Thursday, April 26, 2018

Endless WInter

You're never a loser until you quit trying.  ~Mike Ditka

Endless Winter

Indoor recess AGAIN? You’re
kidding me! Spring is never
going to get here! Oh, well. Grab a
board – mancala, chess, Clue – there’s no loser
in a never-ending game. We’ll play until
…what’s that you
say? The snow has quit?
The sun is shining…or at least trying?!?

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Go Ahead and Give It Your All

Life is short. Make it amazing.  ~Hugh MacLeod (

Go Ahead and Give It Your All

Making a Valentine box is like making a life.
The amount of effort you put into it is
the amount of fun you get out of it. Don’t be short-
sighted. Use every bit of imagination to make
(your life or your Valentine box) amazing!

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


We all have the same roots and we are all branches of the same tree.  ~Aang (in Avatar: The Last Airbender)


Testing means work silently (all by yourself) but we
are accustomed to collaboration. We know we are all
smarter when we work together, but we have
to take the
test alone. It is not the same
as (all those times) when we discovered how our (very different) roots
could lead us to common understanding. Testing is too quiet and
the air is filled with tension. We
struggle silently (on our own) until we are
all finished. At last we get our voices back and we are all
of us (once again) like branches
(grafted from many nations and cultures) of
(strong enough to support us all and tested by time) same
(collaboration makes us all smarter) tree.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

24th Line of the 2018 Progressive Poem

Welcome to the 24th line of the 2018 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem! Thank you, Irene Latham, for this (now beloved) yearly tradition!

In Heidi's "pre-progressive poem pre-poetry month poetry friday round-up" post she assigned us the task of jotting some thoughts after the first line went live and then hiding them from ourselves until it was time for our line.

Here's what I wrote:

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.
POV the plant/seed?
internal rhyme/assonance

How very...thoughtful and...detailed of me! (NOT.)

Here's what I know now. We've got a seed named Jasmine (Jas for short) who has awakened on a moonlit night. She's playful, inviting Moon to a game with her and Owl. Jasmine first twines herself around Owl's toes, then around a trellis provided thoughtfully by Sky. In line 13, Jasmine and Owl headed for Lee Bennett Hopkins' birthday party. As Jasmine twines, she is writing a poem (or singing a song?). As for poetic moves, we have
As I write on 4/22, awaiting Amy's line on 4/23, I wonder if she'll move the poem ahead by adding to/explaining more about the game, the birthday party, or Jasmine's poem. Or will she surprise me?!?! (She surprised me.)

Cue several hours of brainstorming and doodling, hair-pulling and thesaurus-consulting.

And now, without further ado, here is the poem, with my version of stanzas and my line added. (Kiesha, feel free to add punctuation to the end of my line if you need it to make yours work):

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.
Oh, what wonderful dreams she had!

Blooming in midnight moonlight, dancing with
the pulse of a thousand stars, sweet Jasmine
invented a game.
"Moon?" she called across warm honeyed air.
"I'm sad you're alone; come join Owl and me.
We're feasting on stardrops, we'll share them with you."

"Come find me," Moon called, hiding behind a cloud.

Secure in gentle talons' embrace, Jasmine rose
and set. She split, twining up Owl's toes, pale
moonbeams sliding in between, Whoosh, Jasmine goes.
Owl flew Jasmine between clouds and moon to Lee's party!
Moon, that wily bright balloon, was NOT alone.

                                               Jas grinned,




                                                             a new,

                                   around          tender

a trellis Sky held out to her, made of braided wind and song.
Her green melody line twisted and clung. 

Because she was twining poet's jasmine, she
wiggled a wink back at Moon, and began her poem.
Her whispered words floated on a puff of wind,
filled with light and starsong. "Revelers, lean in –
let's add to this merriment a game that grows
wordgifts for Lee. He's a man who knows
selection, collection, and wisely advising

These blogs are where the poem's been, and where it's going:

1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
28 Kat at Kat's Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

Easier Said Than Done

Treat people the way you want to be treated.  ~The Golden Rule

Easier Said Than Done

Learn to treat
yourself with kindness, because other people
might not. Believe the
truth contained in your heart. Get out of your own way
and become the person you
were meant to be. If you want
to, you can fix what’s broken. You can be the one to
make sure every injury will be

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.  ~Einstein


I’m interested in everything.
The world is full of ideas and wonders that
blow my mind. I can
make amazing connections, be
the one who sees what others cannot, be counted
on to be the one who does
not take a statement for granted – the one who is not
afraid to question (but also who does not necessarily
think before I put my opinion out there). However, you can count
on me to understand that everything
I do or say matters, and that
admitting my mistake counts.
I have a keen sense of humor, and although I cannot
time my jokes accurately, I keep trying. My best might be
the Poetry Friday ant rap. That definitely counted.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Advice to Writers

Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins. ~Sharon Creech (Walk Two Moons)

Advice to Writers

Writing well is more than just words on a page. Don’t
be satisfied with your first draft. Be the one to judge
your own writing with a
critical eye. Man
up (or woman up) -- work on revising and editing until
through your piece at least two
times. If you’re writing about stars and moons,
get your facts straight. Don’t write “in
shoes” if what you really mean is moccasins.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018


When you live happy, you are happy.  ~Layann


The Sparkly Unicorn Award is given when
you notice someone being amazing. You
get as much joy giving it as receiving it. The sculpture will live
on the recipient’s desk for the rest of the day, making them happy
every time they look at it. You made their day, so you
also happy.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017

Late last fall, we spent a morning messing around with plaster of paris. We made discs and ornaments and pendants and other assorted creations, which we decorated with glitter, ribbon, sequins, shells, etc. One of the creations was given to me -- a disc with edges dripping glitter and a Unicorn Horn Shell jutting up out of its center. Weeks later, on a day when someone did something totally awesome that needed a spotlight, I dubbed the disc+shell The Sparkly Unicorn Award, and I bestowed the award upon the awesome child. I allowed them to keep the award on their desk for the rest of the day (getting glitter all over someone else's work for once). Since then, students have begun bestowing the award upon each other, and one girl especially (the one who dances and draws through "Luminosity") has become our Lead Noticer of Other People's Awesomeness. She has given the award more times in the last few weeks than I have since last fall. It's one thing to BE awesome, but it's another kind of awesome to shine a light on others.

This class. I think I'm already starting to miss them.

Tabatha has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference, which is what I would say my poem and post is all about this week!

Thursday, April 19, 2018


At least I tried.  ~Hugh MacLeod


A smile is at
the heart of all that is good, and it is the least
I can do. Every single day I am a success because I can say, “I
came, I smiled, I tried.”

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


This is your life. Do what you love and do it often.  ~The Holstee Manifesto


Hard work. This
how you make your
dreams come true. Your life
is yours to mold like clay. Do
not wait for someone else to decide what
will be. Find what you love
most in life and
make it happen. Do
not be afraid to follow your dream as far as it
takes you. Just don’t forget to return home often.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018