Poetry Friday/Spiritual Thursday: LUNA

all right reserved

I’ve been invited by Mainely Write in the
Poetry Friday group,
collected this week under the glow of the
Spiritual Thursday banner,
to think about the moon.
I love thinking about her.
Luna is a she, yes?
And to me, Luna represents joy & generosity.

Q & A with Ms. Luna

Favorite Earthling?
Mr. E.E. (Buzz) Aldrin

Favorite moon
Phobos (of Mars)

Favorite of your surface shapes

Favorite phase

Favorite poem
“The Crescent Moon” – Amy Lowell

Favorite book
Moon conversation C. copyright JGAnnino
. . .

What a super week for supermoon watchers this one is.
Here’s just one site spotlighting some of the glory.

At night, we bundle up & step out the back door. Or the front door.
We are blessed with a Luna trajectory that is nothing short of heavenly, directly over
us, rising in back & setting in front with clear views, despite living in an urban woods.
The night moon framed in a heart of live oak leaves is the view from our own
front steps. Those are branches & leaves of the grandmother oak that we
fell in love with, wanting to buy our little cottage in North Florida.
We spent a nice bit of time out front moon gazing this past Sunday evening & the
nights since. Are you getting up in the chilly pre-dawn to see her?
We have meant to, but . . .

As for Ms. Luna’s answers in the Q & A above, I can explain.

When I was a little girl, Buzz Aldrin sent me an
envelope of great goodies from NASA. My Mother wrote him that I
was tickled to learn that we had a relative in common, via
marriage. The good cheer our classroom felt from his
generous letter brings a smile to me. When I think of
the Moon I think: generous, I feel generous &
I also think: happy, I feel happy. To me, Col. “Buzz” Aldrin is
THE Man in the Moon.


Phobos is the moon that gets a lot of buzz
for orbiting the red planet Mars while wearing an
odd projectile, much commented upon,
in the space world.

Earthlings gaze at the moon and see
things. Some of the many shapes we
find in crater designs left by asteroids
striking the surface, include hands.

All four phases attract my moongaze. I am especially intrigued
when part of Luna is hidden.
Amy Lowell writes in “Crescent Moon,”
Little rocking, sailing moon/ Do you hear me shout Ahoy!/
The “Crescent Moon” poem

The picture book that changed my life is NIGHTGOWN
OF THE SULLEN MOON by Nancy Willard. Reading it over
and over at our daughter’s request, but to my delight, provided a challenge
to write in a way that spins a fantastic story for young readers
while at the same time, crafting a
luminous page-turner for all-age readers.
I love Lindsey Canesco’s tribute to this treasure book.

MY HOPE is that the moon is a muse for many artists.
I hope Col. Aldrin, who safely landed (July 20) & walked on the moon
(July 21) in 1969 continues living his exhuberant
life for many many many more moons.
(Shiver: His mother’s name before switching to Aldrin at
marriage was Moon!) I wish for your family to see fun designs in the
moon’s cratered marks. I hope many moon poems tickle your
fancy. I wish that you will read Nancy Willard’s magnificent
moon story & be moved by it.

Finally, I wish you a marvelous start to a new cycle of our moon.

Appreciations to Donna
for shining the light on Spiritual Thursday.
And this Everywhere with Special Care gal is also hosting today’s Poetry Friday.
Join in.
The luminous Spiritual Thursday logo is created by Margaret Simon.
See it here.


Nancy Willard

Nancy Willard

Hello all Poetry Friday seekers.
I am grateful to Heidi who organizes it here this week.

This week, I am spending time with
my Nancy Willard books,
especially, THE SALT MARSH,
STEP LIGHTLY, Poems for the Journey,
collected by Nancy Willard.

I want to pick one to share Saturday,
when I feel fortunate to be meeting with
teens at the request of a legendary
librarian I treasure, Ms. Lenita Joe.

Since Nancy Willard treasured every poem
she placed in
reading them feels like two chairs are pulled up
before a big window overlooking a salt marsh,
tea is poured and
a conversation begins.

Nearly every selection speaks to me, especially
the poems about writing,
but for this post I’m sharing two lines,
from Emily Hahn, in her poem,

“Wind Blowing”
“I can see everything, all around the earth;
Red sun dying, gold sun’s birth.”

c. Emily Hahn, all rights reserved

I feel that is Nancy’s world now,
stepping lightly,
knowing and seeing everything.

Here is a sweet memory written
just a few days ago by her friend
and former neighbor, poet
Lee Bennett Hopkins.

I was thrilled
to meet Nancy Willard in Roanoke, VA
once, at the graduate program
in children’s literature.

She sat in on a creative writing seminar
I enjoyed so much, led by
Han Nolan. She was available to us –
we were all big fans. I treasure the moon she drew

When she learned that my thesis
for Hollins University included
serious poems about bears in history, she
suggested I look up the work of her poet
friend, Galway Kinnell.
Reading him was rough work, but it helped me.
In expectation of my editing & layout of a
chapbook of bear poems, experiences &
images, I feel fortunate to have been
touched by Nancy Willard’s
magical presence that summer.

I’ve previously mentioned her books here.
and also here, where I shared her signature artwork
a gift that graces books of many admirers.

And I think NW would have liked the recent honor that LBH earned in my state.

Grackles cackle! It’s Halloween 2015!!!

Grackles cackle. Crows glow. Ghouls drool.

It’s Halloween 2015!
(If you are seeking the Poetry Friday link click-clack, scit-scat over to
Check It Out’s post, which beautifully looks ahead to Veteran’s Day.)

My favorite goblin-night reading for teens & adults is a privately
printed poetry chapbook, ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT.
It was a gift to me in 1992 from the poet author, Audrey Parente. It
is one of the first orange items I reach for each year to decorate
the house.

ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT c.1992 Audrey Parente, read by woman with ghost-color legs!

ON ANY DARK AND SPOOKY NIGHT c.1992 Audrey Parente, read by woman with ghost-color legs!

The spine-tinglers in Audrey’s collection are creepy
& kooky & make adults shiver.

Here is a less-ghoulish poem for the wee ones.

When Goblins Sing
by Audrey Parente

Oh, when the goblins sing,
your skin begins to crawl
with bumpy, goosey flesh
which drives you up a wall.
But scary as this is,
if they seem down the hall,
don’t you worry dear,
for they’re not there at all!

©1992 Audrey Parente

I love how I always go back & read it again to see what
she did there! Her Halloween poems are perfect presents.

Fortunately we held a Halloween poetry partee last weekend,
before All Hallow’s Eve. This way we would be free this weekend to enjoy
some of the many bubbling cauldrons of festivals & treats our town puts on.
But this year we are both under a sick spell (bad sore throats, etc.) now
at Halloween & feel fortunate to have these pre-Halloween memories.

c.2015JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved

c.2015JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved

The first set of images are from the partee.
Outdoors images in the second group were
made at our nearby park. It provides a naturally ghostly atmosphere
with rugged live oaks, swaying Spanish moss (not truly a moss but an
epiphyte) & an annual scarecrow row. The artists who create them
are local folks who love Halloween.

My Halloween picture books for young readers can fill a bottomless caludron but include –
TRICK OR TREAT, SMELL MY FEET by Lisa Desimini, TRICK OR TREAT, OLD ARMADILLO, by Larry Dane Brimner, with illustrations from Dominic Catalano, THE MONSTORE by Tara Lazar & HAMPIRE by Sudipta Bardhan Quallen.

c.2015JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved. subject: Abraham Lincoln & a bear.

c.2015JanGodownAnnino, all rights reserved. subject: Abraham Lincoln & a bear.

