Monday, June 24, 2019

DMC: "Turn the World on Its Head: A Reverso" by Jesse Anna Bornemann




TURN THE WORLD ON ITS HEAD: A REVERSO

The world might say:

Look, inside,
I know you have ideas, observations, opinions—
Wait your turn.
There’s no reason to
Be impatient.
Grownups have it under control.
You think
You can solve big problems?
Well, guess what:
You’re only a kid.

But here’s MY view:

You’re only a kid?
Well, guess what:
You can solve big problems.
You think
Grownups have it under control?
Be impatient.
There’s no reason to
Wait your turn.
I know you have ideas, observations, opinions.
Look inside.

© 2019 Jesse Anna Bornemann. All rights reserved.



Click HERE to read this month's interview with Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge. Her challenge this month is to write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know.

Post your poem on our June 2019 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, June 28th. One lucky participant will win a copy of I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending, collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Chris Hsu, available online for preorder, and coming to a bookstore near you on July 2, 2019.





Thursday, June 20, 2019

DMC: "When You Wish upon a Star" by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes


Yuliya Libkina


WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

Hold it loosely,
          say goodbye,
                        let it go—
(it’s fine to cry).

You might not see
that wish again.

But one day,
when a long
lost friend
blows into town
from far away,
ask her
“Would you like to stay?”

Look deeply
in her twinkling
eyes—
                see
if  you can recognize
your wish from many
moons ago,
changed somehow
yet still aglow.

Sometimes
wishes
don’t come true,
                      but others
       will come back
to you.


© 2019 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge. Her challenge this month is to write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know.

Post your poem on our June 2019 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, June 28th. One lucky participant will win a copy of I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending, collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Chris Hsu, available online for preorder, and coming to a bookstore near you on July 2, 2019.





Review for The Best of Today's Little Ditty 2017-2018 is underway! Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in being on this year's ditty committee. As far as this month's challenge goes, our padlet is filling up with some terrific advice poems for children! Featured ditties this week included ones by George Heidenrich, Michelle Kogan, Robyn Campbell, and Linda Baie. Also be sure to check out Carol Varsalona's poem for her granddaughter at Beyond LiteracyLink.


Join Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise for this week's Poetry Friday roundup and a "Clunker Exchange." What a great way to give old words new life!

DMC: "When You Begin" by Linda Baie




WHEN YOU BEGIN (A Skinny Poem)

You will discover pals.
Ignore
seeing
mean-spirited
glares.
Ignore
hearing
put-down
scorn.
Ignore.
Pals will discover you.


© 2019 Linda Baie. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge. Her challenge this month is to write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know.

Post your poem on our June 2019 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, June 28th. One lucky participant will win a copy of I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending, collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Chris Hsu, available online for preorder, and coming to a bookstore near you on July 2, 2019.





Wednesday, June 19, 2019

DMC: "Teach Us" by Robyn Campbell




TEACH US

With one step
from darkness
into the light,
you can teach us. You
can make us see why. You
left your country
riding on your
daddy's shoulders
through gloomy days
and darker nights
to live beside us.
How long did it take?
And how did you sleep?
Was there food to eat?
When did your daddy grow too tired to carry you?
And when did your feet grow too tired to bring you
through?
You can help us see
Teach us.

We want to learn.

© 2019 Robyn Campbell. All rights reserved.



Click HERE to read this month's interview with Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge. Her challenge this month is to write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know.

Post your poem on our June 2019 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, June 28th. One lucky participant will win a copy of I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending, collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Chris Hsu, available online for preorder, and coming to a bookstore near you on July 2, 2019.





Tuesday, June 18, 2019

DMC: "A Kid Forever More" by Michelle Kogan




A KID FOREVER MORE

Be a kid
right now,
this minute–
Nuh-uh you say,
you wanna be
like everyone else,
all grown up.
But now’s the time
to be yourself–
Silly, smart, sassy,
sashaying across a sun-warmed street…
Meek, mellow, musical,
mumbling melodramatic moments…
Seize the opportunity,
follow your passion,
indulge in your daydreams…
Time flies by, and before you know it–
Even grownups wish they could
be a kid
forever
more.

© 2019 Michelle Kogan. All rights reserved.



Click HERE to read this month's interview with Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge. Her challenge this month is to write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know.

Post your poem on our June 2019 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, June 28th. One lucky participant will win a copy of I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending, collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Chris Hsu, available online for preorder, and coming to a bookstore near you on July 2, 2019.





Monday, June 17, 2019

DMC: "Father's Day" by George Heidenrich




FATHER'S DAY

You're little now, but when you grow
what direction will you go?

A fireman, maybe, or a nurse?
Someone who studies the universe?
A dancer, a poet, a Mom or Dad?
You'll always make your Daddy glad.

So love your life, your dreams, your play time,
and don't forget to hug me anytime.

© 2019 George Heidenrich. All rights reserved.



Click HERE to read this month's interview with Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge. Her challenge this month is to write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know.

Post your poem on our June 2019 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, June 28th. One lucky participant will win a copy of I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending, collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Chris Hsu, available online for preorder, and coming to a bookstore near you on July 2, 2019.





Thursday, June 13, 2019

Planning Ahead, Moving Forward, and Celebrating Dads


"Father and Son" by Tuan Hoang Nguyen

Hello Friends—

If you've been hanging around Today's Little Ditty for any length of time, you probably know that I struggle, more or less constantly, to find balance in my life. There's so much I want to do and never enough time for it all!

Organizer Me would be perfectly content planning blog content a year in advance, Family Me wants to be on top of everything and everyone when it comes to taking care of my home and loved ones, while Poet Me wants to be fully present in the moment—giving myself the space to breathe, notice, discover, and play. There are a few others "Me"s I could mention, but I won't bother. Let's just say they resemble toads and I've written about them before (HERE).

As much as I try (and I DO try), I can't seem to satisfy one Me without disappointing others, and unlike the well-balanced duo at the top of this post, patience is not my forte. So I guess I'll have to keep up the juggling act. If I'm going to take on something new, something else has got to give.

Oh, I can hear some of you already—Today's Little Ditty is going on hiatus AGAIN???

NO!  
(Ha! Gotcha!)


The Best of Today's Little Ditty (2017-2018)

One of the things that I've been reluctant to take on is a third volume of the TLD anthology.

Volumes 1 and 2 with beautiful covers by Michelle Kogan and Teresa Robeson.

Not because I don't want to, but because creating these anthologies requires an inordinate amount of work with little, if any, financial benefit. But the thing is, I've never done these books to make money. I do them because they make me proud. YOU make me proud with the way you come back every month with new poems, many of which knock my socks off.

But guess what—I think I've finally figured out a way to manage it! Starting next month, instead of hosting author/editor interviews, I will be sharing READER spotlights—focusing my bright shiny light on . . .


 YOU!

As I first explained back in November, these interviews will be will be less content-heavy than my author/editor spotlights and they will be pretty much self-contained. There will still be ditty challenges each month, but the padlet will be embedded in the blog post itself. I will not be featuring wrap-up celebrations, book giveaways, or daily ditties (though I may still feature a poem, or two or three, each Friday).

I already have a few of these interviews in hand and, let me tell you, the DMC challenges are terrific! My hope is that while we can continue to have fun writing poetry together, we will also have a grand old time getting to know one another. What's more, this should free up enough of my time to work on the next anthology. WIN-WIN-WIN!

I'll return to hosting author and editor interviews once my workload lightens, but even then, the reader spotlights won't be going away completely. They will be ongoing, interspersed with the more formal spotlights.  

Are you interested in being featured in a reader spotlight? If so, I invite you to complete this form

And one more invitation for you:

Would you like to be on my ditty committee?

