in picture & in word

July 21, 2010

For the past week I have been noticing this sailboat that recently made its appearance on the lake.  But only today was I quick enough with my camera to capture its lovely stillness in the morning light.

Once I had done so, and considered the result, it seemed rather fitting that I would have this today, on a Poetry Wednesday.  For the image seemed to be, in itself, a poem . . . a perfect word picture, if I’ve ever seen one.

That said, I will go ahead and share a poem of the wordy variety as well, a rondeau that fits the photo’s theme I think, even if it is not yet Autumn :-)

A Rowing Rondeau

In front of me two boats I see,

Kayakers paddling merrily.

Near these two, three, in a canoe,

Row, row their boat, to catch the two,

So all can like a dream-life be.

Me, I observe it all closely,

Thinking of how time slips past me.

For soon Fall’s chill will cause to “shoo,”

These boats I see, in front of me.

Yet I envision this not sadly,

But with a certain Autumn glee.

For how could one grow glum and blue

When all’s awash with brilliant hue?

With Nature shining vibrantly,

I sure won’t miss these boats I see!

happy daddy’s day

June 20, 2010

This morning I had my student write a little contest-poem, answering the question “If your dad was an ice cream flavor, what would he be?”  With a bit of “translation” help from me [she talked through the answer and I put it in poetic form], I think my 6-year-old student did a fine job indeed.  And so in honor of tomorrow’s celebrations, I would like to offer this as a bit of a shout-out to all the Dads in my life: y’all are swell :-)

My Daddy-Cone

By Allison,

With scribe-assistance by Yours Truly

If Daddy were an ice cream cone, what flavor would he be?

He’d be a pretty special one, ‘cause this is what I see:

First scoop would be just Strawberry.

Next Oreo Cook-ie—

After that one, Maple Syrup,

Then a scoop of plain Hon-ey.

Next comes the scoop of Cookie Dough,

Then Strawberry Shortcake . . .

[What’s that, you ask?

Well silly—it’s a flavor too, of course!]

One more scoop—a real special one,

That’s called just “Honey Bee.”

It’s the final flavor that my special

Daddy’s Cone would be . . .

For this one’s made with bees, you see—

Not real ones, ‘course—that’d hurt!

They’re cute, & sweet, quite tasty, too—

The perfect Topper-Scoop!

a nosy poem

June 9, 2010

Today is Wednesday.  Poetry Wednesday, in fact.  And so, without further ado, here is a poem, for you ;-)

Loved, By a Nose

by AGJ

“My love is like a red red rose . . .”

With a corn cob pipe and a button nose?

That can’t be right, that’s not what I meant:

Don’t worry, my darling, this poem’s not spent!

“How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways . . .”

No one can eat just one . . . Lays?

Oh dear, no–most certainly not!

A potato chip? What a ridiculous thought!

Just one more attempt I shall make, one last time–

One more chance to woo with a romantic rhyme:

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate;”

With hair shiny black and eyes green & gray,

You make my heart flutter and grow delicate.

With you I am matched, in our profiles it shows:

As we reach for a kiss, but are blocked by a nose!

another of my own

May 13, 2010

Emboldened [too much so?] by the kind response to last week’s Poetry Wednesday post . . . and perhaps also by the fact that I am trying to flame the fires of my song-writing creativity, I have decided to go ahead and put another of my own writings out there. This one is decided less serious than last week’s–quite goofy, in fact. But as much of my children’s writing is just as goofy, there is no good reason for me to hide that fact :-) This one was inspired by a conversation I had with a little one, years ago, in the church bathroom after the service . . .

Stuck in the Loo
Oh dear, I fear it’s true:
I’m stuck here in the loo.

I’ve wiggled, and jiggled, and pried:
And now I’m fit to be tied.

I really had to pee.
So Mommy came in with me.

I told her she could go–
I’m big now and, well, you know.

But now I wish I hadn’t.
Cause she’d a known how to unfast’n it.

She knows how to do
Just anything–I promise, it’s true!

Well I guess I’ll settle in a bit–
The loo’s not a bad place to sit.

I can make it real nice and comfy,
Even have my friends over for tea.

Suzy, and Jane, and Jackie.
And maybe Jane’s puppy, Jalopy.

We can all sit right there on the floor,
In that space–it’s just perfect for four!

After tea, then time for . . .
What’s that? Did I hear the door?

Oh–Mommy, you found me!
I was just . . . well, I’ll tell you later.

