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In honor of Poetry Month, Easter, Passover,
and all things rabbity, my free-verse picture book,
To Rabbittown, originally published by Scholastic,

is 99 cents on iTunes, Kindle, Nook–yippee!

Download the free Kindle for PC 
if you don’t have an eReader.
.

for more children’s poetry links go to
this delicious blog:
Jama’s Alphabet Soup

Wait...what do you mean it needs some editing?????

No, I disagree...I really think the words, "severed head" work in this poem.

Yeah, well, thanks for your suggestions. Let me think about them; NO.

I do believe I'm entitled to a nap after an exhausting session ripping my poem apart..

This is Eli. Pronounced eeee-lye.

Hi there!  Welcome to RuffDrafts.com–I’m glad you’re here!

My original poems, posted each day of National Poetry Month 2013, are imperfect. Messy.  This is your chance to sneak a peek behind the scenes—before a poem is polished and published! (For my poems in 2010, 2011 & 2012, click on the Poetry link in the menu above.)

My friend Bruce Balan and I critique each other’s poems every day…so you’ll see Bruce’s comments on some of the poems.

Thanks for following so well.  I’m tempted to take you to the dog park and let you romp off-leash… Ready?  Let’s begin!

 

April 30th

THE 2013 PROGRESSIVE POEM BY 30 POETS OF THE KIDLITOSPHERE


For my last poem in this space, I’m honored to join a howling pack of poets in the Kidlitosphere.

The brainchild of Irene Latham, this Progressive Poem has been moving from blog to blog, growing poet by poet, for 29 days until it’s come here for one final line.
.
For the poem and a list of contributing poets, see below.  At the end of a month posting rough drafts of poems about dogs, I think you could say that this, too, is a rough draft.
.
As Laura Puride Salas says, it’s poetry improv.  Yes, a poetry game.  It’s been fascinating to read the process of those who’ve proceeded me.
.
When I got the fantastic line by Denise Mortensen, I thought I should just write THE END as my line.  Then I could talk about how every good poet needs to know when to quit–when a good line’s a good ending.  That would be funny. If only I had the courage!
.
But I don’t.  So off we go!
.
Here is the list of the poets who each contributed a line (in this space, some appear to be a line and then some, but they are all really one line each), and below their names is the (yikes!) finished poem.  Take a bow, poets!
girl holding picture frame.
DAY/LINE + POET

1  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
2  Joy Acey
3  Matt Forrest Esenwine
4  Jone MacCulloch
5  Doraine Bennett
6  Gayle Krause
7  Janet Fagal
8  Julie Larios
9  Carrie Finison
10  Linda Baie
11  Margaret Simon
12  Linda Kulp
13  Catherine Johnson
14  Heidi Mordhorst
15  Mary Lee Hahn
16  Liz Steinglass
17  Renee LaTulippe
18  Penny Klostermann
19  Irene Latham
20  Buffy Silverman
21  Tabatha Yeatts
22  Laura Shovan
23  Joanna Marple
24  Katya Czaja
25  Diane Mayr
26  Robyn Hood Black
27  Ruth Hersey
28  Laura Purdie Salas
29  Denise Mortensen
30  April Halprin Wayland

Poetry Month 2011! drawing (c) by April Halprin Wayland

P.T. BARNUM’S GREAT TRAVELING MUSEUM, MENAGERIE, CARAVAN, AND HIPPODROME*

When you listen to your footsteps
the words become music and
the rhythm that you’re rapping gets your fingers tapping, too.
Your pen starts dancing across the page
a private pirouette, a solitary samba until
smiling, you’re beguiling as your love comes shining through.

Pause a moment in your dreaming, hear the whispers
of the words, one dancer to another, saying
Listen, that’s our cue! Mind your meter. Find your rhyme.
Ignore the trepidation while you jitterbug and jive.
Arm in arm, toe to toe, words begin to wiggle and flow
as your heart starts singing let your mind keep swinging

from life’s trapeze, like a clown on the breeze.
Swinging upside down, throw and catch new sounds–
Take a risk, try a trick; break a sweat: safety net?
Don’t check! You’re soaring and exploring,
dangle high, blood rush; spiral down, crowd hush–
limb-by-line-by-limb envision, pyramidic penned precision.

And if you should topple, if you should flop
if your meter takes a beating; your rhyme runs out of steam—
know this tumbling and fumbling is all part of the act,
so get up with a flourish. Your pencil’s still intact.
Snap those synapses! Feel the pulsing through your pen
Commit, measure by measure, to the coda’s cadence.

You’ve got them now–in the palm of your hand!
Finger by finger you’re reeling them in—
Big Top throng refrains from cheering, strains to hear the poem nearing…
Inky paws, uncaged, claw straw and sawdust
Until… CRACK! You’re in the center ring, mind unleashed, your words take wing
they circle, soar, then light in the lap of an open-mouthed child; the crowd goes wild.

THE END

P.S: Barnum’s circus was originally called “P.T. Barnum’s Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome,” which is pretty much what our poem is.  (“The Greatest Show on Earth” was added later…that’s us, too!)

It never hurts to join forces…

…ask all the thirsty pooches at the dog park!


Let’s play some more!


Hey–where’d everybody go???

Bye!  See you next April!
be sure to check out TeachingAuthors.com
for
writing exercises, poetry prompts, author interviews,
book giveaways, and so much more ~

 

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “THE 2013 PROGRESSIVE POEM BY 30 POETS OF THE KIDLITOSPHERE”

  1. [...] THE 2013 PROGRESSIVE POEM BY 30 POETS OF THE KIDLITOSPHERE For my last poem in this space, I’m honored to join a howling pack of poets in the Kidlitosphere. The brainchild of Irene Latham, this Progressive Poem has been moving from blog to blog, growing poet by poet, for 29 days until it’s come here for one final line. . For the poem and a list [...] THESE DOG POEMS THESE DOG POEMS ~ rough draft by April Halprin Wayland are like a pile of fresh-baked puppies, weaving over and under each other. How can I possibly line up these squirming furballs? When do I snap the picture? It’s always fun to throw an unanswered question or two into a poem. WHAT NOT TO NAME YOUR DOG WHAT NOT TO NAME YOUR DOG ~ rough draft by April Halprin Wayland Hy. Hello. Hey. Trust me.  You don’t want your dog spinning in circles wondering who is calling his name. And mothers, don’t name your children after a month. I know from personal experience. I have whiplash for thirty days every spring. ====================================== [...] WHAT I HOPE WILL NEVER HAPPEN WHAT I HOPE WILL NEVER HAPPEN ~ rough draft by April Halprin Wayland If you’re my agent, you tell me my writing stinks and not to call you or email or send you a box of chocolates or take you to see another Broadway show ever again. If you’re my husband, you tell me you’ve [...] Hello, I’m Buster and I’m a Chase-a-holic. Poetry Friday! Poetry Friday is hosted on Laura Salas’s blog today–thank you, Laura! here’s my post  and poem, “Hooked on a Book” at TeachingAuthors.com today and here’s today’s rough draft: CA ~ rough draft by April Halprin Wayland Hello, my name is Buster and I’m a chase-a-holic. No matter how busy the street is, how fast the [...] [...]

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April 29th

THESE DOG POEMS


THESE DOG POEMS ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

are like a pile
of fresh-baked puppies,
weaving over and under each other.

How can I possibly
line up these squirming furballs?
When do I snap the picture?

It’s always fun to throw
an unanswered question or two into a poem.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

2 Responses to “THESE DOG POEMS”

  1. A pile of fresh-baked puppies! LOVE that.
    I’ve been amazed (well, maybe not since it’s you) at the range of emotions/voices you’ve portrayed in these poems all month, April – these last few days especially. Thanks for sharing!

  2. April says:

    Robyn! You are such a loyal friend! Thank you!
    xxx ~ April

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April 28th

WHAT NOT TO NAME YOUR DOG


WHAT NOT TO NAME YOUR DOG ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

Hy.
Hello.
Hey.

Trust me.  You don’t want your dog
spinning in circles
wondering who is calling his name.

And mothers, don’t name your children after a month.
I know from personal experience.
I have whiplash for thirty days every spring.
======================================

I wrote Bruce: “A PHP (place holder poem) that is so true!”

Bruce replied: “Not bad for a PHP.”

Eli 10-2-10 012

No reason for posting this photo.  It just cracks me up.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 27th

WHAT I HOPE WILL NEVER HAPPEN


WHAT I HOPE WILL NEVER HAPPEN ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

If you’re my agent,
you tell me my writing stinks
and not to call you
or email
or send you a box of chocolates
or take you to see another Broadway show
ever again.

If you’re my husband,
you tell me you’ve met someone else,
with blue eyes who actually likes to wear high heels
and has a master’s degree in advanced mathematics
and runs a huge corporation
but only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
and she never has bad breath
so good-bye.

If you’re my friend
you tell me you’re sailing away
or flying somewhere far, like, for example, just to be extreme,
to Rhode Island,
and that sometimes, like fairly frequently,
you’ll be off the grid,
not reading emails
and to go away
because you really can’t be bothered
you have two teenagers and a busy life
and I can always check up on you on Facebook
or fly to Fiji, if I’m in the neighborhood,
even though, it takes 10 hours to fly to Nadi.

If you’re my dog
you lie down softly
and close your eyes
and your heavy breathing
slows
down
and when I come to pet you
your tail
barely thumps…

that’s what I hope will never happen.
==================================

This is a list poem.

The title of today’s poem is one of my friend Robin Rector Krupp‘s prompts for a story problem.  I put some of these on the board in my classroom one day…and this one inspired me.

Bruce says:
“This poem was EXCELLENT. Heart-wrenching.  And it made me cry at the last stanza about the dog (And feel a little guilty about that 3rd stanza)

But it really choked me up.

Well done.

Not sure you need the final line. ADR (Bruce’s wife) says to leave out the last line of the last stanza “And then…”  Which is a good idea. Maybe the ellipses after “thumps” and leave it at that?”


This is our old dog, Rosie, when she was 15.
She died in our arms when she was 17. R.I.P, Golden Girl.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 26th

Hello, I’m Buster and I’m a Chase-a-holic. Poetry Friday!


Poetry Friday is hosted on Laura Salas’s blog today–thank you, Laura!
poetry_friday_button (1)

here’s my post  and poem, “Hooked on a Book” at TeachingAuthors.com today

and here’s today’s rough draft:

CA ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

Hello, my name is Buster
and I’m a chase-a-holic.

No matter how busy the street is,
how fast the squirrel is,

or how loudly my person screams,
once I started, I couldn’t stop.

I just missed being hit by a Lexus
the day before I walked into these rooms.

And I know you all heard about Max last year.
Poor Max.

You’d think that would’ve stopped me, right?
Wrong.

We were getting ready to pay our respects,
I was in our front yard taking care of business,

when the snippy squirrel who lives in my yard
sauntered down our tree trunk and CHITTERED at me.

And then—well, you know: I couldn’t think, I couldn’t hear,
and nothing else mattered.

I came to
five blocks away.  I’d crossed two major intersections.

I had no memory of it.  And that damn squirrel?
Laughing from the liquor store roof.

My person had to give me away after that.
I failed obedience school, I lost my home, I lost my family.

I was at the bottom of the bone yard, believe me.
But then I found these rooms.

And I’ve been clean and sober
for a year now.

No chasing.  None.
That squirrel—she tries everything.

But I just trot inside and chew on a rawhide if it gets to me.
Or I’ll call Charlie and we’ll go for a walk.

Twelve chase-free months.
One day at a time.

I’m Buster, I’m a chase-a-holic
and that’s my story.

================================

Bruce says: “I thought this was very, very funny. I like it a lot. It is too long but it gave us a laugh.

One thing I would change is the clean and sober line. Doesn’t fit for me. What do you become in CA? Not clean and sober. Something else. Well-behaved and under control?  Hmmm…”

2010 May Eli

I’m on a short leash in my sobriety…

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 25th

THERE ONCE WAS A DOG IN AN ENCOUNTER GROUP


THERE ONCE WAS A DOG IN AN ENCOUNTER GROUP ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

There once was a dog in an encounter group.

“We love you,” they said over warm green pea soup.

We love that you sing in a musical group

and play with the twins by the basketball hoop.

But Eli, it’s time—here’s a shovel and scoop.

Your mom should have taught you:

go pick up your poop!

=====================

Sometimes you just have to take what spills on the page.  I call these PHPs or Place Holder Poems.
They take the pressure off writing a poem a day.

dog park 4-24-12 (26)

“You make it, you scoop it,” unknown woman teaches the dog park dogs.

 

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 24th

SAYS THE TREE IN THE DOG PARK


SAYS THE TREE IN THE DOG PARK ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

I’m just a small tree
trying to be
healthy and green and alive.

But now I can see
though you may disagree
that this park’s not a place I can thrive.

One dog trots by
and gives me the eye
then he pees, which means “I’m a hot shot!”

Before I can try
to towel or drip dry,
A second dog comes to that spot.

She crouches and pees
and seems very pleased,
saying, “I’M here—the last guy is not.”

The first dog comes back
to beef up his tracks
and make sure his message’s not blurred.

I’m just a small tree
trying hard to stay green
while each dog strives to have the last word.

======================================

Some days the dog park just hands me a poem.

First Eli marked the tiny tree (it only came up to his hip).  Then Bailey marked it.  Then Eli came and marked on top of hers.  Then she came back to mark over his.  And one of my dog park friends said, “Someone’s gotta have the last word!”  I mean, how can you NOT write that one?

This is another mask poem–one written from the point of view of an inanimate object or animal.

It’s composed of seven three-line stanzas.  Three-line stanzas are called tercets.

The rhyming pattern of this poem is: AAB, AAB, CCD, CCD, AAD,  EEF, AA(slant rhyme)F.

When one line doesn’t quite rhyme with another, it’s called a slant rhyme.

Bruce writes: “Funny.  Meter changes in the last lines of the last two stanza so I stumbled when reading it out loud.”
This is why having a critique partner like Bruce is so helpful.  :-)

tree in dog park (4)

Tree standing very still, trying not to attract attention.

 

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 23rd

GRIEF


GRIEF ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

Lacy won’t bark.
James sits in the dark.
He feeds Lacy chicken and rice.

Lacy’s depressed.
James can’t get dressed.
The house feels icy and bare.

Lacy won’t eat.
James cannot sleep.
His heart’s being squeezed by a vise.

Lacy lies down.
James wants to skip town.
His pup, her companion’s not there.

===========================

The rhyme pattern of this poem is AAB, CCD, EEB, FFD.

2012 ELI and COW 10-14-12 (3)

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 22nd

BLACK / WHITE


BLACK / WHITE ~ rough draft

My friend said he saw
four pure black cows
in an ebony field
on a moonless night.

No lights.

This came to mind
watching albino dogs called
Dogue de Bordeaux
as they rolled in the snow.

So white.

===============
After talking with my friend who was snowed-in back east, I met a brilliantly white Akita at the dog park.

It made me think of my favorite page in Bruce’s picture book, Cows Going Past –of black cows on a black field in the dead of night.

I had to look up dog names that fell into the right rhythm, of course…and then make sure that kind of dog came in white.

A fun exercise!

Bruce says, “Neat poem. I like what went on in your head. It’s a little hard to read out loud. Works better to read silently, I think. Possibly because of the difficult dog name. Had no idea that dog existed!”


Dog park in the dark…

You could be one of four winners in TeachingAuthors’ 4th Blogiversary giveaway!  Win a gift certificate to an independent bookstore!  Learn more here.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 21st

O THE WIND BLOWS


O THE WIND BLOWS ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

Pacing those crows
racing those crows

I cannot catch them
but every dog knows

it’s wonderful exercise
chasing those crows

==========================

Sometimes simple is just plain fun!

This is a mask poem, a poem from the point of view of something that cannot speak.

crow

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 20th

GOD, DOG and TEDDY


GOD, DOG AND TEDDY ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

God came by early this morning on his rounds,
carrying his latte.
He saw you sleeping on your blanket.

He saw Teddy.
Then he saw what you’d done to Teddy.
He couldn’t believe you’d do that, Dog.

He took a big, mad, gulp from his golden mug
and jumped, spilling espresso and foam down his white robe.
“Damn! I burned my tongue!” he said.

He stalked outside.
He stomped round and round
on the frosty lawn.

I don’t know if it was the cold air,
the latte, or just being God, you know,
but there was steam coming from the top of his head.

Why did you bite off Teddy’s leg, Dog?
God brought you Teddy
all the way from the Alameda swap meet last summer.

After awhile, He came back in.
He let out a big breath,
picked up Teddy and put her gently in his pocket.

I think he was singing the Beatle’s
“We Can Work it Out”
as he walked down the street.

I know it was God, Dog,
because it was 6 am
and he was very careful not to wake you up.

=================================
I am indulging myself with this one.

Eli has adored one particular stuffed animal since I picked her out at the swap meet in August.  This one was in a special, protected class.  She was saved while other, lesser animals were sacrificed.  Suddenly, though, Eli turned on her and off came her leg.  Now her insides have spilled all over our bedroom carpet.  It made me very sad.

Bruce says:
“Liked this poem and the back story.
It’s a strange bizarre kind of poem and that makes me like it.
It does need some tightening up.”

2010 June Eli!! 008

Who, me?

