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Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Heard’

Today, our Spiritual Journey blogging group is writing about Joy, Finding Joy.  I am gathering the posts in the Link button below this post.

I find joy on my morning walks.  Over the years I have joined different gyms.  I’d wake up in the dark, pull on some tights or other fashionable exercise wear, and go to a class or climb on the treadmill or rotate among the machines when Curves was around.  Last year I gave up all memberships and just started walking.  During the school year, I try to get out by 6 AM.  But now that it’s summer, and the days are getting warmer, and I don’t have to be anywhere, I’m out at 7 AM.  Charlie on the leash.  I carry my phone in a pouch that fits over my pants and stays in place with a magnetic grip.  Sometimes I talk to my Voxer pals.  Sometimes I listen to a podcast, and sometimes I run into a neighbor to chat with or who will join me.

These walks have become my Joy.

I find joy in the songs of birds.

I find joy in watching Charlie explore.

I find joy in waving to neighbors.

I find joy in the flowers, the trees, and the bayou beyond.

Another source of joy for me is poetry.  For this poem, I turned to one of my favorite collections, The Woman in this Poem.  Georgia Heard signed my copy with these words, “For the joy of poetry–and life!”

 

Happiness

by Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form

for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful

hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
                     It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,

to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

From The Woman in this Poem Selected and Introduced by Georgia Heard

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Poetry Friday is with Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Poetry Friday is with Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

 

 

What a joy to join Georgia Heard on the Good to Great (#G2Great) chat Thursday night! Georgia sent me a copy of her latest book a few weeks ago. I was so excited to see that three of my students’ heart maps were included.

I questioned how Georgia could write a whole book about heart maps. But this book is a gem. In each section, not only do we get another idea for another type of heart map, twenty in all, but we also get a list of writing ideas and mentor texts. A side bar on each template asks questions to lead the student to his own heart.

I used the wish heart map this week with 6th graders. These students are embarking on a yearlong project. As we begin this journey, my colleagues and I wanted them to explore deeply a problem they see in the world. The heart maps were a way to visually get them to the “heart” of the matter. Some students went straight to writing. This student’s wish map became a list poem of wishes.

wish-heart-map-angelle

I usually write with my students, so why not make heart maps? The students rotated to me 4 times, so I have 4 hearts. Each one is different. Some are completely visual, but two of them became poems.

My wish heart maps

My wish heart maps

I Wish

I wish I could draw love
into the world.
Blow it freely
like a dandelion seed
to fertilize lives
with empathy.

We wish on falling stars,
on rainbows,
pennies thrown in the fountain.
There’s the obligatory pull
of wishbone, a tug between my brother and me.
If I win this time,
can I send this wish to you?
Will it come true?

–Margaret Simon

Thank you, Georgia Heard, for leading me, as well as countless children, to our hearts.

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

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

I am dedicating this Poetry Friday post to my mother-in-law, Anne Simon, who took me on an amazing adventure to Tanzania, Africa to celebrate her 85th birthday.

I have been blogging about this trip since I’ve returned.  You can read previous posts: Safe Water for Eastern Africa, Tarangire National Park, Maasai village, and Lions on the Serengeti.

The only way to thank Anne “Minga” for this fabulous opportunity was to thoroughly enjoy it.  I immersed myself in Presence, my one little word, taking in the experience with my whole mind, body, and spirit.

On the day of Minga’s birthday, we set out at sunrise to tour areas on the Serengeti with rocky outcrops called kopjes.  Kopjes are places where lions linger and hide their young.  We stopped to have breakfast on one of these kopjes.  Before any of us got out of the vehicles, though, our guides scouted and clapped away any animal life.

Kopjes (pronounced ko-pee-us) dotted the Serengeti landscape.

Kopjes (pronounced ko-pee-us) dotted the Serengeti landscape.

 

Singing "Happy Birthday" to Anne on the kopjes breakfast.

Singing “Happy Birthday” to Anne on the kopjes breakfast.

I created a video to capture the birthday celebration complete with a cake and the camp workers singing a favorite celebration song, Hakuna Matata (not the Disney version).

 

Since today is Poetry Friday, I found an appropriate poem to share.  “The Journey” by Mary Oliver describes the individual that my mother-in-law is, strong and independent.  I am very grateful that she is willing to share her journey with me.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

–Mary Oliver

This poem, along with many other poems from women, can be found in The Woman in this Poem, selected and introduced by Georgia Heard.

 

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Michelle is hosting today at Today's Little Ditty!

Michelle is hosting today at Today’s Little Ditty!

Poets are some of my favorite people. I want to be one, so sometimes I try on their clothes. I shared this confession with my students. One of my poet-heroes, Laura Shovan, tried on Naomi Shihab Nye’s list poem, Words in my Pillow, that you can find in Georgia Heard’s collection Falling Down the Page. I shared Naomi’s poem as well as Laura’s with my students.

My students are smart kids who are really stubborn about wanting to break the mold, but I told them, “This is the form we are trying on today.” When the third student asked about breaking the form, I turned to them and said, “What did I say?”

“We are trying this one on today!” Sometimes when you try on another poet’s form, it is confining and doesn’t fit at all. Not this one. I was surprised at how well this poem fit.

Words in my Bathroom

I keep words in my bathroom,
Words that keep me clean.

SOAP
TOWEL
SHAMPOO

No one sees them
Until I put them on,
But I know they’re there.

BATHROBE
FACE CREAM
BODY WASH
HAND SOAP
LEFTOVER CLOTHING
TOILET PAPER

TOILET is in there.
BATHTUB is in there.

The words wish they were something else
When I’m not looking.
This TOWEL and that RACK
like being together.
CANDLES brighten up my bathroom
TOILET yells NO
in my bathroom.

My friends the words
know better than I do
what makes me feel good.
–Tobie

Words under the Couch Cushions

I keep words under the couch cushions.
Words that make me cool.

HANDSOME
BLACK
STYLISH

No one sees them until
I put them on.
But I know what’s in there.

REMOTE
TOYS
PAPER
FEATHERS

WHITE SOCK is in there.
GOOGLY EYES are in there.

The words make a PUPPET
when I am not looking.

TISSUE
GUM
CARD

My friends the words know how to fluff a cushion
better than I do.
But I love them.
–Jacob

Words in my Closet

There are words in my closet that say “you’re chic!”
                       OLD NAVY
                            GAP
                         JUSTICE
  “No one sees them until I put them on, but I know what’s in there–”
                     SILK
                 SPARKELS
              POLKA-DOTS
               RHINESTONES
                  “DENIM”
                 FLOWERS
   SHOES are in there.
EXTRA LACES are in there.
 The words choose my outfits.
I’m just not around when they do.
This SHIRT those SHORTS                                                           Already pieced together.

NEON colors brighten up my closet.
LSU shirts shout “GO TIGERS” in my closet.

My friends the words
know me the best.
–Emily

Words in my Journal

I keep words in my journal.
Words that dance from
my thoughts to the page.

BUZZY
PATIENCE
BOUQUETS

No one sees them
like LOVE LETTERS I hide in a box,
but I know what’s in there.

PURPLE
SKY
VICTORY
UMBRELLA

STARLINGS flit in there.
Even DILLY-DALLY trots a page.

The words make poems together
when I’m not looking.

LAKE
MAZE
WONDER
RUSH

My friends the words know better than I do
how to sing songs.

–Margaret Simon

This form fit reluctant poets as well as confident ones. Laura Shovan is posting student poems, too, from a writer in residence program. Check them out here.

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