Happy Poetry Friday!
My poem comes from reflecting on this past week. I chose to try an “In One Word” poetry form, that was introduced to us two weeks ago by April Halperin Wayland at her blog Teaching Authors. It’s been popping up at different poet friend’s blogs since then, including Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, and probably more that I’ve missed. In this form you select a word and then find words within this word to build your poem from. April also suggested we use the site: Wordmaker, where they generate all the words that can come from your one word.
I chose my olw (one little word) which is breathe. There are 104 words that come from breathe, I used 6 of them as the ending word in each line.
Life needs breath
to live to breathe…
Life needs earth
for hearts to beat
But… When breath breathes hate
anger rips bodies bare
When breath breathes hate
desires and dreams are beat
When breath breathes hate
prejudice kills life’s breath
Breath needs to breathe…
Fairly, justly, for all on earth,
for filling hearts
with hope and passion… to just be…
Breath must breathe…
© 2020 Michelle Kogan
My daughter, Rachel Dohner, has been passing on articles and sites for alternative ways to get involved if you can’t join a march. Here are some of them to read, sign, and participate in, in some way. I haven’t gotten through all yet…
- Petitions to sign https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/black-lives-matter-protest-support-george-floyd-donate-petition-a9542576.html
- A whole list of petitions to sign https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#petitions
- How to contribute to the movement https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/g5pgay/how-to-contribute-to-the-black-lives-matter-movement
• Follow the national youth poet laureate, Kara Jackson, (Chicago, IL) on instagram @fridahalo. she posts a lot on her instagram and story about activism and
specifically about the protests and what is going on right now.
• A further list of reading material https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#educate
Margaret Simon at her blog REFLECTIONS ON THE TECHE is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday roundup, thanks Margaret! Margaret is sharing a letter, golden shovel poem to her students on kindness, be sure to stop by.
Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.
I didn’t realize you wrote from one word until I read after the poem, which had such a breathing rhythm, Michelle, (hint in the word work, too) that I had to read it aloud. It’s lovely, Michelle. Thanks for the lists you recommend. There are many, a good thing!
Thanks Linda, hope we can carry on, take some breaths, and make some change…
Uplifting post from your beautiful poem from April /Teaching Authors all the way through to your daughter’s links . Cheers
To Youth Poets & Chicago. xox
Michelle, your post is comprehensive and tightly packaged focusing on the current crisis. If the pandemic was not enough we now have nationwide civil unrest. Thank you for your voice.
And we need your one poem here too, hope you’ll post it perhaps as a nesting poem, thanks Carol! 😌
I can post in on Twitter and FB as a reply to your poem.
Thank you, Michelle, for your poem about breath and for the list of places to donate. That was very helpful.
I love what you have done with the word Breathe. Whp knew that the word hate was embedded? You have turned the churning of our hearts into a poem. I can’t help but have the image of George Floyd in my head when I read, “Breath needs to breathe…” No one has the right to take away our breath, our life. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your poem reflecting on the week’s tragic events. The word “breathe” certainly has taken on expansive connotations. “Breath breathes hate” is so powerful as it’s repeated in your poem. Matters of life and death, and ironically, in the midst of the pandemic, when we wear masks to prevent our breaths from spreading disease.
I love that this post is both passionate and practical, Michelle. (Perfect musical selection too!) I’m breathing it all in so that I can pay it forward. Love and thanks to you and Rachel.
Thanks Michelle–music always helps! xo
Thank you for all the goodness in this post, Michelle. I will be back to take my time following all the links your daughter has curated. 🙂
Wow! Michelle this is beautiful and smart and so current. I love what you’ve done with breathe. I want to try this now.
You used your breathe options to excellent effect, Michelle.There is a circular, in and out rhythm that is very fitting. Thanks for the list of actions and the pointer towards our youth laureate.
Your OLW this year turned out to have SO many resonances – a virus that makes breathing difficult, the “I can’t breathe” of police brutality… Thanks for your poem! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
Thank you for your poem, Michelle. It’s a great example of a “one word” poem, timely, and clearly heartfelt. The repetition works so well here. Thank you also for sharing such a rich list of resources.
Ooh, I love the watercolor background. I’m kind of sad to see that “hate” is one of the words that can be made from “breathe.” Isn’t that silly? But you’ve used it to great impact in this poem. I haven’t tried a one word poem yet. Soon…
Thank you for this call to action to use our breaths to combat hate. Love the feeling of breathing you gave in your poem. Thanks for all the links.