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Posts Tagged ‘Heidi Mordhorst’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Jone.

Did you know that Wednesday, Jan. 29th was National Curmudgeons Day in honor of W.C. Fields’ birthday? I didn’t either until I got an email from Jen Laffin’s blog Teach Write. Jen listed some great writing prompts to use with your students.

My students loved this. I loved giving them a word they didn’t already know, which is a challenge when teaching gifted kids. In their notebooks, they wrote poems and character sketches as well as drew pictures of Grumpy Cat, Oscar the Grouch, and the two old men from the Muppets.

I reminded them of the poem form, definito, which was created by my friend and fellow poetry swagger, Heidi Mordhorst. A definito is a poem of 8-12 lines that defines a word and ends with the defined word.

I worked on this poem playing with a rhyme scheme. Writing this poem cheered me up, out of curmudgeonliness.

National Curmudgeons Day Definito

When your day starts out in slush and mud,
When nothing seems quite right,
When your cat scratches drawing blood,
When you’ve already lost the fight,
When all you want to do is rest
or hide, just slam the door,
You can’t suppress your grumpiness;
Your mom says you’re a boar.
Your face turns green and grouchy,
shoulders glum and slouchy.
It may be better to stay in
as you are a curmudgeon.

Margaret Simon, 2020
My notebook page for National Curmudgeons Day.

Angry Growler,
loudest shouter.

A faultfinder,
spirit grinder.

Always shut in,
a curmudgeon.

A.J., 6th grade
Breighlynn’s notebook page.

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Laura Shovan is a poet who shares the love. For her birthday month, February, she commits to writing poems every day and shares the experience with anyone who dares to jump in to the party. Read her introduction to the project here.

I have joined in her project every year and find the experience challenging, inspiring, and enriching. I don’t know if I get better at writing poems, but I know for sure that this is a welcoming and passionate-about-poetry group. I am honored to host today.

In preparation for this month of writing, Laura called for images of found objects. I sent her this image of lotus seed pods I picked up out of the swamp on a winter canoe trip. They sit in a pottery piece that is also reminiscent of nature.

lotus pods

Diane Mayr was considering skipping today. And that very thought made her write a skippy poem. You never know where the muse may hide. I love the rhythm of the flower names and of course, the final truth.

Mama Planted a Garden
(a skipping rhyme)

Mama planted a garden,
but it came up weeds.
Oh, my silly Mama!
You planted the wrong seeds.

No, my little Missy,
they were the right ones.
A flower to a father
may be a weed to the son!

Buttercup, aster, and bergamot.
Maiden pink, dandelion, forget-me-not.

Columbine, bunchberry, periwinkle.
Violet, lady slipper, honeysuckle.

Always remember this,
my little daughter:
one person’s weed
is another one’s flower!
–Diane Mayr

Patricia VanAmburg did some research on lotus pods and found out there is a disease, Trypophobia—fear of holes. So she wrote a rather empty poem about that feeling of empty nest, one I know all too well.

Empty

Of what use this pod
Without her seeds
Temporary filler for
More fruitful flowers
But every life
Returns to earth
Fragile as the cradle
In an attic corner
Brittle as mother’s ribs
After every baby has gone
–Patricia VanAmburg

Jessica Bigi sent an image of a lotus flower while she takes us back to ancient rituals.

Photo and poem by Jessica Bigi, all rights reserved.

Photo and poem by Jessica Bigi, all rights reserved.

Carol Varsalona is cross-posting her poems on her blog. I love how she is digitally playing with the image as well. I imagine sitting with Carol enjoying a warm cup of coffee and the quiet.

A Hushed Quiet

As I sit by the window,
the morning sun
drifts on in,
singing the praises
of yet another day.
A zen-like quality emerges.
Rays bouncing from
winter white blankets
bring outdoors in.
A hushed quiet
envelops the room.
In a corner,
upon a mat of bamboo,
cut-open pods of grace
in triad formation
adorn a desk
of muted colors.
Indoor life merges
with outdoor sights
in a seasonal burst,
reminding me that
new life is waiting
in an early spring.

