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

a new way –

mix up a
cool treat –
lemon mousse

write a
new line –
the end

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.


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

TWIST resources
Janet S. Wong
Julie Pacshkis

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.

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

Lee Bennett Hopkins, please

Poetry Friday percolates perfectly at READING TO THE CORE this week.

It is a good week at Bookseedstudio.
With permission from generous educator and poet,
Lee Bennett Hopkins,
some of his words on poetry are here today.

Also gathered today are
three recent poetry links,
important to me. They appear after
the words from LBH.

Lee Bennett Hopkins, briefly, on the Poet, on Poetry

A poet is, in the narrowest sense, a maker of verses.
A poet is also imaginative in thought, expressive in
language, and graceful in form.

Good poetry is imaginative. It deals with emotion and has
significance beyond the act of creation. It uses figurative
language, yet is compact in thought and expression. Good
poetry has an element of beauty and truth which appears
unstable outside of the poem.

Poetry both predates and transcends the written word.
It is the rhythmic expression of imaginative thoughts
about our world and its people. –
Lee Bennett Hopkins

I will dwell with those thoughts this weekend.

The awards for the winner and honor books
in the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Children
were given this week at Penn State.
The Honor Books are
MY SENECA VILLAGE by Marilyn Nelson
with Winner,
ENCHANTED AIR by magical poet Margarita Engle.
These winning titles shine like moonbeams on my reading list.


Three links, promised above, are

A Sept. 19, 2016 online celebration of LBH,
where he shares a bit about his 2017
title due from Lee & Low.

A septercet poem, attempted. The
septercet is a classy form
originated by wondrous Jane Yolen.

An explainer of the septercet form,
as covered at TODAY’s LITTLE DITTY,
treasured blog that is celebrating
septercet creator Jane Yolen
this very month. Look sharp,
the septercet challenge is offered
near the end of the informative

This very week here in Florida,
I presented assemblies
to about 80 attentive
4th graders & also to their pals,
about 100 attentive 5th graders.
I snuck in a little poetry appreciation,
too, although the talk was about
non-fiction research
& writing, of the
non-poetry flavor.

Finally, here I am back at Poetry Friday.
Yes, a good week.


Owl Bee Thinking of Owl-o-ween

Owl Bee Thinking of Owl-o-ween

Whole universes of poets and their poems from countries afar,
and originating from our own states just up the road,

who I don’t yet know,

became an obvious missing part of my education when I sat in a graduate poetry seminar that I devoured at a green little place tucked into Virginia hills,

Hollins summer children’s literature program.

In moments after the first class, the student in the next seat
started a litany:

“Onct they was a little girl…”

She had begun an obscure-to-everyone else verse that ended…

“And the Gobble-uns’ll git you

Ef you


And so I joined in on James Whitcomb Riley’s old piece, finding not only
a kindred gobblin spirit in the student, Regge, but also a memory.

Riley’s poem became an annual Halloween spine-tingler, my mother’s performance of
The Hoosier Poet’s classic cautionary poem-story, “Little Orphant Annie,” meant Halloween had arrived. She rose up high as a Gobblin and shrunk down low as a meek orphant sent up to bed at night





And I was a mite lil’ deliciously scared girl by the time she completed her unique recitation/performance/thriller. Reading the poem today I see that she edited, embellished & pronounced as suited her acting temperament at the time, as any creative would. She was a baby when Riley was still living, so he was truly her childhood poet as her mother loved his work too.

And that’s why Riley’s verses about autumn became one of the standards of my October child days. Years later when we learned that my father’s older cousin, who we knew as Aunt Kay, grew up across the street from the Riley Lockerbie Square home in Indianapolis, his poetry developed a larger patina in the family lore.

You may find some the many picture book versions of his poems as he was also known as The Children’s Poet.

They are beautifully presented in this blog, Sing Books With Emily. Appreciations more than Emily can have known when she put it together, for this Riley article that includes an uncommon silent movie of the poet. Any one of the girls in this black and white historic movie clip could be my “Aunt Kay.” Did you see all the hair bows?

