I Have a New Grandson

TwoWritingTeachers.org for 26 July 2022

They Covid-dodged for two and a half years,
and waited for vaccines before getting pregnant.
They vaccinated, remained cautious,
but somehow Dad contracted Covid
the day before Mom’s water broke.
I was the second-string support person
ready and on-call at 2:00 a.m.
I drove my daughter to the hospital,
where our room was designated a Covid
isolation room. Of course, we thought
we were fated to get it too, since we were altogether
several times before we knew he was infected.

After 36 hours of making labor a career,
my daughter dilated enough to start pushing.
I was juggling my duties as cheerleader,
Zoom meeting computer holder for Dad,
and chief (actually, only) photographer…
all at the same time.

But when that sweet baby boy,
firstborn of my firstborn,
and my very first grandchild,
entered the room, I stopped in awe.
Just like that, a whole other person
came into the world,
a new personality, I knew our lives
would be forever enhanced
having known him.

Because it was an isolation room,
I wasn’t able to leave (or if I did, I wouldn’t
be allowed to return). However, we didn’t figure out
that directive until I had gone out and come back in
with a celebratory McDonald’s meal.

We stayed in the hospital for two more nights
with the baby because he had jaundice.
His dad came to the hospital and met his son
through the window. It was a bittersweet honor
for me to get to spend so much time
with my daughter and their baby in those first days.
Who cares that I wore the same clothes from Tuesday 2 a.m. until
Friday at 7 p.m.? At least I had packed a toothbrush.

Maria tested negative for Covid a couple more times,
and we kept our fingers crossed.
After we got home, Dad kept isolating.
We would bring meals to his room.

When the baby was four days old, I took Maria
to the hospital to rule out high blood pressure
because of her bad headache.
While we were there, they said her BP
was fine, but we needed to do
a Covid test because headache was a common symptom
of the new variant. We sat in the exam room,
wondering, knowing it was still very possible.

Praise God, the test was negative, as our future tests
continued to be. We managed to avoid it again.
This sweet baby’s dad got to join him in just a few days,
a wonderful encounter of joy and awe.

Now, he is healthy and growing and over a month old!

Our sweet little jaundiced baby talking to me while we waited for his mom’s Covid test results.

Exchanging Poems with Tabatha

It’s Poetry Friday. Thank you, Mary Lee Hahn, for hosting us today. Enjoy Mary Lee’s poem entitled: “That’s What You Wrote About the Green Beans.” It’s been awhile since I’ve been here, so it is good to be here with you all. 

I was excited to participate in the summer poetry swap for the first time ever. I was paired up with Tabatha Yeatts. What a joyful experience!

Tabatha went to my blog and found inspiration from a poem I wrote titled: “What I Learned from the Birds and You.” She used my title for a golden shovel poem.

Photo by Tabatha Yeatts

YEAR TWO OF FEEDING THE CROWS

“You shouldn’t make friends with crows,” he’d told her…“They don’t have any manners.” ~Leigh Bardugo

The crows surprise me with what they know and what they don’t know. What
they don’t know: what it means when I hiss at them to be quiet. Stop it, I
say, as one rushes another, dagger-beaked and screaming. I learned
that they disgorge pellets –food less digestible than my oatcakes– from
watching one produce such a gift. Later, a second crow, spotting the offering, cast another. The
crows who aren’t brawlers strive to follow etiquette. It is these silent, solitary birds,
these sleek shadows willing to wait to be noticed, who stop me from putting the oatcakes away and
spur me to leave the curtains open. We can persist, trying to fathom each other– me and you.

Photo by Tabatha Yeatts

Do you believe it? She has befriended the crows, and though it seems true most of them lack manners, Tabatha feeds them anyway. I believe it is a good metaphor for loving the unlovable. I have crows in my town too, and I do look at them differently this week, striving to learn from them.

Thank you, Tabatha, for the wonderful gift. It was so fun to get it in snail mail and open it to see your beautiful poem, written for me, as well as the lovely postcards and stickers! My water bottle is enjoying the new decor!

Here’s the poem I wrote for Tabatha. You can click on each link to read ten of her poetry treasures!

Ten Things Found in Tabatha’s Poems

Tabatha, the poet’s friend,
Shares gifts, so our hearts can mend

 

July Open Write 2022

Saturday, 16 July 2022 – Realities and Possibilities with Jennifer Guyor-Jowett

The Bobcat

I see a bobcat
moving across the yard,
Tawny and whiskered.
It strolls in front of me.
At first I thought it was my neighbor’s dog.
Then when I realized it was a big cat,
I began fumbling
for the camera button on my phone.
It stops for a second and looks at me,
(A quick pose, maybe?)
I’m still mishandling the camera,
as it gives up and saunters on.
I stumble across the yard,
Finally getting the video going.
I capture 35 seconds of
the Joshua Trees,
the bushes,
the sand,
the sky,
the fence,
and, finally,
still waiting for me,
the bobcat.