Yes, I’m fine. Tell you now?
Well ok. This is how . . .

till Zion

May 5, 2010

This Spring, thanks to an inspiring baby niece, I accidentally wrote a song. I am accustomed to making up songs, as they rather regularly pop into my head to be used as teaching tools . . . silly French ditties, usually. This time, however, it sounded kind of like a “real” song. When I shared it with one of my blogging friends, she suggested that I post it for a Poetry Wednesday. It took me a while to decide to do so but, now, here it is.
The poem itself I wrote a while back–an “Alphabet Prayer.” But the tune is new, and I first sang it a cappella. Then, with the help of a talented collaborating musician, it turned into an official song, complete with instrumentals and background vocals. Anyhow, here are the lyrics. If any of you, who have not already heard it, would like to hear either version of the song itself, I would be happy to pass along the MP3 version: just comment or email me directly if so . . .

Till Zion is Nigh

Verse 1:
Abba Father
Blessed Jesus
Come and cheer us
Do be near us

Every Creature
Far and near
Give You praise for Your
Holy ways
[Refain]: For Yours I’ll be, till Zion is nigh. Oh, yours, till Zion is nigh.

I am Yours
Just as I am
Kindly made
Loved and framed

May I never
Not be true
Or be forgetful in
Praising You

Quiet me when
Restless I grow
Still my spirit
Tame my soul

Under Thy wings
Verily I fly
Watched for by Your
eXtra watchful eye

Final Refrain: Sung with a 3rd line] of “Till Zion”

time for poetry

April 22, 2010

I am one of those [of whom a larger population exists, I suspect, than one might imagine] who tends towards an obsession with words. I seem to be unable to hold back the compulsive composition of word plays, poems, rhymes, and songs. This does come in handy as a teacher for little ones, as I have a knack for randomly composing mnemonic devices to help them remember such things as the French Alphabet, the Days of the Week, and the like.
It is not, unfortunately, as skill that does very well at earning a living . . . but I digress.
The point of my, er, point [;-)] is that I like words. And that I like poems. And so I like Poetry Wednesday.
For today’s such event, I decided to post a poem that is probably familiar to many of those in my blogging circle. Multiple reasons prompted this decision. One of those is that I recently was asked [by one who was used to seeing the name in my email signature] who Gerard Manley Hopkins was. This gave me the occasion to go back and read through several of his poems, and to re-read about his life.
Around the same time, I learned of the newest release by Natalie Merchant which is, I think, quite brilliant . . . a passion of my own, as well. Her album–Leave Your Sleep–is a children’s collection of songs based upon sophisticated and traditional poems, rhymes, and lullabies.
Also around this same time, I accidentally wrote my first “serious” song [as opposed to educational little ditties and limericks]. Consequently, with the urging of a friend and collaborating musician, I have begun the exhilarating project of my own potential [budding] musical project . . .
All that to say, I would like to share with you one of the poems that my dear blogging buddy introduced me too years ago, also introducing me to the poet. This poem is also the inspiration for one of my favorite songs on Merchant’s CD [though I confess that I do not have, and so have not listened to in its entirety, the album.
But enough ramblings from me. Here’s the poem. Enjoy!

To a Young Child
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

chiming in

April 15, 2010

There has been a “Poetry Wednesday” circle amongst some of my blogger buddies that I have been following for several months now. But I have not joined in, preferring to just enjoy others’ posts. I decided to chime in this week, however. Largely, this is due to my own contemplative and creatively-inclined state of mind as of late. When I am in such a mood, I tend to remember past artistic loves, as well as embarking upon new ones. At the moment, I have been musing on the first poetry I really resonated with: I didn’t even know why . . . still don’t, for that matter! But for whatever reason, I fell in love with A.A. Milne’s “Buttercup Days” back in high school–before I even really liked poetry all that much, so far as I can remember. I read it as school required, but wouldn’t have dreamed of recreationally writing it, as I do now. Enough said . . . here it is :-)

Buttercup Days

Where is Anne?
Head above the buttercups,
Walking by the stream,
Down among the buttercups.
Where is Anne?
Walking with her man,
Lost in a dream,
Lost among the buttercups.

What has she got in that little brown head?
Wonderful thoughts which can never be said.
What has she got in that firm little fist of hers?
Somebody’s thumb, and it feels like Christopher’s

Where is Anne?
Close to her man.
Brown head, gold head,
In and out the buttercups.

-A.A. Milne. “Now We Are Six”