Friday, December 8, 2017

Poetry Friday: Roger McGough and Mrs. Moon

A visual poem.....

To complement December's beautiful supermoon, I'm offering up a poem by the multi-talented Roger McGough for today's Poetry Friday:

Mrs. Moon

Mrs. Moon
sitting up in the sky
little old lady
with a ball of fading light
and silvery needles
knitting the night.

If you're not familiar with McGough's work, I recommend you visit this webpage and take a look at his huge range of talents (and don't miss the cartoon down the page!) And thank you to sweet and talented Allyson Valentine Schrier, who gave me McGough's All the Best after we finished our semester together as advisor and student at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Today's Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Lisa at Steps and Staircases. Head over there to see what other people have posted. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Poetry Friday - An Ode to Potatoes and Butter

This is a potato. AKA a spud.

Happy Poetry Friday, friends! Today I have an original poem to share with you. It's the product of pure fun: two friends from Vermont College of Fine Arts (Sarah Ellis and Daphne Kalmar - both brilliant, both hugely talented, both hilarious) and I have been writing poems in response to challenges each of us set. My latest challenge to them was to write a poem about potatoes (yes, our prompts and topics are a bit idiosyncratic....) since potatoes take a starring role at both my Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables. Mashed potatoes with turkey and gravy, scalloped potatoes with a Christmas ham. Is there any way potatoes can be fixed that does not result in something scrumptious?

These are potatoes, mashed, with gravy. AKA yummmm.

This is a ham. AKA a good excuse for a side of little spuds.

In my poem, I've added in some butter. Thank all the gods on Olympus for potatoes and butter! Here is my poem:

A Spuds and Butter Song

Butter and spuds, spuds and butter - 
thanks to the cow, thanks  to her udder,
thanks to the dirt where the spud eyes grow, 
thanks to the farmer who, row after row,
day by day, season by season, 
tends the spuds and gives us a reason 
to love the harvest as well as the feast. 
Bless us all, both man and beast, 
bless the spuds, for which I can utter: 
"❤I love you, spuds (especially with butter!)❤️"

New potatoes. AKA spudlettes?
My contributions to Poetry Friday have been sporadic lately, but I'm busy writing poetry again, so all is well. I'll contribute again before Christmas rolls around; meanwhile, put the word December in your mouth and roll it around with your tongue for awhile - brrrrrrrrr, right? And isn't it nice how the word "winter" ends with that rrrrrrrr, too? Decembrrrrrrrr! Winterrrrrrrrr!!! You can almost taste the hot mulled ciderrrrrrr. 
Today's Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Mary Lee Hahn, PF-organizer extraordinaire, at A YEAR OF READING. Head over there to see what other people have posted. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Poetry Friday: Far Away on Grandparents Day

This little poem of mine is from The Poetry Friday Anthology of Celebrations edited by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. What a treat to have it posted now on Sound Cloud (along with many other poems from the anthology) and to hear it read so beautifully in both English and Spanish! I won't copy the text here; instead, just have a listen - click the title below to hear it. It goes out with lots of love to Jackson. ❤

 Jackson with His Bebo on the Zoo Train - 2009

 Jackson and His Gram -  2011... 

Jackson in Hawaii - 2012...

Jackson on Whidbey Island - 2014

Jackson's First Day of Fifth Grade 2017

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted today by Laura Purdie Salas. Head over to her blog, Writing the World for Kids, to see what other people have posted. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Poetry Friday: September???? September!!!!!

It's September. Quick, kids, forget about somersaulting off the dock into the icy lake water. Quick, teachers, forget about sitting in the sunshine doing absolutely nothing. Get up, get dressed, all of you, put on your First Day clothes, go to school.

Here is a school-ish poem - at least, it's about getting an education - from the wonderful poet Mary Ruefle. You can find it in her book, Post Meridian. Happy Poetry Friday!

Sentimental Education

Ann Galbraith
loves Barry Soyers.

Please pray for Lucius Fenn
who suffers greatly whilst shaking hands.

Bonny Polton
loves a pug named Cowl.

Please pray for Olina Korsk
who holds the record for missing fingers.

Leon Bendrix loves Odelia Jonson
who loves Kurt who loves Carlos who loves Paul.

Please pray for Cortland Filby
who handles a dead wasp, a conceit for his mother.

Harold loves looking at Londa’s hair under the microscope.
Londa loves plaiting the mane of her pony.

Please pray for Fancy Dancer
who is troubled by the vibrissa in his nostrils.

Nadine St. Clair loves Ogden Smythe
who loves blowing his nose on postage stamps.

