A few months ago I was gifted a pack of sunflower seeds from a clothing store of the same name (Sunflowers). I thought how wonderful to have a small crop of sunflowers in the garden, so I threw a handful in the soil and hoped for the best. I watered and waited, and was finally rewarded with a small sprout. I watched that small sprout grow and grow and grow into a spectacular plant full of hope and wonder.
Just One by Rose Cappelli
Just as I was about to give up on the sunflower seeds, one took root—
a small shoot branched out, grew up, up, up strong and straight and thick, past the window beyond the roof line.
One day it bowed to the roses, caught its breath, then straightened and continued on.
The finches and I are waiting for buds and blooms and glorious, wondrous seeds—
from just that one.
Then one day it collapsed from all that wonder. I felt as if I had lost a friend. I cut off as many blooms as I could and am once again watching and waiting. I’ll be sure to share the seeds with the finches.
Becky has this week’s Poetry Friday round up at Sloth Reads.
I’ve been rereading Writing Toward Home by Georgia Heard and came across “Valentine for Ernest Mann,” a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. Here’s an excerpt:
“…poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes, they are sleeping. They are the shadows drifting across our ceilings the moment before we wake up. What we have to do is live in a way that lets us find them.”
As an exercise, Georgia asked readers to list places where writing hides for us. I challenged myself to fill a page in my notebook.
Some phrases sounded so poetic that I crafted them into a sort of list poem.
Poems wait to be found. They hide in the grass, glistening in the morning dew and the parade of ants across the path. They linger in the flutter of wings at the bird feeder and the slow unfolding of the morning glories. If I listen carefully I may hear poems in the crunch of celery, the laughter of children, an early morning thunderstorm, or the calls of a red-winged blackbird. Poems greet me at the edge of my dreams, then stick around for that first sip of coffee. They crouch in the corners of my grandchildren’s smiles, and hover in my husband’s hand on the small of my back. Poems are buried deep in my dog’s soft fur, and will live forever in my memories.
Margaret has today’s Poetry Round Up here. Thanks for hosting, Margaret.
This morning I woke unsure about what day it was. When I was teaching full time, I often woke on the less structured days of summer unsure about the day. Now I have no excuse. I was delighted to remember it was Friday – Poetry Friday, until I realized I had no poem waiting to post. Or did I?
There’s a lovely cherry tree out back that has been a constant companion during our forty-three years in this house. It’s been a source of slices and poems many times over the years. This week, for no particular reason, a large limb split and bowed low, like it was just too tired to stay upright any longer. Usually that happens during a storm, but there was no storm, no wind. The first thing I worried about was losing the tree completely. But my husband took out his chainsaw, reshaped one side, and assured me my friend wasn’t done yet. I’m hoping for many more years through the seasons with this gentle giant.
The tree is a peaceful giant— a burst of beautiful blossoms, a home to birds and squirrels, a vision in gold, a bare-branched wonder. From time to time limbs split, give up the fight to stay connected, reshape my old friend who is not ready to give up completely.
Laura Shovan has the link for today’s Poetry Friday here. Thanks for hosting, Laura!
I love to watch the birds come to the feeder. Some eat and run, others seem to linger awhile. It sometimes reminds me of friends gathering for a bite to eat to catch up on all the latest news. When I was teaching, the coffee pot in the faculty room was the gathering spot where you heard all the latest gossip. I wondered if it might be the same for my backyard birds.
The Garden Café by Rose Cappelli
They meet like old friends, discuss the weather, share the latest gossip. They talk about the new baby wrens, and the bluebird fledglings, and visitors who’ve stayed too long. They listen carefully to discover which flowers have the sweetest nectar and which feeder has the best blend of seeds. Just an everyday gathering at the garden café.
Buffy Silverman is hosting Poetry Friday today. Be sure to check it out on her blog.
I recently revisited One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon as a mentor text for a short project I was working on. There are so many aspects about this book that make it a must have for aspiring writers, kids, parents, teachers. Please take a look. And for more picture book recommendations, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.
Title: One Dark Bird
Author: Liz Garton Scanlon
Illustrator: Frann Preston-Gannon
Publisher: Beach Lane Books, 2019
Audience: Ages 4-8
Themes: counting, birds, rhyme
Opening lines: 1 dark bird / perched way up high / a view of town / a taste of sky
Synopsis: Starlings appear one by one until they form a flock. When they sense a hawk nearby, the birds form a murmuration that flap and dance making lots of noise to scare away the danger.
Why I Like This Book:
strong verbs (perched, divert)
unexpected rhymes (by/multiply, cloud/crowd)
matching beginning and ending verses
front matter paragraph (as opposed to back matter)
bright colors in the art that contrast to the dark bird
For an extensive list of wonderful picture books compiled from past Perfect Picture Book Fridays, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.