Blue skies over Bulgaria

all images & words copyrighted, all rights reserved ©JanGodownAnnino 

[Poetry Friday is collected at dear Laura’s WRITING THE WORLD FOR CHILDREN. Go, visit!} 

Not as depicted in fairy tales 

JGAnnino

I step down along

narrow paved lane

truly a steep slope,

foothill of the Teteven Balkans

 

 a beauty blue, summer blue,

postcard blue sky is my roof

it deserves a salute, but eyes rivet

down at the footing 

less I twist ankle, break bone

5,600 miles away from home

 

and so moving shadow over the land

alerts me

 I stop, arch neck up

behold!

 air-floated leviathan

of grace and strength

 

lone

feathered giant

creature soaring in a million

child stories

 thrill of a glorious day, I whisper

-keep winging on your elegant way-

 

wild wild wild stork

flies free without baby bundle

©JanGodownAnnino

c.2019PetarTodorov, Ribarista, Bulgaria

The slope-day memories are part of our short summer family adventure, not a birding trip, so the surprise made the thrill more intense. I thank my fabulous son-in-law for this memory of a magnificent bird in flight I couldn’t tear my eyes from until as glided out of site in the Balkan mountains.

It is sweet to realize that less than one month ago, we returned home from afar. We traveled  5,600 miles away, journeying in three outstanding areas of Eastern Europe’s Bulgaria. Among stepping stones of Neolithic, Byzantine, Ottoman, Thracian, Etruscan, Greek, Roman people. (I may have missed a culture or two, in there…) Our biological clocks adjusted to the 10 hours of flight differences by refueling. Always-fresh, always-local veggies, bowls of pure Bulgarian yogurt, often homemade, considered by many to be the original yogurt of the world, fresh air, exciting archeological and ancient sites and most of all, wonderful people to meet, brought lovingly to our family by marriage. Here are a few images. I could spellbind you with a day-long travelogue!

A few snaps from Beautiful Bulgaria

Something of Plovdiv, named the EU’s Cultural Capitol of 2019 – ruins of stadium entrance, open air-three-story theater, Jewish temple menorah under reconstruction. The Cyrillic alphabet is a compelling cipher to me. My first-ever Arabic mosque minaret in an Arab region.

c.2019 Plovdiv at night, stadium entrance tunnel

 

 

c.2019 Plovdiv three-story open-air theater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.2019 Plovdiv ancient Jewish menorah floor tile under reconstruction

c.2019 Reading cryllic.

c.2019 Plovdiv Mosque minaret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something of Sophia – We felt as if we stepped into a scene from The Nutcracker Suite. Often the alphabet is translated. We sought out houses of worship and were pleased to be allowed past security, to experience the lovely Sophia Jewish Temple. We always looked for the national flower – roses – here, outside the 700 AD Christian Orthodox Church.  The underground village of Serdica is yielding its stories, while museum treasures include truly-golden pages of a 4th-5th century book and    young hairstyle I love, from a lass of ancient times. We never tired of the lovely red-tile roof views, this from our balcony at Sophia Place Hotel – glad to recommend it!  Fresh foods, including fresh-squeezed on-the-spot orange juice are the norm.

c.2019 Sophia “Nutcracker Suite”

 

c.2019 Learn “staff only” in Cryllic.

 

c.2019 Sophia Jewish Temple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.2019 Sophia. Young roses, old church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.2019 Sophia. Underground Serdica.

 

c.2019 Sophia. Gold pages,
4-5th Century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.2019 Sophia. Sweet Pigtails!

 

c.2019 Sophia. Mosaic of red-tile roofs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.2019 Sophia. Fresh O.J. available frequently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something of Rila – Ancient roadway, a monastery with architecture that is a work of art and a feeling as if I am walking into The Name of the Rose (Umberto Ecco) a favorite novel – all at the Rila Monastery at Rila Mountain.

c.2019 Rila. Ancient roadway.

c.2019 Rila. A stunning UNESCO World Heritage monastery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.2019 Rila. Step into my chamber…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few fun scenes of family time. With more than 1,000 images between all of us, new family included, this is but a taste…

c.2019 A circle of bread, the newly marrieds, who gets the bigger piece?

c.2019 An entire afternoon of sweet & folkloric circle dances!

c.2019 Ribarista Folk Dancers with our lovely young couple.

 

 

 

All images and words ©JanGodownAnnino, 2019, all rights reserved. 

 

Nudge

Nudge

Nudge poem by Tingyu Liu, c. 2017. photograph c.2019 JanGodownAnnino all rights reserved

The poem above, titled “a moment, ” is by Tingyu Liu. It  begins

 

“a moment

 this morning I caught

your breath beneath my ribs

and relearned how to breathe…”

 

Here is a link to the rest of the sidewalk poem, several poems along the list.

I snapped the image on a fast walk in the Boston area back in May;  poem makers are encouraged to send in their works in some communities! Yours? How about that for a nudge? Your poem on a sidewalk!

I have to ask.

Would your poem be concrete?

If your village or city offers a similar program, I’d like to know. It sounds like a form of poem-publishing (is etching on a sidewalk, publishing?) that would be wonderful to experience. I would advocate it especially for young poets.

 

I’m published!

Next time here at Bookseedstudio, I expect to have original poetry to share again. Today I do my offer original words in prose, as published under my byline in Florida’s Capitol city newspaper.

My hubby & I observe a ritual of retrieving the paper

from the end of our drive every morning.

Do you? What is it named? (The paper – but if you name your drive, say so, too!)

One in our state (Florida) was once called the Playground Daily News. 

Ours is the Tallahassee Democrat.  We love this newspaper for many reasons.

 

A big glimmer about the paper for us is that bringing it in,

to read with morning tea or coffee,

sends me schlepping outside in the morning dark to

commune with the setting moon and even to visit planets and stars.  Are you outside at those hours,

collecting a newspaper, too?

Before my book-writing days, I met deadlines at this newspaper. And it remains dear dear dear, to me.

 

Sept, 7, 2019 Tallahassee Democrat “Window on an empire” Jan Godown Annino

Sept. 7, 2019 Tallahassee Democrat Ottoman exhibit article

Goodness & Light to  Poetry Friday & Spiritual Thursday writers & readers.

 

 

 

Hurricane Dorian 2019

Hurry, it’s coming

JG Annino

 

At the grocery just

up the canopy road 

I backed away from

cart-jam

 

came home to prune

yard of potential missiles

knowing back at the store, families

wiped out beverage shelves

 

snatched up bubble waters,

the bottled fruit teas,

but at home, I brewed our London-tin tea bags

squeezed into that tangerines, from last week’s fruit bag

 

took my drink out to visit with

cherry red umbrellas

sprouted from my queen of late summer blooms

she faithfully delays her show

 

sweltering oceans

towering thunderheads

trip Hurricane Lilly’s

pop-up alarm

 

re-tinting

Dorian

gray

days

c.2019JanGodownAnnino

“Dorian Hurricane Lilly” c.2019JanGodownAnnino

Category 4 torrents bring beach-combing days, potential bright spots in fraught hurricane aftertimes. This is from Carl Sandburg’s “Sand Scribblings” collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins’ sweet THE SEA IS CALLING ME, illustrated by Walter Gaffney-Kessell, c.1986.

from “Sand Scribblings”/ Carl Sandburg

Boxes on the beach are empty.

Shake ’em and the nails loosen.

They have been somewhere.

c.Carl Sandburg

from The Sea is Calling me, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Walter Gaffney-Kessell, c. 1986.

Carl Sandburg in “THE SEA IS CALLING ME, collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Walter Gaffney-Kessell, 1986.

update of Aug. 23, 2019 “About Lee Bennett Hopkins” tribute, SIDE BY SIDE will be mailed out with pleasure to Linda M. & Amy LV.

 

 

 

 

August 2019

image c.1986 Walter Gaffney-Kessell, The Sea is Calling Me

On an August Day 

by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Ocean waves rush in

just in time

to give the shore-brids’

hot burning legs

a cool, cool bath.

c. 1986 Lee Bennett Hopkins

from THE SEA IS CALLING ME

poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins with illustrations by Walter Gaffney-Kessel

Bookseedstudio mentioned this book previously, here. And so my heart found these lines, thinking of our dear LBH:

On an August Day

It was time to 

sing

the last

line

c. 2019JanGodownAnnino

 

About Lee Bennett Hopkins

23 August 2019 #DearOneLBH

“I don’t know why you say good-bye I say hello” *

from RAGGED SHADOWS c. 1983 Lee Bennett Hopkins c. 1983 Giles Laroche

You will find no better thoughts about literary lion

LEE BENNETT HOPKINS than from my dear colleagues who include:

 POEM FARM – Amy

1 NO WATER RIVER – Renee

2 NO WATER RIVER – Renee    

 LIFE ON THE DECKLE EDGE – Robyn

TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY – Michelle

LIVE YOUR POEM – Irene

POETRY FOR CHILDREN – Sylvia

As I take in these tributes, I visit again with Lee & also, Charles Egita, Lee’s beloved partner of so many decades & spouse since 2014. So today in saying good-bye to Lee, I also say hello.

(*c. Paul McCartney, all rights reserved.)

Thank you for hosting this celebration of his life, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater – a Dear One beloved by Lee, her long-time mentor. All, please return if you have time, to read comments & find more links.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES, a Book of Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Renee Flower & dedicated
“for Rebecca Davis who supplies me with enthusiasm.”
published 1996, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

I have indulged sorrow by re-reading every of the 15 books of Lee’s, that I gathered here at home from shelves & desks & bedside & placed on a soft green chair.  The clutch is only a mere patch of the 120 or so books #DearOneLBH is credited with, including his three novels.

 

 

I run my fingers  over his autographs. I play with the light-bright poems he selected. I sigh with the poignant ones in his poem autobiography of difficult New Jersey days, which leaves me inspired with his child pledge -to grow up to be a writer. 

I don’t need a tissue during my putting this together, until I open up a book I have gifted multiple times (some to teachers, with his autograph.) It is SIDE BY SIDE, Poems to Read Together, illustrated by children’s illustrator literary lion Hilary Knight. As is often my habit, I begin at the back. And I find what I had forgot. A barefoot boy of about seven or eight who can only represent Lee, as illustrated by Knight, greets me. Lee sits beneath a bare limbed tree. A brown bird peers down at him and a dragonfly  perches on his pencil which is clamped by his teeth.

This gives me the giggles.  “Hi, little Lee,” I say. Above his image, Lee says:

“Among my fondest

memories are the times my

grandmother recited, from

memory, some wonderful

poems her mother had read

to her. Many of these same

verses are here in Side by

Side. It shows that good

poetry lasts forever! Thanks

grandma.”

 

Lee shares a Truth; He will last for us forever through his poems & anthologies & if you know him, through experiences  I feel you will want to find this volume, if you don’t have it so you can pretend, as I did, that Lee is reading with you, side by side. I have an extra to give; will select in random, from comments. 

When I came late to Charles Egita’s kind social media news of his loss of his beloved, Lee’s passing on 8 August, (I learned 18 August) I was glad my husband was handy that Sunday because in my shock came waterworks. He held me a long time until I was ready to not be held. Preparing for today, in paging back-to-front through SIDE BY SIDE (the way I often read poem books) when I came forward to page 21, my lip trembled; another cry.  Paolo was at work. I dried my tears and began notes for this post. Never before had I read Jane Yolen’s poem from this page in this new light of loss Her page is anchored by Knight’s Grandpa bear  (to me, the big bear is Lee) in a rocking chair. Here is is from page 21, SIDE BY SIDE:

“Grandpa Bear’s Lullaby

by Jane Yolen

 

The night is long

But fur is deep.

You will be warm

in winter sleep.

 

The food is gone

But dreams are sweet

And they will be

Your winter meat.

 

The cave is dark

But dreams are bright

And they will serve

As Winter light.

 

Sleep my little cubs, sleep.

c.Jane Yolen,all right reserved

 

If you know of Lee & Jane, you know that they were decades-long dear colleagues & close close friends. Only the genius who is Jane could have been unknowingly prescient in her poem selected by Lee.

Lee Bennett Hopkins, Orlando, SCBWI, 2015

c.1988HilaryKnight
SIDE BY SIDE
detail, page 80
allrightsreserved

What is on Little Lee’s notebook?

It reads “Munching Peaches  S c r a n t o n Pa ’48”

{c. 1988 Lee Bennett Hopkins & c. 1988 Hilary Knight SIDE BY SIDE.]

Please remember to visit Amy’s POEM FARM for her gathering of a wide array of published book industry & personal tributes to #DearOneLBH. This attention will make its mark if more poetry anthologies are read, more youngest writers are encouraged to set down their poem words. Finally, I am appreciative of Linda Bernfield & her SCBWI Orlando 2015 crew, for creating the event where Lee & I are laughing (above.) And here at Bookseedstudio, I’ve mentioned #DearOneLBH over the years, such as here & also, this. 

