Wednesday, April 23, 2014

30 Poets/Day 23 - Nikki Giovanni and Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Here on Day 23 with Nikki Giovanni and Charles R. Smith, Jr. poems, I'm reminded again that the unifying factor every day in 30 Poets/30 Days is "good poetry by amazing poets." Doesn't mean I won't search for other themes, of cousre (hey, it worked for Earth Day!), but today I am happy to share good poetry by two amazing poets!

My Sister and Me
by
Nikki Giovanni

Chocolate cookies
Chocolate cakes
Chocolate fudge
Chocolate lakes
Chocolate kisses
Chocolate hugs
Two little chocolate girls
In a chocolate rug

No one can find us
We're all alone
Two little chocolate girls
Running from home

Chocolate chickies
Chocolate bunnies
Chocolate smiles
From chocolate mommies
Chocolate rabbits
Chocolate snakes
Two little chocolate girls
Wide awake

What an adventure
My, what fun
My sister and me
Still on the run
Still on the run
My sister and me
Still
On the run

©2009 Nikki Giovanni. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)



I Speak
By
Charles R. Smith, Jr.

I
speak
for those who are meek,
for those who cover ears
to silence sirens and shrieks
shouted from mothers
with mascara-stained cheeks
sobbing over souls
slain in the streets
leaving generation gaps,
so
I speak.

I speak
for those living in silence,
quieted by criminals
with a history of violence,
for those whose lives
were changed by the demise
of loved ones lost
right before their own eyes,
for them,
I speak.

I
speak
for young eyes that see
bruises branded by daddy’s
fists on mommy,
battering her body
scarring her soul
turning her children’s
warm hearts cold
forcing their faces
to hide and seek
shelter from rage
for them
I speak.

I speak
for the illiterate and weak,
those who slip through the cracks
and fall on the streets
and scratch for salvation
without food, shelter or heat,
for those who are lost,
for them,
I speak.

These words that I say,
these words that I speak
give voice to the silent,
scared and weak.

These words that I speak,
these words that I say
challenge everyone
to listen
everyday.

©2009 Charles R. Smith, Jr. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday we had poems from Janet Wong and Heidi Mordhorst. Tomorrow...  J. Patrick Lewis and Georgia Heard.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

30 Poets/Day 22 - Janet Wong and Heidi Mordhorst

So, here on April 22 with poems by Janet Wong and Heidi Mordhorst there actually IS a theme... because the 22nd is Earth Day and these poems are thematically Earth Day friendly (besides being strong in their own right for any day). So here's to our Earth and to poetry, two of my favorite things.

My Green Grandfather
by
Janet Wong

If you praised my grandfather
for being green,
he would check his favorite flannel shirt
and say, "You see paint?"

But he is as green
as the snow peas he grows in his garden.
Green as the old glass jars in his garage
that hold pins and nails and hinges.
Green as the avocados he buys
from the little store on the corner.

If I praised my grandfather
for his small carbon footprint,
he would check the bottom of his shoes for dirt,
then say, "Size 10 EEE."

I walk on my tiptoes beside him.

©2009 Janet Wong. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)



Smaller Than I Thought
       for Mrs. Alexander’s Class
by
Heidi Mordhorst

Here at the Earth Day Party in the park
they’re cutting the Earth Day Cake:
rich chocolate to stand for the soil,
swirls of green and blue frosting
to represent land and water.
The white icing at the Poles
is melting under the
unseasonably hot April sun.

It’s smaller than I thought.
The pieces are small, too.

There’s no point in asking for seconds;
in fact, there isn’t enough to go around.
Some of us will have to share
one slice of Earth Day Cake between us.
I don’t know the kid who comes
to sit beside me on the lawn.
“Let’s take tiny nibbles to make it
last longer,” he suggests. I nod,

and we gingerly dig our two forks
into one small slice of the blue Pacific.

© Heidi Mordhorst. all rights reserved
(click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday brought us poems by Greg Pincus and Tracie Vaughn Zimmer. Tomorrow... Nikki Giovanni and Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Monday, April 21, 2014

SCBWI Summer Conference Registration is Open, And...

https://www.scbwi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/summer-con1.png

... I'm on faculty this year, so I say you must attend so we can chat!