Please pray for William Shakespeare
who does not know how much we love him, miss him and think of him.

Yukiko Pearl loves the little bits of toffee
that fall to the floor when Jeffrey is done with his snack.

Please pray for the florist Marieko
who wraps roses in a paper cone then punches the wrong code.

Muriel Frame loves retelling the incident
that happened on the afternoon of November third.
Please pray for our teacher Ursula Twombly
who does not know the half of it.

By the radiator in a wooden chair
wearing woolen stockings sits a little girl
in a dunce’s cap, a paper cone rolled to a point
and inverted on her hair; she’s got her hands
in her lap and her head bowed down, her chin
is trembling with having been singled out like this
and she is sincere in her fervent wish to die.

Take it away and give it to the Tartars
who roll gloriously into battle.

                                             Mary Ruefle

I've also posted my thoughts about the tick-tock of the school clock over at Books Around the Table.
And Poetry Friday is being hosted by Kathryn Apel, Aussie Children's Writer. Head over to her blog to see what other people have posted. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Poetry Friday: Sherman Alexie's HYMN

Sherman Alexie

 For Poetry Friday today, a quick link to a poem making its way around the world of social media this week. It's Sherman Alexie's stirring new song of protest, a poem titled "Hymn," which reads, in part, like the kind of poem you wish nobody in America had to write. It asks a lot of questions that need to be asked. And it ends on a positive note, one we can all stand behind:

           We will be courageous with our love. We will risk danger
           As we sing and sing and sing to welcome strangers.

You can read the whole poem at Early Bird Books (and just FYI: The photo at the top of the Early Bird post shows a young protester marching with a sign that reads "We can do better than this." I agree - we certainly can.)

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week by Kay over at A Journey Through the Pages. Head over there to see what other people have posted.

And don't miss Julie Paschkis's new post (about favorite books from her childhood) over at Books Around the Table

Friday, August 11, 2017

Poetry Friday: Elsewhere, Elsewhat, Elsewho

No poem for you today, just this wonderful reminder about where poetry comes from in children (...and does it still, hopefully come from the same place in us as adults?)  I found it in poet Dean Young's intriguing book The Art of Recklessness and thought I would share it with you today.

I ask you as a poet, reader, to always remember your first urges, why you wrote your first poem.     Everyone is a wonderful poet up until the third grade. I saw it when I taught as a poet in the schools. The sublime coincides with the ridiculous, babble with referent, the witnessed phenomena with the combustion of name in song of dazzling appeal, of play. The alphabet presents itself as an unsolvable mystery to be frolicked in. Words themselves create reality through music and incantation: "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish." The proligacies of rhyme, its irrationalities bring forth new realities. The world arises from naming, and naming itself is a product of hilarity, invention, fortuitous accident, the elsewhere and elsewhat and elsewho, the imagination. So too darkness, the sense of desertion, profound isolation, inadequacy, that you will never be loved enough no not ever, connect us to the primary wellsprings of poetry as children. Same as now. 

We all need a calm moment every so often to reflect on the primary sources of our poetic imaginations. I know it's been a difficult week, if you read the newspapers, to find calm moments. But we do our best, right?
This week's Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Margaret over at Reflections on the Teche. Head over there to see what other people are sharing.

You can read my latest post at Books Around the Table here. And if you're in the mood to read my review of Megan Marshall's new biography of the poet Elizabeth Bishop, click here. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Poetry Friday: July's Raspberries


It's July, which means it's raspberry season in my new part of the world: Whatcom County, Washington, the largest producer of raspberries in the United States of America. The political scene has gotten so bad in this country, and I've been so mortified by it - it's cringe-inducing, really -  but the other day my husband and I went out to Boxx Berry Farm and picked 22 pounds of raspberries. I made 21 pints of jam and gave about 5 pounds of fresh raspberries to my mom and my sister. Gave some pints of jam to my brother and my new neighbors. Oh, Whatcom County, I love you!! 60 % of all the nation's raspberries - now there is something I feel I can brag about! Raspberries, raspberries, glorious raspberries. Raspberry jam on toast - heaven! Raspberries, my favorite berry. But next come the blueberries, which are also quite nice.  Here is a little teeny poem in celebration.


It's July
and I
made jam
jam jam
jam jam
and I am
so very
berry happy.

Silly poem, but you know, I'm feeling silly. Maybe sunshine is doing it to me. August is coming. Blueberries, then corn after that.

Here is an even teenier poem:

I love summers!

Hope you are all feeling good, filled up with pretty sunsets. Linda is hosting this week's Poetry Friday over at A Word Edgewise. Head over there to see if anyone else is feeling as silly as I am.