Poetry: found poem, Today’s Little Ditty, Twist

Do yourself a favor & sample the stuff of Poetry Friday.

Short months
by J.G. Annino

3 short months
13 tidy weeks
92 enticing days

summer corn
summer beach
summer song

stretch
a new way –
cat/cow

mix up a
cool treat –
lemon mousse

write a
new line –
the end
copyright2018©JGAnnino
allrightsreserved

Will these short months unfold as I anticipate
in the poem above?
I can never foresee gifts of each day,
the inscrutable continuing mystery,
adventures of each season.

At this moment I feel sure about
summer corn & already I am lifted up
from summer songs
I sing.

Will I feel confident in writing the end
for this manuscript, a rewriting of Pru’s story,
a verse novel? Expectation speculation.
But as I type this on a Monday, Teresa Hanafin of
The Boston Globe who shares my fondness
for the reminders she finds in
The Farmer’s Almanac, reminds me
Tuesday is the 170th day of the year.
This lights a fire!
To nourish my summer spirit
I looked & found, Entertaining Words II,
a found poem.

Entertaining Words II*
by JG Annino

I hope you will understand
it was either them or me

’til truth leaks out like honey
like schwarmfst skwirlp twoolm preefts brawig thrunch

how far would the wind convey
flavor of the waves, I’ll say

I’m captain of paper ships
but I need words to describe

after each rain a rainbow
all things take on great import

c. allrightsreseved by a variety of
regulars at the site Today’s Little Ditty,
as seen in The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2016.

“Entertaining Words II”* is
a found poem collected from ten poem lines in
The Best of TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY, 2016editor, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes.

* key to lines credits in “Entertainig Words II”
from The Best of TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY, 2016
Elizabeth Steinglass (I hope you will understand)
Tabatha A. Yeatts (It was either them or me)
George Heidenrich (’til truth leaks out like honey)
David McMullin (like schwarmfst skwirlp twoolm preefts brawig thrunch)
Audrey Day-Williams (how far would the wind convey)
Julie Larios (flavor of the waves, I’ll say)
Jessica M. Bigi (I’m captain of paper ships)
Dorianne Bennett (but I need words to describe)
Jane Yolen (after each rain a rainbow)
Rebekah Hoeft (all things take on great import)

With the two ending lines,
I went flip & flop,
see & saw,
on their order. Thoughts?

Any season, I would love to read about a poem you find in a volume of TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY, which are carefully created & curated joys that feature Poetry Friday pals & also, many well-published poets who generously suggest poem prompts.

TWIST

I have dipped into a coupla yoga
classes on & off, without seeing
the pose cat/cow until this very week.
My stretches are on hiatus until I meet with
a physical therapist to unkink a hip hitch, but
that doesn’t diminish the mind stretch I find
in an artful book,
TWIST, by poet Janet S. Wong and artist Julie Paschkis.
This study of yoga poses, with a calm folkloric feel
to the art, arrived at our big black mailbox
with a clutch of ordered summer reads.

I wish you soothing summer joys between now & the
season that follows in about 10 tidy weeks.

found poem resources
https://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/
http://elizabethsteinglass.com
http://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com
http://davidmcmullinbooks.com
http://inmydreams2016.wordpress.com
http://julielarios.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/jessica.bigi.37
http://www.dorireads.com/
http://janeyolen.com/
http://rebekahhoeft.blogspot.com/

TWIST resources
Janet S. Wong
http://www.janetwong.com
Julie Pacshkis
Welcome
……………….

Like others, likeminded, with work to complete this summer,
I also work as a citizen
against this heartless administration that makes a choice derided by everyone from
Laura Bush to Pope Francis,
a choice unnecessary under law,to separate infants & toddlers & older children from a parent at the U.S.- Mexico border.

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Fathers’ Day 2018

On Father’s Day Weekend 2018,
I celebrate the most special helper
in my universe,
my husband,
PAOLO ANNINO.
In this article, linked just above to his name,
he has teamed up with
a colleague, Terry Coonan, to advocate
for children in our community, which is
also a job that they fulfill in their
daily work, constantly.

I am comforted
realizing
that there are
so many helpers –
so many
caring people
in this world.

Fathers volunteer in beautiful,
nonending,
ways –
(Doctors Without Borders,
Big Bend Hospice, The Sharing Tree,
Lee’s Place, Peace Jam Southeast,
Front Porch Library,
Literacy Volunteers,SportsAbility,
4-H, Second Harvest, Refuge House)
& to me
it feels as a
golden scroll of Father goodness
knows no end.

If someone is tempted to dwell
in the ugly, remind them of the helpers.
Fred Rogers said it best –

“Look for the helpers.
You will always find people who are helping.”

Thank you to my dear husband & to all
the Father helpers all over the world.

Memorial

c.2018allrightssreserved

Memorial Day haiku 2018

Boys arrived, laughing
marched day, trudged night, steady drill
saluted farewell

c.2018JanGodownAnnino

I grew up hearing stories told by
my dear Dad about his days in WWII as a
Fort Dix, N.J. drill sergeant. He took on
raw recruits from Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
sent them off as efficient fighters against
the Nazis.

Groceries + a video

Groceries + a video –
Publix & Disturbed’s The Sound of Silence video

My topic is Disturbed’s 2015 presentation of Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel’s
The Sounds of Silence, later, The Sound of Silence.
And it is also about a wrong done by a grocery store chain.
So I’m stepping out of children’s poems & picture book mode today
as I do now & again.

I keep going back to Disturbed’s version, having stumbled upon it
during the start of this Memorial Day Weekend at a
lovely writing blog, when I should have been revising my verse novel.

Once I listened to it there, beautifully matched as it was with
a potent ice dance as a visual, to talk about quiet books,
it jarred my memory, my recollection of hearing Disturbed’s version back in 2015.
I wanted to see & listen once more to Disturbed You Tube version.
(Now in 2018 I have come to ignore this talented artist’s face jewelry,
without the Mother in me climbing aboard that metal fashion.)

The wonderful Wiki people tell me the song, released in 1964,
tanked,
sending Art Simon back to Columbia University & Paul Garfunkel
on return flight to England.
Then, in a plot twist, massive radio play in Boston & Miami with radio
audience adoration only one year later,
beamed it humming into The World’s ears so that the words can reverberate today,
in this time of national anguish.

The words, the delivery by Disturbed, the video by Matt Mahurin,
nourish me, urge me to write the letter, go to the
meeting/protest when it’s nicer/easier in the early evening
to want to curl up & watch a blue headed dragonfly resting on a green plant stake.

You see I thought I may be edging toward numb.
Now after watching/listening to the video – I didn’t want to take my eyes & ears away
from this potent piece of art,
this line from the song now roars to me-
people writing songs that voices never share”

The catalyst for this mumble
is that we in Florida gladly leave money
at the Florida-grown shopping conglomerate called Publix,
which I know some of you visit during your jaunts in my lovely state.
And in fact, the big green P beams in Georgia & both Carolinas, too.
This chain has employed the state’s high school teens, the state’s elders,
& more important, the folks who will be forever like teens or younger,
as a leader in employing the developmentally delayed. It’s also my
just- around-the-block place for Florida-grown organic strawberries,
avocados & oranges.
Now I can’t bear to spend a dime there.
Until a great Florida newspaper wrote about it, I didn’t know it was funneling money
to a public office holder who brags that he is owned by the rifle lobby.

Publix backed, pushed, payed money into the
campaign of a current candidate for Florida governor who is so enamored
of the rifle lobby that he jokes, he brags, that he is a sellout to them.
And Publix has an excess of money because so many of us do
an excess of shopping with them.
Only after massive letter-writing/tweeting in support of spending less
money or zilch money at Publix,
did the business say it will halt the donations.
But. It has given about $570,000 so that is only part-correction.
We have yet to hear if it intends to give an equal amount of money to
the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense group.

So if you find yourself in Florida this summer,
bike, drive, walk safely, apply sunscreen
& I hope you will take the extra minutes to look for a local farmer’s market,
or try seeking out Trader Joe’s.
Lately, shopping at Publix is not a pleasure.

June 1 2018 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Moms Demand Action Group

Adam Putnam

Wikipedia on The Sounds of Silence

Disturbed’s The Sound of Silence on You Tube

Results, so far, from criticism of Publix

Publix is reached these ways

And yes, Memorial Day is Monday.
I expect to once again spend time with
mementoes my dear Father gave me of his WWII & experience at Fort Dix, N.J.
I am so grateful for child memories of seeing him lead the flag honor guard
in our town’s 4th of July Parade, as commander of the local American Legion.

Three beats of the heart: books to borrow or buy

Three Beats of the heart: books to borrow or buy

WONDERFUL WORDS
THE WILD BRAID
BIG MAGIC

Three volumes to talk up, today.
I celebrate them
for how they they jolt my Writer Spirit.
Who knows? Could be your new favorites.

WONDERFUL WORDS is a color-packed gallery, illustrated by Karen Barbour,
for anthologist/editor Lee Bennett Hopkins. With visits to ideas
such as Metaphor, Listen, Finding a Poem & more, it bombards
my senses in the best way, with go-go juice. Last weekend at a
writing retreat, thanks in part to this book, I carted off some
wrong words, proud words, from my middle grade verse novel,
a revision on-going with good steam. This thought is
potent for me, a few lines of “Primer Lesson” by Carl Sandburg
Look out how you use proud words.
When you let proud words go, it is
not easy to call them back…

c. 1922, 1950 in WONDERFUL WORDS
Yes, WONDERFUL WORDS a picture book.
The artwork, the poems shared, ensure it is for ALL ages. Hope you find it fast.

I can’t keep track of how many copies of THE WILD BRAID
fly out from here to friends. This slim purse-size book is a
collection of essays, with some poems,
by the founder of Poets House in NYC,
Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006) who earned a Pulitzer-prize, worked as a
U.S. Poet Laureate, among shelves of writing connections during his
generous life. This lovely work is a collaboration with photographer
Marnie Crawford Samuelson and the book’s midwife is writer Genine Lentine.
We came to know about Stanley Kunitz, who as a boy was a village lamplighter,
through relatives of his who we chanced to overnight with in a stream of serendipity
that continues to bless our family.
If you become intrigued by him, I send you to this pinterest page, servings of his thoughts.
Last week I copied out one SK verse for a young student in New Hampshire
who intends to be a librarian some day:
I can scarcely wait for tomorrow
When a new day begins for me
As it does each day
As it does each day

c. 2007 StanleyKunitz from “The Round” in THE WILD BRAID

One of my special moments in visiting Poets House in
March of this year, involved
my hubby and I finding a desk
where e.e. cummings wrote. One of our first
connections we shared when we began dating
was cummings’ poetry. Love Poets House.
You can listen to Stanley Kunitz read his poem “The Long Boat.

Poets House, NYC,
March 2018
a desk where e.e. cummings wrote

You have heard of BIG MAGIC from Elizabeth Gilbert. Just finished my
2nd read of this copy, gifted to me by the magical
Joan Broerman of SCBWI fame. It is now inscribed for a writer,
who is also a musician, who I felt lucky
to meet in a singing circle.
At the nurturing TEACHING AUTHORS site, when asked to select a
book to pass along, I instantly picked this for her.
The top life lesson I take away from BM is
get back to creation.
Which isn’t an exhortation to read Genesis
but to know in my bones that folks have always
stuck hands in mudclay to sculpt,
or swiped berry juice on stone,
or grabbed grass stalks & woven,
without making such a big deal out of it.
I’m doodling, I’m paper cutting, creating in ways
in addition to words… With great appreciations to wonderful Joan,
pictured here with a special oil painting by our talented
mutual friend, Brian Nolan.
(I am lucky enough to be seated on the left.)

With joy for your wonderful words, for your wild braid, for
your big magic that I feel vibrates through your soul. xox

plus Three more images – the cove of the river from last weekend’s
writing retreat & charmed gourd cache pot made for me by Turtle Cove Press
writing pal M.R. Street, cheerleader for my artistic expression, & host of the
cove time my lucky self enjoyed.


Gone from the shelf – book gifts

Gone from my shelves – book gifts + original poem

Lee Bennett Hopkins wrote
Good books,
Good times,
Good stories,
Good rhymes…

from GOOD BOOKS,GOOD TIMES!
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, pictures by Harvey Stevenson

Today I share some good books, good rhymes that
no longer belong to me!
First up is the story of Aida de Acosta (1884-1962).
I know. Who?

Aida’s aviation history is
told winningly, lyrically in
THE FLYING GIRL,by Margarita Engle,
with illustrations from Sara Palacios –
both of these talents are awarded book creators.
Margarita is a favorite author I read, especially delving into islands
of her verse novels. Sara Palacios is new to me, but she
shouldn’t be, as illustrator of MARISOL MCDONALD
DOESN’T MATCH & other titles.

This high-flying story of Aida,
a teen in Paris who dreamed
of airship wings
is a charmed picture book biography, with an historical note
about the world of this teen at the end.
I love how the author channels young Aida’s strong voice:

If that man can fly
so can I
All I need are some lessons
and a chance to try!

The colorful drawings capture the period & lift the reader
to dream high.
Memorable moments, such as a dinner on elephant-tall
tables served by waiters on stilts,
feather in a magical quality to this totally real-life story
about flying pioneer,
a young woman too, who few of us know. At least, I didn’t.
I’ve packed Aida & sent her off flying
with a pack of cloud postcards,
to a 3rd-grade poet of the Silver Star Postcard Project in Canada,
Inspired by the pacesetting aviator “Queen” Bessie Coleman, this young poet wrote me that she loves to fly, a connection courtesy of
Poetry Friday’s wonderful Check it Out,
The student’s poem inspires me at my desk.

And right here, Carolyn Angus with the International Reading Association
shares about THE FLYING GIRL.

***
What if…
You opened a book
About dinosaurs
And one stumbled out
And another and another….

C. Isabel Joshlin Glaser
in the poem “What if” by Isabel Joshlin Glaser in
GOOD BOOKS,GOOD TIMES!
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins,
with pictures from Harvey Stevenson

Dinosaurs, one after another, are
thumpingly, exactly what I experienced
when I opened the gift package from a children’s book imprint
new to me, POW! in Brooklyn.
Inside I met the characters of
DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR by authors Deborah Bruss & Matt Forrestt Esenwine
(a pal through Poetry Friday)
with color-pow comics style illustrations by Louie Chin.
Two children tackle a list:

“If you’re going to plan
a birthday party,
stop and think it through.
Be careful
what you dare
to ask a dinosaur to do.”

This jolly story
romps around with the ways
dinosaurs that once partied on Earth
might add mayhem to a child’s
living room hee-haw.
I love how this book is clever in bringing to
the youngest read-aloud set, the famous but also
lesser-known
dinos, along with a specific
characteristic for each. It’s fun, it’s a party,
but at the same time, now I know about the one who would be a
balloon-buster, (yes, they all would, but this one, specifically)
DIE-noh-KIRE-us, meaning terrible hands, thanks to DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR.
We have a curious, busy, wonderful, dino-crazy Kindergarten guy
in our own famly zoo,
so this book stomps, crashes, tears, off to him in Rhode Island.

POW! is here.
http://powkidsbooks.com

***
Earlier in springtime, at the beloved
class I’ve visited all schoolyear long,
I gifted the animal antics in
PET CRAZY to Ms. Camoesas,
a vibrant teacher of all things, but an especially
facile guide for young poem-makers.

One of many poems in this lively
work book anthology
that pulls me to it over & over, is
“Loose Tooth, Whose Tooth?”
from the novelist, poet & award-winning children’s literature icon
Carole Boston Weatherford.

