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Posts Tagged ‘Summer Poetry Swap’

Tabatha is gathering a stew of Mac & Cheese poems today for Poetry Friday.

Tabatha sent out a call for a poetic celebration of Mac&Cheese for today, National Mac&Cheese Day. I stopped making Mac&Cheese long ago when my girls began to understand and worry about nutrition.  Mac&Cheese is packaged processed food, Mom.  Don’t you know it contains chemicals?

Now my cooking skills are not of the caliber to make Mac&Cheese from scratch.  My son-in-law made it for Thanksgiving a few years ago.  It was delicious, but he made it in vats, so we had to give some away. I have to admit it was better than anything ever made from a box.

For my Mac&Cheese poem, I decided to use a form.  Form helps me when I don’t know what to write.  I chose the Zeno form created by J. Patrick Lewis that follows a syllable count of 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1.  I think it’s quite corny, but if anything calls for a side of corn, it’s Mac&Cheese.

 

Tabatha also coordinates the Summer Poetry Swap.  This week I received a most precious set of salt & pepper shakers for my bayou home from Irene Latham.  She also sent a wonderful Nikki Grimes’ style word exploration poem in honor of my recent work-in-progress, Bayou Song.  Thanks, Irene for brightening up a rainy summer day on the bayou.

 

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

 

For the last several years, I have participated in Tabatha Yeatts’ Summer Poetry Swap.  I sent my gift and poem off last week to a poet-friend and promptly forgot that I would receive one, too.

Surprise in the mail is so exciting!  I recognized the signature as the famous Tricia Stohr-Hunt of Miss Rumphius Effect, a fabulous site of poetry love.  What I love about this poem is the extent Tricia had to research.  She learned so much about bayouland.

I’ve been stupid for a long time not knowing the Miss Rumphius Effect reference.  Until today and Ruth’s Celebrate post: “One of my favorite picture books (as if I could select a favorite) is Miss Rumphius. In it, Miss Rumphius is challenged by her grandfather–
You must do something to make the world more beautiful.” Now I know that Tricia’s call is to make the world more beautiful with poetry.  That is what she does.  Thanks, Miss Rumphius (Tricia) for your gift to the world of poetry.

 

What does a Yankee know of the bayou?

The science teacher knows
coastal wetlands,
the evolution of the Mississippi delta,
the brackish, slow moving water.
The naturalist knows
the Bald cypress and tupelo,
the pelican and egret,
the alligators.
The historian knows
the Chitimacha and Acadians,
West African slaves,
pirates and riverboats,
the reach of the Civil War.
The Yankee poet knows
the bayou only in her dreams,
so when putting pen to paper
meanders like the Teche,
through moss-draped live oaks,
and sun-kissed swamps.

–Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2017 all rights reserved

Bookmark “In my book, you’re pure poetry.”

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

Kristina bulletin board

Kristina is a master with a stapler.

This week I prepared my two classrooms at two schools for back-to-school next week.  I was blessed to have helpers.  In one classroom, one of my students appeared.  Her mother was in a teacher workshop, so she was hanging out at the school helping out where she could.  At the end of the year, I have to pack up the books so that the floors can be cleaned, so Lani re-shelved the books.  I told her she could choose her own sorting method, so she put together books by the same author.  I’m sure the order will change once kids start pulling them out to read, but it’s nice to start the year with some kind of order.

At another school, my friend Kristina came to help.  She handled the stapler for the bulletin board and shelved my mountain of books.  She decided to order books by genre, and she even made signs for the shelves.

Kristina makes signs for the book shelves.

Kristina makes signs for the book shelves.

I celebrate my little helpers and that feeling of anticipation that comes with a new school year.

Poetry gift from Carol Varsalona.

Poetry gift from Carol Varsalona.

I celebrate the summer poetry swap.  I got this gift from Carol Varsalona.  Carol has a unique talent of pairing photos with poems and creating timeless images.  Her poem is a riddle poem about a fan.  I can use a fan when temperatures climb to 90+ daily, but this one is too pretty to use.  She also sent a necklace of handmade beads from paper.  Carol wrote, “The women in Masese, Uganda wove the beads from paper that is hung to dry. With the proceeds we built an elementary school where 550+ children are educated, fed two meals a day, and have clean water. The mothers of Masese are proud jewelry makers who now can make a living to raise their children.” I will proudly wear the beads.  Thanks, Carol.

happy rock
I celebrate Iberia Parish Rocks!  My husband found this rock on his doorstep on Friday.  He texted it to me.  That evening we saw an article in the paper about a Facebook group painting happy rocks to leave around town.  What a great project for just spreading a bit of joy!

 

My summer is quickly coming to an end, but what a summer it has been.  I am so grateful for my amazing trips to Tanzania, Africa and Old Bedlam Farm.  I am also grateful for lazy days spent with my constant companion, Charlie.  I wish I could take him with me to school.

Charlie

Charlie

 

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Diane at Random Noodling.

Poetry Friday round-up is with Diane at Random Noodling.

 

summer poetry swap (2)

Receiving a gift is exciting, and Tabatha Yeatts knows this.  Each summer she organizes a poetry swap.  She sends each participant a list of names and addresses, dates, and prompts.  Then the fun begins.

This week I received a gift from Doraine Bennett of Dori Reads.  Her poem gift was an original recipe for summer break.  In the poem-recipe, she mentions blowing bubbles, a good book, and a cup of tea, so her gift included these goodies: a selection of teas, a bubble blowing kit, and an old book, The Poet’s Homecoming by George MacDonald.  She collects MacDonald’s books. “George MacDonald is one of my favorite authors. He has a remarkable ability to impart the love of God through fiction. I’ve collected all of his books over the years and given many away.”  The original publication date is 1887.  What a thoughtful gift!

Recipe for Summer Break

Take one blue sky.
Place yourself gently
underneath the grand expanse.
Allow the azure to settle like goose down.
Watch it shift from moonstone to sapphire
and soften to a light cornflower haze.
Add a good book. One by an author
who knows what he knows and kneads
his wisdom with gentle, but sure hands.
Simmer with the scent of water,
pink orchids, and wisteria.
Sprinkle with long walks, quiet
conversations, and bird song.
Reserve some time to listen
to the one who knows you best.
Blow bubbles.
Find a puddle,
splash until done.
Heap with grace.
Enjoy with a strong cup of tea.

–Doraine Bennett, all rights reserved.

Summer Poetry Swap gift from Dori.

Summer Poetry Swap gift from Dori.

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