Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Poetry: 30 of 30!!!!!

National Poetry Month:  30 of 30!

Pardon me while I shout, "WOOO HOOOO!"

Well I started writing each day on March 1st with the Slice of Life Challenge and then followed it for the month of April with a poem each day.  Thanks to those of you have stopped by to cheer me on and my apologies for some of the posts that --- well --- shouldn't have been posted.  However, I did manage to post every day for 61 days.  

For the finale I am joining the #chalkabration hosted by Betsy at Teaching Young Writers.  My class also wrote chalk poems today that I will post this week on our class blog.  Thanks, Betsy, for energizing poetry for us!  

captures moments
that wash away
captures words
that always stay

© Cathy L. Mere

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sentries: Poem 29 of 30

National Poetry Month:  29 of 30

When I saw Mary Lee's choice from WikiMedia today I decided this was the perfect opportunity to play with a little nonfiction poetry.  I did some quick research and used some of the information to write about these meerkats who appear to be standing guard.  It turns out meerkats are quite cooperative working together for the greater good.  

Photo by Sara & Joachim
via WikiMedia Commons
we listen for
we watch

we stand
while others
for lizards,
for food.

we are
at a moment's
to bark
our call,
warning all
to take cover,
to hide
in our tunnels.

we stand
we protect,
we are
the lookouts,
our mob.
we are

© Cathy L. Mere


  • often seen in groups
  • work together in numbers
  • a few stand as lookouts while others forage for food
  • sharp shrill call means take cover
  • eat insects, lizards, birds and fruit
  • strong sense of smell
  • good digging abilities
  • two or three meerkat families live in "mobs"
  • predators:  hawks, eagles, snakes, jackals
  • can run up to 37 miles per hour

Meerkat:  National Geographic
Fun Facts About Meerkats:  Live Science
Meerkat:  Animal Fact Guide
Ten Facts About Meerkats

Sunday, April 28, 2013

21st Century Problems: Poem 28 of 30

National Poetry Month:  Poem 28 of 30

21st Century Problems
This morning I found a post,
I knew that I must share.
Though I knew it was important
I couldn't decide just where.

Should I tweet it out on Twitter
For colleagues all to see.
Or maybe I should pin it
On a board that's made for me.

I could just diig the post,
So the link I'd later find.
Oh, all the possibilities,
I'm going to lose my mind.

Perhaps I should post it on Facebook
So my friends and family know.
I think they'll want to see it too;
To the link they'll want to go.

I could put it in Evernote,
So I'd always have it near.
I could write about it on my blog
So others too could hear.

The possibilities to organize and share
Are endless it is true.
Should I pin it, tweet it, diig it,
Oh, what am I to do?

© Cathy L. Mere

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Paradise?: Poem 27 of 30

National Poetry Month:  27 of 30

When I saw these little goslings peeking out from some shrubbery I knew what my post for the day would be.

often have the best 
of intentions.
But what were these young geese thinking
when they made this busy parking lot
a home?
Was it the puddles that attracted them?
The distance from predators
that made them feel 
Or were they tired of life on the lake,
setting out to make a paradise 
in city pavement?

© Cathy L. Mere

Facts About Canadian Geese

  • before 1950 Canadian geese just passed through Ohio or visited in winter
  • introduced in Ohio in 1950 (silly naturalists)
  • typically live near large lakes or marshy areas
  • "clutches" are laid before April 15
  • 2-7 eggs (less than ducks which often lay 12)
  • both parents care for young
  • new borns are self-feeding
  • babies can fly after 8-9 weeks
  • families stay together into autumn
  • eat plant matter, insects, aquatic invertebrates
  • live longer than ducks (up to 25 years)
  • long necks
  • long term pair bonds
  • natural predators:  owls, raccoons, fox, snapping turtles

  • loud
  • aggressive
  • honking noise
  • white around eyes
  • babies fluffy yellow with gray patches
  • babies couldn't really walk (walk, walk, fall)
  • living in shrubs in Kroger parking lot
  • nest no longer could hide yellow babies 
  • when you search for them on Google it is several pages of links before you get past all of the "Canadian geese as a nuisance" pages


Friday, April 26, 2013

Bubbles: Poem 26 of 30

National Poetry Month:  26 of 30

I've been working on poems all week with my first graders.  When I saw Mary Lee's WikiMedia picture today, I knew I had to join with a poem for my students.  

