My name is Joy.
Today I feel like a solitary leaf clinging, waiting.
Sometimes I am a cloud.
Sometimes I am a rainbow.
But always I am hopeful.
I ask the world, “Where is your kindness?”
And the world answers,
“Today I feel like a solitary leaf clinging, waiting.”

. . .

Writing poetry is an anomalous thing.
Each poem requires a part of you that you didn’t know was there before.
—Mahtem Shiferraw

When April rolled around this year, I knew I wanted to stretch my poetic muscles and challenge myself to write poetry every day during this National Poetry Month.

I have ventured out across the cyber sphere and found several educators who have inspired me and provided prompts giving me the courage to grapple with concepts, images, and language to form them into poems.

Alex Price provides a daily #CinquainPrompt that has become my secret salve for wordless days. The constraints of the cinquain form create a safe sandbox for creativity. The short poem gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I had underestimated the power of syllable constraint or the music of a 2-4-6-8-2 rhythm.

I have followed Samantha Lazar, educator, and poet extraordinaire for several years. Sometimes I must force myself to breathe when I read her stunning lines—I am left breathless. Samantha finds quotations to prod our wayward minds through a doorway we might not have seen. She is an excellent mentor and wise guide for any poetic journey.

Finally, another educator, Joseph Fasano, uses poetry prompts to “help children express themselves.” Today’s poem emerged from one of his simple poetic frameworks. Children of all ages can use his prompts to dip a toe or dive deep into a metaphorical world since according to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poetry is “the best words in the right order.”

Do the students in these classrooms know how lucky they are? I know this student found several amazing teachers. I am grateful for their talent, passion, and their skill at choosing the best words and placing them in order.

pink red buds blossom on a single branch with blue sky and limbs in the background. Text: Poetry centers the heart. by Kathryn LeRoy

. . .

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

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Photo:  The Leaf © Kathryn LeRoy