Category Archives: Poems

Perched Upon a Split-Rail Fence

Standard

Perched upon a split-rail fence,                                                    

American_Robin_2006

American Robin

The gray-brown bird with rusty breast

Glances left, glances right,

His beady eyes, inky night.

 

“Trill-ill-ill,” the song he sings,

A friendly sound to welcome Spring.

Tail feathers spread, a fragile fan

Work up and down like a dutiful flagman.

 

His act repeats with joyful glee.

“Trill-ill-ill,” the merry melody rings he,

The gray-brown bird with rusty breast

Perched upon a split-rail fence.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

In the Center of the Room

Standard

In the center of the room,

with armchairs, devan, and loveseat

quietly encircling,

lies the cat.

 

The tabby cat,

with soft white bib

and matching socks,

shyly hides his face.

 

Wiry, white whiskers

poke out here and there;

while sentinel ears stand erect,

in spite of hiding mittens.

 

Curled in a crescent moon,

the Tabby rests content,

with slow, slumbering breath,

in the center of he room.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

Simple Pleasures

Standard

A lazy start to the day,

Snuggling in flannel sheets, cozy and warm.

 

Steaming coffee, rich and smooth,

Its inviting aroma hovering in the air.

A hurry-free breakfast,

Its colors feeding the beauty-thirsting soul.

 

A to-do list, the schedule for the day,

Full of washing,

And cleaning,

And planning

for the anxiously-awaited guests.

 

A conversation, written in words, sent as a text.

The video of a granddaughter

Smiling,

Toddling,

And saying, “Hi!”

 

A porch with pansies on its step,

Petals-golds, purples, violets, ambers-

Politely calling, “Spring, spring, spring!”

Robins, hopping in the lawn,

Cheerily chirping in reply.

 

Sunshine dancing on the ground,

Clouds floating in the sky.

A restful day,

A peaceful day,

A day to remember.

 

A day to remember 

the One

Who made this

Friday Good.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

Satisfaction

Standard

Today, I presented a professional development session to the K-2 teachers in my building.  I tried a new deliver technique where each grade level team was given, after a brief overview, a specific task to research, discuss, and into which to dig in.  Being unsure of how the new format would be received, I was a little nervous, but yet, I felt confident that I want to model with teachers what I want them to do in the classroom.  Constructivist, collaborative learning is so much more powerful than sit-and-get lectures.

When the session was over, satisfaction settled down on my shoulder and gave me the inspiration for this slice.  I decided to play with comparisons for “satisfaction.”

 

Satisfaction

settles soothingly

like a blanket

swathes me

on a frosty morn.

 

Satisfaction

tarries tenderly

like the rosy glow

lingers

in the darkening sky.

 

Satisfaction

pads peacefully

like the brook

bubbles

beside the shore.

 

Satisfaction

chats contentedly

like the wind

whispers

to the trees.

 

Satisfaction

rests refreshingly

like the whiff of boxwoods

on the wings

of the wind.

 

Satisfaction

pauses patiently

like the reluctance

to close the cover

when the story ends.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

 

Weary Eyes

Standard

My eyes are bleary,

Yes, weary.

Long hours I’ve spent

Staring at text,

Editing,

Suggesting,

Commenting.

 

My head is achy,

Yes, shakey.

Long hours I’ve spent

Thinking,

Writing,

Typing,

Encouraging.

 

My thoughts are jumbly,

Yes, tumbly.

Long hours I’ve spent

Considering,

Contemplating,

Postulating,

Populating.

 

My eyelids are droopy,,

Yes, loopy.

Long hours ahead

I”ll spend in my bed.

So off I’ll go,

Not a bit too slow.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

 

 

A Recipe for Spring

Standard

I used “Recipe for Writing a Spring Poem,” by Georgia Heard from Falling Down the Page as a mentor poem.

 

One teaspoon gentle breezes,

One tablespoon golden sunshine,

A pinch of Old North Wind.

 

One teaspoon chirping robins,

One tablespoon crocus blooming,

One dash of snowy flurries.

 

One teaspoon cloudless skies,

One tablespoon longer days,

One splash of April showers.

 

One cup childhood laughter,

One pint smiling faces,

One gallon of May flowers.

 

Oh, yes, a recipe for Spring!

