Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chalkabration!



Betsy, at Teaching Young Writers, is hosting a Chalkabration on the last day of April, May, June, July and August. Here's my poem:




Here's a close-up of that yellow haze of oak pollen (and some CUTE little oak leaves):


Now multiply the pollen from those three bundles of oak flowers by an entire tree full, in a neighborhood filled with mature oak trees...


...and you'll understand why my red car has a distinct yellow tinge to it!! (AH--CHOO!!)



Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.30

Zipper animated
Animation by DemonDeLuxe (Dominique Toussaint), from Wikimedia Commons


Z IS FOR THE END

The month has zipped by,
although some days
the writing was
much zippier than others.

Like the teeth of the zipper
we writers came together,
locking ideas to make a chain.
The prompt was our slider.

I thank you, fellow poets,
for joining me
in binding word to word, 
thought to image.

This common daily work,
putting one word after another,
has brought us close,
will link us forever.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013



Where it ends is where it begins,
our words entwined like wires
moving with electricity through the world
from our fingers to our ears
to the universe beyond.

Where it ends is where it begins,
a spark of creativity and connectedness
and shadows of worlds unfolding on the page
from our fingers to our eyes
to our thoughts settled inside.

Where it ends is where it begins,
poems as stories as memories
as thinking, as sharing in this space
where time and distance are immeasurable
and where our words collide
forever.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013
The podcast is here.


From Linda (TeacherDance):


Tasty Pleasure

Baby poems zipped, enthusiastic group.
This was our own alphabet soup:
dashes of some humor, facts there, too;
thought-filled words together - eclectic stew!

©Linda Baie, 2013


From Carol (Carol's Corner):


"Zipper"

I crouch down
take your down jacket
in my hands
fumble with the frayed
late winter zipper
until it catches
I draw the zipper
to just below your chin
tie your hood and
stuff your hands
into mismatched mittens
hoping this 
little bit of love
will be enough
to protect you from
a frigid unloving world.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2013



The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project was 

"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


I used the media to inspire my poetry, but I invited my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

Here are some of my students' creations:

Inspired by the fire breather

Inspired by the fire breather

Inspired by the fire breather


Volcano cake inspired by the fire breather



The above three inspired by Le Silence

Foodscape/sculpture of the Broadway Tower with an imaginative landscape surrounding it!

To go with the Rubik's Cube animation

And the poems that were inspired by the harp music:


that sound calms
me down every
time I hear
it going past
nice and fast
just the
way I
dream 
it

--B


SOUND OF BEAUTY

The brush of a harp.
The melody.
The sound.
The feeling.
The beauty.

--No


ANGELS

It feels like
angels are flying
over me,
playing their soothing harps,
sounds relaxing.

--Na


FLOWERS AND HARPS

When I think of flowers
    I remember the
sound of harps. They are
    both peaceful and
relaxing. They make me feel
              safe.

--Jo


peace    harmony

freedom
happiness

Litmus
Lozenge

vengeance    sorrow
pain              agony

honor    courage

respect

--Re


TWOs

Two harps
play
two beautiful
sounds

like two flowers
twirling around and
around

like two friends
caring for
each other

like two blue jays
singing
sister and brother

like two people
giving gifts on special days

like two children
wanting 
to play

like two angels
watching 
for us

like two harps 
playing
two
beautiful 
sounds.

--Ra


Had to remember
A loved one.
Running my fingers on the strings making 
Peaceful music.

--M


NICE SOUNDS
That sound, what is that
it's so...peaceful.

It makes me calm down,
overjoyed, I went to where
it came from.

It was at a church
it was a girl playing 
her harp.

I walk in and 
she stops, she looks
at me then looks away
and starts playing
again.

--G


HARPS

The music from heaven
letting us know the right way
like a rainbow in the clear sky
it is quiet music that
makes us feel safe.

--Y


HARP

The music is peaceful
like crickets making music.

All the sounds come together
like every feather of a bird.

This piece had harmony
like a two instrument symphony.

Playing my harp
making beautiful music.

Plucking the strings,
playing something inspirational.

Inspiration,
that made this poem.

--J


no stopping

back and forth, forth and back.
no stopping; for there is no
time in this new world.

back and forth, forth and back.
as i lean against ellis,
i try to remember those days.

back and forth, forth and back.
one year more until
this war is out of my head.

back and forth, forth and back.
my life is full of melodies,
and i need them to live.

