The month long celebration of the life and legacy of William Stafford continues. Last Sunday I attended the book launch for Ritual to Read to Each Other: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford. A Ritual to Read to Each Other: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, published by Woodley Press. The collection doesn’t just offer poems in tribute but invites readers to write poems. This is a poem that I have worked on for several years based on a quote from Stafford.
“Only the golden string knows where it is going, the role for the writer or reader is one of following not imposing.”
Discovered while cleaning out
at the remains of mother’s library.
One tucked in her yellowed yearbook pages.
A message jumped out-
describing a scene I did not know:
on the third floor of the dorm
telling ghost stories
until the wee morning hours.
Graduated as a nurse.
Ready to serve her country,
she married instead.
Dusky blue threads, remnants of her bridal gown
slipped in the pages of her Catholic Bible.
Six months later, Mom and Dad
climbed aboard the Greyhound bus
and traveled west.
Settled into the place of sunshine,
Together, they worked out
the ups and downs
of married life
beyond the whispers of family.
a baptismal dress thread into my first Bible,
Easter Sunday, 1953.
The air perfumed by orange blossoms.
These threads and others
her life – a puzzle.
I sort them
wondering how to weave them together.
~Jone Rush MacCulloch, copyright, 2014
Poetry Friday is hosted by Tara at A Teaching Life.
This has been reading week in the library. Once a month students in graders third through fifth spend the time reading and trying out new books.
This week, I got to read Greg Pincus’ book, The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. Have you read it? You should! I could relate to the main character Greg who dislikes math yet loves poetry. The themes of friendship, perseverance, and learning to stand up for what you believe in is woven into the book so naturally plus it is funny!
A fourth grade boy wasn’t happy with the choice of books in book boxes so I passed the book to him to read today. He checked it out after class.
I will be suggesting it for read aloud when school returns from winter break.
The book inspired me to write a fib about the fog which until yesterday was a fixture in the Pacific Northwest sky.
lingers in the mist.
He quivers, lighting one candle.
You can find out more about Greg HERE. Poetry Friday is at Buffy’s Blog. Thanks, Buffy!
Happy Friday! Winter break begins!
Last week, I was blessed with two poet rock stars for Oregon. I wrote about Ursula LeGuin HERE. On Saturday, Paulann Peterson, Oregon Poet Laureate held a free workshop at a local library.
The afternoon was typical Oregon: cold and wet. Inside twenty writers sat at tables for four hours and wrote. Paulann is a great believer in priming the pump as well as using scratch paper for priming. For the priming of our first poem , a “DNA” poem she led us through questions and visual imagery of a favorite place. Here’s my first attempt:
I am the sun sifting through striated clouds.
I am high tide careening toward craggy rocks.
Boughs that creak from the weight of the fog are me.
Salt air blends into wet sand.
I am the well worn path to the sea.
As the afternoon continued I realized that I had perhaps one of my children’s poems:
I am the skip, hop of the hopscotch game.
I am the empty swing in the schoolyard.
Clouds creatures skiffing across the sky are me.
Bullies stand in shadowed corners.
I am the child waiting to be chosen for kickball.
Poetry Friday is at A Year of Reading.