Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Wonderful World.23

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

23. The Aurora


Luminous curtains veil a backdrop of stars.
Swirling green serpents of light,
wingbeats of unseen mythical beings,
dancing spirits take the stage.

Swirling green serpents of light
demystified and explained by science, but
dancing spirits take the stage
in my imagination.

Demystified and explained by science, but
evidence of mystery and magic
in my imagination.
Luminous curtains veil a backdrop of stars.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

I wanted to try a pantoum today. It seemed the perfect twisting swirling form for The Aurora Borealis. I'm not sure this quite captured the feeling I wanted, but there are only so many hours in a day and that stack of papers I've been carrying around long...needs to be graded!

My students are writing with me again this week. Hopefully by week's end I'll have some of their poems to share.

Carol gives the mountain a voice in her Mt. Everest poem.

Kevin "surfs the solar wind" in his Aurora poem.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Wonderful World.22

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

22. Mt. Everest


Snow slide,
snow slip,
rapid flow
of snow
down a slope.

Neither rare,
nor random,
a natural hazard
of destructive


Snow slide,
snow slip,
rapid flow
of snow
down a slope.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Carol's Great Barrier reef poems are here.

Kevin's Mt. Everest poem is here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Wonderful World.21

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

21. The Great Barrier Reef

Do you care
If the
Vitality of the
Earth is
Reduced by
Slow degradation of ecosystems?
It should
Tear at 
Your soul,

Making you feel the loss
As if a part of you were

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Carol's Grand Canyon poems are as metaphorical as mine was, and deeply spiritual.

Kevin is pondering metaphors in his post and poem today.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Happy Birthday, Franki!

It's a landmark birthday for you today
and we celebrate you
by reflecting on all the ways
you have made our world a better place.

(Thank you, Ruth, for the cute button!)

I wouldn't have written a book.
("You should write a book.")

I wouldn't be the blogger I am today.
("What's a blog? If you start it, I'll do it.")

I wouldn't have written for Choice Literacy.
("There's an article in that.")

I wouldn't be the professional I am today.
("Why do you think that?")

I wouldn't attend nearly so many conferences!
("Want to go to ______?")

I wouldn't be on Twitter.
("Bill (Bass) will teach us.")

I wouldn't have gambled at all in Las Vegas.
("It's fun!")

There would be less laughter,
less book buying, and
less Starbucks Venti Awake Tea.

the world is a better place!

Our Wonderful World.20 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRANKI!!!

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

20. The Grand Canyon

For the Grand Canyon (and Franki)

You're amazing.
I like to watch people's faces
when they first experience you.
There's no mistaking the power of your energy.

You're inspiring.
We see what you've accomplished,
the vigor and potential in all you do,
and we know we could do more and be more.

You're incredible:
the reach of your influence;
your stamina, your spirit, your passion;
the bubbly joy at your core.

You're a wonder.
You make the world a better place.
You are a force for good.
We are lucky to have you in our world.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Carol has two poems and a process post about Chichen Itza at Carol's Corner.

Catherine joins us with a Grand Canyon poem at Reading to the Core.

Kevin pays tribute to the Colorado River in his poem at Kevin's Meandering Mind.

Colette's Grand Canyon poem at 100 Words a Day will give you gasps of wonder AND fear. 

Our Wonderful World.19

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

Dominating the North Platform of Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulkan (a Maya feathered serpent deity similar to the Aztec Quetzalcoatl)...On the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, in the late afternoon, the northwest corner of the pyramid casts a series of triangular shadows against the western balustrade on the north side that evokes the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase, which some scholars have suggested is a representation of the feathered-serpent god Kukulkan. --Wikipedia

What To Do If You Are a Feathered Serpent Deity

Wear plumage to mitigate your fangs
to imply flight
suggest softness

Wear scales to camouflage your tenderness
to announce might
define dominance

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Kevin has an amazing interactive poem today at Kevin's Meandering Mind.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Our Wonderful World.18

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.


No wheel for rolling,
or draft horse for pulling,
and hills too steep,
with trees thick and deep.

So how to move countless
stone blocks up a mountain?
A hundred-man force
up an inclined plane course.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

After a week that featured wonders of the modern world chosen by The American Society of Civil Engineers -- the Empire State Building (my favorite of my poems this week), the Golden Gate Bridge, the Itaipu Dam, the Delta Works, and the Panama Canal (I cheated and wrote a non-wonder poem that day) -- it's been nice to return to some ancient wonders: Petra yesterday and Machu Picchu today.

And what fun to learn about unknown or little-known places around the world, and to marvel, day after day, at the ingenuity of the human race!

Robyn has the Poetry Friday roundup today at Life on the Deckle Edge, and the Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem comes home to Irene at Live Your Poem.

Kevin wrote a pensive ransom note poem for today. It's at his blog, Kevin's Meandering Mind.

Carol Wilcox's poem for today focuses on a tiny detail to get at the big picture. It's simply masterful.

Carol Varselona at BeyondLiteracyLink wrote a poem for the Panama Canal.

Carol Wilcox's poem for Petra is at Carol's Corner. I immediately thought of the cliff-dwellers of the American Southwest when I looked through the pictures of Petra!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Wonderful World.17

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

17. Petra


The rose-stone buildings stand
with their backs to the mountains

shot by Bedouins
ransacked by tomb-robbers
photographed by tourists
shaken by earthquakes
eroded by flooding

disappearing as imperceptibly 
but as certainly
as the dimming of our sun.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

It was nice yesterday to have a break from writing about the Wonders of the World, and instead write about the wonder of my world. The insatiable urge of humankind to build, build, build (and in the process destroy, destroy, destroy) was wearing me out. At the same time, the enormity of our planet makes our little human scrapes and scratches, ditches and dams and monuments seem tiny and temporary. I am sorry that the amazing city of Petra will not last forever, but at the same time I am heartened that the desert will reclaim its mountains.

Carol's poem from yesterday, "On Building the Panama Canal" is a powerful metaphor.

Kevin's poem today is "Rose City," which you can see in final draft and in process at Kevin's Meandering Mind.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Wonderful World.16

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.


Snow is falling --
a mid-April joke
not meant to do real harm --
just a jest,
a parody of the pollen
that will soon sneeze up the air.

Bright green grass grins
through the dusting of snow.
Magnolia blooms chuckle
under caps of white.
Daffodils sigh,
sorry to be gone so soon.

Muffler and mittens snicker
at shivering shorts-wearing Springsters.
Forsythia half-heartedly bloomed
only just last week.
Everyone knows her punchline is
one more snow.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Yeah, I know. That poem has exactly nothing to do with the Panama Canal. But it's the poem I wanted to write, and it's the poem I wrote, and there aren't enough hours in the day to write another.

Yesterday I didn't get Carol's poem in two voices for the Itaipu Dam linked in, nor Kevin's flowchart poem for the Delta Works. Be sure you check them out. Both are amazing in their own unique ways.

Carol's poem for the Delta Works is here, and Kevin's Panama Canal poem is here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our Wonderful World.15

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

The Delta Works along the coast of the Netherlands are fascinating works of engineering. 

I have a couple of Fibs for today.

The Netherlands

diked and dammed.
From sea, polders rise:
a Mondrian of tulip fields.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Delta Works

blocked up,
barricaded shut:
the Netherlands holds back the sea.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014