Thursday, October 30, 2014

October DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway



Welcome to our DMC end-of-month celebration!

By all appearances, this may look like a Halloween party, but it's much better.  

It's a HalloZENO PARTY!

At the beginning of this month, J. Patrick Lewis challenged us to try out a new verse form he invented called the "zeno." Based on the mathematical "hailstone sequence," he defines the zeno as a 10-line poem with 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1 syllables that rhyme abcdefdghd.

A deceptively tricky form, the challenge still managed to produce a colorful cast of characters and an overflowing bag of sweet treats. I can't say that I'm surprised by the popular turnout, but to say that I'm impressed by the results would be an understatement. The enthusiastic feedback I've received from teachers and poets of all ages makes me believe that today is not the end of a monthly challenge, but the beginning of a zeno revolution.   

Thank you, Pat, for allowing me the pleasure of introducing a new poetic form that is undoubtedly here to stay.

So grab a seat at the table, why don't you...


and enjoy this feast of zenos, brought to you by the Ditty of the Month Club.


All poems are copyright 2014, published with permission of the authors, who control all rights.



ABOUT THE ZENO FORM:

The Hailstone Sequence
     by Matt Forrest Esenwine

Mathematicians’ mystery,
numbers rise, fall
(hence, the
name) –
any way it
starts, they
claim,
surely always
ends the
same.
                    On Hailstones, Fibonacci Numbers, and Equational Poetry
                         by Matt Forrest Esenwine

                    As a poet, I have studied
                    Shakespeare, Chaucer,
                    Poe and
                    Plath –
                    but with all this
                    in my
                    path,
                    now I wish I'd
                    studied
                    Math.
                                                  What in the world is a Zeno?
                                                  A type of poem
                                                  I don't
                                                  know.
                                                  I learned its rules
                                                  just now.
                                                  So,
                                                  I will write one –
                                                  here I
                                                  go! 
                                                            by Lori Degman  

                                                                                Leave it to that J Pat poet
                                                                                (prolific man!)
                                                                                to toss
                                                                                this
                                                                                new form our way -
                                                                                (Did I…
                                                                                miss?
                                                                                The word count’s off?)
                                                                                Hold on…
                                                                                Yes!
                                                                                          by Robyn Hood Black

STUDENT ZENOS:

Ice Cream in Summer
     by Miranda Barnes (7th grade)

I lick, lick, lick my ice cream cone
But somehow one
Drop still
Slips
Past my sticky
Finger-
Tips.
On my shorts it
Drip, drip
Drips.
                    Why
                         by Vannisa (5th grade)

                    In the future, we never know
                    for it is a
                    mys-ter
                    y.
                    Thinking about
                    his-tor
                    y
                    confuses us
                    yes-sir
                    y.
                                        Nightmares
                                             by Tyler (6th grade)

                                        nightmares haunting you in your sleep
                                        everyone of your
                                        dreams turn
                                        wood
                                        into black ash
                                        helpless
                                        would
                                        sandman come turn
                                        bad to
                                        good.
                                                            Overestimated numbers
                                                            To most people
                                                            Easy
                                                            Fun
                                                            It's not lethal
                                                            Breezy
                                                            Run
                                                            They're all equal
                                                            Freely
                                                            One
                                                                      by Nigel (6th grade)

                                                                                Bad Luck
                                                                                     by Kielan (5th grade)

                                                                                The pyramid stunt crashing down
                                                                                while we should have
                                                                                struck a
                                                                                pose
                                                                                The witch pulled my
                                                                                painted
                                                                                toes
                                                                                When that darn bee
                                                                                stung my
                                                                                nose!
     And two zenos by Emily (4th grade):

                          Vanilla is my favorite
                          flavor of all
                          ice cream
                          treat
                          Rocky road runs
                          second
                          eat
                          yummy,yummy
                          drip,drip
                          sweet
                                              Bird Zeno*

                                              A phenomenon of beauty 
                                              A flock of black
                                              Awesome
                                              Flight
                                              A black flock phase
                                              Beauty
                                              Bright
                                              A transition
                                              Takes shape
                                              Might 
                                                                *Watch Emily's movie version HERE.

FROM A CHILD'S EXPERIENCE...