Walk this way! c.1992, all rights reserved

Walk this way! c.1992, all rights reserved

c.2015 Classic Scarecrow

c.2015 Classic Scarecrow

c,1992 Bee-utiful Scarecrow

c,1992 Bee-utiful Scarecrow

c.2015 Village Philosopher

c.2015 Village Philosopher

c.2015 Eyes so sad... could it be...

c.2015 Eyes so sad… could it be…

c.2015 Cheer up, dear!!!

c.2015 Cheer up, dear!!!

c.2015 GO AWAY BIG GREEN MONSTER, by Ed Emberly. The Emberly family has several cool monster picture books. Check 'em out of your libraree!

c.2015 GO AWAY BIG GREEN MONSTER, by Ed Emberly. The Emberly family has several cool monster picture books. Check ’em out of your libraree!

c.2015 Classic Caludron Gals

c.2015 Classic Caludron Gals

c.2015 That's right dearie, this way...

c.2015 That’s right dearie, this way…

c.2015 Good. You're drawing closer....

c.2015 Good. You’re drawing closer….

c.2015 Good. You're drawing closer....

c.2015 Good. You’re drawing closer….

c.2015 You are at The End, protected by Classic Smiley Pumpkin! Happy times always.

c.2015 You are at The End, protected by Classic Smiley Pumpkin! Happy times always.


JoAnn Early Macken

DownloadedFileA storm that rolled in the day our daughter recently

winged back home, made me think of poet



This gentle prose poem is an appreciation

of finding shelter in a storm, to then watch it in wonder.

A mother and daughter consider the small creatures

who live outdoors as they make their path from

a hill of daffodils,

to their own cozy nest to watch and wait out the weather.

It is illustrated by Susan Gaber in a way that

transports the reader inside veils of rain.


I’m sharing these raindrop lines:

They burst from the cloud

skipping and leaping and laughing out loud

They spin and they tumble.

They bounce on the breeze

They dance to the tune of the world in the trees

2010 JoAnn Early Macken, “Waiting Out The Storm”


You can learn more about JoAnn Early Macken, who

I met through Teaching Authors, at JoAnn’s web site pages.

And in your visit to JoAnn’s site, be sure to look at her, WRITE A POEM

information. This is about her book that I was fortunate to win

more than a year ago.

And also, please check back for one of my favorite rain images

from a few years past, of our gal, appreciating

cascades of drops. It’s not handy at the moment but I expect

to locate it soon.


Mindful that this week’s Poetry Friday gathering, collected at NO WATER RIVER

by Renee La Tulippe arrives the day after Sept. 11 memorials, I offer

JoAnn’s poetry lines, above, as a way of honoring quiet sweet moments in life that

our protectors endeavor to make continuous for us all.


Peace to you this week & always.




Flora & Ulysses



Gladiola. Caramel. Spiral.

Of the words and terms that evoke a relaxed feeling

for me, many can’t mean the same thing to you.

For example, the names of my husband and daughter,

my first childhood kitty, Wacky, my mother’s sister, Lily,

and the places on Earth where I felt one with the universe.

But one of my charmed words may be yours:

                            P   O   E  T  R  Y

So, I invoke this word to talk about the book I brought home from my

wunnerful public library. It is the 2013 novel for young readers,

FLORA & ULYSSES: The Illuminated Adeventures. I knew it won the 2014

Newbery. I had read it was about a girl and a squirrel. But I had not read it.

Imagine my summer reading surprise to see in it that a lively character, on page 82,

quotes with good effect:


“You, sent out beyond your recall,

go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.

Flare up like flame

and make big shadows I can move in.”


This is from Ranier Maria Rilke.

As I scrunched further into the comfy sofa, racing through page after page, I found that in this always switching-around tale, a story that produces in me laughs out loud,  readers discover that faith & hope & love = poetry. Or something. Or, they can equal poetry. That depends on you. The way certain words can be your charmed words.

