Milkweed, Hollyhock, Monarchs, Bee, and Dragonfly, © 2016 Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil.
Happy Poetry Friday! Our Host this week is Mary Lee Hahn. Mary Lee is celebrating Naomi Shihab Nye–and asked us all to join in. I took this idea and ran with it. In addition to being an inspiring and accomplished poet, Nye is our new Young People’s Poet Laureate! Thanks Mary Lee for hosting and suggesting to feature Naomi Shihab Nye! Visit Mary Lee’s blog A Year of Reading, for more poetry and some inspiring prompts…
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
Read the rest of the poem here. Listen to her talk about and read KINDNESS below, along with another video on Teaching Poetry.
Here’s a short bio on Naomi Shihab Nye
Reflecting on Naomi Shihab Nye
Mother wind wrap your
drifting blankets of clouds around me…
Caress me between your
chartreuse and sap green
sea of sprouted spring leaves,
and silvery edged ceruleans kissing the sky
catching the last late afternoon dancing light.
Between squirrel’s ca-ca-ca,
Robin’s chee chee flutter chee,
Crow’s relentless caw-caw-caw,
and the gentle waves of ginkgo branches
blocking the blinding rays of sun–
Let me breathe as if it’s my
first and last breath…
Let me send my sigh out to
all in need wanting a taste
of inalienable rights of life.
Let the hoofed, haired, scaled, and winged
animals walk the earth and set us humans
in our proper place appreciating what
this grand sky above us holds.
Let me close my eyes and
open them anew to your splendors–
New sprouts of milkweed unfolding
stories in each unfurling leaf.
Let me find a path that protects nature
even in a small way, protects you–
Let me never give up on you, Mother Nature…
© 2019 Michelle Kogan