Today for #verselove over at Ethical ELA, Anna invites us to pick a favorite day and write an acronym poem giving the reasons why. Indecisive seems to describe me today–I could think of so many reasons why each day of the week is my favorite. So, to solve that problem, I picked TODAY.
To decide was too much, concentrate instead on the moment, the now
Own each opportunity, observe carefully, orchestrate possibilities
Dance in the light, dust off the doldrums, decide to grab the joy within reach
Abandon burdens, anticipate with every sense, accept the now
Yank back the curtains, soak in the sun, seize this day: Today
Today’s #verselove prompt over at Ethical ELA gives explicit directions to break rules! Stacey introduced the idea of a Gogyohka poem–a liberated version of a Tanka–a 5 line poem without the restraint of syllable counts. Strangely enough, I had introduced Haiku to my young students yesterday, inviting them to write 3 line poems without strictly adhering to the traditional 5-7-5 format.
To inspire their writing, we headed outside again today, this time with iPads in hand in search of tiny perfect things. (We had read the book by the same name before heading out–looking for tiny treasures so often overlooked.) When you’re 6 or 7, nearly everything is a treasure. They love the poppies that grow along the fenceline, the spiral of the succulents with their variegated greens, and even the gas meter–a metal contraption–that they don’t recognize as having a particular function.
Today’s #verselove prompt over at Ethical ELA is the news. The news? I feel like there is so much I want to avoid about the news–especially for my writing. I considered all day just what take on the news I might embrace. And then the headline…out of our principal’s mouth during lunch today, “The queen bee has moved in…” That’s the news I am going with!
The queen bee has moved in
and her kingdom is swarming near the classroom door
Quirky is a word I love, but still, when I saw it as the #verselove prompt by Kim over at Ethical ELA I felt at a loss. What poem will I write that fits this category?
It’s our first day back after Spring Break–and my first April day with my students. We primed ourselves for National Poetry Month before Spring Break at the end of March by writing a collaborative Poetry Is poem. And today, I brought out a favorite Eve Merriam poem, Peeling an Orange to serve as a mentor text for students. (You can see my experimentation on day 1 of National Poetry Month.) We’ve studied a poem each week of the school year, laying down an appreciation for and familiarity with poetry and the interesting language it is known for. And we write poetry regularly–I love short writing forms (for all ages) and the permission to break rules that poetry allows.
I lay out all of this to establish my own quirkiness as a teacher of writing. My expectations for the 6 and 7 year olds in my class are sky high–and when it comes to writing, they seldom let me down. I establish early on my love for egrets–they make a great writing topic that my students come to know and expect. While they didn’t know much about them early in the school year, they are quite familiar with them now.
Finally–get to the point already! When I picked my students up after lunch today they rushed me, so excited they simply couldn’t stay in line. Mrs. Douillard–there was a snowy egret! What?! I was looking around the playground. Really? A snowy egret on the playground? No–it was flying over the playground. I missed it–but they loved it and loved knowing that I would love it. So, inspired by my students and their excitement, my quirky poem is a Haiku capturing this moment.
snowy egret flies
yellow footed pistons tucked tight
And here I circle back to the first grade poets I love and teach and their Peeling an Orange inspired poetry.
B wrote about lizards
Catching a Lizard
the second hand
in all different
shapes and sizes
not very easy to see
but they are still very
R wrote her own quirky piece
A fuzzy bushy fearless fighter rodent
when he bites you you immediately put your hand on your cut
Today’s poetry prompt is to write a definito, a definition poem, as described by Margaret over at #verselove at Ethical ELA. As is usual for me, I was inspired by a walk on the beach today…a walk in the deep gray of a thick marine layer that has blotted the sun. Here’s my definito (which likely is breaking all the rules of a definito).
Somehow Dixie over at Ethical ELA conjured this heron into my path today…the day she offered bird as our #verselove poetry prompt. Thanks Dixie–readers here know I love my egrets…and their cousin, the great blue heron is a welcome sighting any day!
Participating in #verselove over at Ethical ELA feels like a daily workout, faced with innovative approaches to poetry that I might not otherwise attempt. And today is no different. Today Scott has challenged us to show something without telling. So here goes…
Don’t let them fool you
It’s all about the shoes
pulled on over two pairs of socks
a smooth, thin inner layer
and soft cushy outer layer
crissed and crossed
hooked and tightened
tied in a double knotted bow
These boots are made for walking
And they log miles
into squelching mud
across crunching gravel
beside trickling streams
Heading nowhere and everywhere
filling my ears
and windy symphonics
the scritch of lizard toes
echoing thump, thump of woodpeckers
the chasing race of squirrels
My faithful friend
gives me a lens
to see anew
snapping scenic vistas
noticing nature’s intricate and unexpected artwork
heightening awareness and concern
for Earth’s fragile beauty
Each footstep connects me
to my breath
to the planet
to these booted feet
These feet were made for walking
(Showing hiking without telling that I hike…with my camera!)
On day 7 of National Poetry Month, I have faced the most difficult challenge ever! As you know from Day 3, I don’t identify as a music person and today’s challenge was to use a song structure to write new lyrics. Chris over at Ethical ELA was generous, offering his song as structure and giving writers an out–if it doesn’t work for you, do something else. But…the point is to try…right?!?
So after a day spent in 100 degree temperatures learning about and photographing power generating windmills, I just had to figure out how to say something with a song structure. Since music is definitely a challenge for me, I asked my husband what song he might think of related to our exploration today. And he offered up the old classic, They Call the Wind Mariah from the movie Paint Your Wagon.
I listened and hummed…and tried my own (amateur-ish) attempt at song writing. This will definitely not be up for any Grammys, but I hope you get a bit of a glimpse of what a windmill farm is all about.
Today’s poem was inspired by the desert beauty of Joshua Tree National Park and the poetry prompt from Mo over at Ethical ELA as part of April’s #verselove. Today’s poetry comes in the form of a cherita–as Mo describes it: a 6 line story in 3 stanzas. First stanza is a single line, second stanza has 2 lines, and the third stanza has three lines. WordPress sometimes fights with me over formatting–so hopefully this will bear out as intended!
In this land life is hearty: thin and sharp
When water–life’s blood–arrives
natives drink their fill, not sure when the next sip will arrive
Living in this harsh world, extremes equal balance
hot and cold hold hands / wet and dry play tag
beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everywhere if you know where to look