Another day in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for MARCH...
Sunday morning finds me sweeping leaves from the drive way in front of our house. As I vigorously work the broom, the wind and the trees conspire to frustrate me. I clear the area of leaves, turn to walk away and then notice my twin foes are taunting me with fresh deposits. Leaves, twigs and small branches miraculously appear seemingly from thin air and lay on the concrete. Leaves dance and flitter before settling on my previously clear canvas. I return to sweeping and remove the latest wind borne irritants. I sweep with renewed intensity. With Shakespearean seriousness I want to cry -'Out damned spot!' because to me this is a tragedy.
I am determined to win- but I won’t. Such is the inevitability of this lopsided contest. Trees and wind one, eternally damned sweeper nil. At least I tried and I did enjoy the transitory pleasure of a clear driveway for those few seconds. Small pleasures punctuate our days. I shall return yet again and go through this ritual of sweeping the driveway –but not today. The wind and the trees will once again frustrate my efforts and commence to do their thing. Is that the wind I hear whispering, or do I actually hear the soft hint of a snigger? I truly believe those things that challenge us, do make us stronger!
I am the broom warrior and as Arnie once so famously uttered –I’ll be back! but for now, I'll leave well enough alone.
'Go to the attic of your mind and rummage around and find something.'Mary Higgins Clark
What excellent advice for those who procrastinate over writing. Remember it is easy to find reasons not to write. What you are seeking is just one good reason to write. For teachers, the answer is -your students!
Rummaging is such a wonderful word. I experience such delight when indulging in a bit of rummaging. It imbues the spirit of discovery, and the potential to uncover unexpected treasure and delight. It may also reveal some thing long since forgotten, something considered lost. The very notion of digging and delving into some mysterious part of your life and its associated belongings create an air of excitement. The act of turning over items or fossicking and rifling through books, journals or collected papers is alive with the prospect of discovery or rediscovery.
I admit to deliberately hiding items inside books (notes, business cards, tickets) in order to enjoy the discover…
Wisdom About Writing Many of us carry scars inflicted by the Grammar Police. Teachers and other adults who could spot an errors from across the room.Much of my childhood was punctuated (sorry, I couldn’t resist that) by zealous red pen people. They frequently reminded me my efforts to write conventionally clearly
fell short. I was in need of correction and their written comments were used to
reinforce my grammatical shortcomings, my failure to conform to the adult model
of acceptable English. I don’t ever recall receiving written comments regarding
the intent of my writing. The focus appeared to be purely on the surface features
of the writing. It was a deficit model of teaching writing. In reality
I was practicing conventions every time I wrote. Every time I wrote, I was
moving a smidge closer to becoming a writer who understood how conventions
assisted me to convey a clearer message to my readers. Think about
it. As we write each letter to form words, as we allow spaces bet…
BOOK RELEASEYEAH! I am so pleased to announce the release of my new poetry book, I Bet There's No Broccoli On The Moon -More Poetry From the Search Zone. This anthology of poems follows on from my first collection of poems, the successful, Searching For Hen's Teeth.
You can order my book on line or simply walk into your local bookstore and ask the kind person serving you to order it in for you. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. May the words reach your poet's heart. Here is a taste, a morsel to whet your appetite for more poetry. Hope you like it. Hope you want more...
YESTERDAY Yesterday, I knew who my enemies were. I knew where they lived. I knew not to go there. Yesterday, I knew where to play on the school ground And that football was my favourite game in the whole wide world. Yesterday, I knew how disgusting it was to eat sheep brains And broccoli. And oysters. Yesterday, I could fly a kite, Keep a secret, And swing from the clothesline. The world felt settled. Then Laura Fisher spoke to …
POETRY, Not For The Faint-Hearted As a poet and an educator I am driven by a desire to have poetry viewed as consumer friendly by young learners. I want them to enjoy the sheer magic of words, the way I do. I want to share my love of language in the hope that they will come to know poetry as one does a friend.What's concerning is that in too many classrooms the teaching of poetry has been reduced to a clinical examination. The poem as autopsy. The dis-aggregation of wondrous words by teachers who feel little empathy with the poet’s desire just to be shared. Moira Robinson, a former neighbour, in her book Making My Toenails Twinkle, reminds us that sometimes we miss the point of poetry when she states, ‘If we are going to start defining poetry by the number of times spring daffodils are mentioned, or by measuring its degree of seriousness on some poetic Richter scale, we will finish up with nervous breakdowns.’If we truly want our students to appreciate poetry to the point that they …
safety of the shore I recently watched as a small boy maybe eight years old
paddled his surfboard towards a wall of surf on Bali’s Legian Beach.
three metre swell presented itself to all who were game to chance it. Many older,
more experienced surfers had accepted the challenge. The boy was not dissuaded. The small framed one stood
out like a fly in a bowl of rice. The small
boy worked his skinny arms tirelessly propelling his board to a place beyond
the breakers, where the big boys go. A place from which to launch themselves
upon a shore bound wave. It was a struggle, but he doggedly persisted, almost
willing his board to go further out. It appeared to be a giant challenge just
to get out there. Waiting for
the right moment to go, he watched the older surfers break from the huddle and
tackle the waves. The boy’s first two efforts are unsuccessful. His light body
and his small board make it easy for the wave to give him the slip and he
slides off the back. He is not done…