--S




Monday, April 29, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.29

Photo by Sara&Joachim, from Wikimedia Commons

MEERKAT JUMP ROPE RHYME

eenie
meenie
miney
mo

three little meerkats
all in a row

one looks left
and one looks right
and the third won't 
let you out of his sight

three little meerkats
all in a row

eenie
meenie
miney 
mo

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013




Wait!
Did you hear that?
Stand still;
Hesitate.
Become the world -
Become the landscape -
Become a statue
and do nothing but
wait.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013

The podcast of this poem is here


From Carol (Carol's Corner):


"Meerkat"


Me?
Meerkat.
You think I'm kinda funny looking?

Those stripes
on my back?
unique.
none of the other
fifty fellows
in my large mob
(or some people call it a gang or clan)
look exactly like me.

That hairless patch on my belly?
The place
where my black skin shows through?
That absorbs heat while I'm standing
on my rear legs,
early in the morning
after cold Kalahari desert nights.

And those big eyes
on the front of my face?
For watching.
African tribesmen
trust me to
protect their villages
from werewolves
that attack stray cattle

And I gotta take my turn at sentry duty
while others are foraging.
We forage for food
every day
Meerkats don't carry around
any stored body fat. 

That long curved claw?
That little hummer
can dig my weight
in sand in only seconds. 
Mostly, I'm foraging for insects
but if I'm really hungry
I might dig up a scorpion.
Not to brag,
but did I mention
that unlike you humans
I'm immune to
the venom of scorpions.

And those black crescent-shaped ears?
they close.
keep out soil
when I'm digging
pretty handy
a fella's gotta be able to hear
to protect himself
from brothers
who might want to kill him
to up their status
in our meerkat mob.

My long tapering tail?
Yeah, it's different
from my bushy-tailed
mongoose relatives.
That tail helps me balance when I stand upright,
And I use it
for signaling.
The Dutch didn't call me
stick tail
for nothing.

Me?
Sun angel.
You still think I'm kinda funny looking?

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013 




From Linda (TeacherDance):

Mom says:
“Look at the camera, children.
Smile for Daddy!”
But I keep thinking that something’s up,
and Billy and Jake need to keep their eyes open
for 
jackals on the left
lions on the right
and I need to look up
for the eagles.
They call us merely-cats
but we’re always lookin’.
Okay Mom,
we’re going to smile now.

Oops, where’s Billy!

©Linda Baie, 2013



From Cathy (Merely Day by Day):

Sentries
together
we listen for
hawks,
jackals,
eagles.
we watch
tirelessly.

together
we stand
while others
hunt
for lizards,
insects,
birds.
foraging
for food.

we are
ready
at a moment's
notice
to bark
our call,
warning all
to take cover,
to hide
deep
in our tunnels.

together
we stand
strong,
we protect,
we are
the lookouts,
guarding
our mob.
together
we are
one. 

©Cathy Mere, 2013




The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 


"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Screen Free Week, Concussions and Stuff...



A Year of Reading will be taking part in Screen Free Week 2013. This is a week for turning off screens to find more time to read, play, hang out with family, etc. Our Screen Free Week will begin after Mary Lee's National Poetry Month series ends on April 30.  We will be off the blog from May 1-May 5.

Franki will have an extended Screen Free Week. Due to a never-ending concussion, she will most likely be unable blog for 4-6 weeks.  Mary Lee will cover on her own for a while (as she has been for weeks) as Franki takes time to recover.

Enjoy your time during Screen Free Week!

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.28



Photos by Gideon Pisanty (Gidip) גדעון פיזנטי, from Wikimedia Commons

This photographer has five photos of this female long-horned bee collecting nectar and pollinating this flower. Yesterday's photo prompted poems about work, and perhaps today's will, too. That seems fitting, because today is Workers' Memorial Day, "an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work."


BEES

clamber
climb
pry

nectar 
pollen
sky

home 
hive
fly

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013





My leg gets stuck
at every opening
I crawl into
so that I must always
ask for help
before returning
home.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013


From Margaret (Reflections on the Teche):


fly
buzz
land

flower
sweet
syrup

busy
happy
bee 


©Margaret Simon, 2013


From Linda (TeacherDance):

We appreciate
the time the bees
are busy buzzy, 
making their knees
fat and golden,
pollen fuzzy.

