Thursday, August 9, 2018

New Again




New Again

The world is layered.
Just when you think you understand
a split appears
a layer pulls back
is shrugged off
and the world is new again.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Friday, August 3, 2018

Life on the Top


Unsplash photo by Joshua Earle

Life On Top

Make a mess
Make a life

Life is sweet
Life is bitter

Bitter end
Bitter pill to swallow

Swallow it whole
Swallow your pride

Pride before a fall
Pride that bursts

Bursts of anger
Bursts of joy

Joy in a bundle
Joy mixed with tears

Tears your heart out
Tears it to pieces

Pieces of pie
Pieces of writing

Writing on the wall
Writing it off

Off the cuff
Off balance

Balance and checks
Balance the books

Books we rewrite
Books a flight

Flight of wine
Flight of fancy

Fancy that
Fancy up

Up my spine
Up in the air

Air your grievance
Air it out good

Good grief
Good as gold

Gold standard
Gold can't stay

Stay put
Stay ahead

Ahead of time
Ahead of the game

Game changer
Game over

Over easy
Over the top

Top heavy
Top flight

Heavy
Flight


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



This poem is written in the Blitz Poem poetic form.

I made extensive use of The Free Dictionary, which has a tab for idioms. I also needed an exhaustive list of prepositions to craft my title. Because the title comes from the 3rd and 47th lines of the poem, I revised the last ten lines four times because I couldn't find a preposition I liked that linked life with blood, back, or easy. And I sure wasn't going to go all the way back and change line 3!



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Aria




aria of flight 
each note composed in silence 
wingbeats await wind 

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Messy




before chrysalis 
creativity and change 
are messy 

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

The Power of One




one butterfly 
one flower in one garden 
the power of one 

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Thursday, July 26, 2018

When the Moon is One Day From Full

photo via Unsplash by Stan Mart!n!

When the Moon is One Day From Full

and the kitchen counter is crowded
with jars containing caterpillars
and chrysalises,
it is nearly impossible to resist
the words
transformation
or
miracle.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Thursday, June 7, 2018

High Plains Wind


Unsplash photo via Matthieu Joannon

High Plains Wind
     (after Wind by James Arthur)

     it's true sometimes I cannot
stop myself from lifting
     the roof shingles

unleashing tumbleweeds snapping
tree branches
muddying the pool I'm nothing
     until I happen
barreling down from the North
     filling eyes with grit
     nostrils too
pelting the streets with dusty sleet

above wheatfields
    surfing the waves of grain
so full of high excitement howling
I borrow the arid topsoil
     and fling it into the ditch

arriving with news of the bindweed
     and the horseflies
at times buffeting you so violently
in ways you register
     as fists


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



I am blessed to live in a climate where we have day-long gentle rains that allow the oaks to tower and the corn to grow without irrigation. We are currently several inches over the average rainfall for the year, and yet in the High Dry Plains of Eastern Colorado, even an inch of our rain could save crops and livelihoods. It's desperately dry there, and the wind is unrelenting. When I read Wind by James Arthur, I knew I wanted to tell the story of a more savage and remorseless wind than his rascally wind whose antics include turning umbrellas inside out (I never owned one until I moved to the midwest), stealing hats, and embracing as light as a touch. The wind back home is downright mean-spirited and vengeful.

Monday, April 30, 2018

High Flight



Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
~Kevin Durant


High Flight

The last day of school is in sight. You can’t imagine how hard
it is to release my masterpieces, say goodbye to my best work.
Launching you, I imagine the sigh of wing-beats
as you fly away, soaring with your talent,
your sense of humor, your desire to set the world right. When
you alight again next fall, don’t you dare hide your talent,
head under wing, letting others lead. Genius doesn’t
need adult plumage to rise and spiral. All genius needs is work.
And remember, the work of flight is joyful, not hard.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018






Sunday, April 29, 2018

Word Game Wednesday




Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is not path and leave a trail.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Word Game Wednesday

What would you like to do?
Play Word Around? Rhyme Out? Bananagrams? Do not
dawdle; find a group and go
tinker with words! Play Scrabble; observe where
the
words intersect, criss-crossing a path
of letters that may
lead
to unexpected mergers. Perhaps go
online instead
and play Free Rice, where
you earn kernels of rice for nuggets of knowledge. There
is
no
guarantee, but Word Game Wednesday could have been the path
that led us to be homophone, homonym, and
homograph hunters. Words open the world. Using them, we leave
a
splendiferous trail.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Saturday, April 28, 2018

Winter Memory



Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.  ~Unknown

Winter Memory*

When you consider the life
of another creature, it is is
often humbling. The temperature that day was not
much above zero. We measured
the cold by
the
frost on our scarves from our breaths.
We
were by the lake to take
winter pictures, but
we became fascinated by
the
geese in the water. After a few moments
of observation, we could see that
the cold didn’t seem to bother them. We had begun to take
our
photos when we saw it – goose breath
puffing in the cold air. Blew us completely away.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



*Mr. Wald, our classroom stool-repairer, provided the memory that became this poem.



