Thursday, November 8, 2018

Diary of a Basket Case + The Poetry Friday Roundup


Shawn


It was only after catching my first glimpse of last week's Poetry Friday roundup that I realized I picked out a potentially difficult date to host—the Friday after Election Day.

Will I be hopeful? Despondent? Determined? Crushed? Under the best of circumstances, I am not a last minute blogger. How can I possibly wait until after the election to piece together words and thoughts when I'm not even sure I'll have fully processed what those thoughts are?

The best I could come up with for today is a muddled mess of emotion, anxiety, and borrowed poetry collected over the course of the week—my personal "Diary of a Basket Case." I've included four short poems by Jane Kenyon, Tom Hennen, Robert Lax, and John Martin, all of which were previously featured on The (now defunct) Writer's Almanac. [UPDATE: Did you know The Writer's Almanac is back as a podcast? Subscribe to the daily newsletter at GarrisonKeillor.com.] Three of the four also appear in GOOD POEMS, selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor (Penguin Books, 2003)—a new-to-me anthology purchased recently at my local Friends of the Library book sale.


Philippa Willitts

MONDAY

I got my hair cut today—short-short-short. Shorter than last time, which was shorter than the time before that. Freshly-mowed short. I've decided that the length of my hair inversely correlates to the amount of stress in my life and I'm trying to slough off anxiety with each snip. After tomorrow, I may have to shave my hair off altogether.

Otherwise
     by Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.


          Read the rest HERE.


TUESDAY

After waking up with bedhead the likes I've never see before, I went about my routine as if today was like any other day. Since I voted a few weeks ago, there is nothing to do but wait... and hope... and eat leftover Halloween candy.

The Life of a Day
          by Tom Hennen

Like people or dogs, each day is unique and has
its own personality quirks which can easily be seen
if you look closely. But there are so few days as
compared to people, not to mention dogs, that it
would be surprising if a day were not a hundred
times more interesting than most people.


          Read the rest HERE.


WEDNESDAY

Oh Florida, what have you done???

Alley Violinist
          by Robert Lax

if you were an alley violinist

and they threw you money
from three windows . . .




THURSDAY

And here we go. Let's start off the day with another mass shooting, shall we?

Bear in Mind
          by John Martin

A bear is chasing me through a meadow
and I’m running as fast as I can but
he’s gaining on me—it seems
he’s always gaining on me.
I’m running and running but also
thinking I should just
turn around and say,
“Stop it! Stop chasing me. We both
know you aren’t going to catch me.
All you can ever do is chase me. So,
think about it—why bother?”


          Read the rest HERE.


I guess it's time to get over the election results and move on. Accept the wins and losses for what they are—the chase is not going to end any time soon and there are other things vying for the nightly news hour. Welcome to the new normal, as exhausting as it may be.

More than the election and more than the news of the day, this poem is, for me, about life in all of its ursine glory—its hunger, its growl, and its roar.

Joe Giordano

Lately I've been feeling life's hot breath on my neck more than usual, which means it's time to get off the treadmill and go into hibernation for a while—to take a break from blogging. (I know, it seems like I just got back from my last hiatus, but tell that to my burly friend!)

I may pop in from time to time, but when I come back in earnest, Today's Little Ditty is likely going to be a little less structured. After 41 interviews with authors and editors, it's time to have some fun and turn the spotlight on YOU! I won't be dropping author/editor interviews altogether, but they will be less frequent since my time has become more in demand at home. With interviews that will be less research-intensive and more free-form, I look forward to finding out more about your favorite things, the writing habits you keep, and what role poetry plays in your lives. Plus, after being so well-practiced in ditty challenges (find them all here), I have no doubt that you have some great new ones to suggest!

If you're interested, please fill out this short Google form. Bear in mind, it won't commit you to anything, it will just give me a better idea of who might like more information.




Now I know you're all keen to get to the Poetry Friday roundup, but I have one more announcement to make—the winner of last month's DMC giveaway!

