Poetry Friday

April Rain Song

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Langston Hughes

Alright, it’s really a rainy day in May, but the sentiment is correct.  Overnight, the temperature dropped 20 degrees and the rain has been falling all day.

Eco-art

Today, after a morning of standardized testing, I took my students outside to create eco-art.  In the tradition of Andy Goldsworthy we created art from the natural materials readily available around our schoolyard.  My kids were so amazing in this project!

After spending a good amount of time wandering the schoolyard, the students broke into small groups.  For the first time all year, there was no whining or fighting over working together.  Students seemed to naturally gravitate towards working alone or with a small group of friends.  They gathered materials together, brainstormed ideas, and even claimed their area without an ounce of anger or annoyance.  They quickly got to work and produced some amazing art.

Tomorrow, I will print out their artwork and we will use the pieces to inspire poetry and prose.  The words they write will then be combined with the photos before becoming a book on Shutterfly.  Through the Voices…From the Land project, we will share our book with another school and will receive one from another school.  We are very excited!

Poetry Friday

I’m in Poetry Friday this week with a poem of my own. I normally choose a poem by a “real poet”, but as I have been encouraging my students to share their poetry, I should do the same. The following poem was inspired by my trip to Tenochtitlan, where I stood at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun- the third largest pyramid in the world.

Time Atop the World

Standing atop the ancient world, stone pyramid beneath my feet.
Surveying the land spread below,
I wonder
who else has stood where I am standing?
Ancient priests?
Victims of sacrifice?
Unknown cultures?
The cool breeze
lightly kisses my skin.
I reach toward the sky
so close.

As far as the eye can see,
pyramids to the left and right.
Below, crowds are no more than small ants,
Flowing down the Avenue of the Dead.
Their voices carry to the top,
and I imagine the crowds
that once passed by this,
ancient temple,
crowds of men
and women
who lived and died
thousands of years ago.

Who will stand here in the future?
What will they see
when they stand atop
the ancient
and modern world,
surveying the land below.

Will they wonder about me?

My Eighth of Eight Poems

Yellow

Sunlight on a summer afternoon…….laser lemon

Spring daffodils……unmellow yellow

The walls in my kitchen……..goldenrod

Towels in my bathroom……dandelion

The hair on my head…….dirty blonde

A new dress……canary yellow

My mother’s favorite color……soft yellow

My Seventh of Eight Poems

Today has not been a good day, professionally.  Needless to day, I am all over the place and couldn’t get anything down on paper for my poem.  Anything I did get down, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing over the internet.

Sometimes

life just doesn’t go the way you want.

But

when one door closes,

a window should open.

Even

if it takes a while

to find your way to that window.

My Sixth of Eight Poems

Thank goodness Stacey put up a poetry prompt today, because I desperately needed the inspiration! I enjoyed the “I Remember” poem, and ended up writing about the journals we were required to keep in eighth grade. We wrote everyday for ten minutes, and my teacher allowed us to pass our books around during that time. Essentially, we wrote long notes to each other, like notebook IMing, and responded to each other. Sometimes I wrote in 4 notebooks per period! Today, I love to look back through those notes to see the girls we were. :)

I remember sitting in a classroom, surrounded by my fellow eighth graders

I remember taking out my journal

I remember being allowed to pass the journal to my friends

and having constant notes going back and forth in them

I remember planning for the eighth grade dance

I remember when my best friend told me she was moving to Texas

I remember being heartbroken and angru

even though we would have gone to separate high schools anyway

I remember planning her goodbye party in our English journals

I remember filling that notebook with the hopes and dreams of 5 eighth grade girls

I love looking back through that notebook

Twelve years later.

My Fourth of Eight Poems

Couplets are not easy, let me tell ya! I definitely do not like being held back by a word or line count.

This is a couplet about my family’s newest puppy. She is about 6 months old now, but this picture was taken on her first night home. She was exhausted from playing with everyone and settled herself in for a nice, long nap!

My Third of Eight Poems

I swear, this poem is the story of my life. I am constantly making copies, coming back to my room, putting them down, and promptly forgetting where they are. I end up slowly getting my kids started while I walk around the room, hiding my panic, but eyes darting everywhere looking for that ever-elusive pile! I usually end up finding it, but I know the kids see right through my act. :)

Spelling Test/Lost Copies

While I hand out the lined paper, please number your papers 1-22

for our spelling test.

Where are the spelling lists? I know they are around here somewhere

Remember to write neatly. You should include your heading.

We will start in one minute.

I have no idea where the lists are! I know i copied them. I came back in here afterwards.

Where could they be? Did I put them on the shelf?

Yes, we are starting in one minute. I am just giving everyone a second to number their paper fully.

I know I always start right away, John. Today I am waiting.

WHERE ARE THEY? I can’t just make up spelling words. And the kids clearly know I am stalling.

That I am bluffing. Where could they…….

There they are! Phew!

Number one is monstrous….

Thank goodness.

I will definitely pay more attention the next time I put down copies.

Number 2, disastrous.

My Second of Eight Poems

In My Backyard

Sitting at my back doors

I watch as nature comes to my doorstep,

feeding on suet, thistle, and wild bird seed.

Tiny thistle seeds overflow the bird feeder.

The shy goldfinch couple timidly grips the wire feeder,

leaping into flight at the smallest movement

or noise.

The noisy chickadees peck at the seeds

that have fallen to the ground,

fighting over them with the mourning doves.

The cardinal couple regally hops along the patio,

pecking at stray seeds and suet,

dropped by the others.

The noisy bluejay squawks his annoyance

at not being able to grip the feeder

with his oversized feet.

On the roof, a wily squirrel plots

his breaking and entering…

how will he manage to get the seed from the bird feeder this time?

Maybe I have finally outsmarted him, I think.

Watching out my back windows,

it amazes me just how much of nature

is right in my own

townhouse backyard,

small as it may be.

Feeding the birds in my small backyard is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s so much fun to sit and watch the various species as they fly among the trees and bushes, making a quick pit stop at the feeders or on the ground. Until I put up my bird feeders, I didn’t realize how many different types of birds where right here in my own neighborhood! Now if I could just manage to outsmart that stinkin’ squirrel!

My First of Eight Poems

Over at Two Writing Teachers, they are hosting a one week poetry challenge. As I don’t have nearly enough poetry of my own to use in mini-lessons, I decided to participate. Also, I feel very unsure when it comes to my own poetry and I feel that if I am making all my students participate in our lessons in class, then I must participate, too!

I tried writing all day. Nothing was coming. So I ended up working with what I had….frustration!

Sometimes I hate to write.

There’s nothing in my head.

Nothing is important. Or important enough.

I can’t even think.

Blank.

I look for the prompt.

Still nothing.

It frustrates me, makes me angry.

I walk away and say later.

Later.

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