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Bad Poetry

30 Day Poetry Challenge: Day 14 Write a bad poem.

Yesterday I wrote about how my students and I write together:  The Knockout Punch.  One day a few weeks ago, my students and I were writing list poems.  What I started with was a list of poetic forms.  Then I tried to rhyme, which I am really bad at.  My student Matthew added a line. (Look for it in italics.)  All day in and out of classes, I worked scratching out, rewording, and asking their advice.  At the end of the day, I still had a bad poem.  Some days you just catch a boot.  I should’ve thrown it back in, but here it is, ready for today’s challenge.

A Poetry Lesson

What kind of poem will you write?
Can you feel the beat?
Will you be a poet or a rapper on the street?
Can you write like Robert Frost
or William Carlos Wiliams?
This is just to say,
you can write your own way.
Please don’t write like Poe,
Cause he gives me the chillins
Read it aloud
Or share it on a blog.
Fill the world with imagery,
metaphor or simile.
You can decide what poet you will be.
Don’t forget to sign your name,
and thank your teacher, me.

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Poetic Silence

Day 10: Pick a one-line song lyric to serve as an epigraph to your poem. Then, write the poem to accompany it. The poem need not be directly related to the song.

…my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence.

—Paul Simon

In silence, our poems live
In sharing, our poems grow.
Today was my first day to introduce the poetry challenge to my gifted students.   Their challenge:  Using ABCs of poetry forms, write a poem each day.  We started with Acrostics.  Tomorrow…Bio-poems.  I shared my acrostic poem from Day 1 of the 30 Day Poetry Challenge.
I enjoyed the results.  I told them that the poem should not be about them, but should use the initial letters from their names.  This was part of the 30 Day Challenge, and I was surprised at how well they did.  Here are a few:
Batting at home place
Racing base to base
Outfield players catching pop-ups
“Out” yells the umpire when the batter has three strikes
Keeping your eye on the ball
Letting the time run from you
Yelling coming from the bleachers
Never getting defeated
Kindling the fire
Ablaze in the midnight sky
Yawns bounce with the light breeze
Locusts chirping
In a sweet melody

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Easter Lily

30 Day Poetry Challenge Day 8: Write a Cinquain on a topic of your choice (1st line = 2 syllables, 2nd line = 4 syllables, 3rd line = 6 syllables, 4th line = 8 syllables, 5th (final line) = 2 syllables).
opens in time
to hear the joyous hymns–
Alleluias raise, trumpets sound
He lives!
My friend and colleague, Coty Eastin, is also taking the challenge.  She sent me this message, “Margaret,
Today’s cinquain: not deep in structure, but the most precious truth I know.
I enjoy the challenge of writing a poem each day through the fb prompt. Thanks for sharing yours on your blog.”
Night defeated!
For our sins he suffered
so that we might know the light of a
New Day!

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Symphony Sounds

This is April Fool’s Day for sure.  I just typed a new blog post and when I went to preview it, nothing appeared.  So here is my second try.

I finished the 31 Days of March Slice of Life Challenge. Whew!  Didn’t think I could do it.  Now for the 30 Day Poetry Challenge.  The first prompt is to write an acrostic poem, this form uses the letters in your name to create the first letter of each line.  My inspiration comes from the Sunday Symphony in the Park.

Melodies played in the park
Arranged in harmonious
Rhythm.  Tapping my flip-flop foot.
Gathering of folks young and old
Adoring butterflies and bubbles
Round the picnic blanket
Easing on a Sunday afternoon
Taking time to listen.

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Read other Slice of Life writers at The Two Writing Teachers

Happy Birthday to my naturalist friend, Jim Foret. You keep me on the alert for full moons, endangered trees, and nesting birds. You inspire everyone you know to be more alert. Here’s a little poem for you:

Full Moon Alert
for Jim Foret

The full moon rises
glorious among
a respectable row of planets–
pregnant moon.

The alert comes again.

He is the custodian of the night sky–
calendar keeper—
friend to the birds, the bogs,
butterflies and bees.

He counts the Purple Martins,
announces the Mississippi Kites.
He hears the sacred drumbeat,
tells the stories, and inspires all.

Humbly hold someone’s hand
and show her the moon.

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Spring Storm

Read other Slice of Life writers at The Two Writing Teachers

Yesterday, we had a gift of a storm.  It was a gift in the middle of a busy week because they cancelled school.  It’s so nice to have an unexpected day off.  The storm caused minimal damage, a tree on a roof here or there, some flooding, but for the most part all was well.  I did get to meet with my student writing group, though.  We worked on writing by looking outside and looking in.  Then we revised.  I caught this rather sing songy poem, but I like it.

