Saturday, May 18, 2019

More than Quotes

I added two books to our classroom library recently that I love. Both of these books have powerful quotes from leaders in our world.  Each quote in these books can start important conversations in the classroom.  But they are so much more than quotes.  Each one of these books gives us, as readers, so much to think and talk about. They also give us invitations to dig deeper if we find something or someone that especially inspires us.



We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders by Harry Belafonte is a must-have new book with quotes from 16 civil rights leaders including John Lewis, Sonia Sotomayor, Barack Obama, and Maya Angelou.  Each quote is paired with art from  one of 16 children's book illustrators and some reflection to go along with that art.  This book does not have a lot of words but it is a book that you can read and reread, spending hours with because there is so much to think about in the words and pictures.  I like books like this for the classroom for several reasons--there are several entry points for children. There are also so many ways to share this book with children--in parts or as a whole piece. It is a gorgeous book that you'll want for your bookshelf.


Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts by Leah Tinari is another book that I picked up at a local, independent bookstore.  This is a bit of an oversized picture book which makes the visual portraits of each woman so powerful.  24 women are illustrated with words about their role and impact. Alongside each portrait is a quote by that woman. The end of the book has a bit more information about each woman. The way that the black and white drawings are combined with a bit of bright color make the book unique and engaging.  What I think I love most about this book is the variety of ways the women portrayed have made an impact--I love the message that there are so many ways to make the world a better place.


Friday, May 17, 2019

To the Daisy





To the Daisy That Has Survived Even Though the Grounds Crew Mowed Down the School Land Lab Two Years Ago

Bloom!
No matter how low they mow you,
Bloom!
Show the world you won't be stopped:
Bloom!
Keep the memory of your former glory alive--
Bloom!
Send roots deep and runners long--
Bloom!
Bring joy to those who see your smiling face:
Bloom!


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019



I wrote this poem for the Ditty of the Month challenge that Liz Steinglass offered up at Today's Little Ditty. I couldn't believe my eyes this week when I saw that one of the daisies that had followed the daffodils and previewed the cone flowers in my school's (only barely tamed) wild space known as the Land Lab had survived...and BLOOMED! Like dandelions, it has adapted to the mower and was right down at ground level instead of waving around in the breezes, but there it was. Its spirit spoke right to my heart. This poem is for all the "daisies" who have to stay low, either below the mower or under the radar, but who refuse to stop blooming.

Margaret has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Reflections on the Teche.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Poetry Friday -- Teachers Who Write Poetry


Prompts (for High School Teachers Who Write Poetry)
by Dante Di Stefano


Write about walking into the building 
as a new teacher. Write yourself hopeful. 
Write a row of empty desks. Write the face 
of a student you’ve almost forgotten; 
he’s worn a Derek Jeter jersey all year. 
Do not conjecture about the adults 
he goes home to, or the place he calls home. 

(read the rest at poets.org)



"This poem attempts to catch some of the heartbreak and some of the vibrancy from the first third of my teaching life. The architecture of the poem was suggested by Adam Gellings's poem 'Prompt,' and by Elaina Ellis's Poem 'Write About an Empty Birdcage.' "

"Dante Di Stefano has taught tenth and twelfth grade English for eleven years in upstate New York and is the winner of the 2019 On Teaching Poem Prize, judged by Richard Blanco. He is the author of two poetry collections: Ill Angels (Etruscan Press, 2019) and Love Is a Stone Endlessly in Flight (Brighthorse Books, 2016). A poetry editor for DIALOGIST, he holds a PhD in English from Binghamton University and lives in Endwell, New York."


Here's a Teacher Appreciation Week montage from a few years ago.
Study the contrasting images carefully. This could actually be a stanza in my poem.


Prompts (for Fifth Grade Teachers Who Write Poetry)
by Mary Lee Hahn, ©2019

Write about the final third of your teaching life.
Write about school shootings and lockdown drills
and about the talent show.
Write about the student grappling with ethnic cleansing in Myanmar
and about the district dodgeball tournament.
Write about poverty and bullying
and about the the sound of two dozen eleven-year-olds giggling.
Write about the relentless and dehumanizing assessments you are required to give
and about the joyful mess of oobleck.



