Day Five: 30Poems30Days

Poet’s note: There are days when I wake up with music in my head and I know some sort of symphony was working out in my brain all night. Does that happen to you?

Words won’t do this justice:
I’m stumbling about this place
in search of a melody that runs through me
each morning in those moments when I awake
to near-silence.
Just beyond the dreams, though, a violin plays softly
in harmony with the ghosts of thoughts
still descending from the night.
When I open my eyes to the dancing notes of the song,
the melody is gone and I’m left even more bewildered
than I was before.

Listen to the podcast poem

Peace (in the muse),

Day Four: 30Poems in 30 Days

Poet’s Note: I looked up as a flock of geese were flying by, loud in their honking. Then, silence. Then, a few minutes later, that one lone goose tries to catch up. It had me thinking ..

I wonder about that one lone goose
in search of the flock:
how did he spring loose
and why does he seem so lost?
I’m reminded of that student of mine who sings a solitary tune
as others mill about, moving on
and leaving him standing alone, oblivious,
until the last second
when it dawns on him that everyone else is gone.
I suppose that even daydreamers
have to fly.

Listen to the podcast poem

Peace (in and out of the flock),

Day Three: 30Poems30Days

Poet’s note: Today’s poem is inspired by construction going on at our house.

If you were to construct me,
would material would you use
that would allow me to bend and shift
with the turbulence?
Would you sign off on me
as the inspector
looking for cracks in the facade
or would you just turn the other way
and hope for the best?

Listen to the podcast

Peace (in the walls),

Day Two: 30poems30days

Poet’s note: This is the second day of my 30Poems in 30Days challenge. I wrote this poem, trying to think of the infrastructure of the digital world and using that idea as a sort of metaphor for a relationship.

If you were One and I was Zero,
we could inhabit the architecture
that holds up everything digital …

If you were One,
you could stand tall
enough to let the information
balance in your head;

If I was Zero,
I would be more than nothing;
I would stand in defiance
so that, in the emptiness,
there would be meaning;

If you were One and I was Zero,
inside this on-again/off-again mirror,
we’d prop up everything digital …

Listen to the podcast of the poem.

Peace (in ones and zeroes),


Day One: 30Poems30Days

30poems iconIt is November 1 and I am off and running with my first poem for the 30Poems in 30Days charity challenge. The idea is to gather sponsors who will pay a token amount of money per poem that you write, and all the proceeds will go to support a local organization that helps immigrant families with a wide range of services.

The poem project was launched by our city’s poet laureate, Leslea Newman, and I have 15 sponsors already. You can still add your name to the mix by using my Google Form. The benefit? You get your name on my Google Poetry Map.

And, so, without further adieu, here is my first poem of the month:

I’m plunging into poetry:
here, you hold my gear
while I extend my fingers
into the deep recess of my mind
where I’ll try to ferret out some treasure
amidst the chaos
and turn it into words.

Listen to the podcast of the poem, too.

See you tomorrow!

Peace (in the poems),

My Map of Sponsors for the 30Poems30Days project


Tomorrow, on November 1, I am taking part in a regional fund-raising activity in which I pledge to try to compose 30 poems in 30 days. I have 13 people from my various online networks who have graciously agreed to “sponsor” me, which means they are going to donate a token amount of money for each poem that I compose and publish in November. I am very grateful and if all goes according to the plan, I should be able to raise close to $300 for an organization in our area that provides support, education and services for immigrant families.

Now I just need to write some poems …

I created this Google Map to show where all of my sponsors are located because I find it so interesting.

View 30Poems30Days in a larger map

By the way, I still have plenty of room left on my list for more sponsors and I would love to have you. If you are interested, please head to this Google Form I created to collect information from folks. And if you do so, I will add you to the Map, of course! And I will be most appreciative of the support that you show me as a writer and for the families who are in need of services in Western Massachusetts.

30Poems30Days starts tomorrow …

Peace (in the poetry),

Seeking Sponsors for 30 poems/30 days

In our small city, we have our own poet laureate. This year, it is Leslea Newman (who gained some national exposure with her then-controversial picture book “Heather has Two Mommies”). Newman is a wonderful poet, gifted author and creative force in our area. She has even done some work with my Western Massachusetts Writing Project.

Newman put out a call recently for local residents to take part in an event known as the 30 Poems in 30 Days event. This is both a way to get people to write (yeah!) and to generate funds for a worthy organization that provides free services to immigrant families in our region (double-yeah!). Here is an article about the event.

Yesterday, I created a Google Form and asked folks in my virtual networks to consider sponsoring me as a poet by pledging a small amount of money per poem that I will write in November. (I will be posting the poems here at this blog and also as part of an online writing network through National Writing Project known as the iAnthology).

I am quite humbled to see that I already have 11 people signed up. Thank you thank you thank you.

If you would like to consider sponsoring me, please fill out the following form. I deeply appreciate any help you can give and although I am a bit nervous about writing so many poems, I am going to channel the little red engine and say, “I think I can …. I think I can …” and go where the creative energy takes me.

Peace (in the poems),

Podcasting Poetry with Myna

I found out about a new music editing program that may rival Garageband but — thankfull for me, the PC user — is located all online and is free. The site is called Myna and it is part of the Aviary suite of applications.

This morning, I wrote a poem in my head about walking my dog out in the darkness of morning and then came back, launched Myna,  and had this podcast poem in no time at all. Like Garageband, you can pull loops from a large database, and you can add effects to your voice.

But, unlike Garageband, Myna also gives you the embed code for your mixed down audio tracks.

So, here goes:

And here is a video tutorial on using Myna:

I wonder how we might use this with our students because if it is easy enough to use, then I would replace this application with Audacity. I love Audacity and have used it for years, but this Myna brings ease of recording and podcasting to a new level.

Peace (in the sound),

An audio-art-image of I Dream in Twitter

Some time ago, I wrote this poem about using Twitter and how conflicted I often am about it (love it, wonder why I love, etc).

This morning, I saw a link (on Twitter, of course) from Larry Ferlazzo to a Brazilian website that integrates the audio of voice with the use of the mouse as a paintbrush to create an online painting. I decided I would give it a go with the Twitter poem. (I have no idea what the name of this site is but here is the link to try it yourself).

As your tone and pitch change, so does the color sequencing and also the spread of the “ink” on the “page.” It would be cool if the site recorded the audio along with the image, so you could listen to the voice and art unfold at the same time (I guess I am never satisfied with the cool stuff I experience out here, eh?)

Here is the poem I used:

I Dream in Twitter

(listen to the podcast)

I dream in Twitter
in 140 characters
that cut off my thoughts before they are complete
and then I wonder, why 140?
Ten more letters would serve me right
as I write about what I am doing at that moment
in time,
connecting across the world with so many others
shackled by 140 characters, too,
and I remain amazed at how deep the brevity can be.

I find it unsettling to eavesdrop on conversations
between two
when you can only read one
and it startles me to think that someone else out there
has put their ear to my words
and wondered the same about me.
Whose eyes are watching?

Twitter is both an expanding universe
of tentacles and hyperlinks that draw you in
with knowledge and experience
and a shrinking neighborhood of similar voices,
echoing out your name
in comfortable silence.

I dream in Twitter
in 140 characters,
and that is what I am doing

Peace (in artful convergence),