A Rewarding Detour

slice-of-life_individualAfter a beautiful hike along some coastal waterways, we were heading home. Kurt was hungry and looking forward to getting some food. I was driving, contemplating which way to go.

I have multiple routes around “town.” There’s the 10 minute take-the-highway efficiency route for speedy errands, or a variety of more meandering routes. My favorite way home takes me on back roads past the Muddy River and then over the Cathance River. There are a few stunning vistas over Merrymeeting Bay along the way. You never know what you might see.

“So, how hungry are you,” I asked, glancing over at Kurt.

“Why?”

“Well, do you care if I go the longer way home?”

“That’s okay,” he said.

“I won’t go the longest way,” I said, “but I would like to check out what’s by the Cathance.”

I took the requisite turn, and we drove along companionably in the late afternoon, quiet and comfortably tired from our afternoon trek.

As we neared a potential detour, I shot another glance at Kurt.

“Sometimes I like to turn and go down by The Muddy from this end, ” I ventured hopefully.

“Go ahead,” Kurt said.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

He nodded, and I made the turn happily and continued to chatter, “You know,” I said, “I haven’t seen anything here at all recently except for one lone cormorant. But I figure if I keep coming, I’m bound to see something sometime.”

We crested the hill, and I slowly drove toward the bridge, both of us scanning the landscape. The sun arced from low-lying clouds and the river sparkled. The last vestiges of fall color spotted its banks and reflected warmly in the water. The tree branches shifted and the marsh grasses stirred in the breeze. The bursting cattails arrowed upward. It was beautiful, but there wasn’t a bird in sight. Not on the water. Not in the sky.

“Look!” Kurt whispered urgently, grabbing my arm.

“What!?! Where?” I said, hitting the brakes to stop in the middle of the road, and scanning the water.

“An eagle. Right there!” he pointed.

Sure enough, in a tree by the road, a bald eagle perched on a branch, looking over the river.

“Oh, isn’t he beautiful.”

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I put the car in park right there in the middle of the road (country roads, remember?) and grabbed my camera. Kurt rolled down his window and leaned back out of the way, while I snapped picture after picture.

Then we just sat and admired him for a while.

Sometimes you have to take that detour. Sometimes you have to take it more than once. And sometimes, you might just end up in the right place at the right time.

 

PF:#Poemtober: A haiku and a cherita

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As I drafted this post, it struck me that most of the poems I’ve written and shared recently seem to be a bit dark. Honestly, I don’t think they reflect my state of mind! With that disclaimer,  I’m sharing my #Poemtober responses  for “dizzy” and for “pattern.” As always, I’m grateful for the prompts and challenges that encourage me to write regularly. 

buffeted by daily news
dizzy with dismay
hope hides in shadows

©Molly Hogan, 2019

 

One dull thud

Three wispy red feathers
pattern the smudged windowpane

one brilliant cardinal
dims and cools on the ground
the silence reverberates

©Molly Hogan, 2019

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the gracious and talented Irene Latham at her blog, Live Your Poem. Make sure to drop by and fill up with some poetry!

A Rotten Afternoon

slice-of-life_individual“So, please introduce yourself and say why you want to be in Writing Club.”

We worked our way around the circle.

“I’m here because I want to finish writing a story I started last year.”

“I’m here because I really like writing.”

Then a student started giggling and announced, “I’m here to write about Chicken Nuggets!”

Multiple students dissolved into gales of laughter. After order was restored, we continued. A student started to introduce himself by his given name, and his friend interrupted him, “No, you mean you’re Timmy!” she cried.

“Oh, yeah,” he said, “I’m Timmy!” and laughed maniacally.

“Chicken Nugget!!” another student called out, accompanied by more laughter from some, and confused and/or annoyed looks from others.

And so it went on.

I made it through the hour. Barely. I spent most of my time redirecting, reprimanding and regretting my decision to have an after-school Writing Club. My only bright spot was that somehow quite a few students actually wrote to the prompt and had something to show for their independent writing time. I have no idea how, given my largely unsuccessful efforts to lower the volume to a reasonable level.