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

2 Responses to “GOD, DOG and TEDDY”

  1. Linda Baie says:

    When I read poems like this, I just settle in & relax with the story, April. It has such a voice, & if I was still teaching my middle schoolers I’m sure I would share with them. It’s as if you sat down with the audience (me this time) & said, “listen to this!” Great stuff!

  2. April says:

    Thank you soooo much, Linda! This one was heaven to write.

    Oops. Didn’t see that pun coming…

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April 19th

DOG EXPLORER USES HIS NOSE


DOG EXPLORER ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

Sniff, o, sniff—what glorious fumes
coats the world beyond these rooms?

You with your pens and their feathery plumes—
sit ’round the table in your conference rooms

but I have a calling beyond these doors
to the tang and the stink at the wild waves’ shores

while you’re puzzling over lines of ink,
I’ll be rolling in things that stink!

I’ll catch the tang of a porcupine’s trail,
decoding flavors that tell a tale.

You find words, I’ll follow vapors
I’ll bound through meadows, you plough your papers.

As your new poem begins to speak
I’ll uncover buried treasures that reek!

================================
Bruce comments: “Really liked this one. Excellent. Wonderful rhythm. We like the last line. ADR [his wife] points out that you use ‘tang’ twice which is somewhat distracting.”

Me: In fact, I see that I’ve used both “tang” and “stink” twice.  I’ll fix those in the next draft.  And I don’t think the last line scans well yet.

Eli and Elsie meet 5-10-10 027

Explorer Eli has found something new…

 Today is Poetry Friday–oh, joy!  Thank you, Irene,  for hosting!
poetry_friday_button (1)

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

9 Responses to “DOG EXPLORER USES HIS NOSE”

  1. Irene Latham says:

    April, I love this! You’ll find words, I’ll follow vapors… Eli knows how to have fun. xo

  2. Hi April,
    I love that calling of “the tang and the stink.” You’ve captured this pooch’s world! (And you get to enjoy him after he’s “rolling in things that stink.”)

  3. Catherine says:

    Love your poem! I’ve often thought that I’d like to be able to use one of those black lights like they use on shows like NCIS to find traces of blood on the street when I walk my dog so I could “read” what she’s sniffing at. Pets provide no end of inspiration!

  4. Love your poem, April! It is great to be out there gathering poems rather than staring at a blank screen/page.

  5. April says:

    Hi, Irene, Buffy, and Catherine! Thanks for coming by and jumping over all the barriers to make a comment! xxx

  6. I have two dogs and, while no ocean or lake nearby, there is a river…so…I definitely got the “drift” from these lines:

    but I have a calling beyond these doors
    to the tang and the stink at the wild waves’ shores

    What a fun project! Thanks!

  7. Thanks for sharing your drafts and back-story!

  8. How well we know the nose in our house with our snuffin’, snorfin’ Newf. Fun poems here, thanks!

  9. April says:

    Thanks for your comments, Steve, Mary Lee and Martha!

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April 18th

DISCIPLES AT THE DOG PARK – what to cut?


DISCIPLES AT THE DOG PARK ~ rough draft

At this moment,
Tom is either
Mr. Cook, second grade teacher,
or God.

In the dust of the park,
five dogs sit tightly around Tom,
who is standing,
holding a dried chicken chip,
as if it were a gold medallion.

Pick me, pick me, pick me,
they seem to be saying,
like second graders,
waving their bare arms in the air.

If I sit up the straightest,
he will give it to me,
they seem to be saying,
noses held high,
backs straight,
tails up, wagging wildly.

Or perhaps they are worshipping,
praying with all their might
to the tall guy
who holds the answer to everything.

The dog park:
I’m not sure
if it’s elementary school
or church.

======================

Bruce says: “Liked this a lot.  But all four aboard think you should drop the last stanza.”
(Bruce lives on a trimaran; he and his wife had guests aboard)

I agree with Bruce and friends.  Do you?


A gang at the dog park…

 

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 17th

DETECTIVE DOG


DETECTIVE DOG ~ rough draft

Detective Dog sat on his haunches
full of lunch
devoid of hunches

===================

At the end of a teen poetry writing workshop, I asked them toss out some nouns, which I wrote on the board.  They could write a poem based on any of the nouns…or none of them.  One of the nouns was “detective”.

Bruce didn’t like this poem much.

I like that I can write a short poem!


Eli wearing one of his many Dog Detective disguises.

 

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 16th

IF OUR HOUSE WERE ON FIRE, WHAT WOULD I TAKE?