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

I Discovered a Book!

Standard

Have you ever suddenly and unexpectedly come across something that at first seems common, but upon investigation, is a treasure?  Have you ever walked drearily along in late winter seeing only snow, but there, right in front of you, like a flash in the darkness, is a purple crocus pushing up through the winter’s white mantle?  This discovery brings the warmth of hope that thaws the frozen void within.

In the same manner, I discovered a new book!  Always on the look-out for children’s picture books for interactive read-alouds, I intently listened to a wonderful Lover of Books share her most glorious finds from the last publishing year.  Taking copious amounts of notes on this one or that one, I considered which might be the best choices for our students. Then, this Lover of Books held up a mostly maroon-colored book. It had, on the cover, a book with a key hole on it and a bluish girl sitting upon the book. It was entitled, A Child of Books, by Oliver Jeffers and illustrated by Sam Winston.  A bit of it was read aloud, and it didn’t catch my attention.  I decided to pass on this book. “Too plain,” I thought to myself

Later, at another session at this conference, the same Lover of Books, share this identical maroon-covered book again!  “Wow!” I thought to myself, “She must really like this book.”

At about the same moment, a very literary friend of mine and fellow literacy coach, leaned over and whispered, “I have that book in my office.”  Sitting up a bit straighter, I paid closer attention to this second reading of the book.

“Isn’t this cool?  All the illustrations are made up of words.  Words from different books,” the Lover of Books enthused.  My eyes narrowed, squinting, as I tried to see the illustrations better.  Then, exploding like a bomb, “I have this book sitting out in my office,” exclaimed the presenter.

“You better pay attention,” I thought to myself,  “maybe this book is worth purchasing.”  I only had a few moments after the presentation to glance at the book.  “Still a little sparse looking…I’ll order it.” With a click of a few buttons on my computer, my decision was final.  “It’ll be fun to get a package on my doorstep when I get home. Amazon Prime, I love you!”

After opening the package that indeed was waiting for me when I got home and having time,  I really read and studied the book. Each page, starting with the end pages, have wonderful quotes from books,classics, like The Count of Monte Cristo and The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Rubinson Crusoe and A Christmas Carol and… the list goes on and on.  There are other wonderful quotes from fairy tales and nursery rhymes, ones we all know like “Hush-a-Bye Baby” or “Brahms’ Lullaby” or “Snow White and Red Rose”  and “Rapunzel” and…. A smile spread across my face as I read on and on,examining “…Sam Winston’s fascinating typographical landscapes…” (from book jacket). Here is a book that lifts up the worlds that can be imagined on the sea of stories.  

And, the best, to me, was the illustration on the last page:
Imaginatin is Free

Isn’t this what we want for all people everywhere?  To have the key to read and travel through the worlds of books, of stories?

This book will be on display in my office, too.  

A Child of Books

 

A River Runs

Standard

River

The river outside my window is hurrying, scurrying by,

swirling and gurgling and bubbling,  

rushing on watery wings.

 

Onward toward its destination

without a thought or care

for passing shores or meadows green.  

 

Does it ever pause to think,

“Where is my final end?”

Does it ponder o’er and o’er,

“What’s the meaning of this race?”

 

Does it look to right or left

as on fleeting feet it flies?

Does it hear whispers

of rustling leaves on overhanging trees?

 

Does it attend the songbird’s call?

Or hear the lark or wren?

Does it in merry mirth reply,

or does it hasten on?

 

How fleeting this life!

How swift the years!

hurrying, hastening, scurrying on,

with nary a slack or pause or care.

 

Time flies on and on!  

 

Perspective

Standard

Why does a number on the scale bring tears

when going up,

but solicit smiles

when going down?

 

Why does a snowstorm bring anxiety

when travel plans are looming,

but excited wonder

when warm hearths await?

 

Why does sadness darken a light-loving soul

when summer solstice ends,

but joy sparkle in a sorrowful soul

when winter solstice wanes?

 

Why does a glass appear half empty to one

yet to another seem half full?

Why does a trouble cripple one

yet to another unhindered sours?

 

Perspective is the magic key

that turns the blind to sight,

Perspective is the mystic flame

that changes darkness into light.

 

Grant me that key,

give me that flame

that I may walk, seeing,

in heaven’s light.

copyright 2018