A nudge from My Poet Guide, Rosemerry

Rosemerry ~ my September Poetry Spirit Guide of my writing notebook

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer has done quite a number on me this month, my 57th Birthday Month. I chose Rosemerry as my Poet Guide for the month of September. As the last week of my Birthday Month draws nearer, she has been nudging me to come out from behind my notebook and share the poems that lay hidden between my pages.

Rosemerry does not just write poems, she writes them every day, and shares them every day. Every day, a new poem goes out into the world, an offering to some soul who is waiting for the balm Rosemerry’s words are.

I started writing a poem a day at the beginning of 2022, from the smallest of moments. They provided a documentation of who I was that day – what I paid attention to, and each poem gifted me a discovery in the making. It became an obsession. However, most of them are not very good. In fact, many of them make me shudder at the childlike sweeping words of my pen. But, maybe this is the point. To share these poetry beginnings with the world to overcome our fear of perfection. We are working those bravery muscles and quieting that critic every time we hit SUBMIT.

Rosemerry’s words echo with each poem scribed:

They do not have to be good. They just have to be true.”

William Stafford, my poet guide from April, and his son, Kim Stafford, my guide from May, each also wrote/write a poem a day and have adopted this same way of writing and sharing poems. Both poets also urge us to write bad poems, but make them be true.

So, at the Poet Guides’ urging, I begin. Along with many other poets who fling their words out into the world, in hopes they just might land on some thirsty soul. But that really does not matter to me. The words are there to remind myself – to live my life wide awake to each miniscule moment of my day. I do not know when the last day will arrive, but I whisper to myself each morning, “What if this were the last day?” and I choose to live it as such.

POETRY INVITATIONS

Some poems arrive on their own
spoken words from someone you love
 a passer-by, or a stranger
their words - a doorway to inside.

Or perhaps the conversation
between two crows soaring in the sky
beg for documentation,
the oaks, the acorns, and the rocks
we carry in our suitcases,
all yeast for the bread of a poem.

But, somedays, a nudge
from a poetry friend is is the remedy-
Rosemerry or Padraig,
Naomi or Natalie,
They whisper, Shari - see this poem?
Feel it? Here's what they did!

You try it! Trade out words of your own!

Well, Padraig adds, you don't have to
if you don't want to, you can do what
you want.

Rosemerry looks at Padraig and then me
and adds:

But, it's FUN!

Writing and sharing a poem a day ~ 
"The writing is inhaling and the sharing is exhaling.
They don't have to be good, they just have to be true."
~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

The smallness of things~Sol 1/31~2022

graupel~snow pebbles in the morning

Upon first morning steps outside the front door, my eyes rest on the smallish snow-like pebbles blanketing the ground. My work lately is to attend to these small wonders of the days that stretch out before me . . . distractions from the injustices and the anxieties of worldly events that dominate the screens.

I often ponder at how small one can go.

The sunshine seems too grand. The tropical breeze of 25 above zero (after weeks of 25 below) and the arrival of deer in the backyard all give me pause for gratitude, yet there are even more miniscule moments that go unnoticed, the less obvious. What Ross Gay calls “delights”.

How many can I capture on a given day? To carry me onward with more hope?

Reminders of this practice follow me around as Naomi Shihab Nye and Danusha Laméris have conversation about how these small moments in our everyday life offer us poetry for living. We neglected them pre-pandemic. Now, we admit, they are all we have to carry us onward.

On this particular day, these tiniest mysteries are spread out before me as far as my eyes can see.

Graupel, the internet tells me, is what it has been named. It screams to be a poem:

Graupel

Bouncing snowflakes blanket the ground
miniature Styrofoam balls
formed 
in highly unstable atmospheres and
convective currents

warm air hugs close to the ground
cold peers downward
snowflakes tumble from the sky
rain swaths it's melted tears

cocooning the chill of winters end

Shari Daniels draft~2022


I borrowed a few phrases from the internet to draft this poem, because sometimes I need help to get myself going.

I am participating in the 15th Annual SOL 2022 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.

