Friday, June 15, 2018
Friday, June 1, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
Friday, May 11, 2018
Sunday will be the second Mother's Day we celebrate without my mother. I picked out the following poem to honor her because the simplest things could bring joy into her life: a colorful sunset, the scent of lilacs in spring, a crisp autumn day, taking care of her youngest granddaughter. I think she would have liked Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem about spending an afternoon on a hill enjoying nature.
Friday, May 4, 2018
Friday, April 27, 2018
A Martian Chronicle: Words of Earth's First Astronaut to Land on Mars
DATE: August 24, 2006
RE: Demotion to Dwarf Status
Sorry, Pluto, you’re way too small.
You’re just an itty-bitty ball…
An insignificant cosmic dot…
A speck in the Milky Way. You’re not
Considered a planet anymore.
Here’s your pink slip; there’s the door.
You’re off the list. Goodbye! Adieu!
Don’t go making a hullabaloo.
There’s nothing…nothing…you can do.
Accept your fate.
Don't forget! I'm giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during April. All you have to do to qualify to have your named entered into next Sunday's drawing is to comment on one of the blogs that I posted during this third week of National Poetry Month (April 22-28).
Thursday, April 26, 2018
One writing exercise that I enjoy doing is writing about a particular subject in different kinds of poems. Here are two poems that I wrote about cows. The second is a mask poem. You'll see that the poems have some things in common:
Breathe in the sweet smell of clover
and freshly mown hay.
Flick flies away with your tasseled tail.
Feel summer days pass by
like silk over silver.
Moo and chew
and chew and moo.
your grand green view.
We laze and we graze
On warm sunny days.
We chew and we moo.
We moo and we chew
And ruminate on
This grand green view.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
We’re the well-worn soles of shoes
reading all the sidewalk news.
As we go along our way
we broadcast headlines of the day:
dots of rain
wad of bubblegum
of cherry popsicle
its sticky sweetness
cool and red
by root of tree
of injured knee
ghost of ant
whose remnants lie
flattened from a passerby
We just stepped in doggy do!
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Years ago, I began working on a collection of poems about sweet things. There were two different versions of the manuscript. One included poems just about candy. The other contained poems about all kinds of sweet things--including donuts, pudding, popsicles, a birthday cake.
My good friend Grace Lin and I planned to collaborate on the project. We even took a "investigative field trip" to YUMMIES, a famous candy store in southern Maine where we found hundreds of different kinds of candies--some of which I hadn't seen in decades. You can read about our trip here: How Sweet It Is!: A Poetry Tale.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Friday, April 20, 2018
Four Mask Poems about Spring Peepers
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
I enjoy writing mask poems. It's especially fun taking on the personality of an animal that I have learned about and speaking in its voice.
At night to woo a lady fair.
My heartfelt singing fills spring air.
Don't forget! I'm giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during April. All you have to do to qualify to have your named entered into next Sunday's drawing is to comment on one of the blogs that I posted during this third week of National Poetry Month (April 15-21).
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
I worked on a collection of night poems for weeks last year. I could never shape it into what I wanted it to be--even though I tried hard. Sometimes, when I try too hard, my poems seemed forced. I had to put the collection away. Maybe I will work on it again one day. Here are three poems from two different versions of my collection of bedtime poems:
Sunday, April 15, 2018
I had hoped to put together a special 80th birthday post for Lee Bennett Hopkins before I left for Hattiesburg, Mississippi--but I got sick with a respiratory infection Easter weekend. I was keeping my fingers crossed that I'd get better by April 10th so I could accept my Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award at the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Literature Festival. Fortunately, I was fine by the day of my departure--but I never got around to whipping up a birthday post for Lee.
I decided today to post links to some of my previous blogs about Lee and his poetry books. I thought some of you might like to read them.
Here they are--in chronological order:
Party for a Poetry Man (2009)
Poetry for Little Ones: "Lullaby & Kisses Sweet" (2015)
Friday, April 13, 2018
Cutting a Poem from a Manuscript: THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE NIGHT...or THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE THE MOON?
Making THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE RAIN a Rhyming Poem
THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE THE SUN: Cut from My THINGS TO DO Manuscript???