Friday, April 24, 2015

Fashion Forward

During my the early years of my marriage, I was fascinated by the Victorian era. I spent many a weekend antiquing, reading about era, and decorating my home. I was so immersed in the time period that my personal email name became lady1890, an antique/vintage clothing collection was stored in a costume trunk for children's pleasure, and a Victorian Tea Birthday Party was held for five-year-ols. A few years later, I designed various school-wide, young historian projects that featured artifact collections and docents dressed in period costume. For those events, I found a pair of Victorian bloomers with lace edging that I proudly wore with a white cotton dress, vintage-looking heels, a jeweled flag pin, gloves, and a fetching hat. The photo is unavailable but the memories remain.  

My poem today is written for Laura Shovan's clothing poem project, What Are You Wearing. Today's clothing poem prompt is vintage.

Pantaloons were once the rage -
fashion-forward, no runway stage -
plain or fancy, crisp cotton drawers,
adorned many female bodies of yore.

Wearing them was quite a feat
for Victorian ladies-a lingerie treat?
But modern wear can be fun
when you have a costume run.

just be careful your bloomers don't show.
you wouldn't want to shock your beau. 
CVarsalona © 2015. All Rights Reserved

Today, Poetry Friday is being hosted by Renee LaTulippe at No Water Rising. There you will find a variety of offerings to celebrate poetry during National Poetry Month and Renee's handy Poetry Friday 101 ntoice to learn more about the weekly Friday event.

A special thanks goes out to Jama Rattigan for including Winter Whisperings Gallery on her 2015 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup. In the online gallery poems from some Poetry Friday contributors and a featured poem by J. Patrick Lewis, the originator of the zeno can be found.

This month, poetry is alive at #digipoetry (site created by Margaret Simon and logo by Leigh Anne Eck). Please visit. 

Thank you for joining my Poetry Parade. I will continue to celebrate poetry during the month of May when I will start collecting offerings for the online global gallery of artistic expressions, Spring's Symphony. Please consider joining me. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Family Ties

Tell it to your children, 
and let your children tell it to their children, 
and their children to the next generation.
Joel 1:3


Today, is Spiritual Journey Thursday. The community gathers together at Holly Mueller's site, Reading, Teaching, Learning, to pen thoughts around today's topic, family. Please visit and read the various posts. 

This month, poetry is alive and being published daily at #digipoetry, the site created by Margaret Simon. 

Image created by Leigh Anne Eck

Thank you for joining my Poetry Parade.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Celebrating Blogger's Voice

When Alabama southern charm met New York voice a happening occurred. Last night, #NYEDChat and #ALedchat joined together to Celebrate Blogger's Voice. The merger of the two state chats into one unit, #NYALedchat, created an explosion of thought and trended on Twitter. Voice was emphasized and celebrated by a variety of educators and thought leaders.  

The connection started months ago when Jennifer Hogan and Dr. Holly Sutherland, #ALedchat moderators, met two #NYEDChat moderators, Dennis Schug and me, on the Twitter channels.  A virtual, collegial friendship began and from this connection a new chat group, #NYALedchat, grew. #NYEDChat moderators welcomed the idea and we prepared for a chat for a Twitter audience. The event was publicized and leaders gathered to converse. You can read the Chirpstory that Lisa Meade, #NYEDChat co-moderator, created from the Twitter chat here

Understanding that voice plays a significant role in shaping ideas and movements, the topic, Celebrating Blogger's Voice, proved to be a worthy one. Diverse perspectives openly expressed their thoughts to questions revolving around the 5 W's and H. It was a grand idea to merge an old school questioning technique with a new school environment and methods of communicating. Learning flowed like water from virtual spaces. 

My takeaway from the conversation: it is important to realize that all voices matter as we continue to impact life, teaching, and learning. Utilizing social platforms to converse, we flatten our walls and reach out to others for support and continued knowledge. In this connected space, we grow as learners of life. 
When we allow reflective thoughts to form in our inner spirits, voice itches to take flight. Voice shapes our being, frames our journey, and sets our path. Within each word that springs forth is a golden thread that is woven to form a tapestry of thought. 

My advice to those new to blogging and tweeting:
Write from the heart.
 Find your inner voice.
Let it fly. 
It has wings that will soar into the sky. 

The poem below is a composition created after the #NYALedchat to showcase the wonder of expressive thought.

A Poetic Composition
On Blogger's Voice

Perhaps hidden in the recesses of your spirit,
you will find your inner voice.
It wiggles; has a short encounter with doubt.
At times, it moves cautiously outward
weaving a tapestry of thought.
Other times, itching to take flight,
it engages in a leap of faith.

In a sea of talk, your words float,
ideas rush in, spin, churn, 
then recede, reflect and turn 
in a quick backward flow.
In this sea of talk, voices rise,
linguistic floodgates open.  
Beyond regions, connections grow 
and new channels of communication form.

Continue in earnest to explore ideas.
Engage in virtual and face-to-face spaces.
Pursue perspectives. Seek creative outlets.
Immerse yourself in accountable talk.
Then, sit back to reflect; linger in the moment.
As you connect, emerge as one
unified body of practitioners of life. 

Carol Varsalona © 2015


On Tuesdays, Two Writing Teachers offer space for writers to create a slice. Since my experience last night was so rewarding, I decided to pen my thoughts as Tuesday's Slice of Life. You can read other slices here.

Mary Lee Hahn offers space to contribute to her PO-EMotions. Yesterday's word was wonder. I offer my poem, On Blogger's Voice, to explore the wonder of expressive thought. 

You can find many more poetry selections for National Poetry Month at #digipoetry, a site created by Margaret Simon.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Listening for Spring's Symphony

Since the launching of the Winter Whisperings Gallery, I have delightfully turned my attention to the season of spring with its magical awakenings. Last year, during National Poetry Month I unveiled April Awakenings, taking a cue from nature itself.

That gallery collection opened with this quote:

I realized that I relied on my 2014 one little word, openness, to find inspiration for the title of the April Awakenings' poetic collection, so I decided to do the same with this year's OLW. I listened, reflected, and turned all ideas over as they danced in the corners of my mind. A few #digipoetry colleagues and I discussed some possible names for the gallery, but they did not have the right "feel" for this new spring gallery, so I sought inspiration from nature itself. 

While the weather has fluctuated from warmth to coolness, to rain, to wind, a constant has remained-the landscape has been renewed. Interest in being immersed in spring's offerings, has been a strong emotion, but no name for the spring gallery surfaced until my son-in-law, Michael, suggested the word symphony. I paused to listen how the word sounded when I paired it with spring. As the words rolled off my tongue, the birth of a new collection evolved: Spring’s Symphony. When I heard Andre Rieu's Spring Symphony, I confirmed that this was a title worth inviting colleagues to use as their prompt. 

Take a moment to listen to the opening of Rieu's musical interlude. The sounds are what I hear in the morning when I open the window to daybreak. 
Windows flung open.
One look:
renewal offered.
Be present in a lifeforce of rebirth.
Nature offers a harmonious interplay of elements:
colors, sights, sounds
blending together 
in the concert of life.

Join my Poetry Parade that will continue throughout the season of spring. Spring's Symphony will be launched at the close of the season. This gives you ample time to engage in reflective writing for the spring gallery. 

Below are guidelines to follow to create your special springtime offering:
  • pause, observe, reflect
  • find an element of springtime (a color that pops, a sighting that inspires, a sound that awakens your senses, or anything that provides your personal perspective of springtime) to photograph
  • write a poem or poetic expression to accompany the photo or image
  • refer to Winter Whisperings Gallery for ideas on how to pair a photo and poem
  • combine the photo and poem, using a photo-editing tool, such as PicMonkey, Canva, or even Word 
  • submit the combined poem/photo via Twitter DM or email to me for the new gallery, Spring's Symphony 
  • *one or two student/class poems are welcomed per teacher, as long as the teacher submits one, using his/hers as a mentor text for the class

    May you hear spring's songs throughout the season!

    It's DigiLit Sunday created by Margaret Simon so please visit that site and the following other ones where I am offering today's poem:
    • A Year of Reading where Mary Lee Hahn is hosting PO-EMotions (today's word is interest)
    • #digipoetry created by Margaret Simon and logo designed by Leigh Anne Eck where many writers are creating poems for National Poetry Month