Liz has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at her blog Elizabeth Steinglass.

In three weeks, the roundup will be here. Tabatha suggested a Naomi Shihab Nye themed week, and she INSISTS that she had no insider knowledge of the fact that this week Naomi Shihab Nye would be named Young People's Poet Laureate for 2019-2021 by the Poetry Foundation! Now we REALLY cause to celebrate Naomi Shihab Nye on May 31!!


Sunday, May 05, 2019

#BuildYourStack Event with NCTE and Dublin City Schools

On Saturday, NCTE and Dublin Schools partnered for a #BuildYourStack™ event for area teachers. It was a great morning --such good energy and so many good books! The day kicked off with Lynsey Burkins, chair of NCTE's Build Your Stack™ Committee talking a bit about Build Your Stack™, independent reading, and classroom libraries.  Gretchen Taylor spoke about the impact NCTE has had on her and then 6 teachers shared their go-to professional books in the quick, high energy BYS format.  There was time for visiting with friends, coffee and book shopping before the level-specific sessions began.


As part of the opening session, we learned about 6 professional books --go to books for these teachers. I was familiar with some of the books, but not all of them so I started to add a few books to my list right away during this opening session.  The books included were: Troublemakers by Carla Shalaby, A Novel Approach by Kate Roberts, 35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Surprising Things We Say That Widen the Diversity Gap by Maura Cullen, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond, The New Teacher Book by Linda Christensen, and Game Changers by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp.


The best thing about days like this is how people come together to make it happen.  So many people pulling together to create a great day of learning for teachers. Literacy coaches, teachers, administrators, NCTE staff and students all played a part in making the day what it was. So many people planning, sharing books, setting up, etc. We are lucky to have supportive administrators who helped with the planning and participated in the event.  The day was high energy and positive because so much happened behind the scenes with so many people committed to making this a what it was for participants.


The bulk of the morning was spent in level-specific sessions (elementary, middle, secondary) hearing about books that we might want to add to our classroom libraries. In a little over an hour, teachers heard about many books from teachers and students who loved them.  We were introduced to new books and new authors as we built our stack of to-be-read books.  And of course, there was books shopping! Beth from Selections was there with the best and newest books for our classroom libraries.


It was a great day of good learning, good friends and good books!  I am hoping (hint hint) that this group plans to do this annually.  It was such a great way to spend a Saturday morning in May! Thanks to NCTE and Dublin City Schools and all the people who contributed their time to make this happen.  To learn more about Build Your Stack™ and to read more blog posts by NCTE members that will help you build your summer reading stack, visit NCTE's Build Your Stack™ page and Build Your Stack™blog posts.  You can also follow the #BuildYourStack hashtag on social media,


And don't forget to look for the Build Your Stack™stage in the Exhibit Hall at NCTE19 (November in Baltimore)!  If you were there last year, you know that it was the place to be to learn about new books throughout convention!  Planning is underway for another year of great sessions to help you Build Your Stack™!


Thursday, May 02, 2019

Poetry Friday -- Moon


Unsplash photo by Sadman Sakib


Moon
by Amy E. Sklansky

Marvelous
Opaque
Orb.
Night-light
           for the world.



Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture. It is a lunar-based month-long time of fasting and celebration. Ramadan 2019 begins on Sunday or Monday (the new moon is May 4, and the actual date of the beginning of Ramadan is contingent on the first sighting of the moon), and many of our Muslim students (and all of our Muslim staff) will be fasting from dawn to sunset through the month of Ramadan. This month of fasting, prayer, community, and charity culminates with the festival of Eid ul Fitr.

Only about 20% of Muslims live in (or are from) Arab countries. South Asia contains the largest population of Muslims in the world. My students who will observe Ramadan are from Morocco, Sudan, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Pakistan.

Jama has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.


