Thursday, September 28, 2023

Double Dactyl Giggles

Hello Poets!

I had fun reading Tracy Kiff-Judson's double dactyls last Friday. 

This week, as I was perusing Pinterest, this graphic of the best words popped up in my feed. 

Double Dactyl form and some great words

How could I resist such fun words and then try to poem? I had to give writing double dactyls a try:

Linda's double dactyl giggles 9/29/23

Thank you, Jama, for hosting our Poetry Friday fun at your Alphabet Soup. I find so many good ideas from you there!


Last week, Irene Latham reminded us that there are just 14 weeks left of our year. Oh, my goodness...WORD and I were shocked. We've been having so much fun. But also, I am at that point in my OLW '23 that WORD is chasing me rather than me looking for it! 

Wouldn't you know, this week WORD caught me with this facebook photo. It's posted by one of my favorite paper crafters, Jennifer Collier (that's her typewriter made entirely of old papers). 

And, look! A list of artists that use text in their art. That's 14+ additional sources of art to find WORD. The first play session is on this week's padlet. Take a peek.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Write a fable find a poem

Hello Friend,

It's Friday. Hooray! This week included late afternoon appointments, house guests and, a back-to-school night at work only to be topped off with a flu shot. Hoo boy! I think I'll use this weekend to sleep, sleep, and get a little more sleep.

A few weeks ago, our friend Robyn, shared that she had a book of fables coming out. I excitedly ordered a copy of Out on a Limb: A Book of Fables (Core Essential Values. 2023). 

I loved fables as a kid and taught a lesson using fables with students last year.

Classic Aesop fables, as translated into English aren't easy for today's kids, and English language learners to enjoy. 

Someone should update fables, I thought...and so CEV with help from Robyn has. Thank you!

Out on a Limb contains ten beautiful fables in the classic tradition with updated storylines, new-to-fable animals, science facts, and great discussion questions. These stories, as fables do, share positive lessons on being a good human.

It's difficult to choose a favorite fable from  Out on a Limb. But, to give you a taste of the writing, here is a tiny bit from The Vulture and The Turkey

                "We all live; we all die," said the Vulture.

                The other birds looked at each other.

                "Well, we vultures take care of the dead bodies," she continued.
                "That means, we keep disease               
                 away. You don't get sick, and then you can sing,
                drill holes, or strut around as you please."

                No one spoke.

                "You know the saying, It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it?"
                the Vulture asked. "Well, I am somebody."

After reading Out on a Limb, I thought I'd write my own fable. After several poor starts, I learned just how challenging it can be! I finally scribbled out a beginning, middle, and end of a fable about a jaguar cub (my school's mascot is a jaguar). I found a lesson from a list of Reminders For Hard Days from WholeHearted School Counselor on Teachers Pay Teachers. That really helped me set the moral of the story.

Here's the fable...don't feel obligated to read it. I summarize the highlights in the poem below from words found throughout the fable.

Thank you, Robyn, for sharing your new book with us. I love it! 

Now fly, hop, skitter, or skedaddle on over to Carol at Beyond Literacy for a delightful helping of Poetry Friday. She's back from summer and hosting our round-up this week.

There's a new blitz poem on word's padlet

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Thank you, Summer!

This is it, friends...the last weekend of summer.

Ooooh, it's been a good one. I'm sorry to see it go. The promise of pumpkin spice and apple pie keeps me from being too sad.

goodies from Rose Capelli and Carol Wilcox. Summer 23

One of my summer favorites is the summer poetry swap hosted by Tabatha. I love making things with other poets in mind and receiving fun goodies delivered by snail mail. As part of my farewell and thanks to the season of summer, I'm saying thank you, poet friends as well.

Goodies from Marcie Atkins and Denise Krebs

The Word Padlet has a bit of reflective poetry today with The Middle Word.

Thank you too Rose at Imagine the Possibilities for hosting our round-up this week.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Museum on the Moon: a review

Hello Friends. Thanks for being here!

I'm celebrating the publication of Irene Latham's most recent book, The Museum on the Moon: The Curious Objects on the Lunar Surface (Moonshower '23) Hooray!

