Tired Trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote this cinquain in response to Carol Varsalona’s invitation to contribute to her gallery Autumn Ablaze. Carol’s galleries are always full of gorgeous images and provocative language. Thank you, Carol for your inspiration and for your regular celebrations of poetry, community, and life.

For more Poetry Friday visit Linda at TeacherDance.

Someone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone

Someone has to.
Someone has to go.
Someone has to go down
in the dark, musty basement.
Someone has to.
Someone has to tip toe
along the concrete floor.
Someone has to.
Someone has to listen
for the quiet, steady snores.
Someone has to.
Someone has to slip aside
the hulking creature’s
big behind.
Someone has to.
Someone has to sidle by
before the giant
roars awake
its eyes alight
with raging flames.
Someone has to.
Someone has to run
for her life
and bring back
a roll of two-ply soft, white
toilet paper.

I’m so happy to be here! I’ve missed you all. Life has been busy and distracting. Thank goodness for Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’ wonderful blog. Her spotlight interview with Carrie Clickard and Carrie’s challenge to write a poem about something that spooked you as a child were just what I needed. Wishing you all a happy Poetry Friday! Leigh Ann has the roundup at A Day in the Life.

Crazy for Pet Crazy!

This looks so good, I’ll simply have to read it!

 

 

Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have done it again! They’ve brought another wonderful book of children’s poetry into the world. I’m beyond thrilled to be included with so many other fabulous children’s poets. Pet Crazy is Sylvia and Janet’s 7th Poetry Friday book and their 3rd Poetry Friday Power Book.

What makes it a Power Book? In addition to the fabulous linked poems, each Power Book also includes a PowerPack of activities and writing prompts to support kids’ writing. The books are anthologies, activity books, and Language Arts workbooks, all rolled into one.

Designed for students in Kindergarten through Grade 3, Pet Crazy encourages kids to explore concepts such as rhyme, repetition, alliteration, and form.

My poem, Book Hound, is an acrostic about a dog that loves to be read to.

Pet Crazy also includes poems by Kristy Dempsey, Helen Frost, Janice Harrington, Eric Ode, Laura Shovan, Eileen Spinelli, Don Tate, Padma Venkatraman, April Halprin Wayland, Carole Boston Weatherford, Tamara Will Wissinger, and Janet Wong. What a team!

If you’re crazy about pets or crazy about poetry or especially if you’re crazy about poetry about pets, you’ll definitely want to get your paws on this book.

Happy Pet Crazy Birthday! And Happy Poetry Friday!

MsMac is hosting today at Check It Out (and she’s sharing my poem!). Thanks, Jone!

Liz

Yes, I read. Of course, I read. What of it?

How to Be a Wall

 

How to Be a Wall

Stand tall.
Stand still.
Keep people out.
Keep people in.
Let the ivy
grab hold.
Watch the birds
soar over.
Sear in the sun.
Peel.
Chip.
Give the ants
an Everest.
Watch the shadows
switch sides.
Stand tall.
Stand still.
Crack.
Crumble.
Don’t last forever.
Make someone ask
do we need
this wall?

 

Like many of you, I have been dismayed by the current political climate. I hate seeing families and lives torn apart, the prioritization of profit over all else, including fresh air, clean water, and the future of our planet, the callous disregard for our shared human needs for education, health, choice, and respect. I could go on and on. It’s been hard for me to find the wonder in the world when what’s been staring me down has been the cruelty. I’ve struggled to turn pain into art–art worth sharing in any case. I’ve even wondered if writing is the best use of my time. This is one attempt to turn what I’m seeing and feeling into poetry.

I wish you all a Happy National Poetry Month.

For more poetry this Friday, visit Irene Latham at Live Your Poem!

Liz

Billy Collins: The Lanyard

Billy Collins at D.G. Wills Books, La Jolla, San Diego, by Marcelo Noah

 

 

The Lanyard by Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

You can read the rest here.

 

Or here’s a video of Billy Collins reading it.

 

Last Friday, Linda Mitchell suggested we share our favorite Billy Collins’ poems today in honor of our former Poet Laureate’s birthday. It was, of course, very hard to choose, and I see our Friday Poetry host Heidi Mordhorst and I chose the same one! So there you have it Happy Birthday, Billy Collins and thank you, Heidi for hosting today.

Have a great weekend!

Liz