Osprey acrostic

Overlords of sea and sky
Sunward soaring, unafraid
Precise piscivore pair
Riding the winds with
Easy grace
You see and seize the moment

Osprey pair. Photo by my friend E. Johnson.
“Fierce beauty,” as Sy Montgomery would say.

Sunflower acrostic

Happy National Poetry Month!

At Ethical ELA, Bryan Ripley Crandall kicks off VerseLove by inviting teacher-poets to compose acrostics: “Think of your  person, place, or phrase. Lay the letters onto the page as if fallen leaves. Game-on. Write as if you are ‘gifting’ to another, and use each letter to craft an original poem.”

I love acrostics and have long believed this ancient form is underused.

As I pondered a topic, I went to the refrigerator door to start breakfast, and there it was:

The Drawing My Granddaughter Made During a “Sleepover”

Six years old, blissfully
Unaware that it’s the emblem of a 
Nation being invaded, she announces:
Franna, I am making this for you.
Love crayoned on the paper as
Our own special symbol.
When night falls, we put on our pink pajamas
Emblazoned with these light-seeking faces
Radiating joy of now, promise for tomorrow.

She texts me in the evenings sometimes to be sure I am wearing my sunflower pajamas

The feather

on the second anniversary of school shutdowns due to COVID-19

Bleak days. A long, rain-spattered, windswept season, gray as ashes, as stones, just as hard, cold, and immovable. Day to day to day the green promise of spring seems like a dream barely remembered; naked tree branches twist skyward as if beseeching the heavens for renewal…

We go through the motions, automatons numbed by a pandemic not quite past and the ripple effect of unprovoked war on the world stage, as if we’ve somehow fallen through a wormhole to eight decades ago… what year IS this?

I am tired, my colleagues at school tell one another. So tired. Some don’t know if they’re coming back next year. Some don’t know if they’re going to stay in education at all. Our principal is leaving in four weeks.

The children have seemed shell-shocked most of this year. Maybe I seem the same way to them, especially now that masks are optional and I find myself not recognizing some of them; I’ve never seen them without masks before. I don’t know their faces below their eyes.

As I walked the hallways last week, I had a sense of dragging myself over a finish line, except that there is no finish line. Not now, not yet…

But even in the bleakest, rain-spattered, windswept season, when gray goes grayer still, bits of brightness are always swirling. Maybe as tiny as a feather, a soft semiplume shed from a creature with the gift of flight. It might appear to be half one thing and half another… it might have the appearance of dark, wispy, wayward hair as well as a tapered tip dipped in fiery red, altogether like an artist’s brush with which we might, we just might, begin to dispel despair by painting our moments as we will…

So much symbolism in a feather. In the bird that releases it.

It is said that when cardinals appear, angels are near.

I don’t know about that.

I just know a cardinal feather is a symbol of life, hope, and restoration. And courage. And love. And sacrifice…

Falling from the grayest sky
Ethereal, riding the wind
Alluding to nearness of angels
Tiny trace of a nearby cardinal that
Has lost a bit of his insulation
Ephemeral, perhaps, to him
Restorative tincture, to me

Semiplume cardinal feather photographed by my friend,
E. Johnson, 3/11/2022.

*******

with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March.

This is a rainbow

an acrostic

The Artist’s Inner Dialogue

Today is a
Happy day
I feel it as I
Skip along the sidewalk

feel like making
Something beautiful with

All kinds of colors

Red orange yellow green blue

And my favorites,
Indigo and violet…
Now I leave my happy beautifulness
By way of chalkdust
Or maybe fairydust 
Where you can find it, too

Photo: Margaret Simon. “This Photo Wants to be a Poem,” Reflections on the Teche.

Thank you for the inspiration, Margaret.

Picture book poem

On the last day of the February Open Write at Ethical ELA, Britt Decker invites participants to write a poem based on a picture book, taking inspiration from beautiful lines, illustrations, or theme.

My little acrostic is inspired by Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home, by Sy Montgomery (a true story).

*******

The Long-Reaching Tentacle of Adaptability

Sometimes the keeper gave Inky toys. Inky liked to take apart LEGO blocks, and put them back together. He liked playing with Mr. Potato Head. One time, with his suckers, he pulled off Mr. Potato Head’s eyes and handed them to the starfish in his tank.”

 
Once upon a time, a 
Child yearned
To understand why
Others seem such a 
Puzzle
Until she learned
She didn’t have to solve them.

From Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home, written by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2018.

I am in awe of octopuses. Inky’s story is etched on my heart. There’s something so poignant to me in his giving Mr. Potato Head’s eyes to the starfish.

A bit of whimsy

Who wouldn’t love a seahorse pen?
Hippocampus reigns in hand and brains!
Iridescent eyes awaiting
My planner for updating
See the daily reminder here…
You are made of magic.

This really is my seahorse pen and planner. Just sayin’.

Dedicated to my blogger-friends at SOS—Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog
in light of the challenge to capture a bit of whimsy

Scarecrow

Mixed media by Scout, age 5

Suppose you’re a special sort of Scarecrow with a
Carved pumpkin head and a purple hat
Adorned with pink roses, holding out your arms to
Receive birds instead of repelling. Your reward for
Embracing these winged messengers might be
Canticles of cheer sung in your ear,
Refrains of comfort and even celebration as
October dies, again, reminding you, again, it’s only for a
While.

Habit acrostic

with thanks to Ruth Ayres at SOS – Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog, for reiterating this truth: “Habit is essential for writers. If we develop a habit that allows us to enter into writing, then we will write more often.” She encourages the “magic” community to pay attention to the routines that make blog writing happen.

I am a morning writer. I love the rich, dark silence of the sleeping world around me, the freedom to hear my own uncluttered thoughts, the anticipation of gifts from the burgeoning day. I love the neighbor’s rooster, how his loud crowing wafts through the stillness; there are a few roosters in this neighborhood and sometimes they echo each other in a chorus of wild, rustic, joyful aliveness. It is a song of my soul. For a second, I have a sense of my young grandfather a hundred years ago, preparing for his farm chores, walking the fertile land he cultivated and loved all of his life, as darkness turns to light.

And so I write.

An acrostic, for Day Sixteen of National Poetry Month

Hallowed
Are these moments
Before the dawn
Immersed in words
The breathings of my being

If you are looking to write more or to develop a blogging habit, consider joining the vibrant community
at SOS – Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog.