Friday, September 27, 2013

My Sister's First Haircut

There are consequences for our actions...

and few childhood pastimes drive that lesson home 
like playing hairdresser.

Who else remembers the Crissy dolls from the early '70s, with hair that "grows and grows"?
Crissy Doll
Denise Van Patten
She had a pony tail that you could pull out while pressing a button on her tummy, and wind back in by twisting the knob on her back.

Well, I cut it off.  Her pony tail.  Cut it. Right. Off.

And guess what?  It did not grow back.  Darn you, Ideal Toy Corporation!  This was not my ideal toy by a long stretch.

Fast forward 30 years when my daughter, Miranda, was born with lots of dark, straight hair, just like her mommy.  But then something miraculous (and possibly hormonal) happened-- her hair grew out in soft, loose curls.  The kind her mommy always wanted, but was never lucky enough to have.  Her doctor said it wouldn't last, but I vowed then and there that I would not be responsible for cutting it off.

(Dylan, if you're reading this, please don't feel bad... I forgave you long ago, and am since grateful for the little ditty that came of it!)


Today I cut my sister’s hair
(she told me to, you see)
but then my mother had a fit—
not at her, but me!
She said I should know better
since my sister’s only three.
So I just sighed and said, “Okay…
this time the cut is free.”

© 2008 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes.  All rights reserved.

With thanks to Linda Baie, whose "15 word or less" poem on Laura Purdie Salas' blog yesterday inspired today's post.

Oh, do you want to be inspired too?  Well then head over to The Poem Farm, where Amy has today's Poetry Friday roundup!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Two Line Tuesday: Khaled Hosseini

Palestinian Refugee Child's Self Portrait *

Children aren't coloring books.
You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors.

-Khaled Hosseini 

*From Art of Palestinian Refugee Children.  Artwork photographed by Andrew Courtney.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Who's up for putt-putt?

Welcome to Miniature Golf Week at Today's Little Ditty!  Didn't know it was Miniature Golf Week?  Neither did I until Laura Shovan enlightened me, bless her heart.  Actually she just told me about Miniature Golf Day, which is TOMORROW people-- get your putt on!  Miniature Golf Week was entirely my doing.  Laura was the featured poet in Limerick Alley this past Tuesday, starting us off with a delightfully goofy, golf-related ditty.  But now I'm taking that ball and running with it... well, actually whacking at it with a club and hoping for the best.

Today's little ditty draws upon memories of our own family mini golf outings, when my children were but wee munchkins with nothing to lose but their competitive spirit.

Golf Day

I pick a club that’s just my size
and ball so bright it hurts my eyes,
then place it on the perfect spot
to give that ball a great big swat!

Swing once… a miss.
Swing twice… just air.
The third time, with a bit more care…



                                      It hits the wall,

Oh no you don’t!
I won’t be beat.
Don’t need the club,
I’ll use my feet
to kick
              and chase you
                                        to the hole….

                                                                 At last
                                                                 that ball




My da says, “That’s not how it’s done,”
but he’s just sore because I won.

© 2013 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes.  All rights reserved.

Tabatha Yeatts holds the score card today at The Opposite of Indifference, so check out all the players in the Poetry Friday roundup.  Mini pencils for all!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Limerick Alley: Laura Shovan

Although some of you are still recuperating from last Friday, here we are, back in the Alley with another limerick.  I wouldn't normally post two limericks within a few days of each other, but today is special.  It's special in two ways, actually.  First and foremost, it's special because of the inspiring person and poet I am lucky enough to feature today: Laura Shovan.

Over the past few months, I've gotten to know Laura through our interactions on Poetry Friday and the aspects of her life that she reveals on her blog, Author Amok.  But when I visited Laura's website to dig up a little more about her, I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.  Besides being an author and very cool, down-to-earth person, Laura is a children's poetry advocate as well.  Her alter ego is the popular Mrs. Poems, who delights in teaching poetry workshops in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Maryland.  In 2010, she was awarded the inaugural Clarinda Harriss Poetry Prize, and word on the street has it that she's never turned down a limerick challenge either!

