My thanks to Ruth Nathan and Tim Rasinski

Hi everyone,

Another week gone lickety-split. I’m going to wind up approximately where I hoped to be unless today wanders off down a rabbit hole. My thanks to all who were in my life this week. Yesterday I was twice blessed when Ruth Nathan and Tim Rasinski both published poems of mine. I am most grateful.

Ruth used “Moose at Dusk” from WILD COUNTRY in her article in Thoughtful Learner.

Moose At Dusk
By David L. Harrison

At shadowy dusk,
when trees take faces
and stones move,
I hurry for home
thinking only
of leaving the forest
before full dark —
I’ve stayed too long.

When from the deepening gloom
you materialize
like a phantom beast —
high shouldered, massive,
mute.

Caught by surprise
(uncomfortable)
I stare,
thinking how easily
you knew I was here.

Before my eyes you blend
with shadows, disappear.
I cannot blink you back,
but still you’re there.

Knowing I’m not alone,
I double my steps
and jog for home.

(c) 1996 From Wild Country, Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. Used by permission of the author.

The back story for the poem is that Sandy and I were walking in the woods one evening at Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the foot of the Teton Mountains, and a gigantic moose appeared like an apparition in the deepening shadows. We looked at each other, not certain what to do, and when we glanced back, the beast had vanished. It was one of those experiences you know you’ll never forget, an adventure shared worth telling others about, worthy of a poem.

Tim chose “I Love You” from PARTNER POEMS, a book I did with him and Gay Fawcett, for his blog post on Fluency Friday. https://www.facebook.com/timothy.rasinski

The back story of the poem, which begins…

(1st voice)
I love you.
(2nd voice)
I love you too.
(1st voice)
I love you three.
(2nd voice)
I love you four.

…is that it was a game I often played with my sister, and now with her son, and other family members. Jule died a few years ago but the poem reminds me of her and of times when I could still hear her voice and hug her.

A unique book available in a unique way, and it’s free

Hi everyone,

A good friend of mine is publishing her latest book in a unique way. Ruth Nathan describes herself: “I travel in the world of universities (UC) and public schools— a visiting professor and school teacher who writes about enjoyable, research-based strategies.”

Years ago Ruth brought me to California to meet with her 3rd graders and we’ve been friends and colleagues since. She is a well published authority on both reading and writing development, particularly in grades K-8. Ruth and co-authors Mary Ann Frishman and Marcia Russell have written a new book for classroom teachers called TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT, which offers 50 strategies that span the language arts. The chapter in which one of my poems is used as a model is about reading fluency. When Ruth looked for a good way to make the book available to as many people as possible — for free! — she chose to post one chapter at a time on Medium.com.

Three chapters are already posted. You don’t need to be a Medium.com member to view these at no cost up to three times per month. Ruth suggests you go to Medium.com and search “Ruth Nathan.” She has sent me direct links to the chapters but they are not showing up when I save this document. If you need any help or want to make contact with Ruth, you can reach her at ruthienathan@comcast.net.

Asilomar conference next year

Hi everyone,

I’ve accepted an invitation from The Language Arts Conference at Asilomar in California for October, 2017. Here’s a link to this year’s conference. http://www.curriculumstudy.org .
merrill-hall-exterior_1_1000x667
I’ll lead a poetry workshop with sessions on Friday through Sunday and give a Saturday evening talk of an hour or so. Thanks to my old and good friend, Ruth Nathan, for extending the invitation. The last time I spoke there, Billy Collins gave readings from his work which, of course, drew a crowd.
chapel-interior_hero
Next year’s keynote speaker is Pedro Noguera from NYU, another good draw. http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/faculty/Pedro_Noguera .The conference theme is Equity.

David