Have you seen the lineup of keynote presenters? Wow. Every year I think "yeah, but who will they give us next year?" And each year the conference has incredible people, and I sigh and say "geez, who will they get NEXT year?" It's an amazing lineup of breakout sessions, too.

As part of the Conference, I'm offering a limited number of social media consultations that you can sign up for (there's a fee, just like the manuscript consults). For the summer con, I'm adding in more, more, more than what I've done with these consults at other events... and folks tell me those are worth it as is.

If you've got questions about the consults or my breakout session (whose title includes the word Pintwitfacegramblr in its name), just ask. Most of all, I hope you'll be there this summer so we can hang out!

Register for the event right here!

30 Poets/Day 21 - Greg Pincus and Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

Elephants and pasta both have natural ties to the 21st of April because... huh. I guess the fact is that Greg Pincus (a.k.a. me!) and Tracie Vaughn Zimmer appeared on this day was as random as I expected. Today's poems further show, I think, that you can go anywhere with poetry. And that, my friends, is unquestionably good!


I Went to the Farm Where Spaghetti Is Grown
by
Greg Pincus

I went to the farm where spaghetti is grown
In rows of long vines in a field of its own.
It grows in the shade of the great ziti trees,
Right next to the bushes that grow mac-and-cheese.
Lasagna plants bloom alongside manicotti,
And orchards of angel hair grow long and knotty.
I watched as a tractor plowed rows of linguini,
And cheered at the harvest of fresh tortellini.
I helped as the farmer cleared fields full of weeds
Then planted a crop using orzo as seeds.
We watered his land that was miles across
Then fertilized amply with meatballs and sauce.
When I left that farm where spaghetti is grown
In rows of long vines in a field of its own,
I thought it the greatest place under the sky...
'Til I saw the farm where they only grow pie!

©2009 Gregory K. Pincus. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)



Cousins of Clouds
by
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

Long, long ago,
before man tamed words on the page
and when elephants
were great kings of the sky,
ruling the storms,
inking out the sun,
stampeding across the stars,
there was a great counselor and prophet
who traveled to the most remote mountain villages
to share all he knew.
As word spread of the master’s visit,
many gathered under the arms
of an ancient elm,
and even a great flock of
elephants swooped in with
the first ribbons of dawn
to perch in the branches and listen.
But a quarrel erupted
among the elephants
over who had the best view,
causing the limbs of the tree
to fracture and fall,
crushing all but the prophet himself.
Furious,
the prophet invoked a dreadful curse,
shriveling the elephants’ prized wings
into pitiful ears,
chaining the elephant
to gravity and man’s will
for all eternity.
To this very day
you can see the poor elephants
flapping their ears,
dreaming of flight,
but now only
cousins of clouds.

© Tracie Vaughn Zimmer. All rights reserved.
From the collection Cousins of Clouds
illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy
Clarion, February 2011  
(click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday gave us poems by Jane Yolen and Brad Bogart. Tomorrow... Janet Wong and Heidi Mordhorst.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

30 Poets/Day 20 - Jane Yolen and Brod Bagert

Teachers and personification are well treated by Jane Yolen and Brod Bagert here at the 2/3 mark of National Poetry Month and 30 Poets/30 Days. Sure, the fun goes on all year in these parts - and for every poet who's part of this and probably most of you, as well - but it's so fun to have even more people celebrating poetry for a spell, too. So, today let's celebrate with Jane and Brod... and poetry party on!

My Teacher
by
Jane Yolen

My teacher's tall,
My teacher's small,
My teacher's white,
Black, tan.
My teacher is a woman,
My teacher is a man.

My teacher's thin,
My teacher's fat,
My teacher's in-between.
My teacher's always very nice.
Sometimes my teacher's mean.

My teacher has a quiet voice,
My teacher's voice is loud
And you can hear her speaking out
Above the wildest crowd.

My teacher is a riot.
My teacher never smiles.
My teacher lives right near the school.
My teacher travels miles.

My teacher's younger than my mom.
My teacher's very old.
My teacher's hands are nice and warm.
My teacher's hands are cold.

But when I'm feeling lonely, scared,
Or having a bad day
I take my teacher's hand and then
Those feelings go away.

