I have written about always living in the Midwest. Yet places vary, cities and towns. There have been many adjustments and “new learning curves” over decades. I am grateful.
These are a few poems from my archives.
no longer a stranger the joy of being able to share long stories of this area
home from Sheboygan grateful for the same roads this long
five roads from this corner now I know my way home on them all
Haiku Lesson Note:
Our Haiku Reading Plan for Grades 5 – 6at The Haiku Foundation features haiku from the Midwest. The Goal for this plan is “To show beginning comprehension of haiku by a variety of poets; along with beginning to discover haiku history through examples of poems.”
Stuart J. Mentink Memorial Park Oostburg, Wisconsin – July 6, 2019 Photo by Karl
Yesterday I wrote about the five senses and poetry in my post Winter Days. My post was inspired by work in the kitchen.
Today I reviewed my archives to see if I have written poems over the years with a few of the senses. My poems are visual, because I so often write about what I see through the days and seasons. I wondered about the other senses. This is what I found so far.
shoveling . . . scent of mint through snow
Time of Singing 25th Anniversary Volume 1998
reading poetry my coffee gets cold guess I made it for the fragrance
Time of Singing Volume 43, “Intermezzo” Fall 2016
Time of Singing poetry journal, edited by Lora Zill, has a new site. This print journal was one of the first to publish my short poems, in the 1990s.
fragrance of leaves in the gardens what good friends we became as we grew older
poems we read again and again washing an old plate the pattern still new
I see to read, and sometimes I listen (hear) poems online. I often read aloud to hear the words of a poem. This helps with revision too. Washing dishes in warm water, rinsing a plate, and looking out the kitchen window inspires some of my everyday poems.
some years I hear them first and then see them this year a cold day on the way home from errands with a bouquet of daffodils and food we see them first red-winged blackbirds
blue-grey sky light on birch trees and evergreens the icicles melted yesterday
kitchen window closed no flowers nearby the fragrance of coffee and fresh vegetables noticed more
Creative Note: The five senses are often mentioned in poetry. The haiku lessons I helped create at The Haiku Foundation (THF) include a plan that features the five senses: Haiku Writing Plan for Grades 5 – 6. “The overall theme for this plan is The Senses In Our Everyday Lives: what we may see, hear, touch, smell, and taste.” Jim Kacian is editor and the plans link to other content at THF. Many people contribute to education at the foundation.
In 2013, their Education Resources feature was first published. Jim Kacian and I wrote the first set of lessons for the elementary grades. Montage: The Book, edited by Allan Burns, was a primary textbook. Dave Russo and Billie Wilson also helped with this work. Billie was the editor of the Haiku Registry, and I read there a lot, as I wrote lessons.
Brad Bennett and Jeannie Martin hosted the How We Haiku – Teaching Stories series. The 19 stories are also listed on the Education Resources page, and you can link to the original posts at The Haiku Foundation.
Many poets, teachers, and scholars contribute their work.
My parents were teachers. Dad taught history, and Mom taught English composition and literature. I played school when I was a child. Math and science are hard, but I don’t remember learning how to read. I still read as much as I can.
I studied and worked in special education for 20 years. Then a chronic illness changed my ability to sustain the physical work. It was also time to return to Wisconsin for my mother’s old age. I am well within the quiet small town life we enjoy now.
At the same time, I did not realize what a missing piece teaching was in my life.
The Haiku Foundation gave me an opportunity to write lesson plans. I cannot think of a Mother’s Day gift my mother would enjoy more than knowing I am using my teaching gifts again. My mother also encouraged me to learn a form, and that’s how I began with haiku in the early 1990s.
It is interesting how in a way I am in my mother’s literary world, and I also enjoy learning about haiku history. The haiku lessons I am writing also reflect my work in special education, and include adaptations so all can participate. The goal is for all students to have a positive experience with poetry.