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Showing posts from March, 2013

Easter Finery

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It's Easter!
Easter's pretty early this year.  Are you ready?

I used to hide Easter baskets for my kids and hide jelly beans and chocolate eggs for my nieces and nephews to find.  The year we lived in a motel, I hid chocolate eggs for the staff and visitors.  I forgot they had cameras around the place - that made it a bit easier for them to go back and find them after watching me hide them!

I haven't had any one to hide eggs for now for a few years, but the next batch of kids is coming up.  Nieces and nephews and my daughter all have kids...now if we can just get them together in one place some Easter, we'll have a good hunt again!

I wish kids still dressed up for Easter.  Where are the shiny, black patten leather shoes, the frilly hats, the white gloves, the pastel dresses, the suits and ties?  Sigh.  "In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it..."  I remember those days when our family WAS an Easter parade marching into church in all our Easter fi…

Spring Rivers

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Slice 30 of 31!
The rivers are doing their spring thing. Couldn't capture a good picture today, but it was a stupendous day to be out!

      Grey
            gushes
     heaving
             so high
        tumbling
     down
             leaving
                  the hills
                              and mountains
                     ignoring great
cleaving boulders
steeving rocks and banks
reeving bridges and dams
                        weaving its way
               seeking the relative serenity 
                                            of the sea

I linked the words in the poem to the FreeDictionary.  Steeving and reeving are both nautical terms.  Steeving is when the boat's hull is up above the horizon.  And reeving means to pass (a rope or cable) through an eye or other narrow opening!

I haven't gone by the river yet, but we made a brief stop at the house, and as we came up to the porch to come inside...what should flit by us and alight on our porch, but a bea…

Sweet Memories

I can't believe it's Slice 29!  Two more to go! Read more of the March Slice of Life posts at Two Writing Teachers!
And it's Poetry Friday!  Check out more at  A Year of Reading with this week's host, Mary Lee.

This poem came out of a conversation on GoogleChat that I had with my daughter on Wednesday morning.  Her son woke up in the middle of the night and needed some comfort and a humidifier for his stuffiness.  I copied our conversation into a document and then began to play with it, because although you may think I always talk in rhyme, it doesn't happen all the time. ~  Oh, no.

Anyway, I wrote this poem for her, for me and for all moms (oh, how tempting to say "that be" at the end, but I won't, because I do not talk in rhymes, my friend...sorry, it just came out).

Sweet Memories

Snotty and screamy and clingy last night,
Waking at moon-time no trace of sunlight,
She rocked you and gave you her mommy hug squeeze,
And then she was blessed wi…

Anonymous Was Here

I bought lunch for the person behind me in the McDonald's drive-thru on Tuesday.
Have you ever done that?
It's fun.  If you haven't done that yet, you need to try it.  It isn't expensive, and hopefully it makes someone's day just a bit brighter!
Of course, you won't know how it made it brighter or whose day you made shinier...but you can just imagine the happy, little surprise it must have been to the recipient!

My husband and I make a sporadic, totally random habit of paying someone's bill at a restaurant - sometimes it's a young couple, sometimes an older couple, sometimes it's a parent with a child.  It's funny, but my husband and I are on the same wavelength here.  We both seem to get the idea at the same time and for the same person or people.  We don't even do it that often.  It's just something that suddenly bubbles up inside of us, and we have to do it. We'll just smile at each other, with a "Are you thinking…

Making CAPTCHA Easier...

Oh, those dumb CAPTCHA's...they ARE irritating!
Last March we had some great CAPTCHA poetry posted.  And Maria mentioned her frustration with them yesterday.
I just thought I'd add some of my discoveries about these little blogging helpers/hinderers!

If you don't want to use CAPTCHA's on your blog:

1. Don't allow "anonymous" commenting, and you are pretty well protected without them.
2. Turn on comment moderation so nothing goes up without going through your email first, for you to okay and post.

And if you do encounter a CAPTCHA that needs to be wrestled with -  many of you probably know this as well as I do, but just in case you haven't played around with it much and are newer to blogging....

1. Did you know that you can skip typing in the numerals? That picture doesn't do a thing.  So skip the blurry picture! Try it on your next comment with a captcha. Do just the letters - skip the pictured numerals. It WILL accept just the letters.
2…

Raining Down Voices

I don't know exactly where this came from inside me.  I just started writing Monday afternoon, and I started with gibberish, just writing nonsense in a child's voice.  Then this emerged all in one short sitting, with very few edits.  I think it started when I began thinking about being too small to see what was cooking on the stove.   Then my visit last month to my daughter's, spending time with an 18 month old who hears everything and repeats it came to my thoughts.  It was fun to hear him repeat "Wow!"  or "Oh, no, no, no!" that he'd just heard. 
Once upon a time
When life was brand new
I could do nothing
Being just two
Couldn’t see up
Could only see down
Up was too far
But down’s all around
I could see shoes
And I could see laces
But way up high
I couldn’t see faces
But I could see voices
They fell from the sky
Right to my ear
Right to my eye
I could see anger
I could see laughs
I could see whispers
Up with the giraffes
You thought I was littl…

Radical Moves

When we first moved back to Maine, we had looked at quite a few houses to buy before finally settling on one that we said "would do for now".  We ended up living there 10 years before we came to our senses and remembered that it had been a temporary place.  We had purchased a piece of land a few years after the move, but hadn't done anything with it.  On the day we became aware of how long we'd been living our temporary life, we started thinking about building on our land.  We settled on two possible homes to have built there.  I described the houses to our teens; I told them option 1 was a log home, with huge windows and cathedral ceiling, and option 2 would be very much like the house we were in at the time, a cape...as soon as the words came out of my mouth "very much like this house", my husband and I looked at each other, and we knew that would not be the house we would build.  It was time for different.

And now we are about the business of doing …

What Time Is It?

Lengthening days,
Shortening nights,
Shadows ever changing
And I don't know
What time it is any more.
I used to know
By the setting of the sun
Supper
But now
We are late to eat
And late to rise.
I know I get better at it again,
But when
Is that?


The Last of the Snowkids

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I am not positive, but I am fairly sure you are looking at the last of the snowmen for this year.  Spring snowmen don't last long, and these are pretty tiny, so melting will be fast!  As I came to a turnoff near our road, there sat these five mini-snowmen on the snowbank.  My guess is that on our snow day Tuesday, the neighborhood kids were out and about and decided to make some little neighborhood greeters.

But you know, it could just as well have been the neighborhood adults!  There is something about snow that makes you a kid again (after the snowblowing, shoveling, cleaning off the car, raking the roof, etc.)!  If there is any energy left, you become a kid again.  If you are truly a kid at heart, then the metamorphosis is quick, and you do the kid stuff BEFORE the adult stuff while you still have the energy!  Snowballs, snowmen, snow angels first, then snow work...then back to a kid as you unload your snow gear and grab a hot drink.  Then you go find some heat source and stan…

Is That Owl You Have to Say?

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This is Slice 22 of 31 at Two Writing Teachers AND, it's Poetry Friday hosted at Greg's place, Gotta Book.  Stop in for a visits at both places!


I was standing at the kitchen sink tonight, when suddenly the setting sun behind me shot a bright orange ray past me to light up the three Red Rose Tea owls on my kitchen windowsill. I quickly snapped a picture before the sun moved on.  I guess it means, just put up the owl poems.


A Rhetorical Question?

A quizzical fowl
is the Northern Barred Owl,
But his question is always the same:
“Whoo-whoo are you? Whoo-whoo are you?”

Rhetoric at best,
That question’s a test;
His meal need not tell him it’s name -
“Whoo-whoo, adieu! Whoo-whoo, adieu!”

Then I found this poem in my "stack of papers" in a file on my computer, that I wrote a couple of years ago.  It seems that I'm finding I have a connection with these birds that I wasn't quite aware of.


An owl says “Who?”
But I don’t know just why
As he swoops so silently
Down fro…

Post 21 Means April is Coming!

Post 21 of 31 for March!  In amongst doing my two poems for March Madness 2013 Poetry Challenge and posting for Poetry Friday and a post a day in March for SOLSC, I am gearing up for Poetry Month in April!  I hope I'm not so busy that I miss watching spring happen!  Nah... that won't happen because...

I've been working on my posts, which will be short poems, in April for the A to Z Challenge, so I can just tweak them instead of starting from scratch.  Last year, I had all but maybe 2 done for April before it started.  I'm still working on E, G, U, W, X, Y and Z.  I'm getting there!  But I have to have a little bit better weather to finish.  I'm taking pictures, and the weather can't be so good that it doesn't make sense, but not so bad that I can't get to where I need to be or see it!  So those are all your hints about my theme! I'm thinking of cheating on a couple of letters... as in the letter might need to be in the word I'm going for.  B…

Shadows of Spring!

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We had another nice big snowstorm on Tuesday.  It was a beautiful storm that I woke up to, having slept in the living room sitting pretty much upright.  And slept isn't quite the word for what I did.  I was having some back problems brought on by my fall a week ago, on top of riding in the car on rough roads on Monday.   I just had trouble lying down.  So I was up until around 2 am, tried the bed, got up and tried the chair with pillow under my chin to keep my head from tilting forward.  (No one took pictures of that.) It worked off and on until about 7:30 that morning.  And in the light, I could see the gorgeous snow coming down.  It looked like we already had about 4 to 6 inches.

All day yesterday and into the night it continued to snow.
This morning we awoke to a sunny day with branches softly carrying their balls of cold cotton.


The icy fingers of winter haven't yet quite loosed their grip!
But this cold and wintry morning will melt soon.
I'm already seeing snow fall…

Palm Tree

I wrote this a while ago...just found it looking through files for an idea for today.
It's not that warm yet, so let's just pretend we're on a tropical island instead of an island on the coast of Maine...I'm going to see what this format looks like online.  It isn't easy to do what I wanted to do here, which is make the poem into a palm tree shape.  Oh, well.  You can just imagine that it looks great!

palm tree  \ /   palmtree talland leanwithnobranches
to be   -   seen just some
long
green
fronds
up there like some cow- licks
in your hair!
To all who read my poem "A Rhetorical Question?"  and the lullaby by Angie, and took the time to vote - for either poem - thank you!   I will be writing a poem a day in April for Poetry Month and participating in the A to Z Challenge.  Hope you stop back for some visits here again!

Barred Owl

Out here we often have a visit from a Northern Barred Owl.  Yesterday morning, we had one visit.  He actually wasn't visiting us though, it turns out.  There was another Barred Owl, not far away.  So when he was saying "Whoo-whoo-are-you, Whoo-whoo-are-you?"  he probably was talking to a potential mate and not to his dinner.
Both my husband and I could hear him from inside the house, so knew he was close by, probably in one of the oak trees in the front yard.  We stepped outside onto the front porch to listen better.  The call came from somewhere in front of us and not too awfully high up, but still we couldn't see.  And then we heard a return call off to the left, a bit deeper into the woods.
Then we saw him.  He was large, gorgeous and silent as he swept down out of the tree in front of us and ghosted into the depths of the woods to meet his companion.
Wow.  I would have loved to have been able to take a picture.  Even if I'd thought ahead of time to bring my c…

Pictures on a Sunny Saturday

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Last weekend my husband and I spent Saturday riding around the islands and peninsulas.  He was such a kind chauffeur to me as we abruptly stopped, turned around and backed up all afternoon, allowing me to either take a picture with the window rolled down or jump out of the car to snap a photo.
In a very "unlike me manner", I even stopped to talk to people, and ask if I could take some pictures.  And because of that daring, I even met a book publisher on my photo trek.  I'm going to submit a couple of poems for possible acceptance in the anthology she's publishing later this year.  Maybe that will be a start along with the MM 2013 anthology... that would be fun!

Here are a few of the nearly spring photos I took from the coast of Maine that sunny Saturday in March:





Spring is in the air here!  Boats are being readied, along with traps, buoys and lines.  Some are expecting to get out on the water as early as May 1 this year.  Oh, yeah!  I can smell it, I can taste it, I …

An Awesome Yesterday

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Yesterday was an awesome day.  Way awesome.  Some awful good kinda day.  Wicked good.

