Blackout Poetry #playingwithpoetrynpm

Blackout Poetry #playingwithpoetrynpm

April 12, 2019

Continuing my month of poetry inspired by other bloggers,  today I try blackout poetry.  My passage is taken from an inspiring book,  Leading Well by Lucy Calkins.  From the chapter, Giving and Receiving Potent Feedback… 


It Might Sound Like This

Wow, you have been working hard, haven’t you?

I was exhausted today just watching you, racing to reach everyone.

I‘ve been thinking about the work we have done so far. 

I feel like together, we’ve gotten this thing off the ground. 

This is the hardest part.

This can be scary to do.

Ask questions to make the light bulbs go off.

Hope teachers arrive at the insight.

Focus 80% of the conversation on the future, on solutions.

There were some problems.  Stuff happens.

Next steps, you’ll want to choose with care.



Haikubes #playingwithpoetrynpm

Haikubes have been my biggest challenge yet.  Mostly I wanted to cheat on the words or add others.  I stuck with the original intent.  Red letter cube for direction and them and then tossed cubes for Haiku -5-7-5 syllables.   I made two out of my tossed cubes.  One definitely made me laugh.  


A Desire for…

April 11, 2019

dreaming gentle heart

hmmm glorious salty sleep

finally travel


A definite feeling for the Thursday before vacation.  My other cube was My Romantic Life, which for us is all about eating out…

tangle up mouthfuls

marvel as greased blocks stick

love oozing noodle(s)



Haikubes gets a enthusiastic thumbs up from me.  Can’t wait to play them with my colleagues.  


Tuesday Again #sol19

Forty-Four Days

April 9, 2019

There are forty four days left in the school year.  14 or so half days will be benchmark assessments.  Six more days of state testing.  Five field days.  A fourth grade concert.  Another half day of conferences.  Three days of data meetings.  After all of that is said and done, down to about fourteen more days.

Fourteen more days of morning meetings and big ideas.  Fourteen more days of one more school year.

Do I say every year that it isn’t enough?  Do I say that I’ve just gotten started?  the students are just comfortable?  Now is the best time?

How many times have I started sprinting now?  Pushing towards the finish line as if it isn’t a finish at all, merely a stop along the way.  Perhaps it is.

It is for them.  For the students who in a year, maybe two or less won’t remember that reading teacher who had so many books.  Wait, didn’t she suggest that really awesome book.  Have you read it? 

It is for those retiring to greener pastures.  Those whose names will be brought up with soft smiles and reverent tones for many years to come.  You won’t miss us when we are gone. But we will.

It is a stop along the way for me as well.  I have belonged to many school along the road.  I hope this will be my final stop.  Not because I’m finished, I’ve just hit my stride.  This is my sweet spot, the penultimate, my dream job.

Why did I decide to wax poetic when there are in reality (how many did I say?) forty four more days of school and years to come after that?  What is that saying?  The days are long, but the years are short.

Before this year slips away,  I want to try a few more things I haven’t done and celebrate those I have. I want to have deep discussions with learners grown and growing.   Read a few more books and recommend twice that many.  I want to laugh and smile, encourage and spur on.  Write and write and write some more. Notice more and reflect on most of what I notice.

Right up to the very last day.

And in September,  I want to do it all again.

Metaphor Dice Poem: playingwithpoetrynpm

Metaphor dice come in a twelve pack with four concept, four adjective, and four six-sided inject dice. You roll the die to get a metaphor to begin your poem.

The Handed-Down Trophy of Hope

April 8, 2019

The handed-down trophy of hope

rattled around forgotten in the trunk

Of my consciousness

abandoned with my youth,

Until it was discovered

nearly unrecognizable


with the ideals

I had forgotten I lost.


It stands shining

on the shelves of my experience

with the other dream

I’ve collected.

Paint Chip Poetry #playingwithpoetrynpm

A paint chip poem inspired by Elisabeth Ellington who was inspired by an I am exercise in Susan Goldsmith Woodbridge’s book, Poemcrazy, Freeing Your Life with Words.

Paint chips are amazing. Go on over to the hardware store and load up. I want a second set right now. Devoid of verbs, paint chip names abound with adjectives and nouns. To complete this exercise like the mentor, I transposed one title and added articles, prepositions and the sentence stems from the exercise. This was fun.

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 7.13.56 AM

Poemcrazy exercise

Just pile on words. Don’t think. See images. Daydream with words. Wander. Go crazy defining yourself…





What I Am

I am seasoned salt,

the pencil sketch of early September.

The clear vista of my heart

is a stargazer on a September morning.

I am every growing season

keeping promises of a new day on

a distant shore.

I don’t know soft secrets or solemn silence.

I’m a blazing bonfire in the

Chicago fog,

a summer dragonfly at a lawn party.

I want to be a rolling pebble,

A sand pearl, a hush in beach grass.

Nail Polish Name Poetry #playingwithpoetrynpm

Playing with poetry further, I took Elisabeth Ellington’s nail polish name poem as a mentor. I have a box of nail polish, apparently ripe with racy innuendo. This wouldn’t be an elementary school project. Here it is. Each line of poetry is a nail polish name in my collection.

Nail Polish Poetry #playingwithpoetrynpm

April 7, 2019

bahama mama

aruba blue

haute in the heat

berry naughty

bikini so teeny

The girls are out

Breaking curfew!

wicked wild (nude)

no more film

e-nuf is e-nuf!