Friday, April 27, 2018

Poetry Friday



Whatever you are, be a good one.  ~Abraham Lincoln


Poetry Friday

Pick a poem about whatever
captivates you
endangered animals, a hotdog car, dinosaurs, or ants – you are
in charge of choosing and practicing. Be
an attentive audience for others. Then, be a
positively excellent performer. Make us sigh, or laugh and say, “Good
one!”


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Thursday, April 26, 2018

Endless Winter



You're never a loser until you quit trying.  ~Mike Ditka


Endless Winter

Indoor recess AGAIN? You’re
kidding me! Spring is never
going to get here! Oh, well. Grab a
board – mancala, chess, Clue – there’s no loser
in a never-ending game. We’ll play until
…what’s that you
say? The snow has quit?
The sun is shining…or at least trying?!?


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Go Ahead and Give It Your All


Life is short. Make it amazing.  ~Hugh MacLeod (gapingvoid.com)


Go Ahead and Give It Your All

Making a Valentine box is like making a life.
The amount of effort you put into it is
the amount of fun you get out of it. Don’t be short-
sighted. Use every bit of imagination to make
it
(your life or your Valentine box) amazing!


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Collaboration



We all have the same roots and we are all branches of the same tree.  ~Aang (in Avatar: The Last Airbender)


Collaboration

Testing means work silently (all by yourself) but we
are accustomed to collaboration. We know we are all
smarter when we work together, but we have
to take the
test alone. It is not the same
as (all those times) when we discovered how our (very different) roots
could lead us to common understanding. Testing is too quiet and
the air is filled with tension. We
struggle silently (on our own) until we are
all finished. At last we get our voices back and we are all
of us (once again) like branches
(grafted from many nations and cultures) of
the
(strong enough to support us all and tested by time) same
(collaboration makes us all smarter) tree.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Monday, April 23, 2018

Easier Said Than Done



Treat people the way you want to be treated.  ~The Golden Rule


Easier Said Than Done

Learn to treat
yourself with kindness, because other people
might not. Believe the
truth contained in your heart. Get out of your own way
and become the person you
were meant to be. If you want
to, you can fix what’s broken. You can be the one to
make sure every injury will be
treated.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Persona


Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.  ~Einstein


Persona 

I’m interested in everything.
The world is full of ideas and wonders that
blow my mind. I can
make amazing connections, be
the one who sees what others cannot, be counted
on to be the one who does
not take a statement for granted – the one who is not
afraid to question (but also who does not necessarily
think before I put my opinion out there). However, you can count
on me to understand that everything
I do or say matters, and that
admitting my mistake counts.
I have a keen sense of humor, and although I cannot
necessarily
time my jokes accurately, I keep trying. My best might be
the Poetry Friday ant rap. That definitely counted.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Saturday, April 21, 2018

Advice to Writers



Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins. ~Sharon Creech (Walk Two Moons)


Advice to Writers

Writing well is more than just words on a page. Don’t
be satisfied with your first draft. Be the one to judge
your own writing with a
critical eye. Man
up (or woman up) -- work on revising and editing until
you’ve
walked
through your piece at least two
times. If you’re writing about stars and moons,
get your facts straight. Don’t write “in
his
shoes” if what you really mean is moccasins.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Friday, April 20, 2018

Reciprocal


When you live happy, you are happy.  ~Layann

Reciprocal

The Sparkly Unicorn Award is given when
you notice someone being amazing. You
get as much joy giving it as receiving it. The sculpture will live
on the recipient’s desk for the rest of the day, making them happy
every time they look at it. You made their day, so you
are
also happy.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Late last fall, we spent a morning messing around with plaster of paris. We made discs and ornaments and pendants and other assorted creations, which we decorated with glitter, ribbon, sequins, shells, etc. One of the creations was given to me -- a disc with edges dripping glitter and a Unicorn Horn Shell jutting up out of its center. Weeks later, on a day when someone did something totally awesome that needed a spotlight, I dubbed the disc+shell The Sparkly Unicorn Award, and I bestowed the award upon the awesome child. I allowed them to keep the award on their desk for the rest of the day (getting glitter all over someone else's work for once). Since then, students have begun bestowing the award upon each other, and one girl especially (the one who dances and draws through "Luminosity") has become our Lead Noticer of Other People's Awesomeness. She has given the award more times in the last few weeks than I have since last fall. It's one thing to BE awesome, but it's another kind of awesome to shine a light on others.

This class. I think I'm already starting to miss them.



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Positivity


At least I tried.  ~Hugh MacLeod

Positivity

A smile is at
the heart of all that is good, and it is the least
I can do. Every single day I am a success because I can say, “I
came, I smiled, I tried.”