Since this is Halloween Week, how about timely books you may want to add to your annual Stack-O-Ween titles?

James Whitcomb Riley

The Gobble-uns’ll Get You (1975 ) (cover is above) Riley’s poem illustrated by Joel Schick or another version to covet,  illustrated by Diane Stanley.


Illustrated by  Diane Stanley

Illustrated by
Diane Stanley


Lee Bennett Hopkins

RAGGED SHADOWS, Poems of Halloween Night, is a collectible, illustrated by Giles Laroche. “Somewhere/ in the black-cat dark,/ Halloween begins.” With historic scenes from Salem, Massachusetts in a cut-paper format & titles such as “Skeleton Key” from Alice Schertle, these 14 poems, created by favorites, including Nancy Willard and  Barbara Juster Esbensen this collection lurks in the pumpkin’s light.


Mary Ann Hoberman

YOU READ TO ME, I’LL READ TO YOU from Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberley. Such a team, their fourth “read to me” partnership. Zombies, ghouls,ogres, knights and even a dinosaur join witches & others for Halloween season delights.


by Mary Ann Hoberman & Michael Emberley

by Mary Ann Hoberman & Michael Emberley




Annette Simon

Annette Simon’s inventive, ROBOT ZOMBIE FRANKENSTEIN!
Recently I popped into Annette’s home bookshop on the Florida east coast. And busy artist and creator that she is, she was not in residence but her books were appropriately on display. I enjoyed a shop tour from Nora & found several delights, including a prominent perch for one of my poet faves, Naomi Shihab Nye represented by her POEMS FOR GIRLS.

Written & illustrated by Annette Simon

Written & illustrated by Annette Simon

Appreications to Jama’s Alphabet Soup for this lovely look at Annette’s first picture book  from 2012, & you’ll want to read all the way to the book trailer, I think!

Tara Lazar

The Monstore has a secret place in the back that … well, bring gummy worms that you can buy in the store & find out yourself. Hope monster  is a fun word for you. This silly skip-a-beat book, is from creative  Tara Lazar who is thanked (or cursed!) every November for the inventive & p0pular kids’ writer/illustrator game that I’ll be playing for my second year, known as PiBoIdMo Picture Book Idea Month.

written by Tara Lazar & illustrated by James Burks

written by Tara Lazar & illustrated by James Burks

Owl Moon 

I think of this title every fall & you may recall the scary scene where the large owl flies at the father & daughter. It’s a Caldecott winner illustrated by John Schoenherr & written by the wonderful talent, Jane Yolen.


Finally, here are some of my past Halloween title posts here

at Bookseedstudio.


written and illustrated by Lisa Desimini

And if you think it’s

pronounced Boo-seedstudio this time of year,

you are correct.


Next blog up:

November is First Peoples/ American Indian/Native American Month.
Where to Learn What We Should Want & Need To Know About This Topic? Early, on a weekday in November I hope you’ll come back for a visit.

Expecting a bee?

Florida is a bug’s delight. Hot, moist, dark, damp. With giant ferns and fronds for creepy crawlies to easily hold onto, even when blasted by the stiffest offshore wind. Plus, look at all the flowers, stems, leaves, trees & marsh grasses bugs can cotton to. If I were a bug I’d love Florida, wouldn’t you? (Until that squish moment…)

Bugs and their skin-tingling activities are the subject of a new poetry collection for children, BUG OFF! Jane Yolen crafted words on each bug, with photographic illustrations by Jason Stemple, her youngest son. Since bug off is what we usually want them to do in our vicinity,  unless they are the cuties, and that’s you, ladybug, these poems are bound to delight.

I haven’t seen the collection yet, but I laughed with a fly poem, shared in a sneak preview, thanks to  POETRY for CHILDREN  and also to the site which points out the preview,  Teaching Authors  ( TA takes you, as a poetry bonus, to another neat children’s poet, Janet Wong.)

Jane Yolen’s Bug Off! asks the reader to create a buggy poem, so here’s mine.