I got to spend some quality time with my mother-in-law - a five hour drive away through sparsely populated areas with plentiful populations of trees, moose, coyotes and deer.
I got to spend some quiet time in my car with the dog. - even though she threw up and she never does that
I got to see Mount Katahdin all snowy and majestic against a gorgeous light blue sky on the drive home - even though I couldn't get a good picture while I was driving.
I got a good picture of Mount Katahdin after all - now that I have straightened it and cropped it all to pieces
I got to see a bald eagle soaring overhead as I drove through the logging areas. - a sign by the side of the road said "Watch for 'Eagles' in the road."
I got to watch my poem "The Seasoning of Spring" make it through the first round of the March Madness 2013 Poetry Tournament. - that was an amazing first round!
I go…

An Accidental Post

Squealing
   Laughing
      Crying
   Baby

Attentive
   Sticky
      Tired
   Parents

Grateful
   Amazed
      Waving
   Grandparents

Happy
   Joyful
      Loving
   Family

I am poemed out for today...this one I left as a draft here and just realized over breakfast that it was Friday....Friday Poetry....and oh, dear, I started doodling a poem that I hadn't finished, fleshed, flushed...and set for automatic publish this morning...now it's here! Thought I'd leave this note here after finding it up.  I'd rather have you read the poems on March Madness 2013!  I'm there with a poem using "tincture" called "The Seasoning of Spring".  Enjoy the Madness!

At Long Last

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The poems got posted late last night, just after midnight while I was asleep!  I went to all the entries and placed my votes! Wow!  There are some really great poems out there - especially considering the words given to work with, the timeframe for creating, and the challenge of just coming up with something on short notice with life and all being what it is.

But the first ones have been written and posted, and the voting has begun!  I'm exhausted!  I don't think writing is exactly at the same level as riding a bike or running, but still exhausting.
If you get a chance...and you should really try to...go to Think Kid Think and read the selections!  You won't be disappointed.  Read some of the writer banter in the comments.  Add some banter of your own.  Consider having your class vote at school with one vote.  Encourage them to vote at home. One vote per person please!
I'm up in way northern Maine today...enjoying the last bits of winter...though my poem was of spring…

Which Will It Be - 1, 2 or 3?

Well, yesterday I wrote my poem for the March Madness 2013 Poetry Tournament and submitted it late last night.  We had 36 hours to compose a poem using our given word.   Mine was "tincture".  My opponent's word was "dismissal".

The poems will be posted for voting on this afternoon and Thursday.  You just NEED to go there and vote for your favorite poems.  It will not only be fun, it will encourage poets to write poems!

It would be great if teachers could get their classes involved and have them vote from home even.  I know that sometimes it is a problem having classes vote at school, unless each student has their own computer there.  At the very least having your class read and discuss the poems would be wonderful and maybe having a class favorite vote on the poems.

Here are my attempts at "tincture"...ones that didn't make my cut.  In my first attempt, though I liked the internal rhyming and the pattern of the rhymes, I just didn't like the…

Sliced Poetry

Last night I got my word for the March Madness 2013 Poetry Tournament.  Half the authletes got their words, and the other half will get them tomorrow.  We each have a different word and will be writing a poem over the next 36 hours using that word.  The poems will be posted this Wednesday for the first flight of poems and Thursday for the second flight of poems..  You just NEED to go there and vote for your favorite poems.  They should be some remarkable pieces.  The word bank had to be incredible this year - the words range from pretty solid words we might use every day to words that most have never even said in their entire lives, and have never even planned to say, ever, and would have to look up in a dictionary and maybe even have it pronounced for them if they wanted to use them someday like today.

That being said, I am lame and stiff after Sunday's stairway routine.  I am going to hold the railing ALWAYS from now on.  I am going to consolidate my belongings so I can have a h…

I'd Give It a 9.5

At first glance one might say yesterday was a not-so-good day.  But reflecting on it, I see that yesterday was a so-good-near-to-marvelous day.  I started out being sick.  But by the end of the day I was all better.  So that was the first 180 I did.
Then, in the evening, leaving our church's upstairs auditorium, I fell down the stairs.  It was a well executed fall really - almost a head over teakettle fall.  I think it would have scored a 9.5 in the Women Over 60 Division of the Curved Stairs to Landing Double Free Fall.  I skipped over two steps heading downstairs to the first stairway landing, where I bounced off the wall, missing the window.  Once there, I performed a half-pirouette, a beautiful 180, before my headlong, backwards decent to the next set of steps above the second stairway landing.  I think I aced the dismount with feet pointed to the ceiling, legs balanced on the stairs above me.  My graceful dismount included a spontaneous flourish as I swung my legs a full 90 …

