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Of course you know it’s Poetry Month
but do you know that
the wonderful and
mouth-wateringly
delicious Jama Rattigan
has herded poet bloggers
in the Kidlitosphere onto
her site  this month?

Thank you, Jama!

 

(And check out my group blog,
TeachingAuthors.com!
Every Friday when we talk
poetry, poetry, poetry!)

 

I write a poem each day; during Poetry Month 2015 I’m sharing *PPPs 
Welcome to Poetry Month 2015!

Eli and I will be feeding you one PPP per day for Poetry Month this year.  What is a PPP, you ask?  A *Previously Published Poem.  I have so many poems in so many anthologies, books and magazines, Eli thought I should snap a leash on one each day this month and give it a walk around the block.  So that’s what we’re doing this year.  Enjoy!

(once you click on the title of the poem to the right,
the post shows up below ↓ )

Eli thinking deep, poetic thoughts…

April 30th

PROCRASTINATION

PROCRASTINATION
by April Halprin Wayland

Ancient dog
circled in the grass
round and round
to tamp it down

I am dog
circling, too
round and round
as all dogs do
round my homework,
round my desk
finally, working
then I rest.

published in Cricket Magazine December 2002
also published in my novel in poems, GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING (Knopf) 2002

Eli on the last day of Poetry Month 2015

Eli on the last day of Poetry Month 2015

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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eight × 8 =


April 29th

ROCK SOLID FRIENDSHIP

Based on a diving session off of a huge rock in Yosemite, this poem was published in the Valentine’s Day issue of Cricket Magazine, February 2008

ROCK SOLID FRIENDSHIP
by April Halprin Wayland

Last summer when we were at the creek
and you and Andy and Joey
climbed up to the highest rock

thought about it
saw how deep it was
thought about how cold it would be

and finally
one by one
jumped

when you didn’t tease me
or try to coax me up the rock
or call me a baby

Last summer is why
I’m giving you
this Valentine.

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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9 + = thirteen


April 28th

I AM STANDING

My best friend, author and poet Bruce Balan and his wife sail around the world in their trimaran. Bruce and I email an original poem to each other every day.

This joint poem was published in A KICK IN THE HEAD selected by Paul B. Janeczko (Candlewick Press 2009)

(The internet can play havoc with the alignment of a poem.  In order to align this poem properly, I am separating the words with dots.  In the book, there is simply blank space.)

I AM STANDING – Girl on Land, Boy at Sea
by April Halprin Wayland and Bruce Balan

Girl on Land…………………….Boy at Sea
I am standing…………………….I am standing
feet apart……………………………feet apart
hands on hips……………………..hands on hips
bare feet……………………………..bare feet

in damp grass
………………………………………….on wood deck

rooted, rooted

to the earth………………………moving, moving
…………………………………………with the waves

I am………………………………….I am
climbing
…………………………………………climbing

up this……………………………….up this
tree

…………………………………………mast

swaying
…………………………………………swaying

with the wind……………………..with the wind
to and fro
…………………………………………..to and fro

sparrows, jays, crows,
…………………………………………..pelicans, gulls, terns,

and blossoms all around
……………………………………………and white caps all around

climbing
……………………………………………..climbing

up this tree
………………………………………………up this mast

in our yard
………………………………………………on our boat

in this town
……………………………………………….in this sea

in my world………………………………in my world.

published in A KICK IN THE HEAD selected by Paul B. Janeczko (Candlewick Press 2009)

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

photo (c) Alene D. Rice ~ all rights reserved

photo (c) Alene D. Rice ~ all rights reserved


poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “I AM STANDING”

  1. Jan Annino says:

    I remember checking out this title from the Library to read with BookPALS.

    Here in Florida irritating insectss can be nearly a daily event (as much as I don’t bug most bugs) so bug poems are good to share. And this unique voice of FIRE ANTS is a real stinger. Brava!

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+ 6 = thirteen


April 27th

THE GLOVE BOX

published in Cricket Magazine, February 2006

THE GLOVE BOX
by April Halprin Wayland

Today, while we were driving home
The glove box opened on its own.
My mother leaned across and slammed
It shut with her free driving hand.

And then–within the box–a knock?
Or maybe just a random rock?
A foul smell melted in the air.
A grunge-y voice cawed, “Don’t you dare!”

He kicked it open with both feet.
A vicious kick. I felt the heat
That smoked out of the glove box door.
Is that what glove box locks are for?

SO...what's in YOUR glove box?

SO…what’s in YOUR glove box?

published in Cricket Magazine, February 2006

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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eight × = 72


April 26th

FIRE ANTS

FIRE ANTS
by April Halprin Wayland

All for one and one for all!—our tribal cry

Flood waters rise!
Quick, form a ball—
our larvae, pupae, eggs and Mother Queen inside!

We roll this writhing globe,
take turns on top,
so all breathe air, so all survive.

Trapping air in body hair,
even underwater,
we’re alive.

We float this boat of bodies bobbing…BAM!
We’ve hit a tree! We swarm the trunk
and wait for rising rivers to recede.

All for one and one for all!—our tribal cry

At last—the end of rain!
We build a mound—
it rises two feet high on a soggy field of grain.

And if a passer-by
comes near our new terrain?
It will feel pain.

Grasshopper, rat
song bird or cat—

All for one and one for all!—our tribal cry

this trespasser will fry.

published in Nasty Bugs–poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012)

For an exceptionally cool picture of a floating fire ant ball, see: http://claycoleman.tripod.com/id180.htm

“The entire colony of ants abandon their mound when floods arrive. They then bind together into a ball that floats on the flood waters…The ants within this living, seething mass reposition themselves so that no ant is left underwater for too long…”

Fire ants are able to survive by creating a rotating ball, forming a protective sphere around the colony queen.

from MorgueFile.com...for an awesome photo of fire ants forming a ball, see http://claycoleman.tripod.com/id180.htm

from MorgueFile.com…for an awesome photo of fire ants forming a ball, see http://claycoleman.tripod.com/id180.htm

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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three + = 6


April 25th

THE PEANUT GUY–A LIMERICK

This one appeared as a group of four as an example of limericks in Paul B. Janeczko‘s book,
WRITING FUNNY BONE POEMS (Scholastic, 2001):

THE PEANUT GUY
by April Halprin Wayland

The Peanut Guy, he had a dream
Whenever he threw, fans would scream
With each bag he sold
A great throw he’d unfold
They watched him, ignoring their team.

This poem is based on the famous Peanut Man of Dodger Stadium, Roger Owens: https://youtu.be/U3Ask792az8?t=19s

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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6 + = twelve


April 24th

BUDDING SCHOLARS

BUDDING SCHOLARS
by April Halprin Wayland

Welcome, Flowers.
Write your name on a name tag.
Find a seat.

Raise your leaf if you’ve taken a class here before.
Let’s go around the room—
call out your colors.

I see someone’s petal has fallen—
please pick it up and put it in your desk
where it belongs.

Sprinklers at recess,
fertilizer for lunch,
and you may snack on the sun throughout the day.

Excuse me…
what’s that you have in your mouth?
A bee?

Did you
bring enough
for everyone?

published in Sharing the Seasons ~ A Book of Poems, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Margaret K.McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, 2010)

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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+ seven = 15


April 23rd

MUSIC CRITIC (THE OCEAN’S OPINION)

MUSIC CRITIC
(THE OCEAN’S OPINION)
by April Halprin Wayland

This guy drags his drum set onto the sand
so that I have a front row seat
takes off his jeans jacket
snaps his wide red suspenders
and lets loose:

he is in his space
sun is on his face
gulls in the air
clouds in his hair

Go man, go!
I clap against the shore,
rise up and give him a standing ovation
More!

published in Cricket Magazine December 1999,
winner of the SCBWI 1999 Magazine Merit Award for Poetry

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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nine × 3 =


April 22nd

IN THE WORD WOODS

IN THE WORD WOODS
by April Halprin Wayland

I’m sure there’s a found poem somewhere here.
There usually is this time of year.

Didn’t a red-haired boy lose words
that were found last May by a flightless bird?

And then that search and rescue hound
dug up sixteen poems he’d found.

Listen for falling bulletin boards,
and scowling poem-poaching hordes

who stomp all over this hallowed ground
until the hidden poems are found.

I’ll bring a flashlight, you bring a rake
we’ll get down on our knees and make

a poem from words that have trampolined
off an internet ad or a magazine

into the woods some starry night
waiting for searching kids who might

find a poem if they’re brave and follow
the hoot of an owl to the end of the hollow.

published in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School–Poems for the School Year with Connections to the Common Core, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books 2013)

(c) April Halprin Wayland

(c) April Halprin Wayland

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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× 2 = twelve


April 21st

DAD IN THE POOL

DAD IN THE POOL
by April Halprin Wayland

Back and forth
in the pool
you glide:

An undersea
creature
gives me a ride.

We slip through the summery
turquoise
water…

A manatee
guiding his
mermaid daughter.

published in SPIDER Magazine June 2003

My all-time favorite photo of my dad, Leahn J. Halprin, who died in 1976, whose birthday was April 21st.

My all-time favorite photo of my dad, Leahn J. Halprin, who died in 1976, whose birthday was April 21st.

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 20th

SYMMETRY

This form is called a Mirror Poem by Joan Bransfield Graham, from whom I learned it in the early ’90s, or a Reverso Poem by Marilyn Singer, who has published several absolutely mind-blowing books of “reversible poems.” Singer’s poems take this form one incredible step further, speaking in one voice if you read it down, in another if you read it up.  So in her book, Mirror, Mirror, the poem “In the Hood” is Red Riding Hood’s voice as you read the words down; while the wolf speaks if you read it going up.  Astounding!

SYMMETRY
by April Halprin Wayland

Like little rivers
spilling to the center,
the lines of this leaf
mirror each other.
Two halves
make a whole.
Two halves
mirror each other.
The lines of this leaf,
spilling to the center,
like little rivers.

published in Cricket Magazine June, 1999

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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× 3 = twenty four


April 19th

I LIKE THAT NIGHT FOLLOWS DAY

I LIKE THAT NIGHT FOLLOWS DAY (see video below)
by April Halprin Wayland

What if there was never night
if it was always light…and light?

No dark, no yawn, no closing eyes.
No moon or stars in any skies.

No quiet that the nighttime brings.
I’m sort of scared to think those things.

A sky that’s dark as my dog’s nose
it’s just the way things ought to go.

from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science—Poems for the School Year Integrating Science, Reading, and Language Arts, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2014)

Eli's nose knows...

Eli’s nose knows…

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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7 − = five


April 18th

CLEANING OUT

CLEANING OUT
by April Halprin Wayland

this big shirt
used to fit
but today I swim around in it—
out go all my give-away clothes

now my closet opens wide
it’s easy to find the clothes inside
hangers dangle
unoccupied

this idea
used to fit
but today I reconsider it—
out goes what I used to know

now my life is opened wide
it’s clean-swept, wind-blown…simplified—
it’s easy to find the me inside

published in Cricket Magazine April 2006 (slightly different version)

Cleaning out

drawing (c) April Halprin Wayland

drawing (c) April Halprin Wayland

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “CLEANING OUT”

  1. Awesome! Love the last line. Perfect!!

    xoxo

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six × = 24


April 17th

BONGO

My mentor was the poet and extraordinary teacher Myra Cohn Livingston.  Her last book, published posthumously , came from a game we played in her Master Class.  Interested in how creativity is triggered, she asked us to write a poem based on one word: rabbit. The next week she gave us two words: ring, drum, and blanket.   Here is one of my poems from I AM WRITING A POEM ABOUT…A Game of Poetry (McElederry Books, 1997) edited by Myra Cohn Livingston:

BONGO
by April Halprin Wayland

With bongo, blanket and Panama hat,
I went to a special drum store.
There were drums and drums and drums and some
I’d never seen before.

A man was fixing the broken ones
way back in a small, dark, room.
“What’s wrong?” he yelled from faraway.
I called, “It doesn’t boom.”

He came from behind a snare drum rack,
pulled off bongo’s punctured head.
He threw that skin and the tacks away.
“Needs a new head,” he said.

“It’ll take some time.” But I wanted to stay,
to witness his drumhealing powers.
He gathered his tools and he turned on a light.
Soaked a new skin in water two hours.

When it was soft, he stretched it tight
to the drum with a metal ring.
“Skin wire,” he explained, as he squeezed the glue.
Then he hammered new tacks ‘round the thing

and said, “Come back in a day or two.”
So next day I was back at his shop.
He put my drum between his knees
and I watched while his fingers popped!

They pounded! They stuttered! They skated! They breezed!
In the middle, along the rim—
I’d never heard my drum do that!
And all because of him.

So, I gave my blanket and Panama hat
(as that was all I owned)
as pay to the man who fixed my drum
and I walked my bongo home.

from http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-re-skin-a-drum/

from http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-re-skin-a-drum/

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 16th

CAT ACT

CAT ACT
by April Halprin Wayland

The scruffy house cat
aches to fly–
she dreams all day of
wings and sky!

So tonight
she climbs the ladder,
mounts a platform,
nothing matters

except to catch
a thin trapeze
then hold on tight,
with grace and ease.

She swings herself
by both front paws
then somersaults
to wild applause

of kitchen mice,
who, though dizzy,
encourage Cat,
to keep her busy.

published in Cricket Magazine January 2001

Our cat's name is Snot. Gary named her.

Our cat’s name is Snot. Gary named her.

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 15th

WORLD WIDE WAG

WORLD WIDE WAG
by April Halprin Wayland

If you were a dog,
if you were asleep

the trail of your tail
like a broom’s mighty sweep

if your big goofy paws
were seen racing on air

chasing rascally cats
whose claws clicked on the stairs

if your eyes were shut
tightly

if you howled
politely

if your rump gave a wiggle
and I choked back a giggle

if I put it on YouTube
would you be embarrassed

if puppies with laptops
could see you in Paris?

published in POETRY TAG TIME by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (2011)
note: I changed the second stanza for this blog post–trust me, it’s a far better poem now!
why I am able to get some work done today

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 14th

SAYS THE SEAGULL

SAYS THE SEAGULL
by April Halprin Wayland

Who are these people on my pier?
I sail above them, then fly near.

They’re singing, marching up the pier
I think they did the same last year.

A father gives his girl some bread…
he smoothes her hair then bows his head.

She watches waves, then tosses crumbs.
I dive, I catch, I swallow…yum!

A celebration on my pier—
I think I’ll meet them every year!

Note: Tashlich (pronounced tash-leek or tash-lich) is celebrated during the Jewish New Year. In my hometown, we walk in a big, singing crowd to the pier, where we toss small pieces of bread into the sea for each mistake we made this past year. We say, “L’shanah Tovah!” which means “Good New Year!”  See also my picture book, New Year at the Pier–a Rosh Hashanah Story, winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers.

published in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, 2015

2013 MB Taslich (13)

singing our way up the pier on Rosh Hashanah
(c) April Halprin Wayland

a moment of quiet before tossing bread for Tashlich
(c) April Halprin Wayland

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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six + = 12


April 13th

LISTENING

This poem was published in P* TAG by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (2011).  Poetry Tag is a game which Janet and Sylvia developed in their Poetry Tag trilogy: Poetry Tag, P*TAG (teen poems) and Poetry Tag Gift Poems (holiday poems). Our instructions were as follows:

1) select a photo;
2) write a short response to the photo;
3) write a poem prompted by the photo;
4) choose 3 words from the poem immediately prior to yours and include them in your poem;
5) tag the next poet from a list of poets posted.

I chose a photo of an ear, like the photo below and wrote:

This photo has so many possibilities! I first looked up the anatomy of an ear and began playing with the outer, the middle, and the inner ear. Then I thought of a teen in a coffee shop. She tries not to listen to the conversation going on next to her, but how can she not? It’s a boy she secretly loves. The casual words at the next table have a deeper meaning for her.

The words I chose from the previous poem by Michele Krueger are: wings, feathered, flight, deep and unfolding.

LISTENING
by April Halprin Wayland

They say
ideas
have velvet wings.

I sip a latte
our tables touch—I try to read
I care too much.

And all you say
and all I hear
is tucked away deep in my ear

where words unfolding
marry, meld
and all the marrow which they held

is changed. Is rearranged.
I listen for the feathered flight
of meaning—the gist of things

and so
perhaps
ideas have wings.

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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× nine = 54


April 12th

BUSSSSSSSSSSSS

BUSSSSSSSSSSSS
by April Halprin Wayland

Brakessssshisssssss
wheelsssssssssqueal
busssssssssssssssss
sssssssssssssto-ops.

Step in! Step up!
the doors shut
the coins clink
the driver gives a friendly wink

She presses down the fat gas pedal
a creepy sound of scraping metal
the bus roars
an old man snores

Brakessssshisssssss
wheelsssssssssqueal
busssssssssssssssss
sssssssssssssto-ops.

Step down! Step off!
Bus breathes.
Busssssssssssssssss
leaves.

published in Roll Along — Poems on Wheels selected by Myra Cohn Livingston (McElderry Books, 1993)

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− one = 2


April 11th

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
by April Halprin Wayland

up dusty red Canyon Road
in and out of art galleries
ducking out of the heat

into cool rooms filled with
pueblo paintings,
buffalo sculptures,
wrought iron Indians,

out again into the clear day
to see surprising piles of clouds,
melting, moving
mounds of white ice cream

look what I have found
out here
in this gallery.

published in MY AMERICA (Simon & Schuster,2000), edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

 

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 10th

SISTER / FRIEND

SISTER / FRIEND
by April Halprin Wayland

if I ever forget
how much you
feel
know
sense

may I remember
this April night
and you,
listening to my breaking voice
and
blowing softly on my wet cheeks

published in the Backpack Reader—Course 2 Book 1 (Glencoe) 2007
also published in GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING (Knopf) 2002

my sister

my sister

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “SISTER / FRIEND”

  1. ximena bustamante says:

    these are true and lovely words….knowing lovely Lyra and as a sister of 3 wonderful women I can only say, gracias desde lo mas profundo de mi corazón.

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9 + = ten


April 9th

WITH A SHOUT OF MAGENTA

WITH A SHOUT OF MAGENTA
by April Halprin Wayland

Why are these flowers—
pouring down the hot hills like
lava—called ice plants?

From the NAPPA’s Gold Award Winner for Storytelling recording,  It’s Not My Turn To Look For Grandma And Other Stories (1997)

photo courtesy of www.gro-O.com

photo courtesy of www.gro-O.com

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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× 9 = seventy two


April 8th

PLANET ELIZABETH

PLANET ELIZABETH
by April Halprin

When I pass her in the hall,
I’m pulled into her orbit
by words falling like stars,
…..sentences speeding past,
…..meteors careening into each other

smashing into thousands of
…..half-begun
……….never-finished
……………thoughts.

I only meant to
say “hi”
but I’m suddenly buckled into a rocket
accelerating towards Planet Elizabeth
at warp speed

published in Cricket Magazine September 2004

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 7th

LATKES

LATKES
by April Halprin Wayland

You wouldn’t think that

grated potatoes
…..minced onions
……….some eggs
……………some flour
………………..a pinch of salt and pepper

in a batter like pancakes
poured into boiling oil

could taste
…..so crispy brown
……………so yummy hot
………………..so Chanukah
…………………….going down.

published in Cricket Magazine December 2004

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

2 Responses to “LATKES”

  1. bev morse says:

    you make life edible. no, tantalizing. no, possible. no, edible. *L*

  2. I can smell the latkes when I read this!

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8 × = eight


April 6th

13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT PEACE

13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT PEACE
by April Halprin Wayland

“It is an historic milestone of immense proportions. It has never happened before—never in human history—and it is happening now—every day—every hour—waging peace through a global conversation…”
~ paraphrased from a March, 2003 speech by Dr. Robert Muller, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, now Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Peace in Costa Rica

Passing cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.,
a cab driver teaches the chorus of a peace song

to the woman with freckled arms from Malibu,
who gives him a big tip and runs up the hotel stairs two at a time
to write a letter to the editor

who tilts back in his squeaky chair and reads it
by the light from his arched window and then publishes her letter

which my uncle Chucky reads in Anchorage,
inspiring him to write a peace poem on the blackboard

which Ruthie reads, whispering it to herself twice,
then copies down on notebook paper,
folds, puts in her back pocket,
and when she gets home, smoothes out and emails

to Renee in Sweden
who !!!!loves!!!! it and immediately !!!!forwards!!! it
to Finley in Hong Kong, Alice in New York,
Fadi in Beirut, Lyra in Moscow,

and Bruce near Netanya,
who reads it at a candlelight vigil by the beach

which is broadcast to Saralee in Buenos Aires
(petting Spartacus, who is shedding all over the bed),

who phones Ross, telling him to turn on the radio,
Good old Ross, who is eating soft vanilla ice cream as he listens,
Ross, who takes out a napkin and his guitar,
and turns it into a song

*   *   *

This,” Dr. Muller says, “is a miracle. This is what ‘waging peace’ looks like.”

Included in LINES IN THE SAND—New Writing on War and Peace,
edited by Mary Hoffman and Rhiannon Lassiter (Frances Lincoln, 2003)—
American version 2003 from Disinformation Company

folksinger Ross Altman

folksinger Ross Altman

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

3 Responses to “13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT PEACE”

  1. Wow, April – This is just timeless, and gives me chills to ponder. Thanks for the post so it can live in my head – and others – today, too!

    [Would you believe my favorite line might be: "(petting Spartacus, who is shedding all over the bed)"... - of course you would.]

  2. Robin–my friend Ross’old dog really was named Spartacus… :-)

  3. Oh, April, this is gorgeous & thought-provoking. It makes me want to speak out, write letters, spread the good word, sing! xox

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+ four = 9


April 5th

FLOAT

FLOAT
by April Halprin Wayland

The thing I like about summer
is when it’s still hot
and we are still playing Marco Polo in the apartment pool
and there is still daylight left when Daddy comes home

The thing I like about Daddy
is when he towels us off
and we change fast
and he jingles his pockets as we walk to the Ice Cream Shop

The thing I like about root beer
is when I touch my hot cheek to the cold glass
hear the bubbles rustle
get a whiff of

creamy vanilla pillows floating in a root beer pool…
and the straw
is almost
to my lips

published in Cricket Magazine June 2000

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “FLOAT”

  1. bev morse says:

    i love this, april – and i remember, too… thank you -

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nine × = 45


April 4th

THOSE SCHOOL DANCES

THOSE SCHOOL DANCES
by April Halprin Wayland

At the dance,
I wander into the
cold-tiled bathroom:
fixing, fixing, a line
of fixing girls,
making sure.
What’s wrong?
Is it the color of my lipstick?
Is that why I’m not being asked to dance?
Is it my bitten fingernails?

I wander back to the fringe
of the cool gym
to heat my wall spot.
Other wall-warmers
are whisked away.
I work hard, hiding my fingertips
from inspection.

I leave
slowly
when the lights flash on,
collecting a balloon for my room
and confetti to sprinkle in my hair;
go out into the chill night
to watch for that bronze Buick’s headlights blazing
and my father’s
bathrobed figure
in the driver’s seat.

Back home,
I cuddle up to comfortable
bodies on a queen-size
bed, watch a mystery movie, and hold my mother’s warm
and bitten
fingertips.
published in Cricket Magazine September 1999
also published in GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING (Knopf) 2002

from MorgueFile.com

from MorgueFile.com

 

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

3 Responses to “THOSE SCHOOL DANCES”

  1. Sigh….I remember this.

    “to heat my wall spot.”

