Happy Friday friends! Join the Poetry Friday crew at Kat's space HERE.
Today, I am thinking beyond the ridge down to Houston and the gulf coast of Texas where so many lives have been rocked by a storm called Harvey. As you may have heard, many people have been displaced from their homes due to the destructive and devastating Hurricane Harvey. You can see this storm's wrath and read about its destructive path throughout the news. When things like this happen, I realize how important our connection to each other is.
We all feel the swamps. We may all face the storms. Together, we can find our way home. Right now across the state of Texas and throughout the USA, so many people have joined together to provide comfort and help to those in need. It's truly amazing and inspiring to witness the generosity and kindness happening all around us. If you would like to help, there are many ways to do so. One great place to start is the American Red Cross. Our friends in Houston and South Texas could use all our thoughts and well wishes.
The impact of this storm called Harvey has made me reach for Mary Oliver's poem, "Crossing the Swamp". In this poem, Oliver speaks to the struggles and bogs of human life that we often encounter. Yet she speaks of hope, too. Throughout the entire poem there is a sense of determination and strength to re-root. These words are perfectly etched in a way that only Mary Oliver could craft. I do hope you have a chance to read it.
Today, I offer my own poetic response to Mary Oliver's inspiring poem that spoke to me after a storm called Harvey.
Invitation to Write:
How will you brave each storm that may come your way? When you feel stuck in a swamp or flooded by a river, what guides you? I invite you to take a moment and write. Write until your words flow like a river. May they toss upon the page and land, re-rooting themselves home.
Welcome to Whispers from the Ridge! I'm so glad you are joining me on this Poetry Friday. For all the poetry offerings this week, stop by Katie's space The Logonauts.
Today, I am honoring the memory of a dear friend of mine who passed away earlier this week. She was such an incredible motivator and mentor to so many. Many lives were inspired by her passion for her family and the work she loved. She will be sorely missed.
Yet, her dedication to children and her love of literacy will live on. Her belief in providing an authentic space for real readers and writers to create will continue to positively impact the lives of children in classrooms across our school district.
When she wasn't putting her heart and soul into her leadership work as our district ELA curriculum coordinator, she was often hanging out at her special beach spot with her family. She loved the beach. It was where she would spend hours laying in a simple hammock with a notebook and a good book.
This poem is in loving memory of her and the place she dearly loved.
Invitation to Write:
Writing can have the power to heal at times. Often times when we are having a rush of emotions, we can feel overwhelmed with all the words and feelings we want to express. Getting them written on paper can help pin them down. Once on the paper, we can begin to sort them out and make sense of them. Whenever you are full of a blur of emotions, try writing them down. Put the pen to the page, and let yourself go. Spilling thoughts and feelings onto the page during any emotional state can be good for the writer's soul.
Welcome to the ridge! Thanks for stopping by this week. For more of the Poetry Friday collection, visit Carol at Carol's Corner.
I am back this week from my relaxing trip to the beach. I took advantage of the ocean's poetic whispers while I was there. As I sat on the shoreline, I started generating a list in my notebook. I used my five senses and the imagery of this coastal scene to get some words onto the page. Then, I started playing with the words and phrases from my list. The result is my "Ocean Scene" poem. Working from a list is a quick strategy I use often to get my ideas flowing.
Invitation to Write:
Try creating a word list in your notebook. Once you have your list, try putting words and phrases together. Play with different combinations until you find one you like. Collecting lists can be great fun!
Happy Poetry Friday! I'm away from the ridge this week, so thanks for visiting my home while I am at the beach this week. For more PF posts visit Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.
In honor of my trip to the coast of Texas this week, I decided to try a beach haiku. I am so grateful to our Poetry Friday host this week, Mary Lee, who gave me a helpful tip to consider when writing a haiku. This week, you'll notice that my form is a little more "loose". It definitely works. Thanks again for the advice, Mary Lee!
Invitation to Write:
You can try Mary Lee's invitation as well! Take any piece you are working on, and see how you might break "loose" from the traditional form or structure. Allow yourself some wiggle room. Have fun loosening the reigns with your poetry writing this week!
Welcome Poetry Friday friends! It's good to be back after taking a week off to enjoy my first deep breath of summer vacation. Thanks for stopping by! For more PF offerings, visit Buffy's Blog HERE.
I decided to try something different this week. I had never written a haiku before, but I talked myself into giving it a try. I have to admit, I was really nervous. But after reading several beautifully written haikus by many of my Poetry Friday friends, I found the courage to branch out and take a chance. The result is my first haiku! I'm really glad I tried this form of Japanese poetry. It just goes to show, you never know until you try!
This is an image of the meadow here on the ridge. The wildflowers and weeds are lovely this time of year. I like taking photos of each one to identify it. This way, I can call them by name as I admire them. They have such interesting names you know!
Here is the list of names I used to choose from for my haiku:
queen Anne's lace
Invitation to Write:
Sometimes it can be easy to talk yourself out of something before you even give it a try. But you never know until you try. I think this is great advice for writers. Taking a risk and writing outside of your preferred form or genre can be a little scary, but the end results can be quite rewarding. The important thing to remember is to keep writing!
Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for stopping by this week. After your visit here on the ridge, be sure to make Jama's Alphabet Soup your next stop on the Poetry Friday trail!
It's hard to believe another school year is coming to an end. The month of May has a way of sweeping in unexpectedly. It closes out the school season and opens the door to another.
Soon, I will open the door to a summer season filled with writing and rewriting. I can't help but look forward to the many blissful hours I will spend on the ridge, just listening to the whispers. So many whispers have found their way into my notebook since I began my writing journey in this place I call home. I am so grateful to have this space to write and rewrite these whispers in my writing life.
I remember introducing my writing space here on the ridge during my very first blog post. I am including the poem from that first blog entry below. So much time has passed since it was written. And there is much that is still left unwritten. I am certain that more whispers will find their way into my writing life, but until they do, there are those that magically seek to be rewritten. They whisper to my mind, and I begin to write.
The Ridge-From the Archives
Welcome! I'm Kiesha Shepard, and I have a love for writing and the teaching of writing. Whispers From the Ridge is a place where I can share my words and ideas for teaching writing. It's also a place for you to find inspiration for writing the words inside of you. I invite you into my world of writing as I capture the whispers from the ridge.
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Schedule of Round Up:
7 Carol at Beyond Literacy Link
14 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
21 Katie at The Logonauts
28 Linda at A Word Edgewise
4 Donna at Mainely Write
11 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
18 Kay at A Journey Through the Pages
25 Jone at Check it Out
1 Kat at Kathryn Apel
8 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
15 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
22 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
6 Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems
13 Irene at Live Your Poem
20 Leigh Ann at A Day in the Life
27 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
3 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
17 Jane at Raincity Librarian
24 Carol at Carol's Corner
1 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
8 Lisa at Steps and Staircases
15 Diane at Random Noodling
22 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
29 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe