Monday, May 28, 2018

DMC: "Circle of Life" by M. Hogan




CIRCLE OF LIFE

Outside my window
morning light grows
the glassy-eyed chipmunk 
yesterday’s gift from my cat
still lies on the granite step

Last night
snarls ripped through 
the dark
My fervent calls
yielded no response
just furtive rustling 
in the shadowed woods
I slipped back indoors
into uneasy sleep

Outside my window
morning light grows
the chipmunk remains
my cat does not appear.

© 2018 M. Hogan. All rights reserved.

* Note from Michelle: I'm pleased to report that Molly's cat did eventually return!

 
Click HERE to read this month's interview with Julie Fogliano. She has challenged us to stare out the window and write a poem about what we see. You might even consider writing something down every day for a week: 
At the end of the week, read through what you wrote and write your favorite bits on a separate piece of paper. I bet there will be a poem in there somewhere… see if you can find it.  – J. F.
You have until Thursday, May 31st, at 5:00 pm (EST) to join in! Post your poem on our May 2018 padlet and I will add it to the wrap-up presentation HERE. One lucky participant will win a personalized copy of Julie's stunning new picture book from Roaring Brook Press:






Thursday, May 24, 2018

May DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway


"A View to Remember" by Marjan Lazarevski

Only be willing to search for poetry, and there will be poetry:
My soul, a tiny speck, is my tutor.
Evening sun and fragrant grass are common things, 
But, with understanding, they can become glorious verse.
          – Yuan Mei

May's ditty challenge has been all about finding glorious verse in common things. 

Read my Two Line Tuesday post related to this month's challenge HERE.

At the beginning of the month, Julie Fogliano challenged us "to stare out the window and write what you see."  She elaborated:
Is there a bird out there? What is it doing? Is anyone walking by? Where do you think they’re going? Is it raining? What does it sound like?  Is there a car going by? A train? It doesn’t have to be anything big or exciting that you write about. Just write what you see. Do that everyday for a week. At the end of the week, read through what you wrote and write your favorite bits on a separate piece of paper. I bet there will be a poem in there somewhere… see if you can find it.

Apparently, many of you did see birds— 
along with a few squirrels, a cat or two, and numerous signs of the seasonal changeover.

On a personal note, I'm wondering if this is the month I break my track record and neglect to write something. It would be a shame—I haven't missed a challenge since the Ditty of the Month Club's inception in May 2014! But the month isn't over yet, so I guess there's still a chance. I'll be sharing a few more daily ditties next week.


Whether your view is grand . . .

Justin Kern

or more subdued . . .

Vladimir Agafonkin

your poetic perspective is always welcome here.


Many thanks to those of you who have already shared your window view, and especially to Julie Fogliano for the opportunity to slow down and let the world come knocking.


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

Made with Padlet


Inspired to write about what's outside your window?

Dan Vel

There's still time. . .

cgc76


Post your poem on our May 2018 padlet by 5:00 pm (EST) on Thursday, May 31st, and I will add it to the wrap-up presentation.









Participants in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a personalized copy of a house that once was by Julie Fogliano, with illustrations by Lane Smith (Roaring Brook Press, 2018). One entry per participant, not per poem.

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below. Comments must also be received no later than 5:00 pm (EST) on Thursday, May 31st. 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, June 1st.



Margaret Simon has "More than Meets the Eye" at this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at Reflections on the Teche. Thanks to a photo and poetry exchange among PF regulars, you'll find many more views and poetic responses. Enjoy!




DMC: "A Grand View" by Janie Lazo




A GRAND VIEW

Sticky fingerprints
A sweet reminder of you
Window to my heart


© 2018 Janie Lazo. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Julie Fogliano. She has challenged us to stare out the window and write a poem about what we see. You might even consider writing something down every day for a week:
At the end of the week, read through what you wrote and write your favorite bits on a separate piece of paper. I bet there will be a poem in there somewhere… see if you can find it.  – J. F.
Leave your poem on our May 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration tomorrow, Friday, May 25th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her stunning new picture book from Roaring Brook Press:






Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DMC: "Daily Squirrel" by Suzy Levinson




DAILY SQUIRREL

This squirrel knows where I live.
This squirrel knows who I am.
Every day
he seems to say,
"I'd like one peanut, ma'am."

He stares into my house.
He stares and scratches fleas.
Every day
he seems to say,
"Ahem? One peanut, please."


© 2018 Suzy Levinson. All rights reserved.




Click HERE to read this month's interview with Julie Fogliano. She has challenged us to stare out the window and write a poem about what we see. You might even consider writing something down every day for a week:
At the end of the week, read through what you wrote and write your favorite bits on a separate piece of paper. I bet there will be a poem in there somewhere… see if you can find it.  – J. F.
Leave your poem on our May 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, May 25th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her stunning new picture book from Roaring Brook Press:






Tuesday, May 22, 2018

DMC: "Lake Reflections" by Mindy Gars Dolandis




LAKE REFLECTIONS

Sky welcomes morning
Cornflower and cumulus
Mirrored down below

Afternoon sparkles
Dance upon charcoal water
Sunshiny diamonds

Sunset upon glass
A brilliant double image
Coral rose lilac

Deepening twilight
Horizon disappearing
Ochre indigo

Midnight ebony
Crescent moon a tilted smile
Twinkling Polaris


© 2018 Mindy Gars Dolandis. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Julie Fogliano. She has challenged us to stare out the window and write a poem about what we see. You might even consider writing something down every day for a week:
At the end of the week, read through what you wrote and write your favorite bits on a separate piece of paper. I bet there will be a poem in there somewhere… see if you can find it.  – J. F.
Leave your poem on our May 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, May 25th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her stunning new picture book from Roaring Brook Press:






Monday, May 21, 2018

DMC: "Pollen" by Jesse Anna Bornemann




POLLEN

Springtime brings a mating dance
For certain lush, seed-bearing plants:
“Knock, knock!” one says. “A suitor’s callin’!”
“Can’t offer wealth…but I’ve got pollen!”
And though this gift upon the breeze
Makes human lovebirds snort and sneeze,
It works quite well to woo a rose
Whose heart’s not burdened by a nose.


