2019 April National Poetry Month

LIGHT verse dept.

[Cocoa, Florida]

After work

by JG Annino

How curious it is

villages called

Coffee, Florida

 

or Tea or Juice

are absent from

the map

 

Out the newsroom door

of my summer job

into warm late night

 

search around downtown

only other visitor a dusty

armadillo

 

how can this

hot state have

a hot town

 

named Cocoa

and more than that

shouldn’t a person

 

find the best

cup of it, right

here

©JanGodownAnninoall rights reserved

 

GRAB a cuppa whatever – mine is water, no ice.

This month we mosey into Poetry Friday’s gift to 2019 National Poetry Month.

It’s the Progressive Poem! A line a day is added by your 2019 Poetry Friday

line leaders, to make a month-long-in-the-making, 29-line, poem.

I will grab a line

(out of a Cocoa box perhaps)

on April 25th – to post here that day. I haven’t looked at the other written lines yet,

deciding to only see them all of an early morn, on my designated Thurs & then

spin something fresh during that day, posting sooner rather than later. Shivers!

 

REQUEST Dept.

Editors, eagle-eyed readers, published Poetry Friday poem makers, if you

liked “After Work” above, please know that beta readers are collecting

for an upcoming poem project. Please send an email note to me with your availability

summer/fall, or send a fb message. I am dividing the poems to be read into

clutches of approx. 5, 7, 11, 1,211, etc.  For your volunteer reading, I can offer

enthusiastic appreciations,

with a package of dry ingredients

to make my special

best cuppa hot Cocoa recipe.

LINE LEADERS

Line Leaders of the 2019 April National Poetry Month Progressive Poem who are Pampered & Organized & Enthused & Memorialized by Poet Extraordinaire & friend of octopuses, IRENE LATHAM;

1 Matt @Radio,Rhythm and Rhyme

2 Kat @KathrynApel

3 Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites

4 Jone @DeoWriter

5 Linda @TeacherDance

6 Tara @Going to Walden

7 Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown

8 Mary Lee @AYear of Reading

9 Rebecca @RebeccaHerzog

10 Janet F. @LiveYour Poem

11 Dani @Doingthe Work that Matters

12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine @Dori Reads

14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering

15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink

17 Amy @The Poem Farm

18 Linda @A Word Edgewise

19 Heidi @my juicy little universe

20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog

21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan

22 Catherine @Reading to the Core

23 Penny @a penny and her jots

24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference

25 Jan @Bookseestudio

26 Linda @Write Time

27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro

28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass

29 Irene @Live Your Poem

c.2019allrights reserved
April 2019 “Kickin’ It” Cleveland, Ohio

 

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.

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!

…….

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

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.