Did I really see that bobcat?

 

Sunday, 17 July 2022 – Antonymic Translation with Jennifer Guyor-Jowett

All Debt Must Go
After Robert Frost “Nothing Gold Can Stay

Emptiness’s last red is debt,
Its easiest fade to free.
Its late root’s shriveled;
And commonly so for years.
Before root rises to root
So squalor rises to bliss,
So dusk goes up to night.
Everything debt must go.

Monday, July 18, 2022 – Celebrating Summer with Jennifer Guyor-Jowett

Summer is Corn
(After Seals and Crofts)

See the corn cobs grillin’ on the Weber
In the evening on a Monday night
Yellow butter sizzlin’ through the foil
Lets me know everything’s all right

Summer grillin’ makes me feel fine
Waftin’ through the heat and late sunshine
Summer grillin’ makes me feel fine
Waftin’ through the heat and late sunshine

Summertime and the corn is supreme

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 – Modern Haiku with Mo Daley 

my daughter said he smiled today
those very first smiles–
my favorite thing in the whole world–
now I’m left crying so far away

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 – Gogyoshi with Mo Daley

I Have No Ideas
Five lines I get to poem anything,
But my ideas are all second-string–
the ransom of a king? a tire swing? how to sing?
that bee sting? my made-up trip to Beijing?
Maybe next time the well will spring.

June Open Write 2022

Making it Count: Syllabic Verse with Fran Haley

Today my daughter had a baby
Sweetest, most perfect ever, maybe

Anagram Poems with Fran Haley

Baaing Baas Vary Him
Ya Brim Abash Vagina
Via Babyish Anagram
Aha Baby Raving Aims
Maria’s having a baby

Sociably Best
Acolytes Bibs
Basic Boy, Lets
Solstice Baby

Things You Can Do With an Orange with Allison Berryhill

Things that Happen When Looking at the Horizon
Feel blessed
Find rest
Less stress
Less
Yes

Poetry Treasure Hunt with Allison Berryhill and Lauren Stephens

I am the green
that hurts your eyes,
brilliant and dazzling,
bright and ubiquitous.
Here in the Emerald City,
the sprinkles come in
a circadian rhythm of sogginess.
Moss carpets wood and stone.
Ferns pop and ivies creep
Green, the only color.

Word Association Poem with Allison Berryhill and Andrea Goes

The tangles of yarn
Are becoming a blanket.
Right now, they are sitting by
my Mother’s Day gift of
board booksChicka Chicka Boom Boom,
The Very Hungry Caterpillar,
and I’ll Love You Forever, (yes, I will)
that I will read to you,
Sweet baby, on Facetime.
But now we wait for your arrival,
Healthy and whole
Bearing life and
Bringing hope
To our world

Poetry Friday – Springtime Update

It has been too long since I’ve taken time to read and write on a Poetry Friday. Thank you to Buffy Silverman for hosting today. Do read her post to learn about the sly lady slipper wildflower. 

Today I came to leave a little springtime joy (as summer bears down, making a growling entrance here in the California desert).

In April, Linda Mitchell shared this poetry prompt at Ethical ELA. It is a poem where you use one or more parts of the scientific method to inspire poetry.  On April 25th, I wrote this because, after a sweltering day, we had gotten a dusting of snow overnight.

When
the weather
gods bewitch you
with heat and humidity
one day and freezing the next,
how do you always come up on top?
Or will you?
We’ll have to wait and see.

We spent five weeks of our spring in Orange City, Iowa. When we arrived, just about everything was brown, dead, cold and in winter despair. A month later, the Midwest was alive in springtime.

Update on the tulip poem: Orange City has a tulip festival every  third weekend in May. The question I asked in the poem was a common theme of conversation around town all month. Will the tulips be up? Or will they be gone already, forcing the dreaded stem festival?

As usual, the tulips knew best, so the Orange City Tulip Festival was a big success. These pictures were taken on a beautiful day just before the festival (and the crowds). It was hard to believe this was the same brown town we drove into less than a month ago.

These were taken after the Tulip Festival. The tulips were still hanging in there.

We froze this day of the Tulip Festival in the 50s!

 

 

#Verselove, Week 4

Congratulations, Verselovers with Dr. Sarah Donovan (my poem)

Pencil and paper
Dig out the broken rubble
Sing: I am Poet
I empty to become full
Poems pour onto paper

What a Poem Can Do with Glenda Funk (my poem)

A poem doesn’t know my name. 
It was composed time ago
and away from here
But that poem
whispers from the ages
From the pages
And finds its way
Swirling
Dreaming
Loving
Changing
Into my life
Today.