Sooooo creative this list poem is, in
tackling the crucially important
loose tooth topic,
enticing young readers with rhyme,
but in a new way,
by drilling us about other teeth,
such as
“Bat’s tooth, rat’s tooth…” or
“Piranha’s tooth, iguana’s tooth..”

c.2017 Carole Boston Weatherford
Pomelo Books
CBWeatherford.Com

I was enticed by this book at
every turn & especially at page 90,
where I was
invited to try my hand at cat art.
And tackling the drawing lesson
from illustrator Franzi Paetzold,
I became inspired to dash off this
this un-rhyme:

Outline thumb
Add three triangles
Two half-macaroni
One moustache
Six toothpicks

Stand back,
find
a
feline
made from your
lines.

c. 2018 JanGodownAnnino


PET CRAZY drawing lesson!
The children’s literature specialists behind PET CRAZY,
part of a popular series from Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong
are here at POMELO Books.
http://pomelobooks.com

Special appreciations to Alphabet Soup/Jama Kim Rattigan forthe gift of this book.

For the Poetry Friday RoundUp, rustle on over to visit Rebecca at SLOTH READS.

 

***
………….

Mother’s Day

Our student volunteers her
law skills in far-flung places (Boston, DC, NYC)
so comes my August birthday, or
Mother’s Day & I am not usually with
this brilliant, fun & thoughtful young woman,
an only child. But oh, something almost as fabulous.
Without fail my mailbox delivers
a unique book
that I open so slowly to read again & again,
to savor forever.

Copyright.
All Rights Reserved.

Her book cards carry words that
wet my eyes.
Now if she were seven I would show you
what she writes. Since I’ve not been Mommy
for years, but Mom, I’m not giving a peek beyond
the double wood doors opening onto garden and beyond
endless sky
as it sits here in my office. But you can guess
the heart-melt inside.

Please know that this past weekend
I was together in
spirit with you, family & friends
who are children of Moms,
or are yourselves, Mothers.
And I thought this weekend so much about my
Mother, who left Earth too soon,
the woman who taught me to weave words,
which her only grandchild, as you see here from
toddle days, never one to be held back,
does
within these book cards.


Copyright.
All Rights Reserved

What your mother tells you now
in time
you will come to know.

c. Mitsuye Yamada
in A CHORUS OF CULTURES, A Poetry Anthology
edited by Alma Flor Ada, Violet J. Harris, Lee Bennett Hopkins

Spiritual Thursday: Special Days

Night flights

Sky
true blue,
a serving plate.

Insects
fly free,
devoured by diners.
c. 2018JanGodownAnnino

My family & I hunted the full moon when
we scooted away overnight for
a Florida wedding just last weekend.
Seeking a nearby lake for the moon view,
such intakes of breath we gave
for hundreds of thousands
of free-flying, mosquito-gobbling bats.

I do look for the special days that many of us celebrate around the calendar
& the individual family days we love to cheer,
but Oh, how I am nourished by the
serendipity of an unplanned
special night
or day.

The poet Stanley Kunitz said it this way-
“I can scarcely wait for tomorrow
when a new day begins for me
as it does each day
as it does each day.”

c.2018NightFlight

The Spiritual Thursday topic for May, suggested by Violet, covers Special Days. I look forward to coasting around to everyone’s thoughts. If you are here for Poetry Friday, it is collected in a bountiful bouquet by Brenda.

“To Make This World A Whole Lot Brighter…”

‘Twas a mighty day, when Lee Bennett Hopkins was born.

To appropriate from an ancient text,
how I feel about poetry is that
poetry “restoreth my soul.”

And today on April 13, the birthday of Lee Bennett Hopkins,
I am thrilled to think about how
it seems that no other person for so long, steadily
creates opportunity “to restoreth the soul”
of poetry to young readers of all ages,
than Maestro Lee Bennett Hopkins.


For decades & decades, Lee has not only shared
his poems, but he has also brought hundreds of
other poem makers into anthologies that are
beautifully illustrated &
sought by families who love poetry,
by classroom teachers & by school librarians.
Lee is a book maestro
arranging for poet & artist to create together
musical results, such as in
THE SEA IS CALLING ME
& JUMPING OFF LIBRARY SHELVES.
& RAGGED SHADOWS
& SHARING THE SEASONS
& ALPHATHOUGHTS
& others, which some outfit by the name of
Guinness has counted up.

In one of my favorite’s of his, THE SEA IS CALLING ME,
a three-verse poem by Lilian Moore floats the lines:

“Until I saw the sea
I did not know
that wind
could wrinkle water so…”

©LILLIANMOOREallrightsreserved “Until I Saw The Sea”

At the shore
I now am tickled to see
Lilian Moore’s wrinkled water
where I didn’t think of it
that way before.

Lee is a fierce
advocate of many decades standing for
diverse voices being on stage.
In
A CHORUS OF CULTURES, Lee brings Arnold Adoff
into class with the four-verse,
“The Way I See Any Hope For Later”
that says in part,
“…And stop looking
at who is a woman
and
who is a man.”

©ARNOLDADOFFallrightsreserved
And Lee published this book 25 years ago.

I am among the many fortunates, especially in children’s literature,
who call Lee & his genial partner Charles, pals.
We met at a poetry workshop in their adopted
state, Florida, which has also adopted back,
naming Lee Bennett Hopkins
to the august roll call
of artistic legends in the Florida Artist Hall of Fame
where Hurston, Hemingway, Williams & Rawlings
are equally honored.

 

And back at that Society of Children’s Book Writers’ & Editors
workshop I met writers
in a nurturing space who have become pals. There, I also
felt how Lee leads us into the still waters &
the green pastures
of poem making with goodness, mercy
& his sprightly twinkle.

His rough child days
held little twinkle,
needed more laughs.
A teacher
saw a creative spark
in the writings of her student
Lee, who was being ridiculed
for liking writing. Her
lifting him up
made him hope:

“To
make
this world
a whole lot
brighter

when
I grow up
I’ll
be
a writer…”

©LEEBENNETTHOPKINSallrightsreserved

Reading through the
other linked poem moments of his New Jersey
& Pennsylvania start with
a very stressed single mother,
in BEEN TO YESTERDAYS,
fully shivered me.

Lee Bennett Hopkins does
make this word a whole lot brighter.

HB!HB!HB! to dear Lee.
With many many more
poetry books
yet to see,
on top.
SMOOCH!


……..
To see more Lee Bennett Hopkins joy celebrated across
the Kidlitosphere of Poetry Friday & associates, please
turn to the artistic site of my South Carolina
pal & Haiku whisperer,
Robyn Hood Black.

2018 April Poetry Month Progressive Poem – day 5

Glad sunrise to you on April 5th, this 5th day of National Poetry Month, 2018/USA!

c.2018JGAnnino
OrmondBeachOleoWater

The Kidlitosphere poem-in-progress 2018 sprouts here this moment,
a day-by-day bud of felt beauty. It unfolded last weekend
while I rose for an Atlantic sunrise. The butter water
reflection wrapped me in morning meditations before
driving home from being with heart-love Elders,
(with no cottage WiFi)
on the other side of our state.
I carry this heart tug into today’s visit with
the boundless creativity of my poetry pals:

2018 April Poetry Month Progressive Poem

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.
Oh, what wonderful dreams she had had!
Blooming in midnight moonlight, dancing with
the pulse of a thousand stars, sweet Jasmine 

invented a game.

******************

We invite you to dream with these lines!
And also, to conjure: Where may these words wander from here?
Tomorrow, a new line is due to pop up from the fertile lake territory of Irene Latham,
instigator of this once-a-year collaborative of writing creativity,
who is sweet-with-moxie poetry pal to us all.

To think on a Progressive Poem process question from Irene,
about a catalyst/origin of each of our lines,
here’s how I reacted on when I saw the important first-line opening from Liz:

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched

I love thinking about this little package planted in her bed. And thinking: what bed? The earthy dirt like in our yard here, where we’ve just put in the basil seeds? Or a big big patio pot? Or in a hothouse greenhouse in Alaska?

I’m a constant internal line rhymer so also a list:
seed: bead, heed, lead, need, plead
& bed – led, wed, said, dead

Then, looking at Michelle’s line, naming our seed,
immediately that line
sent me a vision.
A Jasmine girl character,
wafting up in pantaloons out of a
fragrant full-flowering vine
with a most mischievous look in her eyes
& I knew she was an inventor. I knew in that instant that s
weet Jasmine

invented a game.

Invents, or invented?
Took my cue from that great first line…stretched.
So what say you, dear Irene?
I would like to know NOW (6 PM-ish Wed.)
But I will wait to the Friday morn when you are on stage.
Irene need not keep my mind-image. I didn’t write
that into the poem; that picture brought me into the line.
Jasmine may very well be yet a seed about to undergo
an under-dirt metamorphosis. Her game could be something
she invents in a dream, or that is/was taught to her… how? why?
Or… who knows? This is the jolly nature of our
one-a-day-writer go-go juicy juice.
It could be scary
to hand off the next day’s duty
to 2018 Progressive Poem’s idea-creator, except
for the knowing that we are all one heart in this.
Irene will clothe this poem ever-unexpectedly,
with love & beauty. And perhaps with a dollop of her signature
impishness.

Now some more appreciations also, with a
sprinkle of the choicest rich organic poem-starter on top,
to the brave beginners:

Liz
Jane
Laura
Michelle

I love their heart handiwork in this verse garden.
And still more smiles to Irene for setting
us on our way with the first PP & adding new ideas, foretold recently with Heidi,
in sharing process, with this, the latest.

**************

Please visit us all the poem grow days, until sweet Doriane in my sister state,
Georgia, sings us home.
And a reference note for all you dedicated researchers,
garden journalists,
& curious poem-makers,
yes, we can grow jasmine vine from seed. And of course, we can
grow anything, any which way we want, in
the pleasure of poetry.

********************

After Easter I arrived home at our little yellow cottage,
tucked under a grandmother live oak tree,
30-40 minutes close to the gulf shore, five hours from the Atlantic,
into a whirl of wanted work,
plus a warbling once-in-a-lifetime song workshop & then
& a differently great biz dinner for my hubby.
Now I catch up. And if you look in the Poetry Friday universe for Spiritual Thursday,
– that’s today! – I am so pleased to say it is kindly collected at the Carol V. Home page.

c.2018AllRightsReserved

For great links to all 2018 Progressive Poem Contributors.
I am primed to visit all the Progressive Poem days’ yet-unknown, lines.
And also, I want to visit the many Poetry Month Projects beyond the Progressive Poem which aretastily presented at our own Jama’s Alphabet Soup.  My Poetry Month project is to catch up on my big heart project, the history-set verse novel & to present fun, young-age performance poetry this month, promised here at the bottom of SNOWBALL.

SNOWBALL

Snowball in March

Spring springs in Florida,
lemons bud fancy.
Snow falls in New York.
Makes me feel antsy.
I stepped it in, sloshed it,
finally mashed it.
Snowball in March?
Love to laugh at it.

c.2018JGAnnino

c.2018 Snow ball in March, NYC, Pier 15


c.2018 NYC
Cobbled streets,
lonely snow

Hello!
Back at work here after visiting our college gal during a break from
revising my history-set verse novel, completed
in December, in d r a f t.
Walking cobbled streets past 1800s buildings & piles of snow in
Lower Manhattan inspired notebook jottings for the novel. And made me think of THE NEW COLOSSUS poet Emma Lazarus.

She (along with many I crave to know more about, such as Galway Kinnell) happens to be featured in a new March 28 to May 2 poem series airing many places in time for a keen
POETRY MONTH APRIL – surely warmer, then-
public T.V.
show launched from those creatives at WGBH, Boston
.

c. 2018 North Florida
Lemonade, pre-squeeze

Here with our citrus perfume blooms,
it’s time for me to marvel at the silly thoughts in picture books & poems, of Alan Katz, Ame Dyckman, Dennis Lee, Douglas Florian, Lisa Loeb, Jon Scieszka,
Kenn Nesbitt, Rebecca Kai Doltish, Shel Silverstein & the like.

SNOWBALL by Shel Silverstein

I made myself a snowball
as perfect as could be.
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
and let it sleep with me…

(enjoy the rest of SNOWBALL by Shel Silverstein & classroom fun with FIRSTGRADEWOW.)

I’m pulling out silly verses
(accepting recommendations)
to prepare for a presentation on poetry,
staged in a big park’s tent,
right next to a noisy popular playground,
at a great book festival,
Word of South.
A perk for me is that Poetry Friday pal, pied piper Irene Latham
will appear at Word of South at a different time,
so I can catch her mojo LIVE.

***
March clothing!

March 2018
Dressed for Winter Walking

MUSIC

The Spiritual Thursday choir collects around Karen Eastlund, via Irene Latham’s blog. And Renee at No Water River organizes the The Poetry Friday Party at her blog, with a wonderful shout out.

APALACHICOLA RIVER
c. JanGodownAnninoall rights reserved

In January in this space, not knowing that March would conduct
the gift of Music Month
to Spiritual Thursday,
I shared from poet Edward Hoagland:

“But songs need silences to be musical.
Prayer needs silence to be heard.
The world needs silhouetting silence.”

Today I sing a song of nature notes, for the bird symphonies
I wake to & also walk to, day into the night.
If you know someone in Alabama perhaps they catch the sounds of a surprising yellow cardinal!

Adding to sounds from Nature, a few thoughts about people-created music.
When my Father wanted soothing sound he called upon Mahalia Jackson. (Even tho’
this sweet man was an agnostic.)
The legacy of Mahalia Jackson is here.

My Mother favored most any classical French composer on record albums or also, heard on public radio, especially DeBussy, shared by NPR here.

I was never in band nor was I close to anyone in a band, but I perk up with
the music of parading high school musicians.
Anyone for a national public radio march music program we could hear from coast to coast? Having learned a lot about writing in community newspapers as a kid tagging along with my news writer Mom & then in my own career, are you surprised that my favorite is
Washington Post.
A California high school band steps out with it here.

Drums & brass horns wouldn’t have helped last month, living
on a small part of this giant blue/breen marble where the name
Parkland has become a word not at all about bucolic parks. Of the many
comforts provided the teacher, student & family survivors, I like to think
of the soothing snuffling, comforting pants & friendly behaved barks of

the Lutheran Church comfort dogs.

I lean upon a reliable choral comfort when I am not
listening to Nature. This balm is from a musician, lyricist, composer, pianist & vocalist
(all in one incomparable person)
Velma Frye.
I am soothed by her performance of An Irish Blessing, which you can easily
“>listen to on You Tube.

I cherish my collection of Velma Frye CDs,
which you can find along with Velma Frye, here.
Although I am on hiatus from singing with a special women’s song circle this talented
educator collected,
I look forward to my return another day.

I also cherish Spiritual Thursday, Poetry Friday &
music that heals.

And one more bird note,
I am imagining the chirping sound track as I read
Jason Reynolds’ AS BRAVE AS YOU, in which birds
inhabit certain unexpected spaces. His birds can be heard
by many more if a film version of this unique middle grade book is made some day. Hope so.

Poetry Friday/Spiritual Thursday: LUNA

LUNA
copyright2018JGANNINO
all right reserved

I’ve been invited by Mainely Write in the
Poetry Friday group,
collected this week under the glow of the
Spiritual Thursday banner,
to think about the moon.
I love thinking about her.
Luna is a she, yes?
And to me, Luna represents joy & generosity.

Q & A with Ms. Luna

Favorite Earthling?
Mr. E.E. (Buzz) Aldrin

Favorite moon
Phobos (of Mars)

Favorite of your surface shapes
Hands

Favorite phase
Crescent

Favorite poem
“The Crescent Moon” – Amy Lowell

Favorite book
NIGHTGOWN OF THE SULLEN MOON – Nancy Willard
Moon conversation C. copyright JGAnnino
. . .

What a super week for supermoon watchers this one is.
Here’s just one site spotlighting some of the glory.

At night, we bundle up & step out the back door. Or the front door.
We are blessed with a Luna trajectory that is nothing short of heavenly, directly over
us, rising in back & setting in front with clear views, despite living in an urban woods.
The night moon framed in a heart of live oak leaves is the view from our own
front steps. Those are branches & leaves of the grandmother oak that we
fell in love with, wanting to buy our little cottage in North Florida.
We spent a nice bit of time out front moon gazing this past Sunday evening & the
nights since. Are you getting up in the chilly pre-dawn to see her?
We have meant to, but . . .

As for Ms. Luna’s answers in the Q & A above, I can explain.

When I was a little girl, Buzz Aldrin sent me an
envelope of great goodies from NASA. My Mother wrote him that I
was tickled to learn that we had a relative in common, via
marriage. The good cheer our classroom felt from his
generous letter brings a smile to me. When I think of
the Moon I think: generous, I feel generous &
I also think: happy, I feel happy. To me, Col. “Buzz” Aldrin is
THE Man in the Moon.

copyrightJGANNINO

Phobos is the moon that gets a lot of buzz
for orbiting the red planet Mars while wearing an
odd projectile, much commented upon,
in the space world.

Earthlings gaze at the moon and see
things. Some of the many shapes we
find in crater designs left by asteroids
striking the surface, include hands.

All four phases attract my moongaze. I am especially intrigued
when part of Luna is hidden.
Amy Lowell writes in “Crescent Moon,”
Little rocking, sailing moon/ Do you hear me shout Ahoy!/
The “Crescent Moon” poem

The picture book that changed my life is NIGHTGOWN
OF THE SULLEN MOON by Nancy Willard. Reading it over
and over at our daughter’s request, but to my delight, provided a challenge
to write in a way that spins a fantastic story for young readers
while at the same time, crafting a
luminous page-turner for all-age readers.
I love Lindsey Canesco’s tribute to this treasure book.

MY HOPE is that the moon is a muse for many artists.
I hope Col. Aldrin, who safely landed (July 20) & walked on the moon
(July 21) in 1969 continues living his exhuberant
life for many many many more moons.
(Shiver: His mother’s name before switching to Aldrin at
marriage was Moon!) I wish for your family to see fun designs in the
moon’s cratered marks. I hope many moon poems tickle your
fancy. I wish that you will read Nancy Willard’s magnificent
moon story & be moved by it.

Finally, I wish you a marvelous start to a new cycle of our moon.

Appreciations to Donna
for shining the light on Spiritual Thursday.
And this Everywhere with Special Care gal is also hosting today’s Poetry Friday.
Join in.
The luminous Spiritual Thursday logo is created by Margaret Simon.
See it here.

Every Human Has Rights – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At this peace holiday time, a warm Poetry Friday greeting
for January 12, 2018. We are collected right here at Bookseedstudio.

On January 19, please
join at A Journey Through the Pages.

Special salutes have rung out this week
& continue during the holiday weekend seeking the world
of peace & freedom dreamed of
by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

I’m sharing a child photograph of this Nobel Peace prize
recipient who was raised in a family of
many ministers & other religious leaders,
who preached love of all
races, all peoples.
A center that tells his story is here.

c.TheKingCenter,
all rights reserved

A student intern created an annotated photo story here.

The poetry book I’m sharing in honor of Dr. King’s legacy is
EVERY HUMAN HAS RIGHTS
A Photographic Declaration for Kids.
It is a young reader’s edition of the historic United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The book is sometimes blunt, it can be light, &
it is eventually hopeful in presenting the 30 human rights.
I think all readers age 11 & older can appreciate this one.
I feel it is a book Dr. King would have loved to read
to students.
Children’s poetry lines are paired with photographs
Here is one poem that made me think of the recent Holidays.

Poem for Right # 26
You Have The Right to Go To School for Free

“Reading, writing, and arithmetic
I’m just hoping it will all stick
It’s my right to learn and obtain an education
When I’m done, I’ll go on vacation.”

Sydney
C. 2009, all rights reserved, National Geographic Society
For more information on EVERY HUMAN HAS RIGHTS.

I have not yet read Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney’s MARTIN RISING,
but a crackerjack children’s literature librarian I know in Virginia, Marcie Atkins, recommended this to me in a social media group, as I was writing this post.From Scholastic. On the list, for sure.

Whether your post relates to peace, Dr. King,
or another wonderful topic, you can share
your URL link in comments below.
I’ll do my best to wrap everything up here,
into this end of this post. You can also send the link details to me at jgaoffice (at)
gmail (dot) com. Please put your actual name in the email subject line if you send it that way. Appreciations.

The first beautiful Poetry Friday blog of the year
featured a book I feel Dr. King also would
have loved to read to children, CAN I TOUCH YOUR
HAIR? Find that from last week, at Reading to the Core.

Some important book links about Dr. King are shared at Live Your Poem.

Peaceful wishes at this time of celebrating
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. &
always.

The January 12, 2018 Poetry Friday Posse includes (but is not limited to…)

Myra GB at Gathering Books, who beams in with luminosity that can float you outside, to read in the light of the moon. Even. With. The. Cold. You will want to visit the picture book she shares -THE MOON’S LOVE IN POETRY, translated from Portuguese into English. The creators are father-son team, Jose Jorge Letria and Andre Letria.

https://gatheringbooks.org/2018/01/12/poetry-friday-17/

&&&

Our own Teaching Authors campus ponders peace within, via April Halprin Wayland’s post. And – a giveaway!

http://www.teachingauthors.com/2018/01/let-go-simplify-and-book-giveaway.html

&&&

Do alligators like the cold? Our poet knows. . . Go ahead and Nix The Comfort Zone.

http://mbhmaine.wordpress.com

&&&

Be on the leading edge of poetry with Linda Mitchell at A WORD EDGEWISE. She shares  lines in a forthcoming release by a magical poet.

http://awordedgewiselindamitchell.blogspot.com/

&&&

Shuffle in the warm sands of downunder with Sally Murphy, who shares original salty verses as winter comfort for the chilled northabove. (Is that the opposite of downunder?)

http://sallymurphy.com.au/2018/01/poetry-friday-three-poems-from-the-beach/

&&&

Welcome back! Keri, at Keri Recommends. We missed you. She returns to share a lot, including her 2018 One Little Word. Perfect timing!

https://kerirecommends.com/2018/01/poetry-friday-trying-new-things-and-my-one-little-word-for-2018/

&&&
Artist & poet Michelle Kogan gives peace at chance with words from the incomparable
Maya Angelou.
https://moreart4all.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/poetry-friday-rising-up-art/

&&&

Poet & novelist Laura Shovan visits the fascinating gingko. And she
is into new fancies, as always. Perhaps, inventing a new kind of scarf?

http://laurashovan.com/2018/01/poetry-friday-gingko/

&&&

Robyn Hood Black, poet with a made-for-movies name, ponders
Burns, the Scottish bard. And for a very good reason!

http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm?post=1073804

&&&

Dears, if you yearn for a little Emily B. Go appreciate TabathaYeatts for our fix.

https://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/

&&&

Tune to Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme with Matt Forrest Esenwine (FLASHLIGHT NIGHT guy) who brings a bulletin! (If you are reading this at an indecent late Thurs. hour, he’s live in the first minutes of Friday morn.)  https://wp.me/p2DEY3-1Na

&&&
Ice Music, anyone? Kay McGriff at Edublogs is listening & captivated.
I feel you will be, too.
http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/2018/01/11/poetry-friday-ice-music/
&&&
Laura Purdie Salas presents her original poem “When Death Moved In,”
which sadly did not require research. Sigh. Extra love to you, Laura.
http://laurasalas.com/poems-for-teachers/death-moved-poetry-friday/
&&&
Teacher Dance with Linda Baie shimmies with tentative dance moves
of children from two different races, discovering friendship. How?
In poems! Original ones. That they write!
http://www.teacherdance.org/2018/01/poetry-friday-learning-about-others.html
&&&
Jane The Rain City Librarian Jane The Rain City Librariantakes a cozy path into Middle Earth, which feels like the place I want to be.
http://www.raincitylibrarian.ca/?p=20527
&&&
Haiti Ruth
We wrap our arms around the community that has
sent out so much vibrant visual art & music & culinary delicacies to the world. January 12 will always be a time to remember the strong people of the enduring country of Haiti.

https://thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com/2018/01/poetry-friday-my-earthquake-poems-for.html

&&&
Carol Varsalona of Beyond Literacy shares a poetry surprise from the U.S. Mails, a poem delivery treat some Poetry Friday folks take to in fabulous fashion as her post shows. Next time, maybe you will sign up.

http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2018/01/special-mail-delivery.html

&&&

At Carol’s Corner take an important flight into Germany
with Rose, a 19-year-old young adult pilot (fiction, inspired
by the truths of young women surviving in beastly situations under
German Nazi terror & torture.)
Rose, a character created by the author of CODE NAME VERITY,
is empowered by poetry of Edna Saint Vincent Millay.
I followed so many links once I got started. Appreciations, Carol.
http://carolwscorner.blogspot.com/2018/01/poetry-friday.html

&&&
MaryLee Hahn book wrangler at Reading Year
leads us to LOVE, the book,
with a new poem illustrated for everyone, but especially for
young readers and those who read to them. Want.
http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2018/01/poetry-friday-love.html

&&&
Margaret Simon who steers so steady at Reflections on the Teche
looks into the depths of the bayou and brings us peace.
Poetry Friday: Bayou Sings
&&&
Tara Smith is on duty at A Teaching Life
winnowing wisdom from Mr. Langston Hughes,
poet & philosopher from the past, brought fast forward
for these hands-up-to-the-face-in-dismay times. Potent.
https://ateachinglifedotcom.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/poetry-fridaycrossing-jordan-by-langston-hughes/
&&&
Heidi Mordhurst in the wonderful world of My Juicy Little Universe
gifts us with a needed celebration of precious young writers.Go treat yourself to keen observations of nature, including emerging poets’ lovely lines
inspired by our own (Amy at The Poem Farm!)
https://myjuicylittleuniverse.blogspot.com/2018/01/writing-from-research-2nd-grade-poems.html
&&&
Donna Smith is keeping uniquely iced at Mainely Write.
She has the best winter frost picture ever & imaginative poetry riffing from it.
http://mainelywrite.blogspot.com/2018/01/frost-on-pane.html
&&&
Amy Ludwig Vanderwater of The Poem Farm flies a dove to us
in original artwork & poem. She also finds a dove from a famous artist. But mostly,
go be enchanted with a trick taught Ms. Amy by a wee writing student!
http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2018/01/ask-your-cat-ask-your-art-ask.html
&&&
Especially in these times, we are grateful that Dani Burstfield is Doing The Work That Matters. Today she returns from a chilly forest hike with
wish-you-were-there images & poetry.
Poetry Friday: Haiku
&&&
Helping us live our poems, we find piper Irene Latham opening up picture books
where poems flow by with some words Spanish, some words English.
http://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2018/01/on-princesas-peas-and-agua-aguita.html
&&&
Karen Edmisten brings us to a poet we can’t listen & learn from,
often enough, Mr. Langston Hughes. With great appreciations, Karen!
https://karenedmisten.blogspot.com/2018/01/poetry-friday-i-too-by-langston-hughes.html

&&&

Take a whirl with Julie Paschkis’ folkloric art & animal poems, in the gallery today, at Books4LearningThe book title alone is endearing.

https://books4learning.blogspot.com/2018/01/flutter-and-hum-animal-poems-julie.html

&&&

Little Willow with Bildungsroman, known for bringing the right books  to grateful hands, visits with a poem by the artist & poet Rupi Kaur.  Thank you, Little Willow.

https://slayground.livejournal.com/865555.html

&&&

Violet shows us how to be inspired in one, two, three, four, five, six original poems. Cuteness alert in the photo dept! Plus, she dispenses a handful of new-to-me words, folded quite nicely & rightly into an original poem.

https://vnesdolypoems.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/a-january-week

&&&

Do you crave more student poems? I do. Jone, who is maclibrary,  obliges with flair, with four. And she announces a book winner 🙂 Could be you? https://maclibrary.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/poetry-friday-student-poetry-and-a-winner/

&&&

Inventive Brenda, spinning magic at Friendly Fairy Tales, remembers summer while dealing with the stuff of this very season. And don’t cha know, she gifts us a groovy word she made.   https://friendlyfairytales.com/2018/01/11/siren-summer/

&&&

Christine who is Wondering and Wandering mindfully, joins us with an original haiku at the New Year, inspired by the exchange created our own Jone, an annual event that  gives homage to the idea of Nengajo, a Japanese custom of sending New Years postcards.

https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/new-years-haiku-poetryfriday/

&&&
You will want to be Reading to the Core with Catherine,
where she brings us into the realm of a wonderful Ambassador,
Jacqueline Woodson!
https://readingtothecore.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/poetry-friday-jacqueline-woodsons-on-paper/

&&&

Maybe you have tried the French lai, but it’s new to me. Rather, it was new to me

until Kats Whiskers heart poured out into it. Go visit.

 

***  from your correpondent – Links are flying into this territory in flocks, so latest links, could be in comments, beneath. Appreciations for your creative sharing at your posts & sweet words here. My plan is to tuck in any more arrivals – you folks are busy poet peddlers! –  Sat. morn at some indeterminate o’clock  & to toggle around myself to every P.F. poster before next Friday.  Remember that next Friday we  be conducted by Kay, who brought us the incredible ice music post today.

She is at  A Journey Through the Pages.

Thank you, everyone!

 

 

 

Nature nurtures

A lush hush
nourishes
my
days.
image & words
C. JanGodownAnnino
all rights reserved

A lush hush is what nourishes me these days.

“(But songs need silences to be musical.
Prayer needs silence to be heard.
The world needs silhouetting silence.)”

copyright Everett Hoagland all rights reserved,
in HERE: New and Selected Poems,
lines from the poem by Hoagland, “In the Boston MFA”

Hello in this top of 2018.
The early months of this year I plan to
hibernate in a cave of writing.
I will have interviews to check facts,
trips to the library & bookstore
for more books
& to meet a writing partner.

But more than in other months, I plan
to not hear much that is not Nature
during the hours
my husband is out of the house
at work with his law students.
Today begins a mini-retreat of
working silence,
renewed each day.

Because I do read about the world
intently, I will support causes &
candidates
in letters and button clicks & emails.
But most of all, I expect to listen & learn
from silence.

Mr. Everett Hoagland whose HERE is
my first step in studying his work,
is a poet new to me. I am
transfixed with his honest & heart-felt
takes on the way African & African-American history
is treated, such as the story of Joann Little
& others.

I hope your beginning
days of 2018 are as voice-filled,
or quiet,
as you need or like. In any event,
my wish is that the Nature in your area
nurtures you.

…………

Dec, 15, 2017 Poetry Friday Poetry Party

Today Radio Rhythm & Rhyme hosts a party.
And Random Noodling/ Diane wraps her wisdom around Potery Friday.
Appreciations to both of you.

….

Do you ever decorate for a traditional event a bit outside the box?
Here are some fresh couplets created this morning
from our North Florida neck of the woods.

Knitted jellyfish & sewn alligator float on a tree of pink
Sunny SandyLand serves pineapple juice for a Christmas drink

Our gal’s pie is pecan, as you may guess with one surprising hiccup
Good goo that teases the treat together is Vermont maple syrup!

A triangle outdoor tree evokes energetic elation
It’s nice to note each salty shipshape decoration.

– J.G. Annino

c.2017JanGodownAnnino

………..

c.2017JanGodownAnnnino

c.2017JanGodownAnnino

c.2017JanGodownAnnino

…………

Wishes for Light, Love & Laughter & with hugs of appreciation for Poetry Friday & KidLit Friends.

THE INCREDIBLE MAGIC of BEING – supernova novel

Starlight, star bright
first star I see tonight
I wish I may
I wish I might
make a wish
to make things right

….

Twinkle, twinkle, little star . . .

….

THE INCREDIBLE MAGIC OF BEING
by Kathryn Erskine
I look skyward at night & think of a boy named
Julian, because we just met
in a new novel
that reflects upon the cosmos,
THE INCREDIBLE MAGIC OF BEING.

Julian’s enchantment with stars leads him into
unexpected realms in his new Maine neighborhood.
But no one seems to share Julian’s focus on the cosmos.
They won’t even look through his telescope.
(I will, Julian, I will!)
Star study with Julian and his new buddy,
grumpy Mr. X Sciacchiatano, is good for the soul.
As soon as I could,
I reread this book to see how the award-winning
author worked a big bit of magic on me, back there.
I can’t say what it is or that’d be a spoiler.

