Tag Archives: ode

Odes: NPM #16

Today my students were introduced to odes. We began with the picture book, Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda and His Muse by Alexandria Giardino. The book shows Neruda finding inspiration in an ordinary onion from his garden.

After reading and discussing the book and thinking about the ways ordinary things are often overlooked and under appreciated, my students and I headed out to the school garden in search of the ordinary, knowing we would return to the classroom to write after snapping a few photos.

While Neruda’s original Ode to an Onion was a bit intimidating–it is a LONG poem for 8 and 9 year olds–they were excited to elevate the ordinary subjects they identified. We had poems about a roly poly, a stump, ice plant, a bucket, pea pods, a pine cone, and so much more. My own featured dandelions.

Ode to a Dandelion

Dandelion

ferocious queen of the urban forest

you stand strong and tall

in the face of all who

see you as nuisance

shape shifter

changing from brilliant yellow sun

to bleak crater of the moon

long witch fingers draw me in

after all my wishes

have blown to the wind

Dandelion

your medicinal qualities

have been lost to history

your nutritional benefits

discounted

with the label: weed

But when you polka-dot my yard

I smile

and see hope

in strength and resilience

When you are a giant puff-ball

children can’t resist you

they pluck you

inhale, then exhale

sending you out

planting seeds

of dreams for the future

Dandelion

like stars in the sky

you are too many to count

you thrive where you land

in sidewalk cracks

alongside abandoned buildings

Ferocious queen of the urban forest

grow tall, shine bright

let survival tell your tale

®Douillard

Ode to Decaf: NPM20 Day 14

I’m definitely feeling the poetic struggle as I reach mid-month.  My mind is on my students and figuring out how to support them in this distance learning emergency.  I’m housebound with little outside inspiration.  My neighborhood is nice–but it really isn’t evoking poetic thoughts right now.

So instead…I turn to thoughts of the coffee I drink every morning.  The coffee I crave…want…need…  And I know it’s not about a caffeine addiction, I switched to decaf more than a decade ago.  So today’s poem is an ode…to decaf.

Ode to my Decaf

 

I swim in its depths

the warm, dark steamy whirls

of decaffeinated comfort

 

earthy aroma

that spirals

from my mug directly

into my nostrils

 

steaming open my brain

loosening thoughts

opening the doors

to today

 

the whir of the bean grinder

echoes

the drip drip drip

a tympanic symphony

within the glass carafe

 

I come up for breath

wrapping my hands

around the ceramic

warming

from the inside out

 

for me

it’s not the caffeine

it’s the coffee

 

®Douillard

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Decadent Dessert: NPM 2019 Day 20

Some days are made for giving into temptation–this was one of them.  Dessert before dinner, yes please.  Where do you find the perfect banana split?  The places from our childhood memories no longer exist.  The local Dairy Queen went out of business over a year ago.  As we drove toward the beach for a walk, we caught a glimpse of the Handel’s ice cream place on the corner.  A quick internet search as we drove by confirmed, that yes, they do make banana splits!  So we added a walk to our walk.  After the beach walk, we walked to the ice cream place for a decadent dessert–before dinner.  The perfect topic for an ode!  (And yes, this is a quick draft…one that requires some more work!)

Ode to a Banana Split

Three sweet creamy mounds

strawberry, chocolate, vanilla

shoulder to shoulder

surrounded by nutritious

delicious (and healthy)

banana slices

more fruit runs down the hills

strawberry and pineapple

mingling with

night-dark chocolate

airy clouds of whipped cream

cling to the mountaintop

a ruby read cherry

shines like the sun

 

I succumb to this sweet temptation

happily shared

two plastic spoons

in perfect synchronicity

shovel in the sweet coolness

each bite

a tiny vacation

right here at home

©Douillard

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