Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Sleep (or Sleepless)

Blogging here has come to a near standstill as I teach Monday-Thursday from 9-3 and Monday and Wednesday nights from 4-10. I am tired, tired, tired. Some afternoons I find myself longing for a nap. This, of course, has me thinking of sleep, counting sheep, and sleepy poetry. Let's make that our topic for this stretch. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Small Moments

My dad's been gone just over two years now, and I find myself thinking back on the small moments we shared. These musings have me wondering what events my son will one day remember. Will it be eating chocolate gelato at the farmer's market at 8 am? (Yes, that was this weekend!) Will it be curled up on the couch together reading a book? Or perhaps the times hunched over the dining room table working on a puzzle?

Let's write about little things this week--the things we do with others that lead to lasting memories. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Marking Time

I recently celebrated an anniversary. It happens to mark the number of years I've been at the university. That got me thinking about time -- and all the ways we mark it. I follow the academic year (one for college and one for elementary school, both of which are on decidedly different calendars), the New Year, and the church year (which begins with advent). Now I add to this the number of years without my father. Every time I look at a calendar I see some new way to mark the time that is slipping away.

How do you mark the passage of time? Let's write about that. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results later this week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Poetry Friday - Glass

I've been reading some "new-to-me' poets these days. Ah, how much I've missed! Here's a poem that I particularly like.
by A. R. Ammons

The song
sparrow puts all his
into one
repeated song:

variations, subtleties
he manages,
to encompass denser
meanings, I’m
too coarse
to catch: it’s

Read the poem in its entirety.
The round up is being hosted by Anastasia Suen at Picture Book of the Day. Do stop by and take in the wonderful poetry being shared. Before you go, be sure to check out this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday all!

Poetry Stretch Results - Beat the Heat

The challenge this week was to write about ways to keep cool and beat the heat. Here are the results.
Mad Kane shared an AC-related limerick she wrote last year entitled Hot Limerick.

Steven Withrow shared a poem he and his five-year-old daughter wrote based on one of her drawings.
    By Steven and Marin Withrow

    One morning on his way to school
    The elephant stopped for a shower.
    He dipped his trunk into a pool
    And siphoned up with sucking power
    Liquid through the tubelike tool

    His nose became that scorching hour
    Sun shone slant—a cruel jewel—
    Then held aloft his water tower
    And drenched his bulk in drops of cool
    Refreshment, like a nourished flower.

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

Diane Mayr of Random Noodling shared this poem.
    a tanka

    wrists thrust under
    a cold running faucet
    sweat drips
    into eyes always looking
    forward to the next season

Recipe for Cool
by Jane Yolen

Here's a recipe for cool.
1. Dip body into pool

Haven't got a pool, you say?
Move to Scotland, no delay.

2. Ice cream can be a treat

Lactose you are loathe to eat?
Scotland then, don't miss a beat.

3. Air conditioner on the fritz?
Bits of water now it spits?

Come to Scotland, no delay.
We had summer yesterday.

Ice Cream Cone
by Kate Coombs of Book Aunt

chocolate chip,
run through the sun
with a drip, drip, drip!

bubble gum,
peppermint stick,
run through the sun
with a lick, lick, lick!

caramel gold,
run through the sun
with a mouthful of cold!

--Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved

How to Beat the Heat?

by Julie Larios of The Drift Record

Tube it -
tied together
floating down the river.

Cube it -
with ice and shivers.

Popsicle it -
to keep you cool.

Cannonball it -
off the high board
at the City Pool.
It's not too late if you still want to play. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll add it to the list.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Beat the Heat!

I work on the third floor of an old, brick building, very quaint and usually quite beautiful. However, it is anything but comfortable by most standards. It is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, and that's even when we have our individual heat/AC units running.

We have had no AC since the weekend, and it is officially an oven here. You know what they say about heat rising? My ability to work is melting with every degree the temperature rises. However, I have two classes this evening and must press on. I'm listening to Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas and trying to think "cool" thoughts. How do you beat the heat? That's what I think we should write about. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Poetry Friday - What is One?

This week my math class began learning about numbers and number sense. While I was thinking about activities to share with them and notions about what it means to really understand numbers (what is a 5 anyway? or a two? or any number really?), I found myself reading poems in the book Take a Number, written by Mary O'Neill and illustrated by Al Nagy. Here is a bit from a poem about the number one. I've included a small section from the poem's beginning and end.
Excerpt from What is One?
by Mary O'Neill

One is any single thing:
A strawberry,
A diamond ring,
A book to read,
A song to sing,
A hat, a coat,
A birth, a death
The inhale, exhale,
of a breath.
. . .
Sometimes one seems much more
Than a single thing,
For one can be a country,
Or the season we call Spring.
One can be the universe
With all its planets spinning,
And one can be as tiny as
A grain of sand's beginning.
The round up is being hosted by Toby Speed of The Writer's Armchair. Do stop by and take in all the wonderful poetry being shared. Before you go, be sure to check out this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday all!

Poetry Stretch Results - The Sun

The challenge this week was to write a sun poem. Here are the results.
by Steven Withrow of Crackles of Speech

Sitting in the sand,
sifting through her pail
of wonders from the waves,
she whispers to a shell
a secret that the sea-sound
sings back to her.
Her rescued rocks
are round enough for skipping,
and her bits of beach glass,
blues and greens,
shade the shoreline
a shimmering rainbow.
The crown of her cache
is a crab’s claw, freshly
dug from a dune
with a double-headed shovel,
like a buried bone,
a bird’s fossil,
Neptune’s ghost-glove,
or a knight’s gauntlet.
Her tiny bucket
is a treasure box
of human jetsam, too:
a hard-plastic juice cup
cracked at the lip,
a red crayon, the lid
off a popcorn can,
a pearl-toothed comb
a mermaid dropped
among the driftwood
for a girl to find,
a gift of friendship
and a message sent
to make certain
someone will recall
the sacred code.
The gulls, in loops,
fly low over the ground,
hunting for scraps
and screeching hungrily,
angrily, echoing
at every angle
around her head.
She hears their ruckus
only as a murmured
music from the ocean,
a lullaby,
a barnacle’s laugh
as the rising tide
tickles its ribs.
The dappled sun
will soon go down.
Her sieve is full
of falling sand.

©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

Mad Kane shared a limerick entitled Healthy, Or Half-Baked?. She also left this poem in the comments.

A woman was feeling undone
By years in the hot, baking sun.
Her skin was a fright.
What a rough, wrinkly sight!
And suitors? Alas, she had none.

Julie Larios of The Drift Record shared this poem.

by sun
I play
and get
all giddy.
set, go goofy
on the lawn,
so the sun
will see me
and be pleased
as punch -
like a bumble
bee, I buzz
to my
rain funk,
I'm twirling
on the grass
because I'm sun-

Julie wrote to let us know that the kind of sun in her poem hadn't hit the Pacific Northwest yet. Apparently, Jane Yolen isn't seeing much in Scotland either!

Another Grey Day

The Scottish sky is a pearl,
grey and white, full of lustre
with no sign of sun.
Yet the garden pulses green
and flowers lift their dewy faces
in hope towards the sky.
As do I.
As do I.

©2011 Jane Yolen, all rights reserved
It's not too late if you still want to play. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll add it to the list.