Thursday, September 25, 2014

September DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway

At the beginning of this month, Irene Latham challenged us to "go wild" writing a poem of address– animal to animal, animal to some other part of the natural world (moon, tree, lake...), or natural world to animal.

Well, it happened again.  The difficulty of this monthly challenge took me by surprise.
Write a poem of address, how hard can that be?  I talk to animals and inanimate objects all the time! 
Hmm... maybe you didn't need to know that.
Somehow I missed that Irene was not asking me to do the talking at all.  What Irene was challenging us to do was actually a three step process:

      1. Get into the head of an animal or some other part of the natural world.  
What is it like?  What would it say?  How does it think or feel? 
If you wrote a poem at this stage, from the perspective of your chosen subject, it would be a mask poem.  But Irene asked us to go further.
      2. Who does that animal or part of the natural world have a relationship with 
           (ie, another animal or aspect of nature)? 
What is the relationship? How do the two interact? What are the dynamics of the relationship like?
      3. Now you can write a poem where your chosen animal or part of the natural 
           world speaks to the other in the relationship.

I heartily congratulate everyone who found their way through this process and thank you for sharing your creative results! (And thanks again to Irene for such a thought-provoking challenge!)

It's time I let the poems do the talking.

Here are September's poems of address:



Hello, Tree.
Thank you for your upright trunk—
it’s fabulous to sniff.

I love that I don’t have to beg,
when I line you up against my leg
…..and lift.

© 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

                                        ROBIN AND KAT

                                        Robin, oh robin how sweetly you sing,
                                        A lyric of springtime
                                        Awakens the morn.
                                        Robin, oh robin enticing, your beauty,
                                        Enlighten the Earth
                                        As sunlight is born.
                                        Robin, oh robin you preen and you wallow,
                                        As you bathe in the water
                                        By the wood at the pond.
                                        Robin, oh robin preparing for flight,
                                        Through  meadows and valleys
                                        And pastures beyond.
                                        Robin, oh robin come set in the garden,
                                        And tantalize nature
                                        With plumage so rare.
                                        Robin, oh robin gaze into my eyes,
                                        As we lose our self-conscious
                                        In hypnotic stare.
                                        Robin, oh robin you captivate senses,
                                        With feathers of satin
                                        And breast plump and red.
                                        Robin, oh robin a statue you stand,
                                        As Queen Aphrodite
                                        With muse in your head.



                                                                                    You’re tasty too!

                                        © 2014 Jan Gars. All rights reserved.


The summer has flown with your babies.
You’re wondering where you will go.
If you aren’t flying south for the winter,
then visit my open house show.

Come make your home in my branches.
You’ll find splendid places for nests.
I’ve crooks in the limbs for construction.
Please consider moving in as my guests.

I don’t drop my leaves in the autumn;
you’ll keep warm through wintertime chills.
I’m the best boarding house in the forest.
Opening arms to the chirps, cheeps and trills.

© 2014 Linda Baie. All rights reserved.

                                        DR. PLOVER, DDS

                                        open wide:
                                        it’s check up time!
                                        I’ll come inside
                                        to see if you have
                                        tooth decay—
                                        bits of flesh
                                        I’ll eat away.
                                        It seems you haven’t
                                        flossed of late.
                                        That’s good news—
                                        you’re doing great!
                                        Okay, my friend,
                                        they’re good to crunch.
                                        See you next time—
                                        thanks for lunch!

                                        © 2014 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.

                                                                                  BLEEP BEEP, ANDROID DOG

                                                                                  Bleep beep, android dog
                                                                                  can you fetch a bone?
                                                                                  Yes sir, yes sir
                                                                                  before it’s even thrown!
                                                                                  Bleep beep, android dog
                                                                                  will you heel and speak?
                                                                                  Yes sir, yes sir
                                                                                  in Martian, French and Greek
                                                                                  Bleep beep, android dog
                                                                                  will you be my pet?                                                                                    No sir, no sir
                                                                                  I’m not invented yet!

                                                                                  © Carrie L. Clickard. All rights reserved.


My scent is sent
to salute you --

a clear cloud
of praise,

a tribute to you
for my roots,

and veins.

I push out --

my rough edges
reach for your rays,

striving to be
closer to you

all my days.

© 2014 Tabatha Yeatts. All rights reserved.

                                                             O’ NIGHTINGALE

                                                             O’ nightingale how sweetly doth thee sing
                                                             As weeping fragile limbs submit to old
                                                             Thoust warm my blood as porridge staving cold
                                                             Alas thou shalt depart on winter’s wing
                                                             Left hanging life a puppet on a string
                                                             Another moment not besieged by gold
                                                             Nor flight of fate sails sun to devil’s hold
                                                             As death approaching now to whit I cling
                                                             With springtime folly thence ye shall return
                                                             Thoust melody temps cure on deafened ears
                                                             Refreshing Earth from slumber with thy song
                                                             The pungent sound of harmony I yearn
                                                             Await rebirth enlightened by clouds’ tears
                                                             Withstanding just the icy winter long

                                                             © 2014 Jan Gars. All rights reserved.


