Thursday, July 28, 2022

July 29...The Last Friday

Hello Poets,

I am away from my writing table and in one of my favorite places -- visiting family. I return home Sunday and set my alarm for Monday morning--time to report to work. There are hundreds of rising sixth graders ready to learn about their new school. Wheeeee!

In the meantime, here is haiku inspired by this amazing pic posted on Twitter. I've also added to Star's padlet.

I'll catch up with responses as I can -- possibly from an airport gate. Thanks for reading, and for responding and keeping poetry alive over this summer.

Finally, thanks to  for hosting our round-up this week. I cannot tell you the number of poets and writers I have referred to her website for writing tips and support. She's kind of amazing!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Poetry Found Me This Week. You?

Hello Poets,

Except for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere...we are sweating away in my part of the world. I'm grateful that it's not as extreme for me as friends in the UK or the midwest USA. How are you all holding up?

This past week instances of poetry found me. I love it when that happens! 

The poetry offered felt like it was delivered to me personally. A little prescription for my ears and brain that help me understand the world. 

The first instance was a four-and-a-half-minute spot on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

Like a majority of Americans, I am unfamiliar with military life, soldiering, and war. Yet, war has come for us these days--at least on three continents. I'm grateful to John Duffy for using poetry to paint pictures of even what is terrible. 

The second instance was when listening to this 24-minute Scholastic podcast (free)

Representative John Lewis passed away just over a year ago. He too was in combat with a different enemy and different wounds from survival. One of the great stories of his life was the friendship he formed with young Tybre Faw who read Lewis' favorite poem, Invictus, at his friend's funeral. Author Andrea Davis Pinkney captured that friendship in a picture book that I am going to make sure my students have access to.

I'm reminded of the phrase, "such a time as this." Sometimes we make history and sometimes history makes us. In either case, those that can distill the experience into understanding for others are heroes. I am grateful for poetry that aims to prevent us from making mistakes of the past.

This past week, Ethical ELA had some awesome poetry prompts that I will be taking to my lesson planning time. This Japanese form, introduced by poet-teacher Mo Daley, inspired the newest poem on Star's padlet.

I hope you have a great week and poetry finds you. 

Thank you, A(nother) Year of Reading, for hosting this week's round-up!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

I'm out with lanterns...

Hello, Campers!

Oh, my gosh this summer! I love it--never want it to end. Last weekend I was at a wedding that was perfect in every way. It wasn't just the gorgeous venue and beautiful day but was for the son of a dear friend whose wedding I was in some decades ago. The groom is the first child of our college friend group to marry...and the whole circle-of-life experience with a ton of love and happy tears was fantastic!

I know you won't be surprised that I found a little nook on the patio. Isn't it amazing how Miss Dickinson's quote decorates it so prettily?

catching stars in the wild photo by Linda M.

Thank you to "anonymous" for the fabulous clunker left in my post comments last week. Unfortunately, blogger seems to be over-securing itself...labeling friends as Anonymous. I'm sorry I don't know who the commenter was! Argh. I grabbed Anonymous' line to fiddle with this week.

If you'd like a "clunker" line please take one from last week's post. Be sure to leave me an old cast-off line from your work to play with in exchange (directions are in the post).

The evening before last week's wedding, I walked around the city and saw a street performer wearing moon and stars. That star performer is now on the padlet: 

Unexpected Intersections is hosting our round-up for the week. Thank you, Elizabeth!

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Spiritual Journey Thursday

Hello Friends,

July 6th is a curious day in my life. It's my husband's birthday. And, it's the anniversary of my mother's passing.

Very few remember the anniversary of my mother's death -- as it should be. My immediate family growing up taught me that life is for the living and to look forward. 

My husband is one of those guys that really and truly doesn't want a fuss on his birthday--which is fine. But, as his chosen opposite (lol), I love to celebrate!

You might not be surprised that I spent a big part of yesterday tearing apart rooms in my house to clean and organize. It was very much like pulling a thread on a garment--there's no end! I needed more junk holders (baskets, boxes, bins) which I prefer not to purchase(no more stuff, please). I went searching through my house for junk holders that could be emptied and re-purposed in a newly cleaned and organized room.

I did stop to make my husband's favorite meal and we did celebrate quietly.

Life has been challenging these past few years. Time to clean, sort, and organize allowed memories and good thoughts, prayers, and ideas to flow without negativity. I'm so thankful for that. My spirit is stronger for it today.

How are you doing, friend?

mixed media collage. Linda M. '22

Clunker Exchange '22

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Welcome to a third annual clunker exchange!

Below are lines from poems I've written over the past year that make me wince. I call them clunkers. They are a bone pile of lines that I might (probably won't) pick up and fix up someday.

In the meantime, I'm giving clunkers away! 

In exchange...give me one of your clunkers that I can work with to make into a shiny new poem. Leave one clunker from your drafts in the comment section below. Take any one clunker (or more--they are free) from my list below and use it as a prompt, a striking line, or a bit of something new you write. 

Beyond fixing!

I'd love to know if you are successful in refurbishing a clunker. 

  • We don’t want you to worry/
  • To light candles or say novenas/They aren’t necessary.
  • It’s OK…even though I never thought I’d have to do this alone
  • the spending of your hours/Autumn leaves falling fast
  • There wasn’t much poetry
  • then sleep ‘neath the starry sky we share
  • a whole sun’s rise to share.
  • I put a sprig of lilac in the bud vase
  • See those stars? They have already died
  • Once a blue moon, brilliance is pressed between pages of meticulous notes 
  • That’s what you wrote about the green beans
  • love and attention I gulped in and took for granted as air and sky and rain
  • cradling clouds like morning
  • except for two newcomers/slowly turning pages--
  • a banquet of learning/for hungry eyes.
  • and I am sweeping winter away
  • new green pushes/pushes up from the ground–breathless/and running late
  • Housewife-ing prescribed children, laundry, /gardening, canning, cleaning, and writing letters to home.
  • But tucked inside each letter a seedling wants rain

Can a clunker be saved?

Star padlet has been updated: 

The incredible Jan at Bookseeds Studio is hosting this week. Drop by and share some love with her. Thanks for hosting, Jan!

p.s. I'm out of pocket for a wedding this weekend...I'll catch up on posts asap!