Reflection by Brocken Alinglory
WikiMedia Commons
Bubble, Bubble,
blow, blow.

Bubble, bubble,
grow, grow.

Bubble, bubble,
soar, soar.

Bubble, bubble,
more, more.

Bubble, bubble,
fly, fly,

Bubble, bubble,
high, high,

Bubble, bubble,
drop, drop,

Bubble, bubble,


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pink Fountain: Poem 25 of 30

National Poetry Month:  25 of 30 (almost there!)

cascading beauty
long thin arms reach for the ground
pink cherry fountain

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Player: 24 of 30

National Poetry Month:  24 of 30 (almost there!)

Today our class worked together to write a poem about soccer.  I should have brought it home to share it with you.  It turned out to be a poem about a muddy soccer game.  I decided to try another soccer poem this evening to share with my students tomorrow. 

A Soccer Ball by Pumbaa80
via WikiMedia Commons
The Player
dribbling the ball
from toe to toe
left to right
back and forth

she weaves
down the field
around the players
toward the goal

defenders race
to fight for the ball
she is focused
they cannot stop her

she takes aim
kicks the ball
toward the goal
it rises

the goalie
but she cannot stop it


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Double Wedding Ring Quilt: Poem 23 of 30

National Poetry Month:  Poem 23 of 30

My students have been collecting ideas for poetry in their writer's notebooks.  This week we were talking about some of our favorite things.  I was reminded of this quilt (and my grandma who made it).  We will soon take some of these ideas and turn them into poems.  I thought I'd get started here.  

Double Wedding Ring Quilt 
collected from
outgrown dresses
worn out pants
fabric pieces

Carefully stitched
by caring hands
piece by piece
stitch by stitch
day by day.

Sewn patterns
circles entwined
no beginning
no end

Pieces joined
useful once again
as the quilter
brings them together
one quilt
one new story.

© Cathy L. Mere

A Little Quilt History

Monday, April 22, 2013

Irises: Poem 22 of 30

Today I am again joining Mary Lee as she writes a poem about irises using an image from WikiMedia Commons.  

Irises in my yard.

I wait patiently
for the irises: 
canary yellow,
to bloom 
in the flowerbeds
surrounding my house,
a sign of warmer days,
and a reminder
of my great-grandmother
whose hands first 
cared for them.

© Cathy L. Mere

Irises:  Vincent Van Gogh 1889
via WikiMedia Commons 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rubik's Cube: Poem 21 of 30

Today I decided to have a little fun with Mary Lee at A Year in Reading (stop by for other creations from this animation).  She chose this WikiMedia image similar to a Rubik's Cube.  The image inspired this poem.

Animation via WikiMedia Commons
Author Silver Spoon

Rubik's Cube
I game my cube a twist,
and then a turn or two,
the colors started mixing,
what was I to do?

I twisted more and more,
I tried to match a row,
but the harder that I tried,
the less I seemed to know.

Now I look upon my cube,
a tear drop I have cried,
because for the life of me,
I can't even match a side!

© Cathy L. Mere

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reflections of Paris: 20 of 30

Today I am following Mary Lee's lead and using a photograph from WikiMedia Commons.  This photo was the photo of the day when I arrived at WikiMedia.  It immediately took me back to the trip I made to Paris with my high school French class.  Years have passed since then and I often find myself wanting to go back and see it all again with more experienced eyes.  

Reflection of the Eiffel Tower
photo from WikiMedia Commons
by lviator
Picture of the Year 2012 finalist

Reflections of Paris
I once walked the streets of Paris,
wandered along the Champs-Ellysees,
sampled pastries from a local bakery
where I attempted to order in French.

