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.

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

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

Favorite phase

Favorite poem
“The Crescent Moon” – Amy Lowell

Favorite book
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.


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.

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
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.”

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. &

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.


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


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


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.


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?)


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

Artist & poet Michelle Kogan gives peace at chance with words from the incomparable
Maya Angelou.


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


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


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


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.)

Ice Music, anyone? Kay McGriff at Edublogs is listening & captivated.
I feel you will be, too.
Laura Purdie Salas presents her original poem “When Death Moved In,”
which sadly did not require research. Sigh. Extra love to you, Laura.
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!
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.
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.

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.


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.

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.

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.
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!)
Donna Smith is keeping uniquely iced at Mainely Write.
She has the best winter frost picture ever & imaginative poetry riffing from it.
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!
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.
Karen Edmisten brings us to a poet we can’t listen & learn from,
often enough, Mr. Langston Hughes. With great appreciations, Karen!


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


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.

You will want to be Reading to the Core with Catherine,
where she brings us into the realm of a wonderful Ambassador,
Jacqueline Woodson!


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
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 &
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







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 . . .


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,

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
& 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.


. . . .

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.

* * *

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.

“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,
C. text,

“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,
C. text
Matt Forrest Esenwine