Tag Archives: spring break

Water Blues: NPM 2019 Day 12

How do you maximize your vacation on the day you fly out? Head to beach at the crack of dawn! The beauty of Hawaii is that the morning is warm and the beach pretty empty—perfect for that last dip in the cool blues of the sea.

And then 5 hours in the air gives quiet time for composing poetry. I’m not sure I quite got to any particular point…but maybe that is what poetry is all about. I followed the words, letting them lead me.

Day 12:

Water Blues

In the crack before dawn

morning rises fresh and new

dark becoming blue that

beckons us outdoors.

Breezes whisper nature’s secrets

in our ears

telling stories of

blow holes

and green shelled turtles

that give us reason to smile

and care.

Raindrops caress our faces

smoothing out the creases

of worry

carrying them deep

into the sea.

Stepping into the not-quite-warm

waters

where blue cools

concerns that churn

under the surface

splashing up waves

of frothy salty foam, intricate as lace.

Our eyes follow the lacy white

into a spectrum of blues:

the palest dance

along the surface

pirouetting into fine mist

keeping the air soft and moist

the darkest dive

deep

swirling with all the waters

through the ages.

Stories rise up

taking us on travels

through time and space

that skip and play like children

delighting in the unexpected

and wondrous.

Variations of blue

like a symphony

of sound and color

sing out

painting rhythms

on worry

sculpting melody

into hope

listen with all your senses

and you’ll hear the possibilities

as the sea performs

the water blues.

Plumeria: NPM 2019 Day 11

I know I’ve seen plumeria–those fragrant Hawaiian flowers–and some people even have them growing where I live in San Diego.  But somehow it slipped my notice that plumeria is a tree!  Today we took a walk through a plumeria grove–with many trees bursting with plumeria blossoms.

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Tonight, as we celebrated our last night here in Hawaii, my sweet husband decided I needed a plumeria lei.  It was such a treat to feel hugged by the tropics! The warm moist air encouraged the fragrance to emerge, perfuming both me and the air around me. Tonight’s poem tries to capture that moment using the brevity of Haiku.  Here’s my attempt:

Plumeria

Delicate blossoms

Strung with love around my neck

Tropical perfume

©Douillard

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At the End of the Day: NPM 2019 Day 8

I found myself wanting to write about blue again.  This place is all about blue and blue and blue…and then even more blue.  I thought I knew blue, but the variations in shades are keeping my eyes in a constant state of definition!

So, in resisting the urge to write about blue, I find myself wanting to reprise a poem I posted from one of my students on our William Carlos Williams day.  Caleb captured the wonder of that time after the exclamation point of sunset, when color expands in the sky…a watercolor painting, Mother Nature style.

Here’s Caleb’s piece (again):

​The Colorful Afterglow

So much depends

upon

a colorful

afterglow

swarming with

bright colors

beside the turquoise

ocean

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As I was thinking about this piece by Caleb, I wrote my own version as we chased the sunset at the end of our day today.

So much depends

on finding a path

that leads to the beach

in time to experience

the brilliance of sunset

against the roiling gray of clouds

threatening rain.

©Douillard

And you can see from my photo, we missed the “just right” sweet spot of sunset.  Luckily, we enjoyed the exploration, the just-after sunset experience, and the sweet afterglow of the post sunset sky.  After all, you can’t really go wrong in this beautiful setting!

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NPM 2019: Days 6 and 7

Somehow Saturday evaporated and Sunday appeared…it’s Spring Break, so my schedule is disrupted as I travel and enjoy some vacation time.  But I continue with the poem-a-day challenge…here are entries 6 and 7.

Day 6

Flight 297

They queue

single

file

into the heavy metal tube

soon

it will hurtle

through the sky

bird-like

but not.

Once inside

they vacillate

between

fear and boredom

seatbelts latched

tray tables too

eyes glazed

by movie after movie

restless to arrive

hours crawl

moving back in time.

As never-ending approaches

they

land.

