Saturday, May 8, 2021

May Golden Shovel #8

source: Job Growth Slowed in April, Muddling Expectations

 

She had been searching a long time for a job.

The pandemic was nearing an end and growth

Was assumed. Her search slowed

Despite everyone thinking jobs would open in

her area. But she found nothing in April.

Rent was due, her savings depleted. In the future muddling

Through could not continue. What were her expectations?

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I’m continuing to use Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

May Golden Shovel poem #7

source: Child’s Grave Is Earliest Known Burial Site in Africa

 

The boy is the last to die. The child’s

grave is simple because his people are exhausted from digging grave

after grave. The sickness comes from outside, is

strange, with symptoms not seen before. Its earliest

sign is a rash creeping up the body from the feet. It resists all known

remedies. The people bury the dead far from their village, a site

cursed by unknown forces unresponsive to sacrifices. The site

is avoided by the people, but children dare to dart in

and out, playing in a land they do not call Africa.

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I’m continuing to use Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 

Friday, May 7, 2021

May Golden Shovel poem #6

source: A Maternal Theme and It’s Not All Sweetness

 

Why is there only one day for a

celebration of “Mom”? Why is the maternal

steeped in stereotype? Why is the theme

of motherhood so fraught for both women and

men? Is it because it’s

the source of our existence? Why not

let our mothers be both good and bad, have all

emotions? Why should she be only sweetness?

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I’m continuing to use Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

·        

 

May Golden Shovel #5

source: For Struggling Familes, a Tough School Year Risks Becoming a Lost One

 

The abandoned schoolhouse stands sentinel for

Children who left long ago, struggling

For jobs, for food, for worth, for dignity, whose families

Could not support more children. A

Family of horses take over the tough

Work of managing the fields surrounding the school.

They step delicately into a year

Of your dreams, gallop triumphantly, nuzzle risks

You would not take on your way to becoming

An orphan, a genius, an addict, a

Scholar. Horses cannot bring back the lost

Children, whose lives unravel one by one.

 

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I’m continuing to use Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

May Golden Shovel #4

source: A Beloved Hemlock Lives On as Art

 

Trees talk to one another. They have a

Secret life sending billets à deux via roots to beloved

Saplings many feet or yards away. A hemlock

poses lugubrious questions of twigs, asking if their lives

Are worthwhile despite squirrels’ rapid jetés on

One twig after another. Twigs sigh. The squirrels’ leaps tickle as

One by one, they skitter-skatter, pitter-patter into art.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

I’m continuing to use Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 

SOL Tuesday: Warning from the Copy Editor

For about 12 years now, I have been tweeting occasional rants on the language, and sometimes punctuation, misusages I come across in print. I’m WarnfrCopyEditr (Twitter only allowed 15 characters when I signed on, though now seems to permit more), and here is my latest today:

 

I did not know that writers are now "curators" when they write a book. Makes me want to tear out my hair!



 

What do you do when you see mistakes in print and know your students may also see mistakes and think they must be okay if they are in print? 

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It’s Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers. Check out this encouraging and enthusiastic writing community and their slices of life every Tuesday. And add one of your own.

Monday, May 3, 2021

May Golden Shovel #3

source: Missing Out on a Lot, but Creatively Filling the Void


She thinks there is no trace of her missing

Stories since she threw them out

Of the Milky Way. She put them on

A comet trailing teal-colored wings, a

Free message to aliens that no lot

Here is large enough to land in. But

The stories return, lumped in a stewpot creatively

Spiced and seeded with a filling

Too rich for Earth creatures, who are the

Lost angels still searching the void.

---------------------------------------------------------

I’m continuing to use Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 

 


May Golden Shovel #2

source: A Warning from the Past on Extremists of the Present

 

They take over your brain with a

Light tap inside your mind. They come, no warning,

With a delicate lash of acid. They come from

Distant galaxies, but you cannot see the

Star that seeds them. They tremble past

Your skin, dripping honey that burns, on

A day long celebrated by extremists.

They mouth slogans, weaving a cocoon of

Spider hair, braiding and unbraiding the

Thoughts that might free you from the present.

