Poetry Friday: A Valentine Retrospective

Join us today with Jone for Poetry Friday!

What a week! And it’s not even over yet. Wednesday marked the 100th day of kindergarten, and of course the very next day was Valentine’s Day. Talk about a 1-2 punch! Honestly though, I have a group of terrific kindergartners who can really roll with a change of pace when it comes to special days, so we ventured into a couple of days outside the usual routine and celebrated both days with gusto. We still read, wrote, and explored math learning, but with a more focused lens on each of the celebratory days.

My friend Margaret is my poetry mentor and biggest cheerleader. Her post earlier this week on writing skinny poems has inspired me to try one myself, using the metaphor dice I recently ordered. If you don’t have a set of these yet, I encourage you to check them out. They are a lot of fun!

I knew I wanted to use the word LOVE for my concept, so I purposely only rolled the adjective & object. The dice gave me SILENT and ZOO. No two words could be more in opposition of what Valentine’s Day looks like in a kindergarten classroom! Consequently, my metaphor read:

Love was not a silent zoo

I do wish to clarify my use of the word zoo in describing my classroom – one definition of the word zoo reads: a situation characterized by confusion and disorder. Was there confusion among my little friends? Did we see a little disorder in our day? Imagine what 18 kindergartners delivering their Valentines might look like in the room….. confusion?…yup. Disorderly?…absolutely. But full of excitement?…100%! For many of my students this was their very first Valentine’s Day in a classroom, and because of that, the disorderly confusion was embraced!

Home Birth Haiku

Yesterday was the first Thursday of the month, but a pounding headache prevented me from posting my Spiritual Thursday post. I hope my fellow ST friends will allow a late and combination Poetry Friday post today!

Donna @ Mainely Write and Laura @ Writing the World for Kids are the hosts where you can read more from my fellow bloggers today. These communities of writers are the most welcoming, heart-filled places! I encourage you to take a peek at what others are sharing in both spaces.

My post today will follow Donna’s Spiritual Thursday theme of Home, but will include a poem for my Poetry Friday friends. I’m actually happy the way this worked out. Last night when I was struggling with a distracting headache, I could not think of what I wanted to write about on the topic of Home. Today, headache gone, and a turn of my new metaphor dice, and everything fell into place. You may find it an unusual and unexpected reflection of home, but the dice made the call:

Have I got you wondering where this is going? It will help you to know that I had two of my four daughters at home with a midwife. I could write at length about all of the incredible aspects of a home birth versus a hospital birth, but the most beautiful part for me was simply being HOME. Having the comfort of my own bed, the freedom to move about as I needed, surrounded by my family allowed me to experience and control my labors in my own time, and more importantly, in my babies time. No doctor’s schedule to feel pressured by. No worry of a switch of nurses at shift change. Time was not a concern whatsoever. Thankfully, my first baby came in under 3 hours, while the second took her sweet time, making everyone wait all.day.long.

Through the entire experience of both births, the presence of my midwife and doula brought such comfort and reassurance. At no point did I ever feel rushed, or that I was doing anything wrong. My second labor was a very long day for everyone, but never did she seem concerned about my slow progress. She was in it for the long haul. She offered support when asked, diligently checked baby’s heartbeat regularly, and remained nearby when needed. This allowed me to focus on every contraction and remain as relaxed and rested as I could in between.

These experiences give home a whole different meaning to me as I reflect back on these home birth experiences. Home was a safe haven where the miracle of life entered the world. Where our older daughters witnessed the birth of a sister, then peacefully drifted to sleep in their beds. Where everyone woke the next morning, sitting together at the breakfast table taking turns cuddling the baby. Where the rhythm of life was barely disrupted; the welcome arrival of our new member brought us into a new rhythm, overnight growing from a family of five to six.

This photo was taken outside the house on the morning of our youngest daughter’s birth – 18 years ago this past Tuesday as a matter of fact! It seems the perfect setting for my accompanying haiku. My dice roll didn’t really make a metaphor I found workable, so I sketched out a few ideas, and discovered I had written a haiku without even trying.

Thank you for letting me share my beautiful memories from a very special home.


Poetry Friday: Grandma’s Blessing

Join us today with Tabatha @ The Opposite of Indifference

In my poetry practice, one area I am currently trying to understand better and play with with in my poems is the art of metaphor. Last week my friend Margaret told me about this set of metaphor dice that her students love to use when writing poetry using metaphors. I couldn’t point, click, and ship fast enough, and just two days later, they arrived.