Giving Myself Permission to Read for Myself

I realized over winter break and then again at spring break that I was not really enjoying my reading life anymore, I had become so committed to reading all of the new middle grade novels that my students might enjoy that I had lost my own identity as a reader. I was no longer reading books that I wanted to read but I was frantically trying to keep up with books I thought I should read. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE middle grade novels--they are my favorites and I love the books I've read recently.  But when reading started to feel like an assignment I had to step back. So this year, I committed to not focusing on what I thought I should read, and not planning too far in advance but to really read books that I wanted to read. To build reading as a person (not only as a teacher) back into my life. I gave myself permission to read more adult fiction, to not stress about missing some books that might be the best read aloud for next year and to just read. So in 2019, I've read some great --not for school--books. Adult fiction and nonfiction, YA, etc.  Here are some of my favorites!


Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson is a must read. This memoir in verse is powerful and the writing is gorgeous. It is one I will read again.


Internment by Samira Ahmed is another must read. An important very near-future story.  It is eye opening and terrifying. Samira Ahmed is brilliant and I really don't have the words to say how important this book is.


Becoming by Michelle Obama is one I am listening to. Michelle Obama narrates the book which is amazing. Hearing her voice makes me happy.  I listen to this one on my drive to and from work and it is long (19+ hours) so it is taking me a while to read. But I love that I am listening to a bit a day and savoring Michelle's story.  Every day, I seem to love this book more. 


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is one that my cousin recommended HIGHLY a few months ago. I have to admit that I had a lot of trouble getting into this one. I only stuck with it because it had come so highly recommended. SOOOO glad I stuck with it--about halfway through I was hooked. I loved this book and the characters are some of my favorite characters of all time. I think they are characters who will live with me forever.


The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey was a quick read. I love self-help books and Oprah is my favorite in helping me reflect and move forward in life. In this book, she compiles voices of many of my favorite people and the book is helpful in inviting reflection about our journey in life.


I am so glad I discovered Austin Channing Brown, author of I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. This book is mostly memoir that gives us a lot to think about. This is one I'll read again soon I think. And so glad I discovered her Instagram feed. I highly recommend following her if you are on Instagram (@austinchanning).


I picked up My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite while bookstore shopping with a friend.     I am not a huge reader of mysteries/thrillers/crime books. But I did enjoy this one. I can't say I loved the characters but I couldn't put this book down once I got started. Such a unique story and some clever wit and writing. I am sure I will read this author's next book.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Confession: I Have Never Read Harry Potter



It's true. I have never read Harry Potter. I admitted this here on our blog over a decade ago and have still not read the series. I started the first book 10 times and never got past page 63. It wasn't that I didn't like the book. It just wasn't a priority for me when it first came out.  And then all of a sudden there were 7 books--each one longer than the last, and reading the whole series seemed like an overwhelming endeavor. And there are so many new books I am dying to read, taking the time to read Harry Potter has not been a priority. until now.

Last year, I attended two of the Scholastic Reading Summits. (The Summit is always one of my favorite days of summer, BTW.). Scholastic was celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter and the new paperback editions of the book were available.  And after the summits, Scholastic sent me this fabulous boxed set! Thank you Scholastic!  I took this gift as a bit of a sign that maybe it was time to read the books!I don't keep it a secret that I haven't read the Harry Potter books but sitting in that room at the Scholastic Reading Summit in Chicago, I realized how many of the references I just don't get. I was sad that I wasn't part of this conversation around books that so many people in my world have experienced.

Also, this summer, we are taking a trip to Disney and may spend a day at Universal's Harry Potter World. My family is obsessed with Harry Potter. All of them read the books more than once and one of the movies seems to be on quite often at our house.  I walk into the family room and my husband and daughter are often on the couch rewatching one of their favorites.  They are all abuzz about the things we'll do and they keep making references to the story and characters that I just don't understand.

So I decided it was time to read the books. For many reasons. I teach 5th grade and the first few books are perfect for 5th graders.  I have huge Harry Potter fans in my classroom each year and it seems crazy that I haven't read them. And how can I miss out on experiencing Harry Potter world as someone who read and loved the books?

In my post from 2007, I said, " If I read it later, which I very well may do, I will know so much from the talk, the media, just by being part of the world. I won't come at it as everyone else did. "   I get the jokes in the world enough to know they are Harry Potter references but I don't really understand them. I told my family last week, before starting the first book, "I kind of know all the characters and what happens from just living in the world."  They both looked at each other and rolled their eyes. And really, I know better than that.  Hearing about a book and a set of characters does not compare to experiencing the story. Of all the things I know in the world to be true, I do know this.

Last week, I read book one of Harry Potter. I enjoyed it. Totally enjoyed it. And I have started on Book 2.  I am not sure I will read all 7 in a row but I think you can say I am hooked and I am confident I will finish the series in the near future.  I am so happy to be reading them. And I am hoping to watch the movies after I read each book, when I can.

I share this babbling story of my Harry Potter reading for several reasons:

1. We all have these "book gaps"--books that is seems everyone has read but books that we've missed somehow. It seems to be a point of shame for readers who pride ourselves on keeping up and that's silly so I wanted to make this book gap public. It is never too late to enjoy a good book.

2. Sometimes we forget about the great books that aren't brand new. I have spent the last several years reading books as they are published, keeping up on the best and newest books that I sometimes forget about the fabulous books I've missed in my reading life. For my students, I am worried that I have focused too much on the new books and have forgotten to highlight all the great books from  past years. Lesson to self.

3.  Hearing about a book, walking through a room where the movie is playing does not compare to reading the actual book. Just a reminder.

4.  The thought of reading the Harry Potter series has been overwhelming to me. Most of my family and friends read the books one per year as they were published.  That seemed doable. But now that there are seven (and some are very long), it seems to overwhelming. I wonder if our kids feel that way about some of our series and classics?

5.  I imagine there are other teachers out there who have not read Harry Potter. If anyone wants to read it for the first time with me this summer, would love to have a little support group as I think I might be the only reading teacher who has never read it.

I'll keep you posted!



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Imagine




Imagine
the silent bubble of April
twirling
over garden, 
over nest.

Follow.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019



Monday, April 29, 2019

Haikubes With Hem






my balance calls
I slowly return home 
the glorious next


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


Hem is sad to see Poetry Month drawing to a close. He'll miss stealing haikubes from the pile and batting them underneath the couch. And they are so fun to lay on while Mom is trying to choose just the right ones. But how come she can bat them around with her paws, but I get in trouble for the same thing, Hem wonders. 

I am also sad to see Poetry Month coming to an end. Sad, and yet needing all my time and energy to focus on "the glorious next" of May in 5th grade. My balance will just have to keep calling until the end of the month. That's the way this gig works. Wouldn't have it any other way.  


Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Key to Happiness: Some Food for Thought


Today's challenge:
One randomly drawn prompt
and one randomly drawn paint chip.


The Key to Happiness: Some Food for Thought

You want everything to be plum perfect?
I'm here to tell you you're as likely to get a lemon
as you are a piece of cake.

You might be the big cheese,
and as cool as a cucumber,
but you'll still get your goose cooked now and then.

Take this with a grain of salt
or take this like candy from a baby --
the key to happiness is

not worth a hill of beans
unless the fruit of your labors 
is a bowl of cherries 
that you are willing 
to share.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Found



Found

Squirrels
nip the tips
off branches.

You can tell
because the cut
is slanted.

The size of oak's leaves
has doubled
in a week.

Some are cupped
(to receive sun?)
all are fuzzy.

Look at the table.
This is how shade happens in spring:
suddenly.


©Mary Lee Hahn



None of the usual poetry tools today, just this twig in a glass on the kitchen table.


Friday, April 26, 2019

A Lazy Symphony




A Lazy Symphony

so much depends
upon

a delicate spring
moment

languid with sweet
beauty

a lazy symphony of
flowers


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


This is another "cross-out" poem, an idea shared by Laura Shovan in her Nerdy Book Club Poetry Month FB event. I wrote one inspired by Emily Dickinson last Sunday. This one was inspired by William Carlos Williams' Red Wheelbarrow.