It’s fast & mainly unrevised, inspired (irritated) by what I brought home from a beautiful weekend hike last year, which my husband & I took, to see a noted stand of royal palms, deep in our nearby national refuge.


Skin splotches

Yes, freeze if you please

Too much sun

Too much fun

Too many cells

Tolls the bell

What the –

“A tick?”

“Yes,” reports Dr. Steve

There’s a tick just over here

Have no fear – I’ll remove it dear

A tick, just here

under my arm

sort of to the rear

With his practiced


the tick

is now an abstraction

– Jan Godown Annino


I am pleased to share that another new poetry book about bugs is out &  is worth noting.

It is Nasty Bugs, compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins. After several tries, the link to it

doesn’t work (a new glitch here with my blog.) So please look it up when you have a spare moment.

The compiler is the noted Lee Bennett Hopkins, who earlier pulled together the beautifully buggy Flit, Flutter Fly! among

many poetry anthologies.

30 days hath November

In her book RADICAL REFLECTIONS, the incomparable children’s author & educator Mem Fox, of Australia, (the creator of KOALA LOU) says that she gets, maybe, four good ideas a year in writing for children.

One, two, three, four.

This cheers me up because, in calculations for my warm fuzzie for the just-ended National Novel Writing Month 2010, I have to ask:

Have I measured up to my goals?

We shall see.

Saturday evening our pals GiGi & husband Jerry came over straight from the airport to endure my spaghetti & meatballs after their day-long flights home to North Florida from a Thanksgiving in NYC that collected their family from hither & yon.

They are good story tellers & their tales helped distract us from the fact that the best teen in the universe, home for Thanksgiving from her first semester of college in New England, had just flown northward that day.

“How did you do with your writing,” GiGi asked me. They had been over for brunch at the beginning of the month & I had announced my goals as a Picture Book Rebel in NANOWRIMO 2010:

four new picture books, written


a picture book idea, a day

To put the screws in tight, I had also, impromptu, announced this during the Author Panel, Elementary Section, at the Florida Association of Media Educators 2010 conference, conveniently held in November .


Here’s where the four picture books are:

A story set at Easter-time –   written & 1st draft read t0 crit. crew.

A story about the origins of a favorite food – writing begun & pages to date – three- ready to read to crit.crew.  The research tastes yummy.

A p.b. biography  about an abolitionist – writing revised, after a hiatus of three years – not quite ready to read to crit. crew but 7 workable pages nailed.

(big blank space here )

– for unwritten fourth p.b.

But Fourth, Unwritten P.B. is 1 of 23 new p,b. ideas (not 30) that I came up with, which are ready for this Thursday’s meeting with my crit crew.

I have taken my victory laps around the neighborhood on my daily walks.

This would be a I Wish I Could… instead of an I Did!   had I not ponied up, got my NANOWRIMO halo & publicly announced goals. AND the best part of this month was written by someone else.

Jane Yolen (TOUCH MAGIC, one of her books about the craft of Story, great for readers & writers) an incomparable talent of the world, who can’t be categorized, only, as a writer for children, although that is how I came to her, sent me a new, unpublished poem early each morn, which she penned or penciled or keyboarded, each day of November.

Yes, that’s right.

She did this as an advocate for The Center for New Americans.

Her poems sailed out to fulfill her November writing pledge.

It was to create a fresh poem each day, delivered privately for personal use only, to the luckies who pledged in turn, to donate to The Center. I thank my critique partner M.R. Street for her graciousness in alerting me to this.

Do you follow tennis?  Imagine if Chrissie Evert shows up at your doorstep, to show you her swing.

Have you prayed for racial strife to end ? Imagine if you answer the knock & meet Desmond Tutu, there to bow his head in prayer with your family.

Well, this is November  2010 for me.  It’s been birthday & anniversary & Easter & Christmas & New Year’s & like my first successful bike-riding moment at age 8 (“You’re a late – bloomer, Jan,” a newspaper editor once told me) & events of similar good force. In one month.

30 Days Hath November

In 30 days I could fall flat

Or I could soar.

It’s up to me to open the door.