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Hiya—here are the poems from my 2011 Poetry Month Poem-A-Day Challenge (below), where I shared a poem, the story behind it, and a poetry prompt so you can write your own.

When I first took the challenge of writing a poem a day in April of 2010, it was so exciting, so raw and so life-changing, I’ve been writing a poem a day ever since.  I send them, every day (by sailmail!) to my dear friend, author & poet Bruce Balan, who sails around the world.

Click here for lots more poetry links. And check out  TeachingAuthors.com , where I blog every other Friday and usually include an original poem.

Now…buckle your seat belt, clip on a pair of wings, and hold onto your four-legged friend!

 

REVERSO POEMS


April 30, 2011
xyellow tulips by April Halprin Wayland (c) 2011
BLOOMING
by April Halprin Wayland

BLOOMING
A poem grows
from scattered seed
in muddy soil—
a muddle.
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One green leaf,
a vine meandering,
winding around,
climbing towards light.
Me: gardening poetry.
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Poetry: gardening me?
Climbing towards light?
Winding around?
A vine meandering?
One green leaf?
x
A muddle in muddy soil
from scattered seed: a poet grows.

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2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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Years ago, for an assignment in Myra Cohn Livingston‘s class, poet Joan Bransfield Graham came up with what she called a Mirror Poem form.  It was a brilliant and simple: midway through the poem, reverse the order of the words.
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Recently, Marilyn Singer’s wonderful book, Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse takes this form to new heights.
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In a starred review, Booklist says, in part: “The…poems…allow changes only in punctuation, capitalization, and line breaks, as Singer explains…“It is a form that is both challenging and fun—rather like creating and solving a puzzle.”
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Reviewed on Tricia Stohr-Hunt’s fabulous Miss Rumphius Effect blog, her readers then submitted their own reverso poems–astonishing and wonderful.
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This felt like a wonderful form in which to say good-bye to Poetry Month.  Good-bye and thank you for reading these poems. Your eyes, your comments, mean a great deal to me.
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Check out this week’s Poetry Friday post at TeachingAuthors.com… and keep in mind that I usually include an original poem when I post there, which is every other Friday.
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It’s your turn! Try a reverso!  Read the examples on the Miss Rumphius blog, above. Then start your engines!  And write with joy.  I know you will.
thurberesque girl leaping by April Halprin Wayland (c) 2011

4 Responses to “REVERSO POEMS”

  1. Hannah Ruth Wilde says:

    I didn’t get a reverso, but I did get this at 3 am:

    Poetry Year

    Good bye, April
    Her words so bright
    I tuck Poetry in
    We kiss good night.

    May in her glory
    Springs anew
    Ah! (I muse)
    In May,
    I can write poetry too.

    2011 © Hannah Ruth Wilde, All Rights Reserved

    THANK YOU AHW FOR AN INSPIRING MONTH.

  2. April says:

    And thank you for tuning in…and for your own poems, Hannah!
    xxx
    <3

  3. Jeff Rivera says:

    Thanks , April, for sharing.
    Nice poem and the photos also encourage to read the poem and gives the illusion of hearing it directly from you.
    I like your blog.

  4. April says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Jeff. Really appreciate it!

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METAPHORS BE WITH YOU


April 29, 2011
xphoto (c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
DON’T TRY TO FIX ME
by April Halprin Wayland
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Just let me be.
Just for a while.
Some big, dead animal presses down.
I don’t know why I feel like this.
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Don’t try to fix me.
Just let me be.
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I have no breath.
There isn’t anything to give—
there’s nothing left.
But I give up.
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The sadness stays.
A heavy greyness settles in.
My bones lie down.
I am alone.
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Don’t try to fix me.
Just let me be.
x
I read the paper.
About a friend who’s now a star.
I should be calling—
or sending flowers.
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Don’t try to fix me.
Sit next to me.
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c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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Yesterday I was feeling so tired.  So unmotivated.  So unanything.  Everything weighed in, pressed down–like a dead elephant on my head.  At the end of the day, I realized that it was connected to the fact that I was helping to list autographed books for author Brenda Novak’s FABULOUS on-line auction for diabetes research (which includes books, gift baskets, trips, concerts, jewelry, critiques by well-known authors and much more)
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So many wildly successful authors. So many golden lives.  And my book needs yet another rewrite.  Yes, oh, yes, I was comparing their outsides to my insides. I knew it.  Still, that insidious hopelessness crawled in and made itself comfortable.
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It helped tremendously to identify why I was feeling so low.  Just articulating it to myself helped. Then a fellow writer texted, in part: “It’s all smoke and mirrors, Sweet Friend!  And when I see you, I’m delighted at God’s Party Dress!”  Ah, the balm of friendship—when I’m brave enough to share.
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Now it’s your turn.  What are you feeling right now?  I felt as if there were a dead elephant on my head.  What visual metaphor can you include in a poem to make us feel as you do?  Who are you brave enough to share this poem with?  Do.
xphoto (c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved...share your poem with a friend!
Share your poem with a friend.

