Poetry Friday – Thankful

Thankful today for the verdict of this week, but there is work to be done.

Racialized violence–
Time to end this grip on hate
True justice can come
When people like Ahmaud can
Move through the world peacefully

~A found tanka by ACLU’s Instagram post


Today’s round up is by Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town.  What a treasure chest of poetry goodness she has given us today. Do stop by!

Slice of Life – What is My One Word for 2022?

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 23 November 2021

Resourceful, inventive, unwasteful, prudent?

Careful, judicious, protective, astute?

Simplicity or stewardship?

What is my goal and focus for 2022? I am in the process of considering what the right word is for my one little word for next year.

It is becoming clearer, but I need a word for it. If there is one.

These past weeks I’ve been sorting through accumulated possessions–too many that we have gathered over eight years. I’m giving things away daily, whenever someone is nearby I hand them an empty bag to fill. We came to this country with nine suitcases, and we are going home with eight. Most of our possessions won’t be traveling to California with us.

So, this process has reminded me that it would have been better to have not accumulated in the first place. I want to be careful, mindful, wise in my next chapter when I will be setting up another home.

Not only that, I want to be resourceful and frugal for the sake of the planet. Instead of buying a new thing, I want to use up, make do, do without, and wear out or repurpose what I already have.

I work hard to do this with food in my kitchen. For instance, when I went to some friends house for breakfast the other day, I ended up with dried pita bread leftovers. I cut them into triangles, baked them and served them yesterday to guests with homemade hummus. It saves money and the planet to eat without wasting and without buying processed foods. I want to continue to get even better. (Have you seen Carleigh Bodrug do this @plantyou?)

Another example…I had saved a new canvas for my 2022 word painting. However, what if, instead of opening another plastic-wrapped package, I use Nawaf’s Dot Day painting from years ago as my canvas? I can write my one word onto the red dot, perhaps? Is it disrespectful of the original artist? Or is it a legit art form?

Anyway, any ideas for a suitable word for 2022 for me?
A new canvas or a revitalized dot painting one of my students made for Dot Day years ago.

November Ethical ELA Poems

Ethical ELA’s Open Write for November is going on now. You are invited to join in the Open Write. Learn more about it here.

20 November 2021
A Nocturn Poem with Margaret Simon

To those who think our president is a devil:

When you lie down at night,
you know those quiet moments you try
to get comfortable before falling asleep?
But you notice that achy wrist
and the indigestion from tonight’s dessert,
and maybe your knee’s been acting up again…
At those times, do you ever doubt?
Do you ever feel a bit of shame
for worshipping that former
“perfect physical specimen”?

Do you ever wonder
if maybe this one,
who admits to reflux
and isn’t ashamed
to have a colonoscopy,
might really be more legitimate?

21 November 2021
Metaphor Dice Poem with Margaret Simon

Memory is a reluctant drum
and sometimes sporadic,
memories like Dad’s death
are regular beating bass drums
down to my foundation,
other sweet or sad memories
pop up irregularly like a
tiny tom tom,
which is to say
memory is no one’s
metronome.

22 November 2021
See – Think – Wonder with Linda Mitchell

Look at my sea.
I am master of the waves
and their sparkly constellations.
Why do you call me a scarecrow?



23 November 2021
Tricube Poem with Linda Mitchell

Roast chicken
Potatoes
and gravy

Casserole
of green beans
Pumpkin pie

So much good
to savor
Thanksgiving

24 November 2021
Nature Muse with Maureen Ingram

Soon Jackrabbit will bound on legs of spring, cooling ears alight
Soon Quail parents, adorned with topknots, will herd their little ones to safety
Soon Rattlesnake will own the back porch whenever he passes
Soon cunning Coyote will create a trap for bounding Roadrunner
Soon Ants will scurry up and over, in and out, busily taking crumbs home
Soon Hummingbird will flitter around our feeder, showing off her feathers

Later, if we don’t act, all will be quiet in the Mojave Desert

Poetry Friday – Justice

“Blah, blah, blah,”
he spoke incessantly,
arms expressive.
As I sat in the doctor’s waiting room,
I wasn’t hearing the audio as
I watched the recorded “highlights”
of the testimony.
I thought tears
would flow anytime as
I began thinking of that
other trial last week,
with those infamous tears.
The chyron below gave me
some of his words:
“Defendant testifies
‘This was a life-or-death situation.'”

I remembered the video evidence,
submitted by one of the murderers–
Three men against one,
three aggressors against one victim,
two vehicles against two shoes,
two guns against none,
three against one,
white against black.

Ahmaud Arbery was an unarmed jogger
just hoping for a country
he could
exercise
his right to live.


I wrote about Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers in September 2020 here in “Say His Name–Ahmaud Arbery,” the third poem on that post.

Today is Poetry Friday. Thank you to Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink. Her post today is filled with beautiful autumn verses and photos: “Unveiling of Bedecked in Autumn Gallery“.

Poetry Friday – A Wedding Pantoum

Paul and Christine, a love story
You hold those joyful smiles
looking together in the same direction
sure of the Love from above

You hold those joyful smiles
partners in life and love
sure of the Love from above
kind pressure of God’s presence

partners in life and love
support during dark times
kind pressure of God’s presence
with you for a lifetime and eternity

support during dark times
God is your Good Shepherd
with you for a lifetime and eternity
not gazing just at each other

God is your Good Shepherd
making you to take rest
not gazing just at each other
confidently forging ahead

making you to take rest
Author of your faith gives hope
confidently forging ahead
story of a beautiful tomorrow

Author of your faith gives hope
Christine and Paul, a love story,
story of a beautiful tomorrow
looking together in the same direction

(A pantoum created with help from Pantoum Generator.)

