Friday, August 5, 2016

Summer Poem Swap: Where There Be Inspiration & Dragons!

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Tara at A Teaching Life for Roundup.

It's been a busy week here, on this, the last week before the baby goes back to school. I've been writing, yes, and reading! Some picture books and middle grade novels and best of all, HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD. I'll keep my comments general for those of you who still have the book to look forward to!

I have to tell you: I loved it. Loved seeing Harry (and Draco) struggle with parenthood and loved all the time travel that allowed us to see/hear again from Snape and Dumbledore... it was a wonderful blend of nostalgia for the world we've come to love but also pushing the story forward. A couple of surprises: Ron turned out to be a bit more of a jokester as an adult than I would have anticipated... Ron and Hermione are so sweet as a married couple! I would have liked (and expected) more of a role for young Rose... this is really the two boys' (Albus and Scorpius) friendship, not the Harry-Ron-Hermione trio we loved so dearly. I cried -- more than once. Someday I MUST see the play!

Meanwhile, I'm excited to share with you today swaps o' beauty from Michelle and Buffy.

First, from Michelle:

Recipe for Inspiration
by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

Start with the sky --
     broad strokes from Nature's canvas.
Open the window --
     let in a breeze and the early morning light,
     dappled with the scent of orange blossoms.
Open the door --
     offer Imagination a paintbrush
     and a seat beside Courage and Compassion.
Open your ears --
     heed the whisper of the masters,
     teachers, students, wanderers, friends.
Open your mind --
     dream and discover
     a world within a world within a world.
Open your heart --
     you are safe, you are welcome.
     Inhale, exhale, and start with the sky.
Isn't that lovely? I love those Emily-esque capped Imagination and Courage and Compassion... and the "dappled scent of orange blossoms" - I can smell it, can't you? And of course the sky! Sky was one of my most favorite One Little Words ever... and this poem brings to mind THE KNOWING BOOK by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illustrations by Matthew Cordell, which also urges us to begin and end with sky! What an invitation. Thank you, Michelle!

And now for Buffy's poem, which, if you've ever visited Buffy's blog, you *might* have anticipated! Who can resist dragons like these? Not me!

Consider the Dragon

With wings like, lace, elegant and fine
that shimmer and glisten, sparkle and shine
you might believe this dragon's benign...

No fiery breath, no spike-laden spine,
she lounges on lilies until skeeter whines --
then Dragon launches.

- Buffy Silverman, 2016
I love how this dragon is a "she" and how she "lounges on lilies" and how Buffy places those final words on individual lines. And the photos! "Elegant and fine!" Thank you, Buffy!

Happy August, everyone! xo


  1. Those are wonderful poems. And any poem with a dragon and a skeeter entering the circle of life is welcome. Michelle, I do love those orange blossoms. A scent layered with so much meaning. Irene, great post!

  2. Yep. Both are wonderful. It's fun to notice that so many of the poetry swap poems are written as direct address, instructions, recipes. The way we love each other with our words!

  3. These poems are simply fabulous. "Dappled with the scent of orange blossoms" was a favorite line from Michelle's inspiring poem, and I loved the overall mood of it--full of peace and possibility. Buffy's poem is a wonderful collaboration of vivd images--in words and photos! Love both of them! Thanks for sharing.

  4. These poetry swaps have been such a blessing to those of us who are yet-to-be poets! I love these two - so filled with imagery.

  5. Thanks for sharing my poem today, Irene. How funny that I never made that connection with THE KNOWING BOOK! At least not on a conscious level, though I love the book and probably it was simmering somewhere below the surface. Buffy's poem is fabulous... and like you said, those launching, snatching dragons are irresistible. Glad to hear you've been feeding your muse with reading and writing. xo

  6. Wonderful poetry from dear poetry friends! Thank you for sharing. Love the final line from Michelle's poem: "Inhale, exhale, and start with the sky." And Buffy's word choice in "Consider the Dragon" is sublime.

  7. A lovely post from top to bottom! "Start with the sky" is such a wonderful line. I'm always looking up and yesterday was sad to realize that I missed something in the grass as I heard it scurry away. Thank you for sharing so much beauty with us today, Irene!

  8. Lovely post and great poems Michelle and Buffy. :-)

  9. Lovely post and great poems Michelle and Buffy. :-)

  10. Start with the sky, and Consider the dragon, then Knowing, all parts of life that are most important. What lovely poems you received, Irene.

  11. Love both of these poems! Michelle's is a wonderful invitation for students to bring their imaginations to. And the girl dragon with lacy wings is irresistible!

  12. Thanks for sharing my dragonfly, Irene. And what a treat to read Michelle's recipe--especially on this lovely night sitting near the open front door and windows, enjoying the cool breeze and listening to the katydids.

  13. Absolutely charming! Both of these poems evoke such thoughtful notions. Thanks, Irene!

  14. Beautiful, both poems (though Buffy's comes with a bite), and I love the nod to Rebecca's gorgeous book as well. Glad you like the new HP book; Daughter Morgan bought it the moment it came out, but we haven't read over here yet. It will bring back magical memories, I'm sure!

  15. Love these poems, Irene! Images to savor. xo

  16. Love the imagery of the poems and the idea of a poem swap. I'm looking forward to reading the Harry Potter play too!

  17. A feast of beauty....reading this on Wednesday and enjoying every bit.


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