Spring Storm

Green on green
Here comes spring
Wildflowers welcome the rain
Steady beat
A rhythmic song
Leads my heart home
Light a candle
Load the laundry
Escape into a book
Spring storm,
You offer a promise–
the gift of time alone.

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Dancin’ before Noon

Since Jeff and I started dancing a little over a year ago, one of our favorite places to go Zydeco has become Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge.  The band starts at 8:00 AM.  We arrived this morning around 9 and the line was out on the sidewalk.  We were entertaining Jeff’s brother and his wife from Seattle.  They got a great taste of Cajun Saturday morning.

Starting with a red tomatoey Bloody Mary topped with garnish of green beans, olives, lemon, and lime, we ordered decadent fried eggs over biscuits drenched in crawfish etouffee.    But not until we danced a few.  Jeff likes to say that in South Louisiana, Sunday morning may be the most segregated, but Saturday morning dancin’ is the most integrated.  There were old men dancing with young women, black men with white women, black women with white men, adults dancing with children, and mothers with daughters.  Everyone joins in, swinging and smiling, two-stepping and jitter-bugging.

I wore my new black lizard cowboy boots and felt right in fashion.  The band was Corey Ledet and his Zydeco Band complete with accordion and washboard.  At Cafe des Amis, there are a few regulars who may even be on the payroll just to come dance with the tourists.

After filling our tummies and dancing shoulder to shoulder with perfect strangers, we drove down to St. Martinville and stopped at the Acadian Memorial Festival.  There to a three piece Cajun band, we danced again, but this time out in the street with all the space we could want.  Few others were dancing.  Then we took a walk along the bayou to view the display of wooden boats.

Acadian Memorial Festival

A beautiful warm Saturday in Cajun Country.

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What makes you angry?

The Gospel reading in church today was the one about Jesus at the temple getting angry at the moneychangers. So the priest asked us all, “What makes you angry?” Luckily in the bulletin, the secretary had left an empty page for “Sermon Notes,” so I started scribbling…
Pet peeves: people who interrupt, grammatical errors such as alot as one word or confusing there, their, and they’re.

In Jesus’ day, he got angry at the Pharisees, the moneychangers, and even Peter. (“Get behind me, Satan.”) Should this be a comfort to us? That even Jesus got angry. What would Jesus say to all the politicians today spouting off about this or that in His name?

I try not to listen or read things that will make me angry, but today I made the mistake of reading a letter to the editor in our local paper. This letter was written by a man about women’s health issues. He said that contraception and pregnancy are not health issues. I don’t get it. If they are not health issues, then why does a woman go to a doctor when she is pregnant? Why does she go to a hospital to have the child? And why does anyone think that he should be given the right to make any decision for a woman about her health and well being. And we call this religious freedom?

In my eyes, freedom is when you are given choices to make. In the beginning, God granted us this freedom. He never said, “You can choose, but you must choose what I say you must choose.” My favorite bishop, Bishop Henton often quoted St. Augustine, “Love God, and do as you please.” So why do we follow the commandments? Because we want to. Because it is our choice. Not because we should, or have to. But just because.

What makes you angry? What can you do to make a difference?

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Slice of Life #6

On the bumper of my red Camry is a bumper sticker that reads, “Do No Harm.” I’ve had that same bumper sticker for at least 3 years. But today I had an unusual reaction to it. When I pulled into the post office after school, a woman yelled to me from her car, “Do you love the Lord?!”

I responded, “What?” Here I am just going to the post office, innocent and unsuspecting. What right did she have to interrupt my focused attention? I looked toward her car, bent down to see her in the driver’s seat opening her mail. She repeated her question.
“I saw your bumper sticker. Do no harm. You must love the Lord.”

I smiled and said, “Of course, I do. I also like the one that says Practice random acts of kindness.”

She did not want to have a conversation about bumper sticker sayings. She wanted to tell me that if you love the Lord, you will do no harm. “And those who harm others will one day get there’s.”

As I continued into the post office, I thought about how we send a message not only with our bumper stickers, but also in our response to others. At one time in my life, I probably wouldn’t have entered into a conversation with a stranger in a car yelling about loving the Lord. I have learned through experience that everyone just wants to be loved. And why not spread a little love in a parking lot. Sure beats the alternative.

Click here for today’s Slice of Life entries from my students.

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Surprised by Spring

Every year it happens,
Every year I am surprised.
Every year the same,
yet every year, different.
Spring is here!
When I went to bed on Leap Day,
the air was balmy and warm,
yet on the morning of March 1
a miracle appeared…
Azaleas do not bloom flower by flower.
They bloom as a whole bush.
One day green, the next a bright ball of pink fluff.
What a surprise!
How wonderful that God can do this every year,
every March, show me His glory
In a bright burst of blooms!

Click here to see my students’ Slice of Life entries for today.

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