Kate D. gives the story delicious made up words, vigorous real words, charmed words, airborne moments & every poem tucked inside is fine to read. Flora is a self-proclaimed cynic who is immershed in the world of comic books about a superhero. And then the story leaps on four paws from there.

I expect the best with this author but still, I feel charmed to read a story once again that leaves no question why she steps out so well as our country’s Ambassador for Children’s Literature. She is like a matter-of-fact big sister in speaking to children & the link below is especially demonstrates how she takes her readers seriously, but always offers a smile.

KATE!, a view from across The Pond


Rilke/the poem, “Go To The Limits of Your Longing”  from which DiCamillo quotes:


Illustrator K.G. Campbell who is all over the place in the best illustrated books:


Finally, you likely have arrived here through POETRY FRIDAY. A little nook of the Kidlitosphere. Today’s host is  CHECK IT OUT & I invite you to

take a trip to the West Coast & visit the host, Jone. Many thanks.  `  j a n







Nelson Mandela by J. Patrick Lewis

copyright KADIR NELSON

copyright KADIR NELSON


July 18th is a day for Mr. Nelson Mandela, who said,


“It is within your hands to make of our world, a better world for all.”


Thank you, Anastasia Suen & POETRY FRIDAY & J. Patrick Lewis.

The J. Patrick Lewis poem gives me goose bumps, especially at one line:

Nelson Mandela International Day poem by J. Patrick Lewis.


Here is more on Mr. Mandela, Nobel winning peace maker:


And here is even more, from his Foundation:


And finally, from Alicia Lewis Murray, (I don’t know if there is a Lewis-Lewis connection..)  here is a look at Mr. Mandela from the perspective of children’s books:


The artwork here is from KADIR NELSON’s exceptional book, NELSON MANDELA as displayed with Alicia’s article.



A young poet in character

The poet Naomi Shihab Nye edited the poetry anthology SALTING THE OCEAN, which is afloat with the vibrant writings of young poets. Like Nye, I think that attention paid to young poet voices can build peace, provide future strong leaders and just make any poet’s day.

If you agree, Poetry Out Loud,  is a brilliant program you may want to run out & connect with. I volunteered with POL recently & hope to help out more, next time around.

In the 1950s in my state, Florida, a Putlizer-Prize winning author thought about a young poet.

In doing so, the author created a character not seen often then. An elementary-age poet character. If you know of a recent (within 3 years or forthcoming) picture book or illustrated book (not YA, which pays tribute to teen poet charactersoften enough) for children that features a elementary age character who is a poet, I would like to know for my list.

In the meantime, young poet Calpurnia is a character to consider. She is inspired by her dog, to write poetry:


My dog’s name is Buggy-horse

         Of course.


Our young poet further writes:


Lovely day,

Come what may.

         If I did not love

                           my mother

                                    and my father


         I would run away.


                           it is a running-away

         Kind of day.



With the birds chit-chittering outside my open window


With the two kinds of azalea in the yard (native & exotic) nodding pink petals on the March breeze


With my Western cousins having just swept through town on their way home, enticing us with video of their kayak adventures among manatees, alligators and living whelks


feels like

a running-away day.

I can’t run.

Why –

just been away in Boston & then immediately after, Central Florida

hosting a critique meeting soon

have 3 essay deadlines

And mostly, my writing deserves this keyboard time.

But – if you are north of Garden Zone 8 &  your winter has lasted longer than usual this year, is it time for your running-away day?

I hope so, remembering the advice of one of my favorite writers for children, Cynthia Rylant, who said that instead of reading an interview with her online, a writer should probably go and play.


Did you guess the adult creator of the young poet who was inspired by her dog?

It is Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, in THE SECRET RIVER.

Timeless, lovely story, in each of its two editions:


THE SECRET RIVER  by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard

by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard



THE SECRET RIVER by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings illustrated by  Leo & Diane Dillon

THE SECRET RIVER by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
illustrated by
Leo & Diane Dillon