Thursday, April 28, 2016

April DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway

"Echo" by Louise Leclerc

Could it be?

Another National Poetry Month come and gone in the blink of a Florida springtime.

At least the echoes linger on... on... on...

"Echo" by picccus

At the beginning of the month, Marilyn Singer challenged us to write poems inspired by the word "echo." The result was a resounding success! Echoes of nature mingled with echoes of humanity to create a melodious collection of poetic refrains.

Although it was not required, several of you also challenged yourselves to write a reverso, the poetic form used in Marilyn's latest collection of poetry based on Greek myths: ECHO ECHO. Kudos to those who were brave enough to try such a difficult form! While not all of the attempts were "true" reversos—telling a story from two different points of view—the repetition lent itself beautifully to the echo theme.

Many thanks to ALL of you who let your voice be heard this month, and of course to Marilyn for providing us with the prompt and inspiration.

All poems are copyright 2016 (unless otherwise noted) and published with permission of the authors, who control all rights.

by Brenda Davis Harsham

Anyone who falters to a stop,
mid breath, and
lets her words breathe,
then echo,
then die,
is a poet.

Splash your words,
on a page,
flowery or stark,
happy or dark,
make your mark.
Let them tell
their own tale
during this Month
of Poetic Madness.

I hope this April
brings you breathless
to May,
unwilling to stop,
the die cast,
the step taken,
hesitation forgotten,
your voice found,
and admired.

     by Jessica Bigi
Illustration by Jessica Bigi

We were born near blue oceans—
Green sea turtles emerging from eggs
Flipper digging brown-white sands
Following footsteps of other turtles
Into blue rolling waters

Oceans of squids and krill
Blue whales emerging into light
From deep purple depth into light
Oceans of seaweed and seahorses

We were born in lakes
Shimmering lakes—
Lakes of bluegills and pink waterlilies
Buzzing purple-green wing water nymphs

We were born near lakes
Lakes of water spiders and minnows
Blue herons standing in
Lakes of seagulls and bass

We were born in rivers
Rivers of tadpoles and salamanders
Rainbow troughs
Rivers of ducks and crayfish

We were born on the land
Deer running through fields
Drinking from rivers

We were born in the forest
Firs, oak and ash
We breathe life into the air
oak and ash

We were born in the sky
Blue-blue sky
Eagle soaring

Photo by Molly Hogan
                         SCILLA DANCES
                              by Molly Hogan
                         With dainty, slippered stamens,
                         dipped in electric blue,
                         Scilla dances
                         in the cool spring breeze,
                         each petal a marvel
                         as it bursts into bloom.
                         One single flower
                         a watercolor world.
                         A watercolor world
                         one single flower
                         as it bursts into bloom,
                         each petal a marvel.
                         In the cool spring breeze,
                         Scilla dances,
                         dipped in electric blue,
                         with dainty, slippered stamens.

Screenshot from the film Microcosmos by Jacque Perrin.
               CATERPILLAR WALK
                    by Margaret Simon

               Creepy crawly caterpillar
               munch munch
               munching milkweed
               at tremendous speed.

               Life changes
               creeping, crawling
               leaf to leaf.

                                                                                                                      Sunlight glimmers
                                                                                                                      on fuzzy bristles.
                                                                                                                      I zig-zag stitch
                                                                                                                      a silkthread path
                                                                                                                      leaf to leaf.

                                                                                                                      Leaf to leaf
                                                                                                                      a silkthread path
                                                                                                                      I zig-zag stitch
                                                                                                                      on fuzzy bristles.

                                                                                                                      Sunlight glimmers
                                                                                                                      leaf to leaf.
                                                                                                                      Creeping crawling

                                                                                                                      Life changes
                                                                                                                      at tremendous speed.
                                                                                                                      Munching milkweed
                                                                                                                      Munch, munch
                                                                                                                      creepy, crawly caterpillar

by Lani (4th grade)

Water whirls
Against the waterfront
Beneath the sun, beneath the moon
Throughout our spiral galaxy
Water Rotates, Water Rises
Under gold sun, Under white moon

Under gold sun, Under white moon
Water rotates, Water rises
Throughout our spiral galaxy
Beneath the sun, Beneath the moon
Against the waterfront
Water whirls

BAT         and         MOTH    – a poem for two voices by Buffy Silverman

I flit I fly
                                                  I flit I fly
beating wings
                                                  beating wings
in the moonlight.
                                                  in the moonlight.