I laughed out loud (p. 150, p. 210) &
cried (page 213 & + others.) This middle grade book
has been my escape hatch from the unstellar political news.
More important, INCREDIBLE will entertain &
enlighten the sort of kids whose vocabulary is expanding
like the universe. You know, the nerds.

Almost-10-year-old Julian is fixated on the night sky,
creating custom sky charts. Julian stops
to appreciate sunsets & likes to discuss death,
or rather, the afterlife.
He is ultra aware of feelings, his surroundings &
sudden small events
likely to happen. He also lives with a big medical
secret about his body. And he is deathly frightened
of one thing, not related to his
medical history. Or, maybe it is.
Julian’s family members – two high-achieving
Moms & teen sister Pookie – are frequently
distracted
& mainly unattentive to his interests.

The family’s move to Maine from Washington, D.C.,
to operate a lakefront B & B,
launches the family into what becomes a supernova of
odd occurrences & incredible coincidences.
I loved being along for Julian’s journey.
His advice to avoid dark energy & listen to
what the universe whispers to me sounds wise. And
INCREDIBLE inspires me to remember
star poems of childhood.

I bought this book myself & urge you to go find it at
your library or bookstore. I found this cosmos video and
music on You Tube, which I feel Julian could have created,
(although he didn’t.)
Also, during the time that this book that celebrates coincidences
was my travel reading, our path took me to a park
named Julian (Dr. Julian G. Bruce State Park) near a village
where we stopped in our tracks
to admire a starship. Magic to me.

STARSHIP
c.2017JanGodownAnnino

. . . .

It’s Poetry Friday, so take a few shining
steps with it here.

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT: shining picture book

Hello flashlight fans! Poetry Friday is beamed out from READING YEAR/A Year of Reading.

* * *

FLASHLIGHT NIGHT
by Matt Forrest Esenwine with artwork from Fred Koehler

As a fan of the world’s most gargantuan flashlights – lighthouses –
I carry a torch for creative stories
where flashlights are woven into the action.
So it is not surprising that I am all aglow to
open a new picture book with you – FLASHLIGHT NIGHT.

The text by Matt Forrest Esenwine is a poem story alive with the promise
of high adventure unfolding in the sedate backyard.

Shines a path where waters rush
reveals a hole in the underbrush

The illustrations by Fred Koehler are a nocturne gallery, with the nightshade from
scene to scene heightening the child’s delight in overlooked but important clues,
to go back and look at up close, as soon as the book is first read. This is a read again & again trek into the make-believe unknown, undertaken by three children, a girl and two boys.

To celebrate publication, the two creators agreed to tell me something about their childhoods.

MATT FORREST ESENWINE
“Hi, thank you for doing a post, Jan! I really appreciate that.”

(The book deserves a lot of spotlight, Matt.- jga)

“Growing up in rural New Hampshire, I developed an appreciation for nature from a young age. We lived on 10 acres of mostly wooded property, and although I was not allowed to go deep into the woods, the woods were all around me and therefore afforded me a great opportunity to use my imagination.

I never had a treehouse as a child, but I did have something I called my “hideout”, which was an area just off of our lawn that consisted of lots of large, flat stones, thick juniper bushes, and a couple of large, easily-climbed trees. Some days I would pretend I was a bad guy hiding from the law, while other days I was the good guy trying to track down the baddies.

My hideout was also my “secret” place to have lunch. Mom would give me my food and I would head out to one of the flat rocks there and eat underneath the tree. And even though this little area was right along the edge of the lawn and only 15 feet or so away from the road, I felt like I was in my own little world!

I suppose it is no wonder, then, that the natural world and my sense of family have played such crucial roles in my writing, both for adults as well as for children. I am fortunate that dad has not sold the place yet – at 82, he still lives on that same old dirt road surrounded by woods – but I know that a not-so-little piece of me will be lost the day he does.”

(This paints an evocative picture, Matt. Thank you! – jga)

I first encountered Matt’s work via the Poetry Friday/Today’s Little Ditty crowd, where I am happily surprised to find that we have just appeared in an anthology together.
Now I anticipate Matt’s poems in many forthcoming books.
Please visit him here.

C. Copyright illustration,
FRED KOEHLER
C. text,
MATT FORREST ESENWINE

FRED KOEHLER
“When I was a kid, our house backed up to an acre or two of Florida scrub. Through the woods I had neighbors whose dad worked construction and brought home all the scraps of job site lumber. In those trees, we would build the most elaborate fort systems, with tight ropes lines between the trees, trap doors, and even underground bunkers. We had more fun than any other kids on the planet, and probably could fend off pirates better than the Swiss Family Robinson.”

(I see the foundations of an artist’s mind in those constructions, Fred.
Thank you! – jag)

For more about this exceptional artist, whose work I first encountered in the hilarious, minimalist-word Rebecca Kai Dotlich story, ONE DAY, THE END
& now anticipate next year in Fred’s Pacific garbage patch-set debut novel,
please visit his site & online gallery.
Also, travel along as KidLitTV reveals, via a talk with Rocco Staino, how Fred helped develop this book’s evocative nightscape.

I ordered FLASHLIGHT NIIGHT from my local indy, Midtown Reader.

My hideout (Robyn & Laura, appreciations for sharing yours) memories include
the fairy woods on one side of us in the 1st house & the creek ravine woods
behind the 2nd house.

C. illustration,
FRED KOEHLER
C. text
Matt Forrest Esenwine

Library Love

Wait just a second!
Today’s Poetry Friday wordsmiths are gathered here. Thank you.

Library Love

A federal entity prompted American composer Ira Gershwin to write,
“Shining
star and
inspiration,
worthy of a
mighty nation. . .” *

Ira Gershwin,
1966, in Washington D.C.

A beloved librarian prompted Lee Bennet Hopkins
to write
Storyteller (for Augusta Baker).
Here are
a few lines from it by LBH

. . . And as her voice
reaches
the highest
rafter-

I believe in

once-upon-a-time,

I believe in

happily ever after.
c. 2015 Lee Bennett Hopkins
in Jumping Off Library Shelves


Book Speak!, Jumping Off
Library Shelves & I Am The Book
comprise my tiny & treasured
collection of poem books
for children
about the dreamland worlds of
books that some
of us are lucky to learn
to love,
the
library.

(Book Speak! is from Laura Purdie Salas, with
the other two from poet/editor Lee Bennett Hopkins. I know I have
missed other poetry collections about libraries/books, not
currently on my shelves,
so educate me, please.)

I pulled these titles
off the shelf Monday,
adrift in thoughts of
library grandeur, due to
a recent reverie
at a library that I only
inhabit
infrequently.

Yes, a weekly trip to our
public treasure trove of titles
is a lift. It is a visit made with
with gratitude not only
for the haul of titles borrowed, also,
it’s where
an astute weekly writing partner
hears me read my
latest, and I, hear hers.

But, hey, it’s Washington, D.C.,
where my heart
flutters to enter
library nirvana.

c.2017JanGodownAnnino

LOC

Literally,
Omnivirous
Collection

c.2017 JGA

The Jefferson Building of
the United States Library of Congress
is a cathedral
to research & to reading.
The art-tiled entry,
& artist-painted murals that represent
the fields of knowledge &
the practice of the arts, the
grand stairs & sculpture
of the entry hall of the main
building, are a
palace for the reading people. One stands
straighter, looks higher and dreams
more determinedly,
here.

At the Library of Congress
we visited, or peeked at, a lot.
The Florida maps on display.
The Gutenberg Bible. The
bookcased and domed
reading room. George and
Ira Gerswhin’s piano, just one classy
piece of the incomparable family
LOC legacy, which includes the annual
American songbook Gershwin Prize. *

c.2017JanGodownAnnino

(*This column’s opening rhyme by Ira Gershwin resides, in his own
handwriting, in the visitor’s guestbook kept for
the Ceremonial Office (here) of the Library of Congress.)

A temporary
LOC display of
special
importance to our family,
with one attorney & one
attorney-in-training, is
“Drawing Justice.”

This engaging exhibit of various
dramatic scenes, mainly in color,
from history-making, even
precedent-setting cases,
created on the job by
our nation’s little-known courtroom
chroniclers, many of them women.
Our volunteer guide that day was
Hope, who we thank for an
extra special tour.

One can not live in the
LOC (although one can enjoy breakfast
& lunch there) & eventually
we left. I was not
sad though, partly because
of another feature of
the LOC.

LOC

Love
Online
Collection

c. 2017 JGA

What/where is your poem about the Library of Congress?
……..
postscript
News flash – I join a party of Poetry Friday pals in celebrating our contributions to a new book, available now in print or Kindle. TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY is edited by Michelle H. Barnes. Look at our book!

Current. Potent. For Children. And you, too.

Wait just a moment! Find the November tree shelter of Poetry Friday tapped by Teacher Dance.

. . .

Read.
Eat.
Sleep.
Repeat.

Our driveway is graced by
a generous black mailbox
in place of
the usual skinny thing. It stands snug against
hurricanes & squirrels, guarding
incoming packages that I always
hope are stories.
I’m pleased to share a bunch of new titles,
plucked from the mailbox & also
some picked up at our thoughtful,
new indy, Mid-Town Reader.

I will devote at least two posts, maybe three, to
cover other books our mailbox sheltered.
Today’s three are highly recommended not only
for their storytelling but also for what they add to
our understanding of potent issues.
From two, I created short found poetry & from one
I offer a quotation.
Appreciations for your visit.

NOW OR NEVER!, is non-fiction for ages 11 and up
by Ray Anthony Shepard that follows
two history-making black journalists-turned-soldiers.
The men work without pay or full respect in a war erupting from a
loathsome stance of people,
including religious leaders of the South & also in the North,
who declared it was legal for white people
to buy & sell black children,
women & men as if they were hogs.
And then, those buyers had the freedom to
do with the enslaved people,
whatever additional cruelness that they wished.

Fortunately, the United States officially won the war
fought by George Stephens & James Henry Gooding.
Our impression of what it was like for the black troops is upended with this
thorough, document-packed, page-turner.
I hope the book’s readership is huge, beyond schools, museums &
& book fairs, to home bookshelves, especially at this time
when we know the uncountable & unknowable
tradegies created by the slavery business
haven’t experienced closure.

“Couriers
ride
as if for dear
life
bearing ponderous
and ominous looking
envelopes . . . ”

from John Henry Gooding’s weekly dispatch,
Oct. 10, 1863, New Bedford Mercury, in
NOW or NEVER!
54th Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery

c. 2017 by Ray Anthony Shepard

Learn more about Ray Anthony Shepard,
whose grandfather was an enslaved child and whose great, great-grandparents
were enslaved.

Please know about a novel inspired when an observant young
writer visited Senegal, Africa. She was very moved by a child who sat
on a wall near a shore. And that moment made a difference for
debut author Leah Henderson’s ONE SHADOW ON THE WALL.
Another difference is that her parents created unique family travel
to places of black princesses, black cowboys, black
scholars and to historic sites of black achievement. The author
was able to grow up with experiences
feeling pride in people
who looked like her but were rarely reflected in books she read.

Now she offers the poignant & uplifting saga of loving
children adrift with the spirit guidance
of their beloved dead parents, which is is heard or seen only by the responsible
brother, Mor.
Just eleven years old, can Mor possibly be provider, protector & story-bearer to his
sisters, Mina (Amina) & Tima (Fatima.)? After page-turning troubles of
survival, Mina doesn’t wake from a sleep. What can Mor do?
The reader aches & cheers, on this journey with siblings who
sleep on mats & treasure their goat, Jeeg, & find joy with a small
stone, to transform into a doll, a bird, or a fish.
I feel this MG contemporary adventure
is important to many, including all families who read to each other, to
volunteers or teachers who read chapters in classes
including social studies, or at afterschool/weekend
programs, & to curious self-reading bookworm kids.
And it’s also a winner with adults who take a world view in
wanting to understand more about
children’s lives from all regions.

The author’s travels,
extensive research & consultation with pertinent
Sengalese insiders, experts & friends are an assurance that
ONE SHADOW ON THE WALL
is a trusted ticket to traditions and struggles most
readers, such as myself, can’t even begin to imagine
let alone present in nuanced fashion. I appreciate the
stortylling & the education.

Jeeg

Boabab.
Hollow of
tree.
Squeezed.
Mor,
Jeeg.

Hideout.

“m-a-a.”
“m-a-a.”

found in
ONE SHADOW ON THE WALL
by Leah Henderson

For more on this book & author Leah Henderson

The picture book biography,
MAMA AFRICA! by Kathryn Erskine with artwork from Charly Palmer,
follows the singing activist Makeba – Zenzile Miriam Makeba.
As a toddler she danced & sang. As a young adult, she watched a friend
die because a segregated ambulance wouldn’t treat or carry him after a car wreck.
Makeba lead and sang songs in tribe languages,
carrying powerful opposition messages, singing words
that white South Africans didn’t bother
to try to understand.

Because she eloquently & movingly asked the world to
acknowledge the existence of & help end,
apartheid, she was banished from her homeland.
An invited speaker at the U.N., Makeba asked the world to intervene
against South African’s brutal atrocities & unfair
imprisonment of black people. She appeared on stage
with Martin Luther King. Jr.
& with Harry Belafonte to advocate for justice.
She lost relatives murdered during suppression of blacks and
felt empowered to work
internationally in defense of children, women & men who suffered
the constant terrors. The incident many can cite is the killing of
peaceful children in Soweto township.
In 1990, Makeba returned to a hard-fought, changing
South Africa & saw Nelson Mandela walk out of prison.

The author, as a young white child, enjoyed black friendships
in defiance of apartheid South Africa, during temporary years there.
Heartfelt author photographs & notes offer long-held connections to
the theme. The text is lyrical. Illustrations from artist Charly Palmer
are an artsong of pulsing color, layered & bold.

Songs of call, response!

Khawuleza
alerting song – police approach
Lakutshona Ilanga
searching song – jails & prisons hold missing loved ones
Mayibuye iAfrika
returning song – Africa should be for native Africans
Mbaeke iAfrika
returning song – land should go to rightful owners
Ndoemnyama
forertelling song – apartheid will fail

Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika
asking song – “God Bless Africa”

found in
MAMA AFRICA!
How Miriam Mekeba Spread Hope with her Song
c. 2017 Kathryn Erskine

Learn more about KATHRYN ERSKINE, a popular novelist for young readers, who has won the National Book Award. I have read many of her novels, which mean a great deal to me, especially MOCKINGBIRD. She has a new novel, THE INCREDIBLE MAGIC OF BEING, one of my postal box finds I look forward to being with, soon.

Learn more about artist CHARLY PALMER

What to do with scary thoughts + tote love

(((((Way over here in Kidlitosphere are your Poetry Friday pals.)))))

Do you love totes?

A tote is expressive,
& earns its keep,
a canvas workhorse (on duty, below.)
This one arrived
empty last week when I ordered it
from the great folks at
Every Town who do heavy lifting,
to make our country
safe for kids.
Despite everything gone awry with safety,
and the political trouble spots
of our dear Nation,
I believe there are always more of the
good folks sharing joy than folks
creating the bad.

Totes love books.
Out of shelf space, I stash
incoming books in them.
I won’t try that with a T-shirt, will I?
Books are blessedly arriving often this fall.
Today, unpacking this special tote working as a bookcase,
I tip you off to –

ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT

A must-have Halloween pleaser, I
know you will want to order it
to prove how brave
YOU are.
The poems are the creation of my
longtime newsroom pal.
I wrote the intro.
At only $6, I suspect some
of you will want your own
to boo! someone close to you.

A few tantalizing lines . . .

Night’s Walk
by Audrey Parente

Soft steps rustle leaves
in shadows among folds
of night’s dark bed-gown.