On Hand and Knees
     by Kristi Dee Veitenheimer

Why do toddlers tend to stay so
dirty?  Because
they ex-
plore
giant world
from the
floor,
always striving
to see
more.
                         When my Children Were Young
                              by Kristi Dee Veitenheimer

                         The worn edges tell a far great-
                         er tale than the
                         one told
                         in
                         the book. Quiet
                         moments
                         when
                         they were being
                         read to
                         then.
                                                       Catch a Falling Star
                                                            by Sydney O'Neill

                                                       I need to catch a falling star,
                                                       paste it on my
                                                       head real
                                                       tight.
                                                       I won't have to
                                                       say stuff
                                                       right.
                                                       Everyone will
                                                       see I'm
                                                       bright!
                                                                                     Learning
                                                                                          by Patricia Podlipec

                                                                                     I love to read my science book,
                                                                                     and learn new words.
                                                                                     Here are
                                                                                     two:
                                                                                     "Wildebeest" is
                                                                                     called a
                                                                                     "gnu,"
                                                                                     Look and try to
                                                                                     find some,
                                                                                     too.
               Wishy Fishy
                    by Jan Gars 

               Wishy fishy fat and squishy
               Are you hiding
               In my
               Bed?
               Are you blue or
               Are you
               Red,
               Or a vision
               In my
               Head?
                                        Really?
                                             by Jan Gars

                                        I've enjoyed our conversation
                                        And I'd love to
                                        Stay, you
                                        See,
                                        But will you please
                                        Excuse
                                        Me?
                                        'Cause I really
                                        Have to
                                        Pee!
                                                                 Winner?
                                                                      by Bridget Magee

                                                                 Hide and seek is not for the meek.
                                                                 "Ready or not
                                                                 here I
                                                                 come!"
                                                                 After midnight
                                                                 feeling
                                                                 dumb.
                                                                 Still hiding in
                                                                 the trunk,
                                                                 numb.
                                                                                          Reunion
                                                                                               by Charles Waters

                                                                                          Book bag swaying, heart rate pumping,
                                                                                          Racing home so
                                                                                          I can
                                                                                          Hug
                                                                                          My best friend, his
                                                                                          Name is
                                                                                          Doug,
                                                                                          A wrinkly faced
                                                                                          Baby
                                                                                          Pug.
               Anticipating recess time:
               “Mother, may I”,
               seesaw
               day.
               Cartwheeling, jumps,
               swing and
               sway
               four square, kickball,
               hopscotch
               PLAY!
                         by Linda Baie

...TO THE ACHES AND PAINS OF ADULTHOOD:

First Call
     by Matt Forrest Esenwine

Books and bags unpacked, the act is
that he’s glad he’s
on his
own,
a young boy’s life
long out-
grown
until he hangs
up the
phone.
                         Illusion
                              by Linda Baie

                         Exaggerated alibis
                         cannot excuse
                         being
                         late.
                         Don’t imagine
                         I can
                         wait–
                         no debate-fired.
                         bitter
                         fate.
                                                  Ouch
                                                       by Sally Murphy

                                                  I put my back out when I yawned
                                                  Now I’m feeling
                                                  Really
                                                  Sore.
                                                  I wish I knew
                                                  Some way
                                                  For
                                                  Never yawning
                                                  Any
                                                  More.
                                                                                Ouch!
                                                                                     by Ellen Leventhal

                                                                                On the treadmill every day I’m
                                                                                running, walking
                                                                                to get
                                                                                fit.
                                                                                Yet it feels like
                                                                                body’s
                                                                                hit.
                                                                                Butt so sore, can’t
                                                                                even
                                                                                sit!

ZENOS INSPIRED BY NATURE...

In silence, stillness emerges.
Quietude flows.
Nature
Peaks.
Open your heart
Bold and
Meek.
The Divine One
Listens–
Speaks.
          by Carol Varsalona

                              In October apples ripen,
                              orchards are full.
                              Fruit hangs
                              thick.
                              Plump, juicy macs,
                              winesaps,
                              slick
                              with morning dew.
                              Fun to
                              pick!
                                        by Catherine Flynn

                                                            First storm of autumn: drenching rain,
                                                            leaves tumble down.
                                                            Branches
                                                            sway.
                                                            Morning quiet,
                                                            darkness
                                                            stays.
                                                            Changing season
                                                            shortens
                                                            days.
                                                                      by Jone MacCulloch

... AND ANIMALS: 

A Field Mouse Meets an Owl at Midnight
     by Laura Purdie Salas

I hear the hollow warning call
just before a
feathered
sky
drops down around
my small
cry.
EEK! I squeak. It's
no good-
bye–
                    A Spider Zeno
                         by Margaret Simon

                    Black and yellow garden spider
                    spinning silent
                    silky
                    traps
                    catching stupid
                    insects
                    wraps
                    careful zig-zag
                    deathly
                    traps.
                                        After a Long Winter’s Sleep
                                             by Buffy Silverman

                                        Garter snakes awake in spring and
                                        flick their tongues, then
                                        slither-
                                        slide,
                                        poke their heads where
                                        earthworms
                                        hide,
                                        snap and swallow:
                                        worm in-
                                        side!
                                                                 Ode to Lucy's Ears*
                                                                      by Tabatha Yeatts

                                                                 Sleek black waves bounce so charmingly
                                                                 as she bounds a-
                                                                 long. Her
                                                                 style
                                                                 is so fancy-
                                                                 free, we
                                                                 smile
                                                                 widely while her
                                                                 ears be-
                                                                 guile.
                                                                           *See a photo of Lucy' and her ears HERE.