I beep I listen
                                                  You beep I hear
echoes bounce
                                                  warning sounds
in the moonlight.
                                                  in the moonlight.

I dive I chase
                                                  I dive I flee
hungry still
                                                  safe for now
in the moonlight.
                                                  in the moonlight.

                                                                                                                   by Maria Gianferrari

                                                                                                              Your eyes can see,
                                                                                                              your ears can hear,
                                                                                                              your nose can smell,
                                                                                                              things that you touch,
                                                                                                              your hands can tell.

                                                                                                              Bats ears are eyes,
                                                                                                              they see with sound.
                                                                                                              Bouncing echoes,
                                                                                                              off walls and ground.

                                                                                                              And dolphins too,
                                                                                                              use sound to know.
                                                                                                              They ripple waves,
                                                                                                              follow the flow.

                                                                                                              Cave swiftlets dart,
                                                                                                              where there’s no light.
                                                                                                              They nest on walls,
                                                                                                              steer through the night.

                                                                                                              And when you’re next
                                                                                                              out in the night,
                                                                                                              listen for sounds
                                                                                                              to use for sight!

                              ECHOES FULL OF KNOWING
                                   by Violet Nesdoly

                              I look a lot like little mouse
                              little mouse with wings.
                              At dark leave attic of your house
                              to hunt for creepy things.

                              I swoop and swirl, dive and glide
                              but hardly use my sight,
                              prefer in dim moon-shade to hide
                              while scrounging food at night.

                              I have the rare ability
                              to somehow find my way
                              with sound waves and agility,
                              don’t need the light of day.

                              Sing little notes so high and fast
                              you humans cannot hear them.
                              Know when mosquitoes, moths fly past,
                              with my sharp teeth I spear them.

                              My little songs come back to me
                              in echoes full of knowing.
                              My ears and brain like eyes, you see
                              that tell me where I’m going.

– cbhanek

– cbhanek

– cbhanek

     by Donna JT Smith

I whistle two notes -
I hear in a tree
Sung to me.

I mimic ‘whoo-whooo’
At night to the owl
That fowl
Returns howl.

I sing to the dog
All frenzied and stout
Lifts her snout
Yaps doubt.

I say ‘hey, there, cat!’
He me-yowls a slur -
His purr -
“Pat my fur.”

Returning a nuzzle
In whinnies or neighs
Are ways
Horse replays.

I speak, they reply
I hear their echoes
Each knows
How it goes.

     by Carol Varsalona


     by Kristi Dee Veitenheimer

Echoes from my past
             Youth...a distant memory
             of times long ago
             I remember how it felt
             embarking on life's journey

Echoes from my past
             Reminding me I’ve come far
             survived...even thrived
             Growing in wisdom and faith
             reflecting on life's meaning

                                                                     empty tunnel
                                                                     calling long
                                                                     hollow hello
                                                                     our own song
                                                                     echoes strong but
                                                                     somehow wrong

                                                                     – Heidi Mordhorst

                                                                                                                LIFE'S ECHO
                                                                                                                     by Robyn Campbell

                                                                                                                Life's echo
                                                                                                                of things removed
                                                                                                                and yet to come
                                                                                                                My life
                                                                                                                a mirror image
                                                                                                                year after
                                                                                                                in my
                                                                                                                slip of tongue
                                                                                                                Will I learn
                                                                                                                probably not
                                                                                                                Life's echo
                                                                                                                rumbles on

                             LAUGHTER ACROSS THE YEARS
                                   by Catherine Flynn

                             Laughter from two little boys
                             echoes across the years:

                             On your first set of wheels
                             you pedal down the garden path,
                             feet pumping
                             hands gripping
                             heart soaring

                             A glint of mischief in your eyes
                             An impish grin across your face

                             your heart soaring
                             hands gripping
                             feet pumping
                             as you pedal down the garden path
                             on your first set of wheels

                             your laughter echoing across the years.

     by Leane Gill

Echo makes a sweet reply,
to the happy tune I sing.
Loneliness passes.
My echo brings a friend.