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HOW DO YOU HAIKU?


April 28, 2011
x
METRONOMES
x
by April Halprin Wayland
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In this stifling
heat, two dogs meet, pant.  Their tails
wag a slow hello.
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c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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I was at the dog park, watching Eli sidle up to a new dog. They stood side-by-side, looking in each other’s eyes.  Their tails began to wag—slowly, at first, then faster.  It reminded me of the old metronome my mother still uses.  And it made me laugh.
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I thought, “I have no time, I’ll write a haiku.”  HA!  Haiku poems are deceptive.  As Mark Twain famously wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
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There are lots of rules regarding haiku.  The first and third lines contain five syllables, the second line, seven.  They aren’t supposed to rhyme.  They should indicate the season of the year.  They should be about something in the natural world. They should be in present tense.
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I wrote 13 versions…and could have written for days.
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It’s your turn. Go outside.  Observe something in the natural world.  Read haiku poems.  Write a haiku or two.  Enjoy!
Eli at the dog park 4-11 (c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
xEli watches the dog park gate: who’s coming in?  Do I know them?  Are they friendly?

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IMITATE YOUR FAVORITE POEM


April 26, 2011
xEli at the dog park 4-11 (c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
Who’s coming in the dog park gate?!?!?!
Okay…first read this poem:
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THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE
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I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
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And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
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I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
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Here’s my poem for today:
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THE DOG PARK OF REDONDO BEACH
by April Halprin Wayland
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I will arise and go now, and go to Redondo Beach,
To the dog park gang there—my pup can hardly wait;
Nine owners I will know there, my mutt will romp unleashed,
As soon as I unlock the gate.
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And I shall have some peace then, for peace comes when he’s tired,
Dropping to the rug and sleeping—I’ll rhyme while he does doze;
Then I can focus, think now, and this pooch won’t be wired,
Won’t poke my thigh with his questioning nose.
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I will arise and go now, for when my dog is young,
I can’t get any work done until he’s tuckered out;
I’m grateful for all dog parks, give thanks for panting tongues,
I know now what to write about.
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c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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My friend, Alison McGhee emails a poem of the week.  I love this.  Just enough to read.  Just enough to absorb.
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Today she sent THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE.  I’ve read it many times before but today I decided to take it apart and see how it was made.  I suppose my process is like a seamstress who takes apart a dress so she can see how to make one like it.
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I worked out the rhyming pattern.  I analyzed the rhythm of each line.  I read it aloud to my dog, Eli.  Then I chose my topic and sewed my own dress from Yeat’s pattern.
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It’s your turn.  Choose a favorite poem.  Take it apart.  Write your own.  And for heaven’s sake, enjoy!
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Gizmo, Murphy, Eli & Butter--the husky-- at the dog park 2-6-11 x
All tuckered out…

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THANK YOU POEM




HEADLINE, DEADLINE, END-OF-LINE
by April Halprin Wayland
X
There are no ants
who climb these lines
to hoist up every front-page word—
absurd.
X
No crow flies low
to drop in twos
the sentences
which caw the news.
X
Occasionally a friend will send
a music essay which informs
(though silence
seems to be the norm).
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It takes a miner and his lamp
to dig the depths
with writer’s cramp
then throw a light on what to write.
X
He finds the veins of news and gold
so cyber pages we may hold.
For all these years he’s lit the fuse
three cheers for Rick’s rich folk club news!
X
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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Our folk club’s newsletter is called The Cat ‘n Banjo.  Rick has edited it for the last seven or eight or ten years.  A long time. Now he’s stepping down.  How does one thank a volunteer who has worked for so many hours to connect us to our music and fellow folkies?  In a poem, of course!
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I thought about how to “come at” the poem.  I imaged a blank, lined piece of paper, then ants, marching onto the page carrying words and placing them on the page.  Who knows where these weird images come from?  But these days I don’t question them.  I go with them.
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Now it’s your turn! Is there someone in your life you need to/want to thank?  Can you stand on your head, coming at the topic from a different angle?  Give it a try.  Enjoy.
Poetry Month 2011! drawing (c) by April Halprin Waylandxxxxxxxxxxxxx(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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SING A SONG!