©2009 Jane Yolen. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)



              Personification
How to Make a Poem that Flies
                      by
                Brod Bagert

If you want to put some life in a poem,
a little extra heart,
you might find that personification
is a pretty good place to start.

Make things act like they’re alive!
It’s a poetry delight.
Watch how I use it now to say—
“It was a stormy night.”

     The clouds began to growl!

     The wind began to cry!
     The moon got scared and disappeared,
     she didn’t say goodbye.

So in your poems, or in your prose,
or in your conversation
look for little clever ways
to insert a personification.

It’ll get to be a habit,
one of those everyday things,
one of the ways a poet learns
to give a poem its wings.

Then if your poem can find someone
to read its words out loud,
those wings will fill with air and soar
above the highest cloud.

© 2010 Brod Bagert. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday gave us poems by Arnold Adoff and David L. Harrison. Tomorrow... Greg Pincus and Tracy Vaughn Zimmer.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

30 Poets/Day 19 - Arnold Adoff and David L. Harrison

Once again we have two poems that are very, very different - this time from Arnold Adoff and David L. Harrison - once again showing the amazing ability of poetry to allow us to express the whole range of human emotion and experience (for kids and adults). So here then is an all April cheer - yay, poetry!

From Arnold Adoff:

n o  justice   n o p e a c e

o f   course:
t r u e   change   is always   too   slow
and   o u r   b e s t   hopes   rest   with
s t e a d y
on
beyond   our   own   times

the   t r u e   revolutions    h a p p e n
within  the  covers  of our  best books
inside the noises of words with words
inside the movements of reading eyes

so:
the  writers    are   the   engines
the  artists     are   the   engines
and   the    women    and    men
and   the   girls   and   the   boys
read ing    those    noisy    books
all  are   engines  of true change

the   words  contain  the  power
and the books  must  have  that
power  and  the  noise  of    that
story and the shout of that song
must always be  louder than the
silence  of the  bullets  and   the
silent   deaths  of  grim   despair

we   m o v e  forward  with   love

the   s t r u g g l e  c o n t I n u e s

©2009 arnold adoff. all rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)



Lookit!
by
David L. Harrison

Lookit!
Lookit me!
My toes grew roots!
I’m a tree!

You say, “Whoa!”
and I say, “I know!”

Lookit my limbs.
They’re big and huge and strong!

You go, “How did your limbs
get to be so big and huge and strong?”
and I go, “I don’t know, they just did.”

And lookit my branches!
They’re all full of storks and parrots
and ostriches building nests!

You say, “Wow! How did you get so many birds?”
and I go, “Because I’m so big and huge and strong,”
and you say, “Oh yeah, I forgot.”

My bark is the toughest bark in the whole world
so no one can chop me down.

Act like you’re a tree chopper with this huge ax –
the biggest ax in the whole world –
and you try and try
but you can’t even make a little chip in my bark
and you go,
“I can’t even make a little chip in your bark,”
and I say, “I know.”

Pretend you see a hippopotamus
making a nest on my tallest branch
and you say, “Wait a minute,
hippopotamuses can’t fly!”
and I go, “This one can,”
and you go, ”How?”
and I go, “Because he’s magic,”
and you just fall down on the ground
because you’ve never seen a magic hippopotamus.

Wait!
Now lookit my toes.
They just grew claws!
I’m not a tree.
Forget about that.
I’m a cat.

© 2010 David L. Harrison. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday brought us poetry by Kristine O'Connell George and Elaine Magliaro. Tomorrow... Jane Yolen and Brod Bagert.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Friday, April 18, 2014

30 Poets/Day 18 - Kristine O'Connell George and Elaine Magliaro

Although there's no set theme to April 18, today's poems by Kristine O'Connell George and Elaine Magliaro are both about creatures/characters that could be in a scary movie and both make me laugh by twisting in an unexpected way. That twist-ing is something I love in books and movies, too, and I'm always happy to share good examples of it with y'all in poem form....

Skeleton at Dinner
by
Kristine O'Connell George

I heard you shout
              Soup's on!

I rattled in,
              sat, slurped.

Soup's in—
                        soup's out.

