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