In poetry this week

This seems like a moment to share a collection of
poems by creatives who are deeply connected to places
such as Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Saudia Arabia, Palestine, Syria,
Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Yemen, Turkey & even as far east
as India.

This volume of adult-written poems for students,
selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, is an original Aladdin Paperback,
offered to classrooms where students ages 8-12 are
expanding their horizons.

With many national flags represented in the collection.
one of the poems I especially return to has this in it –

“ …the ones who raise the flag of childhood high.”


In this season of anguished refugee news & intense military fighting
around the world, I meditate on the idea that despite everyting that is
rotten among countires on the planet, families are united by the flag of childhood.

Here is more of that poem.

from Letters to Childhood
Mohammed Shehadeh
translator: Aziz Shihab

All the children of the world
in all my abodes
you are the roses in my courtyard,
the green and the fresh,
the sun and the stars,
you are the beautiful hands,
the ones who raise the flag of childhood high.

©Mohammed Shehadeh

Other poems in, THE FLAG OF CHILDHOOD, carry titles such as “Beginning Speech,” “History Class,” “Growing (after Pablo Neruda’s ‘Walking Around’), “Class Pictures,” “I Have No Address,” & “Why Are We in Exile, the Refugees Ask.”

Another poem in this 98-page collection that I return to is, “The Bridge” by Kaissar Afif, who writes, in part – Poetry is a river/ And solitude a bridge

I have appreciated that Naomi Nye collected this group of poems.

Also this week, I turned to Worlds, Words & Wings, for a list of books about peace. The link is for middle grade; at the end of the post you can find links for the other school ages.

Also this week–

In some of the English-speaking world, such as Scotland, Ireland & England,
readers & writers celebrated National Poetry Day – October 8, 2015.

Perhaps I tune into it even tho I am on the Florida side of the Big Pond,
because of my good fortune at Hollins University to take one class with an invigorating guest lecturer from Wales via England – Prof. Morag Styles.

For Your Inquiring Mind

What is National Poetry Day, Oct. 8?

Did anything happen in the U.S.?
Student Poet Event Washington D.C

I had absolutely no role in this but I would like to raise up one student from my state, Chasity Hale, who was honored in a ceremony with President Obama and Mrs. Obama, for her poetry this week! Here is a link to a lovely photograph of the ceremony.

Please find Poetry Friday well-schooled by Laura at WRITING THE WORLD FOR KIDS
To be ready for next week, Poetry Friday cultivation on Oct. 16 is in the autumn garden with Amy, at The Poetry Farm



by Jan Godown Annino

more time immersed in water

meals made without cooking them

less care with my looks

pared schedules





c.  Jan Godown Annino

This summer I’m in the water more than usual, but also,

working with deadlines I didn’t expect.

Below, I’m sharing lines from a poem that feels suited to my writer self, from a poem which I have long-admired by Naomi Shihab Nye, a poet who I have long-admired for more than this one poem.

After her poem, “The Art of Disappearing,” I share links to more about her and also, short poetry from Nye’s students.

The Art of Disappearing

by Naomi Shihab Nye

….When someone you haven’t seen in ten years

appears at the door,

don’t start singing him all your new songs.

You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.

Know you could tumble any second.

Then decide what to do with your time.

c. Naomi Shihab Nye

For more please see Naomi Shihab Nye

and also, American Academy of Poets

Fourteen years ago Nye brought students to publication in

SALTING THE OCEAN, 100 Poems by Young Poets, 

with perfect illustrations from Ashley Bryan.

If you remember family kerfluffles (usually the grownups) in tight summer quarters, this untitled one from then-student Amy S. A. is for you:

Untitled by Amy S.A.

The sky looks like the ocean.

The flowers smell like perfume.

But nobody’s happy.

c. 2000 Amy S.A.


That should be enough to help the grouchiest cottage-sharing grump

want to go sniff the roses.


Here is an excerpt of one by Karen A.L. from the same collection, in case your summer is sailing away too fast.  


by Karen A.L.

Where does my free time go?

Does it fly off like a shooting star?

What if I don’t use it?

Does it feel neglected?

Or does it understand?

Is it all-encompassing?

Or know give-and-take?

Does it keep an alarm?….

c. 2000 Karen A.L.

POETRY FRIDAY  swims along this week, watched over by Reflections on the Teche.