I love Karla Kuskin’s poem, Write About A Radish, and often use it to encourage students to write about the little things, the small unnoticed parts of their lives that are important in personal ways, or important because of an emotional connection-seeing, hearing, touching, and so on.
I also love the moon, perhaps since I watched those courageous astronauts walk there, and then another connection occurred this past week when we said goodbye to Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. I become moon struck perhaps because I grew up singing the old songs about the moon with a piano-playing grandmother. Several times through my classroom years, I did a moon journaling unit when we observed the moon for 31 days, journaling each night, drawing, painting and writing-yes, about the moon. It became beautiful science, art and writing that culminated in a full moon walk on the prairie.
Yesterday, I read an article from The Smithsonian magazine announcing that tonight is a blue moon, the last one we’ll be able to view until 2015. You can see more about this rare beauty at this Nasa site. And, it’s poetry Friday, so I thought I must write something to reflect this special event.
Last night it was serendipitous that I took time to read all of the poetry anthology The Arrow Finds Its Mark, A Book of Found Poems, edited by Georgia Heard and illustrated by Antoine Guilloppé. In this collection, those poets who contributed found beauty in varied places such as detergent boxes, directions on a computer, road signs, and bird books. Because I read the article, had just read the anthology, I thought I’d craft a poem-yes, about the moon—from the Smithsonian words. What fun; it was like the book gave me permission. Here is my latest tribute to the moon, despite Kuskin’s good advice, this time a colorful one!
|the 30th-not quite blue|
Blue Moon, I’ve Found You
Look to the night sky,
the unusual occurrence
of a second full moon
in one calendar month.
A truly modern piece of folklore,
masquerading as something old, and
appropriated for everything –
a popular Belgian-white style beer.
On a very rare occasion
the moon actually can appear
suspended in the atmosphere
interacts with light
scattering red wavelengths of light.
A bluish hue
happened several times
in recent history:
the June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo
caused the phenomenon.
and wait around
for a volcanic explosion.
Once in a blue moon.