16 DFABW – Laughter and a Slice of Life

16 August 2022 from TwoWritingTeachers.org

Today’s word is laughter. In Dictionary for a Better World, the laughter page has a sweet nonsense poem about a hippopotamus.

The nonsense limerick I wrote today is filled with jabberwocky, and it’s about a chiskly:

There once was a chiskly named Brox
who metted when he snit his regox.
With kepkug and koof
then taptug and toof
He just prates to go to the quox.

I hope you smiled, at least, on this National Tell a Joke Day.

In another slice of my life, we are beginning a do-it-yourself kitchen remodeling, or perhaps I should say a “kitchen opening up”. Fortunately, I have a sister who is helping with the impossible parts that we would never be able to do. We are getting pretty good at dismantling, though:

How we started
How it’s going (that is a new fridge, since ours went out this week)

This monsoon season has been fairly wet in the desert. I’m just sitting on the back porch enjoying hearing the rain hit this metal roof on the carport. I love that sound:

Then I had to move to the front because I was getting too wet…

Now I’ve finally come in the house for a while because it is even getting the porches wet. This is the most rain we’ve had all summer. It is so lovely and refreshing. I hope you are having a good summer day (without flash floods, that is).

During each day in the months of August and September, I am responding to a different word from Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini.  Today’s word is Laughter. A small group of people wanting to make the world a better place are reading and responding together. Join us! Visit Common Threads: Patchwork Prose and Verse by Kim Haynes Johnson for more information. Here is the word list I’ll be following for August and September.

Imagination on Poetry Friday

Bridget Magee‘s sweet story about Mimi on “Career Day” brought back lots of memories for me, memories of challenging students that I didn’t fully appreciate. Educators often find it easier to reward the compliant above the renegade,
the pliant above the protestor,
the submissive above the stand-aloner,
the docile above the defector,
the faithful above the fighter,
the agreeable above the agitator,
the answerer above the questioner.

What would our world be like without that second group of believers? I’ve been thinking about the Mimi’s in my life today, often ones whose gifts and talents aren’t fully appreciated in school as we know it. I wrote a small poem about Mimi today.

Big Imagination

Sometimes students are smarter
than their teachers,
Captivating and creative,
Free and flashy.
Students like pre-SNL
Amy, Tina, Aidy and Kate before her,
Mimi knows something
most others in the room
have yet to learn:
She can make a mark
Create a splash
Fling a spark
She knows how to
plant a seed
and reap a harvest,
To charm and quiet the powerful

Thank you, Bridget, for the inspiration today.

Yesterday I wrote another poem about imagination for the feature that Margaret Simon writes at her Reflections on the Teche blog: “This Photo Wants to Be a Poem” (Click that last link to see the photo we wrote about). I wrote a limerick about this sweet girl intent on her imaginative play.

There once was a girl full of dreams
Creating play magic, she beams
Colors everywhere
Her actions declare
The joy of keen-eyed extremes

However, I can’t seem to get a last line that I’m happy with. I started to retool it to:
“New joy in the journey redeemed” – maybe in a nod to easing Covid restrictions, but that isn’t clear in that line. Or “Her life: a crucial course in STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, art, math). Other last lines are eluding me, though there are a few good possibilities: team, stream, scheme, theme, seem, supreme, esteem, sunbeam.

But then I went back to the original post and saw that Janet, the photographer and grandmother of the subject, wrote a positive comment about her granddaughter’s extremes:

So I kept the original so far, but I’m not satisfied. I am rarely convinced to call something a final draft. I’m always tinkering on revisions, so to all the poets who may be reading today:

Do you have a suggestion for that last line?