In June, Irene invited all of us to write moon poems to welcome this new book into the world. Maybe you wrote one like I did? But, just like a late party guest, we mistake for the birthday girl to shout SUPRISE! there was a bit of a delay for Museum on the Moon to make her debut. Sigh...we've been waiting ever since. 

As I type this, Amazon is having a tough time keeping up with pre-orders for this book--and I'm not surprised. It's beautiful.

The first beauty of MOTM to notice is the color palette of white, blues, orange, and teal. Illustrator Myriam Wares's art for these twenty-one poems about the moon during the years of the US Apollo missions is a mix of lunar cool and kid-friendly invitation.

The poems vary in style from acrostic to ghazal, golden shovel, triolet, and more. Each is paired with short, factual prose about objects on the moon that have turned Earth's closest natural satellite into a curious sort of museum.

There's a sweet poem about a family photo, a memorial poem for astronauts who gave their lives to the space program's development, and a sentimental poem for a man whose ashes were taken to the moon.  Latham has also included poems about things inquisitive kids want to know like what happens to poop when humans are on the moon.

Backmatter in MOTM describes the important people and events of the Apollo missions including the Soviets who inspired, competed with, and even helped NASA sometimes. We poets can soak up the wonderful descriptions of poetic forms and get a peek into Irene's amazing process of creating the book from a form index. 

My favorite poem from this book has to be, 'Lunar Library.' 

From The Museum on the Moon by Irene Latham. Illustrated by Myriam Ware. Moonflower Press. 2023

Of course, my fingers itched to poem back.

Lunar Librarian for the Museum on the Moon

Little free moon library you say?

One sun-bleached Bible inside?
Oh, my--that won’t do!

Young readers are coming; lunar-kids,
with curiosity and imagination–
they’ll be here soon!

Moon newbies need good story books,
cosmic jokes, celestial novels,

and cartoons.

And bedtime poetry. Owl Moon, Goodnight Moon,‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,
or, If You Were the Moon.

With young readers coming they’ll want to know
about the place itself, books of  moon facts
to be attuned. 

to the quiet, pull of the moon on ocean tides,
lovers, witches on brooms. and night owls who

hoot a verse or two.

Linda Mitchell 9/8/23

I hope you'll pick a copy of The Museum on the Moon to share with your favorite people.  Or, ask your local library to order a copy to share with lots of young people. That's what I've done. 

Congratulations to Irene on her beautiful and slightly overdue book. I've enjoyed it immensely and learned a thing or two about the Apollo missions along the way.

Thank you to Amy who is hosting our round-up this week at The Poem Farm this week. 

Word's poem on the padlet today is also a response to Amy LV's 2010 poem, Word Blanket.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

September's Grace & Butterfly People


Thank you, Patricia, for giving us some time to think about your wonderful prompt, life at the speed of grace. This past weekend was four days long for me...and, I consider that a bit of grace.

School has started with students, and so far, so good. My colleagues and I are pleased with the very normal kid stuff our sixth graders are showing and familiar with the 7th and 8th graders still working out how they will navigate middle school.

Happy September Dance Linda Mitchell 

I entered the holiday weekend with a long to-do list as I usually do. And, I made sure I had time for writing and art.  I can lose myself in both these activities. I forget to be aware of time and enjoy the process of typing words, erasing, fixing, typing more words as well as cutting, gluing, and layering re-cycled paper into new things...and then find a sink full of dishes I meant to wash. Ha!

Bon Voyage. Linda Mitchell

I allowed myself time to make whatever came to mind...I allowed myself to play! I've started a new steampunk-themed junk journal and lots of butterfly people.

Butterfly people make me happy. I make them for cards and journals and just for fun. 

Nice Day for a Ride. Linda Mitchell

These butterfly people cards are for my Dad's generation of family. I tucked photos from our July family reunion into them and sent them off by snail mail--sharing grace time with them and now you.

Happy September! If you are a grandparent, September 10th is Grandparent's Day. I'm so lucky to have known my grandparents and carry them in my heart. I think of them often as I upcycle bits of old books that were around when they were. It's another bit of grace for me.

Cheering for Autumn. Linda Mitchell