---------------------------------------------------------

I’m continuing to use Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 


Sunday, May 2, 2021

May Golden Shovel #1

source: In a Dark Time, Orchestral Music to Make You Smile

(New York Times, May 1, 2021, Arts p. C4)

 

Cherry blossoms on May Day sweep in

On a frosty wind, rattling windows of a

Lost haven. You heard brassy notes from a dark

Visitation warning that no one could time

Their birth. Motion made manifest orchestral

Clashes: cymbals, tympani, triangles. The music

Of the spheres turns novas inside out, to

Go backward in time, before sound or color make

Life. There is no beginning in a universe you

Do not understand, yet still, you smile.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

I am continuing to use Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 


Friday, April 30, 2021

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #30

source: Beneath a Surface, History Can Hide

 

Cigarette smoke and beery breath linger beneath

Bar lights bright at closing, a

Stop sign to drinkers floating on the surface

Of drunkenness. She wonders which history

She wants to remember tomorrow, whose shoes can

Lurk under her bed, or where she will hide.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #29

source: Vaccine Hesitancy Doesn’t Stop Herd Immunity

From blue mountains comes the vaccine

that protects silence. There is no hesitancy

from daring green cactus that doesn’t

protect invisibility. I cannot stop

a desert drained of love, while a herd

of the silenced seeks some sort of immunity.

  

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #28

source: Extremists Using Twitch to Speak Out and Cash In

 

Would it feel like extremists

have taken over your home if using

reason fails to foil a twitch

toward bigotry that’s spinning tentacles to

cover your mouth, that refuses to speak

honestly, that cuts truth out

of your mouth and

roasts your defense. Bigotry takes cash

to leave your home, but it will come back in.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #27.2

source: Family Sees Snippet of Video in Police Shooting

 

The shooting is something no family

Should ever see. Yet this family sees

More than it should ever see. Even a snippet

Is too much when a snippet of

Death happens three times a day. The video

Is on endless loop on TV, in bars, in airports, in

Living rooms. The war began long ago between police

And families of color. Who will stop the shooting.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #27

source: Voting Overhaul Poses Quandary for Democrats

 

The room is long and chilly when the voting

Begins. No one remembers who did the overhaul

Of procedure. They think it poses

No constraints. They are put off by the quandary

Of too many voters, not enough ballots for

The folks who show up to be Democrats.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.


Monday, April 26, 2021

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #26

source: Conspiracy Theorists Cavort in Messy Recount in Arizona

 

You know who’s really behind the conspiracy

That there is no conspiracy. Problem theorists

Devise reasonable ideas, but ordinary people cavort

Under the sign of Saturn, bleeding curses in

With eye of newt. There are no messy

Side-effects with this dose, only a recount

Of moon rays as they drip into the ocean, in

Tremors that shake the canyons of Arizona.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 


30/30: Golden Shovel poem #25

source: Despite Losses, CEOs Prosper Amid Pandemic

The money pot grows larger despite

pandemic lockdown losses,

So why does so much go to CEOs?

Who is truly responsible, who should prosper?

When work exposes to illness, who is essential amid

Viruses whose spread competes with conspiracy theories. What is the true pandemic?

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 


Sunday, April 25, 2021

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #24

source: Need More College Aid? It’s Not Too Late to Ask

 

She lingered in the park with some need

To swallow fruit trees with more

Flavors than she’d learned in college.

Not a taste of licorice could aid

Her move out of limbo, but it’s

Difficult not to swerve too far left, not

To swerve too far right, to swim, too,

With dolphins and giraffes. She was late

To an audience with protestors, but to

Atone, she knew she would have to ask.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #23

source: What Do Women Want? For Men to Get the Shot

 

Dark threads lurk at the edge of what

some fear is the future. How do

roses and lilies spare women

who dance at dawn? The women want

to linger while the sun brightens for

a day that frees them from men.

Genders multiply in pools to

mangle feelings like love, desire, to get

swords for hate, bullets for fear, as the

sounds of solidarity shatter with one shot.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

·        

 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

30/30: Golden Shovel poem #22

source: Video Shows Chaotic Scene Before Deadly Police Shooting in Columbus

 

We didn’t want to watch the video.

We would have preferred musical shows.

We were unnerved by chaotic

incidents that meant every scene

shifted perspective depending on who stood before

and who shot after. There were too many deadly

blooms to review, no clear evidence that police

understood what we celebrated, while no shooting

or shouting could save us from whispers in

our search for safety before the arrival of Columbus. 

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.

 


30/30: Golden Shovel poem #21

source: A Year of Protest and Reform. What Now for Racial Justice?

 

A moment when people waited nervously, a

Moment when the worst was expected after a year

Of worldwide demonstrations, of

Protests to support Black lives, to protest

Against white supremacy and

A history white people do not know how to reform.

What truth is hard to accept, what

Form of reconciliation is now

Available to those who do not know for

What they must apologize, who believe racial

Connection requires a color-blinded justice?

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Here is how I am using Terrance Hayes’s Golden Shovel poem format, as proposed by the Sunday New York Times "At Home" section, for 30 Poems in 30 Days during National Poetry Month.

 

Take a newspaper headline that attracts you.

Use each word in the line as the end word for each line in your poem.

Keep the end words in order.

Describe the story that the headline is for.

The poem does not have to be about the same subject as the headline that creates the end words.