poetry, unschooling


We’ve been enjoying some poetry reading. Lilah’s been writing some down and drawing pictures to go with them. She calls them LOL pages because she chooses to draw funny pictures. I’ve been choosing and sharing, some old favorites, some new ones. Maybe soon I’ll ask the kids to look for some to share with me.

love is a place
by ee cummings

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

This is Just to Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

With That Moon Language
by Hafiz

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this: this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a moon in each eye,
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

By Naomi Shihab Nye

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


on mother’s day

to my children who are so amazing and so loved that words cannot express the sheer amount nor intensity of love, joy, pride and belief i have for/in you each,
to my mother, who taught me what love is before i knew the word, and who is always with me no matter the distance or time:  a poem by one of my favorites:


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

– e. e. cummings

art, poetry, unschooling

around home

The kids have been doing some chores.


They’ve been playing MineCraft and Gavin has been researching how to learn Java (programming language) so he can make mods for MineCraft.

Gavin worked on his book and Lilah began a comic book about two cats.


We biked to the park and then Gavin went home for the foam swords and they battled.

We drove down to a raspberry farm where you can pick your own berries and pay by the pound to meet with friends and pick raspberries. We ended up with lots of yummy berries and Lilah decided that she likes raspberries after trying them. We all agreed that they tasted much better than what we can find in the grocery store.

One afternoon we biked our furthest trip with the kids yet, out to a park with giant cat sculptures.


We played a round of Above and Below, Gavin’s new game.

The kids played No Stress Chess.

We tie dyed some more things, pillow cases, a dress for Lilah, t shirt for Gavin, some sheets for Chris and I and a tablecloth for picnics and camping!

All four of went to a picnic at the park with our local unschooling group. There was baseball, soccer, a parachute, a playground, Pokemon Go, tree climbing, and so much more.

On my birthday evening we hiked up to Cecret Lake. The kids were interested in the wrongly spelled name. They climbed the rocks on the way up and we spotted a hawk eating its dinner about ten feet from the trail. At the top we spotted a bunch of salamanders in the lake and watched the sun set. It was beautiful.

We went to a concert in a park and the kids danced and danced. I wish I had pictures but it was dark so I don’t.

We went on a walk up City Creek Canyon nearby. Lilah and I dipped our feet in the water. The kids tossed rocks and tried to splash across the stream. We saw a little snake swimming and then a bigger snake with something in its’ mouth. When we got closer we saw it was swallowing a fish! It moved it’s mouth and a minute later the fish was just a lump in it’s belly and it was off to do other things.

On the way down we spotted a coyote up on a hill. It spotted us too and we looked at each other for thirty seconds or so until it trotted off, over the crest and out of sight.

We went to a Renaissance Faire, got dressed up and saw a jousting session, armored fighting, horseback gymnastics and we even petted some goats and pigs. We are looking forward to going again next year.

The kids have been reading a lot of Shel Silverstein poetry and many graphic novels. At bedtime Chris is reading Eragon and the Harry Potter series to them. Gavin has been doing research on Skylanders, a video game that he’s interested in both on the internet and by checking library books on the game out and has recently started doing many chores to save up to purchase some of them soon.

Today we went to the water park for a last visit of the summer and are getting ready to head to northern California to see grandparents and the beach this weekend. I can’t wait!


poetry, unschooling


They started with Pokemon watching and animal mazes and lego play.

We spent quite a bit of time watching construction on the street outside our house.  “What are they doing now?”


Gavin worked on more letters to friends, each with a drawing, while Lilah wrote a message and drew a picture on a card she started yesterday for her friend.

There were spinning like a top in the living room breaks and an Ironman Uno game.  They made a maze out of cardboard and clear plastic packing for the stuffed animals, stuffies as they call them.  Then more letter writing.


We followed a conversation round and round (as I like to) beginning with horse riding, then horses riding us, then horse writing, which was explained by Gavin as writing letters to horses.  We spent many minutes telling each other what we’d put into our letters to horses.  “Dear Horse, do you prefer apples or carrots?”  “Dear Horse, do you like bunnies?”

There was lunch and then good friends visiting, with lego play, stuffed animal festivals and an imaginary school session before goodbyes.  Gavin did some research online about how to make a robot.



I read Pippi Longstocking to the kids.  She went to the circus and then danced with some would-be burglars.  We love Pippi.  She went up against the strongest man in the world, but as she pointed out, she’s the strongest girl in the world, so of course she came out on top.


Afterward, there was dinner and poetry reading: Margaret Atwood, William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot.  We all took turns choosing and reading.


You Begin

You begin this way
This is your hand
This is your eye
That is a fish, blue and flat
On the paper, almost
The shape of an eye.
This is your mouth, this is an O
Or a moon, whichever
You like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
Is the rain, green
Because it’s summer, and beyond that
The trees and then the world,
Which is round and has only
The colours of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
And more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
With the red and then
The orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
You will learn that there are more
Words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
Like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
Your hand to this table,
Your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
Which is round but not flat and has more colours
Than we can see.

It begins, it has an end,
This is what you will
Come back to, this is your hand.

Margaret Atwood

It was a peaceful day full of reconnecting with friends and small important moments.

poetry, unschooling

Yes Is A World

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds

E. E. Cummings

I named the blog for an E. E. Cummings poem that speaks to me about the kind of parent I want to be and the kind of environment I hope we can create and nurture for the four of us, as unschoolers, as a family, as four close friends.


was the word that began a relationship between my partner and I, our world together.  Yes is the word that takes us to the beginning of our journey in learning outside of school.  Yes is what I want to fill each day with.  And yes, I adore poetry.