Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Through the haze, the clarity of children.

The last few daze have been hazy down here in the dezert, where itz been near (or above) 110 degreez for the high. Turnz my s'es into z's, it seemz....

Clouds are building over the mountains--the Santa Catalinas, Santa Ritas--but they're the clouds of heat and not of the awesome summer monsoons that won't arrive until mid-July. We'll be dry as a snake's rattle until then.

This morning, after switching on the pump for the Sonoran garden fountain we have in the backyard--aah, sweet water--I joined my seven-year-old daughter's class for "community time," as the special guest. Community time normally involves announcements by teachers and students (4 teachers, 60 students for grades K-6), then a song sung together, and finally free-form dancing.

As special guest, I read a poem from Riverfall, then talked a bit about how the book was published in Ireland, which piqued their interest. To close out the morning ritual, I danced with my younger daughter (4).

Once in my daughter's class, I read a handful of poems to the students, and answered a lot of insightful questions. I've noticed that these young'uns always have such great questions, like: How did you pick the title for that poem (in this case, "Great American Chicken"). We took our time exploring some of the poems in the book, talking about what it involved to write and revise them, where they take place, who the characters are (like who Charles Darwin is, for my "Letter from Charles Darwin to His Sister, Catherine" series), and the forms of poetry. Great fun, and they were attentive the entire time!

In all of this hot & hazy weather, the children were just the clarity this day needed.

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