Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tanka, TOASTS, and Total Madness


"Spring" by Sera Photography


Well, helloooo!  

It seems Spring has decided she's going to arrive after all.


In honor of that fact, I decided to write a tanka about winter. (Huh?) Florida style. It's my contribution for Margarita Engle's Ditty of the Month Club challenge, as well as Carol Varsalona's upcoming Winter Whisperings gallery.

(Now that it's not so frigid anymore, I hope you'll be less likely to pelt me with rotten oranges after reading it!)



I featured four other tanka this week by Margaret Simon, NoNieqa Ramos, Charles Waters, and Linda Baie. Margarita and I are both delighted with what we've seen so far, and there are plenty more on tap!

Speaking of "on tap"... look what else has arrived!


I just received my contributor copies for this lovely little book, where I'm honored to share page space with Charles Ghigna and many others.

For nearly 20 years, June Cotner has been the go-to for blessings, housewarmings, new babies, graces and all of life's rites of passage.  Here, she joins forces with poet and author Nancy Tupper Ling to find the right words for every event.  Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion is the essential reference for any milestone where one needs to raise a glass.

Organized by category, this book contains famous sayings as well as lesser-known, original toasts for nearly every occasion under the sun. Inspiring and reflective, humorous and uplifting, you're bound to find just the right combination of words and tone to suit your needs. The book also contains a brief "Guide to Toasting" which includes key elements, presentation tips, and a few notes on etiquette to help those who lack confidence.

I have two selections in this book. Some of you may already be familiar with one of them, since I shared it for Mother's Day in 2013.  Today, with Charles' permission (Thank you, Charles!), I'd like to share something of his instead... something we NEED to hear:

A TOAST TO SPRING

Bumblebees buzz,
Mockingbirds sing;
Hummingbirds hum–
Welcome Spring!

–Charles Ghigna

HEAR, HEAR!


Now, I know many of you are poets yourselves, and rarely at a loss for words. But I bet you might know someone who would benefit from this book!  That's why I've decided to offer a random giveaway of one of my copies.
If you're interested in entering to win, please let me know in the comments to this post, or reply to one of my messages about the giveaway on Facebook. 
The winner will be announced next week.


Finally, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my poem in Round 1 of the March Madness children's poetry tournament. Here it is, for those of you who may have missed it:

          GOAT GARDENERS

          If your lawn is an unruly sight,
          what you need is a KID’s appetite.
          Call I-M-A-GOAT and ask for a quote.
          We freelance – just pennies per bite.

          Forget all that poisonous spray!
          Leave US to your weedy buffet.
          Goats never pollute and we’re awfully cute,
          so act now and CALL US TODAY!


          © 2015 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.

It's so exciting to be moving on to Round 2, but before I do, I'm glad I have the opportunity to publicly acknowledge my talented Round 1 opponent, Marcus Ewert, and his beautiful, "impromptu" tribute to Spring.  Keep your eyes peeled for his new rhyming picture book, MUMMY CAT, out this July. I know I will – it looks adorable!

Back in 2013, March Madness was the event that first introduced me to the children's poetry community and the catalyst for me to start Today's Little Ditty.  I was taken with so many of the vibrant children's poems in that year's competition, not the least of which were Marcus'. I honestly believe that it was knowing who I was up against this year that helped me to rise to the occasion and write a poem that I probably would not have otherwise written. Thank you, Marcus! And of course to Mr. Madness, himself – Ed DeCaria.

Next round, I'll be up against the fabulous Kathryn D. Harrison who blew me away with her first round poem, "MISSING:".  I'm as excited as anyone to find out what she has to offer in Round 2!  I hope you will continue to show your support for this fun competition. Every vote you cast is a vote for children's poetry. You can follow along with the competition at Think Kid Think.

Okay. I'm done blabbing now.


Please join Laura Shovan at Author Amok for today's Poetry Friday roundup and also a preview of her "dressed up" National Poetry Month project. 




39 comments:

  1. Well, Michelle, this post is filled to the brim, today. Congratulations on your moving to Round two. I agree that you had some competition with Marcus's poem. Best wishes next round! I like your tanka, a bit of a flinging down of the gauntlet with that final line. And the toast book looks wonderful, Charles' poem is just right! Thanks for the springy post!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I'm all for flinging gauntlets as necessary. :)

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  2. Well done, Michelle! Congratulations on the tanka, toasts, and the madness move.

