Friday, July 13, 2018

Two Bee Poems: Revising for Publication

I had to revise a number of the poems in the THINGS TO DO manuscript that was submitted to Chronicle Books. A few had minor revisions; others required major changes. One that underwent a major change was the honeybee poem, which had originally been a "worker bee" poem.

Things to do if you are a WORKER BEE as it appeared in my manuscript:

Be yellow and fuzzy.
Stay busy. Be buzzy.
Tidy and clean.
Tend to your queen.
Be a working machine—
A syrup collector.
Go forage for nectar.
Reap pollen from flowers.
Don’t spend idle hours.
Don’t sit and relax.
Make honey and wax.
You must toil without end—
Yours is a lifetime of labor,
My friend.

My editor Melissa Manlove thought the poem was too long. She suggested I keep just the first two lines...and leave the poem at that. I decided to add two new lines to the beginning.

The final draft of Things to do if you are a HONEYBEE as it appears in my book:

Flit among flowers.
Sip nectar for hours.
Be yellow and fuzzy.
Stay busy.
Be buzzy.

Sylvia Vardell has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Poetry for Children.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Two Original Beetle Poems

Today, I have two beetle poems for you. The first is a haiku; the second is a mask poem.

Beetle on a rose

in shining armor…ready

to battle sharp thorns



My love is this beautiful red, red rose.

Of all the blossoms, it’s the one I chose.

It has silky petals, leaves of emerald green.

It’s the yummiest flower that I’ve ever seen.



Tricia has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Monarch Mask Poem

(Picture by Kenneth Dwain Harrelson)

One sunny day
I laid a wee egg
beneath a broad leaf.
It was a gem,
pearly and white--
a seed of new life,
a small bit of me
that I'll never see
grow wings and take flight.
Some time ago, I began writing a collection of mask poems tentatively titled Butterfly Days. The poems are told in the voices of a Monarch butterfly, butterfly egg, and larva--as well as a milkweed plant. I put the manuscript on the shelf and haven't worked on it for many months. The poem above is the fourth one in the collection at the present time.
Karen Edmisten has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.

Friday, June 1, 2018

COTTON CANDY: An Original Poem

My older granddaughter didn't have school last Friday because of kindergarten screening. It was a beautiful day so my husband and I took the "grandgirls" to Salem Willows Park. Julia asked if I'd get them some cotton candy, which they really enjoyed. That little trip brought to mind a poem that I wrote about cotton candy for a poetry collection about sweet things that has never been published.


Fairy floss,
pink puff of spun sugar,
cumulus confection,
sunset cloud
floating on a cardboard cone.

It's a great joy for Mike and me to take "our girls" to places we went to as kids to have fun.


Buffy has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Home for the Seasons: A Memoir Poem

I spent many of my happiest childhood days at the home of my maternal grandparents--Michael and Anna (Chalupka) Koziski. They owned a small duplex on a quiet street in Peabody, Massachusetts. They lived on the left side of the house. My Aunt Emily and my cousins Karen and Joyce lived on the right side after my Uncle Stanley passed away when he was in his late twenties.
After the death of my Babci and Dzidzi, I decided to write a collection of poems about them and their home in order to honor their memory. Here is the first poem from the unpublished collection:
A Home for the Seasons
My grandparents’ house seems to hug their shady street.
A white duplex, its twin front doors
stand side by side
just three steps up from the sidewalk.
We always enter their house through the side door.
Stepping into the kitchen,
we find Babci sitting at the far end of the table
spooning filling onto circles of homemade dough
and making pierogis, crocheting afghans,
or snipping lacy designs from paper—
a traditional folk art she learned in Poland.
Sometimes we see her painting flowers on the cupboard doors
or hanging starched curtains she embroidered by hand.
The aroma of stuffed cabbage or babka baking in the oven
often greets us at the door.
Most days, Dzidzi spends outdoors tending to his garden
or painting the shutters green
or mending the picket fence
or building a backyard fireplace for summertime barbecues.
My grandparents always busy themselves
making their place a special place
for the family to gather throughout the year,
making it a home for all the seasons.
Anna & Michael Koziski

Four Cousins
My sister Virginia is in the back row.
Front Row (L to R) Me, Joyce, Karen
Rebecca has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Sloth Reads.
NOTE: I want to thank my grandnephew George Blaney for putting many of our old family pictures on CDS for close relatives.