 

Finally, here is a gift of a poem I just read for the first time today: “What Can a Poem Do?” by Darius V. Daughtry

a poem cannot save a life
cannot Luke Cage your skin
fend off a dark alley attack
cannot make you less woman
or less poor
or less Black
and
thus
treated equally
Read more of the poem here.

Thursday was the wedding day, a perfectly warm-not-hot afternoon and evening. Today’s Poetry Friday round up is being gathered over at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme by Matt Forrest Esenwine. He is celebrating the one-year anniversary of Friends & Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children, a beautiful anthology. Thank you, Matt, for hosting.

I Learned, Didn’t I?

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 9 November 2021.

You knew a few letters last year; the only one you said with loud confidence was the initial letter of your first name. I wondered what had prevented you from learning your English sounds and letters during your first two and a half years of school. How clever and smart you were, noticing patterns in the words on the test, and sharing your interest in life and all the little happenings around you. However, you weren’t able to do the activities I asked you to read and respond to. You were distracted and took a bathroom break during the screening.

Today I saw you again, and you have made such prodigious progress. You know your letters now, spouted the sounds in the phonemic awareness screening, read nonsense words, and even a few sight words.  I told you how proud I was of the progress you have made in the last few months. “I learned, didn’t I?” you said.

marvel of learning
your hard work is paying off
yes, indeed, you did

Poetry Friday – 2 Percent

Days numbering 2,873
Days of worry and those carefree
Days of full health and sickness
Days of glad joy and sadness
Days of work and fun vacation
Days of overwork and relaxation
Days of dullness and shining jewels
Days of burden and then renewal
Days of dining in and often out
Days of rain (1.5%) and drought
Days of relationships so compelling
Days in our Bahrain dwelling.

While I was here,
I met people from 67% of earth’s countries,
100% of my daughters became married to
100% extraordinary partners.
I lost 25% of my sisters and
8% of my body mass,
I spent 21% of my married life
and 12% of my full life so far.

On 16% of the days I wrote on this blog,
26% of the days refilled water bottles,
18% of my Thursdays edited church
service videos during the pandemic,
44% of my days at Al Raja School,
and 36% of my days at church.

Now there are 56 days to go.
Inshallah,
just 2%
of our time remains
How will I make the most of it?

I know this:
100% of my days
are forever a gift of Grace

Do you want to join some of us in writing daily poems of gratitude this month? Post your short poems with #gratitude, #gratiku, #gratitudepoem.

Today’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading. The Inklings wrote poems using percent today, so I had fun thinking of some of the things I had done during the last eight years in Bahrain.

Spiritual Journey Thursday – Gratitude

Continue…
To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer

~Maya Angelou’s in “Continue” Read the rest here.

Continue gratitude.

Is it cliché to focus on gratitude in the month of November in the U.S.? Perhaps. But here I am doing it again, with no regrets. This Spiritual Journey Thursday group’s theme last November was gratitude, too. I wasn’t part of the group then, but I did join others in writing daily haikus of gratitude, #gratiku. That experience led me to choose “gratitude” as my one little word for all of 2021, and I have tried to practice being more grateful always for the little things as well as the big things. If you haven’t already done so, I hope you’ll read Maureen Ingram’s touching poem about being grateful for a small big thing.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

When I signed up to host the Spiritual Journey Thursday group, the theme of Gratitude was on my mind. I decided to celebrate November again this year by writing a small poem of gratitude each day, focusing on one of the gifts of that day. I’m choosing to write small poems of any kind, but with three lines, like haiku (modern or traditional), blackjack / septercet (scroll down to Jane Yolen’s description of the septercet at this link), sijo, and hay(na)ku (as well as free-from-form poems where we don’t count syllables or words of gratitude!)

Here are my first days of thank you poems for this month of gratitude. I will keep adding to this post daily throughout the month. Please consider joining me by sharing your #gratitudepoem and #gratiku on social media.

1

Ten
days of
staycation with Keith

2

Mango
And Blueberry
Yogurt for dessert

3

Clear-eyed observing
No longer seeing the world
through sepia lenses

4

181 students completed
with DIBELS screenings
Sixty-eight to go

5

It’s all, all a gift
Our spiritual journey’s
glow of gratitude

(Thanks to Ruth Hersey and Chris Margocs for inspiring this found poem.)

6

Old friends smiling at
the airport–John and Barbie–
Here again, once more

7

A breakfast with felafels Always a bright wonder, one of my choice Bahrain delights

8

walking
at the
seaside at sunset

9

You
gave us
our daily bread

10

Cleaning
cupboards while
audio book listening

11

One unknown soldier
100 years ago rests
in peace. Thank you, sir.

12
Biryani
and curries
conversation even better

13
Sitting
outside, breezy
shady coffee spot

14
Dinner
with friends
delicious and healthy

15
Helping with a Zoom workshop
Three to seven, before dawn
Just the birds and I awake

16
Lumees
for dinner
Delicious vegan koshari

17
Almost
finished with
your yo-yo gift

18
Good
comprehensive health
care and insurance

19
Jesus-full Gospel of Mark
Filled my morning, as children
had fun and showed their learning

20
Birthday
party surprise
full of laughter

21
Teacher friends over
I’ll miss these cherished colleagues
Laughter, food, flowers

22
Unbirthday
party: teachers
over after school

23
Gifts to
Lina and Hanan

24
Started
cooking for
ten for Thanksgiving

25
Lovely
time with
friends like family

26
For the beauty of
the verdict that helps Dixie
forge a new future

27
Garden
party with
Church School teachers

28
Reflective
time with
Thomas and Katie

29
Another
chapter finishing
today. Then more.

30

 

“We are all more blind to what we have than to what we have not.”
Audre Lourde

How will you share gratitude today?