My echo brings a friend.
Loneliness passes.
To the happy tune I sing,
echo makes a sweet reply. 

– Elizabeth Steinglass

                                                                                                                 by Angelique Pacheco

                                                                                                            The drum beats
                                                                                                            The sound repeats
                                                                                                            Becomes incomplete
                                                                                                            Before it retreats
     by Kathleen Mazurowski

Rumble, Screech
Elevated trains
Echo through
Landscape of
Tall buildings
Hiding the sun.

                                                      ECHO MOUNTAIN
                                                           by Sydney O'Neill

                                                      HEY MOUNTAIN FELLER, ARE YOU HERE?
                                                           HERE, Here, herrrre
                                                      CAN'T SEE YOU—ARE YOU FAR OR NEAR?
                                                           NEAR, Near, nearrrr
                                                      YOU HUNGRY? I HAVE CRACKERS AND CHEESE.
                                                           CHEESE, Cheese, cheeeeese
                                                      OKAY, BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO SAY PLEASE.
                                                           PLEASE, Please, pleasssse
                                                      WELL, COME ON OUT. I WON’T BITE, YOU KNOW.
                                                           KNOW, Know, noooo
                                                      I’LL LEAVE IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE SO SLOW.
                                                           GO, Go, goooo

     by Kate O'Neil (2003)

Where is everyone?
Is anyone near?
Where have they gone?
Can anyone hear?....
No sound at all
but the thud of fear.


There’s no-one here.
No-one but me.
I look and I look
but all I can see
is world-without-end
of the eucalypt tree.


I shout and I call
and all around
the air fills up
with the frantic sound.    
I could die out here
and never be found.


Was that an echo?
or was it real?
I stop and listen,
perfectly still…
and yes – it’s an answer
from up on the hill.


Closer and closer
comes the call,
then “There you are!”
You scared us all.
Thank goodness you’re saved
by the coo-ee call.”

                                                          IN THE MOUNTAINS
                                                               by Jone Rush MacCulloch
                                                               with a line from "Narcissus and Echo" by Marilyn Singer

                                                          In the mountains
                                                          I lift my head and yell
                                                          to the sky,
                                                          Leave me,
                                                          Foolish pursuer.

                                                          I listen for the echo.

                                                          I listen for the echo.
                                                          Foolish pursuer,
                                                          Leave me

                                                          to the sky.
                                                          I lift my head and yell
                                                          in the mountains.

                                                                                                                 by Mindy Gars Dolandis

                                                                                                            E very time I try to forget
                                                                                                            C losing the heartbreak door
                                                                                                            H aunting conversations repeat
                                                                                                            O pening wounds from before
                                                                                                            E ver present reverberations
                                                                                                            S tubbornly stuck in my core

     by Janie Lazo

My words repeat again and again.
My lonely call resounds across the hills.
My voice begs - hear me- hear me- hear me.
I feel the breeze carry my words.
It matters not to whom I call.
It hinders not if none shall hear the beauty of my voice
my cry will ride the curves of hillsides far.
An echo of life- waiting to be heard.

An echo of life waiting to be heard,
my cry will ride the curves of hillsides far.
It hinders not if none shall hear the beauty of my voice.
It matters not to whom I call,
I feel the breeze carry my words.
My voice begs- hear me- hear me- hear me.
My lonely call resounds across the hills.
My words repeat again and again.

– Diane Mayr

Inspired to write one of your own?
Better hurry! You have until tomorrow, April 30th, to send your echo poem to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right.

Participants in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a copy of ECHO ECHO, by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse (Dial Books, 2016). One entry per participant, not per poem.

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below. Comments must be received no later than Tuesday, May 3rd. If you contribute a poem and comment below, you will receive two entries in total.

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday, May 6th, when we reveal our new Spotlight ON interview and ditty challenge. Good luck!

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Before I go, one more thank you to those who participated in last week's Five for Friday party in honor of William Shakespeare. It was a grand affair with over two dozen 5-word ditties ranging from profound to hilarious and everything in between.

Buffy Silverman is hosting our final Poetry Friday roundup during NPM 2016 with a swampy serenade. See you over at Buffy's Blog!