Carol V. has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Beyond LiteracyLink.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

And Then on Top of Everything Else




And Then on Top of Everything Else (a teacher's rant)

Let's set the stage--
the calendar page
hasn't turned to May
yet every single day

is filled to the brim
and you're drowning, can't swim,
got to keep the momentum
and don't even mention

paperwork
meetings
testing
talent show
field trip
author visit
summer reading.

On top of all that
(magnify the impact)
the impossible curse of your body:
you're sick.
(Pass the toddy.)


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

New Little Tree




We added a new member to our garden family on Earth Day. Welcome, Cranberry Viburnum! Nature's first green is sometimes red!

I accidentally left all my poetry tools at school, but luckily, there's Magnetic Poetry Online! Here's a haiku for our new little tree:

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019



Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Uncle Bob -- A Prose Poem


A jumble of memories


Uncle Bob was not my uncle. He was my dad's cousin, but the closest thing to family we had. He also was not a cowboy, but if you saw his slow, bow-legged saunter, his cowboy hat, his blue jeans and western snap-fasten shirts, that's what you might think. You wouldn't know by looking that he was the canniest dry-land farmer in the Great Plains of Eastern Colorado. He was born and raised in the part of Colorado without mountain peaks and rich soil. His landscape was wide and flat and dry. Dirt roads with thistle in the ditches marked the edges of native grassland pasture and wheat fields. Uncle Bob had a deep understanding of the land he farmed, never succumbing to "the grass is greener" mentality of irrigation. He was a dry-land farmer whose harvest depended on the land and the weather. There were good years with enough moisture, and plenty of years with dust devils and tumbleweeds before the rain came...or didn't come. In the summer, many a cumulonimbus cloud appeared on the horizon, only to take its rain elsewhere, but perhaps also its hail. A winter blizzard was a mixed blessing of wind that carried topsoil away and brought moisture that did or didn't cover the fields to nourish the winter wheat. Uncle Bob secured his success by collaborating with the land and the climate, but he allied with another of the vast natural resources of Eastern Colorado for his final venture -- harvesting the wind with graceful lines of enormous turbines.

In my mind, it is night. I stand in the dusty yard where I played as a child, rusty tractors along the fence, the Milky Way a bright smear across the impossibly dark sky. Uncle Bob is in it all -- land, sky, and wind.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Not Giant...Yet



I count baby oak leaves among the cutest of spring's babies. It's hard to imagine that these fragile fingertip-length leaves will be bigger than my whole hand by the middle of June. And the photosynthetic glucose factory inside each one of them...don't even get me started on that miracle.

There's a new Rhino in town, a watering can rhino, and she helped me write a haiku for the baby oak leaves.


your glorious life
grand, gorgeous -- so not giant
sweet home for my heart


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


Sunday, April 21, 2019

To Make a Forest


Flickr Creative Commons Photo 

To Make a Forest, After Emily Dickinson

To make a forest it takes one spring and eternity,
The delicate goddess of this spring mist and one enormous eternity.
Plus moments.
The sweet moments alone will do,
If eternity is few.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


This is a "cross-out" poem, an idea shared by Laura Shovan in her Nerdy Book Club Poetry Month FB event.

It is also a magnetic poetry poem. Thank goodness FOREST was right on top in the box!




Saturday, April 20, 2019

Happy Birthday, Franki!


For Franki, On Her Birthday

You are an unspoken blessing to the teaching profession.
Your advocacy is a not-so-silent promise that all voices will be heard.
I know you are reluctant to accept the trophy of our accolades,
but where would we be without your impossible-to-ignore drumbeat of excellence?


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019



Friday, April 19, 2019

Springtime Alarm Clock




Springtime Alarm Clock

Supposedly, time is a gentle songbird,
but someone forgot to tell
the robin outside my window
in the predawn darkness
who is singing jazz riffs
that would make Charlie Parker proud.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


Here is my metaphor:


















And here is Charlie Parker, who I chose randomly, but just learned is Charles ("Bird") Parker.




Amy has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at The Poem Farm. She knows all about Everyday Birds and their alarm clock tendencies!