© 2009 Kristine O'Connell George. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)



THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE KING KONG
By
Elaine Magliaro

Be BIG.
You dig?
What’s more—
You gotta ROAR.
Show your power.
Scale a tower.
Beat your chest.
AND
Don’t forget to wear
A bulletproof vest!

© 2010 Elaine Magliaro. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday brought us poems by Jon Scieszka and James Carter. Tomorrow... Arnold Adoff and David L. Harrison.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

30 Poets/Day 17 - Jon Scieszka and James Carter

Day 17 brings us Jon Scieszka and James Carter, both of whom tip their hats to poets who have come before. Okay, fine, maybe Jon Scieszka isn't tipping his hat, exactly. Or maybe he is. Discuss among yourselves, I say. But no matter - I love both poems and am happy to be sharing them again....

            200 Typing Monkeys
                Almost Make It
                          by
Emily Dickinson and Jon Scieszka

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were a whole bunch of giant deliciously ripe bananas.

© 2009 National Simian Scribe Project. Some rights reversed.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)



Clouds Like Us
a poem for Mr. Wordsworth
       @@@@
        @@@
          ! !
           ! !
You're n e v e r lonely as a cloud
for like the sheep, you're with the crowd.
And then there's always loads to do
like soak a fete or barbeque.

Clouds are water - boiled you know.
We're recycled H20.
Stream to sea to cloud to rain
ever moving through a chain.

How we love it when it's warm.
For then we cook a mighty storm.
When it's time to help some flowers
we'll brew up those April showers.

Going back to our CV-
we’ve a range of skills you see
snow to hail and mist to fog -
to forming shapes for you to spot!

Sunny spell? Oh we'll be back.
You'll need some rain - and that's a fact.
We're high as kites and cool as jazz.
That's clouds like us - our life's a gas!
                                                         !
                                                     !
                                                         !
                                                            !
                                                         !
                                                               !

© 2010 James Carter. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday brought us poems by Betsy Franco and Bobbi Katz. Tomorrow... Kristine O'Connell George and Elaine Magliaro.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

30 Poets/Day 16 - Betsy Franco and Bobbi Katz

I love the different perspectives that Betsy Franco and Bobbi Katz write from in these two poems... and how each perspective rings so true. Which, of course, is part of the fun I have each year putting 30 Poets/30 Days together - I get to see the world through other eyes. And today... so do you!


Me and Joe Lining Up After Recess
by
Betsy Franco

We race
for the front


   bunch up
      and bump,
           wiggle,
                 giggle,
          push,
      pull,
           trip,
                 tease,
                       jab,
                           grab,
                 poke,
           pinch,
   squish,
squeeze.

Then teacher gives the quiet sign.

Says,
"You two go to the end of the line!"

© 2009 Betsy Franco. All rights reserved.
from Messing Around on the Monkey Bars, and other school poems for two voices
(Click here to see the original post and comments)



Lesson (working title)
by
Bobbi Katz

On this daffodilicious day
I am judging a community poetry contest
               in a distant city
swimming on waves of words.
A tsunami of images and emotions
     is carrying me
               deep,
so deep
        into other lives: Lives of children
who hear things no child should hear.
Lives of adults aching for lost loved ones.
Wounded veterans invisible to passers-by.
Kids fearing death before college.
Teens fenced-in by peer pressure…
or parents living through them…
I do not know their names or faces.
Poems have introduced me to their hearts.

And how to choose just three “winners”
  for each category
  and just three “honorable mentions”?
Each poet is a winner. Each is honorable.
I winnow the piles
      Down
down,
      down
         until I too
            am
                down.
Sadness swells over my head
sweeping me off my feet.
I know I must take a break.

I walk outside.
Earth sings green and yellow spring songs.
I stretch my arms out and look up.
A young child's poem appears.
Each letter written in a different color:
The sky is in
the sky is in
the sky is in
   the sky.

Imagine a sunshined heart of many colors
Blossoming beneath the poem,
completing it.

 Yes! I'll remember this fine lesson:
   this fine poem
written by a child in a distant city.