©Douillard

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Day 7

A Blue Kind of Day

The day dawned blue

with light that warms

your shoulders

and your heart

Azure

Indigo

Ultramarine

Royal

Navy

Turquoise

Aquamarine

Sapphire

Teal

and all the colors nature invented in between

Blue that melts worries

lets you breathe deeply in and out

and calms the soul.

It was a blue kind of day.

©Douillard

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Spring Break: In 25 Words

Sometimes in writing (as in life), less is more.  Coming back from our spring break, we asked our students to zoom into some aspect of their spring break activities and compose a 25-word story to capture the experience.  25 words is short…and it’s not as easy as you might think to come up with a “story” in only 25 words.  But our first, second, and third graders gave it a try. Here’s a couple of examples (the links are to their published blogs–they would love comments if you have time!):

There is new growth in my family garden! Carrots are growing in nice soil (getting sunshine, too!) Making me want to eat the delicious vegetables!  (E.F.)

My brother fell out of a tree, he was in pain! He got crutches, he screamed a lot! Hopefully he didn’t break a bone! (M.B.)

My friends and I went to my Gramma’s house, we had tons of pure fun. We got lost sometimes but it was still extremely fun. (N.B.)

Biosphere two is an amazing place where the scientists are in Arizona, the desert and survived 2 years trapped, researching plant life in threemile greenhouse. (A.R.)

And then there is the student who writes the 25 word story…but can’t resist expanding on the story in her blog post!  (A girl after my own heart!)  Here is the 25 word version…you can click on it for her blog post.

Suddenly a foul ball comes hurling our way. It bounces, jiggles, is everywhere. It happens quickly but suddenly the ball’s in my brother’s sweaty palms. (M.O.)

And of course, I had to try to my hand at a 25-word story about my spring break.  It took me a number of tries to come up with this one…and I might have to try another dozen or so to really craft a story.  And I will include a few photos to enhance my words!

nashville mural

Toes tapping and fingers snapping, she explored the city along the banks of the Cumberland in her new cowboy boots. Her camera captured the details.

Nashville downtown

Cumberland river

 

 

Breaking Into Spring

Seems like spring has gotten a lot of attention this year.  Maybe the especially harsh and strung out winter in so many parts of the country has made people long for warmer weather, blue skies, flower blossoms, and baby animals.  Here where I live, winter forgot us this year…and yet, the yearnings for spring remain.

And this is spring break week for me.  People who know me well know that it is hard for me not to work, even when I have a week off.  But I am trying to make each day a bit of a treat.  Luckily, with some family visiting, that hasn’t been too hard to do.

Today’s treat was lunch out followed by a walk on the beach.  Since I spend plenty of time at the beach, taking pictures that are somehow different from those I have already taken becomes a priority.  We managed to hit the beach at low tide, and tide pools were exposed.  I came across this bivalve still attached to a piece of algae, opened–making it evident that the creature who once lived inside had left (or became some other creature’s lunch!).  These pools of water are fun to explore, especially while walking barefoot.

tide pool bivalve

And I always love sandpipers.  They are such energetic birds, and when they gather it reminds of a party.  They flit here and there, seeming to engage in small talk as they poke their long beaks into the sand for a tasty tidbit.  For a bit of variety, I played with filters and used a sepia tone on this version of the picture.

sandpipers in sepia

Even though it was warm today, into the 70’s even along the coast, sea breezes make the air feel cool and it’s evident that the trees along the shore deal with harsh breezes regularly.  As I looked up through this tree, I noticed the halo around the sun…an effect of the cloud cover.

beach sun

I’m enjoying a beachside spring break that isn’t about tropical drinks and sunbathing…although both sound appealing!  Instead, taking time on the beach is an opportunity to commune with nature, to appreciate the natural beauty, the cool breezes, the relaxing sounds of the surf and the chatter of the sea birds, and enjoy the company of my son and daughter-in-law.  Spring break is off to a great start!