April 25, 2011
X(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reservedx
Oops!  This poem was set to post on April 23rd…but never actually appeared.  So…here it is…listen to this under-one-minute
clip before reading the poem…
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CALLING ALL FOLKIES
by April Halprin Wayland
X
People, listen to the friends all singing
Come, bring your guitar, share a song
People, listen to the friends all singing
Bring some cherries, find your seat and sing along!
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(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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I was listening to Prairie Home Companion on NPR and though I’d never heard it before, I couldn’t help but join in on a one-stanza hymn with a wonderfully addictive melody, “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying”:
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Lord listen to Your children praying,
Lord send Your Spirit in this place
Lord listen to Your children praying
Send us love, send us power, send us grace!
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I wrote my own version of this simple song to sing with friends at the next folk music club meeting.
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It’s your turn!  Look up the lyrics to a favorite song.  Being mindful of its rhyme pattern and rhythm, change the lyrics to fit an occasion or circumstance in your life.  Have fun!
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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NONSENSE POEM!


April 23, 2011
x
WAKE UP! ARE YOU A…?
by April Halprin Wayland
x
Wake up!  Are you a Jabberwock?
your head has nodded to the desk
at first I thought ’twas writer’s block
Oh, beamish boy—you’re hair’s askew!
I kick your shoe—I think it best
before our teacher catches you.
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I’m glad you’re up, we’re on page ten.
Oh no! You’ve gone to sleep again!
x
The teacher’s chalk goes snicker-snack—
you clutch your pencil to attack
I tip your chair to keep you slack,
your head galumphing back.
x
She thinks you dead, stares at your head
but I distract, “What means this word?”
(I’m clever, like the Jubjub bird)
while you are whiffling through the wood
instead of listening (if you could).
x
You burble—so I loudly sneeze
(she’s terrified of slithy phlegm
which transmits frumious disease)
and then—O frabjous three p.m.—
Callooh! Callay!
You wake—we’re through with school today!
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(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
x
I was reading through the poems in the marvelous POETRY TAG TIME, edited by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell, which is “the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children,” sells for only 99 cents…and includes one of my poems, (she says modestly). Helen Frost‘s poem begins, “Wake up!” while Calef Brown’s poem begins “Are you a”.  I decided to start my poem with,“Wake up!  Are you a” and see what happened.
x
It became a poem filled with the half-dreams you have when you fall asleep in class and wake, only to fall asleep again.  So I reread “Jabberwocky”, from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll…and the poem evolved.
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It’s your turn! Nonsense poems are foreign territory for me—I had such fun writing this one! Begin your poem as I have…or find your own intriguing first words—where do they lead you?

x

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EARTHDAY:OVERHEARD



beginning the hard work of poem-making...

beginning the hard work of poem-making...

beginning the hard work of poem-making…


POEMWORK
by April Halprin Wayland
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I thought I’d spy from nine-to-five
behind The Times in a café,
while folks conversed and drank their brew.
Or, lingering in a school hallway,
I’d  lurk until a poem arrived—
I’d probably have to wait all day.
x
But I don’t have to work that hard
here, as the wind is slipping in,
as tortoise dawdles in the dew
with flowers hanging from his chin.
I simply listen in our yard.
And look—a poem is drifting in.
x
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
x
Last night the word, “overheard” came to me, and I thought it would be fun to sit in a coffee house and take down the words of people around me and fashion them into a poem.  But I never got to the coffee house and anyway, I’ve actually tried this before and it was hard work and no poem came and I felt like a total failure.
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So I stayed home and opened my window.  As the words fell on my page, I played with a rhyming pattern that is a bit more complicated than I usually use:  ABCBAB, repeated twice.
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It’s your turn.  Go somewhere and listen to words.  Or listen to the non-words around you.  Stay open, even to the “ugly” sounds of traffic or lawn mowers.  These may be poem fodder, too.
X

in our backyard...

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BE AN ANIMAL!


