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My quick thoughts, back stage, and rants as I try to Teach kids about the Web while learning how to help others build a better Web.


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Greg McVerry

Our tree now stretches
    a blanket pulled over,
    warming us all.

   Leaves, tired, thirsty
      drained by savage drought
  of human history.
      Unfurling on a new day,
          A new hour.
And while we look up, and bask in
    new light we can never forget
   No root, no tree,
         Silently, underground
     networks worked to make it happen.
 Our roots, absorb our substance
    create chemical connections,
 Deep bond with soil and soul.
    A growing tip, poking at
         crevices, breaking
unmovable stones of time

Greg McVerry

Starved trees
grow strongest

keeps roots from

in soul and
untethered to her
healing ways

While trees
versed in denial
withstand tall

brought by Pain

tears of wood and
carried on winds
of inequity

Greg McVerry

Writing with Observations #EDU407 #clmooc #poemsofpresence #writingcommunity

2 min read

When we write we often capture what we observe. Scientist write formal observations. Mathematicians may observe patterns. Literary experts see poetry. Each discipline takes its own spin, but the basic skill remains.

Every writer should carry an observation notebook.  In fact journaling may improve student writing and positive perceptions of learning  (Connor-Greene, 2000). Yoru journal maybe a blog but the best authors never pockets empty of pens and paper.

Jot what you see.

Types of Observation Posts

An observation post can also provide a blogger stuck without an idea. Just look around and pcik something, jot down a few ideas in your notebook, and then write a post.

Ordinary Object

Choose an ordinary object like a pencil or a coffee cup. Describe it in great detail. For a challenge choose a metaphor or emotion to with the object.  Stare at your piece. Write down even the most minute details. Go to your blog and draft the post.

Take a Walk

Go outside. Every ten minutes stop for one minute and jot down what you see. Or just fall down, gaze up at the sky, and write.

Extraordinary Objects

Pick weird stuff. Jot down and share your description. 

Text Structure

Ever notice how the angles in YouTube videos change quickly and without transitions? These are called jump cuts. Pick a genre you are unfamiliar with and observe the text structure.

Time Lapse

Pick the same subject. Write about it in some time interval for a set period of time.


 Connor-Greene, P. A. (2000). Making connections: Evaluating the effectiveness of journal writing in enhancing student learning. Teaching of Psychology, 27(1), 44-46., P. A. (2000). Making connections: Evaluating the effectiveness of journal writing in enhancing student learning. Teaching of Psychology, 27(1), 44-46.

Greg McVerry

streets, flames
facade of justice
every riot
begins with
  The Law
lynching a black man
may not see a rope
but same one
  pulls communities
towards anger,
  wick on one side
noose on other

Greg McVerry

Black and outdoorsy: from @edifiedlistener as part of blogging challenge

Greg McVerry

Peppered moth
  OG survivor
of nights

from London to
peppered speckles
  dance on air

As a child
survival required
you were not there
  Stiff as tree,

   late 1700s
Soot of Revolution
   stained trees
  one by one birds
picked off
   white moths
leaving streets
   devoid of
form typica

Yyur Blackness
considered the pollution
of our schools

Boisterous boys
  in hoodies
eye rolls of strong
  Black Women
And don't talk about me in Spanish
   nor look for you in Appendix B
and word play and soundscapes
   sorry phonemes don't matter
after second grade
     What you need is a grammar to argue
like the White Man.


BE the Soot
that darkens your wings

let your Colors sing
clouds of culture
  raining upon
our bland

F*** Typica

Greg McVerry

@mz_lat I explored how the poem came to be in this post: going to record it for today's podcast been editing the poem a bit,

Greg McVerry

How a poem on cultural melanism came about #clmooc #poemsofpresence

2 min read


Interesting story on how I got there.

An animal walked outside my window
bigger than a coyote,
but can't be a Grey Wolf?? Could it???

Turns out its an Eastern Coyote or Coywolf (though I do believe the Grey Wolf has returned to Connecticut, regardless of the legend of Putnam).

Trying to identify the species (found no prints or scat) lead to research on the word cline which turned into a poem comparing our partisan divide along fake geographic boundaries to the real geographic boundaries of evolutionary differences

Learning about cline lead me to the Peppered Moth.  While researching the history of the Peppered Moth I learned the term industrial melanism.

Given that anything cool in America starts off gay and/or Black I tied this into a term I coined as  "cultural melanism." White people poetry always about nature. There are not really any people doing .

Yet we owe so much of our form to African Diaspora Art and when another Black Man dies screaming, "I can't Breathe" while a jackbooted thug literally has his knee on his throat...

Felt wrong not to use my priiviledge to acknowledge this pain. To just write about pretty trees during a pandemic when majority of people have to stare at walls not the glorious landscapes of East Haddam.....

I think today I will continue with the Peppered Moth. Talk about how getting "whiter" is an awful but effective survival skill for Black students in school that doesn't work on law enforcement.

Greg McVerry

fill our poems
with trees and birds
rarely do we atone
for screams of,
  "I can't breathe"
sheltering stanzas
of cultural melanism
getting darker
     sung on
songs of the first griot
Our presence isn't a crime
but our silence is

Greg McVerry

Wolf walked by window
strutting along
Many will no tbelieve
Claim Grey Wolves
don't roam in Connecticut
Tell me Coyotoe
or a
hopefully I can hunt some
tracks or scat
truth in steps or


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