Susan B. Anthony

Based on the following line that Linda Mitchell shared on her clunker list, I was inspired to do some new research on this suffragist and the tradition of adding “I Voted” stickers to her grave marker.

  • Susan B. Anthony’s gravestone is covered with “I voted” stickers

I also watched a helpful biography about this important figure.

Finally, I wrote this poem with Linda’s clunker idea. It is a septercet sandwich poem, haiku-septercet-haiku.

“I voted” stickers
bejewel the headstone of
the pioneer who
died before living her own
Amendment–the Susan B.
Anthony Amendment, where
voters thank her by
taking this nation further
to justice for all.

Poetry Friday: A Surfeit of Poems, Clunkers, and Manavelins

This week I wrote a lot of poems; I was not a student of meter. In fact, what’s meter? I was just cranking out poems. So, Linda, I’m sure I have lots of bad lines for the clunker exchange. Linda Mitchell is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today, and she has lots of “clunker” lines to exchange. Go on over and visit to join in the fun.

It was time for the June Open Write at Ethical ELA. That was fun! I have five days worth of poems from this lovely community of teacher-poets. Days One, Two, Three, Four and Five, if you are interested. Next Open Write will be July 17-21. You are welcome to join us.

There was also Margaret’s “This Photo Wants to Be a Poem,” where I pulled a couple of clunkers for Linda.

I was on the committee to create a keepsake book for our principal and his family who are leaving next week to go back to the United States. I wrote one for each of the family members. These are the pages from the book that I wrote, after I removed the photographs of family, students, and staff, for the sake of privacy.

Perhaps all my reckless poetry writing this week is getting me ready for The Poetry Marathon coming up on Saturday. Are you participating? Here is a link to my page on the Poetry Marathon site and a link to my follow-up blog post.

I did spend some time thinking about Poetry Friday before I got so busy this week. I wrote a definito poem created by Heidi Mordhorst. In Heidi’s words, a definito is a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem. Quite a fun way to learn and write about new vocabulary words. You can read lots of great examples here on her definito post.

This isn’t the first definito I’ve written. I tried a definito a few weeks ago at Margaret Simon’s blog when her post was about Rigmarole. Remember? In the comments, she asked us to try one with the word poignant. I tried, but I wasn’t happy with it and as soon as I submitted, I knew I hadn’t defined poignant. I’m trying again today on a brand-new-to-me word: Manavelins, which was one of Dictionary.com’s words of the day last week.

Merriam-Webster defines “manavelins– odds and ends of food LEFTOVERS

Manavelins

When your family’s had a busy week
and dinner plans look bleak, just bits and
smidges of food left in dishes in the fridge–
tofu tetrazzini, a few pieces of beet,
a tub of butter, stale bread of sprouted wheat
a bowl of Gramma’s pasta, some sticky, gooey treats,
a few peaches and some plums, so cold and sweet,
four hard boiled eggs, and just a shred of meat…
then dinner becomes a rehash of this mishmash.
All those leftovers for dinner are manavelins.

And finally, here is one more poem I wrote to read at a 5C class poetry slam, the only grade 5 class I continued to co-teach throughout the school year. I taped it up near my camera, and everyone thought I had memorized it. I’m developing some bad habits with Zoom! (Or at least habits I’ll miss after this Zoom chapter.)

5 C Poetry Slam Poem by Mrs. Denise

 

Have you ever used the word manavelins?
Do you think I captured it in my definito of manavelins?

Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise is the host of Poetry Friday today.

 

#OpenWrite for June 2020

June 20, 2020 – List Poem and Lift a Word prompt

Doctor Solomon
Servant of God and humanity
Older with underlying conditions
Did not stop his work
Urgent care physician
Contracted Covid-19
We prayed

  • for a miracle
  • for healing
  • that you would go home to your wife, to your grandchildren
  • for you to laugh and listen as always
  • for us to hear your wisdom again
  • for you to pray for us again

Again and again
But today you died
Rest in peace, dear Dr. Solomon,
Today you are with Jesus in Paradise.

My sweet teacher-mentor-fellow-poem-writing sisters left some healing comments and gratitude for Dr. Solomon. See them here.

June 21, 2020 – Father’s Day Small Fiction
I wrote this poem with another prompt for The Isolation Journals. See A Gift From My Father.

June 22, 2020 – Memory Poem

Playing House
Think playing house–
but maybe not that kind–
come with me to the
eucalyptus grove
at Grove Avenue Elementary School
a hundred trees planted so close
they barely have elbow room
aromatherapy for us
minty, herbal with a touch
of honey and lemon
no sun rays make it to the floor
so nothing grows
tamped-down, hardened clay
becomes our earthen tile
pencil-like leaves fall and gather
the floors swept with our hands
construction materials
readied for the building
we mound the leafy walls
zig-zagging willy-nilly
throughout the grove
the bell rings for us to go back to class
play as long as possible
before running to avoid being late
immediately start watching the clock
when is our next recess?
finally…run to the grove
choose our favorite spot and build again–
living room, den, bathrooms and
bedrooms, lavish and profuse
this forest is our mansion
gladness gleaned from the grove

June 23, 2020 – Marcher or Leaper?

Leaping Into the Story
The story is with us, with us for a lifetime.
The story is within us, much beyond
Our lifetimes. Story passed on to our heirs. Little or
Much property doesn’t matter, but generation after generation
All become heirs of our beliefs–
Tenets of toxicity,
Positions of poison,
Cesspools of say-sos.
Four hundreds years of unjust stories.
Let justice roll down like water.
Righteousness like an endless stream.
The story of humanity makes
Us alive to Truth. Will we listen to the Truth?
Will we make amends? Hear the story.
Tell the story. Tell
The Truth.
Tell the stories for the just world we yearn for.
March for Truth. Truth that will set
Us free. Then maybe we can
Leap into a changed storyline.

June 24, 2020 – Writing with Melanie Crowder

Rose of Saffron
Out in the open
In the full sun
Lies the costliest of all
Spices

For thousands of years
It is true
The Crocus Satimus corm
Initiates the process
First lying dormant
Through the heat of summer
Does its wizardry underground

Then the autumn crocus
Burgeons and blossoms
Six purple petals
Cradle the crimson stigmas
And yellow styles

Gentle hands
Carefully pluck out the
Three red threads,
Dry and store safely–
150 flowers are needed to make
One gram of spice
(400 flowers to match the mass of a penny)
Use saffron for
Fancy fragrances
healing and health
Creating golden ambrosial delights
Beauty of the beloved