Summer shorts

SUMMER SHORTS

Today’s Poetry Friday hoopla is parked at A WORD EDGEWISE, the creation of Poetry Friday public school teaching librarian-poet, Linda Mitchell.

~~~~

Logbook*/ Recently I learned from artist/author John Hendrix to create a logbook.

Heart map/ In winter I learned from artist/author Georgia Heard to create heart maps.

Novel/ Recently I sent to an esteemed big city book editor, my first verse novel, completing a promise I made in 2015 to a man now my dear friend, to memorialize his year-long Holocaust escape as a 6-year-old Jewish boy,  often hiding in plain view from Nazi soldiers. It is 44 poems on 50 pages, for Middle Grade. From this work:

“funny black hat Un nouveau beret!/ messy charcoal stick Entre un artiste!/ really really really stomp on grapes? Oui! Fouler les raisins!” c.JanGodownAnnino

Poem swap/ Recently I created a poem “The Glory Season” inspired by reading Thomas Lux (thanks to writing partner M.R. Street/TurtleCovePress) to send out as part of author/poet/educator Tabatha Yeatt’s  organized joy called Summer Poetry Swap. My first time on this picnic!

Young Authors  In recent weeks (enough with the recently already!) I was honored to be an invited teaching author at a local school’s Young Authors Conference. It is guided by debut author of DHALIA in BLOOM Susan Koehler, who is on the right.

Debut author Susan Koehler (far right.) Yellow pants on the left is me.

Appreciations for your time reading here, your comments & for the everlasting joy, nourishment & love that is Poetry Friday.     Happy Summer!

c. 2019JanGodownAnnino

Global Read Aloud & Padma Venkatraman

Introducing Global Read Aloud,

& a Q/A for Padma Venkatraman,

author of THE BRIDGE HOME

 

Here’s my fresh poem today inspired by the Global Read Aloud, which unfurls after summer recess.

 

“My street” by Jan Godown Annino

 

Quaked earth in Sicily shakes me –

family rides by vulcan shadow

drought hitting honey bees honey farmers in Bulgaria

exhorbitant price rises in Argentina

echoes of WW II children of Amsterdam

echoes of Trail of Tears children in America

child drowned in cruise waters on frantic float to freedom

child shot on panicked walk to freedom crossing lion safari lands

 

potent stories reach my small suburban foot-path

crossing distance

opening eyes heart embrace

to create One Street

© 2019JanGodownAnnino

. . . .

I appreciated so very recently learning about a big book event – Global Read Aloud.Padma Venkatraman, author of a lovely & potent new MG novel, THE BRIDGE HOME, set in coastal Chennai, India, enlightened me about this interactive book celebration.

Lyrical Picture Books, lively Early Readers, lovely MG &YA are selected for focused reading & reader interactionwith the creators & other young readersduring the GRA celebration of world stories.

 

All books selected invite participants to understand & welcome learning about lifestyles, regions, cultures, ideas & teachings that may be lesser-known. According to Kara Yorio in School Library Journal, students have reached out to each other via social media, traditional mail, Skype & other ways to discuss selected global books.

GRA 2019 has selected Padma’s THE BRIDGE HOME.

In her tale, inspired by incidents from real life, four children of coastal Chennai, India, find themselves cast out upon the streets. How will they survive? What will that look like, day and night? Can they become a family? Can a street child living with a disability be as resilient as those without that challenge? Who among the many adults encountered, can be truly trusted? How do children handle the sorrows that inevitably shadow street people living near, but also so far,from the beautiful beaches along the giant Bay of Bengal?

THE BRIDGE HOME is deservedly moving here there everywhere in reading groups, at teacher conferences & home study programs. I haven’t had a chance to look at all Mock Newbery 2020 blogs but I am happy to see this dream list.

Classrooms from South Africa  to North Carolina are talking about connecting across community streets to discuss THE BRIDGE HOME after summer recess. You can join the Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GRAMiddleSchool/

But some won’t be waiting for September 30th – official start of Global Read Aloud – to meet Padma’s four young characters, thanks to the far reach of TV.  And  last month in The New York Times, Marjorie Ingall had this good word to say.  So much YAY! for a book I love.

Q/A with Padma Venkatraman, author of THE BRIDGE HOME

Q

Your story is so excellent in offering an MG visit into extreme poverty, while authentically sharing the characters’ lightness & love. How many years has this beauty has been in the making? Please share a peek into the revision process on this one, after contract.

PADMA This book was about 5 years in the making, maybe even 6 or 7!  It was easier than the others to revise in some ways (except that I was used to writing  YA so it started off a lot larger and I had to trim a lot while retaining the essence and especially the emotional punch.)

Climbing the Stairs began as diary entries, but that seemed too narrow; so I widened it to rewrite the whole thing in third person but that felt too impersonal; then I rewrote it all in first person and I knew I had the voice right.

Island’s End originally had 2 voices but then I realized I didn’t need multiple points of view and it was just Uido’s story.

A Time To Dance started as verse and stayed verse in the end but in between I was frightened and tried prose which sounded horrible for that novel, so then I trusted my instincts and went back to verse.

With THE BRIDGE HOME, I just knew the voice was right, right from the start. 

It’s a really unusual voice – 2nd person – direct address, so it has the feel of one long letter that Viji the protagonist is writing to her sister, but I wanted the reader to feel both like Viji was speaking to her sister but also, in some way, like there was the intimacy of the protagonist speaking to the reader directly. 

Q

I find poems from writers with India heritage in young peoples’ anthologies, notably those selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. Would you please share a a poetry collection for YA or MG by an Indian author, or authors, available in English?

PADMA I absolutely love Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry. Much of his work has been translated into English – YA readers would be easily able to read those translations.  I believe W. B. Yates’s translation of his Gitanjali won the Nobel Prize.  

[ Bookseedstudio: RT created the India national anthem & is known for literary & educational innovations & for winning the Nobel Prize.]

Q

Your back story reads like a novel, Padma. After child days in India with your accomplished single mother, who has a wonderful shout-out in your author’s note, which makes me fall for her, you worked as an oceanographer following university years in  the UK.

This ocean-going leadership position took you far out to sea, on fascinating waters of the world. Which is one reason why we are fortunate to have ISLAND’S END, set in the Andaman Islands.

Please share any moments when the ocean’s creatures or phenomena left you amazed, or perhaps when the ocean’s fury astounded you. This is a question, I guess, about theimpact of those years dwelling close to Nature for weeks, months, on end. And also please share your your view of how our fragile giant blue/green marble fares today.

PADMA Ever since I was a child, I have been attracted to nature.  I could always lose myself in a place of natural beauty and I think that feeling of losing one’s ego entirely is something that also happens when I write, which is  why I like both being in nature and writing.

As for moments that left me amazed, I remember dolphins following our small craft in the Andamans once, and how they threw rainbows into the air every time they leaped. 

It astounds me, though, that we refuse to look after Earth.  We only have this one planet and it is shocking to see how poorly we’ve treated it.  It’s so depressing to me to see that we Americans act as though Global Warming  is a question of belief. It’s not. It’s a scientific fact.

If I ask you do you believe in God, that’s a fair question. But to even ask if anyone believes in Global Warming is not okay because it is not a matter of choosing whether you want to believe in it or not – it’s a matter of opening our eyes to the fact that if we don’t change the way we live, we soon won’t have anywhere to live.  

Q

THE BRIDGE HOME leaves me tremulous for the four children – one older sister & her younger sister, and also, two boys who are friends by circumstance. I began to worry about them incessantly.

At other moments the unlikely informal family- by- accident makes me laugh. I still think about them.How did you deal with your heights of joy for them  & also your sadness at their poignant, tragic moments?

PADMA I love them too, so thank you. I remember hearing Lois Lowry say once that the worlds she created were real and I feel like the characters I create are real, too.  I do get very involved in my writing and I must admit my sadness at the way we treat children even today does affect my family.

Plus it was incredibly tough to return to the place in my childhood and adolescence when I witnessed violence and I had to do that, to write. I wish I could say it was cathartic but it is wasn’t because we still have so many real Rukkus, Vijis, Muthus and Aruls today in this world who are suffering from hunger and homelessness.

 I am not sure I really know how I deal with it – it’s just a fact I live with and think about and try to do something about through my writing and outside of my writing; but some days of course, other aspects of my now-comfortable life take over and I don’t think or do as much as I should.

Q

Your author’s notes are fascinating, especially about your mother. What are some of the things she tells you about your writing. And especially about, BRIDGE, as it must seem so personally potent to her, considering her volunteer work when you were young.

PADMA My mother ardently supports and admires my writing. She has, ever since I was a child. It was to her that I first dictated my poems – and she says I was really picky about line breaks, even when I was just 3 years old!

Apparently, I’d say – a poem came to me, I have a poem in my head, write it down for me – and that was because at that age I couldn’t write myself. She recorded in her journal that she was shocked I had the concept of a line or such an extensive vocabulary.  

 Q

This is a tiny prompt I will share with writers in my home June 19. It is modified from one given by poet Helen Frost at the poetry blog of editor/poet Michelle Barnes.

Please complete.

Select an object relating to your story idea or your character. But, an object that isn’t usually symbolic. Can’t be the surface of a small pond/mirror/window, nor a banner/flag or flower etc.. It could be a sock, a patio chair or chewing gum, to offer examples.

1/ What is the object    

Padma: Newspaper

2/ Ask this object a question   

Padma: How do you feel when people throw you away so easily

3/ What does the objects answer   

Padma:  I don’t like it. I wish they’d all recycle me. 

Q

We met when you spoke at a Highlights Foundation Novel-in-Verse workshop.

PADMA Highlights is an incredible place – at least a place that is special to me. The beautiful setting and just being surrounded by nature would itself be enough but here one is not distracted by mundane everyday needs and you’re served amazing and wholesome food, everyone is welcoming and I think (hope) the faculty really and truly supports the students. I rejoice when I hear that so many writers who were once students when I was faculty – like Traci Sorrell, Charles Waters, and many many others – are doing so incredibly well. I have heard some people say Highlights is expensive but I really don’t think that is true at all. It is an all inclusive package so it is an incredible price I think. But I am biased in favor of this wonderful program!  

 

Highlights Foundation Workshop – Padma Venkatraman, Jan Godown Annino

Q

Anything else you’d care to add about where we might connect with you.

PADMA I would love to have any and every school that wishes, to participate in the Global Read Aloud, for which THE BRIDGE HOME is the middle grade selection.

I am so honored and humbled this is the case and I cannot wait to connect to students and teachers and librarians and readers around the world.

I also am so honored that the book is a ProjectLIT selection as I think that is an effort I so greatly admire, too.

Can’t think of anything else at the moment, Jan! Off to catch my flight to Trinidad – so excited to be chief guest at their Beach Pen festival again! A great week ahead with many school visits library events and even an event at a women’s prison, which I am sure will be so incredibly important and meaningful to me.  

Bookseedstudio: Appreciations, Padma for this deep sharing.

. . . .

More connections

Padma Venkataraman’s website, including, when underway, Padma’s updates on  connecting with GRA students & other events:

Teach the Bridge Home (GRA#19 GRABridge #ProjectLIT)

https://padmavenkatraman.com

Scholastic calls the Global Read Aloud originator a cool teacher:

Global Read Aloud website:

https://theglobalreadaloud.com/blog/

Padma Venkatraman is a special guest at this 2019 Highlights Foundation workshop.

 

Here at Bookseedstudio I also wrote about Padma’s novel, ISLAND’S END.

I love this wonderful piece on PV, at groovy Nerdy Book Club:

Thank you for reading this far!  The comment box is below. Many appreciations to today’s Poetry Friday host the multi-talented artist & poem-maker Michelle Kogan.

. . . .

 

Naomi Shihab Nye

I have a circle story.

It begins with author/artist

Lisa Desimini who exquisitely illustrated

my children’s book about Betty Mae Tiger Jumper.

I try to buy every book Lisa

is part of creating,

even when a spooky topic that may inspire

nightmares

is between her jewel covers.

http://charlaineharris.com/lisa-desimini-prints-sale/

When Lisa’s book

FAMOUS came along in 2015

I bought it immediately & loved how she

interpreted Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem.

FAMOUS Naomi Shihab Nye/Lisa Desimini

(Scroll to the 5th book at this site…)

https://readingpartners.org/blog/inspire-children-national-poetry-month/

Find Lisa/Naomi’s book distributed from Independent Publishers Group

https://www.ipgbook.com/famous-products-9781609404499.php?page_id=32&pid=WNP

Some of you know

that “Famous”

is one of Naomi’s most beloved pieces.

 

I think of “Famous” as Beatitudes for the Poet.

 

Last year I settled into my seat

at a singing workshop here in little

Tallahassee

organized by my

friend Velma Frye, a musician, poet and singer.

Imagine my surprise when

Velma’s friend, the event’s

guest musician songwriter artist Becky Reardon

just in from the west coast

sang

Lisa’s book FAMOUS/

Naomi Shihab Nye’s famous poem “Famous.”

I nearly levitated

at this surprise as I didn’t

know Becky had set it to music.

I tell you my eyes leaked.

Naomi’s “Famous” poem has

bloomed into an

evocative writing

prompt for creators all ages

celebrating the beauty

of everyday needed

things and actions.

 

Here are three of my responses to the poem, “Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye.

 

I want to be famous like…”/ NSN

 

an ant is famous to the ant hill

 

a bib is famous to the young parent feeding a young one

 

the pine cone is famous to the crackling fire

 

If you love “Famous” or want to know more about it, you may want to get yourself a copy of

the CD where Becky Reardon sings it, INSIDE THE OUTSIDE.

On You Tube I found it at #41  searching Becky Reardon’s Top Tunes.

I also pulled to a moody ‘Famous” rendition in film,

from Poetry Foundation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFuH4o2yxXw

 

And you may want to visit with Naomi Shihab Nye mentoring

us at Poets.org:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64WACNcLH3g

 

Many many appreciations to Mary Lee Hahn/ A Year of Reading

for gathering us together to celebrate Naomi Shihab Nye,

this country’s new

U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate. Lots of workshops & travel ahead for Naomi!

So wonderful for all ages of students of the World.

(because of a confluence of kerfluffles, my post is launched a bit ahead of our community party…)

#

 

A little green

We are part of POETRY FRIDAY so if you are hunting the host, travel to the bayou with Margaret hosting Reflections on the Teche.

 

But also welcome to Bookseedstudio’s bloom time plant time.

Here we are inching toward being torreya guardians, nurturing a rare babe of an ancient species of North Florida that is so special it has its own website. We felt lucky to cart a fringed creature off in our haul from Birdsong’s Olde Timey Plant Sale.

We also planted a tough-leaf kumquat, gift of my dear father-in-law, who dug it up for transplant. And he is a hardy species himself, at age 95+ (we won’t exactly say….) Among groundlings we planted from seed, color pop zinnia and yellow-flower cucumbers push the dirt down in the ground around and lift their eyes to the sky. The established blueberries, Meyer lemons, aloe, jasmine, gardenias, penta, and likely some chlorophyllic creatures I’ve forgotten to mention, each of them tickle our fancy.

 

A little green in the scheme

On a postage-stamp plot or even in a clay pot

a little green

in the scheme of things

planted

nurtured

means more green growing 

in this world of

plastic and concrete

 

means green growing things

set up shop within eyesight

tiny oxygen factories

serve a light lunch to

munchers

who can’t ever expect to prospect for

a meal

with a cents-off coupon

in concrete glass plastic

grocery

stores

©2019allrightsreservedJanGodownAnnino

Mother’s Day love with knowledge that everyone came from Mother, everyone knows a dear Mother, everyone can mother our precious Planet….

 


©2019allrightsreservedJanGodownAnnino

Progressive Poem 2019 Day 25

POETRY FRIDAY’s annual Progressive Poem is here at Bookseedstudio this very

Thursday, of April, Day Twenty-Tive. (With great thanks to the Live Your Poem! godmother.)

If you are new to the game, progressive in the title means that each day by day, progressively, one poet after another, adds a line. It’s like one of those neighborhood feasts where appetizers are at the Apple Family, walk over to salads from the Spinach folks, the Main course is with the Macaroni Family (we wish!), Fruit is on offer by the fun Fig couple & a Sweet is served by the Sherbet Sisters.

Today’s new line is

You’re simply the best

. . . .After holding myself back from reading any of the lovely lines leading up to today’s Day 25 until this morn, I discover that we are working with found lines! And not just any sources. I expect a festival of great blog reading between now & this Sunday to learn how each creative person grabbed their  line … from lyrics! Does

You’re simply the best

 

fit? With great joy for so much musicality – this line dance is ready for your groove:

Endless summer; I can see for miles…
Fun, fun, fun – and the whole world smiles.
No time for school- just time to play,
we swim the laughin’ sea each and every day.

You had only to rise, lean from your window,
the curtain opens on a portrait of today.
Kodachrome greens, dazzling blue,
it’s the chance of a lifetime,

make it last forever–ready? Set? Let’s Go!
Come, we’ll take a walk, the sun is shining down
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
Tomorrow’s here. It’s called today.

Gonna get me a piece o’ the sky.
I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea
and there’s a tiger in my veins Oh,
won’t you come with me waltzing the waves, diving the deep?

It’s not easy to know
less than one minute old
we’re closer now than light years to go
To the land where the honey runs

…we can be anyone we want to be…
There’s no stopping curiosity.
What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing
Looking for a sign of life

You’re simply the best

. . . .

(which is how I feel about all you line-leaders & line-a-day readers!)

AND SO like a springtime jigsaw puzzle that awaits just a few pieces, I hand this baton to

April 26 Linda @Write Time

April 27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro

April 28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass

April 29 Irene, the Closer @Live Your Poem

Here are line sources, taken from Wednesday’s fun blog by Tabatha, with thanks:

L1 The Who, ‘I Can See for Miles’ / The Beach Boys, ‘Endless Summer’
L2 The Beach Boys, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ / Dean Martin, ‘When You’re Smiling’
L3 The Jamies, ‘Summertime, Summertime’
L4 The Doors ‘Summer’s Almost Gone’/ Led Zeppelin ‘Good Times, Bad Times’
L5 Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine “You had only to rise, lean from your window,”
L6 Joni Mitchell, “Chelsea Morning”
L7 Paul Simon, “Kodachrome,” “Dazzling Blue”
L8 Dan Fogelberg, “Run for the Roses”
L9 Spice Girls, “Wannabe”/ Will Smith, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”
L10 The Beatles, “Good Day Sunshine”
L11 The Carpenters, “Top of the World”
L12 Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Underneath the Lovely London Sky” from Mary Poppins Returns
L13 Carol King, “Hi-de-ho (That Old Sweet Roll)”
L14 Steve Miller, “Fly Like An Eagle”
L15 Don Felder, “Wild Life”
L16 Nowleen Leeroy, “Song of the Sea ” (lullaby)
L17 Sara Bareilles, “She Used to Be Mine” from WAITRESS
L18 Stevie Wonder, “Isn’t She Lovely”
L19 R.E.M, “Find the River”
L20 Carole King, “Way Over Yonder”
L21 Mint Juleps, “Groovin” by The Young Rascals
L22 Jack Johnson, “Upside Down”
L23 Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson), “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie
L24 The Foo Fighters, “Learning to Fly”

L25 Tina Turner, “The Best”

BUT BEFORE you leave me today, I prepared a few things. Or come back later?

Last weekend when I realized that my Family’s Easter Weekend joy overlapped with many of my dear Friend’s Passover commemorations, I pulled out two favorite books for young readers about Anne Frank, always remembering that she was not passed over.

A History for Today, Anne Frank from the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

The Life of Anne Frank by Menno Metesellar and Rudd Van Der Rol

Of the many inspirations that the young author left for the World , here is just one

“I can shake off

everything

as I write

my sorrows disappear

my courage is reborn.” 

-Anne Frank

I am also reading

Birmingham, 1963  by Carole Boston Weatherford, actually a re-read for me, of this poignant poem in book form.

Thurgood Marshall, American Revolutionary, the bio by Juan Williams, which has insights about emotions & ideas in the justice’s child days, including passionate political dinner table discussions led by Willie Marshall, Father, who fed his family, in those times, working as a sleeping-car train porter.

Acts of Light, poems from Emily Dickinson, illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert

I just finished (& so did my husband, double pleasure when we read a book one just after the other) The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman. This novel of India is a game-changer. In it we dwell in the world of extreme privation of children, beginning with abuse by a violent father and continuing to life on mean streets- but we can’t help feeling how events unfold in an underlying, uplifting way. I cried a little & I think sensitive middle and high school students will have a tear, too. Followed by vigorous good discussion guided by their teaching librarian or classroom teacher. The four child characters in this page-turner of a story show us their creativity, humanity & humor. Yes!

I fell in love with each of the two girls and two boys who created this experience, which the author bases on extensive knowledge – her own, told in a fascinating author’s note which made me fall in love with Padma’s Mother. As someone who has been transported by all Padma’s novels, I know her trademark practice, in bringing on board informed beta readers, is instructive & to be followed. This is a book for all and of special interest to the disability community and of special interest in the domestic violence community.

(For those with an interest in the indigenous community you will be enriched with this author’s Adamans Island novel, Island’s End.)

Brava! to Padma, my teacher from Highlights Foundation days, with Alma Fullerton & Kathryn Erskine. Padma has agreed to visit Bookseedstudio. Stay tuned.

ALSO in the tap tap tap of writing news –  a word about poem projects. The young readers project continues along well on a WWII history topic theme very close to my heart. And when I rest that story in verse for an afternoon or a day, I look into the paused verse novel from pre-Civil War days, about an impoverished, white, abolition family. Plus, in this surge of spring, maybe one day a week, I work on other poems on a theme – 54 of them, so far. (none of this poem-ness could occur without having found a nurturing, poetry community, especially Poetry Friday nor without the Highlights Foundation verse novel workshop. The newest poem project flows from my fascination with a unique peninsula that is lapped by both the Atlantic Ocean & the Gulf of Mexico.

And so this little ditty buzzed in, after a recent walk at our non-beachy & clean-water coast…

 with appreciations to Emily Dickinson

Thistle whistle

Bumble bee!

caught you on your shopping spree

 

you flounce along salty store I roam

whilst thistles tower in marsh loam

 

seems like just yesterday

you were last year’s memory

 

pink-purpled spring spikes signal

that social insect whistle – hear!

 

buzz buzz coming in for a landing

glad to snap you, m’Dear

Yours, Shutterbug

-c.2019allrihtsreserved, JanGodownAnnino,

 

c.2019allrightsreserved SpringBee
JanGodownAnnino

LASTLY This may not be the only place you’ve admired a lively National Poetry Month Post Card, but I am tickled to share this, courtesy of artist Robert Mensan and his poet fan,  Irene Latham, who has all the month’s line leaders listed at her site.

c.2019allrightsreserved “Live Your Poem” by Irene Lantham

 

Book winner, international women, climate change

 

Hello dear readers. It’s Poetry Friday, collected by My Juicy Little Universe

to consider climate change, posts I am eager to read.

 

First –  on Friday, March 15, the winner of a charming picture book,

BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT! by Georgia Heard and Aaron DeWitte,

from Boyds Mills Press

is announced here.

 

Today I’m celebrating international women, a potent theme

collected last Friday here.

Two women I want to celebrate

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, of Florida and Jennifer Worth of England.

Both were book authors and both were nurses. I am intrigued with each of their stories,

encapsulated here today.

 

[Important – if you know a fantastic book for any age student which illuminates

the path of a girl or woman whose legacy deserves wide attention,

will you please consider nominating it for honors of ALA’s Amelia Bloomer List (March-October nomination period 2019.]   Thank you! 

 

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper

 Think of a gigantic place near the end of land

A mamma alligator floats babies on her back

And itchy black bear takes a palm tree scratch

Leaving soft fur tufts for mice to fetch

©2010 all rightsreserved

-Jan Godown Annino

I came to know Betty Mae Tiger Jumper after our first conversation at a Florida festival.

Eventually with her agreement, I wrote a book for young readers about her, She Sang Promise.

Raised outdoors in the late 1920s/early 1930s, she helped her midwife mother and grandmother deliver babies in South Florida – when still a child. A teenager on her first day of kindergarten, she couldn’t read or write English. This path-setting nurse, newspaper editor, author and legendary storyteller’s many honors include her traditional singing recorded on two Smithsonian music CDs. She served a U.S. President on an advisory committee. In 1967, she was the first woman elected a leader of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  And, she also wrestled alligators.

The international? A fascinating aspect of federal and tribal relations involves the fact that federally recognized tribes, such as the Seminole Tribe of Florida, are considered sovereign nations.

Jennifer Worth

Wind your way through the dockland, stenchland, fight land

Bandage the sad hand, worn hand, burned hand

Lift up the glad hand, smile hand, tiny hand

©2019 all rights reserved

-Jan Godown Annino

 

I came to know Jennifer Worth through a recent need to escape temporary

small miseries now past (loss of dear old pet, a despised nasty molar pulled.)

I found her through Call The Midwife, her first book,

also the name of the BBC series about her.

 

Jennifer Worth was a financially secure young woman who chose to study

how to deliver babies for impoverished families. In the 1950s she selected

wretched areas in the East End of London for her work. Her careful telling

of poignant stories about the bravery of women and older children living in

near-scavenger conditions is a movie series from her three nonfiction books.

 

 

Writing Room

For some bit of time this season, this will be one of very few posts here, as I pull back from social media  & its affiliates to focus on writing projects.

I will miss this community in-between-time  & look forward to more connectivity later. And there is always email, snail mail, the phone & perhaps we will bump into each other at an event. I hope so.

Book birthday! BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT!

I’m so chortling to introduce a new picture book from poet Georgia Heard & artist Aaron DeWitt!

Please head over to my post about this inventive & interactive chorus of communication where I occasionally appear –  at Group Blog/Grog – a creative community established by school media wizard Todd Burleson. Comment there to win a copy of this new fun title.

March 8 Poetry Friday at Bookseedstudio

Hello kind readers –  Poetry Friday is here.

This short link goes to

*my sad cat post* this week – a short short original poem, there.

I also have a short link to

*my happy book post* this week, on another blog, with a give-away.

Please visit/comment over there – poet Georgia Heard involved!

Next week I expect to be back with

an International Women’s Day celebration,

so fabulous.

Ginger the cat

Ginger, the cat, in action . . .

“office clerk” c. 2007

 

“book reviewer” c. 2011
Ginger’s favorite story

 

“building inspector” c. 2009

* * * *

at sun-kissed window

waiting in wide-armed writing chair

for his pounce

* * * *

Losing a family pet is part of living with animals.

Many of you have eloquently expressed a similar

loss, which I would like to be reminded about if you

have a moment.  When it happened to me recently,

I was not expecting to be smacked off my feet.

Our Ginger cat, indoors-always for at least

12 years, was at age 17, feeling quite elderly.

So we knew we would be losing him. We were not

prepared for the sudden, unplanned, necessary

good-bye. It was challenging for us, massively

more difficult for him. I am grateful for our animal ER

open in the middle of the night & my husband, who saw me

through that & still eases me in this palpable absence

of my daily purring partner. We buried Ginger on a recent

brisk sunny morning at a high point of our back yard,

by whispering bamboo.

I am finding relief in poet Alvin Greenberg’s

WHY WE LIVE WITH ANIMALS (Coffee House Press.)

The words I scraped out above are thanks to

Laura Purdie Salas, whose book

CATCHING OUR BREATH, Writing Poignant Poetry,

(Capstone Press)

nourishes me.

 

For fans of buds & flapped fans + book winners!

This week Poetry Friday is collected at Teacher Dance!

* * * *

Hello & welcome to half-past winter time for some, spring for others.

On a walkabout just beyond my door this week, I didn’t pick any flower, as I like to do,

but left what I saw. And I collected a list poem (sort of . . .)

 

c.2019allrightsreserved pink buds of blue berries

c.2019allrightsreserved
pink chandelier of wild azalea

c.2019allrightsreserved blooms of lipstick plant

c.2019allrightsreserved
heirloom rose plant adopted from Goodwood Gardens

c.2019allrightsreserved
lemon fruit/ lemon buds

Bud time

Winter Beach

Winter Garden

Winter Haven

Winter Park

Winter Springs

 

Winter Flower, Florida

exists

only

on the

map

of my

heart

© all rights reserved JanGodownAnnino

The blooms are fresh-snapped from the last week of February in our North Florida garden yard. It is not uncommon to enjoy a sprinkle of snow, or to create icicles in winter here, with a bit of dripping water. So we appreciate February buds and blooms as much as any snow country flower fan. Our spot on earth, Little Yellow Cottage in the made-up Winter Flower, Florida, would be only half as lovely without a chance meeting I lucked into with garden guru Sharon Lovejoy. I hope her nourishing books are known by your library or bookstore. We correspond now & again; she is always a generous sharer of goodwill & joy (as befits her name.) And forever she is a marvelous author to read & read, again. Laura Jepsen’s Lichgate Cottage, is where we met.

c.2019 Sharon Lovejoy

 

Please read on for a link to next week’s book giveaway, & so important – last week’s book winners, announced just below! I have won, too  – your comments you left. And special thanks for so many words from the wild shared, such as flub, throttlebottom, porridge, murliks.

Smiles are due these winners of last week’s giveaway, courtesy of publisher Boyds Mills Press –

Christie, Dawn, Ramona & winner of the two books, Linda M., soon you will be holding

WHAT IF?… THEN WE… by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Fred Koehler.

Linda M. also from me, the companion, ONE DAY, THE END, by the same creative team.

Enter again

There is still time to win a Boyds Mills Press book. Join me next Wednesday March 6, over at the friendly Group Blog, when I introduce and giveaway the fresh-minted BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT Animal Poems in Two Voices from poet Georgia Heard & illustrator Aaron DeWitt.

Fan time

In a treasure hunt, I came across a boxed heirloom under my roof, and wrote a poem for it.

c.2019allrightsreserved
“Fan Souvenir”

Fan souvenir

flutter flip flap

avian wingspans inspired

fan fashion

© all rights reserved JanGodownAnnino

If you are ready for real blooms & warm breezes, soon enough, you in higher spots of the north hemisphere will skip through April. Down under the drape of Spanish moss in North Florida, April will find me in full fan mode (not with this under-glass antique!) to keep my cool. You can hang on until then, you can, you can . . .

To visit others adding to this week’s Poetry Friday, please remember to see Linda B at Teacher Dance.

 

c.2019 “Bunny picks a winner”

WHAT IF…? THEN WE… Rebecca Kai Doltich + Fred Koehler picture book giveaway

Looking for Poetry Friday? This is but one blip bit of it. Visit poet pal Robyn at her lovely  Life on the Deckle Edge. She is this week’s host, until next Friday, when we will meet at Teacher Dance with poet pal Linda

This moment at Bookseedstudio, we enter a double-decker day called  Friday Finds. One find  is Try this one, it’s good”  a book to herald. The 2nd find is words from the wild . First up, the words.

Friday Finds 1 – words from the wild 

singed     kettle      minnow      incantation
tilt        pyjamas      paraffin

Most writers I’ve sipped a cuppa with collect words. Culled from hand-written menus, the subway wall, in listening to a busker at the plaza, maybe talk overheard in the Post Office line, or ___________________, where? You tell us.

My heart sparked as I read kettle at a travel website, reminding me of a Revere Ware copper-bottomed tea kettle. It  squatted on our kitchen stove in my child days. Haven’t listened to a tea kettle whistle in eons; I heat water for tea in a trendy, safe-glass, all-glass, sort-of tea kettle I do love. With no built-in music maker. I am partial to all the words above I hadn’t read or heard for too long. Minnow is now added to a notebook of the current writing project – minnow, I see possibilities for you. Another time here I expect to have words from the wild that I wouldn’t have thunk, because I never knew them until . . .found ’em in the wild.

Friday Finds 2 – TRY THIS ONE, IT’S GOOD. In which I share a good good book.

WHAT IF…? THEN WE . . .Creators: Rebecca Kai Dotlich, author, Fred Koehler, illustrator.
Boyds Mills Press fresh-published this picture book, subtitled Short, Very Short, Shorter than-Ever Possibilities.

Two polar bears who walk upright, like kids, enjoy adventures. Events are altered by the idea that everything could fall apart. WHAT IF…? is finishing up a BIG blog tour.** 

It rides the waves as sequel to this creative team’s ONE DAY, THE END, the short, very short tales that understandably won Golden Kite & Boston Globe Horn Book honor awards.

I love both these impish books for their pixie quality. And since they go together like spooled
typewriter ribbon & a manual Olivetti, I’m offering my personally bought copy of ONE DAY, to accompany a brand new, publisher-given WHAT IF…?, for your exploration.

This new partner book, WHAT IF…? will be sought for lap-readers,
school floor readers, bedtime readers, worrywart readers, park blanket readers, beach
hut readers, hill top readers, bus readers, high flown readers & their kin.

Why? Events bubble out of characters’ very own imaginations, which spins
the story wide to activate a young reader’s quick mind. As Rebecca says, she wrote
this book for those who “fish for dreams.”

Page after page pull my eyeballs to Fred’s big images of creativity – paintbrush, pencil, coloring tool, looking glass, origami, a map, musical notes & the like. Fred is generous in unfolding ambitious situations where the bear pals, (unnamed, better for the reader to provide them) might want to call upon these tools.

Quick pick: This tumbling-along story entices our youngest ones, offering a high-five that imagination is wonderful. The take-away is that it is good to be bold and experimental.

[Appropos of nothing but a smile, I want to share that one typeface name for text is Rather Loud (bold.)]

Fred’s website +
Fred’s TED-like talk on p.b. creation (in which you can learn to pronounce his last name, among other things)

I have written about Fred, (who we in Florida are lucky to claim as one of our own) in the launch of another picture book.

Rebecca’s blog + You can meet Rebecca – Highlights Foundation workshop

Highlights Foundation offers this great interview with Rebecca by my Poetry Friday pal,
Matt Forrest Esenwine, author of FLASHLIGHT NIGHT, Matt’s & Fred-Koehler’s irresistible picture book,)

**Don’t take my word for it!  Please visit other WHAT IF?…THEN WE... sites invited on the tour:

Monday, 2/11                       Simply 7 Interview    

Tuesday, 2/12                      Storymamas

Wednesday, 2/13                Librarian in Cute Shoes

Thursday, 2/14                    Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook

Friday, 2/15                          Miss Marple’s Musings

Monday, 2/18                      Bridget and the Books     

Tuesday, 2/19                      Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

Thursday, 2/21                    KidLit Frenzy

Friday, 2/22                         Unleashing Readers

                                             Book Seed Studio       (you are here!)

COMMENT here at Bookseedstudio to win a chance for the two pal books & you could also win the new one, it’s own self. Try, try, try.

Comment with a collected word or two from your lists, mention a connection with author Rebecca or artist Fred (or with Highlights/Boyds Mills Press/WordSong) or maybe, just let us know who will enjoy this team’s clever ONE DAY &/or also the new book, WHAT IF…? You know you want a chance to win. Make sure to leave your name/contact info so I can ask your United States postal address. (You may also comment & mention that you don’t want to win.)

Leave a response by NOON next Thursday so I can announce winners on Poetry Friday March 1 hosted by Teacher Dance.

So many appreciations for your visit today. (And if we haven’t met yet at a Highlights Foundation writing workshop, then someday, I sure hope we do.)

Remember to visit poet Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge, for her blog & her wrangling of this week’s Poetry Friday collection of Kidlitosphere blogs.

c.2019 Fred Koehler from inside the expanding universe of WHAT IF?…THEN WE… by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Fred Koehler, from Boyds Mills Press

UPCOMING – I travel to Group Blog on Wed. March 6, 2019 with another new Boyds Mills Press book. See you there?

 

[I recommend that you b l o g  AT WORDPRESS.COM.]

Love letter

Today’s Poetry Friday parade is parked at CHECK IT OUT.

. . . .

This week I wrote a love poem of sorts to a stranger, which you can find here on twitter. 

It was praise, appreciation, exaltation dashed off quickly for someone named a Happiness Engineer.

This is a real person working for WordPress,

who solved my kerbobble wobble of a recent post when the comment box had no gumption – wouldn’t function.

The Happiness Engineer sent me such a sweet note about receiving an original poem. (And didn’t even mention the typo!)

So now I’m of a mind to more often create a little ditty (nod to dear Michelle, Poetry Friday’s Today’s Little Ditty editor, author, creator, mentor) when I find myself saying a big thank you to the people who keep me functioning in work & at home (book finder, plumber, hurricane spotter, mole finder, etc.) Why didn’t I think of this before?