By My Self-Love with Jessica Wiley 

Me By Myself
After Eloise Greenfield and Katalyn

When I’m by myself
And I close my eyes
I’m content
I’m unbent
I want more
I’m a bore
I’m full of ambition
but short an ignition
I’m focused, but hazy
I’m the wind, I’m a daisy
I’m whatever I want to be
An anything I care to be
And when I open my eyes
What I care to be
Is me

Re-Encounters with Shaun Ingalls (my poem)

That year
I spent hanging out
with boys every recess,
I was one of two girls
“allowed” to play baseball
in the sixth grade lunch recess league.
Every day I wore
the same rag tag jeans
with patches on the knees.

When I went to our larger junior high school,
I decided to embrace my femininity.
I thought I had made
changes in my appearance,
that summer I started
growing my hair out. I
bought new girl clothes
and wore some that first day
of seventh grade.
But as Mrs. Sykes
called out my name
during roll call,
I came forward
to get whatever
she was passing out.
She said,
“No, this is a girl.”
Or something similar.
I said, “That’s me.”
Or something similar.

In a better world,
she would have known
my pronouns.

Found Poems with Amy Vetter

Found from “Bushwick Library,” in When We Made It, novel in verse, by Elisabet Velasquez.

Somebody Else in a Book

every Saturday
leaves us at the library
no time limit
A vacation from us
for one day
She doesn’t have to be
someone’s mother
miracle

I love her for this
for one day
inside a book
we get to be
somebody else too

Scientific Method with Linda Mitchell (my poem)

When
the weather
gods bewitch you
with heat and humidity
one day and freezing the next,
how do you always come up on top?

Or will you?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Found Annotations with Jessica Shernburn (my poem)

This is a found poem based on notes taken during Brian Keepers’ sermon at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa, on April 24, 2022. Dr. Derwin Gray is quoted within, as well. 

Racism and bigotry
Are they far from here?
No, they are here

Race is a construct
based on power
Forgive us our silence

God’s new creation
multiethnic
international
we are not color blind
we are color blessed
beautiful kaleidoscope
of humanity

God chose to create a
revolutionary gospel
of reconciliation

The love of Christ
compels us to act
mending
healing
restoring Shalom
(Can’t have peace without justice, for
peace and justice are married.)

Love makes us courageous
We must become extremists of love

Racism isn’t far away from here,
But the living Jesus is not far
away either.

It won’t be easy
we have to do this
I know of no other Gospel

Rolling the Dice with Stefani Boutelier (my poem)

The past is a glorified gauntlet,
Where one side of the challenge
is a ready stream of if-onlys and wishes
beyond the hope of tomorrow
But on the other side is
a source of joy and pride in
a life well-lived, strength
sustaining me into the future
Which is to say, it is punishment
only if I walk the gauntlet
letting that side beat me up
with its
glorified
regrets

Poetry Friday – Ars Poetica

Last summer I learned about the 2-Day Poem Contest. I wrote an Ars Poetica poem with last April’s words here. Then this month I actually signed up for this April’s 2-Day challenge. On Sunday morning I woke up remembering it was coming up. I realized I had 16/48 hours left to get started and finish, which actually worked better for me. I can’t imagine how many changes I would have made and undone over 48 hours!

I didn’t spend much time finding a story where all the words could live together somehow. Instead I did another Ars Poetica poem.  The words for this year were bog, noctambulant, slink, peachy, broadside, spine, wax, mnemonic, cross, toast.

Ars Poetica

After Archibald MacLeish

A poem should be
Stirring me in small hours
For noctambulant awe,
A stroll to revive my heart,
Even a mnemonic to start
To help me remember

A poem should be
Mother Mary burned on toast
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Heavenly, holy tidings
Hitting me broadside
Shivers to my spine

A poem should be
Absent plugs of wax
And corked up feelings, but
Lift my mind’s fog
As I cross the endless bog
Of misunderstandings

A poem should be
Peachy and creamy
And full of dreamy
Waves of sweetness
But not sappy or jejune
A little sour too for my soul

A poem should be
Not a still slink calf
Aborted too soon
Not silent and dull
But one born fully alive
Fragile yet ready to thrive

A poem should just be


Today is Poetry Friday and the roundup is happening at Jone Rush MacCulloch’s blog today. Head over there for lots of good things this morning.

Slice of Life Travels

26 April 2022 Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org

In the last week I’ve traveled through nine states. California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota. Here’s my route:

We weren’t on a tour of the beauty of our country as we were on transporting ourselves across the country, but here are a few photos I’ve taken along the way.

California Desert
Utah Desert
Dinner in the park in Beaver, Utah
Beaver, Utah (I wish every park had a Musical Park)

What adults asked “Generation V”
if it was ok if they invented
something so deadly for them?

After two hot and humid days and a bit of green growth, we then had snow in Iowa. Will the tulips make it for the tulip festival in three weeks?