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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Day of Thanks and Pine Trees

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Stacey and Ruth. I have to say that I owe these two ladies much gratitude for continuing to support and encourage me and so many like me to write. I could not have stumbled onto Slice of Life and their blog three years ago at a better time. Thank you (one of many).

Then came Jen Vincent from Teach Mentor Texts who this year inspired me to read more. I have found more good books and resources this year than ever from people who have linked (like you Linda Baie) as well as Jen and Kellee on their blog. And now Jen has teamed up with Kate Messner and Gay Polisner. A new mix of inspiration as I started Teachers Write camp yesterday. My plan is big, too big, but I don't care. I am thinking big and have big plans, (that was for you Mary Lee)! 

Day Two of Camp:
Pick a place, write for two minutes, then visit and notice.
I chose the pine tree on the side of my house. There are a lot of places I could write about, but lately I obsess over places and settings that are not necessarily conventional meeting spots. Instead I imagine a place a bird might go, a place for a chipmunk to scurry, a place for a feather to fall. So, I didn't pick a typical setting, but a place I would like to visit if I were smaller and could venture there for a moment.

Two Minutes:
The branches of this pine tree blanket me and drape. There are pine cones in my way, dangling like ornaments. I sit balanced like a bird on trapeze, sticky sap seeping between my fingers. I dance, tiptoe. I see speckled bits of skylight overhead. Below me a mess of brown decay with beetles creeping without pause. Worms likely to follow below the spread of warm needles and leaves. The pine needles whispering wind songs through their green hairlike finger tips. They glide past each other combing the air and batting at bugs. Green and strong, tall and long. So poised, stoic. I wonder how long it has been here, how long will it stay? Could I crawl up inside further, to the top?

Outdoor observations and sensory details:

pine cones, not ready to let go
clear crisp scent
rough gray bark
stunted branches
green, so green
dark, shadowy
the branches look like they have knuckles
each seam where a limb departs is glistening with drips of sap
hiding spots
a crypt hollow space
many limbs climb to the top
it almost sweeps the sky
the top like a peak
 (Above: My Pine Tree)          
Rewrite comes below, which I began in paragraph form and then thought it sounded like a poem.

 A Visit In the Green

A dark shadowy green, these branches blanket me and drape.
I balance like a bird on trapeze on the knuckle of a branch.
My tiny fingers grabbing the gray, the bark chips and I flail,
one hand stuck on a young pine cone, not ready to let go.
My eyes fly back and I am speckled with skylight.
the whispering pines sing their song to me.
In haste I look down to the sea of decay and awaiting beetles.
Poised, I exhale.
The needles glide under me and comb the crisp air guiding me toward the sticky seams. 
To safety, my hollow crypt of space.

1 comment:

  1. Jaana • 1 week ago
    Betsy, I loved this image: "The pine needles whispering wind songs through their green hairlike finger tips." So glad you are writing this summer as well!!!

    Betsy 24p • 1 week ago
    Thanks, I am so happy to have new motivation!

    readsomuch 2p • 1 week ago
    Your writings is so descriptive! Keep it up and enjoy camp!

    Betsy 24p • 1 week ago
    Camp is always fun, looking forward to it!

    luckygurl 1p • 1 week ago
    Okay, right here and now, I am christening you "Betsy the Brave"! I love your big and bold plan for your writing this summer and I am here rooting you on and can't wait to follow your amazing progress!! I loved the funky rhythm in "worms likely to follow below" and would really like to steal "a hollow crypt of space"... Fun stuff. ;)

    Betsy 24p • 1 week ago
    Oh I love that! Christened and hopefully ready.

    Linda Baie • 1 week ago
    Betsy, thank you for your lovely comment. I am learning from you too, & today I applaud you in venturing into something different, a small place. I loved the paragraph, thought it poetic, & then you turned it & produced a poem! Wow. Do you know I thought the being speaking was like a kind of fairy or sprite, not a real living creature from nature. I love the use of 'knuckle' & the fact of tension when you used 'flail'. Nice vocabulary use. Thank you!

    Betsy 24p • 1 week ago
    YAY, you saw her too!

    elsie 9p • 1 week ago
    You have so much energy that comes through your writing. I can't wait to read more of your summer camp writing. You were so right to turn this into a poem, it fits. Love the word choice!

    Betsy 24p • 1 week ago
    I am excited to see what happens. I think it might be quite an adventure.

    Two years and finishing strong... 2p • 1 week ago
    Yep, pretty powerful stuff. You go girl. I love pne trees also and you captured them in my mind's eye. The ending...loved loved. XO nanc

    Robin • 1 week ago
    When I was little, we had a weeping willow tree in our front yard. It had just the right kind of branches. The that are low and huge. It was my favorite place to read. This all of it's forms throughout the process...took me back to that tree and how it felt to be there, enjoying the outdoors and the book and the peacefulness. Thanks for sharing!

    onesunflower 12p • 3 days ago
    What I liked about your poem was how I felt myself "shape shifting" as I moved through it. At first I was human, then not - but not sure if I was of the tree or an animal or a bug or ...human again. It really had me experiencing the tree in whole new ways.


Thanks for the comment love!