Tanka Journal #3 – just published! – included one of mine

tanka 3

Friend and Colleague John Miller recruited me to contribute to his teaching unit on Medieval Japan a couple of years ago. Some of the tanka I wrote turned out pretty well and one just got published in the Tanka Journal # 3. Here’s a link to the online journal:


and here’s one to the book:


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Mission Days 2016

mission me

Photo by Phyllis Walton

“Mission Days” at San Antonio de Padua both celebrates the early history of Central California and raises funds for restoration of the Mission buildings. This year’s event took place on April 2nd and was a great success. Gold-panning, brick-making, black-smithing, cowboy-singing, acorn-grinding, candle-making, wildflower-hiking were – among many others – activities one could engage in. All was topped off by Rosa Pacheco’s BBQ and a concert by the New World Baroque Orchestra. I squeezed in some story-telling – Ask me how the kangaroo rat got its paint brush of a tail! – and some book signing.


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The Ekphrastic Review publishes Borodin

MardinMardin – Photo by Jon Walton

Sometimes actually playing a piece of music leads to new understandings of the piece, new appreciation of the genius who created it. This happened for me a few years back when our Hartnell Community Orchestra played In the Steppes of Central Asia by Borodin. A poem came to me unbidden and I didn’t mess it up with too much writing. The Ekphrastic Review just published Borodin and a link to a performance of the wonderful music.



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Grandmother’s Augury is published in Quail Bell Magazine


I come up with two or three “keeper” poems a year. Quail Bell Magazine just published my favorite from 2015. I dedicate it to all the beautiful grandmothers in my acquaintance!


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More Tanka for Minecraft


John Miller has ten thousand irons in as many fires. He took a bit of time from his busy schedule to help me update my Tanka unit on TPT. I’ve added more poems by his students and a couple of new activities. If you have a moment, check out the revised unit.


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Climbing Poems

Denise 3rd

Former student Denise Park and I climbed South Crack in Tuolumne Meadows last July. Here’s a photo of Denise on the third pitch.  A number of my poems concern the stretch of rock she’s navigating. Check them out on Verse Virtual:  http://www.verse-virtual.com/robert-walton-2016-february.html

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The Pickets


I taught Robert W. Chambers’ The Pickets many times and found it a great story for 8th graders – either as an entry into other CW topics or as a stand alone unit. I’ve refined that unit and put it on TPT. I checked with Perfection Learning (who published the story in “A House Divided”, their excellent CW anthology) and determined that it’s in the public domain. I included extensive excerpts from it and included links to the complete text of the story. Please take a look when you have a chance.


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Filed under Front Page, The Civil War Remembered