The metro was a challenge
for a small town girl,
but still I managed to navigate
the underground train to my destination.

I gazed upon the Mona Lisa
as I stood inside the Louvre
too young to appreciate
the magnificence surrounding me,

and was mesmerized by the Eiffel Tower,
as it towered above me,
it's massive nighttime beauty
now a mere reflection in mind.

© Cathy L. Mee

Loved these!
Here are some of my favorite poetry stops from this past week:

  • Art Break Wednesday:  Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's "Drawing Into Poems" Project  Robyn Hood Black discusses the work Amy is doing to sketch into poetry.
  • Ansel Adams in Canyon de Chelly:  Mary Lee chooses the perfect words for this poem, and crafts with a delightful rhythm.
  • Linda Baie is writing a post each day for the month of April.  Her blog is always a delightful stop and she packs much into each post.  My favorite this week was A Matter of Perspective.  Here she shares her original poem, Heaven.  
  • Carol Wilcox is also writing a poem each day.  Carol's poems always make me stop, pause, and think a bit.  Her poem, Not Supposed To Be, was no exception.  Wow!  
  • My students and I loved Amy LV's sketch:  Looking into Doll Faces.  Take time to stop by look at the sketch and read the words surrounding it.  Most of all, make sure you read the beautiful story about the doll shared by Amy. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dandelion: Poem 19 of 30

Love poetry as much as I do?  Stop by Live Your Poem where Irene Latham hosts Poetry Friday.  Irene also host the Progressive Poem today.  It's really starting to shape as it travels blog by blog and is created line by line.

National Poetry Month:  Poem 19 of 30

dandelion roars
its goldenrod mane stands strong
as it stalks green grass

© Cathy L. Mere

Other National Poetry Month Events

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How Does One Find Poetry?: Poem 18 of 30

National Poetry Month:  Poem 18 of 30

How does one find poetry
when the sound of the television
blares from the room next door,
when the list of to-dos
is longer than the time to get things done,
when the tragedies of the world
weigh heavy on our hearts?

How does one find poetry
when there isn't the time to notice
the cherry blossoms
cascading to the ground,
the dandelions bringing sunshine
to the young green grass of spring,
or the clouds dancing
in the evening sky?

How does one find poetry
when there isn't time
to capture the phrase on the page,
when the notebook is no longer
a playground for words,
when the sounds of syllables
can't find the rhythm for the song?

Other National Poetry Month Events

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Night Walk: Poem 17 of 30

National Poetry Month:  Poem 17 of 30

Maybe it's because today is my friend Connie's birthday.  Maybe it's because the sun is shining.  Maybe it's because I wish I were sitting by the beach.  Whatever the reason, I decided today was the day for an ocean poem.  

Night Walk
Sand wraps around my feet,
as my toes dig deeper,
water pulls the sandy earth
away from me.

I look out 
across the ocean,
the line of brown
turns to midnight blue,
darkness erases
the setting sun
turning the purples, oranges, reds,
a deep ebony.

Mighty waves 
crash upon the shore,
white foam spraying,
as the water
deserts the beach
to greet the moon.

As far as I can see
endless sky,

Flashlights dance 
along the water's edge,
children run along the waves.

Stars shine,
gazing at the world below. 
Water returns to the ocean
uncovering miles of beach
exposing once buried treasures.

The water roars 
a night song.
I stand there
at the ocean's edge:
saying goodbye. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Slides: Poem 16 of 30

National Poetry Month:  30 Day Challenge (Day 9 of 30)
A slice of poetry for today's Tuesday Challenge.  Thanks Stacey and Ruth:  Two Writing Teachers

He walks to my van
large container of his stories
in hand.
Photos --- the slides and
he told us over and over.

His face shows the years.
He is tired
yet determined.
He places the box behind the seat
giving me a knowing smile.
Wanting to know that I will care for them,
that I will share them,
that they will live on.

There are no words for this moment.
I do not want to take them,
not because I don't want them,
but because I want to
be able to sit beside him
as he flashes through
the stories.
Sharing a smile,
a laugh,
a memory.

I know this is his way
to tell me it is time
to say good-bye.
I look at the box of slides
pretending not to notice.
The stories,
etched in my memory,
fill my heart.
Life through
his eyes.

Other National Poetry Month Events

Monday, April 15, 2013

Roller Coaster: Poem 15 of 31

the coaster rounds the first bend
then climbs.
it rises.

we hold our breath
reach for the sky.
we race
the giant hill.

screams fill the air.
the cars
on the track.

We hold on 
As the roller coaster
tossing us.

until finally brakes screech
the coaster 
comes to a stop.
we jump off
running to get back in line.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Moon: 14 of 30

National Poetry Month:  30 Day Challenge (Day 14 of 30)

New Moon
New moon, crescent moon,
Hangs in the blue evening sky
Waiting on the night.

Other National Poetry Month Events

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Moon: Poem 13 of 30

National Poetry Month:  30 Day Challenge (Day 13 of 30)

the bright white sliver
hangs high in the dark night sky,
outshining the stars.

Other National Poetry Month Events

Friday, April 12, 2013

12 of 30: The Elusive Quest

National Poetry Month:  30 Day Challenge (Day 12 of 30)

It's Poetry Friday.  Today's event is hosted at Random Noodling.  Be sure to stop by for more poetry.

Seesaw by aarchiba
via WikiMedia Commons
As a child I remember
balancing on the teeter-totter
with friends on the playground,
up and down we'd go,
if your friend jumped off
while your feet dangled in the air
you came crashing to the ground.

Life is the perpetual quest
for balance,
perhaps impossible to find.

We try
to eat a balanced diet,
find a balance in our exercise routine.

We hope
to balance
our work and our family,
our reading,
our worlds.

We search
for ways to
be everywhere,
do everything.

But I wonder,
is balance really what we need?
Weren't the best accomplishments
when you were out of balance a bit,
when you put everything
into something,
landed on the ground,
got back up to ride again?

© Cathy L. Mere

Other National Poetry Month Events

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pitter Patter: Poem 11 of 30

National Poetry Month:  30 Day Challenge (Day 11 of 30)

Photo by Ian Brittonvia FreeFoto.com
pitter patters
on the pavement.

drip drops
near the door.

splish splashes
on the sidewalk.

lazily watch
the sheets pouring.

yawn stretch
happy to be inside.

wiggle waggles
his tail excitedly.

wishes whines
to go outside.

never ever
is for cats.

© Cathy L. Mere

Other National Poetry Month Events

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pancakes: 10 of 30

Yesterday was pancake day in the cafeteria. The kids love pancakes almost as much as they love chicken nuggets.  

They line up for



Sticky lunch worth

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Garden Intruder: 9 of 30

National Poetry Month:  30 Day Challenge (Day 9 of 30)
A slice of poetry for today's Tuesday Challenge.  Thanks Stacey and Ruth:  Two Writing Teachers

You snake
across the bare ground,
grabbing the soil
with great strength,
I pull,

You hold 
onto the cool damp earth,
your square stem
reaches toward 
the sky,
you reach,

I spy
your pointy leaf,
deep veins obvious.
My strength is no match
for your
purple dead nettle.
My adversary.

© Cathy L. Mere

Weed or Wildflower?
We have this purple weed that grows in our flower beds and throughout patches of our yard.  According to family rumor the weed was transferred in some perennial transplants that came from my Great Grandmother's house near Logan County many years ago.  I'm not sure about that, but I do know this weed makes me crazy every year.  It gets wrapped around my plants, inside some of our grasses, and within the iris beds.

Sunday's warm weather took me out into my flowerbeds to begin to clean them.  I thought this would be a good time to get ahold of this weed before we had everything planted.  When I went to pull it out it was in bloom and very attached to the ground --- much more so than usual.  I did a little research:

Description:  opposing leaves, tiny purple flower, multiple flowers, red-purple-green, pointy leaves, square stem, holds onto ground, snakes through open space in yard, prefers cool, prefers damp, beings life cycle in fall, petiole connects leaf to stem, deep lines in leaf (my observations and study).