The first couple of rolls yielded a very strange combination of words, but roll three was a gem. It was amazing how quickly an idea for my poem came together, and almost instantly I knew I had just the picture that perfectly depicts the story it tells.

There is nothing like a grandma’s love for her first grandbaby. I have been so privileged to walk alongside Margaret in her journey to finally holding this precious bundle of joy. Little Leo is truly the light of her life! And I am quite certain that all of you grandmas out there know just what I’m talking about!

Poetry Friday: Then & Now

Poetry Friday round-up Kathryn @ Kats Whiskers

On my way home tonight I stopped at a former colleague’s house to return a baby backpack I had borrowed over the winter break for my visiting 9 month-old grand-nephew. My colleague and I hadn’t see each other for a number of months, so I came inside for a few minutes to visit and see his family. He and his wife have two of the cutest redheaded boys in the world, and it had been quite a while since I had seen them. They are now 4 and 2, so it was fun to chat and catch up.

Watching the chaos of a home with two busy little boys caused me to remember what our house once looked like and sounded like when my husband and I were deep in the weeds of raising our four daughters. Almost empty-nesters now, it has been many years since our evenings were anything like I witnessed tonight. I took it all in.

On my drive home, I couldn’t help but remember all of the crazy, demanding aspects of being a parent of young children. The constant chatter that seemed endless, the never-ending request for my attention, and what seemed like ceaseless piles of dirty dishes and laundry demanding my attention every.minute.of.the.day.

Tonight in the quiet of my kitchen, I began comparing my then with my now, and found a poem come to life.

Dinnertime chaos buzzing with conversations
of everyone’s highs and lows of the day

Dinnertime calm for two (sometimes three) at the kitchen island,
scrolling on our phones, reflecting on the day’s events

Bedtime baths, jammies & stories
running, squealing, chasing down the hall

Bedtime texts, Instagram, Snapchat check-ins
savoring a book of my choice, dogs at my feet

Middle of the night bad dreams,
slipping in between mom & dad for comfort

Middle of the night curfew checks,
a gentle whisper in my ear, “I’m home, mom”


Sometimes all too quiet.


Poetry Friday: #OneWord2019 acrostic

Join us with Sylvia at Poetry for Children for other link ups!

It’s that time of year again. Time to choose my one word that I will keep at the forefront of my thoughts, my decisions, and my actions in the year ahead.

I posted here in more detail about how I chose my #OneWord2019. Today I will share a fun acrostic poem that illustrates my OneWord: boredom.

Balance, I need you. Help me with this

Obsessive addiction to my smartphone..by

Resetting my brain I hope to

Experience greater productivity & creativity

Deliberately daydreaming to seek solitude where

Original ideas can surface

Mind wandering is magic.

Poetry Friday: ‘Tis the Season

Thank you to Laura Shovan for hosting Poetry Friday. Head over to her blog for a beautiful wintry poem that is sure to get you in the mood for Old Man Winter to come knocking at your door. If you live where I am in northwest Montana, you are getting rather impatient with his late arrival this year. My skis are in the basement waiting for an upheaval in the mild winter weather we have had thus far. My last check of the forecast isn’t looking good…to even consider that we wouldn’t have a white Christmas is unthinkable.

This brings me to my poem for today. Christmas and all of its hustle & bustle is upon us all. The Christmas cards went out this week, but I am still trying to whittle down my gift giving list. I just haven’t had it in me to brave the mall or box stores with list in hand, but instead have found myself shopping primarily online. Sipping a cup of hot coffee with my laptop and a dog on my lap is a far more pleasant shopping experience than scouring parking lots, fighting crowded store aisles, and enduring painfully long checkout lines.

How is your shopping coming along thus far?

Poetry Friday: Found Poem in a Sculpture Garden

Poetry Friday round-up is with Irene @ Live Your Poem

After my weekend in Houston for NCTE, I took an extended vacation with my friend Margaret Simon to explore south Louisiana. After a day in her hometown of New Iberia, we ventured to the big city of New Orleans. She took me to the French Quarter for lunch and a walk through the quaint streets, ending at Jackson Square to see the beautiful St Louis Cathedral before enjoying cafe au laits and beignets at Cafe’ du Monde.

The next day we explored the Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art. While walking through the gardens, Margaret started drafting a found poem as we viewed the sculptures and read about them from the app on our phones. I followed suit, since Margaret is always such an inspiration to me in my poetry writing.