Posts Tagged ‘poetry month’

Poetry Month: Piece of Mind*

April 2, 2020

I sit on the floor, legs splayed,
Jigsaw pieces scattered
My work is cut out for me.

Most people open just one
But I wonder where the fun
Is in that.

Take out one box, two boxes,
Dump the pieces out and
See how it comes together.

You say you like to sort for
Good luck with that.

It would be nice
For pieces to make sense
Between themselves, but
Too bad they are now swimming
In different ponds.

You’ll find a match,
Make forward progress on
Switch your attention
To the next
Or the other
Or was that the first?

No mind.
Plow through the jumble
Keep trying
Until something
Resembles anything.

It may not be prudent
Or efficient
Or practical
Or wise,
But think of the satisfaction
When at last
You have a fit.


*I’m not going to lie. This is the kind of stuff that I did as a kid. I’d dump a bunch of puzzles together and solve them at the same time. My days of e-learning feel very much like that challenge.

When Poems Find Me

April 17, 2019

Sometimes a poem strikes me, and I’m able to write it in the moment. I get an idea for an image, a phrase or a metaphor, and I just can’t help myself.

Other poems are more coy. They want me to write them, but maybe I have too much to say and don’t know how to squish it all down. Or maybe I feel too strongly and the words haven’t quite yet translated.

I’ve been trying to write this poem for about three years now. It surfaces each time I ask my fourth graders to personify an attribute or emotion. I keep wanting to write this poem, but it’s eluded me. It doesn’t help that this assignment comes around the same time of year I lost my brother, and writing about grief while I’m feeling it is…well…messy.

This year, for whatever reason, this incredibly patient poem decided it was time. Enough with the nonsense. Just write already. So I wrote. Here goes:


I am Grief.
We may not
Be familiar.
But we will,
Some day.

When we first meet, I am
Awaiting you in moments
Large and small.
I hold you tight enough
To steal your breath.
Or hide behind a corner
Waiting to spring you
In the off-chance you have forgotten me.

People know me by
That tell-tale dimple on the cheek
That one song that comes on the radio
The telephone call you go to make before realizing
You can’t.

People never consider
How attached I am
To Love.
But there we are,
Always intertwined
As best friends are.

People never consider
I am not one to be escaped
I am not one who should be escaped.
I want to whisper,

Sit with me.
Let me surround you,
Enfold you.
I am here, yes.
And so is Love.
As you sit,
And as you sink,
You might just fall.

Let us catch you.

-© Lainie Levin, April 2019

Important Poetry

April 20, 2018

Once again, my students and I are composing poetry, this time based on Margaret Wise Brown’s The Important Book. It’s such a charming read, and both the kids and I love how Brown takes ordinary things in our lives and sees the poetry within.

The kids wanted to write their poetry today about paper. So, I joined in. It may still be a work in progress, but I thought I’d send it out into the world for now. Have a good read!

The Important Thing

The important thing about paper
Is that it is thin.
We find it in any size
Or color.
We ball it and throw it.
We fold it and tear it.
It carries the weight of words
And stories
And lists
And lives.
But the important thing about paper
Is that it is thin.

Mother’s Lament (NaPoWriMo Day 9)

April 9, 2013

I can taste it,
Like the first bite of a hot-fudge sundae
Or a gooey, cheesy pizza
So delightful
Yet well-deserved.

I long for it
From deep within my bones
I hunger
I ache

For a

Poetry Month – Entry 2

April 2, 2013

The Poem I Didn’t Write


Was the one about
Our favorite tree,
The one out front that you can’t get your arms around.
The one my boys and I picnic under
On lazy summer days while we
Watch the drivers
Pass life by

The tree that grants quiet strength,
Steadfast devotion
(not unlike my father)

The tree my children worry someday will fall,
Or get sick and die.
What will happen when it is gone?
I can’t picture the changed landscape,
The lack of shade
The empty space.

The poem I didn’t write
Wanted to be about our favorite tree, yet
Sank its roots too deep.
It waits for me, unfinished
Awaiting a time
I am ready to dig.

-April 2013

Poetry month: poem-a-day challenge

April 1, 2013

Being that it’s April, I’ve challenged my writers to write a poem for every day of April.

In the spirit of doing what I ask my students to do, I’m jumping in. Here’s day 1.

April brings showers:

Of rain, of spring promise, of words

Open up-let it pour.