Friday, April 26, 2013

G. Neri - June Bug Bash

June Bug Bash
G. Neri

When the weather warms
With its summer storms,
June bugs appear,
Listen, you’ll hear!

Flippity-flopping all around,
Buzzing with that crazy sound.
Always bumbling in your ears,
Nearly bringing you to tears!

They jitterbug around your food,
Put you in a foul mood.
Blundering on your hair and neck,
THUD! There goes another wreck!

Then suddenly, they disappear.
Come July, they’re nowhere near.
Where they go, no one knows.
But guessing keeps me on my toes.

Do they go south to Yucatan,
Fishing with a fisherman?
Or Northward to the icy snow,
Playing with an Eskimo?

Or maybe to the Great Far East,
Dancing on a wildebeest?
Or off to the Wild West
Traveling with another pest?

Maybe climbing up the Pyramids,
To scare off all the tourist kids?
Or surfing the Pacific Ocean,
Now that would be a wacky notion!

They really could be anywhere--
Even hiding in your mother’s hair.
Laying low and out of sight,
Giving you an awful fright!

Who knows where June Bugs go,
Or why in June they only show.
But soon, you’ll hear a buzz, thud, crash.
Back in time for the June Bug Bash!

©G. Neri. All rights reserved.

Today marks the third 30/30 poem in a row by a Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award winner - this time, G. Neri, the 2010 recipient (based on the strength of his Chess Rumble, a free verse gem about poverty, death, and chess).

Now, having just recently re-read the I-can't-count-how-many-awards-winning graphic novel Yummy, I have to admit I was not expecting a poem quite like June Bug Bash from Greg Neri. So you can add "the unexpected" to the ever-growing list of what I love about poetry and poets. I love the fun, the rhythms, and the wild imagination of the June bugs... and love the speedy world tour, too, to send my brain to where my body currently isn't.

Again, not to sound like a broken April record, but if by some chance you haven't read G. Neri's work or shared it with your middle grade/YA loving reading friends, well, the time is now. I find all his books to date to be poetry in their own way, and I'm genuinely thrilled to have him here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

And hey... you can check out a roundup of all the Poetry Friday fun over at Laura Purdie Salas' blog today. Go see all the great stuff still going on as National Poetry Month winds down.

Yesterday gave us Wedding Photo by Joyce Lee Wong. Tomorrow John Foster brings us Add a Letter, Find Another Word! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Linda B said...

Amazing insects, used to scare my daughter when we would travel to visit family in Missouri-they don't appear in Colorado! When I was a child, we would catch one & tie a tiny string to it, and let it fly with us as we walked around. Don't worry, we did release them too. Your poem shows their very being-busy, busy June bugs! Thanks!

Charles Waters said...

Love the around the world wordplay here, in rhyme no less. Look forward to checking out the books.

Bridget Magee said...

Fun June Bug poem! I've enjoyed the 30 days poems being delivered to my mailbox. Thanks for this fun project, Greg. =)

Mary Lee said...

Very fun! And kind of a surprise, since all I knew of G. Neri prior to this was GHETTO COWBOY! (which I loved!!)

laurasalas said...

June bugs rattling against the screen door--it's like a horror movie sound to me:>)

tanita✿davis said...

Poetry breathes in everything G. Neri writes. Probably even his grocery list.

Ruth said...

I hadn't read anything by this poet before. Thanks!