Category Archives: Poems

A Recipe for Spring

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I used “Recipe for Writing a Spring Poem,” by Georgia Heard from Falling Down the Page as a mentor poem.

 

One teaspoon gentle breezes,

One tablespoon golden sunshine,

A pinch of Old North Wind.

 

One teaspoon chirping robins,

One tablespoon crocus blooming,

One dash of snowy flurries.

 

One teaspoon cloudless skies,

One tablespoon longer days,

One splash of April showers.

 

One cup childhood laughter,

One pint smiling faces,

One gallon of May flowers.

 

Oh, yes, a recipe for Spring!

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

I Discovered a Book!

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Have you ever suddenly and unexpectedly come across something that at first seems common, but upon investigation, is a treasure?  Have you ever walked drearily along in late winter seeing only snow, but there, right in front of you, like a flash in the darkness, is a purple crocus pushing up through the winter’s white mantle?  This discovery brings the warmth of hope that thaws the frozen void within.

In the same manner, I discovered a new book!  Always on the look-out for children’s picture books for interactive read-alouds, I intently listened to a wonderful Lover of Books share her most glorious finds from the last publishing year.  Taking copious amounts of notes on this one or that one, I considered which might be the best choices for our students. Then, this Lover of Books held up a mostly maroon-colored book. It had, on the cover, a book with a key hole on it and a bluish girl sitting upon the book. It was entitled, A Child of Books, by Oliver Jeffers and illustrated by Sam Winston.  A bit of it was read aloud, and it didn’t catch my attention.  I decided to pass on this book. “Too plain,” I thought to myself

Later, at another session at this conference, the same Lover of Books, share this identical maroon-covered book again!  “Wow!” I thought to myself, “She must really like this book.”

At about the same moment, a very literary friend of mine and fellow literacy coach, leaned over and whispered, “I have that book in my office.”  Sitting up a bit straighter, I paid closer attention to this second reading of the book.

“Isn’t this cool?  All the illustrations are made up of words.  Words from different books,” the Lover of Books enthused.  My eyes narrowed, squinting, as I tried to see the illustrations better.  Then, exploding like a bomb, “I have this book sitting out in my office,” exclaimed the presenter.

“You better pay attention,” I thought to myself,  “maybe this book is worth purchasing.”  I only had a few moments after the presentation to glance at the book.  “Still a little sparse looking…I’ll order it.” With a click of a few buttons on my computer, my decision was final.  “It’ll be fun to get a package on my doorstep when I get home. Amazon Prime, I love you!”

After opening the package that indeed was waiting for me when I got home and having time,  I really read and studied the book. Each page, starting with the end pages, have wonderful quotes from books,classics, like The Count of Monte Cristo and The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Rubinson Crusoe and A Christmas Carol and… the list goes on and on.  There are other wonderful quotes from fairy tales and nursery rhymes, ones we all know like “Hush-a-Bye Baby” or “Brahms’ Lullaby” or “Snow White and Red Rose”  and “Rapunzel” and…. A smile spread across my face as I read on and on,examining “…Sam Winston’s fascinating typographical landscapes…” (from book jacket). Here is a book that lifts up the worlds that can be imagined on the sea of stories.  

And, the best, to me, was the illustration on the last page:
Imaginatin is Free

Isn’t this what we want for all people everywhere?  To have the key to read and travel through the worlds of books, of stories?

This book will be on display in my office, too.  

A Child of Books

 

A River Runs

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River

The river outside my window is hurrying, scurrying by,

swirling and gurgling and bubbling,  

rushing on watery wings.

 

Onward toward its destination

without a thought or care

for passing shores or meadows green.  

 

Does it ever pause to think,

“Where is my final end?”

Does it ponder o’er and o’er,

“What’s the meaning of this race?”

 

Does it look to right or left

as on fleeting feet it flies?

Does it hear whispers

of rustling leaves on overhanging trees?

 

Does it attend the songbird’s call?

Or hear the lark or wren?

Does it in merry mirth reply,

or does it hasten on?

 

How fleeting this life!

How swift the years!

hurrying, hastening, scurrying on,

with nary a slack or pause or care.

 

Time flies on and on!  

 

Perspective

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Why does a number on the scale bring tears

when going up,

but solicit smiles

when going down?

 

Why does a snowstorm bring anxiety

when travel plans are looming,

but excited wonder

when warm hearths await?

 

Why does sadness darken a light-loving soul

when summer solstice ends,

but joy sparkle in a sorrowful soul

when winter solstice wanes?

 

Why does a glass appear half empty to one

yet to another seem half full?

Why does a trouble cripple one

yet to another unhindered sours?

 

Perspective is the magic key

that turns the blind to sight,

Perspective is the mystic flame

that changes darkness into light.

 

Grant me that key,

give me that flame

that I may walk, seeing,

in heaven’s light.

copyright 2018

Phone Poem

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I learned about this form of poetry last year in SOL.  Write the digits of a phone number, and then write one phrase or sentence that has that number of words in it.  Try it.  It’s fun!

 

2 – Literacy Coach

6 – Walking alongside teachers and reflecting together.

2 – Powerful work!

 

3 – Working in classrooms

7 – That child is a puzzle. Need help?

6 –  What tangles in understanding need untangled?

 

6 – Let’s try this; Let’s try that.

8 – That didn’t work?  What else can we try?

6 – What’s that? A shift in learning?!?

2 – Let’s celebrate!

Swirling, twirling

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Swirling, twirling

Hurricane of thought

Unsettling whirling

Chaos of confusion

Twisting, turning

Sleep eluding

Restless, dreamless

Wakeful brooding

Should I?

Could I?

What if?

Or… not?

Sun dispelling deepest night,

Dawn-exploding, shimmering light.

Return my peace,

Serenity of soul.

© Barbara Donaldson, 2017

Why?

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So many whys-

Why do letters make sounds

and sounds make words

and words make ideas

and ideas change the world?

 

Why does one man love one woman

and why is that woman the one?

Why does that man become the one

to that woman?

 

Why does love kindle desire

and desire bring babies

and babies grow love?

 

Why does time go by

and people grow old

and people pass away

and why does time leave us…alone?

 

Why?

Why?

Why?

 

 

Spring is Playing Peek-a-Bo0

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Spring’s sunny face was smiling

          only yesterday.

She peeked amidst ol’ Winter’s clouds

          And warmed us through and through.

I wish she’d come and play again

          And disperse ol’ Winter’s gloom.

Today my friend is hiding;

          She’s nowhere to be found.

When will she come again to play

          And make my spirit soar? 

When, oh, when will Spring come back

          And peek-a-boo once more?