Since April, 2020, I have been part of the poetry writing community at Ethical ELA–Open Write (five days monthly) and #Verselove (every April). That first April, while the world was in pandemic lockdown, a healing poetry community came together to write and support one another. This January, while I was traveling in Bahrain, jet-lagged and busy eating and visiting dear friends, I forgot about the five-day Open Write until the last day, when I wrote a quick “postcard” poem about Bahrain.
This week, I went back and had my own Open Write , writing one poem a day using the other prompts I missed last month. I’ve linked each prompt below, where you can hopefully find inspiration for your own writing, and maybe for your students too.
(still are) home.
Though I’ve left, you hold me
Again in your open arms.
Her husband in prison
No tuition fees
No money for living
But for years
she always said
God is great,
I am proud of my humility
I am kinder than I sometimes act
I am confident yet uncertain
I am creative yet fruitless
I am resourceful yet unimaginative
I am savvy yet slow
I am adept yet inept
I am conflicted
Visit Moms Demand Action. (It’s not just for moms.) After reading these poems by educators about shootings and lockdowns, I wrote to my Congressional representative about gun violence, and I signed up for the first time to volunteer with Moms Demand Action.
Every day as she got up,
Jamie G. called down the stairs
to her early-rising father.
Five years ago, on February 14, 2018,
she stopped calling,
silenced by a gunman
at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
She was just a freshman.
Today she could have been
in her second year as a Florida Gator,
but she forfeited her future
because of political cowardice.
frozen in time,
no new memories
for her and her family to create.
How many more voices will be lost
before we take action?
Some thoughts in the poem above came from Jamie’s father, Fred Guttenberg, and a quote from Mike Barnicle on last Friday’s (2/20) Morning Joe clip.
Here is a Skinny poem about The Nature of Today’s World by high school senior Cam Prescott.
It’s difficult to believe You will win,
that You will forever be
a refuge for the hopeless.
It’s hard to trust that Your goodness
will shine like the dawn,
that Your deliverance
will break through the doom
as bright as the noonday sun.
When will that happen?
How long must the oppressed wait?
Do I still believe in You?
Will I fight for You to break through the chaos?
So many people continue to soldier on for Justice.
(I’m ashamed I don’t seek you wholeheartedly)
Others prowl and scratch hoping Justice will be obscured.
(I don’t want to be part of that group.)
So I must commit to join You,
for silence is not a neutral position.
I do believe in Justice, but, please,
help my unbelief.