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Posts Tagged ‘#tenfoundwords’

Poetry Friday is with Doraine at Dori Reads.

I joined a Facebook poetry writing group created by Laura Shovan.  We wrote poems during the month of February to ten found words from news articles. So many of us didn’t want it to end, so Laura extended the project. Each month one member puts up a prompt of 10 found words. This month Heather Meloche posted a spring poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.

EARLY SPRING

Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows’ wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,

hesitantly, reach toward the earth
from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees.
–Rilke

Heather’s selected words quickly came together in a poem for me.  The practice of writing poetry is a mystery.  Sometimes I can write, scratch out, rework, search for the just right word, and still end up with nothing worthy of sharing.  But this poem wrote itself.  I love it when that happens, so I continue to scratch each day and celebrate when the small miracles appear.

The Dance

Suddenly, my hardness of heart vanished
into the meadow of his eyes. My gaze traveled
rivulets of tender tears watering the earth.
Tree rises from the soggy ground like a goddess
holding her arms out in expression of pure joy.
We danced in the softness of her embrace.

–Margaret Simon

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Poetry Friday is with Karen Edmisten.

Poetry Friday is with Karen Edmisten.

As we continue our journey through Here We Go, the latest Poetry Friday Anthology book from Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, we encountered a totally timely poem by David Bowles, “Border Kid”.

You’re a border kid, a foot on either bank.
Your ancestors crossed this river a thousand times.
No wall, no matter how tall, can stop your heritage
From flowing forever, like the Rio Grande itself.

(from Border Kid by David Bowles)

We looked at similes and played with using them in our own poems. Emily wrote this sweet poem about Home.

Home
by Emily

Home is like a safe haven
where you are watched over and protected.

Home is like a nurturing mother
always taking care of you.

Home is like a vault,
holding all of your secrets.

Home is like a best friend
supporting you when you need it.

Home is like an answer
to your echo is a lonely room.

Home is like a book
with memories and stories to tell.

Home is like a gentle hand
reaching out to help.

Home is more that just a house.

I am learning more every day about writing poetry. As I participate in Laura Shovan’s daily challenge, I realize that poetry can be elusive. I try to follow the stream of my words, but sometimes they go astray. I am trying to be brave, write brave, and bravely post. The community is gentle and kind. Even when I bash my own poem with qualifiers like, “I am no good at rhyme,” someone finds something positive to say. I know the importance of critique groups. But when we write, especially poetry, we are vulnerable. The intentions of Laura’s challenge are different. We accept that it’s a drafting workshop. I try to apply this learning to my own classroom coaching. You are not going to hit the mark with every poem, but I encourage my students to give each exercise a shot and to post on our class blog. Writing can only get better with more writing.

I posted a poem that I wrote for #tenfoundwords to Today’s Little Ditty padlet. This month’s challenge from Jeannine Atkins is to write a personification poem about an emotion. I wrote this ditty about Mindfulness.

Mindfulness

Make an active mind, non-active
Re-awaken your innermost self.
Seek a word of peace,
Blow away resistance, fear, and dread.
Engage your attention to now,
Hold on with compassion and understanding.
The space left open is for love.

love-space

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Poetry Friday is with Jone at Check it Out.

Poetry Friday is with Jone at Check it Out.

With apologies to William Carlos Williams, who probably had little idea where his sweet plums poem would lead writers of today. On day 7 of Laura Shovan’s ten found words poetry challenge, my friend and writing group fellow Catherine Flynn wrote an apology poem. I immediately grabbed it as a mentor poem for my students. I also grabbed my copy of Joyce Sidman’s This is Just to Say Poems of Apology and Forgiveness.

this-is-just-to-say-book

This is just to say…
I broke the glass dish
so thoughtfully placed
on the tank of your toilet.

A large spider,
camouflaged in
a clump of flowery
soaps, surprised me
as I washed my hands.
A cryptic tan blotch,
shaped like the head of a shovel,
covered her abdomen.

Forgive me, but
she rattled my nerves.
She scurried away
when I tried to scoop
her into a tissue.
My hand upset the dish,
sending it crashing to the floor.

I didn’t want to kill her.
I wanted to return her to the garden,
where she’d be free to snare flies
in her shimmering web.

printed with permission from the author, Catherine Flynn

Catherine’s poem was written to the same selection of words I wrote snake cinquains last week. Lynzee remembered this and my story of being fearful of snakes, so she wrote this poem (in the voice of Mrs. Simon).

This is just to say,
Your lawn mower has a snake in it,
I was trying to kill it so
I ran it over.

It was a garden snake,
Slithering along the grass
Like a tiny green rope,
TERRIFYING!

Standing out against
The wheat colored grass,
Like a moving weed.

So I panicked,
And grabbed the first thing i touched,
The lawn mower.

I will buy a new one,
If you want.

–Lynzee, 2nd grade

We talked about whether you have ever eaten anything you weren’t supposed to eat. Andrew remembered sticking his finger into the butter. He grinned, “I love butter!”

This is just to say…

I ate the butter
out of the container yesterday.
It was delicious
like caramel chocolate

It was your fault
you left the top
open. Who doesn’t
take that chance?

I hope you have
some left for your
toast. I am so sorry.
I’ll try to buy more.

All I did was
stick my finger
in the butter. It
was out of control.

–Andrew, 4th grade

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Today marks post #1000 on my blog. Wow! This has happened one word at a time, one post at a time.  When I started this blog nearly 5 years ago, I had no idea where this writing journey would lead.  I have a wonderful community of friends through my connections with various weekly memes. Slice of Life was one of the first communities I joined. I appreciate all of you who read my musings. Here’s to the next thousand!

Through Poetry Friday, I connected with Laura Shovan. This year marks her 5th annual poem-a-day writing challenge for February, her birthday month. This year she’s hosting it on Facebook in a closed group. The theme is ten found words from current news articles. I check the morning post, copy the ten chosen words into a Google doc, and work on my poem whenever I have a chance throughout the day. At first, I didn’t want to have this much interaction with the daily news, but each article has been different. Not only am I reading poems, practicing writing, building community, I am also learning some amazing stuff.

nightly-sky-with-large-moon

On February 4th, the article was from earthsky.org, and I learned about the change in the moon’s orbit. Fascinating and certainly not an article I would normally have read. Sometimes the article informs the poetry, but more often the poems come from that inner poet, the one who surprises me constantly.

The axis turns
one rotation at a time
keeping in balance
this ancient path
tilting toward unity.

The gods knew this truth
when they painted pictures
in the night sky.

Our bodies want to return
to balance and knowing
and wandering; we look for a leader,
a shaman, a yogi master.

Analyze the words
of Langston, or Maya,
or Martin, and you’ll
see a common axis,
a dream that crept into each heart.

Spin around.
Face the stars.
Reach out.
Dream on.

–Margaret Simon

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