I am still so floaty that an email I sent into the void, asking for help, was read by an actual, factual, live human who bears a winsome work title & who responded efficiently with a fix. In keeping with this theme of rhyme poems of praise , I saw a poem sent along this week in social media from the Glasgow (Scotland) Women’s Library:

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Libraries, oh libraries,

We couldn’t live without you

‪#LoveYourLibrary

Ain’t the world a lovely place?  Here is one for lovely you:

In a moment to spare

you left a few words

lines of flair,

like trills of the birds

-Jan Godown Annino

So many appreciations for visiting today. I want to see what you’ve written at your lovely site. And . . .

I hope you can return here next Friday, Feb. 22, when I’ve been invited to join some keen bloggers

& post a few words about a new book in town.        There will be a Give Away 🙂

2019 Book Launch Tour for Rebecca Kai Doltich & Fred Koehler WHAT IF…? THEN WE. . .

Remember that Poetry Friday this week is hosted at CHECK IT OUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

All heart

Poetry Friday for Feb. 8 is hosted by the wonderful Laura Purdie Salas!

All heart

I like the idea that a shape loved all over our world,

the heart,

first came to people in Nature’s creations, such as fruit and leaves.

 

                       Forest Heart

Drift gift from above

paper heart glows like sun

gilds the path

©JanGodownAnnino

Forest Heart c. JanGodownAnnino
allrightsreserved

 

A few days after this New Year 2019, in wetlands woods of a nearby Florida park,

a leaf fell through air just ahead of us.

The wind sent other paper-thin treasures aflutter from towering trees to join leaf litter

on the old forest’s floor. But this emissary glowed in the gray and brown setting.

When we reached the spot where it lay, my urge was to pick it up.

I looked, looked, looked.

I left the heart,  in hopes it could charm someone else on the path.

 

                         Breakfast Heart

Rise to greet the twenty-four

clay mug cradles gingered tea

knitted love cushions potter’s heart

©JanGodownAnnino

Heart Mug/ Anna Annino
Knitted Heart/ Laurel LaPorte-Grimes c.allrightsreserved

 

When my husband and I tip up our mugs, a wee heart peeks out from the base.

Each handle is half of a heart too, an additional spark of love when we examined

our gifts, created by our daughter far away at college.

To begin work, I set down this mug of love, resting it on a knitted heart

created by Laurel, our longtime dear pal of Florida, gone to Connecticut.

(miss you, Anna & Laurel!)

 

(Are you sticking to the west world  syllable guide of 5-7-5 for haiku? As you can see from above, not me!)

 

Heart map

Poet Georgia Heard creates a way into authentic writing with HEART MAPS.

February feels like a copacetic month for entry into the wisdom &

magic of heart mapping.

I’m a beginner (have just one, which I must share with the intendeds, before here.)

Georgia Heard’s  blog, with wonderful links, on heart mapping

 

Heart Letters

 

A great modern classic- I hope you’ve read it – is LOVE LETTERS by Arnold Adoff with

illustrations from Lisa Desimini, my friend.  I have previously written a valentine to this

picture book, here.

And I always love to share the love these two creators lavish on children

with these fun love poems for school-age readers & their teachers & families.

Not. To. Miss.

 

Heart loss

Below, links to three of a seashore full of tributes about love of the work of poet Mary

Oliver who passed on in January. I’ve taken to some of her poems,

but in reading just a bit about her after her death

(in Florida, where she had spent her last years)

I understand I want to catch up in study of her life story and poetry path.

I love this,

from her essay “Wordsworth’s Mountain.”

“But dawn—dawn is a gift. Much is revealed about a person by his or her passion, or indifference, to this opening of the door of day. No one who loves dawn, and is abroad to see it, could be a stranger to me.” – Mary Oliver

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2019/01/17/passing-mary-oliver-at-dawn/

https://maclibrary.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/poetry-friday-rip-mary-oliver/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/books/mary-oliver-grief.html 

Appreciations for links to your Mary Oliver post in comments, or that of recommended

ones you saw out & about.

 

And of course, other thoughts, including of this ♥ season, are so welcome.

Head’s Up!

I expect to be here Friday Feb. 22 with a give-away of

the brand-newest from creative team

Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Florida’s own Fred Koehler. Hope you don’t miss this!

[ Friday Feb. 8 edit – The comment box is missing below. I have placed several questions out there

with WordPress forums & etc. Please follow on over to twitter with your comment, if you are comfortable

with that. Many thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rare

[ today’s Poetry Friday is instantly yours with my Aussie pal of Whiskers!]

I went into the wet woods and came back with
a poem.

Rare
By J.G. Annino

Shades of orange pink
purple blue
green yellow

float in rows
glimmering
quiet woodlands water

stands of tall cypress
witness
rainbow room

lend dark shadow streaks
across
floated painting

prayer from the sky
© 2019JanGodownAnnino allrightsreserved

For many years of my life
my parkland has been wetlands.
They renew my spirit,
exercise my legs.

I have trod boardwalks above their tannin waters,
have skirted flat ground around their towering cypress,
observing their many moods and often am witness
to resident creatures
gathering their groceries,
sunning,
or taking a swim.

As an author I have also written extensively about
back country areas of Florida, regions that
feature wild water-recharging, cleansing
wetlands necessary for life, all juxtaposed against
the amazing fact that my state has become
the third most-populous in our union.
I say this to set up my doubt at first,
at what I saw in the water last
Sunday afternoon.

* * * *

Our home is about 40 miles south of Thomasville, GA,
a scenic, book-loving, culture-supporting village
of restored buildings and homes that lures us
with all that, plus being the closest downtown
to Birdsong,
which I have written about before.

After treating me to a Sunday afternoon late lunch in
Thomasville, my wonderful hubby suggested we indulge in one of our
walkabouts at Birdsong, which never fails to invigorate our
souls, and where we always exercise our legs on the woodland
slopes and farm hills.

The expansive blue sky without a cloud,
the great white herons lifting up in silence
out of a cypress wetland,
the flighty yellow-breasted warblers
flitting in front of us on our field path,
one cawing crow flapping off from a tall pine tree,
all was groovy.

As we walked away from a favorite contemplative spot
I looked back one last time past a wood cabin walled
only in floor-to-ceiling screen on three sides, perched
like a tree house, high above a cypress
wetlands. The Listening Place.

And I saw a vision in colors.
Collected colors of a rainbow,
not arched high in the sky,
but laid out flat
against dark water,
in pastel, like a public art contest's
chalk painting across a street canvas.
Tall cypress trees standing in their water
lay down shadows between color panes,
creating a stained glass wetlands art.
I shivered on this unseasonably warm,
sunny afternoon.

"Honey, what is this!" I whispered to
my husband. Wondering if he would see it.
Was I seeing a vision? Would it disappear before
he could even look?
He came back from his steps ahead,
to wonder with me.

Our eyes devoured,
scoured
the water scene,
followed each color line as long as we could
to drink it all in,
until we needed to tear our eyes and bodies away,
to walk the 20 minutes back for the farmhouse
parking area’s 5 p.m. closing time.
We avidly showed pictures and shared
delight there, in wonder.

That evening I read two helpful posts,
from commercial sites with advertising popups
so I’m not linking here,
for some possible explanation, perhaps how
a natural process of decomposition in
a wetlands paints a water rainbow.

A phenom not often seen, even by those with
more wetlands walks or paddles through the years,
than myself.
I am eager to learn more, especially from
a scientist. If you look up
“rainbow swamps” you will find a social media
extravaganza leading all the way to the BBC.

This is my first post of 2019, the New Year.
The experience reminds me that
I feel so grateful to occupy my tiny
space on this remarkable planet.
Much happiness, good health,
good pages, good words to my educator,
writer, reader pals, including
the Poetry Friday, Spiritual Thursday crowd.

I expect to post once a month this year,
perhaps less than that,
as I work on poems that
fit a theme.
I look forward to reading your poems,
columns, articles, stories and books
and to knowing about your
other projects.

Posts at this site are ©JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved
link/share with attribution please
[tech note 1.12.2019 My apologies if you are experiencing an awkwardness
in leaving a comment! Kind readers have alerted me. At the moment, it seems that followers of this blog don’t experience that but others, may. Perhaps the settings need a tune up & for me, that will mean a couple days of effort…. Appreciations for your understanding. And of course I’d love it if you are able to “follow.” T.Y.

©2019JanGodownAnnino
all rights reserved
“Rainbow Room” January 6, 2019

2018 Christmas poem






The 365 days of 2018 delivered
a host of surprises, especially in the
health-travel department, when our family
unexpectedly created an Ohio vacation to
wrap around my cancer surgery, which made it feel
less urgent & blessedly robbed it of being all-medical.

I am aglow about this
one and only 2018 Christmas
at blessed home sweet home!

…………………………………..
2018 Christmas Haiku poem

familiar Christmas emblems
garland the spirit
wrapping best gift, life

c.2018JanGodownAnnino all rights reserved

(p.s. edited the title!)

Appreciations for Poetry Friday & Spiritual Thursday,
with wishes that joy will be wrapping your world!

…….

Gather and thank

Poetry Friday’s own Teacher Dance, Linda B. gathers us this week

Poetry Friday’s spiritual Thursday of Novemeber,is gathered by Ramona. Appreciations, Ramona!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Gather and thank

For a gathering sense of shared community here,
pulled together by response to the local yoga tragedy
& the quest for valid votes in Florida governor
& senate elections, I am appreciative
for the the ahisma people,
non-harming people

For a gathering of new poems** flowing to
my pen since summer, I am appreciative

For the brave gathering of journalists at
meetings, speaking with sources, asking
questions across our states & world,
I am appreciative

For creativity, dignity of leadership & perseverance
within U.S. indigenous tribes, I am appreciative

For a gathering of most-loved ones by my
side on Nov. 22, I am so very appreciative

And for my Poetry Friday world,
all of you, ashisma people,
I am always so appreciative
to be gathered with you.

** poems!
I feel grateful that my writing guru, Adrian Fogelin, has looked over a small gathering of my new poems, written since summer, which surprised me to be on a theme. If I can continue apace, I plan to bring more to an early 2019 workshop. I will say that terms such as “flamingo”, “catamount” & “skunk ape” appear among the lines. . .

Apalachicola November 2018 55th Annual Seafood Festival

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<The Poetry Friday Sunrise is with Kay!<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
After what blewew through

people of the village of Apalachicola
scanned clear sky chasing hurricane gray
rejoiced for oyster spat found live on farmed sea baskets
cleared storm clutter off shoreline
rushed sweets to tupelo bees
bustled to serve 55th annual seafood dinner line

c.2018JGA/JanGodownAnnino

The first week of every November for 55 years, the Florida
Panhandle seaport of Apalachicola, where our family has
spent inspiring days and nights, where the city library
has been so inspiring to young readers,
where history-holding people revive old wood shotgun houses for needy locals,
where my husband met with legal services clients more than 30 years ago,
holds the cantankerous FLORIDA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL. And what a celebratory event
this post-H.Michael, miracle festival can be.

I was chilled as I began to understand
the wreck and wrack Hurricane Michael wrought on
this North Florida coast. What other calling card would a categroy 4 storm that barreled over
beautiful barrier islands and blasted mainland sands Oct. 10-11, 2018, leave behind?
Although 40 miles or so separated working waterfront Apalachicola from the westward
deadly direct Mexico Beach hit,
the swirl of winds and stormy surf reached tough tendrils east of Apalachicola into Eastpoint, Carabelle,
Dog Island, Alligator Point and southeast of us, at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Blessedly, the refuge is
recovered enough for this weekend’s annual Monarch Butterfly Festival.

Families and friends are personally coping with the horrific loss of 29 lives in Florida,
an uncounted number of physical and emotional injuries.
Locals and second-home visitors are dealing with the splattering of home roofs and cafe walls into neighbors’ yards, pushing boats and cars down familiar streets.
Residents are reacting to the disruption of work, school, and everything else that happens
in seven days of a week.
Singular landscapes that the region’s people work in and relax in,
and wild acres thought preserved from human habitation, road building, place making,
in national refuges or state lands, suffered a scouring sea change.
Many of us keep a wary eye on how the world’s sea changes are known to be human-born.

But always there are moments of hope in recovery efforts.
Such as bringing food to the famed
Apalachicola River Basin tupelo tree bees.
Yes, feeding sweets the bees. As the line, above…

