Tag Archives: poetry

When the Mountain Laughs

When the mountain laughs,
maybe it’s time to trek down a bit,
blisters and aches.

It’s easier going
where you’ve already been.

The snow’s no more shallow,
no less in your face;
the sun’s glare, no less blinding.

But the holes you trampled
on your first go up
remain to guide you.

So get yourself to a lower altitude,
where you can breathe a little easier.

But don’t sit down.
Don’t loosen your boots.
Don’t turn your back
even for a second.

Wait for the mountain
to nod off again.
And get back at it.

~Jo R. Hawke

Originally published in The Ninety-Eight Poets, edited by W. Scott.

Lovely Sue

“All in the Downs the fleet was moor’d,
The streamers waving in the wind,
When black-eyed Susan came aboard;
‘O! where shall I my true-love find?
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true
If my sweet William sails among the crew.”
~”Black-eyed Susan” by John Gay

Branching Out

Branch out, stretch and grow.
But don’t forget where your roots are.

They’re heavy at first, those roots,
holding you back, weighing you down
when you’re thin and wispy,
when you just want to soar.

One day, though, that same heavy
will seem security, anchor, bedrock,
your wisp thickened and hard,
your soar stunted and scared.

So branch out, yes, stretch and grow.
But don’t forget where your roots are.

Planting the Poetry Garden

This morning, I put the final touches on our Poetry Garden. It’s outside my classroom and is full of flowers that my students decorated with Spring haiku (for the most part).

We’ve gotten lots of compliments so far, and it definitely raised my rainy-day spirits. :)

Here are some closeups:

And here’s my haiku:

Tiny flowers burst
into a symphony of
hue: Springtime Revisited.

Writing with my Students

I have tons of these little pictures that I printed from a website, laminated, and cut up. They’re of all kinds of things: people, famous and not; animals; objects; places.

I asked students to pick one that appealed to them. First, they described it. Then, they responded to it creatively by telling the story behind the picture or writing a poem about what’s happening or writing from the point of view of one of the people, animals, or objects in the picture.

Afterward, I let them share with each other what they’d written.

This was mine.

Poem: With a Thousand Smiles

I used to avoid rhyme in my poems like cliché. :D Not anymore.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jay~dee

With a Thousand Smiles

I sat staring through the window: The cars and trucks raced past,
beyond the still, familiar, near: the bush, the trees, the grass.

Just then, I saw a butterfly that made me think of you.
It fluttered ’round the sticker bush, and back again, it flew.

Its yellow path was crooked; its plan and aim, obscure.
There was no smoothness in its flight; its jerks and sputters blurred.

For all their fragile beauty, I thought, butterflies could not compare
to the hawks I saw this morning, circling so high up in the air.

In grace and form and line, soaring, the hawk is beauty defined.
And when I think of hawk, a hookéd beak is not what comes to mind.

Just then, that yellow butterfly flew behind the bush, out of sight
And, to spite me, angled upward to the sky in fast, straight flight.

© 2010 Jo Hawke