Friday, June 18, 2021

Day 82 of The 100 Day Poetry Challenge

 Day 82 of The 100 Day Poetry Challenge


I really wanted to write a poem about the amazing work women's bodies do when pregnant and growing the next generation. II also wanted to honor the work educators do to foster the growth of children. It takes a village - right? We educate with our bodies as well as our minds. I hope I was able to capture in this poem the amazing work our bodies do.

This is my 5th "My Body" poem in this 100-day project.




Thursday, June 17, 2021

Day 81 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 81 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

I wrote this poem on Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day to anyone who mothers or cares for children. You are so important and I value you. I spent the day with my mom and sister and then went for a hike by myself in the woods and then my son, Max took me out to dinner. It was nice-We went to a tequila bar downtown. So yummy.

I wrote today's poem about my grandma, Gertrude. She loved to play bingo and win money. We always played Bingo on holidays like today. It was so much fun.

I remember riding circles around the pool table while my dad, grandpa, and uncles. So funny to think of us roaring around the small space and the men actually trying to play pool. Honestly, they were probably just hiding so they didn't have to help do the dishes.

Hope all of you are lucky enough to have a great bingo queen in your life.




Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Day 80 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 80 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


I love trees and their vast network of communication. I could just spend all my time in the woods if I could. The forest is a healing, calming space for me.

Tonight I'm tired, not sure if this poem works. It's been a long week and will be a hard weekend. Tonight I hope I dream of being held by my magic tree.




Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Day 79 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 79 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


Do you ever have nightmares? If you are a trauma survivor, sleeping is hard. It's hard to fall asleep, stay asleep and the night includes nightmares. I had a nightmare every night for probably 40 years. I don't have them every night anymore but I had one last night and it's unsettling. They are hard to process and sometimes I don't want to fall back asleep for the fear of going right back into the nightmare again. I'm perpetually tired because of it.

I wish everyone sweet dreams instead of nightmares.




Friday, June 11, 2021

Day 78 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 78 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


I tried to write a poem about the sunrise today and it just didn't work for me so I wrote a poem about writing a poem and added a little insight into my writing process.




Thursday, June 10, 2021

Day 77 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 77 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


Today I was looking through old pictures to put in my art journal and originally I was going to write about this picture I found of my grandma and her mom and I started that poem today. I also found this photo of me that I didn't recognize and have no recollection or memory of the checkered dress or the day the photo was taken. So I started writing about her and I just looked at her and thought of everything she went through. I didn't get through this poem without tears.





Tuesday, June 8, 2021

 Day 76 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


Last night I finished reading The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by @charliemackesy (I highly recommend it) and in it, there was a line that grabbed me, "Home isn't always a place". I've known it for a long time as I always say My body is my home, I live within my skin and in my heart. Home is also a feeling you get. So I wanted to write a poem about finding your home within yourself.

I think many people are searching for home, sometimes you need to look within.




Monday, June 7, 2021

Day 75 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 75 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


I read a poem by Joy Harjo that has a line that says "insect orchestra" in it. I can't remember the name of the poem but the image of an insect orchestra stuck in my head and I knew I had to create a poem to go with it. I did some research and the three loudest insects you hear at night in the summer are the katydids, crickets, and cicadas. So those are the bugs in my poem playing the tunes. The frogs are pretty loud at my house so they needed a mention too. I hope you enjoy this one.




Sunday, June 6, 2021

Day 74 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 74 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


A falcon visited my yard yesterday and I saw him again today just before I started writing. He stayed for quite a while and the robins were ruffled and chirping loudly and dive-bombing him. He then flew off but he took it stride.

Today's poem is simple but the message is clear, we need to pay attention and if we don't we will miss the gifts and the poems animals and people bring to our lives.




Friday, June 4, 2021

Day 73 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 73 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


At the beginning of every day, I literally have no idea what poem will emerge by the end of the day. This poem has been ruminating for a while now. I've walked the Dakota trails by my house since I was using them to walk through the woods to primary school as a shortcut when I was a young girl. I always imagine this land bare of houses, highways, and railroads, seeing only wetlands and the villages of the Native people. I teach history and many of my students are Dakota and Anishinabe. Today on my way to work I was listening to the poems of Joy Harjo's An American Sunrise collection and I knew I had to write about Little Crow.




Thursday, June 3, 2021

Day 72 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 72 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression and these are things both my grandmas did on a regular basis. It's so interesting to think that their habits were born from the decade they grew up in. My grandma Kozy saved soup labels for probably 40 years, she always fed the birds leftover food and cut coupons, and washed out plastic bags. My grandma Majorie canned vegetables and fruits. She ate every pea and made me sit at the table for hours until I finished mine too (I still hate peas to this very day!) She also washed out plastic bags and reused them and wrapping paper, ribbons, and tissue paper.
At least I liked Poor man's stew! They were both amazing conservationists and at the time I didn't appreciate these gifts they gave me and the world.

People in this world could stand to remember some of the lessons we learned from our grandparents.




Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Day 71 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 71 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


My daughter challenged me to write a poem about a drag queen as we were watching Ru Paul's Drag Race finale on Friday. Challenged accepted and complete! When she turns 21, I told her I would take her to see a drag show in person and I hope Covid has moved out by then. Looking forward to a live drag show and yes, I have really kissed a drag queen.

Happy Pride month!




Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Day 70 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 70 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


Today another My Body poem emerged. When I originally started this poem it was about me and it still is but I also think its a poem about race, about my students and the city I teach in (Minneapolis), and about the pain that we all carry in our bodies and don't let go of and the pain people inflict on us.