A Few Facts About My Weed (or wildflower --- it's all perspective)
  • called purple dead nettle
  • member of the mint family
  • prefer cool season
  • leaves oppositely arranged
  • leaves with pointed tip
  • smaller stem attaches leaves to main stem of plant (petiole)
  • better to try to control in the fall at the beginning of their cycle
  • spring end of life cycle

Similar Weed (wildflower)
  • henbit
  • member of the mint family
  • prefer cool season
  • leaves oppositely arranged 
  • leaves rounded with serrated edge
  • leaves directly attached to plant (no smaller stem connection)

Monday, April 8, 2013

March Madness Limericks: 8 of 30

So it's day 8 for my daily poem challenge.  Some days it's easier than others to find time to create.  Today's been a bit busy.  Let's just say today's poem is a result of watching March Madness all month and a tweet from Maria Caplin reminding us about Wonderopolis and Poetry ---- and the Limerick.  Here are my March Madness Limericks.  (My apologies to my readers --- and the Limerick.) 

Our family bracket challenge before the final game tonight.

There once was a girl named Cat.
Her family thought sports were phat.
All day and all night,
Twas truly her plight,
She watched baskteball in March that was that.

There once was a boy named John.
He watched basketball all month on and on.
He cheered for his team,
Until they lost their steam,
Their chances of winning were gone.

There once was a man named Jeff Mere.
He loved basketball all through the year.
But in March it was true,
There was only one thing to do,
Watch March Madness and for his team cheer.

There once was a man named Chuckie.
He was sure the Big 10 was going to be lucky.
So he watched and he prayed,
Until the final two were made,
Let maize and blue beat the team from Kentucky.

There once was a girl named Cort.
One day her bracket fell short.
But she bragged anyway ,
Til her mom had to say,
"Your dad's winning, I must report."

Other National Poetry Month Events

Sunday, April 7, 2013

You're Here: 7 of 30

Stop by for a poem each day through April.  Today's poem is 7 of 30.  

The birds said you were coming,
But I'm really not sure what they know.
Every time I looked out the window,
All I saw was fluffy white snow.

They sang songs of your beauty,
But I just saw darkness and gray.
The temperatures were still close to freezing,
We couldn't go outside to play.

They built nests in tree branches,
While I searched for signs on the ground.
The grass was still brown and quite brittle,
There wasn't a bloom to be found.

Today as I watched the birds,
Flittering from treetop to tree.
I noticed the air was much warmer,
The sun in the sky I could see.

The birds chirped and they tweeted,
Finally I know spring's in the air.
Yes, this time I think I believe them,
As I look I see you are there.

Not only are the birds singing,
But the signs are all around me.
I see the forsythia's blooming,
The daffodil's leaves of dark green.

Spring, I am happy to see you,
Dressed in purple, yellow and green.
I hope you will stay awhile with us
You are such a picturesque scene.

© Cathy L. Mere

Other National Poetry Month Events

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Destination: Poem 6 of 30

via A Year of Reading
see Wikimedia Copyright Info

Tiny stones
reach across the water,
spaced close enough
to see the possibility
of the unexplored,
yet distanced,
to make the crossing

I poise myself
upon the first,
trying desperately
to balance,
hoping to cross,

For a time I steady myself
between the two rocks,
finally pushing
to the next,
it wiggles
back and forth,
I am unsure I will stand

Water rushes,
reminding me to be
stone after stone
I slowly cross the water,
until I reach my

© Cathy L. Mere

If you haven't been following Mary Lee's poetry journey this month at A Year of Reading, you'll want to stop by.  Each day she is using an image from Wikimedia Commons to inspire poetry.  Other poets are stopping by to share the poem the photograph inspired in them.

I'm also learning a lot about copyright.  Like Mary Lee, as a blogger I think a lot about copyright.  I want, most importantly, to highlight the work of others in a way that respects their work, but I also hope the same is done for the work I send out into the world.