©Carol Varsalona, 2016

Violet also did her research on Trypophobia and wrote an erasure poem from an article on Mental Floss.  Who knew?  I certainly did not.  Thanks for the learning as well as the poetry.

Trypophobia

skin crawls, heart flutters
shoulders tighten, I shiver
crazy revulsion to holes, bumps
images of holes, parasites
bot flies, worms, ravages of disease
pregnant suriname toad
lotus seed head
give people trypophobic
heebie jeebies
soap bubbles trigger
nightmares

~ Violet Nesdoly

Heidi Mordhorst digs into the earth to consider how an anthropologist looks at things.

Day 10
anthropology

once thought to be
an elaborately carved musical
instrument used
only on the wedding day
of a woman born under
the eleventh moon

it is now understood to be
a deliberately culled muscular
implement used
only on the winding way
of a man burned under
the oppressive soon

context is everything

Here’s another from Heidi. This one is a child’s wonderment at the things of this world.

Making Sense

First it’s something to see–
almost black among the greens and yellows,
scalloped around the edges like
crayon clouds or flowers,
clouds full of black hailstones–
or it’s a leopard-skin jellyfish.

Next it’s something to hold–
not weighty like a microphone
or a metal shower head,
but light and hollow, not plastic
and not wood, part smooth
and part ridged and rumpled.

Now it’s something to hear–
take it by the curving handle oh!
is that a stem? and shake, shake
shake–those blackish beads or
beans or oh! they’re seeds!
they make a marvelous rattling!

~Heidi Mordhorst 2016
all rights reserved

Donna Smith makes a simple poem reveal a truth of nature.  Love the alliteration, one of my favorite literary devices.  I think Donna is a little bit chilly in Maine, so she has thoughts of overcoats.

PODS

Purposefully plopping pondward
Out of open overcoat
Drooping, dropping down
Swamped seeds settle, silently sprout.

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

 

And Mary Lee chimes in with this little ditty.  She is a master at metaphor.

Day 10

when your plate is full —
seed ideas lined up in rows —
give thanks for fulsome seasons

–Mary Lee Hahn

 

Linda Baie finds the music in the lotus pod, the sound that remains after the blooming is done.  Is this a metaphor for life?

A Lotus Life

I remember that delicate blossom;
You burst with all life’s colors,
and the minutes moved,
the days passed.
More beyond the hues emerged.
You nourished;
we were thankful.
You gave all you were able.
At the end, the music remained,
only the music displayed.
It was enough.
Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

 

 

To write my own poem, I turned to form and tried out a Bio-poem. Laura Purdie Salas used this form with 3rd graders this week. See her post here.

Lotus
mystical, pure, beauty, enlightened
Daughter of Bodhi
Lover of muddy water, sun, and spring
Who feels spiritual, open to the light
Who gives wisdom, joy, and peace
Who fears storms, drowning, neglect
Who would like to see the ocean (Is it as blue as me?),
tomorrow (My life is fleeting.),
and world peace (Doesn’t everyone wish for world peace?)
Who lives in Atchafalaya Swamp
Who knows noble truths
Lily of the Mud.
–Margaret Simon

And here is Laura with another of my favorite forms, a Fib poem. Read more about Fib poems here.

Lotus Pod Fibonacci
By Laura Shovan

Three
brown
pods shake
rattle, roll.
Seeds fly. We stomp them
into the ground, part of the dance.

Molly Hogan was flying under the radar with her first attempt at haiku. This challenge is pushing us all to find what form fits best.

Day 10 –My first attempt at haiku.

Autumn maracas
Invite you to merengue
Shake a leg, baby!
–Molly Hogan

Catherine Flynn found the lyrics to the life cycle of a lotus at the New York Botanical Garden.