Your official invitation to attend the Apalachicola party the first weekend every November is always here at the FLORIDA Seafood Festival website.

Some aspects of working waterfront Apalachicola, to know if you go
Downtown Books and Purl, Hole in the Wall, The Gallery at High Cotton, Bowery Art, Cafe Con Leche
and other strong small storefronts calling to you, that keep keeping on. If you are fortunate to attend, check online with AAA or the Florida Highway Patrol
or your navigation sites, for updated traffic details. Storm-Battled U.S. 98,
coast-hugging road ribbon of life for the region, as of this post, has lane closures in places.
Perhaps try Hwy. 20 or Interstate 10 & work your way south an an open, interior road.

I have written about Authors in Apalach on more than one occasion, such as here.
Downtown Books and Purl
The Gallery at High Cotton


I love this potent article in SIERRA magazine by Sue Cerulean
, editor, author, friend in
Florida who brought me to book-making with Falcon Press & and published my history essay (p. 107) and an important Seminole Tribe of Legend by Betty Mae Tiger Jumper (p.92), my book biography subject, in
the Milkweed Editions collection,
BOOK of the EVERGLADES.

c.2017
JGA/JanGodownAnnino
Baite Place, Eastpoint, FLA
all rights reserved.

Birdsong Co-Founder Tribute – Betty Komarek

[We are in the Poetry Friday Universe collected this week by Brenda. See the bees knees!]

Many of us who grieve for loss of life,
destruction of land & structures from the natural force of
winds & water powered by Category 4 Hurricane Michael, think of the Florida coast.

Hurricane Michael busted on from the Gulf & its sugar sands,
to scream through inland pecan groves & cotton fields – southwest Georgia’s farmlands & river/lake coves, including a tiny Georgia writing retreat I’ve loved, that my critique partner owns,
The Cove.  R.I.P to The Cove. But also …

Before the storm arrived I wrote here about Birdsong, in Georgia.
Today I share my poem set in 1998, & inspired
by Betty Komarek, co-creator of Birdsong,
just over the border of Florida, outside Thomasville, GA
Due to Hurricane Micheal, Birdsong postponed an Oct. 13 music fundraiser,to be rescheduled.

>>>>>>>>

Birdsong Summer

That summer she left the land
for Kay’s mountain cove
she looked long
across Horse Pasture
opened her screened porch door
smiled that eternal smile that says –
Praise and Thanks
Blessed Be

She bent, offered food to Skink,
scuttling back-step friend

She stood with deep-seeing eyes,
finding
far fields, deep woods, green swamp, farm pond

Her gaze remembered
flying squirrel, grazing deer,
zebra longwing,
bob white, towhee, wood thrush,
pileated woodpecker, indigo bunting –
all her feathered friends of tiny beating hearts

She crunched hot feet on dry peanut stone
felt cool moss on split rail
returned inside to the wide hall
stood at stairs in the center
of her universe
looked up through roof to her Sky

She stepped across the straw mat
to her Window
reached deep into her chest
drew out a part of her heart
fixed it on the handle
of the room’s screen door

That summer she left the land
all her planted friends
talked about change –
Nandina, mulberry, saw palmetto, yaupon holly,
liriope, pokeweed, quince, needle palm, loquat,
sweet gum, coontie, tea olive, wax myrtle,
crepe myrtle, yucca, pyracantha, pittosporum –
they rustled, sighed, bent their heads
not knowing if this was forever

That summer she left the land
the champion pecan tree from Shadrack’s time
with the excuse of a purple storm
split itself open
in a final crash into the west yard

That summer she left the land
bears walked into town
padding along South Madison Street
as if they still lived there

That summer she left the land –

A coyote yipped in Ginhouse field

Skink disappeared, reappeared,
disappeared, reappeared

A panicked juvenile cardinal
flew out from accidental entrapment
in the log cabin room
where it had battered itself against the window

That summer she left the land,
in front yard leaf litter,
one leathery brown leaf shape-shifted
into a perfect heart

Following that summer she left the land,
since she had got by without all her heart,
since Birdsong had got by without all of her heart,
she now knew –
both she and her World
would be all right
when the purple storm came again

She still
smiles her eternal smile that says
Praise and Thanks
Blessed Be

(a poem in celebration of Betty Komarek
January 29, 1914 – April 16, 2002)
c. 2002-2018 JGA/Jan Godown Annino
allrightsreserved

Thankful after Hurricane Michael 2018

Thankful after Hurricane Michael 2018

Most bumps in the road are smoothed by a
wild beach
new book
ripe fig from the front yard
belly laugh

I wrote the above while recovering
from surgery.

But Hurricane Michael of Oct 10-12, 2018, roaring
up the Gulf of Mexico from Cuba with the power of
a cataclysmic Category 4 tropical storm,
can’t be considered a bump in the road.

Sadly, there are 22 deaths to mourn in Florida
& still others, in other states H. Michael blasted.

Things are so in flux, next month’s election process
will be disturbed for our coast; officials also say it
may take years for some villages to ever function as before.

My city was spared all but discomfort –
nights and days without electric power,
streets blocked by tossed trees,
progress was rapid in #LOVETLH. Tree arborists hoisted snapped
pines from car & building roofs,
electric and cable line workers restored service.
We the people own the electric utility here; it is
very responsive.

My family in Tallahassee is grateful
for slight damage – loss of dogwood & Myer lemon
(fig tree still stands!) –
& we are more than grateful for First Responders
everywhere who take on 16-hour shifts to set things right.
Neighbors also pitch in, unasked, to help
clear yards of a fresh carpet of green pine needles,
or pull downed brown branches to the curb for collection.

What IF?
If we had taken our savings & become owners of coastal lands,
an idea we have had fun dallying with, we would have known,
signing papers, that the beautiful seashore places
will always, always, always
be mere shifting sands & will some time be in the eye of the storm,
so our purchase would have been a lark, a giant gamble.

A gamble –
knowing about the history of
guaranteed natural beach erosion &
the inevitable onslaught of Gulf of Mexico storms.
I feel very very sorry for children caught
up in this gamble that was not of their own
making. And I wish more grit than usual,
for adults who couldn’t call The Forgotten Coast,
as it is lovingly nicknamed by regional officials,
a second or third home, but their only home,
due to needed work or, happenstance.
Thousands of helpers are pitching in
during this unfortunate time,
not the least of these,
The American Red Cross/Hurricane Michael.

c.2018
allrightsreservedJGA
Spring 2018
Wild dunes at St. George Island State Park, pre-Hurricane Michael

Birdsong Nature Center, Georgia

Birdsong Nature Center, Georgia/ Jan Godown Annino

Twenty years ago I spent days and nights strolling, stopping
and listening to the rhythms of life among Georgia pines and magnolias,
walking through fields and woods, as I watched over a natural treasure
known as Birdsong. This was a surprise – that Betty Komarek, co-creator
of an outdoors classroom of 500 acres, selected me to substitute for her.

I felt inadequate for the task, yet she decided that without a science degree,
without any field work to my name, I was the just-right caretaker to: feed
roaches to her back-doorstep pet; give a firm Scat! You! broom swipe to
squirrels and raccoons that dared to reach the bird window feeding station;
and, among other tasks, it seemed I commanded adequate enough hands to haul in
and freeze North Meridian Road road kill for someone’s elses examination
later (not me!)

In her 84th year, Betty would finally take a hot-weather break from Birdsong,
so I was in residence (un-airconditioned) in July and August of 1998. My supposed
eagle eye was to keep check on the before-hours and after-hours thrum of activity
around the wild land and weathered buildings, including the classic small
farmstead hearth and home, a listed historic property that is a musuem,
populated with numbered curios collected by Ed and Betty Komarek
during domestic and foreign adventures they created in
decades of marriage as premier traveling fire-management
ecology researchers and trainers.

c.2018JGA
“Birdsong Door”

My one flop was failure to prevent a small car loaded with college kids from
driving through a staff-only grassy path on a terraced old field, in order
“to make observations” (trespass) at a further-out cypress swamp. They mumbled
verbal permission, as colleagues of Professor So and So of University Such and Such.
That meant they should park and hike as every guest would.
Birdsong is not a drive-through scenic car route,
quite unlike Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains.
I held my hand up while I said would make a call to check,
prompting them to roll past me, grinning, gaining vehicle
access into the wild footpath acres. No harm done, I guess.
At least, I was not relieved of my duties.

Treasured moments filled notebooks, including listening to
night songs of coyotes, the first I’d ever heard them,
side-stepping a coiled water moccasin (thanks to hiking partner
Susan Murowski), finding a small shiny brown magnolia leaf
shaped like a heart, when I needed it, during a moment I felt
Betty had erred in selecting me, finding a dead but still
lovely blackbird in the attic,
learning of the best food for the pet lizard named Skink
(roaches I was to trap for Skink and, did) and,
having Betty share surprises of a few other of her tricks of trade.

c.2018JGA
allrightsreserved
“Birdsong Charlotte”
Where E.B. White’s writing spiders live

When I later wrote a feature about Birdsong during my corresponding days for editor
Paula Crouch at the travel desk of The Atlanta Constitution,
I didn’t disclose those tidbits. And, as Betty Komarek’s spiritual colleague
in caretaking, to honor her memory, I’m not doing that now.
This week for Poetry Friday, I expect to share a poem, about Betty at Birdsong,
that I wrote in 2002 upon her passing at age 90. I hope you will return for that.

SATURDAY event Oct. 13, 2018
Depending upon how Hurricane Michael affects the region,
consider attending a family-friendly Birdsong music benefit
by Sammy Tedder and Mike Andrews
4:30 p.m. Saturday Oct. 13, 2018 at Birdsong Nature Center.

Giggle me, world

Giggle me, world

This October, Spiritual Thursday is arms open wide to share
about humor, meaning –
not mean, but sweet silly stuff that brings on the happy.
I’d smile if you comment.
And later when  ST jolly jottings are up, please leave
a link.

Have you brought out a giggle from a baby or toddler?
For our gal, holding her just a wee bit over my head,
her belly down, face looking at mine,
for a brief “airplane” flight, produced a belly laugh.

And she giggled, too.

Lots of ways of plays brought out the laughs.

Giggle my world

Funny face
puppet paw pat
hide-and-seek-cat
in October, peek-a-book bat.

c.2018JGA

Best medicine for adults, too

I appreciated the experience of feeling that
laughter is the best medicine when
pain & discomfort involving kidney surgery would ease,
anxiety went poof! earlier this season, enjoying a simple joke.

One time, especially.
I felt bothered by the bag of blood
towering over my head. That unease ended
when the the nurse that afternoon threw a
towel over the blood transfusion bag
and then he lightly jiggled the pole, made a funny sound &
turned it into a flowing ghost. It was hilarious. I needed the
laugh/sneeze/cough heart-shaped pillow the hospital
provided, to swaddle my healing belly wounds, it was soooo funny.

c.2018allrightsreserved

I’m gratefully healed across the middle now
& can let the chortles
rip without hurting scar seams.

Top humor starters follow.
Are they similar to yours?

Cartoon collections
Humorist Roz Chast’s New Yorker cartoons & many cartoon books,
along with those of Gary Larson & others.

A few from our
Roz Chast shrine. Collect them all!

Nonsense verse

Spoken out loud. Better yet I read these
out loud from Illustrated versions
of the most nonsensical jollity. The best best best
for my LOL is Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat,”
which I recently learned was voted the favorite children’s poem
in England.
When my poetry-loving mother
offered her liltingly dramatic rendition of the moon-lit journey
of the loveable avian/feline pair, including her finger-ring in
her own nose, in the wood, I fell over in laughter.

Today, I am agog over my discovery,
through the sweet blog Silvershoes and Rabbitholes,
of a Hilary Knight version of O & P! You know it? I didn’t.
Mr. Knight is beloved for ELOISE and also, by Lee Bennett Hopkins fans,
for his illustrations of the LBH poem collections, HAPPY BIRTHDAY and
also, SIDE BY SIDE, which I have gifted to young teachers.
His version features a set-up to the poem that melts my heart
with touches of whimsy that are equal to Lear’s nonsense genius.

Silly sings

ELLA JENKINS, a strummer, a singer is f-u-n-n-y.
Are there silly songs from your homestate or
where you live now? We enjoy the friendly quirks
of Florida where we have created our own family,
where my first family moved when I was in middle school,
so Ella Jenkins cracks me up with her original tune,

“I Know a City Called Okeechobee”

Puppets

Lambchop
I can’t be the only crazy person who loves to
prance & sing “This is the Song that Never Ends,”
made famous by Shari Lewis and her puppet pal, Lambchop.
I hummed this before and after surgery.
So cool that her daughter Mallory Lewis,
carries on the silly tradition.
http://blog.cmnonline.org/2017/03/09/the-song-that-doesnt-end-by-shari-lewis/

Costumes
Odd eyewear. Funny hats

c.2016allrightsreserved

In summary

Dour tastes sour.
Joy is a toy.

And when I create situations of joy
that produce laughter or full on smiles,
my psyche can more easily steamroll irritations,
so my human-imperfect nature
is more likely to react amiably, kindly,
when a roadblock, setback, disappointment
or that occasional huge challenge,
