Sep 16
poem 4 comments challenge: Climate
sophie.d's picture

Teach Me Climate

The first lab I ever worked in 
Was my backyard. 

I was a self-proclaimed botanist
Taught by the wildflowers in the woods,
And a soil stained flower encyclopedia.
I researched the yellow flowers bursting
Along the wood’s edge
And noticed 
The book’s map of North America said 
Their range didn’t extend up to Vermont. 

So why are they here?
I pondered. 
Isn’t it too cold?

At the age of 7, my environmental knowledge
Was built of observation, not explanation
I could see climate change sprouting
Before I learned the word.

Ten years later I can tell you that the earth is warming. 
I understand the news stories of greenhouse gases, 
solar radiation, 
species migration.

But despite the flaming headlines
I know more about slope and Shakespearean Sonnets
Than about the very earth I live on. 
Aug 24
sophie.d's picture

The Good Thoughts Story

1. Good Thoughts started as an idea for my senior project. It was quite a bit ambitious and very unconventional but exciting nonetheless. YWP support of the project made it a reality!

2. Thank you to all of you incredible writers for sharing your stories. Your unique voices were the inspiration behind this project. This square was created during a workshop Susan Reid and I led at King Street. 

3. I had the goal of 100 squares. We far surpassed that... with over 150 including the King Street squares! This square I tied at the top of Camel's Hump at sunrise. The 2am wakeup was worth it. 

4. A few of the squares I reserved for the place that inspired the words. The past two summers, I've worked in a biomedical research lab. Each morning, I go to the ice room to get an ice bucket for my samples. This square is taped to the ice machine as an everyday reminder to be curious. 
Jul 14
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More Good Thoughts!

Jul 06
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The Good Thoughts Project

Jun 15
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Sketches of courage

To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart
- Brené Brown (TED Talk: The Power of Vulnerability)

Tiny boots and cardboard blocks are strewn across the carpet. 
Aleph coloring pages line the bright kindergarten tables. 
The only light in the room comes from slanted window shades. 
A picture book lies in my hands.
Words illuminated by blue-dusk light. 
Shoulder level heads lean on me and listen.
I read a story: of friendship, love of all people, and peace.  

A smattering of spectators perches on cold metal bleachers.
They dig their hands out from blankets to clap for noteworthy shots.
A yellow racquet with a pink grip is propped against the net. 
An opponent paces with anticipation on the parking lot end of the court.
I've lost two matches, a coach, a set, and a game. 
I pick up the racquet, skip to the baseline, and serve. 

May 31
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Good Thoughts

Hi YWP writers!
I’m Sophie Dauerman (sophie.d on the site). I started the initiative Good Thoughts, which is a project designed to share your inspiring words with the Vermont community. (See the completed squares above for examples!) I'm asking for your unique "quotes", which will be lettered onto small squares with art and scattered throughout the community. 
May 27
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The kippah can’t stop the November sleet from piercing Evie’s scalp. It squeezes through the crochet gaps, leaving a speckled pattern upon her chestnut, plaited hair. She would have blended into the woody trees if not for the new covering. Upon the first sight of yellow around the corner, Evie’s hands fly up to the kippah. Perhaps she hoped to pull it off, but she doesn’t. Her patterned hair would have warranted stares anyway. She brushes a couple of frozen chunks from her nose and yields to the preying doors, the silver threaded star on the crown of her head glaring loudly. Settled in her normal seat, she leans her head against the window and watches the sleet drip down across the kippah’s reflection.
Feb 27
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Trees, Tu Bishvat, and Tikkun Olam

I was a seedling myself at my first Tu Bishvat Seder
Anticipating my 6th birthday as the trees celebrated theirs. 

I took itty bitty sips of four cups of grape juice I didn't like
Spooned foreign fruits onto my paper plate
And joined the high pitched prayer chorus
Of my Hebrew school classmates, all while wondering
Why is there a birthday for the trees?

11 years later, 
I teach in the same Hebrew school classroom
Of mitzvot- good deeds- and the letter Mem.
And my climate-activist self wonders,
What does it mean to be Jewish in the age of climate change?

I think of trees, Tu Bishvat, and Tikkun Olam. 

In the words of the five-year-old I was,
Tikkun Olam means repairing the world. 
Prevalent in American Reform Judaism, 
It is the religious concept behind Jewish social action and education.

It is the link between loving the earth and saving it. 
Jan 28
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King of the Sky

A bird plays hopscotch on the horizon
and traces the sea with her wings.

Just close enough to flick up
holy droplets and alluring spray
but far enough that she wonders
what lies beneath the turbulent surface.

She sees her delicate feathers
mirrored on sun-tipped waves
and extends her beak down 
in search of companionship.

The bird meets the mirage
of outward beauty.

Beak full of water not feathers
With desperation lighting her eyes
She befriends the sea.

The bird squeezes through the iron bars
of Sky's Cage.

Plunges into screaming waves
and surfaces with her own dinner
handsome ruffled feathers
and a soul feeding off the tides.

She emerges
King of the sky
and Queen of the sea. 
Jan 12
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For Summer

My skin yearns for the sideways kiss
Of morning sun for
Lake droplets lifted
Off my skin by balmy,
Dandelion air.

And my laughter
Waits for dock picnics
Green mountain tops
And crowded swimming pools. 

Nose searching for
Watermelon slices
Garden herbs
Almost tasting
Backyard barbeque.
I await summer's joyous greeting.

But when it comes,
I will reminisce over  
Red-tipped noses  
Too rich hot chocolate
Cross country skis
And silver flurries. 

Wait for crisp air
Warm socks and sweaters
For soup and fireplaces. 
So is the seasons' curse.

Don't wait for summer
For snow
For red leaves 
Or flowers sprouting.

Venture out and discover
The unique season
That is today.