Scented air gusts meet
flirtatious clouds, a courtship
of giddy, twirling clowns

But then . . .

c. 1992, 2017 Audrey Parente
all rights reserved

************************************************

A LINE IN THE SAND Barbara Ann White
ACTIVIST SENTIMENTS P. Gabrielle Foreman
THE FUGITIVE’s GIBRALTAR Kathryn Grover

All three of these titles
unveil aspects of the layered story of
people stolen from Africa,
brought by inhumane treatment to our shores &
the subsequent horrific
tragedy & occasional blessed heroics
& rare simple decency,
of what happened next to entire families.
Could it have been insanity that led most
religious leaders, North and South, to
go along/get along with the horrors lived by
enslaved children, women, men & free blacks?
Their ostrich ways meant that War was the only
path for this Nation, to end the
selfish barbarism of human-ownership of humans.
A way I co-exist with the
troubling state of our Nation is to double-down
on lapses, gaps & holes in my education such as
these books begin to correct. The other way is to
write & —
that, happy to report, is going apace.

************
Last time I mentioned filling in the blanks of my
ABCs it was with Faith topic books.
The passalongs to two Bookseedstudio commenters are
WHAT DO OUR NEIGHBORS BELIEVE, flying off to Carmela Martino.
THE FAITH CLUB is for Robyn Hood Black.
I expect to walk up to the post office soon. If they aren’t
received within 2 weeks, please let me know.
Congratulations.

************

What a Wonderful World as Louis Armstrong
sang, is how I feel when celebrations about a culture
not my own arrive.
This week’s visit is via
DUMPLING SOUP,
winner of a Little Brown & Company award.
I have read it in a library but this is the first
that this delight is my very own copy. For some time,
it has cooked up love magic, spreading goodness through kitchens
across the lands.
Jama Kim Rattigan’s Korean-American story may even
give me the push some cold day to create
what patient Marisa does –
make her own O-no (delicious, in Hawaiian)
mandoo (dumplings in Korean.)
I am practicing a few words,
guided by Jama’s glossary.
At a time when we all are more focused on Korea
(positive thoughts wafting that way)
it is heartening to think of the multitude
of beautiful Korean-American families in the USA,
which DUMPLING SOUP reminds me of,
although with a very loved Korean-American family
here in town, I shouldn’t need a reminder.
The colorful illustrations are from Lillian Hsu-Flanders.
If you can find it on the secondary market as I did, consider
yourself lucky. If you can or you can’t, you will still
learn a lot from Jama’s generous online story
about the path to publication.

**********
I am happy to backpack in spirit
with a new young Mom travel guide writer
in Florida,
Terri Mashour.
Terri is a forest Mom, meaning that
she brought her little girl along on miles of
woods trails that the wee one was all giggles, to explore.
This professional forester’s contribution to
Florida travel books is
BACKCOUNTRY TRAILS OF FLORIDA. She is co-founder of Fun4FirstCoastKids.com
Congratulations Terri! Hope to see you on the path.

* * *
And speaking of Florida travel,
a shunpiker guide yours truly
researched and wrote (through three editions)
is Still. In. Print.

********************************************************************************************

I am thrilled to recommend

FORTUNATELY THE MILK by Neil Gaiman.
This tall tale, which grows crazier, deeper &
splashier with the page-turning,
will be flying to a young Annino family I love.
They will chuckle over both the story & also, the illustrations, from
Skottie Young. (Although I snared an
autographed copy of Neil Gaiman’s CRAZY HAIR for our daughter
years back, this one is going out autograph-nekked.)
I did not know that N.G. shared my worries about
Hurricane (Tropical Storm) Irma. His thought about what he does
with worries, are spot-on for writers. His plan
works when scares other than hurricanes flow by, too.
(advice is at very end of his Oct. 6 journal.)

Next tote time, I hope to see you around as I unpack a different book tote. Thank you so much for visiting today.

“>The Everytown Tote

Irma’s Tinkerbelle

(PoemFriends are peacefully greeted (Sept. 21 – International Peace Day) over at The Poem Farm with Poetry Friday host, Amy.)

Directly across our house. From Hurricane (tropical storm) Irma Sept. 2017

In flights of twos and tens,
hummingbirds darted in light rain to a feeder
I watched in Alabama.
That was one of the beauty spots
calming us
when we evacuated North Florida,
away from high winds
and waterfalls of Irma’s rain.

Maybe because my pictures of them define blurry,
or there were so many
of the whirry, bitty birds,
I made a startling leap of
imagination. J.M. Barrie must have been a
hummingbird watcher
. And I decided that
hummingbirds must have been his inspiration for
Tinkerbelle in PETER PAN.

TINKERBELLE

Our city & county officials called for
a voluntary evacuation.
When a sturdy, outdoorsy,
trusted writer pal informed
me of that alert, we knew it
was right to go with the flow.
Although I had snared the last room reservation
at a chain hotel we like, it was nicer to give that up
to another family & accept
the offer of shelter of another writer pal, whose
spacious house at tree top level,
book-filled from beam to brim,
defines the word retreat.

The hovering Tinkerbells inspired me to
write a poem, Jaunty,
in longhand there (below), which
may fit an intriguing
prompt from Carole Boston Weatherford
at TODAY’S LITTLE DELIGHT/DITTY.

I also found out how one very special canine
works a laptop.
I read borrowed books from our pal,
Joan Broerman, author, writer’s workshop leader
who is a legendary leader in the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators.
In generous Joan fashion, she also gave me a book for the road
(BIG MAGIC, Elizabeth Gilbert.)
My hubby & I so very much appreciate Joan for providing calm
energy & generator advice & much more
in the storm.

Maggie & Me

Back home, in North Florida Irma slowed
to a wide, walloping tropical terror, downgraded
from a hurricane.
Irma veered away east of our North Florida hilly town,
leaving people to cope with downed trees & hours
without power. I hope that many, looking at the
destruction on islands and along rivers/lagoons/canal
communities,
understand how fortunate they are not to have to live
in a Florida flood plain. (This is land that should
be set aside from development, as along the
Hillsborough River near Tampa.)

Here is my Hurricane Irma poem.

Jaunty
by J.G. Annino

A bitty bird creature,
darting,
discovers
empty feeder.
Food gone.
Hovers, hovers, hovers.
Human helper, help instantly!
Jaunty keeps looking.
More nourishment needed!

One person
quickly,
quietly,
responds,
rendering
sustenance
to
ultra-vibrant
winsome wonder.
c.2017JanGAnnino

Jaunty

Thank you all, first responders. Thank you librarians, who are among the many groups organizing for hurricane relief.

Thank you for collecting images of Hurricane Irma’s impact,
Washington Post , including photographs from my
beloved streets of coastal Southwest Florida,
where I no longer work & live, & from coastal Northeast Florida, where
we sometimes play.

Irma’s irritation

Poetry Friday is flashy over here.

(also, winners of books from my last post at Bookseedstudio haven’t been notified yet.
With work on my verse novel, I am delayed in that project. Appreciations for your patience.)

In the meantime . . .

Hurricane Irma scares every sensible person
with connections to our treasured
Caribbean Islands & Florida.
So I feel it’s fitting that
I share another scare, a fright that I hope
you will want to see because it has been delightfully
distracting to me, to put it together on short notice.

It is my new intro to
a wicked collection of Halloween poems that
were brilliantly created
by my longtime writing pal, Audrey Parente.
First pubbed as a private chapbook in 1992,
this chilly collection returns now in 2017,
in time for Halloween. I’ll report back with
the link about it when ready for prime time.
I’ve previously mentioned this chapbook
at Bookseedstudio. And here
I am reading from it.

Fortunately any poetry person likely owns
a stack of spooky poems or stories
to read, by candlelight or flash,
or FLASHLIGHT NIGHT power,
if the electric juice
fails due to
furies of weather.

c. all rights reserved
Jan reading
ON ANY DARK AND
SPOOKY NIGHT, written by
Audrey Parente.

If you or loved ones or
beloved places are anywhere underneath the path
H. Irma, H. Katia or H. Jose, my best wishes & prayers for
safe hurricane days include you, too. Now, The Intro….

Bleatings to all.
Only the fortunate few
will dare turn pages of
this clever collection.
And why is that?

The Headless Horseman.
Carrie.
Frankenstein.
Nurse Ratched.
Thing.
Perhaps you know
these chilling
characters of literary legend?

As you inch through
these pages, or rather,

when these potent pages
are through with you,
it will become clear that none
of the denizens listed
dare out-Boo! the
inventor of this edition.

In tattered times before this,
when animals talked
and the undead walked,
Audrey Parente,
damsel of dark words,
crushed creeping chinch bugs,
added to those bodies,
jaundiced juice
for her purple purpose
– invisible ink.

Her silently screaming
scrawlings and scribbles
slunk their way to visible
publication
in an ancient age –
nineteen hundred ninety-two.

Fortunately for the
discriminating Halloween howler,
these visions rise again.
Relax, sit back. Allow them
to haunt you, taunt you,
delight you, fright you,
educate you, saturate you.

You are in the hands of a
master mistress of the
verse arts, the singular
Audrey Parente*,
with her terrorizing truths in

ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT.

– J.G. Annino, 2017

* warning!: author assumes no responsibility for resulting strokes, faints, heart attacks, etc.

Finally that scary weather picture book: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. Take cover!

Sanctuary + pass along books

Sanctuary + book pass alongs

I am exiting from my self-created
verse novel writing retreat
to share three book titles for
these times.

These times
meaning, days following
the loss of three lives at Charlottesville
due to a domestic terrorism murder &
affiliated helicopter crash.

LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE
Heather D. Heyer
H. Jay Cullen Berke M.M. Bates
PEACEPEACEPEACEPEACEPEACEPEACEPEACE

c.2017 JanGodownAnnino Tallahassee memorial for Charlottesville – two friends, two lights

As one of my first actions in response to these deaths,
I sought out books that can help me better understand
various faiths & cultures.

I am one of those uninformed persons who has never
taken a world religions class, although as
a Christian, I feel it is my responsibility to know much
more about my Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Baha’i, Jewish
& other-faith, neighbors.

So I am fortunate to be learning from
WHAT DO OUR NEIGHBORS BELIEVE?
by Howard R. Greenstein, Kendra Hotz and John Kaltner.
I will pass this book along to a commenter here.

I also bought THE FAITH CLUB from Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver
and Priscilla Warner. This is also a book for adults, but it grew from
discussion, when the three authors actually
orgaized to write a children’s
picture book. I will
also pass it along to a commenter here.

Please help.
I’m looking for titles of recent (2016-2017 or upcoming)
K-1st grade excellent picture books
that unfold lively, engaging stories with joy,
while managing to represent
various cultures & beliefs.
Appreciations for your recommendations, which
I expect to find & place in the book bag I take to school,
as a longtime volunteer reader.

LITTLES
c.2017 AG Ford illustration
Kelly DiPUcchio text

I found a 2017 bundle of joy, compliments of
the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library,
that is
LITTLES, And How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio
(Grace for President), with artwork from AG Ford
(What Color is My World.)

From LITTLES:

Littles are washed in warm sudsy baths
with duckies and daddies
that quack and who laugh

I can’t help but feeling, even knowing in my heart,
that if the Ohio young man responsible for
the compassionate Heather’s death,
had grown up in a compassionate
family whose members
regularly read him books
such as LITTLES, he wouldn’t have been on
the wrong section of the participants, that
weekend. Nor would he have written
that high school paper tribute to
the hateful set of beliefs that is Nazism.

My heart goes out to
the victims’ families,
to Charlottesville and
personally to the children’s authors
I know in that lovely area of Virginia,
along to educators and librarians,
as the community
works harder than ever,
to continue on what many know is its
true progressive path.

Deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall Overcome
Some day

I feel fortunate to know Poetry Friday, a Shining Light
& promoter of peace.

And I found this little light to shine
for the whole world
via LITTLES’ author
Kelly DiPucchio & I hope you like this little light 🙂

Also please know these urls:
http://www.wjkbooks.com/Products/0664230652/what-do-our-neighbors-believe.aspx

https://www.thefaithclub.com/ranya-idliby-questions.html

Summer fine

By today all winners of a copy of the dog-gone great  p.b., THE FLEATASTICS, are notified.
A link back to the Q/A with author/illustrator Lisa Desimini, if you are catching up.

Here is a link to Laura Shovan’s Poetry fb page that some of us are reading & contributing to this summer & actually since February & then forward through the year’s end.

And, now  some images of fine times. Wishing you more reading, more writing & more time in the great outdoors this summer. See you here in September!

unnamed-5

c.2017 My handsome Dad Annino & his great-grandson namesake. BRAVO!

IMG_0779 (1)

sloooow down, dears. please. c. 2017

19990047_10211860520380759_7462630826864973280_n

Our world-loving college gal – Joy at the UNISPHERE c. 2017 Anna Annino

Artist-Author LISA DESIMINI & THE FLEATASTICS + book for you!

LISA DESIMINI & THE FLEATASTICS

Today I am thrilled to interview my favorite picture book
artist who is also a dear pal.
Lisa Desimini is a frequent illustrator – interpreter of poems
for children, in beloved titles such as

DOODLE DANDIES, Poems that Take Shape
GOOD MOUSEKEEPING And Other Animal Poems
LOVE LETTERS
TOUCH THE POEM

The poets Lisa appears with, between covers, are
among my many favorites, including –
Naomi Shihab Nye, J. Patrick Lewis, Arnold Adoff.  
 
Lisa is also the author of her own delightful picture books.
They include DOT THE FIREDOG and also a story my
Book Bear puppet & I schlep along to reading time at
school each October, TRICK-OR-TREAT, SMELL MY FEET!

c. Peggy Gifford/ Lisa Desimini

FAMOUS Naomi Shihab Nye/Lisa Desimini


Until recently, Lisa’s newest lovely books are
THE GREAT BIG GREEN, which she illustrated for poet Peggy Gifford, and
FAMOUS, illustrated for poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

This spring Lisa’s newest, THE FLEATASTICS, which she
wrote and illustrated, jumped into the welcoming world.
These reviews scratch the surface:

 “Desimini’s frolicking microscopic world of fleas is a realm within a realm…
Amid the plot about perseverance, (she) sprinkles in the flea family’s running
commentaries.
The engaging, brightly colored scenes filled with comical asides
should be a great story time read for high-energy kids.”
– Booklist
 
“Desimini’s…universe of fleas delights with boundless imagination
and pockets of hilarious flea dialogue, vivaciously depicted.”
– Kirkus Reviews
 
 Let’s give a bouncy Poetry Friday welcome to LISA DESIMINI as she shares about
THE FLEATASTICS.

LISA: Hi Jan, I’m thrilled to be a part of your book blog!
Thanks for having me!

THE FLEATASTICS Artist-Author LISA DESIMINI, c. 2017 Lisa Desimini


Q. 
It’s a joy to be with you, Lisa.
You jumped from one coast to the other. When we visited years ago
in New Orleans, your base was the NYC area. These days the West Coast
is your muse. Is the children’s book vibe different in California and as
author and artist in children’s literature, what resources do you
connect with there?

LISA: SCBWI has a summer conference here and I’ve attended twice.
I saw friends from NY and met some new ones here on the west coast.
I received tons of valuable information and inspiration.
Even though I’ve done many books, I find there is always more to learn.

Q.
I remember your sharing (and I kept it under wraps) about this lively
idea that you couldn’t shake off – a flea circus!  It made me giggle.
And now that I have met tiny main character Sarafleana, I have a seat
on the front row of the tent. What were the high points of your creating
Sarafleana, her family, and her journey?

LISA: It was a long circuitous journey. I tried out several main characters with different motivations.
I had Farley Fillmore–he was too small to be a part of the circus.
I thought about a traveling sporting event with a tiny flea that was never allowed to play.
When I came up with the first line, “Sarafleana was a born jumper.”
I knew I was on the right track.
Another joy was coming up with flea-inspired ideas, names and terms like the grand fleanale.
The classic name Sarafeana was perfect, I just had to add the “l” to transform it to Sarafleana.


Q.
One of the delights of this book is finding the sly puns and terms, especially
on re-reading THE FLEATASTICS for hidden treasures.
Here is the chicken or egg question. Art and image first, or words and story?

