Thursday, July 20, 2017

Poetry Friday -- Mid-Summer Reboot

It happens every summer

I reach summer's mid-point and realize that I have not accomplished half of what I wanted to before heading back to school. You know the gist...I want to

write more
finish a wip

take up yoga
clean out closets
exercise an hour a day
read my entire TBR pile
live off my backyard garden
cook healthy and lose weight
keep my kids from summer slide
encourage my kids to independently fight boredom
fill up with enough peace and harmony to last all through next school year.


This leads me headlong into that ohmygosh, ramped-up feeling. Fortunately, there is a cure--for me, anyway. I stop, drop and read. Tuesday, I cleaned up a "corner" of the basement and found some books that a teacher weeded from her classroom (she moved schools. sob). These books are not even on my official TBR pile--yet.

I sat down on the floor and began with Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown (Holt 2011). This picture book is not new to me....but I've not picked it up in a while. So, it felt new framed in my current ohmygosh state.

Each page is filled with words from Neruada's  poetry and life. The love of words slowed me down. I read it again, slower...and again.

I read and loved-on the words...feeling their heft and weight and edges. And then, I went and picked up another book, You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, by Carole Boston Wetherford....which led me to make lists of setting specific words (you can see my list here).  Then, I read and delighted in My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson (namelos, 2015) and enjoyed finding her playful and joyful use of form. The author notes about writing the poetry in this book inspire me to write.  

I am finding my mid-summer center and my calm. It is good. 

I'd love to know what you do when you need a re-boot!

Thanks to Katie at The Logonauts for hosting this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up. 


  1. Pablo Neruda is such a miracle of color, sound and scent, as if the world takes on extra layers of wonder through his eyes. I aspire to see the world his way. I've never read this kids book. I'll have to look for it. :-)

  2. There's a great Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where Calvin is racing around freaking out because summer is halfway over and he hasn't done everything he wanted to do. It's funny how we can actually wind ourselves up worrying about all the things we need to do that we can't actually do anything at all! Glad you've found your summer calm. :-)

  3. I love each of those books, Linda. If I need a re-boot, I generally go out walking. It carries my mind into a different place, which is good! Fun post!

  4. Oh no! Are we really half way through? (deep sigh) Your poem was the perfect nudge to get me moving. I usually get to the end of the summer and declare, "I don't know what happened!" -- Christie @

  5. I love your to-do list poem. I was actually just thinking about something similar this week--the list keeps getting longer, no matter how much I feel like I accomplish!

  6. Your summer task list looks a lot like mine! Books are a great escape and a way of grounding when we're feeling overwhelmed. You reminded me: in my kids' elementary school, they called it DEAR Time (Drop Everything And Read).

  7. Yes, especially, to your last line!

  8. I was feeling ohmygosh thoughts today, Linda, so your post brought me back to poetry love as an antidote. Thanks for reboot. I do have one of your summer poems-Love poem on rain. Do you want to post that one for Sunkissed Summer? I am sure that you will have others to share as well. Here's to finding peace and rebooting. Maybe that thought should become a poem.

  9. Linda, even though I recently retired from teaching, I feel like this summer is busier than ever with many of the same things on your list. Reading, going for walks (when my Achilles will allow), working on my WIP, and taking a few minutes to just stare out the window help. Enjoy these last weeks of summer, they always go by way too fast!

  10. I have to admit, the more I read your poem, the more I started to get that ohmygosh, ramped-up feeling, too! Hope you enjoy your reading time.

  11. I clattered down the steps down of your clever list (saw what you did there, Linda) & was in the basement with you, reading. I have opened up Neil Gaiman's, FORTUNATELY THE MILK to skim (see what I did there?) the clever Skottie Young art & will return to the Dad's wild tale later. Since you asked - my answer to the stopped-up, never-gonna-finish dread is to go outside & ramble as far as I can in the neighborhood. If I can break-away my hubby from his assignments, we get in the station wagon & ramble in the wilderness, always a calming curative.

    1. oops, to complete my thought - station wagon to trailhead & wilderness, then, commence walking in wilderness... dang my speeding keyboard...

  12. Glad you found that delicious book to stop you in your tracks and savour some poetry along with the rest of your ambitious summer fare. Your poem at the top took me back to summer breaks when I was a teacher. Two months (at least that was the length of our break) was never long enough to fit it all in!

  13. I love the list poem of all you want to do--it seems every season is like that at some point. Thank you for sharing the books you found. They all look amazing, but I especially like the one about the Tuskegee Airman. I will fall for anything about flying!

  14. Linda, your poem is terrific! There have been years when I had those "ohmygosh" moments everyday. I try not to get so worked up about it all anymore; I know it will all get done eventually. Like many others have said, walking and reading usually calm me down. The Pablo Neruda book is gorgeous. I haven't read the other two, but I love Marilyn Nelson and will have to look for My Seneca Village. Good luck with your list!

  15. Thank you for sharing, soulmate--I haven't reached that point yet this summer, haven't counted days to see if I've actually reached the chronological midpoint, but I feel you on that list (which doesn't even include the stuff we want to do for a new and improved classroom/library experience)! I'm excited to find out about the Neruda book--he's one of my favorites and I adore Julie Paschkis. Going to get it from the library this week!

    Also, I can recommend the 7-Minute workout for feeling like you're taking care of that business efficiently!

  16. "stop drop and read" -- great advice for a lot of situations!! Two thumbs up for Neruda therapy.

  17. My Seneca Village is on my TBR pile, too! Thanks for reminding me I still have it...somewhere? Enjoy the rest of the summer no matter how you spend it!

  18. Linda, so glad you are finding that mid-summer center at last. I know exactly how you feel. It makes me a little sad, but then I remember that there is a time for everything. Thank you for sharing your poem and new finds for the TBR pile. I especially thank you for your kind words to me this week.

  19. Thanks for all these rich book recommendations Linda, I've added a couple to my TBR list! I like your list poem. Enjoy the summer and what it brings!

  20. I remember doing the "to do" list when I was teaching. And there was never enough time to do it all. As you have found, then you have to find your center and engage in something consuming, immersing yourself in something that you certainly don't have time for during the school year! Enjoy! And don't worry about eating right and losing weight. You can do that later!

  21. Your poem's shape and content make a slippery slope that tumbles a teacher toward the inevitable. For once, I'm actually feeling like I accomplished a lot this summer, but I'm STILL in (controlled) panic mode about school starting and the loss of time for ME. I've loved moments like yours when I can get lost on a sidebar for hours without worrying about the mountain or avalanche of work such a detour will create!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!