprise myself with these, wondering where they come from. Today I am featuring bird wisdom poems. Nature offers itself to us with its revelation of truth.

Peek in on my Inkling buddies and see what they are doing with this challenge:

Linda Mitchell
Molly Hogan
Catherine Flynn
Heidi Mordhorst
MaryLee Hahn

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Today’s Poetry Friday Round up is with Dave at Leap of Dave.

Today was the first Poetry Friday of the new school year. Prompted by Kim Johnson who is writing daily to Dictionary for a Better World, I decided to begin at the beginning with the word Acceptance. Irene Latham wrote the model poem we read today. I have to admit starting with such a metaphor-driven poem was challenging. “I am a word with teeth– a crocodile” At first my students thought the poem was all about a crocodile. We had to work hard to make the connection between the title and the illustration.

From Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and Charles Waters.

When it came time to write, I suggested using Irene’s form for an opening line. I am a word with ______. Adelyn chose the word Art. I adore what she wrote for her first poem of 4th grade gifted class.

 ART 

I am a word with imagination

A rainbow over my head

Some understand me, some don’t

Yet I don’t wait for supplies I improvise

I rest in a messy room

Full of markers, crayons and sketch books

As I dream of a

peacock flying overhead

by Adelyn, 4th grade

I am happy to be writing poems with kids again!

Here is my poem after Irene on the word Gracious:

Gracious

I am a word with wings–
a butterfly
landing on a red blossom.

Some want to catch me.
Others let me be.

Yet I do not waste time (as you do)
in the muddy banks
between despair

and hope.
I rest in freedom–
air, wind–
lightly lifting

as nectar fills my soul
with sweet gratitude.

Margaret Simon, draft, after Irene Latham

Consider joining me with my friends over at Ethical ELA for this weekend’s Open Write starting tomorrow through Wednesday.

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Poetry Friday Round-up is here. Scroll to the end to find the link up and join.

Today is my birthday. I am turning the age of the year I was born. Can you do the math? I have to admit I am not a fan of birthdays. Being born in August has never appealed to me. It’s always hot and usually rainy. But with daily rain comes daily rainbows. Over the last few days I’ve seen a few big ones. I stop my car and get out to take a picture. I wish the pictures could show the colors and size, but you’ll have to just imagine it.

My Heart Leaps Up

William Wordsworth – 1770-1850

My heart leaps up when I behold 
   A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began; 
So is it now I am a man; 
So be it when I shall grow old, 
   Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Birthday card from Linda Mitchell, my birthday “sistar”
Summer Poem Swap from Patricia J. Franz

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

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Poetry Friday is hosted today by Inkling Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone.

Today is the first Friday in August and my first day of school, but it’s also time for an Inkling challenge. This month Catherine wanted to give us something easy to write. She thought about sports. I am not all that sporty, but I do have a poem in the anthology Rhyme & Rhythm: poems for student-athletes (Archer Books. 2021). It’s a duplex poem about swimming.

As I contemplated this challenge, I turned to my weekly yoga class. I am going to miss this class during the school year. I love the instructor and the way she speaks to us. I’ve always thought it was like poetry. So on Wednesday, I recorded the class. This poem is a transcription with poetic license. I decided to play with having no punctuation and using space and line breaks to pause. Does this work?

The Sport of Mindfulness

Breathing is healing
relaxation 
brings the body together 
all cells communicate together
Breathe and communicate
into one focus. breath

Notice if your thoughts move
into a pattern bring yourself back 
to your anchor
your breath

Back and forth a tennis match with yourself
building a new skill purposeful
intentional thinking

Lean into the stretch        spread your fingers
press into the palm          open your muscles

Stay with the breath
Challenge yourself
Focus ride the waves
of discomfort Then it starts to feel good

Exhale pose
thank you colon
thank you liver
thank you spleen
gallbladder pancreas
Thank you for all your hard work
Toxins moving out release

Come back to the breath
The sound of the wind sound of the music
Sensation of being in the room  among friends
No responsibilities

Nature is abundant
Bring awareness to your abundance
You are abundant thriving We are all thriving

We all meet at the center
Namaste. 

