Language, Literacy, and Storytelling – Part 3

A Teacher's Reflections

In Part 2, I shared worrisome statistics about children who enter school excited to learn to read, and the dramatic drop-off when they are not exposed to books and hearing words.  I talked about the next step, engaging children in both conversation and thinking – writing picture stories.

Part 3
There is proof in the pudding down the road.  Language, literacy and storytelling makes a difference, and not just with children.  Well, there’s more. Adults. That proof is in the high quality of Cuban cigars. It’s a great story, one of my favorites.

Reading aloud never gets old. It weathers time and generations. For adults, when we are read to, we listen, think and feel. And, we have to stretch our brain. When we only hear the words it sharpens our mind, and our performance is much better.

The Cuban cigar industry understood this. That’s why they make…

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I BELIEVE, ANITA, CHRISTINE, DEBORAH and too many more…

“We must send a message across the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence – the shame is on the aggressor.”  – Angelina Jolie

 

Survivor “I still wake up with your name stuck in my throat, sometimes where it caught between your hands when you squeezed, I still wake up in fear, most nights, your eyes follow me from every shadow, every loud noise crowding the edges of my memory. I still wake up.”  – Amber Koneval

 

 

Florence – by any other name

 

A double-edged irony

Dredged up shards from childhood.

A hurricane bearing grandma’s name

Following it, via internet

Feeling every blow, just as I did then

Even infancy wasn’t spared

Ask those in her path

 

Gone, neighborhoods,

Businesses, homes,

Evidence of life,

Gone like childhood

A survivor clings to shadows

Knowing the perpetrator

Knowing he, now dead

 

Grandmothers are supposed

To love their grandchildren

Not to offer them up to a friend

Send her in a dress, then

Leave as he arrives

All above board, a deacon

Of the church, above reproach

 

Earliest memories, not yet three

Rituals continued until age five

must arrive in dresses

Lay on a white papered altar

Bitter liquid gagging and choking me

Bathed after, sans evidence

Large, rough hands

So many years ago, yet crystal clear

 

 

Me too brings it back

But with resistance to perpetrators

Christine brings it back

But with the chutzpah to

Name the perpetrator, for herself

For all of us, even those still mute

 

Grandma Florence, I shall

Never forget, how you used me

To keep that friend coming back

No drugs, no alcohol, no consent

Nor, mother dearest, how you conspired

No words

Then beat me for being evil

Decades later, I shall never forget

 

You were all violent storms

That plowed through infancy

Leaving scars, deep furrows

 that will never go away

I grew stronger, put miles, then countries

Between disasters, despite this

I was one of the lucky ones

I’ve worked with many

And watched some perish

 

But unlike Anita, Christine, Deborah

And the others that will come

I didn’t have to do it on television

Ladies, you are heroes

I doff my chapeau

 

At first, the storm approached

In fumbling verse

On pages in my script

Armed with keys to the assaults

Words from my lips, another matter

Finding a career path, finding others

Holding the light, leading the way

They find the path, or they don’t

Often tripped by the righteous indignation

Of abusers and their supporters.

Ignorance and misogyny could soon

Be the law of the land

                            –

How long will America fuel this war on Women, are they incapable of justice? The usual M.O. sweeping their crimes under the carpet and hiding behind a woman’s skirt as they do it. Senate Judiciary Committee will hide, hide from their dirty hands, and the repercussions. 

 

 

 With gratitude for those who have made a stand and in solidarity,

 

Me too, Léa

Words We Carry: Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem – FREE!!!

Originally posted on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo: Get this book FREE Now Here! Blurb: “I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.” What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair…

via Free book promotion, Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye — Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

Silence

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”   – Confucius

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”  – William Penn

“Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.”  – Marcel Marceau

                                                                                  

Silence 

 

That is not what

She is saying –

Music – a passion

But silence – silken, warm

Comforter, blanket, cape

To withdraw –

The cocoon where

Creativity germinates freely

Where her mind

slows its frantic pace

From chaos to

Inspiration

 Repressed mantra

– 

Silence – her fortress

It has her back

Shelter from the storm

 She hears the predator coming

The clacking of her heels

Rattling of keys

Always different from other disasters

Silence, sounds its warning

Flight, the favored response

Hushed cantata

Soldiers

Recount lying in wait

As the enemy approaches

Rubber sole alarm

The heart skips beats

Hands quiver, mouth dry

Words, forsake her

Her litany to be alone

 Quelled psalms of youth

Soil, secure, reticent, fertile

Where seeds finds solace, 

Nourishment, sanctuary,

Strength, time – her friends

Adapting, evolving, processing

She bursts forth

 Her ode to joy

 

Bisous,

                                              – Léa                  

                          

 

bond-less day

“Parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.” – Jim Morrison

*

bond-less day

no, they say

you never miss

what you never had

yet I kept searching

for that bond

turning each stone

attachment of infancy

maternal bonding

it is celebrated

every year

and every year

I busy myself

to focus on

what I have that

is mine

despite familial rejection

the years of abuse

the violence

children she never

wanted – a choice

that was not mine

if you had that

magical bond

assuming we all did

i’m happy for you

but don’t assume

this is universal

i’ve worked with others

who lived in dread

of the pretense

who asked ourselves

over and over

why wasn’t I

acceptable

being who I

was, childish

attempts to change

your mind, your heart

changing who i was

trying to be good enough

finally accepting

without a conscience

there is nothing

you have to give

never to look into

my eyes

we were both

victims – who chose

different paths

no terms of endearment

no kisses, no gentle touch

i’ve learned to glue

pieces together

scarring is deep

but now i am free

i’ve built a life

where acceptance

is my cocoon

emerging i 

take wing and fly

*

bisous,

léa

cuddling oblivion

Inspiration comes from all around us. On several ocassions, I have been inspired by one or more of the blogs that I follow. The following poem was inspired by a title on a post by Lotta Wanner. If you are not already following her, stop by and see what she is up to!  http://lottawanner.com

*

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.” – Marcel Proust

*

cuddling oblivion

the image stolen –

poem of a friend

but i’ve cuddled

oblivion more times

than I could count

squirming children

plucked from their bath

dampness of freshly

shampooed hair

leaves its mark

upon chest and soul

in jammys we snuggle

sofa rather crowded

to one end

the scent of them

lingers in perpetuity

like the softness of

freshly bathed arms and legs

stories and poems

before slumber

voices I didn’t know

I possessed

telling tales of the ages

so many years passed

voices deeper

no longer interested

in childish stories

oblivion safely tucked

in the corners of my mind

oblivion –

who knew you

could return?

Bisous,

Léa

Mind’s eye

Originally posted on 31 December 2011

“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”  – Martin Luther King Jr.

“The first casualty when war comes is truth.”  –  Hiram Johnson

 

Mind’s eye

My father fought

A war

Years before

My birth

As I grew up

I watched him

Fight it

Again and again

His sinewy hands

Trembled

As he pried apart

Venetian blinds

Scouting the enemy invasion

Of our suburban neighborhood

Armed with a bottle of juice

A newspaper

Or any other munitions

At hand

He held his ground

Paralyzed

By his reality

Bisous,

Léa