A Pumpkin’s Point of View

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A Pumpkin’s Plea

I sit on the stoop,
meditating and waiting.
I don’t know who I am
or which way I’m facing.

I hope you’ll come soon
with a sharp silver blade
to hacksaw my head
and muck out my brain.

I’m desperate for eyes
like sad gaping moons
or slightly tipped triangles
threatening doom.

I crave a bright smile
and maybe some teeth—
a couple that dangle
or a set to mince meat.

A nose might make sense,
centered and friendly,
though a smooth empty space
looks disturbing and deadly.

Come, bring your knife.
Don’t make me wait!
I’m scared that you’ll leave me
without any face.

Last year I wrote a poem about my strong desire not to carve my pumpkin. My pumpkin was so perfect, I couldn’t imagine changing it. This year as I sat down to write my annual Halloween poem, I wondered about my pumpkin’s point of view. I suddenly worried: what if my pumpkin had really wanted to be carved?!

© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2014

Is That a Hat?

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What kind of witch
wears a hat like this?
Orange and plastic and big.

What kind of witch
leaves her hat in the ditch
to be hit by a wide-wheeled rig?

Where is the witch?
Did she make a dark switch
to a hat that matches her wig?

Or did the old witch
try a spell with a glitch
and turn herself into a twig?

 

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

Earth and Sky

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Earth and Sky

Two twig men went walking by.
They tripped and fell but didn’t cry.
The sky was blue, the ground was dry,
So they stayed to watch the cloud men fly.

Two cloud men were flying low.
They saw two twig men down below.
They wanted to stop and say hello,
But the wind said no, so they had to go.

 

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

Two Original Limericks

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There once was a girl who loved trees.
She swung from their limbs with great ease.
When asked to come in,
The girl made a grin,
Then hung upside down by her knees.

 

My mother once gave me a date.
I snuck the old yuck off my plate.
My mother found out
When she saw the dog’s snout
In a strangely gelatinous state.

 

Earlier in the summer Michelle Barnes asked me if I’d be willing to send her a poem for Limerick Alley. I was so honored and inspired by her request that I wrote and sent three. She posted one earlier this week with a fabulous illustration by her daughter. Above are the two others written for Michelle.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Renee at No Water River.

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved

Haiku: The Wordless Poem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for sale
a sparrow slips into the attic
trailing toilet paper

 

watching fireworks
from the car
chickenpox

 

screen door
song of the birds
cry of the cat

 

a sudden fall
of acorns—

chipmunk looks
at me

 

I’ve been focusing on haiku again, preparing submissions for Modern Haiku (deadline July 15) and Frogpond (deadline August 1). (Hint, hint…) I set these aside to post here because they were the most kid-friendly.

Haiku are sometimes called “wordless” poems. The idea is that the reader connects directly with the experience being depicted, not with the words of the poem. For me wordless also refers to all the words that might have been included but weren’t–words that the reader constructs for herself. We know from the words in the second haiku that somewhere there is a screen door, birds singing, and a cat crying but there are no words explaining that the cat is crying because she is on one side of the screen door and unable to hunt the birds happily singing on the other. According to Cor van den Heuvel, the poet Ogiwara Seisensui once described haiku as a circle–half provided by the poet and half provided by the reader. This is just the kind of active reading I hope to inspire in kids.

For more Poetry Friday visit Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty.