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On a recent family vacation we picked up a couple of friends and had several amazing adventures. We hiked to the top of a waterfall, went white water rafting, went looking for and found a herd of wild horses, nearly stepped on a snake, and hiked in the Grand Canyon. After each experience we shared some of the highlights, impressions and images that stood out for us. We took notes on these conversations and then edited them into poems. Several of these poems include lines uttered by 3 year-old Joey and 5 year-old Timmy. Sara, Patrick, Lily and Laurel were all 9.
If you think about it, poetry is a way of using language that all of us do in heightened conversations about ecstatic experiences…what? When we are excited, when we are living fully and talking about these rich moments, our words can ring with poetry. Our words not only tell the story of our day, but our words can help us to gather meaning and grow from these experiences.
Included in the book Song of the Red Fox are several poems written by my children and their friends, with a poem or two that I wrote. Use these poems as models for writing your own poetry about your exciting adventures!
Here are two of my favorite:

THE TOP OF THE FALLS

By Fox, Lily, Sara, and Laurel
The climb up involves
walking in a perpetual rockslide
like steep stairs during a flood
with each step falling, falling
out from under us.
Steep like rock climbing,
walking like a four-legged animal
climbing, climbing,
a fine mist cools us.
The mist gets thicker, stronger, wetter,
as we get closer.
When we crest the rim
the mist in waves greets us,
the falls above pummel us.
We peel off shirt and shoes
and step in under the falls,
water from the top,
snow melt cold,
a blessing from last winter’s frost.
Lily timidly steps into the minor falls.
I stride in under the major falls,
like hail, like a Swedish massage,
like bee stings, like a whip,
like a car wash,
like a cloud full of rain falling all at once
with lightening and thunder
with blessings from Yemaya,
the goddess of the seas.
 

THE AVALANCHE

By Lily, Fox, Patrick and Kim.
Maybe a mountain goat
stepped on a rock
rolling down, it hit a larger rock
rolling down, it hit a dozen rocks
rolling down, they hit a thousand rocks

setting off an avalanche.

Even a small creature can make great changes.
Maybe it was a scorpion,
while catching an ant,
the tiny ant dropped a tiny pebble,
sending the rocks rolling.
Or maybe the 350 million year old mountain

shrugged,

in an instant
it decided to change.

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