Finding A Way Out of Darkness #SOL 19/31 ~ 2021

Directions for Light

Find an old notebook
any will do
composition notebooks
more forgiving
than fancy sketchbooks

listen to music
Helen Jane Long
and piano is lovely
or David Nevue

dip a brush in some color
sweep it across 
the width of the page
extra water
brings some light
to the darkness

let it dry
blow on it if you must

draw some letters
start with the alphabet
do it again
and again 
if you like
you don't have to
if you don't want to

write one sentence
with letters you like
any sentence will do
whatever comes to mind

doodle some flowers
colored daisies are nice
use a marker 
instead of a brush
any color is fine

there
now you've made 
a pretty picture
all ready
for the first day
of spring

and there will be
light

i promise

Shari Daniels draft


I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.

I’m also participating in Poetry Friday this week. If you’d like to immerse yourself in poetry in this weekend, Linda at Teacherdance is hosting the party. Stop by and read some poetry or add your own!

Poetry Friday ~ The Neighbor’s Dog Will Not Stop Barking ~#SOL 5/31 2021

The Neighbor’s Dog Will Not Stop Barking 

The neighbor’s dog will not stop barking
My body - Thursday Tired and aching to sleep
A rhythmic infliction of pain to my ears
three quick barks
And a fourth staccato 
Repeat repeat repeat
There are no verses
Only chorus after chorus
Repeating Repeating Repeating . . .

How can the neighbors not hear?
Why do they allow their dog to pierce and torment
the peaceful night’s air?
What could possibly be causing it to bark?
When will this torture end? 
Will I go crazy?

I wrap my half dozen blankets around my head
begging begging and praying praying for this to end

Memories of my father’s distress at barking dogs
Incessant at night when he could not sleep
Seep into my cocoon of auditory protection
One time - he stomping out of his bedroom and
In his bathrobe and slippers
driving on the three-wheeler
To the neighbors with a bb-gun
Or maybe it was an old boot
To put an end to the neighbor's barking dog . . .

Poor cupcake my little sister said

The memory made me smile
knowing he is still here

And, then. .  . I must have fallen asleep.

©by Shari L. Daniels, fierce despiser of dogs who bark at night

Poem draft inspired by Billy Collin's poem: Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House and
the fact that I could not sleep last night due to the neighbor's barking dog.

I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge. It's also Poetry Friday! If you'd like to read other poems from teachers, authors and poets participating in Poetry Friday, you can visit Kathryn Apel's lovely blog as she hosts today's poets. Please join us in the sharing of a poem on Fridays!

When teachers write themselves, they are able to draw from their inner curriculum they have shaped for themselves in which to model and teach their students. But, more than this, as human beings, we also cultivate a writing practice that can be a buoy and and an anchor in the turbulent waters of our lives.

February Confusion ~ Poetry Friday

When February rolls around, teachers feel the pressures of the days. 
And, such a short month we're given to squeeze it all in. 
I often wonder what our students think. This poem came from those wonders.

February Confusion

It’s Black History month
my teachers say
Ground hog’s day
I love to read 
Love and hearts and 
Random acts of kindness
and a day to celebrate 
our presidents
Also, the biggest football 
game of the year

But, I’m so confused.
My teacher also said
that one day not so long ago
Blacks were not allowed to read
and presidents owned slaves
And, I found on the internet 
the groundhog is right 
less than half the time.

My teacher also taught us
about racism and stereotypes
and said how far we’ve come. . . but
I saw white Chief fans dressed up 
as Native Americans
painting their faces red
beating on drums
Chanting and singing
and the Tomahawk chop. . .

Be kind I keep hearing
Make it random
We write letters
and give cards with hearts
to our friends
This makes us all feel good
inside the walls of our classroom

I don’t know how to 
wrap up this poem
Something is missing
and I’m not sure what it is

But things are not all
what they say it is

©Shari Lynn Daniels 2021 (draft)

I'm participating in Poetry Friday where others who are sharing and writing poetry come to gather. You can find more poems to read this week here at the site of Molly Hogan, who is hosting Poetry Friday this week.