boulders onto the path.
I hope these thoughts make your spirit smile.

Me & a Monster
c.2017JanGodownAnnino
allrightsreserved

Four little weeks after Cle Clinic surgery

The Poetry Friday raft floats at
The Water’s Edge.

For now please join my
celebration of life, healing, faith
& the love of friends & family
& strangers, such as hospital teams,
a party that follows
Aug. 21, 2018 kidney surgery
to remove my diseased right
red bean,
leaving the left one
behind to do all the work.

Time for another sample!

Four weeks gone by!

I’ve ditched a lot of the fuzz brain,
am mobile in the AM,
without the walker &
often without my tall, Gandalf-type
walking stick,
a surprise hand-carved for me by a
Girl Scout parent long ago. We normally
we take it on our refuge hikes but it is
for me, now sturdier than a regular cane
for everyday get-abouts on neighborhood streets.

c.2018PetarTodorov
“Lefty” an original kidney cartoon delivered in the hospital by an honorary & beloved, family member.

My body folds up at mid-day. But
for the first time, on yesterday,
a smidge of energy returned in the PM.

One of my favorite heal tricks is
to re-read Get Wells & that includes
the funny cards & words (often in poem form)
about surgery, medicine, hospitals &
of course, kidneys.

My actual hospital sheet! I was sitting up in the adjoining lift chair when I went, “Eeek! Look-ee what Beautiful shape I see! Do you see it?

Original kidney limericks are encouraged.
Take a look at those to date, at
the first limerick posts, visible near the story’s end.

A new poem contribution shared in a wee bit,
is a clever departure from limericks,
created by author, decades-long pal,
crackerjack crit. partner
& great soup-maker,
Ann Morrow.

It follows my poem heart pour,
Heal Song,
in gratitude to
the Cleveland Clinic surgical team.

Heal Song
by J.G. Annino

Unlike piercing a ragged Parma
or slicing Birdsong’s field of Georgia sedge

Unlike slivering an envelope’s lip
or eliciting cedar splinter from pinkie skin

Tiny cuts incised into the abdomen 21 Aug. 2018
are the kindest

In OR #6
under lights football field bright
host of healers
commence cutting edge labor
deploy tiny camera like Andromeda Strain
maneuver through induced bloat of carbon gas
surgeons find targets
retrieve dead bean
stop tendrils extruding to vena cava
excise imposter veins
withdraw tiny camera
smooth skin flaps
suture precise origami folds
kindest cuts swaddled
breathing tube out
anesthesia fades

patient awakens
singing singing *

c.2018 J.G. Annino
21 Sept. 2018

*The surgery notes are a deep dive into
nonfiction medical writing that have brought
my husband & me new vocabulary & an even greater
appreciation for what went on
up on the slab in the lab. Those notes report
that the patient (moi) was
“exhuberant” in the two-step
recovery rooms.

I sang, I sang, is what “exhuberant” means.

Thank you, pal Velma Lee Frye,
for the seasons of spirited song circle
I felt fortunate to attend. I did hum & sing to
keep my spirits up in the waiting times before
& after surgery – why not?

Rainbow from our room, Cleveland Clinic campus! By Paolo Annino. One of my hubby’s uncountable tender uplifts to me.

And now, something to hum about,
this very moment,
a delightful new poem from Scholastic
author Ann Morrow.

The Kidney Sisters
by Ann Morrow

Kidney 1 and Kidney 2 were such a healthy pair
“We’re small, but strong and mighty,” they often did declare.  
“We clean and filter all the blood, working every day.”
“Our nephrons never stop to rest or take the time to play.”

The years went by, the team worked hard, they rarely made a peep.
Until one year when Kidney 1 began to fall asleep.
“Too much work has worn me out. I’m sad and weak and weary.”
“I think I’ll go to Cleveland, I’d love to see Lake Erie.”

So Kidney 1 and Kidney 2 exchanged a sad adieu.
Each with an agenda, they started life anew.
Kidney 1 loved city life – museums, food and wine.
A river and a lakefront, suited her just fine.

Kidney 2 loved staying home, it fit her to a T.
With twice the work she found herself, as strong as she could be.
She misses Kidney 1, of course, and the special bond they had,
But thinks the single life she has, is not at all half bad!
c.2018 Ann Morrow, all rights reserved

Isn’t that lovely? Applause, Ann!

My solitary kidney & I
expect to be back Oct. 4 to guide the Poetry Friday
Spiritual Thursday Sisters in conversations about
ha!, humor.

Lately I’ve missed out on
book birthdays & other book cheers, but I can’t
leave without mentioning two worthy
launches of dear friends.

Laura Shovan
brought out her 2nd novel,TAKE DOWN<
the remarkable story
of a school girl, Mickey Delgado,
who competes at the highest level
on the wrestling team. You likely know it
but if not, < take a seat in the Laura Shovan gym.

My favorite lines include:

“Look out, Mickey Delgado is going to storm the state championships.”

“You got that right,” I say. “But Dad, can you call me Mikayla?”

And, my personal poetry pied piper
Irene Latham, is right nowbringing out her ba-zillionth creative book, this with bright
color illustrations I love by Thea Baker,
LOVE, AGNES, Postcards from an Octopus
much to my coast-loving delight.

My favorite Agnes/Irene lines include:

Agnes rolled her eyes. She still knew how
to do a thing or two.

p.s. for today’s host, The Water’s Edge. I know
your country is gi-normous but Thea Baker,
of above new book, LOVE, AGNES
is based in Australia, f.y.i.

Both books are must haves.

Finally, it always cheers me to catch up with Betsy Bird’s columns.
Try her 2019 Newberry/Caldecott noshing, where she tips me off to poems
by Richard Wright (with a cameo from Donald Crews) & artistry
in photo illustration by Nina Crews

And remember I would love to
see your limerick or other
funny words
about being sick, healing,
nurses, MDs, or the like.
If said words pop up on your site,
great, just
send a link!

My Vacay, CleClinic Way

Wonder & Wander with Poetry Friday!

**********
short update: Home! to find an unexpected
baby banana tree sprouted in front yard, zinnias are abloom,
firebush attracting hummingbirds & both Myer
trees showing large lemons.
goal: by Oct. 7 post a
coherent poem/follow up column, on successful surgery.

******************************************
My Vacay, CleClinic Way

Aspirational Visits

Uppsala (home of The Friendly Swede)
Margate (home of Shell Grotto)
Toronto (home of House of Anansi)
Alexandria (home of The Bibliotheca)
Block Island (home of bar where my nephew sometimes performs)
Malmo (home of Raoul Wallenberg Institute)
Copenhagen (home of Hygge)
Prince Edward Island (home of College of Piping)
Fernandina (home of Fort Clinch)

Although I have personally owned, cared for &
several times have relocated during moves
between New England & Florida, a classic
large letter, linen, collectible CLEVELAND postcard,
I had never before considered
the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame City,
across shallow Lake Erie from Canada,
as a desired destination.

But now I add in CLEVELAND to my list of places rated.
Cleveland joins
3 months in Costa Rica
a season in Arizona
many US cities/states, including hikes up & down Mt. LeConte & Mt. Katahdin
some of the British Isles
Sicily, mainland Italy
Cayman Islands
Canada east (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia)
Canada central (Montreal, Toronto)
Canada West (Vancouver Island)
as top travel tickets that I recommend.

The deal with this unanticipated vacation is
I give Cleveland my kidney;
Cleveland gives me world class health care
in the taking out of it,
with the healing up of it
& so forth.

Kidney Limerick #1
There once was a kidney named Right
who tried with all of her might
to filter and function
at her grand junction
but still was not working right.

– c.2018 JGA

When my family & I realized I needed serious
up on the slab in the lab
surgery we selected Cleveland Clinic,
thought to be #1 in patient-rated trust/satisfaction
for reaching into those
urological netherlands.
We are pleased so far with the world-class
attention, education & care in pre-vacation,
er,
pre-operation events.There are a crew of Clinic
people to praise & also, a most accommodating
staff at the campus Holiday Inn in CLE,
as we who have come to appreciate the city
call it & also a most accommodating
car ride service recommended by the Clinic.
My chipper cheer squad is
my nurturing family, Paolo, Anna & Petar.
Although it may be a full moon before I post again,
please know that I welcome
a Cleveland Clinic experiences
b Cleveland experiences
c kidney humor (see friends’ limericks below)
d your private prayers, vibes, chants & spells

Han Nolan Kidney Limerick
There once was a kidney with a tumor
Who had a great sense of humor
when operated on
It was already gone
Its presence merely a rumor

c. Han Nolan, 2018

Hillary Homzie Kidney Limerick
There was once a kidney
Named Tim
Who really knew how to swim
When he jumped
In the bath
he made quite a splash
And now pools are named after him.

c.Hillary Homzie, 2018

Adrian Fogelin Kidney Limerick
There once was a kidney so lazy
it drove the other one crazy
said K2 to K1
your job here is done
I’m tired of your lounge-about way-z.

c. Adrian Fogelin, 2018

Carole Fiore Kidney Limericks #1 & #2

There once was a woman named Jan,
For doctors she wasn’t a fan
But her kidney revolted
The Doc said, “It bolted!”
Now Jan is ready to plan

c. 2018 Carole D. Fiore

There once was a surgical scar
That could be seen from close and afar
But the patient behaved
And now she is SAVED!
And the scar left the scene by a car.

c. 2018 Carole D. Fiore

Stephanie Salkin Kidney Limerick

There once was a kidney named Kate
who came to the party quite late.
She made a big splash
but then had to dash
for a surgical meeting with fate.

c.2018 Stephanie Salkin

Michelle H. Barnes Kidney Limerick

When faced with a surgery scare,
Jan met it with humor and prayer.
Her doctors were awed
and would wildly applaud
when she sang with “exhuberant” flair.


c.2018MichelleH.Barnes

Michelle Kogan Kidney Limerick

A trip to fair Cleveland ensued,
adieu lame kidney that brood.
I’ll sing a sweet hymn,
thwarting away grim–
join in dude success has pursued!

c.2018 MichelleKogan

Sally Murphy Kidney poem

I love to sing a kidney song
I love to sing it all day long
My kidney song is loud and clear
And I will sing it all the year
My kidney song’s exuberant
And I will sing it when I want!

c.2018SallyMurphy

 

c.ClevelandClinicNews

An august August, 2018

Find The top o’ August’s Poetry Friday organized here.

And the August Spiritual Journal Thursday is corralled here.

***

The request from a school recently fluttered my way.
We were to pick a number from one to 70.
I picked 50. For no other reason than,
of the numbers, I am devoted to the round circle,
often oval, zero.
And five is a great rhyme number.
Alive, connive, dive, FIVE, hive, jive, live, survive….

In some sparkle of serendipity, the #50 that I randomly selected
is the right # for me. The crackerjack school leader there,
formerly a Florida Teacher of the Year,
has her staff’s back, asking us to send a book,
along with a note of strong spirit &
advice for the 2018-19 school year ahead.
Just pick a #, 1 through 70. And my anonymous
teacher 50 turns out to be someone
who will shape the days for the next nine months,
of a mixed-age class of young ones assigned
to special education. My heart pinged.

Zero/ Kathryn Otoshi
Zack’s Alligator
Little Cloud
Sea Monster’s First Day
Catching Kisses
Waiting for Wings
She Sang Promise
& for the teacher, Grant Snider’s The Shape of Ideas

Some few of you know that intense life experiences
with two developmentally delayed relatives are woven
into the defining nature of my psyche.
Although a relative published some about the topic, I haven’t, much.
One of the developmentally delayed relatives let me know that my column
on the topic was unwelcome; my respect for that person brought me to the
decision that I can wait to publish. But it didn’t block my writing.
Among other pieces, I created & revised & revised a
critiqued novel manuscript for MG with the theme threaded through it.
Some day I feel I will publish on this topic.
My heart soars for any educator working in any setting with
developmentally delayed spirits. Although the Americans With Disabilities Act
is a wondrous thing compared to what was before, if you are involved with
special needs students you likely know there can be gaps, chasms,
entire sinking bogs.
However, knowing the leadership at this school that the little package
flew to this week, I think those bright kids in special ed. are
in brilliant hands.

***

And so I turn my attention to the half-there picture of my calendar year,
summer. On the writing front, I’ve moved forward much on my historical setting
MG verse novel. And summer isn’t over at the end of August because actually in Florida,
we call close on summer ’bout Oct. 1st. Am I correct, Florida folks?

Our June, July & now our August bring some ebullient moments.
From our front yard garden we have savored
not only figs from our own tree,
but also eggplant, first time for our suburban garden. Yup, from seeds.


And cherry tomatoes.
And hot Vietnamese peppers.
And soon to come green/red sweet peppers.
And a glory of red, blue, lilac, pink & yellow flowers.

We trekked to our big dunes.

We visited the starfish & shark of the home-grown coastal lab.

C. all rights reserved


We discovered a wayside tiki hut cafe we didn’t know was hidden where we had moseyed
hundreds of times before.
And when the beach is too hot to reach, we slip into our cool pool, if we
are not in a monsoon moment. And at the pool, hummingbirds zip low across
the water to drink from the flowers of the shrimp plants & purple cone flowers.
And we watch the skies for big birds and tall clouds.

I hope your August is sweet & that it is august for you.
I expect to be back with another post some time in September.

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.


#VOTE #VOTEORTHEYWIN #ALforC
with permission from # Authors& Illustrators For Children AIforChildren.org

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