Maple Cookies

We're getting lots of good mud here.  I think Maine's official Mud Season has begun.  There are ruts galore, potholes sinking down everywhere and frost heaves making stunt ramps!  We dodge and weave like we're in invisible traffic.  But when it's mud season, it is also maple syrup season!  The maples have all begun to carry buckets.  It's the beginning of the sap run, so maple syrup lovers will have a fresh batch shortly.

I told Elsie that I'd make maple cookies in honor of the spring smells that are happening lately.  I'd never made maple cookies before, so I went online and looked for a promising recipe. This is the one I found: Maple Cookies Recipe at Simply Recipes.  The cookies turned out absolutely delicious.  I followed the recipe to a "T"..pretty much...right until I made a mistake.  Then I veered off.

Mistake 1: The recipe calls for 1 tsp of vanilla.  I reached up and grabbed my vanilla out of the cupboard.  I poured out a tsp.  I notice…

He Died

A phone call changed my post for today. I had a marvelous day other than that, full of great happenings that I will wait to share until later.  I'll write and post the good stuff for tomorrow.  For today, this seemed to need to be written instead.

Alone -
He died
With no family
To mourn,
Though we
Would
If we'd
Known -
Heart
Never softened
Turned to
Stone -
Turned from
The world
A low
Moan -
He's
Flown -
You did not
Need to die
Alone.

May I Have a Word?

Here's my post for Poetry Friday hosted by Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe, and Slice#8 with Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers.  It's a poem warmup for March Madness Poetry 2013 Competition starting next week:

Ed DeCaria at Think Kid Think is beginning the new March Madness poetry competition for 2013.  On March 11, I'll receive my first word, along with 32 other poets.  The next day the other half of the poet/authletes will receive their words.  We each have 36 hours to write a poem using the word we've been assigned.  Check in next week on Wednesday (the 13th) afternoon and then Thursday (the 14th) to vote on the first set of poems.  Anyone may vote one time. If you have a class of students, get them to read and vote on their favorites, too!  After all, these poems are written for everyone!

Clicking on the link above or on the image at the top of the sidebar will bring you to the competition!

Here is a poem I wrote about the competition just to get me …

Bringing It Home

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I found this old post card for sale on the Internet, and just had to buy it!  What wonderful memories I have of this place.  It's changed quite a bit, mostly due to my grandparents.

My grandparents were born and raised in Newfoundland.  They lived in Pouch Cove where Grampie was a lobsterman and Nannie was a seamstress.  As a young couple, in the late 1920's, they moved to the states and settled in Chelsea, Massachusetts.  My grandfather had a scrapyard there.  My father told me that he loved being at the scrapyard with his dad and playing in the all the old cars.  My grandfather told me that it was dangerous.  I couldn't imagine any more magical a place to play though!

Nannie was a seamstress, making clothing and doing alterations.  We lived close enough by to visit pretty regularly in their second floor apartment.  I remember watching tv on their new roundish screened television set.  Lawrence Welk was a favorite, along with Howdy Doody.  They were the first to own a t…

The Lawn Less Mowed

Our first home, well, the first one we bought after a few apartments when we were first married, was a nice little ranch house on Brice's Prairie in Wisconsin.  It was in a small development area on nice flat prairie land between the bluffs and near the river.  At the end of our street was a dairy farm.  I suppose that all the land used to belong to this farmer, since his barn was pretty close to the main road.  We were about the fifth house in from the end of the main road.