I've found Mary Lee's spin to celebrate National Poetry Month (#npm2013 and #npm) quite intriguing and informative.  I stop by A Year of Reading to view the shared image she is pondering early each morning and begin thinking about it myself.  Honestly, they are usually so interesting I have a hard time keeping space in my head for finding my own poem for the day here at Merely Day By Day.

When I saw today's image I was immediately reminded of being a kid and working to cross streams by the small stones that were scattered throughout the water.  The trick was always to stay balanced and not fall into the water.  The trick was following the stones that would bring you to your destination:  a big rock, an interesting creature, or the other shore.  Life's a bit like crossing water on small stones so I thought I'd give this a try this morning.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Heron: Poem 5 of 30

It's National Poetry Month AND ----- Poetry Friday.  Robyn Hood Black is hosting today so be sure to stop by for a few original poems and lots of great links. 

I'm writing a poem each day through the month of April.  My poem today was inspired by a sighting.  Spring has been very slow here.  Today I finally saw the heron had returned to a nearby pond.  It made my day!

Heron stands alone
wading in shallow waters
majestic hunter.

Here are a few older posts about herons:

Other National Poetry Month Events

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Ordinary: Poem 4 of 30


It's the ordinary,
The cup of coffee in the morning,
A sweet piece of chocolate,
Your favorite shirt,

It's the ordinary,
The gentle sound of rain,
The full moon hanging in the dark night,
The song of the robin,

It's the ordinary,
The conversation around the table at night,
Time to read a good book,
A call from a friend,

It's the ordinary,
The small moments in life
We collect in our hearts.
It's the ordinary 
that is extraordinary.

Other National Poetry Month Events

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sunrise: Poem 3 of 30


how many poets have tried to find 
words to describe the beauty of a sunrise
as the orange ball of fire rests along the Earth's horizon?

how many photographers have grabbed their camera
to capture the hues which radiate from the sun
as it finds its way into the blue sky?

how many painters have mixed colors
on their palettes of orange, yellow, and red
to replicate the shades of the sun's ascent toward the heavens?  

@Cathy L. Mere

So I couldn't decide between draft I or II.  I decided to not decide and post them both.  

Poets fail to describe
the orange ball of fire 
along Earth's horizon.

Photographers cannot capture
hues visible 
in the sun's ascent.

Painters are unable to mix colors
on palettes of orange, yellow, red
to replicate its beauty.

Only our eyes truly see it
in its full magnificence 
as the sun rises in the morning sky.

© Cathy L. Mere

Other National Poetry Month Events

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Science?: Poem 2 of 30

Today is my second day of writing poetry for National Poetry Month.  My inspiration today came from our science lesson.  Our class is studying matter.  We made root beer floats to observe a solid, liquid, and a gas.  We used our ingredients to change matter.  The class enjoyed learning with food.  ;o)  I decided to write a poem about our fun experiment.

vanilla ice-cream.

root beer.

root beer float.

There are lots of great National Poetry Month events taking place on the web.  Check my sidebar for links.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool: 1 of 30

This month is National Poetry Month.  I thought I'd join Mary Lee and try to write a poem each day for the month of April in celebration again this year.  We'll see how it goes.  There are a lot of other events taking place this month.  Stop by Jama's Alphabet Soup for more National Poetry Month events.  

April Fool
Our first day back from break.
The students rush right in,
to play a funny joke
before the day begins.

"Look over there," one student shouts;
a voice so full of fear.
Another group walks through the door
"Your shoes untied," I hear.

Across the room a friend cries out,
"There's a spider in your hair."
I'm not too sure I'll make it,
these jokes could use some flair.

"There's a hole in your pants,"
someone giggles to a friend.
The jokes continue across the day
When will this mayhem end?

"It's April Fools'," they shriek
as they try to be a tricker.
The things first graders do,
to get a little snicker.

One Little Word 2020

As Christmas approached this year, I looked at the calendar and took a deep breath.  We were out of school on Friday and everyone was arri...