    You nailed that feeling, those days, April. Thank goodness for the warmth of home, for those of us so lucky.

    xo, a.

  2. Bob Bragonier says:

    No, April. Not YOU. I wish I had been there; I would have been honored to have had a dance with you. Some boys were so dumb…

  3. Amy, Amy, Amy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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seven − 2 =


April 3rd

PERIOD.

PERIOD.
by April Halprin Wayland

It sounds so final.
Like things stop.
When you get it.

I know that when I finally get mine,
I’m going to be so thrilled I’m going to call it my
Exclamation Point.

published in GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING (Knopf) 2002
also published in PERIOD PIECES (HarperCollins) 2003

drawing by AHW

drawing (c) April Halprin Wayland

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

2 Responses to “PERIOD.”

  1. Parrish says:

    Foot In Mouth ~ G.M

    It was a thought unfinished
    A rhyme part done
    an idea diminished
    Before it begun

    a meandering tale
    That got stuck at t’ gate
    Jonah’s whale, just
    shrimp on a plate

    conjecture caught
    before it could spark
    a bloody great nought
    all left in the dark

    no lightbulb shine
    no comic thought bubble
    no reason, or rhyme
    no neuron’s wobble

    it was an unfinished thought
    It’s logic all weak
    Just wish I’d been taught
    To think & then speak………………..

  2. I like this celebratory poem so much! Indeed…to grow up is a gift…scary and exciting. You really see inside of people, April.

    This is a cool project – hurray for snapping those poems back for this trip around the block!

    xo, a.

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nine − 9 =


April 2nd

THE BIG PICTURE

THE BIG PICTURE
by April Halprin Wayland

New to Portland,
led by my cousin,
I hike beside her.

The air is saturated.
That blade of grass
glistens as I pass.

The dirt is a loamy red.
My shoes will need a cleaning, I think.
Or maybe I’ll leave them, a soft-stained souvenir.

We crunch up the trail—
something rustles to my right
and is gone.

I pluck a low-hanging emerald leaf,
scrunch it between my fingers,
press it to my nose.

“Isn’t that mountain peak beautiful?”
my cousin asks,
her eyes alive.

Mountain peak?
I look up. I hadn’t seen it.
It is beautiful.

And she?
She didn’t see
the leaf.

published in The Cat ‘n Banjo, January 2006

leaf

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

2 Responses to “THE BIG PICTURE”

  1. Serena says:

    I liked this one.

  2. April says:

    Thank you, Serena!

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7 × seven =


April 1st

MY FATHER WHISTLES THE HILLS

My father was a walnut farmer, my mother was a classical concert pianist. Our 300-acre farm was in Northern California. For Mom’s career, my sister, mom and I lived in Santa Monica, California during the school year.

Daddy drove the 500 miles south to Santa Monica as often as possible throughout the year; we spent barefoot summers on the farm.

The long walnut harvest was in the fall.  Every October I couldn’t wait: soon Daddy would be driving those long miles back to us.

MY FATHER WHISTLES THE HILLS
by April Halprin Wayland

In the bare light of the stars,
my father is driving home.
I am raking my hair with a comb;
my father is whistling out there.

He whistles high for the hills,
trills low for canyons.
He follows the natural notes of the land, and
the wheel moves in his hands.

While I stare into the mirror,
somewhere my father
is whistling nearer,
nearer.

This poem was previously published in the June 1998 issue of Cricket Magazine.
also in GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING–A Novel in Poems
by April Halprin Wayland, illustrated by Elaine Clayton (Knopf)

My farmer father and my concert pianist mother on the farm

My farmer father and my concert pianist mother on the farm

poem © 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

3 Responses to “MY FATHER WHISTLES THE HILLS”

  1. vi none says:

    Hi April,
    thanks for sharing your poem “My father whistles the hills” was so beautiful. vi

  2. Your PPP idea is clever, April! Looking forward to reading your work all month long. =)

  3. April says:

    Vi and Bridget ~ Thank you so much for your kind words. :-)

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