Thank you to Irene Latham for inviting me to participate in the Progressive poem this year. I stand in awe of all of you and I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous to add my line. I have watched the poem changing every morning and tried to anticipate what my contribution might be. At first was thinking I might possibly add something about the water, or maybe seabirds but then MaryLee added “ibises roosting in the trees.” So next I began wondering what the woman in the poem was thinking and how if we knew, it might help us understand her actions. Yesterday morning I opened the poem to find her grandmother would be speaking to her. Ahhh, perfect I thought. Now we’ll know a little bit more about her but, Oh, my! That means me!
I love water, the sounds, the colors, the feel of it. I love floating, boating, and body surfing but what I especially love is escaping to the world beneath the water by snorkeling or diving. I feel like the woman in this poem needs an escape and that possibly her grandmother knows this. The bracelet allows her the gift of escape. Here is the poem so far and the words I have chosen to add from her grandmother:
She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.
Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms. Her hair flows,
snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,
pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
strokes the turquoise stones, and steps through the curved doorway.
Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,
listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp–
an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory.
Born from the oyster, expect the pearl.
Next up is Margaret at Reflections on the Teche .
1 Jone at Check it Out
2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog
6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson
8 Irene at Live Your Poem
9 MaryLee at Poetrepository
10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
11 Kim at Flukeprints
12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine at DoriReads
14 Renee at No Water River
15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
19 Linda at Teacher Dance
20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots
21 Tara at A Teaching Life
22 Pat at Writer on a Horse
23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy
24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference
26 Brian at Walk the Walk
27 Jan at Bookseedstudio
28 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Donna at Mainely Write
30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
Today I met with Linda Nemec Foster who was our first Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, The meeting was arranged by our Education Art Museum coordinator Christopher Bruce, who knew I was interested in writing poetry with children. We had talked earlier in the school year about the possibility of bringing my Poetry Club to the museum to write. I was anticipating the upcoming exhibits and watching for one which would lend itself well to writing. Christopher contacted me a few weeks ago suggesting a meeting with poet Linda Nemec Foster, explaining that he thought we should meet. Lucky me!
Linda arrived with a bulging bag of her work- books, chapbooks, music CDs inspired by her poetry and one jointly produced collection of poems and photographs by a local artist. Her poetry work is written with an adult audience in mind but her poetry spirit spans all ages. I am anxious to share many of her poems with my students. She has worked as a poet in residence in many schools and for many years. Again, lucky me to have the opportunity to meet her.
Christopher told us about an upcoming exhibit called, “In the Air” which will be coming to the Grand Rapids Art Museum from the Whitney Museum. He described it as a massive circular view, interactive piece. Visuals of New York City told with vignettes are played while the viewer slips under the screen and watches from within the circle. We are planning a visit for the students to learn about the artist’s purpose for the piece and to write poetry from a circle of their own world– their backyard. It’s a plan to dream about and work through, and by May we will be ready to have some fun with poetry and art. I am grateful to those creative souls in the art world who believe in connecting other creative souls.
Here is a Haiku poem by Linda Nemec Foster from her book titled ” Listen to the Landscape,” Images by Dianne Carroll Burdick.
The Dream of Trees
To walk like the scarves
Of clouds, to abandon land
And never return