© 2010 Bobbi Katz. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday we had poems from Mary Ann Hoberman and Eileen Spinelli. Tomorrow... Jon Scieszka and James Carter.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

30 Poets/Day 15 - Mary Ann Hoberman and Eileen Spinelli

Halfway through April, and here come Mary Ann Hoberman and Eileen Spinelli bringing you insects and animals (some extinct, some not). I can safely say I've yet to determine any sort of "daily themes" as I combine years... other than the theme of sharing poetry written by rather remarkable poets. But that'll do!

I Dreamt I Saw a Dinosaur
by
Mary Ann Hoberman

I dreamt I saw a dinosaur
         Who stretched up very high.
I dreamt I saw a dinosaur
         Who towered to the sky.
I dreamt I saw a dinosaur
         Who told me with a sigh,
"I dreamt I saw a dinosaur
         Who dreamt he saw a dinosaur
Who dreamt he saw a dinosaur
         Who dreamt he saw a fly."

©2009 Mary Ann Hoberman. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)



PRAYING MANTIS
by
Eileen Spinelli

Praying mantis
near my door
I wonder what
you're praying for.
A meal, perhaps,
a gentle wife,
a simple
well-blessed
mantis life?
And should the day
bring rain
and thunder,
a sturdy leaf
to shelter under.

© 2010 Eileen Spinelli. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday we had poems from Linda Sue Park and Arthur A. Levine. Tomorrow... Betsy Franco and Bobbi Katz.

Please click here for more information on this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.


Monday, April 14, 2014

30 Poets/Day 14 - Linda Sue Park and Arthur A. Levine

I can remember the moment when I first read each of these poems - by Linda Sue Park and Arthur A. Levine, respectively - because they both struck me with some serious oomph. Other poems grow on me, some I never connect with, but when I read one that just zings me right away... yeah, those are good things, I tell you. So... here are two good things!


Villanelle: Why I Love Libraries
by
Linda Sue Park

I lose myself within the book-walled maze,
with no end to the promises in sight,
through passages to many worlds and ways.

The aisles meander pleasantly. A craze
of unread pages beckons, tempts, invites;
I lose myself. Within the book-walled maze

a googolplex of lexical arrays
for exploration flanks me left and right.
True passages to many; worlds and ways

that lead to corners sharp with turns of phrase,
and tales both commonplace and recondite
to lose myself within. The book-walled maze

reveals its pleasures slowly, but repays
the debt of time in thousandfold delight—
through passages to many worlds, in ways

mapped out by words. A sudden blink of light:
It's checkout time—they’re closing for the night.
I'd lost myself within the book-walled maze,
through passages to many worlds and ways.

©2009 Linda Sue Park. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)



These rules are here for your protection
by
Arthur A. Levine

Banging on the windowed door
to J. Carberry Middle School
the sick green tinted glass bending to my fist
I can SEE the Hall monitor
who can surely see me
though she is staring ahead
as blank and stiff as if she were the Queen’s Guard
and not a guard in Queens.

Good for her. She’s protecting the school from me
the kid who left the building
(which no one seemed to mind)
to avoid the shock and awe offensive
being carried out in our lunchroom.
I just wanted two blocks of sun.
I wanted the one close sound
to be my sneakers
squeaking their plan of escape,
to buy yogurt
and eat it with no risk of collateral damage
from the insults and objects thrown.

Oh sure, I say to her, a whisper, a breath; ignore me.
That’s original. You think I WANT
To come back in here? Well.
With my glasses and backpack
my dangerous hoodie
I’m sure I look just like a terrorist threat.
Keep me out here; yes, please.
Keep the student body safe
from sarcasm.

© 2010 Arthur A. Levine. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday we had poems from Lee Bennett Hopkins and Kurt Cyrus. Tomorrow... Mary Ann Hoberman and Eileen Spinelli.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including ways to follow along.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

30 Poets/Day 13 - Lee Bennett Hopkins and Kurt Cyrus

For my East Coast (U.S.) friends, I think Lee Bennett Hopkins' poem will strike a particular chord this year. And Kurt Cyrus' poem, well, there's probably no day that it doesn't resonate for someone reading here. And for that, I'm sorry... though not sorry for sharing these two with you today!