LISA: Well, the first thing I came up with was a quick sketch of a Dachshund.
His tail was on page one, then there were 13 spreads of his body,
(just a line through the middle of the page) the final spread was his head.
I thought maybe there could be different scenarios going on behind the dog.
The seasons could change or the weather.

One day I looked at that simple sketch and saw the dog’s body as a stage.
That’s when I came up with the idea of a flea circus performing.
I developed the story before I did any serious sketching.
It took many rounds of sketches before I came up with the look of the fleas.
I wanted them to look cute and silly not scary and mean.

Q.
You aced that!
Switching to another species, I know about the serendipitous arrival of the kitty,
Crash, into your life. (How is Crash these days?) But you LOVE dogs, too.
Right here on the shelf, I’ve pulled out DOT THE FIRE DOG, the sweet visit
with a dedicated dalmation that you wrote and illustrated. What is it
about dogs that makes them ideal characters for picture books?

LISA:I think dogs are loyal, silly and present.
They are our pals.
I’ve only had and been around good-natured dogs that want to be a part of everything.
And they can be so wise.
I am now a kitty lover since we got our, Crash.

Beloved Crash devotedly assists in all aspects of office work.
c. Lisa Desimini


If things go well with THE FLEATASTICS I would love to do a sequel with cats.
Cats have their own silly quirky habits.
I think grooming their entire body, hairballs and catnip might be a part of that story.

Q.
As an upright who has lived with spunky kitty Ginger
for 16 years, that sequel sounds so mewvelous.

For visual artists and for writers who glom onto art-process
details, please share a peek into your studio.
At home or off site?
Corner of a room or an entire four walls?
Natural light or electric?  
Digital-creation or hand-drawn?
And, just how do you corral all the supplies that a dedicated
collage artist such as yourself, wrangles?

LISA: Good question! I counted… my studio is about eighty-eight steps from our house.
It was the garage turned into an apartment by a previous owner.
So it has a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen, but I removed the stove and put two sets of flat files in there. They contain all my collage papers and many paintings from kids books and book jackets.
I have a futon bed for guests or in case I work late.
I have acrylics, oils and my computer.

c. Lisa Desimini

For THE FLEATASTICS, I made paper collages, I sealed them with a clear gel and painted shadows and highlights and added texture.
Then I scanned them into the computer and added backgrounds and other details.
I made the fleas in the computer because they were too tiny.
I keep a folder of scanned papers, objects, fabric, photos and painting textures in my computer so I can do my collages digitally, if I have to.

Q.
Appreciations for a groovy peek into your process and the inspiring studio.

We are not giving away any story spoilers today about performers
in THE FLEATASTICS circus, to savor the surprises in reading it.
But before we leave the famous act, is there any encore information
you’d like to share?

LISA: This book was very different for me, it was challenging but
SO much fun!


I loved working with thought/dream bubbles, the background
flea dialogue, and subplots.
I want to explore that format even more so I’m working on a
graphic novel idea about a magician.

 
Q.
A Lisa Desimini graphic novel – that sounds magical.
Thank you again for this visit about fun but also educational,
THE FLEATASTICS.
(I didn’t know anything about flea hatching!)
Please tell high-jumping Sarafleana, Brava!
And we wish THE FLEATASTICS family many tents of happy
performances ’round the world.
Also a scratch of the heads, to sweet
Sparky and sleepy Snoozer.

LISA:
Thanks, Jan! I loved your Q’s!

Q:
Applause back at you, Lisa!

This is a joyful book that unfolds in
an easy- to- follow surprise story line, yet with many fascinating asides.
I love seeing each little flea’s “look” and how the visitors
to the dog park have personalities, such as the one dog always
thinking of the yellow ball.
Also, I love seeing the woman wonder about a cat park.
Every time I read it, I find discoveries. You will too.

THE FLEATASTICS Show Continues

Now, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, cats and dogs,
fleas and fleamasters,
Lisa’s Desimini’s flea circus offers an encore right here on
Bookseedstudio’s stage with our giveaways, via generous
publisher Boyds Mills Press.
Please comment below and your name will identify you.
If I don’t know you let me say, Hello!
Be sure to share your real name & contact info (website link, email)
if that info can’t be easily found online. If you don’t want to be considered
for the give-away – and we do have multiple copies – you can still comment & say so.
After Monday July 24, more comments are welcome, but they won’t be entered,
so be sure to comment before Tuesday July 25.
Thank you.

Hop over to these links, too.

Mr. Schu Reads
Watch a book trailer for THE FLEATASTICS

I previously reported on THE GREAT BIG GREEN

Home from Canada

I am recently home from Canada & sifting through
provincial magazines & newspapers I picked up along the way.
I am fussing with cameras that don’t want to upload pictures of
deep woods & river otters &
am admiring Emily Carr art cards I brought home.

But today I want to tip you off to Canadian poet Jordan Abel,
whose heritage includes a father from the
First Nation Nisga’a (Tsimshiam),
of the British Columbia mainland.

Jordan Abel is an award-winning literary artist who is likely
to become well known far beyond his land. While we were in
British Columbia he received a $10,000 award for his poetry
& it was delightful to be greeted by positive poetry news
on vacation.

INJUN, his new book, which I haven’t yet read, is a work of
synthesis, & erasure. If you have ever clomped into the mass of
U.S.-produced old Western genre pulps – and some more
recent ones – you owe it to yourself to learn about this book.

If not, you will be interested anyway, if you are keen to feel
the effect all those racists rants have had on one First Nations
child. This child is now a talented poet & is not taking it
any more.

Jordan Abel hangs pulp westerns up by their own stirrups, with
deftness & irony, according to passages I have read
online. I am eager to spend time with his books, including
THE PLACE of SCRAPS. I found out about Jordan Abel from
Marsha Lederman, of The Globe and Mail.
. . . .

I am grateful to my father, Albert Godown, for keeping
accessible important books & articles about Native Americans
in our 1960s living room & for speaking with great respect
of Native peoples, although his only scant connection, and to
a Plains Tribe, was through marriage. So I have long been
attuned to learning from the descendants of those who
arrived on this continent 10,000 or more years ago.

I lost my father when I was in my 20s, but I always come
round, eventually, to happiness, on this
Father’s Day Weekend,
because I could enjoy his steady storytelling that
lasted to the end, his 72nd year.
He drove me from New Jersey into Canada when I was just a kid,
to view my first New Brunswick moose in the wild, & to grow bug-eyed
at the tidal pull of the great Bay of Fundy. On his birthday, in
Canada, I dedicated my recent trip from North Florida to the other
Canadian shore, to him.

Happy Father’s Day.

. . . .

Somewhere on Vancouver Island near Victoria, the province’s capitol city.

Emily Carr

Emily Carr, Canadian genius “Among the Firs”/ Emily Carr House
https://www.emilycarr.com


British Columbia<

If you would like to dip into wonderful POETRY FRIDAY it is collected with a great
post about the new Poet Laureate at the Library of Congress, by the generous Carol’s Corner.

HERE WE GO

Whee! Here We Go!

Just the sort of thing I would sing after –
a holiday weekend traffic jam is unstuck, OR
we set out on a loooong beach walk that doesn’t end until land ends, OR
my verse novel clocks in at halfway home.
I can now say I’ve experienced these three.

So this post celebrates a gift that Bookseedstudio
received aways back, awarded for my correctly
guessing the number of dactyls jammed into in a jelly jar
or somesuch feat over at Today’s Little Ditty,
which is also known by me as
Today’s Little Delight.

My prize is to finally pop the cork on my
pretty copy of the
anthology HERE WE GO, created by poetry mavens
Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.

My particular sample of the book is graced with
autographs from poem makers Robyn Hood Black and
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. Alongside them, between
World art covers from Franzi Draws, are
Naomi Shihab Nye, Joseph Bruchac,
David Harrison and Renee LaTulippe, among a buncha
poet luminaries whose work I
like to fetch off the shelf for fuel.
Because of this book
I am also now a fan of artist Franzi. Go look
her up.

“HELLO” copyright, Franzi Paetzold, all rights reserved

HERE WE GO, lifts up ideas on every
page of the slim volume,
which is also a workbook. But I especially
want to share just a coupla lines from two poems.

Girl Grit

What if
I saved lions
some endangered species
using every strong, skillful word
I know?

© Margaret Simon

Look for the Helpers

Look for the helpers
the healers
the givers

The arms-open
hands-holding
everyday heroes.

© Michele Heidenrich Barnes

Potent.

The main character I’m moving through
life in my 1800s-set story,
is in the business of
saving, similar to the character
in “Girl Grit.”

And she is also looking for the
arms-open
hands-holding
everyday heroes
of “Look for the Helpers.”

The full poems are in the book. If your students or you are about saving
and helping, remember to crack open your
copy if you have one, or find a sample for your
table. Lucky you, if you nailed a coupla autographs!

 

HERE WE GO Final front cover 121116 JPEG

Poetry Friday + 2017 Progressive Poem of Kidlitosphere

The usual Poetry Friday frolic is collected
today at Dori Reads.
. . . .

We are just shy of the half-way point
in April & Nattional Poetry Month. Lucious links of the 2017 menu are
at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.
It’s a bodacious buffet!
I will tip you off to
Poetry Mosaic.
Take off your shoes, put up your feet & allow the poets on stage there to
entertain you with their readings. It’s among the wonderful new additions to the month.

Back here at Bookseedstudio’s Friday the 14th’s day in
the National Poetry Month Progressive Poem of
Kidlitosphere, I am
sculpting in the meandering
playground of words. We are creating
together but separately, smoothly, sweetly,
a new poem. Makes me giddy!  Yesterday’s mighty fine strong line from Margaret Simon/
Reflections on the Teche, officially known as line 13, needs a neighbor. So line 14 arrives:

Shiver me. Look who’s here. Must I disappear?

See if you think that fits
as the poem-to-date appears a bit further, below.

As always, we are soothingly stage-directed
by Progressive Poem pixie & perpetrator
Irene Latham at Live Your Poem. (Who quilted/created
our lovely logo.)
Handsprings are boing boing boinging
all around for her idea & influence.
Enjoy the dragonwords
and when this is titled at day 30
perhaps you’ll dare read it to a
captive
castle
audience?

Untitled 2017 Progressive Poem In Progress

I’m fidget, friction, ragged edges—
I sprout stories that frazzle-dazzle,
stories of castles, of fires that crackle,
with dragonwords that smoke and sizzle.

But edges sometimes need sandpaper,
like swords need stone and clouds need vapour.
So I shimmy out of my spurs and armour
facing the day as my fickle, freckled self.

I thread the crowd, wear freedom in my smile,
and warm to the coals of conversation.
Enticed to the stage by strands of story,
I skip up the stairs in anticipation.

Flip around, face the crowd, and freeze!
Shiver me. Look who’s here. Must I disappear?

. . . .

Now here’s the wand hand off to Brenda,
at Friendly Fairy Tales,
who will weave her magic over words for day 15.

Line-leaders day by day:
April 2017
1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at a penny and her jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids

Happy Happy Poetry Friday! And please remember that
the collected castle of Friday characters is
at Dori Reads.

 

Sofa sabbatical

Sofa sabbatical
by Jan Godown Annino

She said
I won’t say break a leg
(before the event)
because that really happened when
I said that to my Sister once.

Once spoken does an I won’t say count?

Upon the counterpane
two blanket pillows
prop up dancer’s fracture.
Elegant term,
masking clumsy movement.

Defined: strong tendon creates inversion at bone stress.

The show did go on,
seated.
This was not brave,
feeling only a
sprain strain pain.

Who am I to diagnose?

My handsome
helped me home,
right foot carrying
an Eastertime goose egg,
purple.

As a child I memorized RLS’s
Land of Counterpane.
As in his poem: All my work
beside me lays
to keep me busy all the day.

I think Stevenson called for toys.

© 2017 Jan Godown Annino

. . . .
To be true to Stevenson, will summon toys.
Would rather toys beside me lay.
But wait – where are toys?

. . .
I am looking forward to tomorrow’s Poetry Friday when I add to

the 2017 Progressive Poem

that Margaret at Reflections on the Teche so handily added to today.

(My indulgence here is fresh, with three ending lines, discarded. Any thoughts?
It’s been fun to present at March and April events. I miss mobility, but should have a walking boot soon enough.)

Young #Tolkien in a Picture Book

Do you know there is a worldwide day of appreciation
for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien – a reading day?

O.K. I should have known. Some of you smarties do.
But do you know there is a brand-new illustrated book
for ages 4 to 8,
about the child days of the genius creator of
THE HOBBIT
and THe LORD OF THE RINGS
triology?
That’s news to you? Great. I’m as tickled as if I’ve had a
large plate of seed cakes for second breakfast,
to introduce you to this book.

 

9781626720923

The cover art work by Eliza Wheeler is one reason to hug
this sweetie into your world.
The storytelling by Oxford, UK expert Caroline McAlister
is compelling and her back matter is illuminating.

I hope you  enjoy my Q/A here about this brand new p.b. biography.
At that site of educators, librarians and writers on blogger/blogspot, you’ll have a chance
receive one of the multiple
copies we are handing out, to celebrate the book birthday of
JOHN RONALD’S DRAGONS.
(Monday April 3, midnight, is comment close time.)

Thoughts here are so very welcome, also.
But the book give away is only at the link above.
Thank you.

And now a J.R.R. Tolkien verse from
“Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold”
in THE HOBBIT:

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

You can visit this fun fan site for the full poem. which I feel some of you
can recite, or at least verses of it.

Poetry Month
I am anticipating all your “flowering stars”
of April’s Poetry Month.
We are fortunate that
talented poet & Poetry Friday maven/mentor Amy collects
us at the colorful POEM FARM.
http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com

Billy, meet Tameka

This past week breezed right in.
Sunday we took a brisk walk that turned out to
be a lovely 10 miles in the sand near the Apalachicola
fishing village, where a book event caught our attention.
And the week also brought us March 22, the birthday
of Billy Collins, so beloved a poem-maker,
he has served as U.S. Poet Laureate twice.

I have a few lines to share from a poem maker new to
me, who I discovered at a workshop this summer,
but first I’d like to pay tribute to Collins.
He is suitably feted by the Poetry Friday community this month.

(And if you are looking for more Poetry Friday greatness,
it is here this week.)

These words below are from Billy Collins’
“To My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl”

For some reason, I keep remembering that Lady Jane Grey

was Queen of England when she was only fifteen,

but then she was beheaded, so never mind her as a role model.

 Frankly, who cares if Annie Oakley was a crack shot at 15

or if Maria Callas debuted as Tosca at 17?

We think you are special by just being you

playing with your food and staring into space.

c.Billy Collins all rights reserved

 

See this for an interesting Billy Collins page.
Now here are two verses from the poem maker I don’t
think you know. She brings this one to us in
the voice of a child.
The girl just loves her skipping around moments,
close to home.
It is from “Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day”
by Tameka Fryer Brown:

Blue sky, no clouds,
Corner store.
One more
Block to walk before
I’m home. It’s a special day
today, around our way.

Blue sky, no clouds.
No one stares,
or cares
That loud music blares.
Hustle… bustle… salsa sway,
Wild day, around our way.
c. 2017 Tameka Fryer Brown

AROUND OUR WAY ON NEIGHBORS’ DAY by
Tameka Fryer Brown
art by
Charlotte Riley-Webb

Neighbors pour out into the street to share
food, music and dancing and the child whirls through
all the yards and visits the front porches,
in a sweet community coming together of people of
varied cultures.

I am not alone in following the work of Tameka
Fryer Brown.
Here is what Kirkus said about this poem,
published in picture book form with sensational
art by Charlotte Wiley-Webb. “…In this lively and
accessible poem, a multicultural community brings food, music
and laughter to the streets to celebrate their neighborhood….”

I think I’ll mosey over Tameka Fryer Brown’s way. She is one to watch.

Nancy Willard

Nancy Willard

Hello all Poetry Friday seekers.
I am grateful to Heidi who organizes it here this week.