IF OUR HOUSE WERE ON FIRE, WHAT WOULD I TAKE? ~ rough draft

I would take you
just you…

you…just you
and the usual zoo:

the tortoise and frog and our noodle-brain dog
and the cat that purrs if I could only find her

And Mom’s grand piano, my scarf from Berlin
Dad’s old typewriter and my violin

and you.

==================

This is a list poem in rhymed couplets.
I loved thinking about this question…what WOULD I take?

The scarf is from a thrift shop in Berlin…I wrap my violin in it.

Bruce liked this one.


Eli contemplating what he’d take…

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “IF OUR HOUSE WERE ON FIRE, WHAT WOULD I TAKE?”

  1. Therese says:

    hello!

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April 15th

LOVEBIRDS KISSING IN THE DOG PARK


LOVEBIRDS KISSING IN THE DOG PARK ~ rough draft
by April  Halprin Wayland

I don’t even know which is their dog;
I forgive them for losing track of it.

My dog can’t leave them alone.
They are like a statue made of putty.

He sniffs around their jeans
loving the smell of love, I guess.

Even after my hard-edged day
when little things went smashing over cliffs
and electronic cards didn’t work
and the lab canceled my test and we have to do it over
even with those piggy things all going wrong
when I look towards the faucet where the dogs drink

and see them kissing,
I tilt my head slightly

and my body softens
as if it’s been on a warm stove.

Even the light is more golden
at this just-before-evening hour
and here comes that wonderful shepherd
whose fur seems colored with chalk
that someone has smudged with their thumb.

Lovebirds kiss in the dog park,
my dog can’t leave them alone,

and all of us watch surreptitiously.
We are so stupidly tender.

We are
saying grace.

=======================

Bruce comments:
“This starts out great. And, in fact, both of us thought it was ending at

and see them kissing,
I tilt my head slightly
 
and my body softens

I think everything after that isn’t needed.
However, that isn’t the ending it needs. But something in that direction.

These are GREAT lines:
 
He sniffs around their jeans
loving the smell of love, I guess
 
Even after my hard-edged day
when little things went smashing over cliffs
 
even with those piggy things all going wrong

Really like this.”

What do you think?

lovers

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 14th

Try a Trimeric Poem!


AT THE DOG PARK ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

Walk the perimeter, the trainer says.
You’re the leader, the one to watch.
Eli will look up every now and then
to find you.

You’re the leader, the one to watch,
he’s the guy in the field, taking notes,
doing the research, collecting the data.

Eli will look up every now and then,
give you the secret wink
and you’ll know the coast is clear, the deal will go down.

To find you,
he’ll launch his implanted dog paw device
and you will reach nonchalantly for your cell phone.

=======================================

This is a trimeric poem.  For more info on trimerics, see this post at TeachingAuthors.com

The inventor of this form, Dr. Charles Stone, says it rhymes with limerick.  Here is the definition on his trimeric page:

“Trimeric \tri-(meh)-rik\ n: a four stanza poem in which the first stanza has four lines and the last three stanzas have three lines each, with the first line of each repeating the respective line of the first stanza.  The sequence of lines, then, is abcd, b – -, c – -, d – -.”

Eli, wearing his super secret spy glasses
poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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nine + = 12


April 13th

DOG THOUGHTS ON A SATURDAY NIGHT


DOG THOUGHTS ON A SATURDAY NIGHT ~rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

No light. No owner.
No ring of phone.

No toy, no friend
no large soup bone.

Life looms large
when I’m alone.

 

This is a mask poem–in which the poet becomes an animal or object and speaks from that perspective.  And these are rhymed couplets.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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two + = 11


April 12th

DOG PARK HAIKU


DOG PARK HAIKU ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

Warmth on my leg—the
first sign of spring: a puppy
peeing on my pants.

                                                               Spring at the dog park!

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 11th

HELLO…


HELLO… ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland
.
.

………………………………up

……………………..rise
My hackles

 

You square off.

Stand still.

Stare.

 

I wag

Wait.

 

Your tail

s  l  o  w  l  y

sways.

 

Wag.

 

Wag.

 

Wag.

 

Wag, wag, wag.

 

My hackles

d

i

s

a

p

p

e

a

r

 

This poem plays with alignment.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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three × 9 =


April 10th

DOG UNTO OTHERS


DOG UNTO OTHERS ~ rough draft

I have dug up an old bone for her
that’s spoiled and aged just right,
but her friends were at the house then
and her smile was very tight.

