Walk My World Listening Mode: Collaborative DS106 Audio Quilt


My CLMOOC friend, Wendy, released a mixed audio quilt of our collective voices reading a collective poem written for the DS106 community called 106 Lines of Thought. Walk My World’s recent Learning Event (6) is to pay attention to the sound of our world, to notice the details. The audio quilt is yet further iteration of the collaboration.

So I’m going to listen and jot notes and first impressions about the voices I am hearing on the audio file  …. While I may know and recognize some voices, I am not going to identify anyone until the very end … I have my headphones on and I am in deep listening space … writing what I hear …

  • First Voice —  first some claves then a short remix edit repeat of the 106 theme … clear and passionate, an introduction to listen … a personal voice … a collaborative reading … guitar bridge
  • Second Voice —  the alliterative patterns in the first stanza of the poem, read so lovely by this voice … the bird the stars the shimmer … the texture of her voice is a nice frequency for the words here
  • Third Voice — familiar voice familiar words … trying to find some emotional elements underneath the lines … the break through … the moment … false ending …. this is not the ending
  • Fourth Voice — music interlude … the accent draws me in, familiar and yet not heard by my ears on a daily basis kind of accent, there’s a sharpness to the dark wings .. higher higher higher, and the voice hit an emotional shift to bring us up, only to be reminded of the fate of Icarus
  • Fifth Voice — warmth here on the first phrase of words .. warming the bones .. looking down … and then, gratitude .. I am leaning into the sound of the warmth now … observing the moment …
  • Sixth Voice — nearly no gap space before this voice takes the poem from before like a baton pass and holds out for our hand, bringing us forward … sparking something deep inside … of you us we .. reaching out to others …
  • Seventh Voice — percussive interlude with claves … click click click – the musical thread, perhaps, or the ink of the poem to be read … I am sitting here at the table, sitting with this voice, so close now it seems in sound and so rich with ambience … listening, always listening … the small things … these give us all hope …
  • Eighth Voice — pace of narration quickens a bit,  captured like snapshots to browse through … I imagine us all doing that here, the collective urge to remember something important before we forget … wings rhythm beat ..
  • Ninth Voice — sounds of wings continue, a voice from a soft tunnel, perhaps, or a protective cave, or some chamber in dusk or dawn where the voice is a friendly token, something you find … tribes gathering …
  • Tenth Voice — textured range of voice, a small token or trinket reminding us of love and compassion, and I am visualizing the text here as I am hearing the text …
  • Eleventh Voice — the percussive ink returns, a rhythmic reminder of the threads that connect the voices together … the voice is close and yet also far, wrapped in a blanket of soft noise … the snowflakes drifting in the wind .. a poet’s voice, texture and tenor
  • Twelfth Voice — questioning? confidence. A voice of dust. A shape emerges from the poem here, the rhymes and voice of a storyteller … reminding the audience of something larger emerging from the small pieces of words
  • Thirteenth Voice — I imagine being in a listening hall, a poet sitting on the stage, their voice working working to pull me forward, to sit in the chair next to them, to listen and to wonder and to connect … to salvage hope … to listen for joy …
  • Fourteenth Voice — here, now, I am adrift in the small, nearly invisible intentional currents of a lake of words … the voice is the boat, or a stick, and we are ripples … the trees and soil and the rooting of stories  … and we are thinking feeling listening …
  • Fifteenth Voice — the voice is running, pausing, slowing, not stopping, moving, pushing, guiding, sanding down the edges of something to reveal what’s beneath … roots burrow down
  • Sixteenth Voice — spectrum of sound in this voice, past the places, the knowing understanding voice, the narrator who sees a way forward and invites us to join … like a blessing … returns
  • Seventeenth Voice — an echo of an earlier voice, returns … smoke and fire …. something flourishes, even in the quickened pace of the poem …
  • Eighteenth Voice — claves again, stitching .. clarity of frequency, this voice is next to us, sitting … right … there … and what will we make of this place? Indeed. What WILL we make of this place?
  • Nineteenth Voice — the voice is neither, neither hammer or chisel, but more a vocalized gift of each, and we are surfacing, are we not?
  • Twentieth Voice — forced slowdown for intentional alliteration, so effective so effective … my ears linger on the sound … on the tapestry … harmony …
  • Twenty-First Voice — lifting voice to the question mark of text … then, the slow roll down the incline … I imagine the paint stroke of a young artist, guided by instinct and making art …
  • Twenty-Second Voice — less question than a gathering … what will it be … these last lines … will we remember to breathe?
  • Music outro — guitar riff, hopeful sound

Peace (in listening mode),

PS — from Wendy at Soundcloud

Readers in order or appearance (Twitter tag): Lisa (nobleknits2) Charlene (inspirepassion) Kevin (dogtrax) Ron (ronald_2008) Sue (sueinasp) Sarah (NomadWarMachine) Denise (mrsdkrebs) Will (willgourley) Ron S (ronsamul) Betsy (BetsyCallanan) Niall (niall_barr) Wendy (wentale) Catherine (catdartnall) Joe Murphy (joefromkenyon) AK (koutropoulos) Sheri (grammasheri) Irwin (irwindev) Jennifer (JenniferDenslow) Tania (taniatorikova) Irene (IrenequStewart) Susan (SSpellmanCann)

Mixed by Wendy Taleo. Music from Zapsplats.com
Original poem: wentalearn.blogspot.com/2021/02/ds106…-thought.html

Slice of Life: That Wind of Gust and Din

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

I woke with an idea brewing for Day in a Sentence but then the wind — incredibly loud and incredibly powerful, and a bit scary — barreled its way into my morning and still is shaking the windows and spooking the dogs.

So, here is my daily poem as Slice of Life.

