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A friend, mentor, fellow blogger, Diane Moore resides half the year in Sewanee, Tennessee.  I don’t think she has quite embraced the gray landscape of Gothic architecture and mountain mists.  Today, her blog came to me while I was looking out on our warm green landscape and feeling tired.  I loved her words and composed a found grossblank.  Found because these are her words.  Grossblank because there are 12 lines of 12 syllables.  Here’s to the contrasts of colors in our lives:

A Gray and Green Day

For Diane Moore

This neutral color of gray pervades The Mountain
This morning.  Gentle rain, iron-colored sky mists.
Pearl, charcoal, silver, gunmetal replace old gray–
Pessimistic hue no more uplifting than fog.
Color dignified by Gothic architecture.

To be creative, stare at green life, lighten up.
Walk in the woods; Alleviate anxiety.
Sacred shades of green and blue signify a new
Paradise of painted oceans, spirits lifted.

Poetry in emerald peace, trees leafing out.
Grass drinking dew, mint fragrant in spring memory.
Even the sky is the color of my opera.

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I kind of gave up on the 30 Day Poetry Challenge, not intentionally, but life got in the way.  I got stuck on one challenge, then just plain refused to write a poem about a car, so I quit.  I did not, however, give up on challenging my students to write a different poetic form each day.  And I write with them, so technically I am still taking the poetry challenge.

In our classroom ABC daily poem challenge, we were on G on Thursday.  The only poetic form I could find for G was a Grossblank.  Grossblank is a poem with 12 lines of 12 syllables (a gross) written in blank verse, no rhyme.  Because I thought this form was particularly challenging, I allowed them to write a quarter Grossblank, 6×6.  Also to help bait the poetry fishing hook, I gave them lists of wordgroups, a technique introduced to me by my poet-friend-mentor Sandford Lyne.  So with groups of words in hand and fingers for counting, we got to work on our poems.

Once again, my students amazed me.  My fifth grader and sixth grader took the full challenge.  Kaylie is obsessed (and that’s putting it mildly) with Hunger Games.  Her poem, while it draws on the theme of the series, can stand alone.  Colby is new to my class, but he is slowly discovering his inner poet.  His poem draws a deeper meaning while he contemplates mirage and reality, a quite sophisticated theme, I think, for a sixth grader.  If you enjoy their poetry, please leave a comment that I can share with them.  They would love to hear from you.

But What’s to Come
by Kaylie
(inspired by and dedicated to the Hunger Games)

At sunrise, she runs, barefoot, in leaves of green, words
do not come to mind. She dunks under the fence, into
the woods, where stores are not seen, and hunger isn’t
abroad. Where no trespassing takes place. Into dreams,
she runs past men and voices, beyond the breaking
dawn, into a swirl of familiar places.
She lifts her bow at a rustle, her arrow finds
a home in a rabbit’s eye. She gathers berries
of the sweetest aroma, breath in the air, hush.
Out of the woods, names are called, unpromising to
the tributes, for they must survive to be victors.
Through the darkest times, many deaths will come alive.

The Magic Touch
by Colby
Along the road in the hot summer sun, a dog,
a mirage in the dust wandering in his wake.
The heat is unbearable with the sun floating,
unforgiving in the open. No shade in the still.
Starting to feel abandoned. Far, far, away. Fear
in his soul like a pup separated, detached
from its kin. The miraged dog leading the lonely.
Walking barefoot in along the trails through thick dust.
He walks and roams in spite of hunger and fatigue.
Still he follows the dog, his wake, his destiny.
The dog is getting closer. It’s close enough to
touch.The man speeds up inching ever closer. Touch. Oasis.

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