I have tried to give her freedom,
tried to open up the gate.
Then she took me by the collar
and she put me in my crate.

But she said, “Do unto others”
and that’s what I’ve tried to do.
Since she doesn’t like my offerings,
I’m keeping her left shoe.

===========================

Here’s what I wrote to Bruce:
“*Sigh*  This idea made me smile when I was driving…the idea of a dog trying to practice the Golden Rule.  But it’s not working except on the stupid level…”

Here’s what Bruce wrote back:
“I disagree. It IS working. I loved it and it made me laugh. Needs some reworking here and there to just make it flow better but it’s great!”

And that is why I send him my poem each day.

Check out today’s TeachingAuthors.com Wednesday Writing Workout post ~ It’s about drawing to get writing ideas, inspired by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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+ two = 6


April 9th

INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING


INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING ~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

Don’t taste them.
Don’t tear them.
Just try on and wear them.

If you take my shoe (as I know that you do)
well, bury your nose in it, give it a smell.
Let it remind you of who you know well.

I know that you miss me,
I know that you’re blue.
Don’t compound the problem by shredding my shoe!

=========================================

I have a poetry ideas file.  The note I’d written last May was:
“Eli takes my shoes but these days he doesn’t hurt them.  It’s just sort of an Eli exclamation mark saying, NOTICE ME!”

This poem turned to rhyming and veered away from Notice Me into just, well, just rhyme.  If I had more time, I would want to make NOTICE ME the focus of this poem.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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three − = 2


April 8th

MESSAGE FROM BEYOND: A FOUND POEM


A POODLE’S MISSPELLED,
GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT MESSAGE
TO HER OWNERS AFTER HER DEATH ~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

I cross wide white spirals.

Seen angeles!

I have finally been to Animal Valley:

many wide days running in very friendly traffic.

*******************************************************

The poem above is a found poem.  The words are pulled from the following Craigslist posting of found dogs:

1 white poodle type dog. Short body, wide, white hair in spirals.
1 female, cross breed, chihauhua and terrier
Found and taken to Los Angeles West Valley Animal Control on Plummer.
Had been seen running in traffic many days, finally caught them.
Can tell they have been someones pets.
Very friendly once caught. Wish I could have kept them.

A Found Poem is one you’ve put together with the words from another source.  Poet Paul B. Janeczko, in his anthology, A Kick in the Head writes, “A found poem is a piece of writing that wasn’t intended as poetry.  In other words, it’s up to the poet to find poetic words and phrases in a prose piece…and declare them a poem, often by arranging the words and phrases on the page.”

Poet and anthologist Georgia Heard sent me a few rules for a found poem:

~ The original author (or source) must not have intended the text to be poetry
~ Finders may cut words and add line breaks but may not add words
~ Finders may add their own title
~ The original source of the text must be cited and can be included as part of the poem

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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5 − = three


April 7th

BONEHEAD


 

BONEHEAD ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

 

Eli

is out of control.

 

Why

is he out on parole?

 

If you’ve ever tried to train a big 18-month old dog, you’ll agree.  Noodlebrains.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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6 − three =


April 6th

Which Version Do You Like Best?


THE DEAL IS SEALED ~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

Uncle Davie leans down.
Eli licks up.
**************************************

MAN MEETS DOG ~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

Uncle Davie leans down.
Eli licks up.

The deal
is sealed.

**************************************

MAN MEETS DOG ~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

Knock on door.
Dog walks in.
Uncle Davie leans down.
Eli licks up.
The deal
is sealed.

**************************************

I wrote the longest one first, then tried to condense it.  Which do you prefer?
Bruce says, “First [he means the longest] is best.”

90-year-old Uncle Davie meets Eli: love at first sight.

 

 

 

 

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

2 Responses to “Which Version Do You Like Best?”

  1. Linda Baie says:

    I like the longest too. Although it’s still brief, it gives the broader picture.

  2. April says:

    Thanks, Linda!

    And here are three comments from my FaceBook page:

    Joan Phaup: I like the 2nd and 3rd ones, but the knock on the door in version 3 throws me off…WHO knocked on the door? So I am leaning toward version 2.

    Rebecca Gold: I liked number 2– the 4 line one. I agree with Joan- the knock on the door added another character (assuming Eli can’t knock) and I liked the image of just the two of them. Very cute.

    Doreen Denitz Garcia: I like the second version best.