Thanks once again to everyone who contributed to such a fun collection of anthropomorphic poems! Random.org has determined that a signed copy of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown will be winging its way to . . .


LINDA BAIE
Congratulations, Linda!




Add your link below for this week's Poetry Friday roundup.



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

October DMC Wrap-Up Celebration + Giveaway


elston


Hurry, hurry—don't be late!
The celebration is about to begin!


Last month Calef Brown challenged us to write a poem that tells the story of two anthropomorphized objects:
They can be an odd couple, close friends, mortal enemies, or meet each other for the first time. The poem can be about an adventure they have together, a conflict, a game they play, anything.

So how did we do?



You betcha! In fact, with so many zany pairings and clever stories, who's up for a well-deserved nap?


"Sleeping" by Umberto Savagnin
(Thought so.)


* Wakey! Wakey! *


"...what?" by Umberto Salvagnin


It's time to take a look at the results. 


"Sofia" by Umberto Salvagnin
 (Never mind Sofia—she's just cranky.)

As usual, I sincerely wish I had been able to feature more of your excellent poems. The variety was crazy-awesome!


From poems about FOOD . . .

“Relishing Life and Death” by Terry Border.
View more of Terry Border's Bent Objects in this terrific video
from the 2008 Gel Conference.


to poems about HOUSEHOLD OBJECTS . . .

The Brave Little Toaster

  
from poems about NATURE, and the SEASON of TREATS and TRICKERY . . .

Chris J





to poems about ABSTRACT IDEAS . . .








and THE MANY DEVICES WE USE TO CAPTURE OUR THOUGHTS

"Untitled" by Jonathan Wolstenholme.
View more illustrations from his Books on Books series HERE.

it's been AN IMAGINATION FREE-FOR-ALL at Today's Little Ditty!


I'm so grateful to everyone who submitted poems 
and especially to Calef Brown for inspiring them all! 



"Let's all go to the lobby!"

Grab your refreshment of choice, 
sit back and enjoy the show. 



Scroll through the poems below, or for best viewing, CLICK HERE.

Made with Padlet


Participants in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a signed copy of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown (Carolrhoda Books, 2018). One entry per participant, not per poem.





Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below. Comments must be received by Tuesday, November 6th. (That's Election Day, folks—don't forget to vote!) If you contribute a poem and comment below, you will receive two entries in total.

The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced next Friday, November 9th, when yours truly will be hosting the Poetry Friday roundup!


Now, about that nap . . .

"Sofia - Tired" by Umberto Salvagnin


You won't find Jama Rattigan sleeping on the job. She has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Thanks, Jama!








Wednesday, October 31, 2018

DMC: "Office Horror Story" by Suzy Levinson




OFFICE HORROR STORY

"Come closer," it said,
"for I must be fed.
All documents welcome, 'cause I want to SHRED."

"No, thank you," I said,
creasing with dread.
"A contract like me would prefer to stay read."

"Closer," it pled.
"N-O," I said.
"Why don't you eat that old phone book instead?"

"Tasty," it said.
"SHREDDY-SHRED-SHRED!"
That's when I slipped off the table and fled.


© 2018 Suzy Levinson. All rights reserved.


Calef Brown has challenged us to write a poem that tells the story of two anthropomorphized objects. They can be an odd couple, close friends, mortal enemies, or meet each other for the first time. The poem can be about an adventure they have together, a conflict, a game they play, anything. Click HERE for more details and to read this month's Spotlight ON interview.

Post your poem on our October 2018 padlet by October 31st. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation this Friday, November 2nd, and one lucky participant will win a signed copy of Calef Brown's latest collection of ghoulish poetry from Carolrhoda Books:






Tuesday, October 30, 2018

DMC: "The Binder and the Piece of Paper: A Dialogue" by Elizabeth Steinglass




The Binder and the Piece of Paper: A Dialogue

I am a binder—
loyal and true.
I keep loose leaf papers
looking like new.

