Natural Interruptions

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Old-Man-Fall-Page.jpg.opt924x792o0,0s924x792When the Old Man fell,
it interrupted all scheduled programs, including Britney’s tenth birthday party,
where I was one minute feeling,
to pin the tail on a donkey, then
waiting, to hear the sound of a pin
falling.

Falling,
like ashes,
ashes
from the sky
in Oregon.

Fifteen years later,
Children are circling
around me,
as if I were campfire;
telling stories of their favorite hikes,
as if they happened yesterday.
I circle around what happened
yesterday.

The air is thick with pride
of place.

When I close my eyes,
I see my place, interrupted
by nature, the freeze and thaw;
and by my own choices,
to leave, to have adventure,
To participate in activities
that exacerbate
the damage.

These might have occurred
several times per year,
until the breaking point;
or in one dramatic season,
but what difference would it make?

I have stopped trying
to look through the smoke,
to forecast, or find answers
to what really happened
or who is to blame.

Instead, I am smelling
for what the present
has to offer,
by way of remembrance.

I remember when the Old Man fell,
how there was pizza and cake, and
how instead of grabbing two, three
or even four slices, like I used to,
I just stuck with one slice of pizza,
and one slice of cake;
because I was afraid.

Sequoia

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The sequoia stands so stately
that all humans ooh and ahh.

They have not seen the sun lately.
Above, birds hoot and caw,

knowing not where to find water.
Creatures cradled in her crown

can attest the climate hotter.
In ashes, most fall down.

Except she, who is too thick
to catch colds – let alone fire.

Her hardy bark, red as brick,
seems to announce something dire,

like: “If you don’t see me soon,
better send a search party,

or a rocket to the moon.”
Now, Sequoia, don’t have me croon.

When Men See a Face

When men see a face tear up,
their hands curl in,
the way one might ball
a tissue, glut with gum,
or something else soft.
They have nothing
to cry on
or hide.

When men see a face get small,
their hands get big,
as if to swat a fly,
if not block the sun
that attracts it.
They are repellant
and attractive.

When men see a face flood,
their hands open,
like floodgates, so calm,
in the palms, yet furious,
in the fingers,
where it counts,
five times
as much.

When men see a face speaking,
they go silent,
as if to say:
“Talk to the hand,
or just shut up,
if you know better.”

When men see a face sighing,
their hands do nothing,
so she sings to herself:
When the moon hits your eye,
like a big pizza pie,
that’s amore.

When men see a face
turn blue,
on the other hand,
their hands turn yellow,
imbued with the energy
of the sun; at last,
enlightened.

 

Red

written by Eva, Romeo and Ollie in Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Red is the color of
a ripe cherry,
falling
from a tree;

cinnamon candy,
sizzling
on your tongue;

a lobster,
drifting
in the ocean.

Red is the color of
a red panda,
climbing
a bamboo tree;

an apple
on a branch;

pepperoni pizza,
melting
in your mouth.

Red is the color of
lava,
engulfing homes
and,
unfortunately,
people.

Orange

written by Eleanor, Santi and Beka in Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Orange is the color of
coral,
in the deep,
indigo
sea;

hot coals,
in a campfire;

a pumpkin,
fresh
from the garden;

A sweet,
juicy
mango;

a beautiful bird,
swooping low,
over the trees.

Orange is the color of
sunrise —
bright,
blazing;

a clownfish,
swimming
through seaweed;

Garfield,
from the comics;

the tangerine,
in your lunchbox.

Orange is the color of
a tiger,
prowling
deep in the jungle.

Yellow

written by Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom at Trillium Charter School
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Yellow is the color of the sun’s rays,
reflecting off the ocean,
after its nighttime slumber;

a solo goldfish,
in the midst,
of other kinds of fish,
in a faroff pond,
away from all human settlements;

Homer’s head —
shiny,
glistening,
bald;

the warmth of your heart,
when you eat
buttery,
crunchy
popcorn.

Yellow is the color of
a pufferfish,
expressing its emotion,
in the fresh,
salty
sea;

A bumblebee,
flying,
in a field
of bright,
blue
flowers;

cheddar cheese,
falling
from your sandwich,
its potential,
suddenly,
wasted;

Draco Malfoy’s hair,
turned bright,
by a horrible childhood.

Yellow is the color of
the first leaf
fallen,
the first sign
Autumn has arrived.

Blue

written by Emma, Asa, Blue and Kaya in Bijal’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Blue is the color of
fresh-picked blueberries;

the ocean,
shimmering in sunlight;

a recess ball,
waiting
to be played with;

a clear sky.

Blue is the color of
a bird,
chirping
from a high tree;

thick paint,
in a metal can;

and denim jackets.

Blue is the color of
Satya’s hair,
lighting
up the room.

She gave us inspiration to write this poem!

 

Pink

written by Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom at Trillium Charter School
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Pink is the color of
cotton candy
at the fair;

tulips,
basking in sun;

and new erasers.

Pink is the color of
a beautiful,
flowing
dress;

flowers,
on a peach tree;

hearts,
on a Valentine’s card,
for your best friend;

and bubblegum.

Pink is the color
of a piglet,
before it rolls
in the mud;

a hummingbird,
whizzing,

or a crocus,
peeping,

all signs
Spring has arrived.

 

 

 

 

Silver

written by Chloe, Oliver and Conrad in Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Silver is the color of
a dolphin pod,
swimming
in the ocean;

A shiny
bottle cap
on the ground,
waiting
to be picked up
and added
to a collection;

a brand new
paint tube
in Art class;

a stone,
at the bottom
of a wishing well;

a motorcycle,
engine purring,
before it zooms
past all the cars.

Silver is the color of
rare
diamonds.

Bender’s bottom —
glamorous,
metallic;

the fog
on a cold winter’s day;

a castle
from a Grimm fairytale;

smoke —
thick,
polluting,
following close behind
a spaceship.

Silver is the color of
a dog tag,
on a newborn puppy,
in a sad
and no-fun
kennel.