Now I’m home, drinking wine, and regrouping. I didn’t have the energy to go to my own Writing Group, which made me even sadder and grumpier.

Sometimes you just have to tell it like it is.

Poetry Friday: National Author’s Day Challenge

downloadLinda Mitchell posed our monthly Swagger challenge this time around. She suggested that since November 1st was National Author’s Day, we should find a mentor author and create a poem inspired by that individual. I loved the idea! I brought home Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon, considered some Ogden Nash poetry and also revisited Helen Frost’s fabulous Step Gently Out. After much debate, I decided to use the latter as my mentor text. This beautiful book pairs Frost’s poetry with Rick Lieder’s gorgeous photographs. It’s a winning combination and a favorite of mine, combining two of my greatest pleasures–poetry and photography.

Step Gently Out

It begins,
“Step gently out,
be still,
and watch
a single blade
of grass.
An ant
climbs up
to look
around.
A honeybee flies past.”

I worked last minute to pull this all together, so I could post tonight, but it’s still drafty.

foggy start (1)

pink sky eagle (1)

dual herons (1)

gilded cormorant (1)closer kingfisher (1)

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whole world come alive

Step gently out,
be steady
and slow.
Watch
tendrilled fog
mime river’s flow.

An eagle perches
in pinkened skies,
observes the scene
with ancient eyes.

Two herons soar
high above,
silhouetted in
silent flight.

A cormorant
skims along the river
gilded in
dawning light.

Kingfisher pauses
after rattling call,
then plummets in
plunging dive.

Rising sun
crests the trees.
Feel your spirits
spark, revive.

Mornings at the river…
watch the whole world
come alive.

©Molly Hogan, 2019

To visit my fellow Swaggers and check out their National Author Day-inspired posts, click on their names:
Margaret Simon
Heidi Mordhorst
Linda Mitchell
Catherine Flynn

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. She’s sharing two fabulous poems by Samantha Reynolds and an invitation to a winter poetry swap.

Conference Week Infects My Poetry

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Conference Week

A bounty of PTA-donated
tempting treats
fills baskets and bowls
in the Teacher’s Room.
I pick a pack of Teddy Grahams.
Back in my classroom,
I relish biting off the heads
of each cheerful little bear.

Molly Hogan ©2019

Ok, I actually do enjoy conferences, but I truly do not enjoy the week of planning, teaching and late nights of conferencing combined. What a week! With so many late nights, I’ve fallen a bit behind on #Poemtober, but here are a few of my recent efforts.

Ash

After the volcano
of his rage,
she picks her way
through the ash,
wary of embers
eager to ignite
a new
conflagration.

Molly Hogan ©2019

Legend

Legend tells
of a teacher
who discovered the secret
of balancing
work and home
and kept it.

I don’t believe it.

©Molly Hogan, 2019

And I revisited the prompt “build” to pair with my daughter’s illustration:

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#Inktober sketch by Adeline Schneider

Build

Let’s build a tower
above the sea
high, in the sky,
an eagle’s aerie.
We’ll live each day,
wild and free,
whilst unheeded, the surf
works her treachery.

©Molly Hogan, 2019

Oh, my! These are cheerful, aren’t they?  lol

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Karen Edmisten. Stop by to check out all the poetry goodness.

Thankful

slice-of-life_individualThis morning as I headed to work, the car wheel turned right toward town and the river, instead of left toward school. The unexpected detour felt beyond my control, so I just gave in–Well, honestly, I didn’t struggle too much. Apparently my will power was weak, and the lure of a brightly colored dawn was strong.

Down by the river I marveled at the glowing reds, roses, golds and greys. I parked and grabbed my camera to snap a picture or two. I walked out onto the dock, my steps sending ripples shimmering across the reflected clouds.

As I walked, something made me look up. Overhead a heron flew by,  its strong wings flapping, its silhouette unmistakable. I stopped in my tracks, so grateful to see it, awed by its silent dawn flight. Where had it been? Where was it going?

The stress of the week receded, and I stood, camera forgotten, simply watched the heron fly until it was out of sight. I wondered idly if it might be the last one I’d see until the spring. I was so thankful I’d been there to see it. So thankful I took that right turn.

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