Thursday, December 28, 2017

#haikuforhealing '17

Poetry Friday...

is hosted this week by Heidi, at my juicy little universe. Be sure to stop by to enjoy her talents of poetry and sharing.

Thank you, Mary Lee Hahn, for inviting all to #haikuforhealing in December. I love how Catherine Flynn describes this as a "shift into low gear."  

With each haiku, written or found (selecting a 5-7-5 syllable pattern from existing text) below,  a caption details inspiration for the words. 

Each haiku is paired with an image, so they are more haiga (Hagia are typically painted by haiku poets, and often accompanied by a haiku poem) than just haiku.  

Many are online stories. Click for further reading if you wish.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Our 21 Most Popular Stories of 2017.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 22 Dec. 2017

Inspired by a photo from one of my sweet pastors at Grace United Methodist Church

Mountains!”Twitter,Twitter, 11 Dec. 2017,

Johnson, Kimberley. “Women in the Military Risk Their Lives Fighting for America and They Do NOT Have Constitutional Protection against Gender Discrimination. @renato_mariotti Is Running for IL AG and He's Fighting for Those Women! #Renato4AG #RatifyERA Learn More: Https://” Twitter, Twitter, 22 Dec. 2017,
Inspired by photos from  one of my beautiful pastors at Grace United Methodist Church, Denise Childers

Interior, US Department of the. “Our Most Popular Pic Last Week: This Incredible #FullMoon 🌕 Photo @DenaliNPS in #Alaska” Twitter, Twitter, 11 Dec. 2017,

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Whirlwind Trip

Happy Poetry Friday

Don't miss festivities at Thanks for hosting this busy week, Buffy!

My whirlwind poetry trip began Thanksgiving weekend when friends, reminded me of their invitation to me to go home with them to NYC. We've been talking about it for ages. And, we finally did it, traveling by train to New York and back to DC in a quick twenty-four hours or so.

I hadn't been to NYC forever. It was a treat to stay in Greenwich Village.

I found beautiful words everywhere. 

At Pennsylvania Station, we found an envelope from Minnesota stuffed with dollar-bill origami and what looked like the beginnings of a poem or a prayer on a seat. 

The maker was long gone. Maybe it was left to be found?

On the subway...

In the library between the lions, Patience, and Fortitude

And in the book I packed in my bag in case I had a minute to spare for reading--I didn't. That's OK. Winter break starts today!

The best poetry of all, of course, was time with my friends. We talked and laughed and looked and enjoyed all of it.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Delights of Winter Poetry Swap '17

Hooray! Another Poetry Friday has arrived. This week is wonderful as I have received a gorgeous package of winter poems by Jone McCulloch. She's far from me in physical distance but close in her love of nature and poetry. Allow me to share some goodies from her...

First, the package was wrapped beautifully in the spirit of the season.

My curious teens helped open it and they were impressed first with the photography.I have two artsy types that love animals and photography. So, they really enjoyed Jone's card, as did I. 

The found poem below is from an antique page of  Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past Vol. 1. Which is a lovely work to learn about. Thank you, Jone.

Jone included a lovely calendar full of her photography and haiku which is going to my desk at work to remind me of moments that are quiet and beautiful outdoors (I don't have great windows to see nature from my desk).

Finally, an extra copy of Here We Go is MUCH appreciated as teachers in my school form small "book clubs" and this copy will give me just enough books for a club. I can't wait to see where this book invites students to go!

Thanks also to Tabatha Yeatts, another talented lady who organized the poem swap efficiently and with great love for poets. She really gave gifts to all of us with her organization and time.

Please enjoy much more Poetry Friday this week with host Diane Mayr at her inspirational website, Random Noodling.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons 12/8/17

You know when you're hiking with friends that are faster or more experienced than you...and they wait uphill for you to catch up and then move as soon as you do because they've rested (but you haven't)? 

That's kinda how December feels for me. Phew! I'm looking forward to Winter Break.

This week, Poetry Friday is hosted by Lisa on her Tumblr blog, Steps & Staircases. Our host asked us to respond to the prompt When life gives you lemons... 

Here is my quickly dashed off response with a free pic from pixabay. Maybe I can catch my breath and gather energy from some of my Poetry Friday friends also participating.

Free Image on Pixabay - Anise, Star Anise, Lemon, Cinnamon.” Free Photo: Anise, Star Anise, Lemon, Cinnamon - Free Image on Pixabay - 1061547

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Thank Goodness for Poetry Friday! Three cheers for hosts Franki and Mary Lee for hosting this week’s celebration (click on the purple banner below to enjoy lots more).

Last week, as I finished making PF rounds I had a different idea of what I wanted to share this week. Then, on Tuesday morning I saw this:

Margaret had some thoughts on a soon to be released story in poems, Can I Touch Your Hair? by Irene Latham and Charles Waters (Lerner Jan 1, 2018). Then…..I arrived at school, where a copy I had requested at AASL was in my mailbox. A colleague watched me open the envelope and exclaimed….oh, my gosh…that’s actually happened to me!  I knew I would share Can I Touch Your Hair? this week.

I came home from school Tuesday and read the book. And then, I read the book again slower. Now, you might be ready for me to gush and oooooh and ahhhhhhhhh over Can I Touch Your Hair? That’s coming, I promise. But, I need to share my first impression.

Mind you, my first impression was stubbing its toes on memories of my former self in fifth grade, when I wasn’t nice to C. C. and then in High School when I thought I was funny by flippantly spouting something racist at a sporting event. And….well, I don’t really enjoy telling any more on myself.

See, this book kind of gets ya…. Because, if you are going to get this book, the words and illustrations are going to be windows and mirrors. I’m not always happy with how people in my world see each other or, treat each other….and I’ve certainly had my share of missteps and misunderstandings of those who are different than me (see above).

Can I Touch Your Hair? Addresses race directly….and humanly and poetically. 

Making mistakes is part of Irene and Charles’ story. It’s a story of how two kids who don’t know each other and don’t think that they can become friends figure it out… misunderstandings and all.

Back in September, I saw the pic below on Sara Lewis Holmes’ Facebook page. I love how the questions prompt me to think about a work.

Can I Touch Your Hair? Is a story about two kids last to be picked as buddies forced to partner-up. The other story is learning how to befriend someone you think is too different from you to befriend.

This story makes me feel that understanding is possible….that being human is OK. Understanding starts when I'm open to opportunities. When I look up from my shoes.

Can I Touch Your Hair? is powerful in the way free-verse allows readers to empathize with characters, Irene and Charles. We get to watch them grow--as we grow in our understanding through reading. Yet, pastel illustrations by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko move the story gently. Painted and found-art collage brings each character’s world closer and closer together, giving space for poetry to breathe. 

Irene and Charles’ poems allow readers to see ourselves in their mirror and through a window at their budding friendship.

Can I Touch Your Hair? Is a beautiful work of art and a must read as soon as you can get your hands on a copy. I will award you bonus points if you read it aloud to young people.

I’m so happy that this work is coming into our world soon. I look forward to sharing the joy of this story with lots and lots and lots of people….like me and different.

Many, many congratulations to our Poetry Friday friends, Irene  and Charles.