Thursday, April 18, 2013

Irene Latham - Octopus Postcards

Octopus Postcards
Irene Latham

Twiddledeedum, twiddledeedoo
eight arms and nothing to do.

I spy a quarter-sized crevice.
Can I squeeze
sneeze my way in?

Just look at that scuttling crab
out for a stroll.
Quick, let me turn myself
red as this rock-hole.

What a yummy lunch.

Soooo sleepy.
See how my eyelids squint
and glint
like sliding doors?

Oh no. Shark!

Does it see me?
I think it sees me.

Can’t think.

Eat my ink! 

Wait. Must calculate.
One two three four five six seven... 

Call that shark “Mr. Amputate.”

Pardon me while I pulsate –

It's okay. Just wait.
Give me a chance
to regenerate.
Soon I'll be back to eight.

©Irene Latham. All rights reserved.

So, it's Poem in Your Pocket Day, and Irene Latham has provided us with 10 short verses in case you have many pockets that need filling. Or you can keep it all together in one pocket for an Octopoetic series, too. Sweet!

I love the way Octopus Postcards comes across as, well, an octopus' postcards - little snippets that collectively tell a bigger story than each one does by itself.  You can read 'em as fun. You can read 'em as educational. You can read 'em as a character study. No surprise, though, when you look at the rest of Irene Latham's work - a range of poems and novels with strong characters and an eye for detail that "teaches" you what you need to know to make her stories work.

Beyond bringing joy with her novels and poetry, Irene has brought a new tradition to the Kidlitosphere with her April-long Progressive Poem (with which you can follow along through her blog sidebar). Though it often confounds my expectations, I know I look forward each day to seeing what's next in the poem. A nice parallel, really, as I also know I've been looking forward to having Irene Latham here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday Robert Paul Weston brought us Freddy and the Yeti. Tomorrow... Kristin Elizabeth Clark with Pronoun! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


KateCoombs said...

Hahahaha. What a great way to wake up! Love this, Irene.

Amy LV said...

Octopus Postcards! I was watching him/her write the whole time. Such great fun. I look forward to sharing this with my three children tonight! Thank you Irene and Greg!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

I really really liked this. especially the regenerate twist at the end.
thanks Irene, and thanks Greg!

Author Amok said...

I'm taking these postcards to Swansfield ES with me today. The fifth graders will have something slimy and poetic for their pockets. Thanks Irene and Greg.

Tabatha said...

Love these! I'm going to stick them right in my pocket. :-)

tanita✿davis said...

A cephalopod in ten stanzas. Love it.

Irene Latham said...

Thanks all for reading -- and Greg, for inviting that old octopus into your place. :)

Renee LaTulippe said...

Delightful! I think "pardon me while I pulsate" is my new favorite saying! Thank you both!

Catherine said...

Very funny! Thanks for sharing

laurasalas said...

These are fabulous! So much drama in so few words:>)

Looking for the Write Words said...


I love this and so will be 4th graders. We are celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day at our school tomorrow. Think I may tuck some postcards in my pockets! :) ~ Theresa

Rita said...

Wow, this is excellent. You can really feel the illustrations coming through. That's powerful writing!!

Charles Waters said...

I agree with Laura. It so very words Irene shows us so many things happening! LATHAM POWER!!!!!!