               I won’t go in there.
               Rings aren’t for me.
               I want to be seen.
               I want to be free.

Free papers fly,
then they get tossed.
The depths of a bag
is where you’ll get lost.

               I want to be useful.
               My words should be read,
               but the snap of your teeth
               fills me with dread.

I swear it won’t hurt.
Quick! The day’s over soon!
With me you’ll be safe
(at least until June).


© 2018 Elizabeth Steinglass. All rights reserved.


Calef Brown has challenged us to write a poem that tells the story of two anthropomorphized objects. They can be an odd couple, close friends, mortal enemies, or meet each other for the first time. The poem can be about an adventure they have together, a conflict, a game they play, anything. Click HERE for more details and to read this month's Spotlight ON interview.

Post your poem on our October 2018 padlet by October 31st. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation this Friday, November 2nd, and one lucky participant will win a signed copy of Calef Brown's latest collection of ghoulish poetry from Carolrhoda Books:






Monday, October 29, 2018

DMC: "Standoff: The Hand and the Pen" by Matt Forrest Esenwine




Standoff:  The Hand and the Pen

(Hand)                                                                  (Pen)
Ok, I’m going to write a book!                 Ummm…better take another look.

I want a novel! Let’s get started.             I’d rather tell of trails uncharted.

Oh, bother. (sigh) Novella, then.            I make the rules. I am the Pen.

You can’t do this! It’s not fair!                 Let’s speak of love. Desire. Despair.

A STORY. One page. Satisfied??             Not yet. Just let me be your guide.

Fine. A poem. Just help me do it!!         Ha, ha – looks like I beat you to it.



     © 2018 Matt Forrest Esenwine. All rights reserved.


Calef Brown has challenged us to write a poem that tells the story of two anthropomorphized objects. They can be an odd couple, close friends, mortal enemies, or meet each other for the first time. The poem can be about an adventure they have together, a conflict, a game they play, anything. Click HERE for more details and to read this month's Spotlight ON interview.

Post your poem on our October 2018 padlet by October 31st. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation this Friday, November 2nd, and one lucky participant will win a signed copy of Calef Brown's latest collection of ghoulish poetry from Carolrhoda Books:






Thursday, October 25, 2018

DMC: "Passing Time with Tick and Tock" by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes


"Tick Tock" by Peter Nijenhuis


Passing Time with Tick and Tock

Each time I tick, my heart grows sick
to see time pass so quick-quick-quick!
Is it a joke? Some kind of trick?
This life is not the one I'd pick.

          With every tock, I find the clock
          has barely budged. Like solid rock,
          it sits there taunting, taking stock.
          I wish the future would unlock!

One fateful day, the story goes,
the two were caught up in the throes
of what could never be undone—
a time warp merged them into one!

          Tock would always follow Tick. 
          Tick would not abandon Tock.
          You'd think the two would really click,
          but now they bicker round the clock.

© 2018 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


Through the wonders of modern technology, enter the YouTube portal to experience the time warp for yourself!




Under normal circumstances, today (the last Friday of the month) would be our wrap-up celebration for Calef Brown's DMC challenge to write a poem about two anthropomorphized objects. (Click HERE for more details.) Because we got a late start, however, I am postponing the celebration until next Friday, November 2nd, and look forward to sharing a few more daily ditties next week!

Featured poems this week were by Molly Hogan, Tabatha Yeatts, Renée LaTulippe, and Buffy Silverman. If you haven't already done so, you have until Wednesday, October 31st, to post your poem on the October 2018 padlet and be included in next week's wrap-up presentation.


Don't let time run away from you!

Stuart Rankin


Join Kay Jernigan McGriff at A Journey Through the Pages for this week's Poetry Friday roundup and her poem inspired by Calef Brown's challenge—"Sunrise Conversation." Thanks, Kay!