TeachersWrite, the summer writing camp for teachers organized by Kate Messner, Gae Polisner, Jo Knowles, and Jen Vincent, ends Monday. While I’m sad that the structured lessons, quick-writes, and feedback opportunities will be ending, I’m very excited about the writing I’ve done this summer. I’ve learned so much and can’t wait to get back to school to share these insights with my colleagues and students.
Today’s poem was inspired by this photo, which a friend shared on Facebook a few weeks ago. I was amazed by the uniqueness of each individual grain, and it got me thinking. This is the current draft of the resulting poem:
Sometimes in our busy lives,
we brush others aside
as carelessly as we brush
the sand off our feet
after a day at the beach.
But what if we stopped,
took a moment
for a closer look?
What wonders might be revealed to us?
The geologist, turning
her microscope to those few
grains of sand,
is rewarded with
an astonishing menagerie:
a crystal jack, broken in half
translucent beads, flecked with whirls of milky white
ivory sea urchins
a swirl of pink cotton candy
amber snails, spiraling ever inward
a puffer fish, gaping up out of the darkness.
Shaped by forces beyond our ken,
each one as different from the other
as you and I.
What pressures shaped you?
What winds and rains buffeted you about?
What marvels have been forged
within your heart?
© Catherine Flynn, 2013
Many, many thanks to Kate, Gae, Jo, and Jen, for a wonderful, rewarding summer of writing. I’m looking forward to being back next summer! (And maybe meeting some of you at NCTE in Boston?)
There are more incredible photos of magnified sand at InspirationGreen. I think this would be a perfect quick-write to share with students of any age.
Thanks also to Renee at No Water River for hosting the Poetry Friday Round Up. Be sure to visit her and all the other Poetry Friday folks.