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Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Shovan.

Lucretius just presents this marvelous and important idea that what we are made of will make something else, which to me is very important. There is no nothingness — with these little atoms that run around too little for us to see. But, put together, they make something. And that to me is a miracle. Where it came from, I don’t know. But it’s a miracle, and I think it’s enough to keep a person afloat.

Mary Oliver in an interview with Krista Tippet of On Being.

I was listening to On Being with Krista Tippet, an old podcast of an interview with Mary Oliver from 2015. The episode repeated the week of Mary Oliver’s death in January of this year. Listening to Mary Oliver makes me feel I am in the presence of a wise yogi.

The practice of writing poetry, I am learning, is an exercise in mindfulness. To be open to the universe of words and to put them down on a page is a gift. Then there is the renewing of the words as you revise, reorder, read aloud to a writing group, and go at it all again.

This poem came from all this listening and doing the work of the morning.

Residing

If we could make of everything
a sacred movement–

Digging in the deep mud
watching the earthworm squirm.

Painting on of pale eyeshadow,
touching my face with gentleness.

The cat is purring a prayer.

Wind chimes are ringing a hymn,

And here I am,
lifting my coffee mug to my lips

Even the cicadas are laughing.

Margaret Simon, draft 2019
Image by Ravi Kant

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Michelle Kogan

Water Breaks

Floods begin as a drop,
rain from upstream flowing–
overflowing–Breaks.
No control over Water’s
strength or where it wants to go.

Knock out soggy walls,
Strip muddy carpet,
Dig through disaster.
Survive.
Stronger.
Healthier.
Build again.

At birth, water breaks,
baptizes an infant wrapped
in woven cloth.
Mother bathes her son
in warm water, rubs his clean skin.

Tears break as a single drop
washing my face,
bathing me in warm water,
where he kisses me,
says, “I love you.”
This is all I need.

Margaret Simon, draft 2019

On Tuesday, I attended a mini writer’s retreat at the Teche Center for the Arts. Clare led us through brainstorming a list of water words. Then we circled ones that stood out to us or told a story. I wrote this poem draft. It’s still a work in progress. I wonder if it contains too much.

In 1979, my childhood home flooded. I was a senior in high school with so much more on my mind than loss and rebuilding. My mother was the stronghold. She handled an amazing amount of mess and muck and insurance claims. There is a story, a bigger story than this poem could contain. After 40 years, that disaster still influences me. Maybe it’s finally time to write about it.

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Poetry Friday round-up Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.

Naomi Shihab Nye has been named the Young People’s Poet Laureate of the US. I can’t think of anyone better. I’ve met Naomi on a few occasions, most recently when I moderated an NCTE presentation in November, 2018. Her gentle manner and down-to-earth style is just right for these times. She’s comfortable and makes you feel comfortable, too.

One of my favorite young people’s poetry book by Naomi Shihab Nye is A Maze Me. For one, this is a great title with multiple meanings. It’s a book of poems specifically for girls. The poems comfort, amaze, and give readers a sense of the timelessness of childhood.

My favorite line of poetry appears in the poem Ringing that seems to be about all the sounds of ringing a child may hear. The vegetable truck, milk truck, and the ever-ringing ice-cream truck. “They are all bringers.”

The last line reads “I want to be someone making music with my coming.”

Along with all the luscious on the lips m-sounds is a deeper meaning. A longing we can all relate to. We want to be expected. We want to be adored. We want to be loved. Naomi captures this universal longing in one simple line. That is the genius of her poetry.

I sing lullabies to my grandson. I am embarrassed if anyone hears me. But I shouldn’t care. I want to be the someone in his life who makes music with my coming. This is love.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Dani at Doing the Work the Matters.

This is my last week of school and a perfect time for reading picture books and writing about dreams. I read aloud Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds.

Peter Reynolds wields his word-magic wand in this book. Near the end, there is a double flap that opens up to reveal multiple dreamers and ways to be happy.

What kind of dreamer are you?

Here’s a list poem of some of them:

Celebration Happy
Stage Dreamer
Family Happy
Fierce Dreamer
Ocean Happy
Dreamy Dreamer

Make a Difference Happy
Civic Dreamer
Foot Stomping Happy
Crazy Dreamer
Kindness Happy
Sunny Dreamer

I tried a simple writing prompt “What kind of dreamer are you?” Breighlynn used a repeated line and showed me the way to a form.