This week, I am spending time with
my Nancy Willard books,
especially, THE SALT MARSH,
TELLING TIME,
A VISIT TO WILLIAM BLAKE’S INN &
STEP LIGHTLY, Poems for the Journey,
collected by Nancy Willard.

I want to pick one to share Saturday,
when I feel fortunate to be meeting with
teens at the request of a legendary
librarian I treasure, Ms. Lenita Joe.

Since Nancy Willard treasured every poem
she placed in
STEP LIGHTLY,
reading them feels like two chairs are pulled up
before a big window overlooking a salt marsh,
tea is poured and
a conversation begins.

Nearly every selection speaks to me, especially
the poems about writing,
but for this post I’m sharing two lines,
from Emily Hahn, in her poem,

“Wind Blowing”
“I can see everything, all around the earth;
Red sun dying, gold sun’s birth.”

c. Emily Hahn, all rights reserved

I feel that is Nancy’s world now,
stepping lightly,
knowing and seeing everything.

Here is a sweet memory written
just a few days ago by her friend
and former neighbor, poet
Lee Bennett Hopkins.

I was thrilled
to meet Nancy Willard in Roanoke, VA
once, at the graduate program
in children’s literature.

She sat in on a creative writing seminar
I enjoyed so much, led by
Han Nolan. She was available to us –
we were all big fans. I treasure the moon she drew
in my copy of NIGHTGOWN OF THE SULLEN MOON.

When she learned that my thesis
for Hollins University included
serious poems about bears in history, she
suggested I look up the work of her poet
friend, Galway Kinnell.
Reading him was rough work, but it helped me.
In expectation of my editing & layout of a
chapbook of bear poems, experiences &
images, I feel fortunate to have been
touched by Nancy Willard’s
magical presence that summer.

I’ve previously mentioned her books here.
and also here, where I shared her signature artwork
a gift that graces books of many admirers.

And I think NW would have liked the recent honor that LBH earned in my state.

“Ballet slippers and saxophones:” #Lee Bennett Hopkins

Kwame Alexander
When I was 2 my mom read me poems by #NikkiGiovanni & #LeeBennettHopkins. So cool that #TheCrossover has won the LBHopkins Poetry award!”

By Jan Godown Annino

If there is a King of Children’s Poetry in the U. S.
he is Lee Bennett Hopkins (the Queen would be
Jane Yolen.)

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Center Stage, Florida Artists' Hall of Fame  c. 2017 Stephanie Salkin, all rights reserved

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Center Stage, Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame
c. 2017 Stephanie Salkin, all rights reserved

LBH is a world-wide record holder in poetry.
And as young poets can attest, for 25 years
he has become the leader in establishing poetry awards
that lift up the art of poem-making and poem-reading,
to the highest levels.

This poet – and novelist- is also a long time leader in championing diversity of characters and themes in children’s books.

I can not say LBH chose Florida for retirement,
because so many projects are popping
for him. During a small dinner in his honor
with his lifetime partner Charles Egita, at
Paramount Grill, LBH talked of
juggling 60 poets’ work. That is because
in addition to writing his own heartfelt poems,
LBH a supreme anthologist of poetry for children.

So among tempting aromas, I selected
tofu scramble in his honor last week,
the night before
he took the stage with rock stars
Don Felder (The Eagles) ,
Billy Dean and Jim Stafford,
to be inducted
into the Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Move over Ray Charles,
Tennessee Williams,
Zora Neale Hurston
and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who proceeded
LBH as honorees in the Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Much has already been written and
will be written
about this honor.

Enjoy Robyn Hood Black piece on LBH,
and futurewise, look for a Michelle Henderich Barnes’
report on the Florida
Convening Culture Conference that was
wrapped around the awards event. (Stick with the link to MB
above, for a cuter than candy pix of LBH!)

But let me just say that I felt as if
I was a
mermaid swimming sweetly on Sanibel sands,
among sandcastles made of syllables
and sounds ripe for poem-making,
as a result of being with LBH & his posse.

So now,
I’m back to writing, reading,
critiquing & visiting schools.
(It’s Dr. Seuss week!)

I close with big appreciations to
Secretary of State Ken Detzner and
his posse including Sandy Shaughnessy,
for bestowing the honor, which was
championed by many, including
poets Stephanie Salkin & Jude Mandell

A VIDEO TO NOTE
I do expect to return here with more on
LBH and the award. But first,
visit with this great video record
of the ceremony, which I enjoyed
straight-through as I couldn’t be in the
Gainesville audience,
scooting home for scheduled events.
Hint: when you have time, stick with this
Florida Channel memory for the poetic line,
we need ballet slippers and saxophones.”
Did you hear the crowd’s applause?

. . .
WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED
I am still focused on the continued
hate speech in this country.
For my Poetry Friday piece this week, I will again
highlight the resistance anthem, WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
But I am happy to provide links on Friday to some
poetry blogs keyed to an exciting March poetry
commemoration,
which I very much look forward to reading.

………..

We are all . . .

The always-informative, often soothing Poetry Friday collection is, collected here this week.

. . .

" We are one Earth"               c. 2017Jan Godown Annino

” We are one Earth” c. 2017Jan Godown Annino


We are one Earth.
We are one People.

We are all immigrants, citizens.
We are all Christian, Hindu, Buddhist.
We are all Jewish, Muslim.
We are all Black, Hispanic, white.
We are all First Nation, Asian.

A long-time spiritual of decades ago that sang out
across this land soothing many, is known as
I Shall Not Be Moved.
It transformed in the U.S. Civil Rights era to
We Shall Not Be Moved.

And it just came into my world,
a most welcome zephyr.

A group of us were invited to stand and sing
this as a protest song of solidarity, in a version
with some words changed for modern times.
We attended this service in response
to vile speech,
sent to a local Jewish temple
and hurtful to us all.

Singing there, a zing zanged
through me.
I felt more uplifted than
I had in months.

We Shall Not Be Moved keeps company with me.
Here it is, with my 2017 tweaks. 

2017 Edition, We Shall Not Be Moved

Will shall not, we shall not be moved.
We shall not, we shall not be moved.

Like a tree, growing by the waterside,
We shall not be moved.

Jews and Christians, we shall not be moved.
Jews and Christians, we shall not be moved.

Like a tree, growing by the waterside,
We shall not be moved.

Hindus and Muslims, we shall not be moved.
Hindus and Muslims, we shall not be moved.

Like a tree, growing by the waterside,
We shall not be moved.

Immigrants, citizens, we shall not be moved.
Immigrants, citizens, we shall not be moved

Like a tree, growing by the waterside,
We shall not be moved.

Black and white, we shall not be moved.
Black and white, we shall not be moved.

Like a tree, growing by the waterside,
We shall not be moved.

Hispanic, Asian, First Nation, we shall not be moved.
Hispanic, Asian, Firsr Nation, we shall not be moved.

Like a tree, growing by the waterside,
We shall not be moved.

Gay, straight, trans, we shall not be moved.
Gay, straight, trans, we shall not be moved.

Like a tree, growing by the waterside,
We shall not be moved.

O YES! Like a tree, growing by the waterside,
We shall not be moved.

©2017 Jan Godown Annino

This is shared with a huge heart of appreciation
to my husband’s former students, the ones who
kindly invited us to the service.
They are long-time consumer activist-attorneys,
David and Barbara Abrams. The Florida Supreme Court
recently honored David Abrams for his generous
public spirit. And he is quick to note that
his law partner, and partner in life, Barbara Abrams,
is why he is able to give so much time to the community.

For more on the original I Shall Not Be Moved.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Shall_Not_Be_Moved

To catch the tune, listen here.

A book, a month of books

I am fortunate to be part of today’s crew at
POETRY FRIDAY.

This week I completed THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
by Colson Whitehead, whose many honors for
bringing the main character, Cora, and her mother,
Mabel, to us, include
the 2016 National Book Award.

“The world may be mean, but people
don’t have to be, not if they refuse.”


– Mabel The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

I cried through much of it, especially at the end.
The author combines history and his own magical realism.
With those tools, he giftedly presents powerful suggestions
about the physical and emotional torture of the
enslavement business that are visceral and I flinched.
It is a swift thing to convict in our minds the U.S. businessmen and women who perpetuated imprisonment and brutality upon children, women and men.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD also delivers us to others
whose complicity must also be remembered and discussed.
The author’s ultimate gift is a fiercely independent young
woman whose spirit will not be squelched. At an imagined
museum in South Carolina, a temporarily-free Cora plays
parts in three different time-period dioramas of black history.
It gave me chills to see her assignment. I made an air-first
as Cora figures out how to get back at gawking white visitors.

Teachers should read this novel; it will be good to see how
it informs both history and literature classes,
for more mature students.
It may also be widely available on television.

This is a 2016 NPR interview with Colson Whitehead

. . .
Although any day of the year is an important time
to learn about more
titles on the black experience, here are some links,
in celebration of
February, Black History Month.

The Brown Bookshelf

Debut author Leah Henderson

I enjoyed meeting author Leah Henderson at a workshop
and think you will want to follow this talented
thinker as her writing career expands.

Poetry for Children
This site, above, created by children’s literature/poetry specialist Sylvia Vardell,
who I hope to meed some day as many of you have, features a link
to SoundCloud posts of poems on various aspects of the black experience. the-underground-railroad<

Thankful

So, we do appreciate the people who have our backs.

In history, the people, including children, who stood up against Hitler & the Nazis are appreciated in books such as Scholastic’s HEROES OF THE HOLOCAUST. Sometimes it was just a cup of tea and food smuggled to a sickly child. What makes their book for young readers especially potent is that their
stories of bravery are all about acts of resistance undertaken by teenagers in Europe during World War II.

 img_5486

Allan Zullo and Mara Bovsun’s book remembers greater-than-a- cuppa-tea actions. The bravery of severe resistance, the acting of deceptive roles in the face of likely arrest, torture & death.

Leading the memorialization of the good people who had the backs of Jews & others’ Hitler targeted is the group, Yad Vashem education center & memorial keeps the flame of memory burning.
The link above is to one of many pages there.
It is especially noteworthy in these times, because the page I selected, honors Muslim Rescuers of Jewish people.

Today is Poetry Friday and also Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The poem of Martin Niemoller is one that many of us studied in school.

“First They Came For The Jews”

by Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

You may also want to learn about the brave IRENA SENDER. Whose feats
are documented in at least two books for students.
http://www.irenasendler.org/facts-about-irena/

Please visit a publisher with important titles, consistently, for young readers & educators, on the Holocaust.

Re-DISCOVERED: Tom Lehrer

This week I didn’t read one of the books that I did actually
share in the Kindergarten class where I volunteer.
Instead I sang it.
WAKING UP IS HARD TO DO, a song from Neil Sedaka, is
a perker-upper in crayon colors illustrated by Daniel Miyares.
It comes with a bonus for me here in Florida; the main character is
an alligator who has to get to school.
The kids didn’t care that I’m not a professional singer. They joined
in, too & we croaked together though a lively time.

In a writer’s illogical way, the success with that for story time,
led me to look online at clips of Shari Lewis
and Lamb Chops singing,
then onto clips of comic Soupy Sales’ crazy old kid’s TV show,
and then I found the brilliant math professor-satirist
Tom Lehrer,
liberal lyricist of the 1960s.

As of 2015 in his 80s, Mr. Lehrer lived quietly, as he apparently
fervently wishes, according to sources I won’t cite.
I wish him his desired anonymity in this crazy world,
great good healthy days & alligator-sized
appreciation for the joy that listening to his songs
brought me on Inauguration Day. I suspect
they will now be a comfort through the weekend & beyond.

Here are some Tom Leher lines about the lip-service paid to unity:

But during National Brotherhood Week
National Brotherhood Week
It’s National Everyone-Smile-At-
One-Another-hood Week
Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you
It’s only for a week, so have no fear
Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year!

c. Tom Lehrer, all rights reserved

I know your kindness and good will lasts
all year & as the first month winds down
in this strange new year, I appreciate more than ever
this nourishing nest of Poetry Friday readers & writers.

In case you want to visit with Tom Lehrer.

Hello, 2017!

Catching up, with pleasure

Whew!
When I was a wee one, my Father would sometimes say,
“That’s been a year this week,” after oodles of stuff
had whizzed through our life in short space.

I feel that way now.
I’m jumping back here to post about a lovely new book.
To be specific, it’s a lovey book: LUCY’S LOVEY.

unknown

This delight is a debut picture book from Betsy Devany, a creative spirit who, when she is not writing,
spends every work day with a flock of toys. Art from Redwall illustrator
Christopher Denise brings the adventures of little Lucy & her missing lovey, to life.

Betsy’s inventive story is page-turning prose as a mystery unfolds.
Since much about poetry is on mind, I collected a found poem
from LUCY’S LOVEY.

Only Some of Lucy’s Babies

Fancy
Tiny
Minky

Humongous
Flat
Burper

Squeaky
Sparkly
Bubba

Since you will want to know more, here is a way to meet Betsy online.

I go back to reading in the school where I volunteer soon
and LUCY’S LOVEY is already packed for the visit

New Year’s Poetry Post Card Exchange

I have received lovely cards & original poems.
I want to post images after I complete my small stack
& send them off. (By January 23rd, the Chinese N.Y.)
More appreciations to the exchange originator.
And to the poem makers who sent them to me.

Law Advocate Students Rule!
I was in San Francisco on New Year’s Day. But I live in Florida.
That was quite a hop for us, and so it was wonderful to travel there to acknowledge students of FSU Law School. The lawyers-in-training work with my dear husband, Paolo Annino. In only one example of student power, their consistent
advocacy for children who were blatantly placed incorrectly in nursing homes in Florida,
due to wrongheaded political policy, has resulted in the Father Robert Drinan award. This was awarded in S.F. and I felt so honored to see my husband accept it on their behalf.

Accepting the Father Robert Drinan Law Award, Prof. Paolo G. Annino

Accepting the Father Robert Drinan Law Award, Prof. Paolo G. Annino

(And yes, the law students sprung the kiddos from nursing homes.)

If you know of folks considering an advocacy career, at any age,
law is a supremely kick-butt, effective area.
I believe there is no better training ground for feet-first
experience than the FSU College of Law Public Interest Law Center.

Girlfriends Rule!
In addition to our moveable Christmas drive from Tallahassee to Daytona Beach
to be with our 95-year-old & 85-year-old Elders (my hubby’s dear parents),
to returning home to fly to San Francisco (sunny days, before the rains!)
I landed, repacked & hit the roads to squeeze in a visit by myself with dear gal
pals Terry & Weida, in two different Florida cities. We did the selfie thing &
the catching up thing. What a bonus good ending, to a feel good string of holiday days.

c.2017JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved

c.2017JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved

c.2017JanGodownAnnino,  all rights reserved

c.2017JanGodownAnnino,
all rights reserved

Poetry Friday Regales!

Poetry Friday is a visit from your Hygge (cozy) place with a community of poetry readers & poetry writers.
This week, until next Friday, it is candle-lit at Keri Recommends. Thank you, Keri!

Sicily in Florida

Some days of December I am posting
at the lovely invitation of peaceful
Mary Lee Hahn (who is doing this every day!)
#haikuforhealing.
I hope these short meditations are as soothing
to you as they are to me.

Homemade

Spinach sausage sweets
Nella’s Sicilian kitchen
Love lucious loaves
c.2016 JanGodownAnnino

c. 2016 Nella Annino

c. 2016 Nella Annino

c.2016 Nella Annino

c.2016 Nella Annino

c. 2016 Nella Annino

c. 2016 Nella Annino

c.2016 Nella Annino

c.2016 Nella Annino

A Year of Reading Invites Haiku

Why hello there & welcome to Bookseedstudio’s blog.
It’s a poetry day here.

Also, please visit the
Poetry Friday collection curated this week by
thoughtful Jone at Check it Out.

