Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pennies



For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


Along with all of the songs she wrote about the issues of her times (still current now), Malvina Reynolds also wrote songs for children. In the documentary Love it Like A Fool, she mentioned that it irked her that men were taken seriously when they were any age, but with her white hair and her songs for children, she became known as "The Singing Grandmother." Anyone who's been listening along through this month knows without a doubt that Malvina Reynolds was much much more than a "Singing Grandmother."



Pennies

The beaded coin purse
full of loose change,
mostly pennies,
bulged on the kitchen counter
beside the mug full of leaky pens and
pencils with dried out erasers.

In the top dresser drawer
beneath silky slips
that hadn’t been worn in decades
was stashed a plastic bag of pennies.
All wheatheads,
collected because perhaps they’d become valuable.

Mom’s laudable thrift,
learned at the knee of necessity
makes my lack of frugality
appear extravagant.
Her someday was always out of reach.
Mine jingles in my hand.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017




Sing It, Malvina!

April 1 -- Working for Change
April 2 -- A Lifetime Filled With Change
April 3 -- Red
April 4 -- Little Red Hen
April 5 -- Childhood Dreams
April 6 -- Lonely Child
April 7 -- Quiet

April 8 -- Storyteller
April 9 -- Troublemaker
April 10 -- Girl Power
April 11 -- Choices
April 12 -- My Gal, Mother Nature
April 13 -- Not a Joke
April 14 -- I Don't Mind Failing

April 15 -- What is Feminism?
April 16 -- Holes
April 17 -- They Can Have Their Cake and Eat it, Too
April 18 -- We Won't Be Nice
April 19 -- Grass is Persistent
April 20 -- Ticky Tacky
April 21 -- Regrets

April 24 -- Rain
April 25 -- I Live in a City
April 27 -- Current Events
April 28 -- Pennies



Joann has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Teaching Authors.


Current Events




For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.

Sometimes in Malvina's songs, she pulled her topic straight from the headlines of the newspaper. Her song today is about a little mouse who chewed some wires, causing big problems for humans.

Language alert if you are listening with children. 
Be ready to hit mute at 1:06-1:09 and again at 2:40-2:43. 




My poem topic today came from this article: Cassini Spacecraft Starts Weaving Between Saturn and Its Rings. It's a blackout poem.

























In Order to Survive

plan
a
precautionary measure
for
the Grand Finale
of our "pale blue dot"
Earth.

©Mary Lee Hahn



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Hard Work of Real Human Beings



For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


Through her music, Malvina addressed issues of diversity and collaboration, as well as economic and labor issues.




The Hard Work of Real Human Beings


Where do cherries come from?
They come from a tree!
And who picks them one by one?
Neither you, nor me.

Where does asparagus come from?
It grows in a field!
And who stoops down to cut each stalk?
Neither you, nor me.

Where do apples come from?
They grow on a tree!
And which strong worker fills bucketsful all day?
Neither you, nor me.

Where do peppers come from?
On bushes, low and green!
And who must pick each single one?
Neither you, nor me.

How much money do they make?
Do they have the things they need?
Who values their important work?
Neither you, nor me.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I Live in a City



For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


Through her music, Malvina addressed issues of diversity and collaboration, as well as economic and labor issues. 




Riddle Poem

What is bigger than all its parts,
full to the brim of stops and starts,
more colorful than the boldest rainbow,
only silent when buried in snow,
less significant than it wants you to believe,
a problem to solve, a tragedy to grieve?

("...a city made by human hands")


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017



Monday, April 24, 2017

Rain



For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


Another unifying topic in Malvina Reynolds' songs is the environment. The next few days will feature songs written in the 1960's and 1970's, but which are fresh and topical today.





Ode to an Inch of Life-Giving Rain

Oh, Rain!
You fall so abundantly further east
but we treasure every hundredth of an inch
here on the western high plains.

Oh, Rain!
You have rescued the wheat crop,
not to mention the Russian Olives
in the windbreak on the north side of the house.