©Linda Baie, 2013


From Carol (Carol's Corner):

"ABC's of Honeybees"

Apian adventurers
busily buzzing
ceaselessly collecting
diving and delving
ever exploring
fragrant flowers
groping gardens
hoping honey's
ingredients are inside.

joyfully journeying
keenly kavorting
looking leads to
miraculous meadow of
never-ending nectar

obviously the only option is to
pull from petals make
ready for recycling
suck into second stomach
through tubular tongue
unload and use
working wings to dehydrate
extract any extras

zweeeeeet!

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013 




The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 


"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.27

Breakfast Break of the Scaffolders
Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-09409 / CC-BY-SA

Work and rest. That's what's on my mind today.


The trick 
is learning to rest
in the midst 
of your work.

That,

and balance.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013



From Linda (TeacherDance):


Breaktime (in the clouds)

high time for breakfast
did you bring the news
I have a bag of donuts
for munching with the views

I can balance here on top
while I take my break
just don’t want the wind
to come and give a little shake

©Linda Baie, 2013


From Carol (Carol's Corner):


"Precarious"

Look
the view
from up here
head brushing clouds
fingertips cold steel

please
be still
don't lean much
because my perch
is precarious

your
courage
is making
me a little
uncomfortable.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013



My grandfather worked this place,
with brothers and cousins
and fellow blue-collar heroes,
riveting steel into the skyline
as dreamed by those down below ...

I listen to Springsteen -
with chords and lyrics
and stories of working-class men -
driving this steel on wheels
to spend hours in those towers ...

At lunch, I study the skyline,
watch the clouds,
imagine the dangerous balancing act
my grandfather's crew performed
each day, every day,
as they built this city, 
from the bottom up.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013








The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 


"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.26

Creative Commons photo by Brocken Inaglory. The image was edited by user:Alvesgaspar
From Wikimedia Commons Featured Images: Natural Phenomena

BUBBLE

thin 
skin:
just
water 
and 
soap

clear sphere:
a vessel 
of hope

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013



Hold me gently:
fingertips touching tender skin;
for inside,
I remain invisible
and vulnerable to the way things have been.
I float above this world,
in a cloak of color
but my rainbow drains easily,
so be gentle.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013



From Carol (Carol's Corner):

"Soap Bubble"

A gentle puff
rainbow carriage
appears
dancing
shimmering
glimmering
inviting me
to journey
to a magical
far away
fairy world.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013


From Margaret (Reflections on the Teche):

To see life
in a bubble
like a looking glass
transparent
spherical
silky
slide across
slip inside
pop
fly!

©Margaret Simon, 2013


From Lisa (steps and staircases):


and a haiku:

Bubble reflecting
my home, my world, me; this day
an island in time

©Lisa


From Cathy (Merely Day by Day):

Bubbles

Bubble, Bubble,
blow, blow.

Bubble, bubble,
grow, grow.

Bubble, bubble,
soar, soar.

Bubble, bubble,
more, more.

Bubble, bubble,
fly, fly,

Bubble, bubble,
high, high,

Bubble, bubble,
drop, drop,

Bubble, bubble,
Pop!

Pop!

©Cathy Mere, 2013



Laura Purdie Salas has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Writing the World for Kids.

Here is the other media I've featured this week (and, of course, the poems the media inspired--poems by me, and by the three or four other people who have been playing along with me this month):

Thursday: Photo of Broadway Tower
Wednesday: Video of a Sushi Train 
Tuesday: Sound of Birdsong
Monday: "Irises" by Vincent VanGogh
Sunday: Animation of a Rubik's Cube (edited to add a video made by one of my students of him solving the cube in under 20 seconds)
Saturday: Old Map of San Antonio, TX




The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 


"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.25

Broadway Tower, Cotswolds, England (Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year for 2007)
Creative Commons photo by Newton2 (cropped by Yummifruitbat
)

FAIRY TALE

Once upon a long ago,
I stood before a tower.
Magic blew in from the east;
the hero met the coward.

Obstacles were overcome,
the happily came after.
Evil withered, crumbled, turned
the page to the next chapter.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013




I light a match
to this cardboard castle
and burn the story to the ground,
finally free after so many years
of the roles into which we have been thrust:
the hero in shining armor
the damsel in distress
the fool juggling lives before the fickle king.
So now begins the new adventure,
free from the shackles of past
riding hard and fast 
into the fading sun.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013

The podcast is here.