Photo and poem by Catherine Flynn, all rights reserved.

Photo and poem by Catherine Flynn, all rights reserved.

Buffy Silverman offers another haiku, which is the ultimate nature poetic form. Hard to capture a moment in few syllables.

dried lotus pods
shriveled and moored in mud
cradle tomorrow
–Buffy Silverman

What’s a poetry parade without Charles Waters? He bounced in with this sunshine.

LOTUS FLOWER (HEY BUDS)
Fuchsia covered buds
stretch out in praise of morning
revealing their sun-shined heart.

(c) Charles Waters 2016

lotus pods
seed mysteries
three days
of flowering
rebirth
an open heart

© 2016 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved

If you have a poem for today’s found object, put it in the comments and I will add it to the post. Thanks again for joining us and for reading all the way through to the end. Mardi Gras ended yesterday, but this is a joyful parade of poems to keep you passin’ a good time!

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

August oppresses me. I know I shouldn’t let it. But the heat and heaviness of the air gets to me. Yesterday was my anniversary. I’ve been married an amazing 33 years to the best guy in the whole world, but I was in no mood to celebrate. I was hot and tired. But then this came: a package and a poem.

poem gifts

Heidi Mordhorst sent me a poem. We are exchanging in the Summer Poem Swap designed by Tabatha Yeatts. Heidi visited Greece this summer. We had a connection because I went on a trip there 4 years ago. The image captures the amazing blue of the Aegean Sea. And her poem captures the magic. Thanks, Heidi, for lifting my soul.

Laura Purdie Salas is one of my favorite poets and teachers. She has a great website and has published a number of teacher aids for writing poetry with students. I can’t wait to share this newest publication with my students. Catch Your Breath: Writing Poignant Poetry.

School started this week. I haven’t started pulling my students yet, but I saw them and hugged them in the hallway. I love having this kind of connection with my kids. I teach them year after year, so our relationship strengthens each year.

At one of my schools, the year theme is reading and books. We all wore Dr. Seuss t-shirts on the first day. I love the quote on the back. Reading is magic. I strive again this year to open this magic door for my students.

Dr. Seuss t-shirt

What are you celebrating this week?

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Join the Poetry Friday Round-up at Life on the Deckle Edge with Robyn Hood Black.

Join the Poetry Friday Round-up at Life on the Deckle Edge with Robyn Hood Black.


Due to Robyn’s shoulder injury (Get well quick, Robyn.), Irene Latham has taken on the roundup today at Live your Poem.

Cicada molting animated-2.gif
Cicada molting animated-2” by T. Nathan Mundhenk – Edited version of File:Cicada molting animated.gif. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Taken by T. Nathan Mundhenk, in Centerville, Ohio USA July 30 2007. Each frame taken at 1 minute intervals. 30 minute gap in middle while cicada rested. The Cicada takes about 2 hours to complete the process.

This week was my first week back with my students. We read about bioluminescence of fireflies on Wonderopolis. This got me thinking about another insect, one that is loud at this time of year, the cicada. We read together two poems from The Poetry Friday Anthology of Science, Cicada Magic by Heidi Mordhorst and Cicada by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. We discussed the literary elements of imagery, rhyme, and personification. Then we wrote our own Cicada poems. Mine came out as an ode. One student’s response, “You’ve gotta love an ode!”

Ode to the Cicada

Your buzzy song rises
with the temperature.
Heat fans your wings
that saw the air
with sound.
You shed your exoskeleton
like a chrysalis
emerging larger and uglier
leaving behind a prize,
an ornament hanging on a tree,
a bronze clasp pen for my lapel.
Oh, cicada,
the memory of happy summer days
waiting, wondering,
whispering in wind’s ear
your creaky violin.
–Margaret Simon, all rigths reserved

This video is a quick look at the clouds outside with cicadas singing.

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