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− 4 = one


April 5th

Hello, Tree, Says the Dog


HELLO, TREE, SAYS THE DOG
by April Halprin Wayland

Hello, Tree.
Thank you for your upright trunk—
it’s fabulous to sniff.

I love that I don’t have to beg,
when I line you up against my leg
and lift.

 

This is an apostrophe poem, also called a poem of address.

Bruce liked it.  :-)


Eli is chasing a squirrel. Up a tree.
He did not get the squirrel.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “Hello, Tree, Says the Dog”

  1. A tree-climbing dog who reads books. That’s my kind of canine! Thanks for sharing. :0)

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four − = 1


April 4th

HOW MANY POEMS? HAIKU


A POEM A DAY SINCE APRIL 1, 2010
HOW MANY POEMS IS THAT?
~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

Wildly wagging
his tail, Eli skids in. Walk?
No time to count poems.

Are you ready to go?

For the record, it’s 1099 poems. (see http://www.convertunits.com/dates/ )

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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9 × = seventy two


April 3rd

SEPARATED AT BIRTH


 

SEPARATED AT BIRTH ~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

Big Benjamin is joking about being on a diet.
“When my wife reached her fork to taste my turkey,
I nearly bit her hand off!”

Wait—
who did I just meet that reminds me of Ben?

At the store, Stella confides she’s shy around new people.
“Sometimes it comes out in nippy ways,” she says.
“I just want to back into a corner.”

Stella reminds me of someone…
who?

In the elevator, June hisses, “Shhh!
People are tapping my phone, watching my car, monitoring my credit cards.”
Poor little June.

Didn’t I just see someone exactly like June?
Where was I?

Oh—
the dog park!

That Rottweiler guarding his Frisbee,
growling at any dog that came within three feet of it…

the nippy terrier
barking at all comers from behind her owner’s legs…

that shivering Chihuahua
too paranoid to leave her owner’s arms…

Trust me—we all have a twin
at the dog park.

Does Eli look like me?

Bruce says of this one: “Good concept. Clever. But rough execution.”

And I say it’s too long.  But it still makes me laugh!

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

2 Responses to “SEPARATED AT BIRTH”

  1. I like the concept behind this one too. I often see dogs who remind me of people I know.

  2. April says:

    Yes, Susan…it can be spooky!

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+ two = 8


April 2nd

MORNING DOG


 

MORNING DOG ~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

In the morning
I shake my new collar sharply
and look up to see if the mound moves.

If it has,
if it has not,
either way

I wander to the bedside
sniff, sniff, sniff
working my nose under the blanket.

Asking.

If she lifts the blanket
I’m good.
It’s morning.

Otherwise
it must not be
and I wander back to my post and lie down.

If she lifts the blanket
she’ll also open her mouth at me
breathing out.

Oh,
what a good and glorious gift!
Morning breath.

Are you awake yet?

This one’s a Mask poem, which means that it’s from the point of view of an animal or inanimate object.

Bruce comments:

“Not bad. I liked it.  Alene thought it was a bit gross at the end.  I liked it.”

I wish it was shorter.  How I admire those who can be concise, like my niece,
Julia Halprin Jackson
who writes entire stories in 100 words!

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “MORNING DOG”

  1. I love the ending to this one, April! Now you have me wanting to try a mask poem myself. I don’t think I’ve done one before.

    Love that last picture too!

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× three = 24


April 1st

BEDTIME


 

BEDTIME ~ rough draft!
by April Halprin Wayland

Dog upstairs in crate.
Cat downstairs on couch.

Cat sleeping with one eye open
in case Dog flies down the stairs.

Dog sleeping with one eye open
in case Cat comes to visit.

Why can’t we play chase, Cat?
Why can’t you go back to wherever you came from, Dog?

Because some day I want to lie down with you curled in the circle of my tummy, Cat.

Cat wrinkles her nose.

Cat closes both eyes.

Cat purrs.

This is our cat, Snot. My husband named her.

This is a dialogue poem.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

5 Responses to “BEDTIME”

  1. Love the image this poem conjures up, April!

  2. April says:

    <3 Thank you, Susan!

  3. Janet Wong says:

    Great images! In the spirit of these being rough drafts that you’re posting, I wonder: what would happen if you turned this into TWO poems?

  4. April says:

    Thanks for a good idea, Janet! Let me fiddle with it.

  5. April says:

    Later: I’ve revised it two new ways:
    1) as two poems
    and
    2) as a poem for two voices.

    The last one makes me laugh.

    Thanks, Janet!

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six − = 4


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