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Persevere



This is your life. Do what you love and do it often.  ~The Holstee Manifesto


Persevere

Hard work. This
is
how you make your
dreams come true. Your life
is yours to mold like clay. Do
not wait for someone else to decide what
you
will be. Find what you love
most in life and
make it happen. Do
not be afraid to follow your dream as far as it
takes you. Just don’t forget to return home often.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Keen Observer



Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Keen Observer

Unless
you
bother to watch for hawks, unless you try
to
find a preying mantis hiding in the garden, you do
not know that there is something
beyond
what
is obvious and easy. You
have
to stop assuming that you have already
seen it all, mastered
it all. You
must become a keen observer or you will
never
grow.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Monday, April 16, 2018

Cookies



We measure minds by their stature. It would be better to estimate them by their beauty.  ~Joseph Joubert 

Cookies

Remember the time we
decorated cookies? There was no unit of measure
for our joy that day. Who minds
learning by
mixing icing and food coloring to make their
cookie’s stature
more massive (and of course, more beautiful)? It
was about way more than just the cookies, though. Who would
believe that such a diverse group could be
unified at Christmas? No better
way than to
share a 34-year cookie decorating tradition. Don’t under-estimate
the power of cookies to overcome differences. Let them
heal the world by
their sweetness and by their
beauty.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Growth Mindset



Super heroes are made, but heroes are born.  ~Antonio (in 365 Days of Wonder)

Growth Mindset

Think of seeds: what will someday be super
starts small. Those who will someday become heroes
often have no inkling that their tiny lives are
about to be made
into something not just big, but
mighty enough for them to become heroes.
You cannot know the good you will do. It is enough that you are
born.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Endeavor


Do or do not. There is no try.  ~Yoda (Star Wars)

Endeavor

Whatever I do
with my life or
my life’s work, I will do
it not
because I want praise, but because there
is
a problem that needs to be solved. There is no
way of knowing if I’ll completely fix it, but I’ll roll up my sleeves and try.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018




Friday, April 13, 2018

That Feeling You Get When You Solve a Hard Math Problem


Have you had a kindness? Pass it on.  ~Henry Burton


That Feeling You Get When You Solve a Hard Math Problem

The numbers click in place like a combination lock. You have
cracked the code, you
have mastered the challenge! The problem had
you cornered, but it was decimals that gave you a
way out. A mathematical kindness
was bestowed by the universe: a “Pass
Go Collect $100” card, and it
gives you the joy and energy to carry on.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


A couple of my students had a great day in math this past week. (One was the future astronomer from Day Two's poem.) We were working on irregular volume and they got to the challenge problem -- making an irregular figure with a total target volume of 325 cubic units...with the additional self-imposed challenge of not using a 1 in their answer. So, for example, they didn't allow themselves this solution: 10x(3x10) + 5x(5x1). They were stumped at the end of math class, but later, at the end of the day, they grabbed their papers out of the pile and kept working while we waited for the buses to be called. The student who gave me this quote asked, "Can we use decimals?" I answered, "Why not?!" and he promptly found a solution: 10x(3x10) + .25x(10x10).



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tenacity


You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.  ~ AndrĂ© Gide


Tenacity

You are the one who gets the job done. You
don’t wait to be told what to do, you can
find the work and you can do it. This is also true: you are never
the kind to sit on the shore. You cross
to the other side even if you have to paddle across what feels like the
ocean.
You paddle until
you know where you are going. You paddle until you
see the sun coming up to light your way, until you have
a clear view, until you have the
courage
to
lose
all the burdens you carry and set your sight
on the new path that starts at the distant edge of
the
barely visible shore.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Confidence



Always do what you are afraid to do.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Confidence

You will not always
be sure, but don’t let that stop you. Do
the brave thing. Do the right thing. Do what
will make the world a better place and you
will be one of the ones who are
not afraid
of what the world asks you to
do.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Luminosity




When it is dark, be the one who turns on the light.  ~Joseph (in 365 Days of Wonder)

Luminosity

I hear music even when
you can’t. It
calls me to dance, tickles my feet, is
a beam of light when all the world is dark.
My pen calls me, too. Calls me to be
the
one
with a new way to see, the one who
finds beauty, the one who turns
lines on
paper into the
vision that amplifies the world with ever more light.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Monday, April 9, 2018

Teamwork



It's good to be important, but it's more important to be nice.  ~Anthony’s Grandmother

Teamwork

Your team surrounds you. It’s
the day of the big game and it feels good
to
be
geared up and ready to play. It’s important
to remember that you have to play as a team, but
if you get the chance to make a big play, it’s
nothing that makes you more
important
than any of the other players. No matter what, you have to
always be
humble and just plain nice.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


Congratulations to our school's dodgeball team, the elementary champions for the second year in a row!







Sunday, April 8, 2018

Indomitable



Just keep swimming no matter how hard the current is.  ~Ava (365 Days of Wonder)

Indomitable

I will fight for what is just
I will keep 
swimming
upstream against hate and discrimination. No
matter
how long the battle, no matter how
hard
the fight, I will do my best to change the
current
way the world is.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018