Laura is also the emissary of wacky holidays, which is the second reason why today is special.  Did you know that this Saturday, September 21st, is Miniature Golf Day?  No?  I didn't either.  But thanks to Laura, now I do, and you do too.  What's more, we're going to one-up that at Today's Little Ditty and make this Miniature Golf Week, ha HA!

So without further ado, here is Laura's Miniature Golf Day limerick:

                   My Day-Glo green ball just got stuck
                   in the throat of a big concrete duck.
                   If I reach down its bill,
                   knock my ball down the hill,
                   I might find years of Mini Golf muck.

                   © 2013 Laura Shovan.  All rights reserved.

Lilliput Gooney
This little ditty may have put Lilliput Gooney on edge, but I think it's just ducky!  

Thank you so much for visiting Limerick Alley, Laura, and for quacking us up with today's little ditty.

If you would like to join in the fun and have a limerick featured here in the future, please contact me at Michelle (at) MichelleHBarnes (dot) com, or by commenting below. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

It's Friday the 13th at Limerick Alley

It seems like just yesterday Bridget lost a digit in Limerick Alley, and now here comes more bad news.  Sorry about this folks, but when Friday the 13th meets Poetry Friday, I am left with no choice.  My inner child turns into a little freak that runs through the house with scissors.

                        With love, from Sinclaire

                        Sinclaire lived a life of extremes—
                        this nightmarish girl of my dreams.
                        She swore without doubt,
                        “love you inside and out,”
                        as she ripped me apart at the seams.

                        © 2013 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes.  All rights reserved.

Secret confession here:  I really don't like horror all that much.  I've never picked up a Stephen King novel in my life, and I'm a complete wuss when it comes to scary movies.  And yet, as a children's writer, I enjoy the shock factor of writing in this genre occasionally.  So what's with that? 

If you, too, share a fascination for children's horror, you should check out Underneath the Juniper Tree.  This free online magazine is the love child of Bree Ogden (Managing Editor) and Rebekah Joy Plett (Art Director), and specializes in supporting new artists and writers in children's horror.  They "aim to promote the most creatively fantastical and darkly neurotic literature that has been much loved over the centuries and will be loved for centuries to come."  I am pleased as frothy punch that Return to Sender will be included in Underneath the Juniper Tree's forthcoming Halloween issue.

For more dangerous fun, check out Teach Mentor Texts, where Jen is collecting specimens for today's Poetry Friday roundup.  Mwah-hah-hah!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Colours: Poetry in Action from The Poetry Project

This week I discovered The Poetry Project: Poetry and Art from Ireland.  This nationally-sponsored website offers weekly pairings of a video and poem by leading and emerging Irish artists and writers.  The hope is that visitors to the site from around the world will "discover Ireland through different eyes" and "be moved, inspired, enthralled."  

Sadly, next week will be the project's last, but they are culminating with a "finale competition" to write a poem in response to any of the videos posted in the archive.  I don't know if you need to be from Ireland in order to enter, but more information about that contest that can be found here if you want to throw something together before September 16th.  Even if you don't enter, I promise you won't regret having a look around.

The video/poem I chose to highlight as today's little ditty spoke to me with all of its delicious layers of color, sound, and meaning.  According to the artist, Nick Miller, much of his work focuses on the experience of "meeting."  Here, his short time-lapse film records the artist's painted meeting with the text of John F. Deane's poem, "The Colours." (Click the link below the picture to view the video and poem.)

For more colors of the day, please join host and friend, Laura Shovan, for the Poetry Friday roundup at Author Amok.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Musing: Labor Day


Without labor...

Grape workers, by Tomas Castelazo via Wikimedia Commons

                                                                    nothing prospers.

                                                                                        - Sophocles