           Elephants Never Ever Forget
           (Inspired by the reunion of Jenny and Shirley)
               by Susannah Buhrman-Deever

           A twenty-year separation
           forgotten in
           seconds
           your
           voices rumble
           and the
           floor
           shakes and your hearts,
           so full,
           soar

ZENOS FROM THE DARK OF NIGHT...

Night Cries
     by Jan Gars

Haunting cries that pierce the blackness,
Calls for mate the
Whip-o
Will.
Cloak of darkness
Covers
Hill.
Winds are calm and
Life is
Still.
                         Southern Star
                              by Jan Gars

                         Southern star enlightens heaven
                         In the darkness
                         Of the
                         Night.
                         Burns a path of
                         Glowing
                         Light.
                         Guiding Venus
                         On her
                         Flight.
                                                        Passages
                                                             by George A. Heidenrich

                                                        Rolling in the dark on the train
                                                        Railroad crossing
                                                        Pulsing
                                                        Light
                                                        While we're passing
                                                        In the
                                                        Night –
                                                        All too quickly
                                                        Gone from
                                                        Sight.
                                                                                   Worrying About Worrying
                                                                                        by Vivian Kirkfield

                                                                                   Psychophysiological
                                                                                   Insomnia
                                                                                   I can’t
                                                                                   sleep.
                                                                                   Perhaps I’ll try
                                                                                   to count
                                                                                   sheep.
                                                                                   What if they fall
                                                                                   when they
                                                                                   leap?

...AND HALLOWEEN-INSPIRED ZENOS:

Uninvited 
     by Gayle C. Krause

The witches don their ritzy hats
with sequins, plumes,
and bows.
Gee!
They forgot to
beckon
me–
to their 'Fright Night'
Witches'
Tea.
                    Thoughtless
                         by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

                    My dear, I'm rotten to the core.
                    How repulsive
                    could I
                    be?
                    Forgive my brain-
                    eating
                    spree...
                    though yours tasted
                    heaven-
                    ly.
                                        Jack's Lament
                                             by Matt Forrest Esenwine

                                       "Scary!" "Spooky!" "Ghoulish!" I had
                                        such high hopes for
                                        what they
                                        said –
                                        yet, not one soul
                                        seems to
                                        dread
                                        just an empty
                                        pumpkin
                                        head.
                                                  *Click HERE to see Matt's visual interpretation. 
Matt has another Halloween zeno featured today on Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.
                                                              Witch's Kitten
                                                                   by Joy Acey

                                                               Giant, furry witch's kitten
                                                               sits on her broom,
                                                               flies to-
                                                               night.
                                                               Zipping, zooming
                                                               dips in
                                                               flight.
                                                               Shadows the moon
                                                               causing
                                                               fright.
                                                                                    Cemetery Screams
                                                                                         by Joy Acey

                                                                                    In the cemetery you hear
                                                                                    screams and wonder
                                                                                    who yelled
                                                                                    BOO!
                                                                                    Dead Zombies watch
                                                                                    all you
                                                                                    do
                                                                                    and they're coming
                                                                                    to get
                                                                                    you!
Joy taught the zeno form at a senior community workshop. Here are two more they came up with together:
                    Doorbell Rings

                    Trick-or-treaters stand at my door,
                    keep demanding,
                    wanting
                    some
                    cookies, candy
                    apples
                    gum,
                    leaving nothing–
                    not a
                    crumb.
                                             Spooky Night

                                             In the dark night of Halloween
                                             clouds are drifting
                                             sky so
                                             dull,
                                             over water
                                             a sea
                                             gull
                                             carries in his
                                             claws a
                                             skull.
Jone MacCulloch posted a Halloween zeno today over at Check It Out.
Margaret Simon shares Emily's chilling chalk zeno over at Reflections on the Teche.

And there you have it, ghouls and goblins!

From "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe; design by happyperson133
         
If you made it to the end in one sitting, wow! That was 46 zenos you just read through. There's still room for more if you would like to send me yours.  You'll have to be quick, though:

This offer expires at the stroke of midnight.

Send your zeno to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right.


Participants in this month's challenge will be automatically entered to win a copy of J. Patrick Lewis' newest collection of poetry, EVERYTHING IS A POEM: The Best of J. Patrick Lewis. (One entry per participant, not per poem.)


Alternatively, you may earn an entry into the giveaway by commenting below.  If you contribute a poem and comment below you will earn two entries in total.  Comments must be received no later than Monday, November 3rd, 2014.

The winner will be determined by Random.org and announced next Friday, November 7th, when we feature our new Spotlight ON interview and ditty challenge.

 Good luck!  
(It's Halloween, after all– you may need it!)


Linda Baie is brave enough to host the Halloween edition of Poetry Friday.  Head over to TeacherDance for today's spine-chilling roundup.