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

 

We are one

“We are all one. And if we don’t know it, we will learn it the hard way.” – BAYARD RUSTIN quoted in WE ARE ONE, an illustrated biography for young readers, by Larry Dane Brimner

In my crowd, I am often late to knowledge.

Clarity about the meaning of the everyday term for where I live in the cosmos – the universe – ONE SONG – only arrived when I became a mother. This  left me giddy.  ‘One song, one song, one song,” I remember lilting to my baby girl as we danced around the room.  And then I thought of the Beatles: “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together..”

WE ARE ONE is the perfect title for an illustrated biography of one of the most famous men of the Civil Rights Movement you have yet to hear of.  I am late, very late, to know about him. I feel privileged that Larry Dane Brimner is the person who brings him to me.

With recent events in the country of pharaohs,  watching the expression of oneness in Cairo,  it’s a good time to examine WE ARE ONE, The  Story of Bayard Rustin. Without this book, black history months such as this one is, would come and go with nary a mention of Rustin.

I hope this title earned  a shelf of awards.

The author has tackled  a key person in U.S. Civil Rights history who is under-represented on children’s bookshelves, as far as I can tell, from skimming the titles out there.

Secondly, Rustin was gay and a member of the  Communist Party in the United States. To his great credit, Larry Dane Brimner presents these topics with more than a cover-the-bases sentence for each of these area of Rustin’s complex life.

Finally, he knocks the socks off the reader by uncovering one outstanding fact after another of this unsung hero.

For example –

Who convinced the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not to carry a gun and not to keep an armed guard at his house in Montgomery during the tense days of the civil rights protests of 1955 & 1956?  It was the peaceful protest that Dr. King became synonymous with.

Who repeatedly tested the color barriers on public buses & also the response of Southern bus drivers & riders, in 1942 long before Rosa Parks (1955) , and was hauled off the bus and arrested?

Whose arrest for sitting in a “white” seat while living his peaceful life as a black man, resulted in his working on THE CHAIN GANG in North Carolina?

After getting off the chain gang (think COOL HAND LUKE, there is a movie in Bayard Rustin’s life ) whose article about that chain gang labor, in The New York Post, helped bring about an end to the North Carolina chain gangs?

Who was a Quaker?

Who credited his peaceful protest guidance of the Civil Rights movement to his grandmother?

Who organized  every detail of the Aug. 28, 1963 rally for equality on the National Mall – from details about what kind of box lunch each bus rider should bring for themselves, to how to get 100,000 mainly poor black folks, safely from their small home towns to the nation’s Capitol?

From the author we learn the answer to each of these questions is: Bayard Rustin.

Before reading this book, my answer to a lot of these questions would have been something like,  “Well, somehow I thought King had done that.”

Rustin is the fella who created the crowd for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , at the Washington Monument that August 28 of 1963. Rustin brought people with no means to travel, with the challenges of  travel & lodging for black folks, to fill up  the long Mall in Washington, D.C. He did this without e-mail, cell phones, tweeting, Facebook, MySpace, ATMs &, well you know the ways of today.

This is a fabulous biography. I enjoyed everything, especially I liked reading about his West Chester, Pennsylvania family, where the grandmother, was a Quaker and therefore a pacifist. Grandma Julia married a man who had been born into slavery, Janifer Rustin. Not only that, he was a slave in the North, so when Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect, it didn’t “free” Janifer Rustin. That happened a year after, when the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress.  We begin to see the kinds of stories the young Bayard learned, growing up with Mr. and Mrs. Rustin. Bayard Rustin was born in 1912 and passed on in 1987.

Faced with this wealth of material, I’m not sure how I would have crafted the story. I might have been tempted to just keep the Bayard Rustin file open, indefinitely, seeking subjects easier to translate to teachers and those they tutor in civics and Civil Rights topics.

We are all fortunate, every one, that Larry Dane Brimner chose to delve into the topic and emerge with a lively and enlightening story.

Unlike many of the authors whose books I choose to write about here, I don’t know Brimner as a pal. I liked  chatting with him at a book-signing table last year as he met teacher fans, but it was a brief contact & I got no sense of who he was, other than another writer sitting on a high chair before a table with a stack of books my his side & a smile on his face for each person who presented a crisp hardbound illustrated book toward him to sign.

I apologize to the school intended to be gifted the copy that I had Brimner sign.  I have kept it far too long since November when I bought it. But with this post going up in mid-February, I will take it there next visit.  And I am grateful to my pal

Joan Broerman for her early recommendation of this title.

For more on Mr. Rustin, in addition to Larry Dane Brimner’s valuable book, there is an excellent resource I found from the material in the back copy of WE ARE ONE, at Columbia University’s oral history project.  You may also want to see Mr. Rustin on the cover of LIFE magazine in 1963. Those were the days we received not only LIFE but LOOK, every week at home. So that means he was in my living room & likely, I saw this same cover on our coffee table, but being a little kid, it didn’t sink in.  I am thankful for this chance to understand, through the teachings of Mr. Rustin that WE ARE ONE.

Books as gifts

It is unlikely that if you are reading this, you don’t gift your friends with books.

Samantha R. Vamos, writing at this site that I find to be a fine connector, Authors Now!
suggests every gift to children be a book.

Authors Now!

What, no candy?

In my elementary school-Mom days, I modified that for awhile, by giving a book AND something else.
A book and a stuffed animal.
A book and a set of magnets.
A book and a Harry Potter jacket.
A book and candy.

If you are looking for picture books about science one idea list to look at is here:


The is the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, a galactic place on Earth, for science education.