Sunday, March 29, 2020

Reflection on a Gray Day_SOLSC 29

Gray tones predominately appear outside
my window creating a somber tone.
Loneliness lines the streets.
Suddenly, I notice 
a pop of color
that wakens 
my senses.

Reflection on a Gray Day

Nature has a color palette she brings out
when time is right and we need it most--
even a touch of gray on a spring day.

I notice the pink buds on the tree
outside my window. They relish the
hope spring brings as soft rain trickles.

I think about communing with nature
focusing on peace and harmony
on this touch-of-gray spring day, 

There is the reassurance of nature's
silent steadfastness during troubled times 
especially as the spring rains continually fall down.

Untroubled by the weather, I appreciate the cycle
of life conjured by the sights of spring. My words
of hope rise in a blissful song of gratitude.

Found poem designed by ©CV, 2020
Using modified comments regarding Dear Spring Buds' comments from  Slicers: arjeha, Ramona Behnke, Glenda Funk, Clare Landrigan, Chris Margocs, Brian Rosinsky



Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 29 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers

Saturday, March 28, 2020

#WaterPoemProject_SOLSC 28

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans. -Khalil Gibran

While pondering the above quote from one of my favorite poet-philosopher-writer, Khalil Gibran, I realized the impact of the ocean on my life and mindset. During restless times, I stand at the shoreline where soothing waters bring a sense of calm. I listen to crashing waves roar as screeching seagulls soar in the sky. I watch the radiance of the sun creating glistening diamonds in the water. My senses fill my mind with peace. 

This morning I am left only with the visions of these beach sights for the boardwalk is now closed. While I understand the reasoning behind this move, I regret that the ocean is not available for peaceful walks and wandering thoughts, so needed during #QuarantineLife.

Yesterday, I turned to Laura Shovan's #WaterPoemProject for a bit of #quarentainment peace of mind. I started with Day 5's prompt, Taste of Water, created by my Louisiana poet teacher/slicer friend, Margaret Simon. Recalling a beautiful nature walk at the Marine Nature Study Area nearby, I created two image poems embedded in the same peaceful nature photo I took during my family walk. As the birds soared into the sky that day, I felt a lift, a surge of peace.



Today, I visit another wonderful poet/writer of children's books, another friend, Irene Latham at her Day 1 prompt, The Language of Water, at the #WaterPoemProject. Irene asks us to consider "how water speaks using onomatopoeia and/or dialogue to imagine a conversation with water. 

You trickle. I listen.
The distant rumble of the news flows like water.
You ooze with stillness. I come to your resting spot,
mirroring an image under the shining sun.
You sway with ripples of peace-a cool breeze passes.
A world beyond your waters knows discontent,
shrieking with incessant safety precautions,
"Wash your hands". But you lay quiet
in the same world, sharing your space with those
burdened who seek restful waterside peace.
Come swish your fears away in my waters.       -  © CVarsalona, 2020, Long Island, NY.        
☵        

Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teachers' Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 28 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers. 

*Please note the following statement from Laura Shovan: With so many schools closed or meeting online, I am adapting this project for kids. And to make it extra special for everyone during this stressful time, I have invited some author and poet friends to create the writing prompts for us!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Remembering a Childhood Game_PoetryFriday/SOLCS 27

Digging deep into my childhood, I found a fond memory that I had forgotten. My early elementary grade years were filled with game playing. Those were the days when my friends and I used our imagination to create playful times. "Stone Teacher" was one of our favorite outside summer pastimes.

On a clear summer night
before stars fill the sky,
a little teacher gathers
one flat stone. Why?
"Come, children, please
sit on the steps. Guess
which hand has a stone
before our first recess."
Giggles float through
the summer breeze.
"Stone teacher,
pick me please." 
Students guess 
one by one
hoping to have
some summer fun.
Winner takes all,
stones and fame-
becomes the next
teacher of the game.
©CV, 2020

The above poem is offered to Michelle H. Barnes for the Ditty of the Month Challenge created by poet Tabatha Yeatts, host of Poetry Friday this week. Tabatha asked those interested in the challenge to write a poem about people and a game.


Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 27 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers. 






SPECIAL POETRY MONTH INVITATION:

I am planning a kickoff to National Poetry Month celebration on April 6, 2020 #NYEDChat Twitter chat from 8-8:30pmEST. It is a fast chat with 3 questions and 1 Reflaction (reflection with action steps). If you are interested in being 1 of 4 poets to guest moderate with me, please let me know as soon as possible. The topic, Poetry Nurtures the Soul, may be one that brings a ray of sunshine during trying times. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Birthday Party To Remember_SOLSC 26

Social distancing has changed the face of family and friend gatherings. What would have been a "Happy" party at my granddaughter's home in Virginia turned into a virtual one due to the Shelter In Place mantra in New York State. So to continue our tradition of celebrating birthdays, we turned to a virtual party bringing together family spread over four states. 

All seemed to be ready. A "Happy" party invitation was texted to the family. The cake sat on the table on its usual crystal platter. Everyone stood by their phone or computer. Then, a glitch happened. The communication system froze. Determined to continue the festivity, I attempted to restart the video connection but the screen remained frozen. We could actually hear each other so the birthday song was sung and on the count of three, the candles were blown out. A still picture of our granddaughter Sierra appeared on the screen and by a stroke of luck, our baby Aurora popped up. The cake was described and tasted as goodbyes were said.  

This is a birthday never to forget. 


Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 26 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Taking Walks: Self-Care_SOLSC 25

I walked silently through the neighborhood when I came upon a beautiful sight, clumps of brightly colored daffodils. Thinking about Wordsworth's poem, I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud, I penned my own thoughts. 


Finding solace in nature, I, like many others, are talking walks to smell the fresh air and talk to neighbors from a distance. How are you coping during #QuarantineLife? My wish for all: Stay safe during these trying times. 



Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 25 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Define Your Why Crowdsourced Poem_SOLSC 24

Surrender to the now.
Everyone is facing uncertainty.
When you know your why
you know your way. 

Our experiences inform
how we contribute.
We need each other.
The "we" supersedes the "me".

Understand the need
to move forward.
Daily reflection is important
for cleansing and growth.

Define your why.
Stay positive.
Share hope-
The only way out is through.

Call to action.
Take a deep breath.
Stop; find gratitude.
Every day is a winding road.



Be relentless.
Teach from the heart.
Designed by ©CVarsalona, 2020


After pouring over 300 tweets from the 3/23/20 #NYEDChat that I moderated with Barbara Bray, I creatively designed a crowdsourced poem-a poem created entirely from words submitted by the public on a particular topic or theme. This is done through social networks like Twitter and Facebook, and by email according to Dan SimpsonWhile this was a new endeavor for me, I enjoyed the challenge of linking lines together to make meaning. I thank the following tweeters for their thoughts: @RealSeanatello, Barbara Bray, Darren Ellwein, Robert Frost via Rita Wirtz, Don Gately, Michael Hyatt, Nicolette James, Shilpi Mahajan, Faige Meller, Roman Nowak, Karl O'Leary, Craig Shapiro, and yes, I added a line, too.  


Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 24 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Week 2 of Crisis_SOLSC 23

Questions! Thoughts! Anxieties! Week 2 of "Quarantine Life" continues. Gray skies open to a flood of silent raindrop tears. No one is outside. Rain pours incessantly. A raw chill exists in the air while only a few birds scurry in and out of trees. Edginess is indoors. 

I turn to writing as a cathartic measure to express my thoughts. Gustave Flaubert's statement comes to mind reminding me to uncover what is inside. "The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe."

When I invited Barbara Bray to be my guest moderator at #NYEDChat leading a conversation on the Why of Our Journey, I did not know that countries around the globe would be infected by the coronavirus. I did not know that we would be facing concepts like social distancing and mantras like "Shelter in Place". While we are treading in uncertain waters distancing ourselves from other humans, we need to connect.