Again,
I’m responding to the peaceable invitation of
Mary Lee at a Year of Reading to
think of Haiku for Healing in December.
What a soothing thought this is, just thinking of
her idea.
………………………….
Dec. 13, 2015 #haikuforhealing

Homemade

Spinach sausage sweets
Love lucious loaves
Nella’s Sicilian kitchen
c.2016 JanGodownAnnino

c.2016 Nella Annino

c.2016 Nella Annino

c. 2016 Nella Annino

c. 2016 Nella Annino

c.2016 Nella Annino

c.2016 Nella Annino

c. 2016 Nella Annino

c. 2016 Nella Annino

……………………………
December 9,2016 #haikuforhealing

Manatee
Above spring surface
Unexpected sparkle spout
Manatee breathes
c. 2016 JanGodownAnnino

C. 2016JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved

C. 2016JanGodownAnnino,
all rights reserved

Dec 8, 2016 #haikufor healing
Spinach
Frog-green baby moons
grow round by the kitchen door
love delicious discs
c. 2016 JanGodownAnnino

C.2016JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved

C.2016JanGodownAnnino,
all rights reserved

We chanced upon several manatees at our national treasure, Wakulla Springs last month during a Thanksgiving vacation visit. I’m tickled that for the first time my little red Canon camera is permanent witness to an exhale of one manatee’s breath.

My dear hubby planted a spinach new to us & how sweet & cute, it is!

I hope you are well & that
you are writing well, reading well.
And, appreciations to A Year of Reading!

#IAMTHANKFUL

The best antidote to the anxieties and disasters of life is laughter,
and this children seem to understand as soon as they are born.

Iona and Peter Opie: I Saw Esau

#IAMTHANKFUL 1
It is close to the end of November.
And despite the fact that our beloved Obamas will leave
The White House in January, I am joyful in the fact that locally,
Tallahassee progressive people whose careers our family are
fortunate to know up close, are now newly-minted elected leaders.
It’s not easy serving a community 24/7 but I know they are
enthusiastic about their tasks & will be a boost to community
well-being.
Local, local, local is the way to build up community.
Isn’t this how President Obama & Michelle Obama
first stepped out?
Since all of these local leaders worked vigorously with our
area’s children before finding elective office, it’s exciting for
our area’s young adults who knew them in their child years, to
be hopeful that you can Grow the Good.

#IAMTHANKFUL 2
I was asked by a poetry pal, Michelle, creator of the nourishing blog,
Today’s Little Ditty,

to post my written response, remembering a place of solace.
I am thankful to my parents for much, but especially for the ways
they helped me appreciate the gifts of nature, such as the shore.

C.2016JanGodownAnnino Florida gulf shore

C.2016JanGodownAnnino
Florida gulf shore

Walking the edge
by J.G. Annino

of land
at the lapping Gulf
on a melon curve of sand,
sandpipers escape curls of water.

I stop to receive a wave,
be a slow sea snail.
A ripple washes salted wrack ashore,
taps my ankle bone
lays a green ribbon down.

On a sieve of Sarasota sand
Dad unpacked
to fish from shore
Mom unpacked
to read in a curve of sand.

I toyed with the playground,
ate from the hot dog pavilion,
tossed bread to gulls,
sought digging children,
did not listen to the water song.

This day I breathe the sea rhyme,
see it swipe a shelf of sand,
feel it dissolve trouble from the day,
whoosh, whoosh,
whoosh, whoosh.
C.2016JanGodownAnnino

Joy Month

Joy Month

(If you seek Poetry Friday links – & if you’ve landed here, I’m hopeful you’ll want too, please visit with Laura.)

This may be an only post in my busy, 2nd-favorite month of the year.
I am thankful for so much, including your visits &
comments here through the year.

img_5948

Before a light flight
by J.G. Annino

A silk garland
small patches
yellow, orange, black, white
lifting
falling,
a fluttering
shimmer
of poured sunshine.

c.2016JanGodownAnnino

Every year near here butterflies arrive to gorge on fuel.
Then they lift up to the sky for fall migration over the
gaping wide Gulf of Mexico.

To witness this feeding, as my husband & I did again recently,
always feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

c.2016JanGodownAnnino

c.2016JanGodownAnnino


Because this seasonal sight is so close to Thanksgiving,
it always helps me imagine the even more abundant sights of Nature,
that once were here & everywhere in this
Hemisphere as experienced by Native Americans/American Indians
hundreds of years ago.

In the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving,
depictions of the Native families who farmed, fished, hunted
and lived in villages or on the move,
people who made art and clothing,
medicine and toys,
can be shared in well-meaning
but uninformed Thanksgiving ways.

Because I waited for years for someone in the
Seminole Tribe of Florida to write a book for children
about the astounding matriarch leader, Betty Mae Tiger Jumper,
before doing so myself, I am asked about resources
for families, schools, community youth groups & libraries.
If you have a similar interest here are starting places:

American Indians in Children’s Literature

OYATE

National Museum of the American Indian

I also find these books to be helpful.
Any title by Joseph Bruchac

FATTY LEGS by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fentonwith artwork from Liz Amini-holmes True story of an 8-year-old child.

A NATIVE AMERICAN THOUGHT OF IT by Rocky Landon with illustrations by David MacDonald

DO ALL INDIANS LIVE IN TIPIS? Questions & Answers from the National Museum of the American Indian
ENCOUNTER by Jane Yolen, illustrations by David Shannon

c.2016JanGodownAnnino

c.2016JanGodownAnnino


Happy Native American Heritage Month/November
Happy Thanksgiving/November
Happy National Novel Writing Month/November

Bookseedstudio

c.2016A.Ghoul c.2016A.Ghoul

Halloween 2016

In the night arena waiting in seats,
we are two who dare

peer at beings that materalize
from their shadowy lair
Shambling they ramble, roaming a slow pace
Quaking, we steadfastly keep our place
It selects us from the brave at hand for ghoulish festivities the night suggests
Shaking we pretend this is a jest
Now from behind our seats . . .
c.2016A.Zomb.E c.2016A.Zomb.E

View original post

October, with Barbara Juster Esbensen

I hope you enjoy this verse
from the poem, “October Alchemy,”
by Barbara Juster Esbensen.

She is one of my favorite poets who I learn from,
especially through her guiding,
A CELEBRATION OF BEES:
Helping Children Write Poetry.

October Alchemy
By Barbara Juster Esbensen

Wind runs howling,
Rain slants cold;
Elm leaves pave
The streets with gold.

c.1963BarbaraJusterEsbensen,
in SWING AROUND THE SUN (2003)
……..

Family in New England jump for joy when June arrives.
I know someone who dotes on December.
My month is October.

As Barbara Juster Esbensen says,
it’s golden.

I opened the door to the dark this morning
& this very first day
of my month rewarded me
with a crisp embrace.

Love Cups, by Anna Maria Annino

Love Cups, by Anna Maria Annino


Unplanned,
now today is the morning I
carefully picked up our
summer-idled
Love Cups. They were created in New England, then
surprise-gifted to us
by the hard-working multi-media artist
in our family, Anna, a brand-new law
student.
Our heart-handled sips
(organic coffee, my husband)
(chai green tea with licorice tea, me)
taste better in these gorgeous cups,
if the morning ranges from cool
to freezing. (North Florida can freeze.)

October 1 is also when I
delight in a return
to crafty ways.

c.2016JanGodownAnnino

c.2016JanGodownAnnino

TODAY
is the first day
of the rest
of my best
month.

Lee Bennett Hopkins, please

Poetry Friday percolates perfectly at READING TO THE CORE this week.

It is a good week at Bookseedstudio.
With permission from generous educator and poet,
Lee Bennett Hopkins,
some of his words on poetry are here today.

Also gathered today are
three recent poetry links,
important to me. They appear after
the words from LBH.

Lee Bennett Hopkins, briefly, on the Poet, on Poetry

A poet is, in the narrowest sense, a maker of verses.
A poet is also imaginative in thought, expressive in
language, and graceful in form.

Good poetry is imaginative. It deals with emotion and has
significance beyond the act of creation. It uses figurative
language, yet is compact in thought and expression. Good
poetry has an element of beauty and truth which appears
unstable outside of the poem.

Poetry both predates and transcends the written word.
It is the rhythmic expression of imaginative thoughts
about our world and its people. –
Lee Bennett Hopkins

I will dwell with those thoughts this weekend.

The awards for the winner and honor books
in the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Children
were given this week at Penn State.
The Honor Books are
MY SENECA VILLAGE by Marilyn Nelson
HYPNOTIZE A TIGER by Calef Brown
with Winner,
ENCHANTED AIR by magical poet Margarita Engle.
These winning titles shine like moonbeams on my reading list.

551763_3185685260838_1433051237_n

Three links, promised above, are

A Sept. 19, 2016 online celebration of LBH,
where he shares a bit about his 2017
title due from Lee & Low.

A septercet poem, attempted. The
septercet is a classy form
originated by wondrous Jane Yolen.

An explainer of the septercet form,
as covered at TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY,
treasured blog that is celebrating
septercet creator Jane Yolen
this very month. Look sharp,
the septercet challenge is offered
near the end of the informative
post.

This very week here in Florida,
I presented assemblies
to about 80 attentive
4th graders & also to their pals,
about 100 attentive 5th graders.
I snuck in a little poetry appreciation,
too, although the talk was about
non-fiction research
& writing, of the
non-poetry flavor.

Finally, here I am back at Poetry Friday.
Yes, a good week.

img_5463

A pantoum: Read a spell

Read a Spell
By J.G. Annino

c. 2016 Jan Godown Annino "Foreign Language Edition"

c. 2016 Jan Godown Annino
“Foreign Language Edition”


You want to escape into a good book.

When they call your name, don’t answer.

Begin where you left off.

A side patio may be the right place to read.

When they call your name, don’t answer.

Some sly books can hide inside a jacket.

The laundry room is often good for one chapter.

Be prepared to say it is school work.

A jacket pocket may hold it.

It is right to enjoy a book for pleasure.

Be prepared to say it for a test.

Their entertainment makes your head spin.

It is your right to enjoy any book.

Offer to read a chapter out loud.

Their entertainment makes your head spin.

They lack something you have.

Offer to read a chapter out loud.

Begin where you left off.

They lack something you have.

You escaped into a good book.

2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino "Fulham Palace Book Cat"

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino
“Fulham Palace Book Cat”


……………..

10 Good Things After Hurricane Hermine

10 Good Things After Hurricane Hermine
(arrived Sept. 2, 2016)
by J.G. Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

10 Unlimited chocolates.

9 First butterfly seen, after.

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

8 Early to bed.

7 Unlimited reading.

6 Utility bill (pool pump, garage-door automatic opener, A/C + device use) will plummet.

5 Candlelight.

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

4 New poems + other writing (#amwritng.)

3 So many helpers.

2 Hand-written notes/cards/letters accomplished.

1 Unscathed by Hermine.

~ jga

Although we are without electric power as I post this,
our experience with Hurricane Hermine was a breeze.
Hurricane season lasts through October; this was our first
brush with a hurricane in 2016. The damage picture is
a current scene at the entrance to our street & not our
house. We count our blessings.

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

c.2016 Jan Godown Annino

ISLAND’S END by Padma Venkatraman

(Heidi, at My Juicy Little Universe, squeezes flavors on Poetry Friday this week.)

Island’s End, a novel from
Padma Venkatraman

This spring through a workshop,
I learned about a novel from poet &
award-winning novelist Padma Venkatraman.
Although this post isn’t about her novel-in-verse,
A TIME TO DANCE, which I expect to
bring to a post later,
I hope you will like beginning to know her works.
And if you already found her, I’m glad we share
appreciation for Padma (also known as T V Padma)

ISLAND’S END by Padma Venkatraman

This contemporary-set novel welcomed me to
meet a hunter-gatherer tribe, lead by the elder,
Lah-ame.
I became pulled into their ways. The characters
& the setting feel so real, I would welcome a
story about their earlier years, leading up to the
time that we meet the communal villagers.

ISLAND's END by Padma Venkatram, Penguin Young Readers Group

ISLAND’s END by Padma Venkatram, Penguin Young Readers Group

Ideal Readers of this book, look for stories involving:

Nature
Back country camping
Self-sufficient subsistence societies
Coastal-set stories
Girl leaders
Little brothers/families
First Peoples
Love

The story line
Lah-ame, the tribal family’s longtime & wise male
leader, and the main character, Uido, the chosen new leader,
a young woman, are faced with an intrusion of outsiders
coveting wood of fabulous trees, set in contemporary times.

Favorite line
“Maya covers her face with her hands, as though tears
are something to be ashamed of. I put my arms around
her, but she does not sob.”
(about a visiting outsider, Maya, who doesn’t want to harm
the people or resources of the isolated island)

Favorite scene
If I say, I’ll be sharing a key plot element, but
the rituals & traditions of the tribe call out
to my inner-anthropologist self.

Book bonus 1
Pitcher plants! Seasonal pitcher plant bogs grace
the wild part of our North Florida world; I can’t
remember when I’ve found these unusual plants
to be an important feature of a
beautiful novel the way they are here.

Book bonus 2
Inspired by a writing prompt shared at
Reflections on the Teche by Poetry Friday’s
Margaret Simon,
I selected words that feel charged, played with them
& offer this found poem,
inspired by ISLAND’S END:

Water slurps
by Jan Annino

Healer
Drumbeat
Dreams

Healer prays
Apprentice prays

Drongo bird*
Crocodile
Monitor lizard

Turtle fat
Bear skin
Beeswax glue

Healer prays
Apprentice prays

Cliff
Beach
Reef

Healer prays
Apprentice prays

~ Jan Annino

*Drongo bird

Book bonus # 3
The author’s oceanography career before publishing novels
sailed her to many places, including islands off India.
In learning that some island groups inexplicably avoided
harm from the disastrous 2004 tsunami, she found a
story route into how that could be.

For more on Padma Venkatraman, author of
CLIMBING THE STAIRS
ISLAND’S END
A TIME TO DANCE

The Nerdy Book Club

Padma Venkatraman’s website

Meet Padma at these places:
James River Writers Conference 2016

Highlights Foundation, 2017

Pete’s Dragon, August 2016 movie

Pete’s Dragon, yes!

 

 

The whys:

I left the movie wanting to
climb a tree.

A key part of the plot is that
a child reads & rereads & rereads….
a specific picture book that is very important to him.

Music & lyrics sound as if they are
from a mighty fine acoustical concert.

Legends & myths are some of my
favorite literary tropes.

Respect for imagination, forests & loyalty that is deserving, are to be appreciated.

The child actor, Oakes Fegley, is exceptional.

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So, too are the special effects to make
the facial expressions of Elliot (the dragon)
seem real.

All the key actors are quite spiffy in
their roles. It’s cool to see
Robert Redford comfortable in his
good-lookin’ older guy skin as a
neighborhood storyteller.

Wood whittling. Not a lot, so get there
on time.

I award a nest of green pixie dust
to the creative maker, David Lowery. Bravo!

This was a movie I was too busy to see.
But when I read this  USA TODAY feature, I was motivated to get myself into the theater.

 

Summer 2018

Summer 2018

And so sweet summer solstice arrives in
just 10 days with our blue/green marble rubbing closer to the sunstar on June 21.
Without awareness, until this reflective moment,
I find that I am less inclinded to cook up Red Mill oat bran in the morning,
more likely to have already prepared a batch of chocolate-raspberry pudding
(tofu protein base) for the first meal of the day.

Summer in a weather zone such as our North Florida suburban woods
provides us
mold & mosquitoes,
high 90s, sometimes 100s,
humidity my husband labels perfidy
walls of rain,
sometimes hurricanes.
I take our summer to be like others’ winter,
a signal to embrace extreme conditions.
I savor close-to-home expeditions,
love the gifts of this summer,
wouldn’t want any other summer.

Summer treasure
is tactile
living jewel on hand
ocean necklace plucked from sand

beach hard to reach
little yard tomato, one for each 



unnamed….

Summer June’s tune for Spiritual Thursday writers, sung by Margaret Simon.
And here is the most recent Poetry Friday picnic from Whispers at The Ridge.