Spring project

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A few weeks ago on my walk past Logan Creek, where I walk almost every day, I caught sight of this bird.  I’m not sure what kind of bird it is, but I’m quite sure I know what it was up to. (The photo turned out to be the perfect prompt for April 12 of my spring project.)

Bird with feather in beak

Spring project

It’s building day
beautiful weather
we’ll gather beakfulls
of twig and feather

I’ve found a sweet spot
in a crook of this tree
to nest brown-flecked eggs
of our family

© 2014 – Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Katya Czaja at Write. Sketch. Repeat.

 

Ocean Neighbourhood

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Ocean Neighbourhood

Cuttlefish, Brittle Star, Bull Shark and Conch
Blowfish and Electric Eels
Grey Whales and Dogfish Sharks, Gastropods, Clams
Jellyfish, Orcas and Seals

Purple Sea Urchins, Sand Dollars and Squid
Octopus, Tuna and Sponge
Walrus and Angelfish, Right Whales and Blue
Nurse Sharks and Makos that lunge

Sea horses, Corals, Crustaceans and Krill
Man-of-War, Mollusks — I wish
Dugong my neighbor and Narwhal my friend . . .
Oh, if I only were fish!

© Violet Nesdoly

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Poetry Friday LogoWe only have to watch a few underwater videos or movies like Nemo to realize that an ocean neighbourhood is  not nearly as friendly or safe as this poem (a repost from February 2011)  would imply. But we can pretend, can’t we!

This poem is part of Poetry Friday hosted today by Laura at  Author Amok.

Summer Plans

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Balloons floating in air

Summer Plans

My mom has signed me up for summer camp.
That’s twenty-one meals in the dining hall.
It’s shivering in a towel that’s always damp
and taking dares to scale the climbing wall.
It’s harnessing to be the zip line champ
contests of shooting with the basketball.
Can’t wait for campfire and those yummy s’mores
—of course we earn them all with cabin chores.

This summer I’m supposed to learn to swim
I’m scared of getting water up my nose.
Styrofoam kick-board helps me float and skim
remember, breathe and stroke and kick your toes.
The water in my eyes is nothing grim
it’s just two weeks of crawl and backstroke woes.
I’m dreading Friday when I take my test
(I’ll simply die if I don’t earn my crest!)

This holiday we’re traveling by car
we’ll even spend a night in a motel.
By daddy’s map it doesn’t look too far,
but hours of driving make me want to yell.
My sister and I get into a war
I tease her and she answers that I smell.
We eat some burgers and it’s on and on…
Such a long drive isn’t a lot of fun!

This summer I’m not going anywhere
I’ll jump the trampoline and read a book.
My dad said he might take me to the fair,
Mom said she’d prob’ly teach me how to cook.
I’ll treehouse sleep at night high in the air
at noon fish in the creek with worms and hook
on hot days water-park in my own yard
I’ll fill my days with fun – it won’t be hard!

© 2010 by Violet Nesdoly

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Though school has been over for about a month in the US, here in Canada, students are only done in the next week or so. I haven’t been in school as a student or teacher for many a year but still some internal clock of mine keeps track of school and no-more-school.

“Summer Plans” was inspired by a 2010 ottava rima prompt and challenge on Miss Rumphius Effect’s blog.  I  posted it in her comments there and am bringing it out again today to celebrate the end of school for Canadian kids, and the beginning of summer for everyone!

poetry+friday+button+-+fulllThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Carol at Carol’s Cornerwhere you’ll find links to lots more poetry and poetry-related goodies.

Perfect poetry for little people

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Special little people need special gifts. I picked three lovely books of verse as gifts for the little people in my life—my grands—this year.

The Moon Shines Down - Margaret Wise BrownLittlest one is getting The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown. I found it at my local Chapters in a sturdy but affordable board book format.

This lovely volume has poems that muse about how the same moon shines on many different places. In gentle verse it introduces little ones to a variety of cultures and settings ending with a prayer of blessing for each one. I can’t wait to read it to little M!

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Tadeo Turtle - Janis CoxMiddle grand is getting Tadeo Turtle—an extra special book to me because I know author/illustrator Janis Cox.

Through easy-to-read rhymes we discover Tadeo is unhappy with his shell. Cox’s luminous watercolour illustrations add so much to this story about learning to accept the way God made us. Activity and craft suggestions at the end of the book give it added value.

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Dark Emperor - Joyce Sidman

For oldest grand I’ve chosen Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman. I was first introduced to Sidman and Dark Emperor via Poetry Friday (I forget by whom but whoever you are, I thank you!). I was charmed by the samples of Sidman’s verse I read that day and so pleased with my choice when I finally held the book in my hand, feasted my eyes on the just-a-wee-bit-spooky linocuts by Rick Allen, and read the entire twelve-poem offering.

What I especially like in this book is its fact component. On the page opposite each poem Sidman has written a prose piece about the creature character of her poem, giving us fascinating facts about its physical makeup, habits, and why it is a night creature. Dark Emperor will be the perfect gift to reassure a sometimes fearful-of-the-dark youngster that the night is not only friendly, but interesting.

Ben’s quilt

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Play quilts by Grandma

Ben’s Quilt

I got this quilt from Grandma
Put it on the floor
Ran my cars along the roads
And made the engines roar,

Raced my speedboat in the lake
Drove the kids to school,
Picked up groceries at the store
And hauled wheat to the Pool.*

Other blankets are for sleep
But this one is for play,
No other quilt I know can warm
In such a special way.

© Violet Nesdoly

*Pool was the name of a grain company, painted on many prairie elevators when I was growing up.

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My mom was an inveterate quilt maker. She made some sort of quilt for each of her 20+ grandkids, many of them play quilts. The wonderful thing about these quilts was that each one was different. Some were based on songs or lullabies (one illustrated a song—My Pigeon House—that she sang to each of us when we were babies). Others had themes—birds, animals, nursery rhymes. The photo is of two of the quilts she made. The one on the left is similar in theme to the one she made for my son. You’ll recognize lots of nursery rhyme characters in the one on the right.

“Ben’s Quilt'” is a poem I wrote in 1999. It is a child’s, my son’s, imagined response to Grandma’s quilt. I was reminded of it by Amy’s wonderful poem “Quilt Map” that was part of last week’s  Poetry Friday.

poetry+friday+button+-+fulllThis poem is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Jama Rattigan at Jama’s Alphabet Soup, the most delicious blog on the net.