A leghorn named Manley
The farmer Brown’s pride,
Looked up at the roof
And a rooster he spied.

Ahoy up there, mate,
Are you new to the farm?
I need a vacation,
Would you be the alarm?

The rooster was silent
But swayed back and forth.
This signal to Manley,
His cue to fly north.

Thank you, my friend
I promise you that
I’ll be back very soon.
And, watch out for the cat!

To New York I’m going
To play in the snow.
Please give farmer Brown
A five o’clock crow.

For three days and nights
Not a sound from his beak.
The farmer lay sleeping
The outlook was bleak.

Then Manley returned
To waken the day.
Why haven’t you crowed?
Have you nothing to say?

The rooster just stared                              
And did not make a sound.
He spun in the wind
Knocking Manley around.

Whether vane or a mute
I don’t understand,
But I must wake the farm.

My job is at hand.

Manley strutted and crowed
To raise them from sleep,
The farmer, the horses,
The cows, and the sheep.

The farmer exclaimed,
“What a rest we have had!
But Manley you’re back
And of this we are glad.”

© 2014 Jan Gars. All rights reserved.

Feeling inspired?  You have until Tuesday, 
September 30th, to write your poem of address.

Send it to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com 
or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right.

Everyone who participates in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a personalized copy of Irene's new picture book, DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST And Other Poems from the Water Hole. (One entry per participant, not per poem.)

Alternatively, you may earn an entry into the giveaway by commenting below.  If you contribute a poem and comment below you will earn two entries in total.  Comments must also be received no later than Tuesday, September 30th, 2014.

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday, October 3rd, when we feature our new Spotlight ON interview and ditty challenge.

 Good luck!

Laura Purdie Salas is our host at the Poetry Friday water hole today.  Head over to Writing the World for Kids for this week's roundup.


  1. April's poem, "Dog Park Tree Apostrophe," grabbed me from the start with the mystery in the title--apostrophe? What a hoot!

  2. Yes, Inspired! There are so many good ones but Tabatha's peppermint took me by quiet surprise. Will I have time to try one?...Wait and see!

  3. Your poem and April's both cracked me up. Great job, everyone -- and what an excellent challenge put together by Irene.

  4. Linda's poem really makes an offer that they can't refuse! "I’ve crooks in the limbs for construction./Please consider moving in as my guests." Charming!

  5. I'm inspired by all the creativity here. And April's made me laugh. :-)

  6. Fun to hear the variety of voices in these. So much talent and creativity! My two faves are Linda's and your Dr. Plover DDS. :)

  7. What a great bunch of poems! I love the mix of humor, beauty, slyness... And Linda's Oak Flyer one put me in mind of a favorite Gordon Lightfoot song, which is a sad love song, but uses bird/tree comparison throughout: (The Way I Feel)

  8. So many talented poets - each poem took me in a different, and equally happy, direction. Thanks for sharing, Michelle.

  9. So many creative approaches to this Dr. Plover's anti-flossing campaign. Sorry I didn't have time to play this month!

  10. Each poem is unique and so creative! Hats off to all these poets, Irene for a great challenge, and you, Michelle, for showcasing them. Too fun! = )

  11. What a great challenge and it looks like it was very inspirational!

  12. It was really a fun exercise, Michelle and Irene, so thanks for the opportunity. When a group writes a similar kinds of challenge I can never choose a favorite, but love each one for its style and unique qualities. Cheers to everyone!

  13. Great stuff here. I admire them all.

  14. What a fun challenge! Think I am too late to put together a poem this time, but I look forward to seeing next month's challenge. Thanks for letting me know about the giveway, too.

  15. This is a treasurable collection.

    I'm not going to try to pick a fave - these poems of address delivered the delight & insight each time for this reader.

    But - living in the state where doth the little crocodiles swim now commonly in backyard canals (not near me, but still, in our state) I have to report that I giggled with "Dr. Plover DDS" when he commended the croc on not flossing.

    Appreciations to Michelle & to all the Poets of Direct Address here who each delivered, well.

  16. These are all so clever! I wish our neighbor's rooster would fly north like the one in Jan's poem. Some mornings he starts crowing at 3:30! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Oh my goodness, these are amazing!! Love the humor and imagination... and I knew LInda's was a Linda poem from the very first line. :) Thank you, Michelle, for putting this together. And to all the brave, generous poets -- more more more! xo

  18. What a great challenge, and what fun results!

  19. Wow, quite a challenge! Not sure I can pull it off! And especially not before tomorrow! Tough shutt!

  20. These are wonderful, Michelle! I hope to participate in one of your challenges soon!