Friday, January 22, 2010

A found poem:

Although it's been in the news all week and many of us are feeling information overload, I want to highlight the words of our President in response to the earthquake in Haiti. I think it is important for us to pause and think about what it says about us; what it says about our country and our leadership, and by extension what it says about each one of us with the power to vote and speak and act. That our President says these words to us and to the world is important. Let us listen again, and respond.

(AFP/Jim Watson)
Obama on Haiti

His first ever tweet.
As he moved about the room,
where large maps of Port-au-Prince were tacked to the walls,
he stopped at a media team desk
and hit the "Send" button on a message
that had just been typed on Twitter:
"President Obama and the First Lady are here."
"We're just here to say 'thank you'
for the great work you're doing."

"Good morning, everybody.
We are just now beginning to learn the extent of the devastation,
but the reports and images that we've seen
of collapsed hospitals, crumbled homes,
those trapped beneath the rubble,
and men and women carrying their injured neighbors
through the streets
are truly heart-wrenching.

For a people who are no strangers to hardship and suffering,
this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible.
In the last week,
we have been deeply moved by the heartbreaking images
of the devastation in Haiti:
parents searching through rubble for sons and daughters;
children, frightened and alone,
looking for their mothers and fathers.
At this moment,
families seek shelter in makeshift camps.
It is a horrific scene of shattered lives
already suffered so much.

Let me just say that this is a time when we are reminded
of the common humanity that we all share.
With just a few hundred miles of ocean between us
and a long history that binds us together,
Haitians are neighbors of the Americans here at home.
So we have to be there for them in their hour of need.
Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times,
I would encourage Americans
to learn how to contribute.

We must be prepared for difficult hours and days ahead
as we learn about the scope of the tragedy.
We will keep the victims and their families in our prayers.
We will be resolute in our response,
and I pledge to the people of Haiti
that you will have a friend and partner
in the United States of America
today and going forward.

May God bless the people;
those working on their the strength;
people who have been stricken with a tragic history,
even as they have shown great resilience;
to reclaim the momentum that they achieved
showing hopeful signs of political and economic progress
as the tremors fade and Haiti no longer tops the headlines,
[may they]
continue on their path to a brighter future.

We act because of the close ties
that we have with a neighbor
that is only a few hundred miles to the south.
But above all,
we act for a very simple reason:
in times of tragedy,
the United States of America
steps forward and helps.
That is who we are.
That is what we do.

We do not use our power
to subjugate others,
we use it to lift them up—
At no time is that
more true than in moments of
great peril and human suffering.
It is why we have acted.

When we show not just our power,
but also our compassion, we
show the character of our country.
Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen,
hand in hand with our civilians,
they're laboring day and night
to facilitate a massive logistical enterprise;
to deliver and distribute food, water, and medicine to save lives;
and to prevent an even larger humanitarian catastrophe.

We are reminded that life can be unimaginably cruel.
That pain and loss is so often meted out
without any justice or mercy.
That "time and chance"
happen to us all.
But it is also in these moments,
when we are brought face to face with our own fragility,
that we rediscover our common humanity.
We look into the eyes of another
and see ourselves.

- the words of President Barak Obama, January 2010
-photo and opening stanza quotes from a Yahoo news article posted on Jan. 18, 2010

The Friday Poetry round up is hosted by Liz in Ink. Congratulations to her for her fabulous All the World getting a Caldacott Honor award this week!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Snow and Shadorma

This week Trisha's Poetry Stretch was for a Shadorma, a new-to-me form. The shadorma is a poem composed of six lines with a syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5.  

seeds in snow

Snow Showers at Dawn

Chains jangling
woke me this morning;
plows pushing
dust of snow -
just soft fluff of whiteness but
transforming the world.

Bare branches,
a sleepy season;
coated with
of new snow. Once again all
things become beauty.

-Andromeda Jazmon

Visit Miss Rumphius to read the other poet's work. It's really amazing! I think I like this form very much. The Friday Poetry round up is hosted by Trisha as well, so stick around at this post for more fun!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wizards and Tomatos

Driving home from school the other day, after a late meeting, with my two little guys in the backseat. Puck, age four, was remarking on the dark, heavy clouds on the horizon to his brother Buddy (age 7).

Puck: "Look at that! Look at that black cloud! It's a tomato cloud!
Buddy: "What do you mean tomato?"
Puck: "A tomato a tomato!! It is so black it is a tomato! It is going to be a tomato with black clouds, rain, wind, snow, and a WIZARD!!!"
Buddy: "Oh. I think you mean a tornado. And a blizzard."
Puck: "NO. It's a TOMATO."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

ALA ALSC Great Web Sites for Kids

buddleia leaves in jan. snow

Don’t know if you saw this already, but  here is a link to the ALA’s Association for Library Services to Children’s Great Web Sites for Kids page:

Literature, Science, Math, Art, History, Animals, …. Plus sites for Parents & Teachers.

And check out the featured site for January, done by author Kenneth Libbrecht - Snowflakes and Snow Crystals. Tips for how to grow your own ice crystals and snowflakes, plus lots of cool photos and other snowy activities. Since so many of us are expereincing snow events these days.... might as well have some fun with it!

Friday, January 01, 2010

A Decade Retrospective

clementine haiku

My friend Liz posted about what she was doing ten years ago, and how far she's come in the last decade, which of coursed made me want to do the same. Once you start thinking of all that's happened since 2000 came flying in it's hard not to want to write a list.

In January of the year 2000 I was:

40 years old
living in an appartment
the mother of one son
a person with two cats
owner of a brand new Honda Civic
thinking/dreaming of adopting more kids
in my ninth year of teaching first grade
starting to dye my hair for the first time ever
just beginning to think about becoming a librarian
applying to grad school for a second masters degree
unaware that I am Celiac and should never consume any gluten from wheat, rye or barley

In January of the year 2010 I am:

50 years old
the mother of three sons
living in my own house
a person with no pets
owner of the same (paid in full) Civic
adoptive mom in a multiracial family
in my tenth year as an elementary school librarian
no longer dying my hair; letting my grey flag fly
a kidlit blogger active in web 2.0 social media sites
planning to finish the MLS completely online
knowledgeable about Celiac, cooking gluten free and good at it
a cancer survivor & healthier and stronger than ever before

What about you? How would you list the changes in the last ten years? Leave me a comment or a link and I'll come read your post.



A New Year

She starts
by burning down
all the old candles.

She stretches,
flattening the belly
that's lost it's womb.

She's seen
mother birds kick eggshells out
wanting feathers to fly.

She reaches
to pick up knitting needles;
new mittens for fresh snow.

She starts
by pulling soft wool
from the red wrapped skein.

-Andromeda Jazmon

Miss Rumphius has challenged us to write about endings and beginnings this week. See the results rounded up here. The Friday Poetry round up is hosted by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

And for heaven's sake don't miss the Cybils finalist announcement today!!! What were your favorite children's books in 2009? Are they on the list???