I loved this prompt from Denise Krebs on Ethical ELA’s #verselove.
It is called a 4 X 4 poem. Below are the constraints:
4 syllables in each line
4 lines in each stanza
Refrain repeated four times in lines 1, 2, 3, 4 of stanzas 1, 2, 3, 4.
Bonus: Try writing a title in four syllables
tips of sunshine
perched and ready
when will you come?
it's been four weeks
two fallen blooms
always past due
I can sense it
the brink of joy
My poem today is inspired by Emily Yamasaki’s post Core Memories on Ethical ELA’s #verselove April poetry writing challenge.
the exact spot you turn, turn, and plop into the crook of my legs in bed
the sound of Bubba's horn from across the lake
the time needed to boil the sugar, cocoa, milk and butter to the perfect consistency
the exact location where scar tissue replaces a lump
the eight digits pressed in order to reach you
the feel of the worn three panel leather ball resting in my hand
the sound of my father's whistle in a crowd
the boards that creak as I sneak out of your room
the woody scent of your cologne
the place between your ear and nose where I nuzzle you for a furry kiss
the blended sequence of breath and movement in a chaturanga
the harsh words spoken to me 40 years ago, 28 years ago, 3 years ago
Today finishes 31 days of writing with the Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge. This is my 3rd year to join this writing journey.
I find myself better after 31 days of looking at life through the lens of writing. I’m more aware of the world around me. I keep an eye open to little things that happen throughout the day that actually have a big impact when I stop and dissect them. I read others’ writing with a magnifying glass, looking for words and phrases that speak to me. I develop my craft of arranging words, shifting ideas, creating opening lines, searching for catchy titles and hooks, wrapping it up with that just right closing sentence.
I’ve perused a few blogs this morning. I will return throughout the day. I love reading how everyone has grown this month, how this writing matters, how this experience influences our teaching, how we are better humans than we were 31 days ago.
I would like to thank Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life for inviting me to #SOL writing 3 years ago. She has dedicated time each year to read my posts giving me feedback and encouragement. Janeen Pizzo at My Writing Life has been a cheerleader for me everyday of this challenge. I always look forward to reading her thoughts about my posts. I’m so thankful for these writers and the many others who have taken time to read and comment on my writing this month. I have learned so much from all of you!
I’ve been inspired to try the April challenge of a poem a day by Kim Haynes Johnson at Common Threads. In today’s post, she gives the background of Ethical ELA’s #verselove challenge. As of late, poetry has become part of my sacred hour in the morning. I love the arrangement of sparse words on a page making a big impact on the reader. I’ve dabbled a bit in writing poetry, and I think now is the time to join in writing it daily.
So as March winds down, I am looking forward to continuing my writing journey through the love of poetry!
it's the best kind of mail
as you walk up the driveway
you spot it
a box at the door
this is an unexpected package
you order a lot of #bookmail
but don't recall a recent
buy now, instant purchase
(they make it so easy, too easy)
scissors in position
you point the blade into the black tape
pull the sharp point down the seam
such a satisfying motion and sound
next the two short sides
you bend the edges back to peer at the contents
the translucent air bubbles guard your view
the shadow of a book below
removing the barrier
today's #bookmail is a sweet surprise
a book celebrating is debut in the world
This is a School by John Schu and Veronica Miller Jamison
the results of a Twitter giveaway
a smile beams from your face
you open the cover and begin to read
a lovely story of a school community
this is one to be savored
one to be read over and over
year after year
it's the best kind of mail
Brrngg. Brrnggg. My office phone rarely rings.
Hi, Jill. There is a surprise for you in the office.
I don’t particularly like surprises. I like to be in control and know what’s going to happen. And more than just know what’s going to happen, I like to be the one deciding what’s going to happen. So when someone has a surprise for me, my heart starts to beat a little faster, and not in a good way.
Hmmm. Is it a surprise I want?
Yes, I'm pretty sure you will.
I've experienced your "surprises" before...are you sure?
YES, I'm sure!
I hesitantly head to the office. Upon arrival I see an old, familiar face donning her bouquet of daffodils. Mrs. R, my own children’s preschool teacher, stood there with a big smile on her face. We spent a few minutes catching up. She asked about Gretchen and Luke and wanted to know all about their current endeavors in college.