© 2018 Jesse Anna Bornemann. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Julie Fogliano. She has challenged us to stare out the window and write a poem about what we see. You might even consider writing something down every day for a week:
At the end of the week, read through what you wrote and write your favorite bits on a separate piece of paper. I bet there will be a poem in there somewhere… see if you can find it.  – J. F.
Leave your poem on our May 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, May 25th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her stunning new picture book from Roaring Brook Press:






Thursday, May 17, 2018

In case you didn't know, I am IMPERFECT


"Escape" by Amelia Whelan


Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.

                    – Ralph Waldo Emerson


This Emerson quote is my favorite from Imperfect: Poems About Mistakes: An Anthology for Middle Schoolers, edited by Tabatha Yeatts. It's one of several that are scattered throughout the collection, interspersed with 70 poems by 50 poets (many of whom will be familiar to TLD readers). I'm honored to be among them.

Visit the Team Imperfect blog for purchasing links.
Not all of the poems in Imperfect are about life lessons. You'll find the full gamut—mistakes born from ignorance or naiveté; mistakes that lead to invention, pain, or laughter; silly and fanciful poems about mistake-making; poems about self-discovery and finding one's place in the world; and yes, poems about life lessons and how we move on from them. You'll also find a thoughtful introduction by Tabatha, and useful back matter about making good decisions, apologizing effectively, and a few poetic forms readers can try.

It's fantastic that this anthology addresses middle schoolers directly. Has anyone come out of those awkward, uncomfortable years unscathed? I know I didn't. I do hope teachers, parents, and other caregivers will recognize that this anthology will be helpful to more than just middle schoolers, however. Judging by my children's experiences, I'd say it more accurately spans 4th grade to 9th grade.

The take home here is to make sure Imperfect is ready and waiting for whenever it's needed—that moment when a child reaches out to a book, rather than a person, for private reassurance. Chances are, it will happen.

Reading numerous reviews that have popped up from week to week (I particularly enjoyed this interview with Tabatha), I've been deliberating over which of my Imperfect poems I'd like to share. The one I keep coming back to is "To the boy playing with his army men on the front lawn," but to be honest, I've been reluctant. It's the most personal of the three, by far. Mistakes are hard to confess to when they happen, but sometimes they're even difficult to own up to decades later! It's one thing to see my poem on the page, but another entirely to talk about it openly in a blog post. My reluctance is why I know I must.

TO THE BOY PLAYING WITH HIS ARMY
MEN ON THE FRONT LAWN:

They say that everyone is fighting some kind of battle,
but I have no good excuse for my surprise attack—
a ride-by on bicycle, words flung like a grenade.
I wanted to hear the pop of the pin,
taste the insult in my mouth,
feel my heart pound in the moments before the blast.
And then it was done.
(I couldn't take it back.)
I pedal away feeling like the enemy—
even to myself.

                    – Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

Part of the reason I've been reluctant to share this poem is because the backstory involves more than just myself.

It involves the victim, of course, but I can be fairly sure of protecting his anonymity since I don't even recall his name. If I replay the event in my mind (which I have, over and over), the words weren't all that demeaning. Despite him looking up when I passed, I'm not even sure he clearly heard what I said or thought much about it. He might have—I didn't stick around long enough to find out. But I know very well what I intended. It wasn't about the words. It was the fact that I spontaneously made a choice to hurt his feelings, and the cutting manner in which I put him down.

What makes this mistake particularly difficult to talk about is the fact that it also involves someone I love and care about—my brother. Four years my senior, we were never all that close growing up. We didn't even attend the same schools at the same time. But those who knew my family back then might recall that he struggled to find his place at school—he was teased and bullied. And, by the way, he played with miniature army men. Back then, lots of children grew up playing war. Still do, I imagine.

Jay Javier

Although my brother was not the direct victim of my ride-by attack, he was the indirect, unknowing victim. Ultimately this poem is about my own insecurity. Even though we never went to school together, when you grow up in a small suburb, word gets around among students. Especially students with siblings. And fear is a powerful motivator. Despite the fact that I did "fit in" socially, I was afraid that if I ever stuck up for my older brother, I would bear the consequences. So what did I do? In this instance, I took out my fear of being bullied on someone else. I became the bully. For someone who values compassion as highly as I do, this was a tough pill to swallow. I still feel the heartburn.

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. (Not all bullying stories do.) My brother turned out fine despite his social struggles at school—something else that's incredibly important for middle schoolers to hear! He turned out better than fine, actually. I'm so proud of the way he's challenged himself throughout his life, his many notable achievements, the respect he garners from his peers, and his incredible ability to create opportunities for himself. Most of all, I'm proud to be his sister.

* * Enter to win a hardcover copy of Imperfect at The Children's Book Review. * * 


I know it doesn't seem fair (I haven't gotten around to writing mine yet either), but believe it or not, there's only one week to go before our wrap-up celebration of window poems! This week's featured ditties included work by Rebekah Hoeft, Donna JT Smith, Dianne Moritz, and Rosi Hollinbeck. Linda Mitchell, Linda Baie, and Jone Rush MacCulloch share poems today at their own blogs. Don't forget to leave your window poem on our May 2018 padlet!



Rebecca Herzog has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Sloth Reads, along with a fabulous review and giveaway of I'm Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith. (Yep. The same award-winning Lane Smith who illustrated this month's DMC featured book: a house that once was!)