For Susan Grain
Margaret Simon, draft

See how other Inklings met this challenge:
Linda Mitchell
Molly Hogan
Catherine Flynn
Heidi Mordhorst
MaryLee Hahn

Photo by Elina Fairytale on Pexels.com

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My summer is winding down quickly. I start back to school next Friday. But the Summer Poem Swap is in full swing. Tabatha Yeatts organized pairings of poets to exchange creativity, gifts, and poetry. My third swap was with Carol Varsalona. (Note: I still owe her my end of the bargain.) Carol is a digital master. If you visit her website, you can find pages of inspirational digital creations. She used this prowess to create for me a Google slide show. She also sent me a print form. You can view the whole slideshow here.

The poem that Molly Hogan sent me had a similar theme of peace and tranquility. Are these poets trying to tell me something? Or do they recognize something in me that I am struggling to find within myself? Poetry is a profound and powerful presence in my life. Thanks Carol for your creative and sensitive expression of love.

Marcie Atkins has the round up today.

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Poetry Friday is with Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading.
Sloth video from my phone. Turn sound down or off. The guide explains the different kinds of sloths near the end. This is a two-toed sloth.

Slow Sloth

I am to you
scribbles of God.
My two toes
touch the heavens 
on leaves like tea
left behind for someone to read,
a lie between sun and moon.
I am blind to you.
As I slowly pass through
parting seas of green,
only the fruit follows me.
I know heaven is green
as all sorrow in amorphous shape.
I neglect symbols,
and drink from mud.
I stop and sleep
because you are always there.

Margaret Simon, 2022

I wrote this poem after Swift Hummingbird by Ray Bradbury. On Ethical ELA, Jennifer Guyor Jowett introduced antonymic translation in this week’s Open Write. Ray Bradbury wrote of the hummingbird which immediately made me think of the sloth we saw in Costa Rica last week. It was fun to write a poem about it.

Two-Toed Sloth, Wikimedia Commons

Molly Hogan, fellow Inkling, sent me a Summer Poem Swap. Her tranquil poem sent me the blessing I needed along with some homemade (by Molly) strawberry jam and other goodies. Thanks, Molly, for the full-of-care package.

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Jan has the round up today at Book Seed Studio

My friend, poet Buffy Silverman is releasing a new word-blooming picture book, On a Gold-Blooming Day coming September 6, 2022. This rhythmic, rhyming, all-about-fall book is enchanting from start to finish. You will be transported to the season through words and images.

From On a Gold-Blooming Day, photos by Buffy Silverman

I asked Buffy to tell us how she is inspired to write.

I have been fascinated with the natural world for as long as I can remember. When I was six I collected a jar full of grasshoppers from an empty lot to keep as pets in the garage. I learned the hard way that insects need oxygen! I spent hours perched in the branches of our maple tree as a kid, watching the world below.

I still search out the small animals that share our habitat. We are lucky to live at the swampy end of a small lake, with frogs, turtles, birds, and woods as neighbors. We stopped mowing most of our backyard about twenty years ago, and a meadow has grown in its place, attracting a variety of insects. Now I collect critters with my camera instead of in a jar, and try to share what I see through my writing.  My hound keeps me walking every day, no matter what the weather or season, so I get plenty of opportunity to make new discoveries!

I hope that my words might inspire a young person to look more closely at and fall in love with the world around them. The world desperately needs a generation of environmentalists, and I think that is most likely to happen if children spend time outdoors, make their own discoveries, and fall in love as I did with nature.

Buffy Silverman
From On A Gold-Blooming Day by Buffy Silverman

This golden glowing book is for preschool through 3rd graders. The back matter provides more information about the animals and plants mentioned in the text and images. A glossary of new words helps developing readers. Add this book to your fall reading list. Buffy’s website is here.

On Wednesday, Buffy responded with a very Buffy-styled poem to This Photo Wants to be a Poem.

Fishing Expedition

Long legs.
Long beak.
Step right.
Cool creek.
Step left.
Trout streak.
Stoop low.
Sneak peek.
Fast jab–
full cheek!
–Buffy Silverman

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