I am a wild dreamer
seeing things
others cannot
playing with invisible lions
petting the prettiest jaguars
What will I see next?

I am a wild dreamer
playing with hippos
when taking a bath
riding on alligators
when floating in the pool.

I am a fierce dreamer
fighting dragons one day
protecting the king, the next.

I am a fierce dreamer
standing guard at the castle.
If I die,
oh well,
it’s just a dream.

Breighlynn, 3rd grade

Madison used a free form and found her way to her love of art.

I am a thinking dreamer–
Worlds and tales threaded through my daydreams,
a tapestry or another world
where the limit is my own self.
These worlds of mine are
drawn,
put to paper,
and solidified within
my own
mind.

Madison, 5th grade

What kind of dreamer are you?

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Poetry Friday round-up is here! Scroll to the end of this post to find the InLinz linky.

Wednesday was our annual Gifted by Nature field trip to City Park. All the elementary gifted kids in the parish (district) gather for a day of games and art and nature. I’m usually the one to lead a poetry writing activity. This year we designed our learning fun day around the concept of pi, so of course, we wrote Pi-ku!

Pi-ku follows the syllable count of pi, 3.14. Some students challenged themselves to more digits, 3.14159…

Girls writing nature pi-ku.

A beautiful spring day on the shore of Bayou Teche with lily pads and duck families, draping oaks and cypress trees became the perfect setting for inspiring pi-ku.

Lilypads

Lilypads
are
in the water.
They’re
absorbing sunlight
providing habitat for wildlife
such as
Louisiana bullfrogs
and other creatures.
The shadow
drops the temperature
providing a cool habitat
Nature has many examples–Pi!

Josie
Photo by Richard Fletcher from Pexels

Beautiful
blooms
rest peacefully
watch
as the calm wind blows.
The flowers dance to the soft music.
They stop
moving from side to side
surrounded by leaves
friends of vines
saying Hello to
multi-colored dragon flies and bees.

Jayden

Outside I
see
a tree with a
hole.
Could I make it a
home? A place warm, quiet, safe and dark.
–Izabella

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


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Poetry Friday round-up is with Elizabeth Steinglass.

 

Ladybug larva on milkweed feasting on aphids.

We went out to the garden yesterday for the last 20 minutes of class, and Jennie was there.  I sat down next to her, and we talked about all the aphids on the milkweed.  “But you see here,” she explained, “this is a ladybug larva.” Jennie taught me about the life cycle of the ladybug.  The larva go through 5 exoskeletons and eat thousands of aphids.  She called them meat eaters.

I called the kids over (they were picking buttercups) to hear her impromptu instruction.  We will come back next week to see the progress of the ladybugs, and if there are any new monarch caterpillars.

She thanked us for spending time in the garden and gave us seeds to plant, sunflowers and beans.  She explained that these are sister plants.  The sunflower has a strong stalk for the bean vine to climb.  I enjoy time in the garden as much as or maybe more than my students do.

Here’s a may-ku about ladybugs:

Ladybug larva

feast on garden aphids

before blooming red.

–Margaret Simon, 2019

adult ladybug

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Beyond Literacy Link.

One of my favorite books in my rather large collection of poetry books is What the Heart Knows by Joyce Sidman. This week I shared the poem Happiness, a chant invoking happiness.  We talked about writing from the perspective of direct address to an emotion.  I directed my students to choose an emotion and to try using imagery to make the emotion personified.  I played along with my kiddos and took out the magnetic poetry cookie sheets.  Finding the word poems mused me to write a direct address to poems.  Karson and I both used the imagery of a monarch butterfly drawing on our experience of hatching and releasing monarchs this week.

Poems,

You hide in shadows
of oak trees.
You whisper words
in the breeze.
You shudder my heart.

Poems,
When we meet eye to eye,
I am amazed
by your strength,
unexpected yet welcome.

Poems,
Your delicate wings
unfold before our eyes
surprising us
with your ease of flight.

–Margaret Simon, draft, 2019

 

Free image from Pixabay.

 

Excitement,

too much thrill can bring confusion
and confusion leads to mystery.
You are like the breeze on the top of a mountain.
When I see the brightness of the moon, I feel you.
You are the feeling when a monarch flies into the distance.

Karson, 4th grade

 

Curiosity,

You are full of forest mazes
that my mind gets stuck in.
My eyes show the way.
You bring me thoughts,
you make me think,
Curiosity

Jaden, 3rd grade

 

 

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