the west
how to use
just ten numerals
to track the flow of goods and gold
and the spiraling growth of sunflowers and snail shells.


I enjoyed writing a cinquain for Adelaide Crapsey, the inventor of the form. So today I thought I’d write a Fibonacci for the mathematician, Leonardo of Pisa, who is known as Fibonacci. Fibonacci lived in the 12th century and was the son of an Italian merchant. He grew up traveling throughout the Mediterranean. His natural interests led him to study mathematics wherever he traveled. In North Africa he learned about the Hindu-Arabic numeral system. He quickly understood its advantages over Roman numerals. In his book Liber Abaci, he argues for their use and describes their practical application. As an example, he solves the question of how many rabbits you would have at the end of the year if you started with a pair and each pair produced another pair every month. The answer follows what we now call the Fibonacci sequence, in which each subsequent number is the sum of the two previous numbers. Thus the sequence begins 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. The sequence also describes the spiraling growth of many natural objects, including the sunflower, the pinecone, and the snail shell. A Fibonacci poem takes the numbers in the sequence as the number of syllables in each line.

I hope you like it.

See you tomorrow.




International Haiku Day
the Japanese garden flowering
with poets


Ironically, I seem to have written a senryu for International Haiku Day.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.




Gone Fishing

There’s no time for homework.
I’m down by the stream,
perched on a rock,
fishing for dreams.


How many poems can I write about playing hooky?

Happy Weekend!




Spring Fever

See the grasses waving?
Hear the robins raving?
See the chipmunks hopping?
Smell the redbuds popping?
See the tulips swooning?
Hear the sparrows crooning?
See the pansies mugging?
Feel the sunlight tugging?
I don’t care if there’s a rule—
This is not a day for school!


No one actually asked me if they could skip school today, but if they had…

Happy Poetry Friday!


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This month at Michelle Barnes’ blog, My Little Ditty, Marilyn Singer has challenged us to write a poem inspired by the word echo. There you have it.

Happy 14th Day of National Poetry Month!
































secretly he leaves
a peach candy on my desk
fifth grade valentine


looking, not looking
to see if he is looking
my favorite class


sitting side by side
as the Ferris wheel rises
last days of fifth grade


To celebrate the publication of her book The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, a wonderful novel in verse told by the 18 members of said class, Laura Shovan has invited any and all to share their haiku about fifth grade. Fifth grade doesn’t seem quite as memorable to me as third or sixth grades, but once I made my way down memory lane, the scenery came into greater focus. I hope you’ll give it a try and follow along on twitter. Did I mention prizes?

Happy Day 13!


A book
is a doorway
from this world
to another.

How strange
to close the pages
and find myself


Happy Day 12 of National Poetry Month.

See you tomorrow,





Booked Review

I love soccer.
It’s what I do
every day
after school.
I juggle.
I dribble.
I shoot on goal.
I was made for this—
body and soul.

My mom calls me in.
It’s time to read.
I say no way.
Books aren’t for me.
She shows me the cover,
says it’s brand new–
about a boy who loves soccer
just like you.

I make a face,
so she starts to read.
Hey, this kid is
a lot like me.
He loves soccer.
He doesn’t like words.
He likes to daydream.
He gets in trouble.
This book is funny.
I start to grin.
I try a new word.
I try it again.

Mom stops reading,
It’s time to cook.
Do I want to help?
I can’t.
I’m Booked!


I changed a few details, but this is pretty much what happened. My youngest was a little resistant. I gently forged ahead, and when I left the room, he kept reading. That’s when you know you’ve put the right book in the right hands. A huge thank you to Kwame Alexander for writing the right book for some picky fingers.

Happy Day 11.

See you tomorrow,





Class Participation

When you call my name
and ask for an answer,
and everyone’s eyes turn to me,

I feel like a mouse
in a freshly mown field
too far from my burrow to flee.


This morning I followed a Pragmatic Mom tweet to an article in New York Magazine about teaching introverted kids and class participation. It got me thinking and remembering.

Happy Sunday!




Instructions for a Moss

Find a wall.
Send tendrils
into mortar.
Suck moisture
from the air.
Turn light
into life.
your plush
over stones
so slowly
no one notices
you’ve taken
the wall.


Happy Saturday.