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    1. Thanks Diane. I appreciate the kind words of support!

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  3. Congrats on moving on to Round 2, Michelle! If I keep repeating Charles' toast to spring, maybe the weather will get the hint.

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    1. Thanks, Laura. Wishing you sunny, warm days ahead!

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  4. I love this whole festive post, especially the tanka!

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    1. Thanks for the inspiration to write my first ever, Margarita!

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  5. What a cheery post, Michelle! Many congratulations. I like the simple turn of "at midday we roll our sleeves."

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  6. Lots of good stuff here -- congrats on moving on to Round 2, and for your contributions to the new book TOASTS! Of course you know I love your tanka with its coffee and oranges. Here's to Spring!

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    1. Would love to take you to our local farmer's market one day, Jama!

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  7. My brain is buzzing from all the poetic treats in this post, Michelle! I'd love a copy of TOASTS. It would be a perfect gift. Thank you so much for all the gifts you share with us each week!

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    1. You're sweet, Catherine. :) Thanks always for the friendly drop-by!

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  8. Wonderful tanka (okay, I'll pelt you with oranges for that sleeve-rolling line!) Love your goat poem and am looking forward to reading what you come up with in round 2!

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    1. I'd rather be pelted with oranges than ham and swiss on rye. Love your new word for round two – sandwiched. Can't wait to see what you do with it!

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  9. Congrats on the win. I'd love a copy of Toasts. And I need your goats for my blackberries.

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    1. I'm sure blackberry bushes are one of their favorite treats!

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  10. Many congratulations for all your accomplishments! I enjoyed your tanka, but we're still waiting for spring to come here. : ) Go get 'em in Round 2!

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    1. Thanks Linda. Sending a little Florida sunshine your way....

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  11. My students are voting in MMPoetry. Woah, what a competition. It was quite an effort to read them all and decide. Some heated discussions and one student ended up burying himself in a corner. (The vote didn't go his way.) I am excited that you have advanced. All my best!

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    1. Oh, the drama! I'm sure your classroom would make for an awesome educational reality tv show. :) Loved your scrambler poem, Margaret... it's a shame that non-rhymers always seem to be at a disadvantage in this competition. :(

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  12. Congratulations on making it to round 2!! Your poem is charming. I laughed out loud at "just pennies per bite." Bites are cheap for goats! I think you got the goats' voice.

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    1. Thanks, Karin! Always fun to spend some quality time with goats. :)

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  13. That's a perfectly Charles poem, so cute. And yours is fab. I loved reading Marcus's poetry in previous years you won a tough match. I'm sorry I only made it through about a third of the poems. I'll get on it for Round 2. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for the luck, Catherine! The first round is always tough with SO many poems to read through.

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  14. Congratulations on all the wonderful news in this post, Michelle! I'm cheering for you in round 2!

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  15. Great post. You can also never go wrong by including a poem from Father Goose. Yes to the giveaway as well!

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    1. And this book has over ten Father Goose poems, Charles, so you REALLY can't go wrong!

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  16. I love your tanka, Michelle. You always know how to bring a poem home in the last line, which is also evident in your mother poem. I'm so excited about your pieces in TOASTS - hooray! Please enter me in the drawing!

    I loved everything about this post. Thanks for sharing Charles' poem as well - he never fails to please with his wonderful words. See you in Round 2, my friend!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Renée. :) I can hear your lyrical wheels turning and can't wait to see what you come up with in round two!

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  17. Nice post, Michelle. I didn't realize you were so new to blogging or that you started because of MMPoetry -- you seem like a pro! -Ed

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    1. Thanks Ed. I had been writing for a few years already, but MMPoetry was where I discovered my flock, and creating the blog was my means of connecting. Happy to say it worked. :)

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  18. Congrats on the move to round two in MMPoetry! I remember the excitement (and stress) well!!

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  19. Love this hodge podge of poetry goodness. The tanka this month have been inspiring. I'm still working on mine!

    Congrats on moving on to round 2. As you know, I loved your goat poem.

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    1. Congrats to you too, Tricia! Round two, here we come....

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  20. Your winter tanka would fit perfectly in the desert - except the "doggie sweaters" - it doesn't get that cold but one day a year. Congrats on your contributions to TOASTS and for your Round One win...looking forward to reading your Round Two brilliance! =)

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