It was a pretty drive to and from our home and work in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where I was a teachers' aide.  I had been a teacher in Maine, but when we moved I had to start over and there were not jobs...but that is another story.  Anyway, the huge bluffs, the flat in-betweens, the Mississippi River - all of these were common sights on our drives.  Beautiful farms tucked away in valleys at the base of the bluffs, and farms perched on top of the bluffs lay like undulating quilt squares.  You know Stevenson…

Powering Up

Sigh.
I know it's gardening weather somewhere in the world.
But it isn't quite here yet up in the northeast corner of the states.
But two bulbs are up at my house...the solar powered yard light bulbs... They were exposed and shining a couple of nights ago.   We must have finally had enough light during the day to melt back the snow and power them up!  Spring at last!  I can feel me starting to power up, too!
There is such a sense of shivery excitement when I smell spring, and I smelled it this week.  It smells like water and mud here in Maine.  Some people smell flowers and green growing things and associate them with spring.  But here, it is the smell of melting snow (yes, I believe it does have a smell), and the smell of earth warming up - like cookies just starting to bake (yes, earth smell is delicious).
It has a wet coldness to it.  It may still be 30 degrees or less, but the air has changed from dry and flaky to moist and heavy.
What?  Baking terms again?
I guess so.
Let…

A Leap of Faith

stepping out, leaping, relinquishing my power landing in safety

Yesterday at church, I did get my post for today, Jaana.
It was in the message that was preached.  My brother is the pastor of the church, so he brings in many family stories from our childhood as illustrations - and his memory is so much better than mine!

He was talking about faith when he brought up a memory.  The memory of our father and his building up of our trust in him.  When we were very little he used to have us stand on the counter edge in our old pantry and tell us to jump into his arms.
Wow, that was a long way down!  You would look down and see the floor almost a whole kid away from your feet, and Dad's face almost level with yours.  It was such a long way down back then.  Of course, it's a long way down today, too.  I can barely step down from a chair I'm using to change a light bulb.  Jumping down off things certainly isn't what I do anymore.  Wouldn't want to break a hip or an ankle.

Son Day

Ok.

Now I'm sitting here and it is just past 11:00 pm Saturday night.  I'm trying to think of something to write because I need something before Sunday.  Sunday is not a day of writing for me.  Sunday is a day of worship, and I use the whole day.

So.

What to write about?  The deer that were in the yard eating the corn my husband threw out of the garage because the mice had found it?  How the buck had caught us watching him from the window and stomped his foot at us before the three ran off into the woods, white tails pointed to the sky? The train ride that nothing happened on, except I got to play lots of "Words With Friends" and "Candy Crush"?  More great things about my daughter and grandson?  Oh, or...  Okay.  Got it.

My son.

I had just gotten back from PA and was in RI with my husband who works in RI, though we live in ME.  I was almost ready for lights out when I got a phone call.  It was from our son who was caring for our animals - Purrsee and Pippi …

Chooch and Smooch

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I went to see my daughter and care for her last week after she had her 4 wisdom teeth surgically removed.  We had all been concerned about the possibility of nerve damage in her face and neck, as the first dental surgeon had said that a nerve was very close and possibly intertwined around a tooth.  The second opinion was different, but still a bit of a concern.  The surgery went smoothly and quickly.  There was no nerve damage at all!  She couldn't pick up her son and couldn't carry him around for the week I was there though.  Throbbing and the risk of losing a clot kept her lying pretty low for a few days.

I stayed a week and learned more about my grandson while I was there.  He is quite a kid now.  A toddler of 18 months.  A big deal.  A walker.  A giggler.  A watcher of everything.  A mimicker of every sound he hears...and he hears everything.  I wonder at parents and others who can speak crudely and rudely around young ones, saying that they are too young to understand a…

I'm In for Everything!

It's a big day today!  It's the start of the Slice of Life Challenge to post every day in March...and it's Poetry Friday....and the March Madness Poetry Competitors have just been named.  I am in for ALL of them!  March has come in like a lion!

So today, check out other Slices at Two Writing Teachers.
And check out some great poetry links for Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Julie Larios at the Drift Record.

Ed DeCaria at Think Kid Think has begun the new March Madness poetry competition for 2013, and I am one of the 64 starting authletes. Poets/authletes had to submit a short bit of a poem to express their desire to be a contestant. I have posted my poem below.
For more information go to Ed's site (link above).  There will be lots of opportunities to read and vote on poems especially written with ages 5 - 15 in mind.  Hey, have your students vote!  Now that would be some authentic voting!
Authletes are paired against each other.  Then each is given a random word a…