SPRING
by
Lee Bennett Hopkins

Roots
sprouts
buds
flowers

always--
always--
cloud-bursting showers

rhymes
April fools
fledglings on wing

no thing
is
newer
or
fresher
than
spring.

From SHARING THE SEASONS (McElderry Books).
©2009 Lee Bennett Hopkins. All rights reserved.
Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)



The Big Snore
by
Kurt Cyrus

Mama's wrecking furniture inside her throat tonight.
She drags a table to the left, then scrapes it to the right,
rips it with a chainsaw till it's just a pile of chips,
grinds it down to sawdust, and--

poofs it out her lips.

© 2010 Kurt Cyrus. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday brought us poems by Nikki Grimes and Kathi Appelt. Tomorrow... Linda Sue Park and Arthur A. Levine.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including ways to follow along.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

30 Poets/Day 12 - Nikki Grimes and Kathi Appelt

Nikki Grimes and Kathi Appelt! Like, on the same day! See, as predicted, I've run out of adjectives and here on day 12, I just become the babbling fanboy I really am without the pretense of objective poetry host. But, I mean, come on now. Nikki Grimes and Kathi Appelt! And on the same day!!!!

All Eyes
by
Nikki Grimes

I stood at the altar
twitching in God's shadow
dizzy with
the scent of lilies,
fear a broom
that swept away
the Easter poem
I'd memorized.
I blinked back
at twenty rows
of eyes, wondered
How does it go, again?
Then, always reckless,
opened my mouth.
But all that came out
half sung,
half whispered was
"Christ the Lord
has risen today.
Haaaaa-leee-luuuu-jah!"

©2009 Nikki Grimes. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)



The Ouija
by
Kathi Appelt

It scared the bejesus out of us
two at thirteen, no former
experience with spirits,
especially ones who had
such a command of spelling.

Words like ramose,
which look simple on the page,
but when you have to spell
it goes right out of your head,
even if you ask for the definition--
“having many branches.”

Our arms were like that,
our fingers thin buds
on the edge of its
round, plastic eye.

One of us asked when
the other would die, and when it
gave an actual date,
she blanched, and ran
to the toilet, knelt
down in front of it
and begged for mercy.

I can’t remember which
of us was sentenced, only
that we loved each other so
it didn’t matter. One death
would have meant two.

© 2010 Kathi Appelt. All rights reserved.
(Click here to see the original post and comments)

Yesterday we had poetry from Avis Harley and Charles Waters. Tomorrow... Lee Bennett Hopkins and Kurt Cyrus.

Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Friday, April 11, 2014

30 Poets/Day 11 - Avis Harley and Charles Waters

Both Avis Harley and Charles Waters were poets who were new to me in the year that they appeared in 30 Poets/30 Days... and I'm so happy I got to make their poetic acquaintance (and hang out with Charles in person, no less!). The field of children's poetry is so full of wonderful people doing wonderful work. I'm endlessly inspired... and hope you are, too!

Perfect Pitch
by
Avis Harley

When you
Ache to make some music
Though you’re feeling all forlorn; you don’t
Even own a piano or
Recorder or a horn…why not

Measure out some water to eight glasses in a row
Until you hear a Do-Re-Mi, and a Fa-
So-La-Ti-Do. Then you take a tiny teaspoon—
It’s to tap a tinkly tune—and you practise for a
Concert you’ll perform at

Sunday noon. When your
Upbeat music’s over, don’t discard
It down the sink. Look around for
Thirsty flowers and then pitch
Each one a drink.

©2009 Avis Harley. All rights reserved.
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I LOVE BEING ME
by
Charles Waters

I love being me
With zits in many places,
Tripping over everyone,
Trying to eat with braces.

I love being me
With my frizzy auburn hair,
Day-Glo polka-dot wardrobe
That I carry off with flair.

I love being me
With thick ebony glasses,
Saying hello to flowers,
Attending science classes.

I love being me,
How do you feel about you?
Look yourself in the mirror,
Check out that beautiful view.

© 2010 Charles Waters. All rights reserved.
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It's Poetry Friday today, too, so for even more poetry joy, head on out to this week's collection of links, kindly collated by Michelle!

Yesterday we had poetry from Bruce Lansky and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. Tomorrow... Nikki Grimes and Kathi Appelt!