Writing communities like Two Writing Teachers join together to reflect, write, and respond to one another on a daily basis. This is a positive move that has had beneficial effects. The community shares a culture of trust. Everyone freely exchanges thoughts. Lives touch lives in a virtual world. "We-ness" exists here. 

Tonight, I am hoping to bring people together around the globe to connect, to discover what we believe as we Define the Why of Our Journey. Perhaps now it is more important to gather online to raise our voice. As Barbara Bray says, "All of us have a backstory. Our lives are so much more than this moment with Covid-19 and school closures. How do you think your backstory impacted you so you became who are today? What qualities standout that are helping during this crisis?" This is just one question that we will explore tonight. If you are interested, please join me at 8:00 p.m. EST on Twitter for a half-hour conversation. You will find a flyer about this chat on social media  If you are unable to join in, you can leave me a response, if interested.

May we all find answers to the questions that baffle us during Quarantine Life and share our inner thoughts.


Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 22 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Dear Spring Buds_SOLSC22




I thank Brian Rosinsky for his slice, Tree Apostrophe,  that flows beautifully using a letter format. As I wrote my slice switched to a digital format ending in a photo poem series set inside a letter.


Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 22 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Spring Fling Virtual Party_SOLSC 21

Life continues to amaze me these days during the quarantine. I think many people are feeling "cooped up" and restless and it has only been one long week since COVID-19 has really shaken the world. When Leigh Anne Eck wrote, "Since our lives have been turned upside-down, I thought a self-care party was something we could all use right now," I quickly accepted her invitation.

Invitation from the Hostess with the Mostess

RSVP to Leigh Anne

Created with Buncee

Three self-care ideas/items that I will bring to the party for #quarentainment fun:
  1. A necessity during the days of COVID-19: a roll of toilet paper since it is so difficult to find
  2. A treat for all: a festive array of homemade cookies with baking tips
  3. A dollop of creativity to engage everyone in an artsy endeavor: creating Buncee poems, inspirational posters, or fun photos for a scrapbooking page
Are you interested in being my guest at the party? It's time to start preparing! This will be a wonderful distraction while we New Yorkers are guided by Governor Cuomo's mantra, Shelter and Place.


Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 21 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers

Friday, March 20, 2020

Watching Nature_SOLSC 20/Poetry Friday

If you watch how nature deals with adversity,
continually renewing itself, 
you can't help but learn.
-Bernie Siegel
covid-19 
changes life, nature remains
a constant
on the cusp of spring
reeds stand tall as birds take flight
winter sends its chill
osprey watches eggs
gallant guard of youth
nature hears its call
preserve reflects
in silent reverence
community nods
geese stroll in sun
winter lights shadows-
spring forward


Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 19 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers
This week, poet/illustrator, Michelle Kogan, hosts Poetry Friday Roundup with spriing-finding flair. Check out the vivid drawings and assorted poems here

Thursday, March 19, 2020

More on Social Distancing_SOLSC 19

Poetry heals the soul in trying times.
 Since the onset of the concept of social distancing, 
poems are appearing giving rise to the collective voice. 

After writing my commentary on social distancing, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my slicer writing friend, Kevin Hodgson, responded poetically to my poem. Several years agao, Kevin introduced me to the video-writing platform, Lumen 5.  In gratitude for his gifts of Lumen 5-created video poems of my work, I am returning the favor. Below is the print version of Kevin's poem. You can view the video poem I created of his response to my poem by clicking on the word preview here


Sharing our writing and creative spirit with friends is a way to bring voices together
and soothe the soul.

Do the birds understand
the concept behind
social distancing?

Neither flutter

birds still sing
of coming spring

While we fret

our days away
on the heels of
Winter

I'm noticing
the wire, the
gathering point
of convergence

feathers touching

to remember
the rains

before the presence 

of sound -- it's me, 
after all --
the flock

gone, distancing
the social norm
of the scattering
--a poem response --Kevin Hodgson



Each year since March 2015, I have engaged in Two Writing Teacher's Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Slicing allows me to ponder life, literacy, and learning, capturing small moments poetically through writing, photography, and digital art. Welcome to Day 19 of 31 days of writing with Two Writing Teachers