This week it is time for Ethical ELA’s Open Write. It’s a five-day poetry writing bonanza. There are always great prompts, classroom-ready for you to glean from. Please join us today and tomorrow, if you are so inclined. Visit here, all are welcome.
Our home now is full of sawdust
As my sister and I design novel
Remodeling, finding solutions
From found articles. (So, very few checks
Are needed.) Useful creations custom-
Made with each nail pounded.
Before this, I could barely pound
a nail, and now I have left in the dust
that person who had a custom
of letting others do the work. Novel
idea—that, at my age, I can check
my assumptions and create new solutions
Like cutting a hole through a wall, solutions
Like reusing old materials to pound
Out a new piece of cabinetry. Check.
Satisfied in learning new skills, dusting
Off my old goals of creating. A novel
Way to live and be. A new custom.
Remodeling as metaphor, a customer
Of thinking. How can my new solutions
Inform my living and thinking? A novel
Longing as I reach up and pound
Another nail amidst the flying dust.
Remodeling: House? Life? Check.
After almost a life, time to check
Up and check in–what customs
Do I keep? And which go to dust?
Time is limited, the solution:
To let go of fallacies and pound
Every good word into the novel
Life is like a mostly good novel
Each chapter written, a check
Paid for by Grace, pounds
Of grace and goodness, custom-
Fit for each person. A solution
Of spirit and hope and dust.
So, I want to check the progress of the novel
To live not according to custom, but to pound
Good life into the dust; that is, Grace’s solution
I’m so happy that I found my voice when writing poetry. As Irene and Charles say on today’s word: “Words have power.” I have not always been kind and cautious in my use of words. Today I am practicing realizing the power of words.
Today the Ethical ELA Open Write begins for September. Five days of writing, reading, and commenting on poems. It’s a five-day period each month that so many of us look forward to.
I had the privilege of leading today’s prompt. Because today is both National Play Doh Day and National Cinnamon Raisin Toast Day, I was inspired by those and other things I loved. I wrote this poem about one of those treasures I loved as a child.
Ode to My Cinderella Watch
You were there for me in first grade.
You kept running on and on,
even with all your facial blemishes and bumps.
Your pale pink hands went round and round,
And I learned to carefully wind you up
at the end of the day. Not too much.
I admired you, even though I had no idea how to tell time.
I begged older siblings to help me
buckle the pink strap on my wrist before school.
And later, when I was too old for you,
My mom bought me a replacement band–
A black patent-leather mod hippie watch band.
I rocked that band until you finally stopped.
Now, you sit in my keepsake drawer–
Fifty years later.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I got to participate in three poetry swaps this summer. It was a unique and lovely experience. My last swap was with Mary Lee Hahn. She has been embroidering this year, and I had the pleasure of receiving an embroidered gift made especially for me.
I’m using the bookmark she made in my Dictionary for a Better World, which I’m reading each day. So I also read the haiku each day:
Inspired by my blog posts, she wrote:
after the monsoon
hearts and flowers bloom again
a window opens
This morning I was sitting on my back porch, and I noticed a bloom on a plant that had been all but dead:
And the window she is referring to is my new favorite feature of my house–this window recently opened between my kitchen and living room.
For Mary Lee, I wrote a cento poem based on Mary Lee’s April 2022 poetry collection. If you haven’t already read them, you are missing out.
Life is an open question, the way to learn anything new unbreakable, unshakable support
from allies who help us belong our hearts stay open
that’s the key I got this
we got this
now we hope all travelers are welcome
on this courageous quest
I neglected to read Dictionary for a Better World this week, but I spent some time this morning reading the six pages I missed last week. The poem above was put together by quotes (in italics) from Irene Latham and Charles Waters on the pages about Ally, Courage, Open, Hope, Belonging, and Question.
Here’s the latest on my kitchen. This side is almost finished. We worked on the pantry doors today, on the near left of the photo. (We have to wait for the new counter on the sink side.)