Duende and Honey (a poem)

Duende and Honey

music headphones listen

Today I give you music.

Melodies

to make your spirit

rise

and

 sink

Harmonies like feathers stroking fur

rains pelting earth under glowing sun

stars streaking against inky blackness

I give you the old songs

that curl around you

warm

like mother’s blanket

honeyed tea

to soothe your weary soul

I give you drumbeats

tapping

pounding

thrumming

dancing with your heart

I give you fingers stroking strings

playing shivers

along your spine

and lyrics

golden poetry

to shine in your darkest places

duende

to stoke forgotten fires

words to cure

words to lift

words that sail across this vast sea that

divides us

and whispers my name

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There’s a Song for That (aka: Musical Motivation)

musical discipline Looking for an effective way to motivate your older kids and teens to clean up the house? It’s simple – just sing a song. I use this strategy all the time with my kids, and it goes something like this:

Me: Didn’t I ask you guys to wash the dishes and take out the garbage? Drop what you’re doing and get the work done.

Kids: Aw, but Mom, I need to finish this level!

Me: Video games can wait. Clean-up comes first.

Kids: *Ignore*

Me: You have five seconds before I start singing the Barney clean-up song.

Kids: Noooo! Anything but that! *Scramble to get the chores done.*

Okay fine, fine. It doesn’t work every time. In fact, thanks to the invention of super-expensive, high-quality, noise-canceling headphones, my kids are now immune to my Mary Poppins treatment. But when their ears are free, my voice allows me to become the all-powerful Enforcer. teens-headphones-ignore

If there’s one thing I learned from my years of teaching young children, it is that music can be a very powerful motivator. There is a song out there for every mood, need, or occasion in life. Need a boost to get into an energetic workout? Crank up the volume on your techno/electronica playlist. Need to relax and unwind at the end of a stressful day? Try some mellow smooth jazz or new-age tunes. Need to motivate your kids to clean up the house, improve their manners, or be kind to one another? Nothing motivates like singing the lyrics of Laurie Berkner, Raffi, or Disney showtunes. mary-poppins singing

Seriously. Want to see a sleepyhead teenage boy climb out of bed at record speed? Just belt out Let it Go at the top of your lungs. Works. Every. Time.

Now if only I could find some lyrics to motivate myself to stop procrastinating on my to-do list…