Posts Tagged ‘black-out poetry’

Ruth is gathering Spiritual Journey posts at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. We are checking in on our One Little Word.

For 2021, I chose Inspire as my guiding One Little Word. How’s it going? Truth be told, I’m tired. This is our last day of school. This has been a weird year. Long in so many ways. Yet here we are again. Summer sun hangs high in the sky. Temperatures rise, and I crave the scent of chlorine and sunscreen.

Last week on a day when I was cleaning up and wondering how it is that I keep so much stuff from year to year, my colleague Erica came into my room. She teaches 4th grade next door to me, and I teach her daughter in gifted. She said, “I was channeling my best Margaret Simon. Look what we did! Black-out poetry!” She was so excited to show me the results.

As I think about inspire, I count the ways in which others inspire me; Artists, poets, musicians, all fill me with the desire to create. I hadn’t thought about how I inspire others. The 4th grade black-out poems made my heart swell. Erica knew it would.

Inspire is a communication of the heart,
a creative connection,
a gift to the world.

beautiful spring day
no idea
what was in store for me
too perfect
each other
as one
Believe me.

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Join the IMWAYR meme.

Join the IMWAYR meme.

Today I am joining the roundup of kidlit books at Teach Mentor Texts. Click on over for more reviews.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

I am the guest writer on Laura Shovan’s blog today, Author Amok. I wrote about Ellen Bass’s poem The Orange-and-White High-Heeled Shoes.


When Cynthia Lord offered an ARC of her latest novel A Handful of Stars on Facebook, I commented and was added to the list. A copy came this week, just in time for Spring Break reading.

I was immediately drawn in to this story when Lily chases her blind dog into a blueberry field. Lucky is stopped by a migrant girl, Salma Santiago, who becomes a new friend to Lily. Salma is artistic and wants to help Lily raise money for an operation for Lucky. She joins Lily in painting mason bee boxes. The two become fast friends.

Lily is a complex character. She lives with her French Canadian grandparents who own a general store. You get the sense that the family is still grieving the death of Lily’s mom even though Lily does not remember her. The dog Lucky is her connection to her mother. Lily is also dealing with the change in a childhood friendship. Salma brings hope to Lily. Salma opens up Lily’s mind about art, migrant workers, and friendship.

Cynthia Lord creates a story that not only touches; it also teaches. I learned a lot about blueberry harvesting in Maine (which is different from blueberries in Louisiana.) Through Pépère, Lily learns life lessons. I’ve been wanting to experiment with black-out poetry and Zentangle. I made a copy of a page in which Pépère speaks to Lily about how Lucky (dogs) can teach us. I highlighted words to create a poem and drew Zentangle designs to black out the words. Zentangle can be meditative. Kind of like doodling.

wants to see.
He seems happy to me.
We learn from dogs.
They don’t ask ‘why me?’
They find a new way to be happy.

Setting something free
takes faith.

Handful of Stars Zentangle poem

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