Thursday, April 18, 2019

After the Fire



After the Fire

The images of smoke and ash
spread from screen to screen around the globe.

As the loss of an ancient cultural treasure was mourned
by those who had experienced the holiness there
and by those who now would not,

a pair of girls enjoying a sunny recess in Ohio
searched the soccer field
for four-leaf clover,
eventually finding seven lucky clusters.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019






Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pluck



The classroom stuffed animals wanted to get in on the Haikube scene. Why should Hem and Rhino have all the fun? On the left is the hamster from Laura Shovan's book The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, in the middle is a camel one of my Egyptian students gave me, and on the right is Grumpy Bird. They watched last week while their small humans took the Language Arts state test, and the classroom is now ready (all math charts hidden or removed) for the Math portion of the state test. They know how hard their small humans have been working, and they wanted to write a poem to encourage them.



realize sweet grace
you hold dynamic marvel
you have pluck enough


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Spring's Yellow




Spring's Yellow

Spring's
yellow

follows

winter's 
blue

bringing 

pink 
peace.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019



Monday, April 15, 2019

Poetry is a Burning Blessing




Poetry is a Burning Blessing

your pen -- the matchstick;
ideas -- tinder, kindling, fuel;
poetry -- the fire


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Playing With Poetry -- With FIRST Graders!




I Went to the Mexican Store

I saw
rainbow vegetables.
But
the best part was
a pepper
reading a book!

©1st Grade, 2019


Holy Moly! First graders at the end of the day on Friday still have SO much energy and SO much creativity! Hats off to all the first grade teachers in the world! 

We were writing a 15 Words or Less poem and we had WAY too many words. One little girl took out four boring words ("green, purple, and striped") and replaced them with one juicy one -- "rainbow." Brilliant! You have to look closely at the top right corner of the picture to see the pepper reading a book. It's a green pepper in the corner of a cardboard box, but when you see it through first grade eyes, it sure is a pepper reading a book!


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Playing With Poetry -- With MORE Second Graders!





Pink Piglets in a Pen

You think I'm dirty.
I DO love
rolling in mud
but
I bathe in hay.


©2nd Grade, 2019


Another great group of young poets, and look at all we packed into that poem! Alliteration! Rhyme! Juicy word choices!



Friday, April 12, 2019

Poetry Friday: Playing With Poetry...With Second Graders!



The second grade team at my school has invited me to visit their classes as the "Visiting Poet" for their Poetry Month poetry writing unit. So. Much. Fun!

Yesterday, after I elaborated on what a poet actually does (lots of reading, lots of rewriting) and where I get my ideas (everywhere), we wrote a 15 Words Or Less poem together.

Our prompt was a picture of tire tracks in snow.


Our first draft was too long, so I shared my sneaky trick of using one of the lines as the title to reduce the word count. 

We wound up with this:


Today Might Be a Snow Day

The cars
make diagonal tracks
in the sparkly snow
from 
dusk to dawn.


©2nd Grade, 2019


It seemed ludicrous to be writing about a snow day when the temperatures here in Ohio hit the 80s today for the first time this season, but I know our friends in Denver and the upper midwest are dealing with Winter Storm Wesley, which will likely downgrade to lots of rain for us in the coming days.

Irene has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Live Your Poem.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Haiku for Hem




Hem didn't come running when I dumped the Haikubes tonight, so Rhino and I worked alone. Our haiku might not seem very flattering, but it's the honest truth. Hem is a rescue cat, and we're pretty sure he was taken too soon from his mother, causing him to miss out on some important early socialization lessons. He plays REALLY rough. He's ruthless. His favorite games involve trying to bite your hand when you pet him, biting your pants leg, and jumping human shoulder-height (after getting those wild tiger eyes) to try to bite the hand you are holding out. One of his nicknames is Mr. Bitey. Hem is a strikingly beautiful cat, but he's drawn blood from both of us many times, resulting in us calling him worse than simply a jerk. He is, however, quite the Daddy's Boy, and he is always able to charm his way back onto AJ's lap.


wild tiger eyes
wicked gleeful biting jerk
charm peace with the man


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019