Please click here for more information on this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

30 Poets/Day 10 - Bruce Lansky and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

One third of the way through the month already? I wish April would last forever! It won't, though, but at least it lasts long enough for me to share poetry from Bruce Lansky and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand - one going for the funny and one non-fiction biography (once again showing the range of poetry!).

Rules for Spot
by
Bruce Lansky

Don't run after cars
when they drive down our street.
Don't leave doggy paw marks
on fresh-poured concrete.

Don't bark at the mail man;
the poor man will pout.
Don't bite bible salesmen;
they might cuss you out.

Don't drink from the toilet,
your breath won't smell great.
And mom won't be thrilled when
you eat off her plate.

Don't whine late at night
so I'll open the door.
If I'm sleeping, don't wake me;
Just "go" on the floor.

I wrote down these rules,
which I hoped would be followed.
Spot thought it was homework.
So, he chewed it and swallowed.

©2009 Bruce Lansky. All rights reserved.
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The following poem comes from Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina Assoluta, a biography due out in 2011, written by Carmen Bernier-Grand and being illustrated by Raúl Colón. Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso is blindfolded in the poem because she had just surgery for detached retinas. At that moment, doctors thought she wouldn’t be able to dance again. But she danced until she was seventy-five.

Dancing Fingers
by
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

Blindfolded Alicia listens to the music of Giselle.
Her fingers are her feet, the bed sheet the stage.
“I see the theater curtain open. I absolutely see it.”
            Giselle is in love with another peasant, Loys.
Alicia’s fingers jump high—Giselle’s feet.
            Giselle learns that Loys is Prince Albrecht in disguise.
            As a peasant she cannot marry him. She becomes insane.
Alicia’s fingers move stiffly, horribly distorted.
            The earth shakes the day Giselle dies.
            That evening she becomes a Willi,
            a female spirit whose love is unfulfilled.
Alicia’s fingers jump high, but land silently as spirit feet.
            In the cold dawn the Willis rise from their graves
            to force Albrecht to dance until he dies of exhaustion.
Alicia’s fingers float softly.
            She doesn’t let the Willis touch him.
            Giselle’s devotion saves Albrecht from Death.
The golden damask curtain closes.
The theater almost falls with applause.
Alicia’s fingers take a bow.

© Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. All rights reserved.
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Yesterday featured poetry from Joyce Sidman and Alan Katz. Tomorrow... Avis Harley and Charles Waters.

Please click here for more information on this year's 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

30 Poets/Day 9 - Joyce Sidman and Alan Katz

I love how varied poetry can be, and today Joyce Sidman and Alan Katz give us great examples of the contrasting possibilities. From lyrical pantoum's to ch-ch-ch-chuckles and charm, poetry just makes me so darn happy. Which kinda explains the whole 30 Poets/30 Days thing!

Spring is the Time
(a pantoum)
by
Joyce Sidman

Spring is the time for eggs:
soft air and sprigs of green.
Bright lemon sun,
wet nights singing.

Soft air and sprigs of green,
Snug nests and puddles.
Wet nights singing,
feathery days.

Snug nests and puddles--
new life, new hope.
Feathery days,
yellow as yolk.

New life, new hope!
Bright lemon sun,
yellow as yolk.
Spring is the time for eggs.

©2009 Joyce Sidman. All rights reserved.
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Ch-ch-ch-check, Please
by
Alan Katz

I only eat foods that begin with “c-h,”
like chicken and churros and chili.
If you're cooking dinner and there's no “c-h,”
then trying to feed me is silly.

Today I had chocolate and chickpeas and chips,
chimichangas and chow mein and cheese.
Tonight, chunky chowder is the only choice--
(Mom is out of “c-h” recipes).

She ordered a cookbook that's coming tomorrow;
Mom promised great foods she'll be makin'.
It will be a menu of new “c-h” treats--
like chmeatloaf!! Chomelets! Chbacon!

(from a collection to be published by McElderry Books in 2011 (and to be illustrated by Ed Koren))

© Alan Katz. All rights reserved.
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Yesterday, we had poems from Adam Rex and Ralph Fletcher. Tomorrow... Bruce Lansky and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand.

Please click here more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along.