A few more teachers came in that also had a preschool connection with Mrs. R. One of them was a former “Little Seed” and is now a 1st grade teacher. It was such a sweet exchange between preschool teacher who impacted a young, new teacher.
There are special people in your life who stand out to you as possibly the kindness people you know. Mrs. R is one of those people. She never misses a graduation. She sends cards to my kids with a $5 bill to go enjoy an ice cream treat. She delivers daffodils from her yard on a random Monday. I am so thankful that this kind person influenced my kids when they were 4 and 5…and still influences them and me today!
The end is in sight. Four more days. Four more. We can do this.
I’ve missed you this month, dear Moleskin. Your ivory colored, thick lined paper. The way the my Papermate 0.7mm pencil glides across your smooth page. The flipping and turning to read snippets from past entries.
The calm I feel after sharing my soul with you. My thoughts on the page and out of my head. The unconditional acceptance you give me. No matter what, you’ve got my back.
I even snuck back to you a few days this month to brainstorm some Slice of Life ideas. But, shhh…don’t tell my hp Chromebook. I’m sure there would be hard feelings. It’s just not the same. Tapping the keys vs. flowing the pencil across the page. It’s nothing personal, but I don’t think he would understand.
When I return to you on Friday it will be glorious! Hang tight! Four more days. We’ve got this!
I look forward to it every Sunday: The New York Times Book Review. I pull it out of the stack of papers without regard to the other sections; I can catch up on those parts later. It’s like eating your dessert first; no saving the best for last in regards to this.
I enjoy checking out new books that are coming out, noticing which books are at the top of the best-seller list (Can you say Colleen Hoover?), looking at the artistic last page (often a panel of interesting book quips).
But by far, my favorite part is the section called “By the Book.” In this section, they ask a different author the same set of questions each week. I chose a few of those questions to answer today.
What books are on your nightstand?Love By the Glass: Tasting Notes from a Marriage by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
What is the last great book you read?A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time? Call of the Wild; Harry Potter…still working on it.
Describe your ideal reading experience. On a beach with my feet in the soft white sand, a gentle breeze blowing, looking out over the ocean, sipping a yummy drink
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite? Mary Oliver, Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson
What do you plan to read next? It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (from before mentioned best-seller list)
I would love to hear your answers to these questions!
the invitation came after breakfast
coffee date after school?
a proposition I rarely turn down
a perfect parking spot found
one block from our favorite downtown coffee shop
a quick chilly and misty walk
the hand lettered chalkboard menu
with many options, but
I always stick with my love
a rich, creamy latte
in a "real" cup and saucer
with the signature seafoam Lucabe color
just enough left on our gift card
the tall table we favor open
settled in for an hour of
sipping and reading
easing into the weekend
She’s always there–rain, shine, wind, snow, sleet, sun. Dressed for the weather, which has been rain boots, a rain suit, and an umbrella most of this week. She hustles out to the road with her lit up stop sign to usher me across the street busy with morning school traffic. She is Peg, my crossing guard.
I live right across the street from my school, hence the blog name “oneblessedblock.” Much of my life takes place in the block that is my home and school. I enjoy the ease of my morning commute. Peg and I exchange pleasantries every day. We talk about weekend plans and the weather. We gasp at beautiful sunrises and complain about ice cold temperatures.
Yesterday, she stopped me to let me know she would be gone for the next ten weeks. By the time she returns we will be out of school for the summer. Peg is hopeful she will be assigned to my cross streets again next year, and we can resume our casual friendship arranged by our daily circumstances.
She went on to tell me the reason for her absence. She is traveling to Poland. In Poland is a school she helped start which now holds 150 Ukrainian refugees. A need has arisen and she is risking her own safety to go help. As we parted ways for the morning, I offered her positive thoughts and prayers for safe travels and that her actions will make a difference. We both acknowledged that she will be blessed just as much as she blesses others.
I walked the remaining steps to school with a tear in my eye. I was so touched at her kindness and her willingness to be available to help those in need. I will continue to pray for Peg and hope to hear more of her work in Poland.