Poetry Friday – Giving Thanks

It’s Poetry Friday and Ruth is rounding up the posts for us and gave us a beautiful “Ode to Taxonomy.”

I was in Columbus last week for NCTE. I was delighted to see Poetry Friday friends Margaret Simon, Laura Purdie Salas, Laura Shovan, Mary Lee Hahn, and Heidi Mordhorst. I didn’t take pictures very often, but I did get this one after Laura signed her sweet Finding Family book for me.

Thankful and Questioning

The last love letter I write will say
thank you for this life,
the whole of it–
the spilling of Thanksgiving dressing in the oven
the wrapping yarn in a ball
the sore wrist that makes using the yarn difficult
the coyotes moaning and howling in the early hours
the morning hugs in the kitchen with my partner
the foamy milk on my cup of tea this fine day

The last love letter I write will ask
questions, questions like
Who decided the one with the most money gets the most power?
What has bewitched us that made love low on the priority list?
When will justice and peace come?
Where are the helpers?
Why do some grandchildren die in war?
How can you sort through all this mess?

Poetry Friday – Bananagrams Poetry

It’s Poetry Friday and the host today is Ramona at Pleasures from the Page, with some back to school poetry goodness. Thank you for hosting, Ramona.

This summer I got a new Bananagrams game. I play with other people as often as I can, but I also have a brain-game hobby to play an almost daily game of solitaire Bananagrams. First, I choose 21 tiles and use them up in a grid, just like in the real game. Then, I choose 7 more and use them all, continuing to take 7 at a time until they are gone. (If needed, I also allow myself to “dump” one tile and pick 3 different ones, which is one of the rules in the real game.)

Some of my solitaire grids. (You may find a rotten banana or two if you look closely.)

One time I played making all “Rotten Banana” words. Silly, I know, but the words are fun to read.

Needing some more creativity, I guess, I thought to try some Bananagrams poetry. Here’s what I do:

  1. Choose 15 tiles and create a word or two or three.
  2. Commit to one or more of those words as a topic or part of a poem.
  3. Then the whole pile of letters are available face up to create a short poem on the topic.
  4. If there is more than one person participating, first come on the letters remaining.

Here are my first attempts with the caption telling the words I first saw in my 15-tile start.

“BAILEY” stood out, which was the name of a boy I bullied in sixth grade.
“Quiet” and part of “Bible”
“helix” and “lover”

Then I got the tiles out when my family came for dinner. There were five of us, and it was the first time I had ever asked them to “think poetically,” so it was awkward and the results were mostly silly. However, look at this beauty my sister-in-law created called “Hummingbird.”

Her first words were “sweet” and most of “song”

What other guidelines might you make for Bananagrams Poetry?

And just like that we’re finishing up the Sealey Challenge. The month went quickly, and I loved reading poetry each day. I hope I will continue reading more poetry. Hopefully it is becoming a habit.

August 25One Last Word: Wisdom from The Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes

Have you read this book? Nikki Grimes takes poems from the Harlem Renaissance and creates golden shovel poems for them. Here are the first two stanzas of her poem based on the first two lines of “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. I needed to read some poetry like this when I was in junior high:

August 26A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood lyrics by Fred Rogers

Did you know 143 was Fred Rogers’ favorite number. It represented the number of letters in I Love You.

August 27Library of Small Catastrophes by Alison C. Rollins – Though every poem is not related to Rollins being a librarian, there is so much she taught me about history and the world. Teacher-librarians and others, you will want to read this one, if you haven’t already.

August 28American Faith by Maya C. Popa

From “Lewisburg”
From “On the Forces of Improvisation Under the Gun Law”

August 29Ellington Was Not A Street by Ntozake Shange – This is a beautiful book about the musicians and activists who visited the family home of the author as she grew up.

August 30Hey, You! Poems to Skyscrapers, Mosquitos, and Other Fun Things selected by Paul B. Janeczko

This was a delightful surprise of children’s poems from so many greats. The surprise started on page 1 with this beauty by George Ella Lyon.

August 31Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten by Laura Purdie Salas

What a sweet picture book by Laura! Here’s one of my favorite sections. After a full day of over-stimulation, Clover, melts down when a tail gets brushed in her face. “Clover spit. She bit. She threw a fur-flying hissy fit. ‘I quit!’ Clover fled.” The illustrations by Hiroe Nakata are precious. It’s a perfect book for a child who gets overwhelmed with sensory overload, or for friends of children who do. And bonus: the book is still on sale this week.

From Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten

Poetry Friday – This is the Mourning Dove Pair

Today the Poetry Friday roundup is over at Laura Purdie Salas blog, Small Reads for Brighter Days. Thank you, Laura. I’m considering your poetry challenge for April. It sounds fun!

I did Laura’s poetryaction prompt from last week: “Go outside and find one thing to introduce in a poem that begins, ‘This is the…'” She wrote a sweet poem about the ash tree waiting for spring. It was inspired by the children’s book, The Lodge That Beaver Built, by Randi Sonenshine and Anne Hunter. (Thanks for those links, Laura.)

We have this very sweet pair of mourning doves in our yard. They nested last year in our yard. I believe some critter stole their eggs last spring because I saw eggs in the nest, but the next time I looked there were none (and no baby birds). But the pair are back now, they have built their nest, and I’m praying for the best.

Our Mourning Doves

This is the doublet of doves,
cooing and pursuing,
who wait for their eggs,
their purpose renewing,
and fly back to their nest
with hope and love brewing.
Image by Beto from Pixabay – When I get a good photo of our birds, I’ll add it.