Wordle 89

standing in the bread line,
between men, crushed
against my father and my uncle,

waiting for them to hand out
the loaves of warm bread,
to deliver us from hunger,

my uncle, always on a tangent,
talking about the stars,
but they don’t bring me warmth

as they do him, flames
for his imagination
against the cold and ice

which is strewn about the world,
on us, this hungry brood,
so we tuck the warm bread

under our coats, to keep
it warm and us warm too,
until we get home to the women,

crossing over the frozen creek,
past the tourists who pop
bread into their mouths,

to my mother and my sister,
who know how to knead bread,
but I don’t know

the point of such knowledge
when we have no flour
and no flame to cook it

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 89 at The Sunday Whirl.

Two poems for Wordle 86

One could coast
or one could stress

The tendency is innate
even rampant and relentless

Or is it delicate
and perhaps a bit bland

It depends on the space
you occupy

What you have forged
in that space

Under your hat
that spectrum

Of thoughts and emotions
and whether you stress

That which rejuvenates
or that which enervates

/ / /

in the company of introverts

silence is rampant
but not relentless

no day is bland or boring
but instead delicate

there is no stress
in this space we’ve forged

an innate spectrum
that rejuvenates

we can coast
not speaking

keeping our opinions
under our hats

/ / /

The first poem is in response to the twelve words of Wordle 86 at The Sunday Whirl.

The second poem also responds to the wordle as well as the “In the company of (blank)” prompt at Poetic Asides.

NaNoWriMo Update

Well… NaNoWriMo is over for another year. This was my fifth year participating, and my fourth win! Very excited about that. Thanks to all my friends and family who support me. Your encouragement and kind words are appreciated. And thanks to everyone who donated to The Office of Letters and Light on my behalf. My friend, colleague, and fellow writer, Michael Drum, and I had a great time at The Night of Writing Dangerously.

And this year, I have to give a great big shout-out to my students. A huge percentage of students in my class wrote this year. Sixteen (16!) students in my class validated their word counts on the Young Writers Program website and won! Two other students also met their word count goals but were unable to validate on the website. They’re winners too! And… joining us this year were two other students. One is a former student of mine, now in the sixth grade, and the other is a younger sibling of one of my current students. I am so proud of them all. Their enthusiasm, hard work, and creativity has been awesome to behold. I’m a very happy teacher these days.

I also have to congratulate the students who did not “win” on the Young Writers Program website or who did not yet meet their word count goals. The important word in that sentence is “yet”. I am proud of them for just trying to write a longer story, to push themselves, to try something new. And not a single one of them gave in to the temptation to lower their word count goal, even though they could. They stuck it out. I hope many of them go on to finish their stories. Even some of the students who “won” are still writing, because they may have met their word count goal, but their stories aren’t done yet.

Here are our final numbers. I validated on the NaNoWriMo website and have a final total of 51,311 words. On the Young Writers Program, I have a final total of 51,309 words. (I guess they have slightly different methods for counting words on the two websites.) Our classroom total is a staggering 226,476 words!!!