Oh, Rain!
You lift every spirit.
Are your ears burning? The inch that fell last night
is the topic of every conversation at the post office.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017


Sunday, April 23, 2017

The World's Gone Beautiful



For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


Another unifying topic in Malvina Reynolds' songs is the environment. The next few days will feature songs written in the 1960's and 1970's, but which are fresh and topical today.





The World is Asking Not to Die

The world is asking not to die,
yet humans look away,

overpopulating the planet,
changing the climate past the point of repair,
destroying biodiversity in a mass extinction,
killing oxygen-producing phytoplankton with nitrogen runoff,
polluting fresh water sources,
acidifying the ocean,
contaminating air, water, and soil with plastics and chemical compounds,
depleting the ozone layer,
clearing forests at an alarming rate.

How can humans look away
from a world that is asking not to die?


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Skagit Valley Forever



For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


Another unifying topic in Malvina Reynolds' songs is the environment. The next few days will feature songs written in the 1960's and 1970's, but which are fresh and topical today.




wild is worth saving --
find your own Skagit Valley --
fight for our future --


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017


Friday, April 21, 2017

Regrets



For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


Another unifying topic in Malvina Reynolds' songs is the environment. The next few days will feature songs written in the 1960's and 1970's, but which are fresh and topical today.

Today's poem is a Golden Shovel. The last word in each of my lines reads down, like an acrostic, and is a line from today's song by Malvina Reynolds, "Let it Be." Last month, I buried the story of the loss of two beautiful and magical places inside a book review, and when I set out to write today's poem, it became a lament of the most recent replacement of magic with convenience. Clearly, I'm not over that yet.



Regrets

You do the best you can until you
can do no more. You think
about the choices that
you made and you
wonder if your love
could ever have been enough for her
survival. You planted and
weeded and you
hoped someone else would want
to become caretaker to
this magical place where kids could discover
the workings of nature -- how
intricately she's
designed -- made
with milkweed, for example, expressly so
there can be monarchs. Because you
loved that plot, you take
it personally that they leveled her
and undid all your work; took apart

a piece of what made this world good and
right, wild and free. Your regrets threaten to break
 your belief in yourself, but her
 beauty remains whole in your heart.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017




Sing It, Malvina!

April 1 -- Working for Change
April 2 -- A Lifetime Filled With Change
April 3 -- Red
April 4 -- Little Red Hen
April 5 -- Childhood Dreams
April 6 -- Lonely Child
April 7 -- Quiet

April 8 -- Storyteller
April 9 -- Troublemaker
April 10 -- Girl Power
April 11 -- Choices
April 12 -- My Gal, Mother Nature
April 13 -- Not a Joke
April 14 -- I Don't Mind Failing

April 15 -- What is Feminism?
April 16 -- Holes
April 18 -- We Won't Be Nice
April 19 -- Grass is Persistent
April 20 -- Ticky Tacky
April 21 -- Regrets


Tabatha has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at The Opposite of Indifference.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ticky Tacky



For the next half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


One of the strongest unifying topics in Malvina Reynolds' songs is politics and protest. The next few days will feature songs written in the 1960's and 1970's, but which are fresh and topical today.





Ticky Tacky
(to the tune of "Little Boxes")

It’s the sameness, lack-of-change-ness
It’s the absence of diversity
Economic inequality
Absolute conformity

It’s a boilermaker
Never varying
So redundant
Truly tedious

It’s the absence of diversity
And it all looks just the same.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Grass Is Persistent



For the second half of National Poetry Month 2017, 
Malvina will Sing It, and I'll write a poem in response.


One of the strongest unifying topics in Malvina Reynolds' songs is politics and protest. The next few days will feature songs written in the 1960's and 1970's, but which are fresh and topical today.





Grass Is

People want to tame me or
Eradicate me. They underestimate my
Root
Structure and my
Indomitable
Spirit. I am
Tenacious. I
Exist
Not to please, but to break concrete and spread
Truth.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017