This wind –
this ferocious wind –
this wind that sings
with gust and din,
this wind that brings
a fury as it flashes in,
’til I’m wide awake
to the siren call,
and up and out
before the day

Peace (flowing through),

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence (the month begins)

I am once again taking part in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge with Two Writing Teachers (now, many hands on deck), and as usual, I am starting the month of March, as many do, wondering how in the world am I going to write a Slice each day?

I mean, I write every day.

But I’ve been mostly writing my poems and doing art/creative stuff with DS106 and skipping Saturdays and doing only photographs for Silent Sundays.

But … I remembered another project a long time back … Day in a Sentence … it, too, was a friendly challenge for teachers to write, but to do so by writing a summary of an entire day, in one single sentence.

So, I figure, why not combine the two concepts on some (but maybe not all) days of the Slice of Life? I even still have the Day in a Sentence icon in my blog media bin.

How cool is that?

So, here is my Day in a Sentence for my first Slice of Life 2021:

Morning fog obscures the pre-dawn street, as the dogs — young, nearly always, leading old — just keep on pulling me forward into the day.

Peace (short but sweet),



Book Review: The Silver Arrow

I always enjoyed Lev Grossman’s technology column’s in Time magazine, but never got into the flow of his Magicians book series. His latest young adult novel — The Silver Arrow — is a lovely ride, designed for read-aloud and packed with adventure.

I read it alone, and not as a read-aloud, and wished it were otherwise, as Grossman kicks of the story with his protagonist, Katie, getting a train – The Silver Arrow – from her eccentric uncle and then, before you know it, Katie and her younger brother, Tom, as off on the tracks, learning to be conductors from the train itself and picking up animals at different stations.

Why, becomes clear, as the novel barrels along, as Grossman has centered his story of the train with the rescue of animals from the world of humans. The prospects of climate change and development means the animals needs to go elsewhere, and that’s where Katie, Tom and The Silver Arrow are going, with plenty of magic along the way.

Grossman is careful with how he develops this theme, though, and he comes to the story with a light touch, centering on the adventure and introspection of Katie more than hitting the reader over the head with a message. One sequence in a forest of trees, where Katie and Tom are transformed, is written with beauty and compassion.

The strongest moment is when a polar bear, who barely made it to the train because its station — made of ice, now melted — leans in to Katie before departing the train, and says: “If you humans let us die, you will never, ever forgive yourselves.”

Which is true.

The stage is set for a sequel, too. If not this train, then perhaps we can catch the next.

Peace (on the tracks),


Comics About Writing: Break and Bend the Rules

Writing Teacher Self Guessing

The comic above led to a great conversation on Twitter the other day about the role of mentor texts, and learning from genres, and remix. Thanks to everyone who added in to the conversation (Sarah, Terry, Sheri, Daniel, Ronald, Jayne, etc.)

At one point, something somebody wrote (prob Terry) brought me back to making a comic about remix …

Original to Remix with Replication InBetween

Peace (in learning),

Slice of Life: Audio Postcard Update

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

At the start of the year, I took part in a research study that asked teachers to post an audio postcard each week for the first six weeks of school. I found it valuable as a reflection point to what was (and is) a pretty hectic and uncertain time.

This week, we were asked to provide an audio postcard update on things are going, now that we are pretty far into the year. There were some guiding questions, and again, I found it useful to think about how the year is unfolding, when each week and month seems to have a different challenge.

Here is my audio postcard: (link)

Peace (voicing it),

PS  — If interested, here is:

DSC01722 (2) -01 DSC01722 (2) -01 flickr photo by suzyhazelwood shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license


Book Review: Horizon

I admit: I had never heard or run across writer Barry Lopez before (as far as I remember), and I only got my hands on Horizon because it was in the Little Free Library in our neighborhood. The title and cover art caught my eye. I took a chance. Once inside book of powerful, exploratory essays by Lopez, I was hooked.

Later, after listening to an NPR retrospective of Lopez, who died late last year, I realized how strong was the resonance of his writing over time for many readers and writers.

A previous book — Arctic Dreams — won many accolades and his writing for environmental and science publications is a long and admirable list. I read Horizon (at 512 dense pages of story) over many months (rare for me to take that long with any book and to stay with it, but I wanted Lopez’s journeys across the world and observations about the changing climate, to settle with me over time).

His journeys here take him from his home in Oregon to Skraeling Island to Africa, Australia and the Antarctic, and beyond. Each place is so different, even as Lopez weaves the story of humanity and discovery into each location.

I would not call Lopez a travel writer, although his writing comes from his travels. He’s more of a naturalist, an environmental writer who wonders about the world and then goes out, and finds ways to discover and share his insights. He embeds himself with scientists of all ilk, and his wanderings take him to tropical places to arctic places, and everywhere in between.

It seems to me that Lopez is most interested in our collective human footprints on the world, for good and for bad, and how we might make sense of change through what has come before, and maybe make some adjustments for what comes next. Horizon is not an collection overtly about Climate Change, but the changing planet and humans role in that change is a constant underlying echo of everything here, and the topic that worries Lopez on his journeys.

He ends Horizon on a poetic note, asking the reader to wonder “what is out there, just beyond the end of the road …?” and suggests our collective future “arrives as a cantus, tying the faraway place to the thing living deep inside us, a canticle that releases us from the painstaking assembly of the milagros, year after year, and from a faith only in miracles.” (Lopez, p. 512, in Horizon)

I’m still mulling over those lines — maybe among the last he wrote —  and what they meant for Lopez, an experienced observer, and what the words might mean for me, and maybe for all of us.

Peace (looking out on horizon),

PS — Cantus is a song from African culture; Canticle is a Christian hymn; and milagros are Mexican folk charms. I had to look up each of those words, and am grateful I did, and happy to share.