What's a "ditty committee"?

"Ditty committee" is what I call the group of ten individuals who will help me decide which poems from our roster of challenges should appear in our next TLD anthology. (Actually, to be honest, the committee does most of the deciding. I try to keep out of it as much as possible.)

Volume 3 will include the following 12 challenges:

  • Personified feeling poems (Jeannine Atkins)
  • Ode poems (Helen Frost)
  • Comparison poems (Melissa Manlove)
  • Abecedarian poems (Carole Boston Weatherford)
  • Spooky poems (Carrie Clickard)
  • Poems that find beauty (Carol Hinz)
  • Epitaph poems (J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen)
  • Golden Shovels (Nikki Grimes)
  • Dinosaur poems (Deborah Bruss and Matt Forrest Esenwine)
  • Window poems (Julie Fogliano)
  • Poems with questions (Naomi Shihab Nye)
  • Anthropomorphic poems (Calef Brown)

Are decisions made as a group?

Yes and no. Although committee members share a common set of criteria and guidelines, each person on the committee will be assigned six challenges to review. Poems are reviewed individually, not as a group discussion. I am the only one who sees all of the recommendations, consolidates them, and makes final decisions on which poems should appear based on overall results.

What kind of time commitment are we talking about?

The review process takes place from mid-June through mid-July. Within that time frame, committee members can review challenges at their own pace. Any committee members who complete their assigned challenges and are keen to do more are encouraged to do so!

Interested?

Please contact me via email at TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com.


Now how about some poetry? 

Today I'm sharing three poems that feature dads.

simpleinsomnia












Father's Day is Sunday, of course, and this year I have not planned ahead. I'm delighted that my parents will be arriving tomorrow (it's their 58th wedding anniversary on Monday as well),  but since the visit was a last minute decision, I'm not exactly prepared. I don't have gifts for either occasion! Do you have a favorite poem to suggest? I'd love to hear your recommendations in the comments.

Although these three poems about fathers are favorites of mine, and each reflects a certain aspect of my dad, none of them accurately portrays our father-daughter relationship. I should probably write my own poem for that, but, well, juggling. Maybe next year.


Advice
          by Dan Gerber

You know how, after it rains,
my father told me one August afternoon
when I struggled with something
hurtful my best friend had said,
how worms come out and
crawl all over the sidewalk
and it stays a big mess
a long time after it’s over
if you step on them?

                              Read the rest HERE.


Recalculating
          by C. Wade Bentley

So Google Maps has me somewhere west of Evanston,
Wyoming, telling me that to get to the gas station where
my daughter and her broken-down Subaru are waiting
for me, I need to go straight for two miles through a quarter-
mile dead-end trailer park. This is the young woman
with whom, some Sunday mornings, I have coffee
and a game of chess as an excuse to get caught up
on her life and the status of her sobriety. It’s not much
of a game. I’m a reactive and distracted player and more
interested in the new medicine she has found in an online
Russian pharmacy than the fact that her horsey has me
in a rook-king fork because I failed to castle while the castling
was good.

                              Read the rest HERE.


Seeing and Believing
          by Edwin Romond

The girls giggled
but the boys laughed right out loud
when Mrs. Stone raged crimson
holding my eighth grade project:
"The Map of New Jersey."
"Get up here, boy!"
and I had no choice
but to walk the gangplank to her desk
where my map choked in her fist.

                              Read the rest HERE.


Mirza Asad Baig

Happy Father's Day!



Karen Boss has challenged us to write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know. This week's daily ditties were by Margaret Simon, Kathleen Mazurowski, and Diane Mayr (plus some musical inspiration from Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens). Add yours to our June 2019 padlet by the end of this month.

Laura Shovan is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup. She's a fantastic middle grade author and poet in the Maryland schools who also has some wonderful blog posts housed here on Today's Little Ditty. Today at her blog she is sharing an imaginative, happy-making collection of poems by some talented students from Northfield Elementary.