From Carol (Carol's Corner):

“Castle Dream”

the day is all about blue sky
and green grass and
a few wispy clouds and
i will march right up
to the enormous stone castle
after crossing the moat
filled with hungry alligators
i will lift the lions head knocker
bang authoritatively
on the heavy wooden door
and proclaim
i am a long lost princess
here to meet my prince
please let me into
and they lived happily ever after…

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013


From Linda (TeacherDance):


A Plea

Will you come to my castle fair?
I am so awfully lonely there.
‘Tis sitting tall at the top of a hill
and surrounding land is bereft and still.
No forest primeval’s near this hold;
no witches or dragons to shiver you cold.
Just me in the upper turrets of stone
wanting, oh wanting to call you home.

©Linda Baie, 2013


The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 


"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.24



Moving Sushi by Deror Avi on Wikimedia Commons


In science we learned about food chains
but clearly that does not apply
to sushi, which comes on a food train
chew-chewing as it passes by.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013



The predator hunts,
biding his time,
as his dinner cavorts
with others in line.

One might think
there were hours to wait,
as dinner flows by
on a small blue plate.

Another night
with too many choices,
the predator slinks home
in his stomach, the voices

call out for some meat,
some rice, some fish,
something of substance
from the small moving dish.

But, alas, that won't be
so he takes out his bread
spreads peanut butter and jelly
and slinks off to bed.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013

The podcast is here.


From Linda (TeacherDance):

With Apologies to Joyce Kilmer

I think I never want to see
a sushi train click-clack by me,

a train who only runs to serve
those with quick hands and steely nerve,

a train full of makimono and
futomaki - nori the outside band.

I will accompany friends who wish
to grab each and every tasty dish

But I’ll sit calmly with spring rolls and tea.
These trains aren’t made for fools like me.

©Linda Baie, 2013


From Carol (Carol's Corner):


"Sushi Train"

The sushi bar
in the neighborhood 
grocery store
opened to great fanfare.
Chefs banging gongs,
free samples
shouted invitations, 
to come try this fishy delight.

And I watched 
my neighbors- 
carts loaded with
pepsi, hot dogs, white bread, 
tortillas, enchiladas, frijoles,
chitlings, collard greens, mac and cheese,
crowd around
to partake
in a whole new world 
of sashimi, wasabi, and squid.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013 




The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 


"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.23






"Bird songs recorded in the forest of Fontainebleau (France). You can especially hear some wrens." 
The author, barracuda1983, has released this work into the Public Domain. It can be found on Wikimedia Commons.


BIRDSONG

The leader of the early morning bird walk was a quiet-spoken angular man.
He led us across dew-soaked grass to the forest's edge.

Robins and Bluejays were spotted in the October sky;
Carolina Wrens sang way too loudly for their diminutive size.

Rarely were there surprises.
I remember mostly the comforting sameness of the walks.

Sassafras leaves, worm castings, 
and the sound of the woods waking up with a song in its heart.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013




I find peace and solace in this space
with only the birds singing
their musical refrains.

When no one is watching or aware,
I join in, too,
meshing my harsh voice with theirs.

We remix nature together,
them and I, here in these woods,
until only the sunset quiets us down.

As the moon rises it skyward arc,
the birds fall silent, to sleep,
yet still, I sing into starlight.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013



From Linda (TeacherDance):

Back Home

Rasp and chatter
Carolina Wren
calls me
back to my forest friends
teakettle, teakettle
cheer cheer
cardinal flashing
spring is here

alive with chicka-dee dee
leafy-damp smell
walking in my forest
all is well

©Linda Baie, 2013



From Steve (Inside the Dog):

Where?

Where does
the birds’ song
come from?
Of course,
we know:
from deep inside
and past
the narrow
cords of sinew,
a drawn breath
squeezed tight,
a tiny explosion
of must
flung to the sky.
These things we
know. But
where does
the birds’ song
come from?
And how can
it alight so precisely
in the heart?

© Steve Peterson, 2013


From Carol (Carol's Corner):


frigid april morning
red breasted robin huddles
saving songs for spring


busy shovels throw
piles of wet slushy snow
no bird songs today


Hey Mr. Redbreast
ignore this swirling gray whiteness
sing your song of spring


welcome mr. robin
glad you brought your own sunshine
to this cloudy day


Three April blizzards
long to listen to bird songs
not clanking shovels


Mr. Weatherman
we should be planting flowers
not shoveling snow


One more blizzard then
we shut the door on winter
and welcome bird's song


Bird choir ignores
howling April blizzard to
sing spring aria.


April showers bring
May flowers, April blizzards
bring grumpy poets 

©Carol Wilcox, 2013


    

The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 

"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 

Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.