Monday, May 31, 2021

Day 69 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 69 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


Today I pulled out my grandma's old coin purse to tell a story about our trips on the Amtrak trains but I didn't get to tell that story so instead, I wrote some of it down in this poem. I was lucky enough to be the oldest grandchild and my grandma, her name was Gertrude, and I would take the train to Red Wing or Wabasha and spend the day having fun together. She never drove but she didn't let that stop her, so we either took a long bus ride or took the train to places. Oh, I miss her so much.




Thursday, May 27, 2021

Day 68 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 68 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

I wanted to write a poem today that celebrated earth and I spent some time outside today in the lovely 60-degree weather and walked in the woods at sunset. It was nice. So go out and pay attention, look and listen and see if you can see or feel the earth dance.





Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Day 67 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 67 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

You never know when inspiration will strike and you will have to sit down and write.
I thought of my empty desks today, sitting in my classroom all week without us there and this poem appeared. Teaching right now is awkward. I have 8 students in a class period if I'm lucky and 20 plus students still at home doing distance learning. No one really knows anyone and I've literally met my students for the first time last week. Students don't really know how to be students or even to talk to each other anymore. It's so eerily quiet in the hallways and when I give them a break, they just stay in their seat. We are now going for walks around the building (we are not allowed to go outside) and it's weird but I think they like it. When I came back to school to get ready for students. My room was a time capsule.

I'm learning. I'm growing and expanding myself as a teacher and a learner for sure.






Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Day 66 of The 100 Days Poetry Project

 Day 66 of The 100 Days Poetry Project


I wrote this poem based on a prompt I read today from a little boy who has cancer and plays a game with his mom where they close their eyes and say what they see inside. I remember as a kid being afraid of the darkness when my eyes were closed and the shapes that morphed in my mind. Today when I did it, I saw winged things and shapes and so much more. It was a fun experiment to pay attention to and write about it.

What do you see when you close your eyes?





Monday, May 24, 2021

Day 65 of The 100 Days Poetry Project

 Day 65 of The 100 Days Poetry Project

This poem and commentary were originally written on April 18th.

The entire world is watching Minnesota right now. The Derek Chauvin trial is ending with a verdict imminent this week. I teach in Minneapolis public schools and we are moving to distance learning on Wednesday for the rest of the week. National Guard is everywhere and businesses are boarding up. Anxiety is high.

A week ago today, a beautiful young black man, Duante Wright was killed by police. We are a community grieving for Daunte and George Floyd. Our pain is raw and the whole world is watching.

I'm having a hard time thinking about anything else as we begin this week and so this poem was born so I could process and remember.


Sunday, May 23, 2021

Day 64 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 64 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


Last week after the Haven Retreat ended many of us felt like we had a hangover and someone called it a "vulnerability hangover" and I said, I am going to write a poem about that. So this is the first part of that poem. I think many of us don't really know how to be vulnerable and being vulnerable scares most of us so much that we avoid it. I know I avoid it sometimes because it is scary. But you really can't have a meaningful relationship without vulnerability.

Go read Brene Brown.




Saturday, May 22, 2021

Day 63 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 63 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


I'm writing about the house I stayed at in Utah for the Haven Retreat. It really is a beautiful healing house. One of the women in our group was a beautiful singer and I could hear her singing in the halls. It was nestled in the mountains, safe and serene. A perfect location to begin the work of healing and for the creation of community.




Friday, May 21, 2021

Day 62 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 62 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


During the Haven Retreat for sex abuse survivors, we did a mediation where we visited and spoke with our future older self. I visited her but my older self didn't say anything. She welcomed me and we just held hands and held each other. Everyone else in my group had their older self respond with advice. This is when I learned I have a lot of barriers blocking me from living a full and fulfilling life.
So today I thought I would write an epistle poem to my future wiser older self and tell her how I am preparing for her future today.




Thursday, May 20, 2021

Day 61 of The 100 Day Poetry project

 Day 61 of The 100 Day Poetry project


I read several poems about articles of clothing today which gave me the idea to write about my great grandmother's mink stole. I had to ask my mom about it because I know nothing about its story. My great-grandmother Johanna immigrated to the U.S. in 1906. My grandma was her youngest child. My mom wore the stole once and I'm not sure if my grandma or aunts wore it at all. I've only worn it once. It's definitely vintage and not really fashionable. So it lives in my closet.

Do you have interesting vintage clothing?




Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Day 60 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 60 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


I struggled to decide what to write about today. I kept thinking about going for a walk tomorrow and how I really want to walk the entire Superior Hiking Trail and then all of The Ice Age trail and then the North Country trail and so many more.
People in my family love to walk. I could walk all day long, every day. I would love to just keep on walking and never look back but I'm too responsible to do that.

Someday I am trying to get away from my bad memories and some days I am out walking for the pure love of being outdoors in nature.

Do you like to walk?




Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Day 59 of The 100 Day Poetry Project

 Day 59 of The 100 Day Poetry Project


A few weeks ago I wrote a poem called These Thighs and my poet friend Annette, challenged me to write a poem about the stomach. This morning I read a poem by one of my favorite poets, Anna Swir, called Her Belly, and knew I had to write the poem about my stomach. I think most women can relate to constant dieting and not liking their midsection. Ladies, we need to love our bodies and each part of who we are. So thank your stomach for digesting your food and doing its job. Practice mindful eating if you can.




Monday, May 17, 2021

Day 58 of The 100 Day Poetry Project.

 Day 58 of The 100 Day Poetry Project.


I am on a healing journey. When at The Haven Retreat in Utah, I spent a lot of time sitting by the waterfall there and walking beside a bubbling brook. It was peaceful and healing. I tried to write about it- not sure if I actually captured what I wanted to say here. I just want to say that wherever we are in our healing journey, we need to trust the process and know we are where we are meant to be at this time.