Friday, May 01, 2020

30 Poets/One Day

April was a great poetry month here at Gottabook (I say with bias but also factually). How great? Here's what showed up during 30 Poets/30 Days:

Douglas Florian - Bigfoot
April Halprin Wayland - Tender
Charles Waters - Watery Blue Ceiling
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand - La Alancia
David L. Harrison - Toothy Grin (Kit Fox)
Adam Rex - 47
Jane Yolen - Escaping Bonn
Charles Ghigna - Be Still
Kenn Nesbitt - Dizzy Dottie's Dog Salon
Liz Garton Scanlon - Look Around
Bob Raczka - Squirrel
Ellen Hopkins - Country Kids Exist on Their Own Planet
Lee Bennett Hopkins - Spring
Rebecca Kai Dotlich - Missing
Linda Sue Park - School Days: Spring 2020
Calef Brown - Dream
Marilyn Singer - Natural Disasters
Ann Whitford Paul - Too Big For Bear
Janet Wong - Look for Birds
Julie Larios - What Did I See?
Brod Bagert - When I'm Old & Gray
Kristine O'Connell George - Seagull Comments
Kathi Appelt - Quarantine
Nancy Bo Flood - Go Fish
Darren Sardelli - Our Teacher Was the Greatest
Georgia Heard - A Quivering of Wings
Ed DeCaria - Another school dream (this time with a spider)
Bruce Balan - The Poem I Would Write
Nikki Grimes - Unvarnished Healing
Greg Pincus - Still

Yup. A great month. Again, I thank all the poets, Bonnie Adamson for the logos, and all of you for reading along (and for comments, emails, and tweets too!). This was the sixth edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, with a multi-year gap between the fifth and this one. Will there be a seventh? It's too early to say... but I do know we always need poetry wherever we can find it.

(Speaking of which... it's Poetry Friday once again, and you can find the roundup of all participating bloggers over at Elizabeth Steinglass's Poetry for Children and Their Grownups. There's a new roundup weekly, so you can find poetry when you need it.)

I have no idea what blogging will happen here moving forward, but it was fun to dust this place off. Until the next time... onward!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Greg Pincus - Still

by Greg Pincus

We still our cities, still our schools.
We still and watch with shock.
We still our bodies, still our minds.
We still… and we take stock.

We still have earth beneath our feet.
We still have sky above.
We still have art and friends and joy.
We still have hope and love.

We feel the world still spinning round -
Each night still yields to day.
We still don’t know the path ahead….
Still - we’ll find our way.

©Greg Pincus. All rights reserved.

Today's poem wraps up this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days. I offer up another big thank you to Bonnie Adamson for making me two logos when I plaintively asked for help. And of course, I give a huge thank you to the poets who joined in this year on the spur of the moment. 

Finally, I thank all y'all who've read along and shared the poetry with others. This definitely seemed to me like a year for poetry, and I'm glad to know that others felt so, too. Poetry is a good thing. We need good things now... and always.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Nikki Grimes - Unvarnished Healing

Unvarnished Healing 
John 9:1-41 

by Nikki Grimes

There are those who insist 
gifts of speaking in tongues 
and heavenly healing 
belong to yesteryear, 
when Holy Spirit movement stories 
flowed from that old time religion. 
But were those mighty works of God 
merely once-upon-a-time? 
According to John, Jesus spoke of 
the "we" of this work, 
a ministry calling 
with no timelines, deadlines, 
or time limits implied. 
I heal, you heal, he/she/we heal 
whenever God moves through 
prayer and the laying on of hands, 
this work perfectly modeled 
by the Perfect One, himself 
on a particular Sabbath, when his mercy 
settled on a man sightless from birth. 
Curious, how the disciples' 
very first thoughts turned to 
whose sin was to blame for this blindness, 
while some Pharisees rebuked this rule-breaker rabbi 
for daring to work on the Sabbath. 
Which are we? 
Disciples or Pharisees? 
Will judgment cause us 
to miss the miracle? 
We are called to enter into 
all of God's good work, 
and to worship him with praise 
for his unvarnished healing.

©Nikki Grimes. All rights reserved.

I don't know that there's anyone who smiths words the way Nikki Grimes does. She will knock your socks off, no matter what she writes. Like the above poem or One Last Word, her book which uses the Golden Shovel form (and if you wanna know more about that form/write one yourself, here's the poet herself to tell you all about it).


Or beyond that, I predict you'll be dazzled if you read any of her broad range of books... like her award winning memoir, Ordinary Hazards (which got both a Printz and a Siebert Honor nod from the ALA). 

And if her current lineup of books isn't enough... look at what she's got coming down the pike this year alone - Southwest Sunrise in May and Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice coming out in August. I mean, come on now. She will knock your socks off in so many ways that you'll be sockless all year... and you'll be glad of it, I say.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bruce Balan - The Poem I Would Write


The poem I would write if
I remembered it
would be about

It was there this morning
in the grey light it snuck in under
the barely-open hatch
finding me beneath the covers
finding me enough to turn me in my sleep
push my dream aside
so that I thought
– while groggy as the slow roll of the boat --
this will be my poem for today
It will be about

And there it was
my poem about you 
beautiful and poetic
succinct with a knowing depth
We shared our moment
the poem and I
until, content in my new knowledge
I pulled the covers up
went back to sleep
while the poem
laughing at my folly
slipped out of the hatch
and ran away
across the sea.

© Bruce Balan. All rights reserved.

I'm excited to have Bruce Balan here at 30 Poets/30 Days this year. And... oh, yes! A poem about poems. And a doozy, at that because, of course, it's about more than a poem....

A little backstory here, in the poet's own words: "April Halprin Wayland and I have been writing a poem every day and sharing it with each other since 2012. Thus, every day I am looking for a new poem. Sometimes they find me without my looking, but I have to make sure to pay attention or, as usually happens, they will give up on me.

This one was written while anchored at Isla Maria Cleofas about 50 miles off the Pacific coast of Mexico."

Amazingly, this post was written from the same place!!! (Well, at least in my mind.... I am anchored at my desk, truth be told. But still, I can close my eyes and run away across the sea, too.)

Monday, April 27, 2020

Ed DeCaria - Another school dream (this time with a spider)

Another school dream (this time with a spider) 

into a dream — 

    through my 
    classroom ceiling 
    and land 
    in my 

    at my 
            forever ago 
             in my 

    I lean forward, 
             to wood 
         and breathe 

    then bend back 
    peek inside 
        my cubby. 
       A young spider spots me, 
             crawls to a corner, and 
              curls into 
             just as she was taught. 

                  I wave a little pinky-wave — 

and wake up 

©Ed DeCaria. All rights reserved. 

It's a pleasure for me to have Ed DeCaria here at 30 Poets/30 Days. Some of you here might know Ed from his amazing Madness Poetry event, where he works behind the scenes to throw an annual poetry event that is extraordinary (and a blast). 

And some of you might know him from StorySeer - which you totally need to check out if you are at all interested in author visits. Seriously. Go hence!

And those are two great reasons to know Ed DeCaria. But you also need to know him as a poet since he is one. And cuz the rule of threes. So, read, click links, and on we go...