April 22, 2011
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DANDELIONS!
by April Halprin Wayland
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Lumbering through the untended edge of my yard,
I spy one fat flower,
stretch my neck, blink to see
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one hundred yellow rays,
lion’s tooth leaves,
and a smooth thick stem
x
which drips
savory white sap
as I snap up this small, delicious sun.
x
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
x
Sheldon, whose named used to be Shelly until our vet set us straight, loves dandelions.  So when he wakes up every March and lumbers outside, I give him bouquets of them.  In fact, I’ve become somewhat of a dandelion connoisseur. I’ll stop my car for a thick cluster of them in an empty lot.  I’ve noticed they grow especially large at the dog park.  I don’t like to think about why—I simply pluck them for Sheldon.  He appreciates my presents.
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It’s your turn.  This is another mask poem, a poem written from the point of view of an inanimate object or animal. (Scroll down to April 14th for a poem from a cat’s point of view and more information about mask poems…or if you’re reading this on Facebook, go to http://www.aprilwayland.com/poetry/blog and then scroll down to April 14th)
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What animal will you pick?  Put yourself in the animal’s mind.  What object does your animal crave?  See the object from your animal’s point of view. Put it in a poem.
Sheldon and dandelion 3

2 Responses to “BE AN ANIMAL!”

  1. Hannah Ruth Wilde says:

    April,
    This is way way too much fun! What a delight to have such a friend make his spring appearance!
    Hannah

  2. April says:

    He’s our first sign of spring, Hannah!

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PLAYING WITH RHYTHM AND RHYME


April 21, 2011
x
LOCAL FORECAST
by April Halprin Wayland
x
I’m suspended in midair
like there’re wings on me
in my lifeguard chair
by the avocado tree
x
and a quick spring breeze
weaves leaves in my hair
while bitsy birds with fat black beaks
chitchat in teeny tiny cheeps.
x
A bee buzzes near…
I hold my breath—he disappears.
A toffee-colored hummingbird whirs past me—
he doesn’t hear the clicking of these laptop keys.
x
It’s clearly spring up here
in my lifeguard chair.
x
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
X
The story behind the poem:
x
We live in Southern California; we have a lifeguard chair in our backyard.  Today I dragged it across the lawn under the persimmon tree. I climbed into its wood seat with my laptop and felt as if I were in a tree house. Bright green persimmon leaves brushed my cheeks, a hummingbird sipped nectar from the yellow iris, tiny sparrow-like birds twittered on the avocado tree.  Oh, my.
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The magic of poetry, for me, is making order out of chaos.  My jottings were chaotic.  I fiddled with them and placed them on the page in different ways, listening to the beats, fictionalizing along the way.  Then I stepped back to watch the design appear, as I used to watch photos develop in my darkroom–that’s when I get a writing high.  How about you?
x
It’s your turn. Go outside and sit.  Watch.  Listen.  Write.  Play with rhythm and rhyme!

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TeachingAuthors.com turns 2!


April 20, 2011
x
OUR  BLOGIVERSARY! (at TeachingAuthors.com)
by April Halprin Wayland
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We six who ride our blog horse here
are rather like that Paul Revere
x
“One if by land, two if by sea,”
was revolution’s poetry
x
We TeachingAuthors gallop, too,
to share our lantern light with you
x
we aim to help, support and cheer
so you can write with joy, not fear
x
in this New Land: Kidlitosphere
x
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
x
Two years ago I stood on this Pacific shore as five hands from across the country stretched out to me and said, “Join us!”
x
I thought, “No way in heck.”
x
My writing life—and the rest of my life, too—has changed because of the comradeship, mentor-ship, craftswoman-ship and overall amazingness of the good ship TeachingAuthors.com
x
If you get an invitation to join a blog, my advice is to climb aboard. It blows my mind that I almost didn’t reach back.
x
Your turn! Is someone celebrating a birthday or an anniversary this month?  Click on a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary and then play with words until you find a poem.  Now give them their poem present.
x
And speaking of presents,  look what my friend Jama did for me on my birthday!  Talk about the camraderie of the Kidlitosphere–thank you, Jama!!!!

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SOUNDS LIKE A POEM


April 19, 2011

x
IT’S NOT QUIET IN THE LIBRARY
by April Halprin Wayland
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The electric door is opening, it sucks in outside air
a carpet rubs as a patron sits down on his chosen chair
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the blonde librarian waves her wand—I can hear it whisper-click
six times as it moves back and forth o’er six non-fiction picks.
x
There are sounds that bounce around the rows of all the Y.A. books
if you listen closely you can hear folks’ irritated looks
x
at that oops-he-forgot-to-turn-off-his-cell’s rock ‘n rolling ring
while on this page I hear the voice of Martin Luther King:
x
and as I read, “I have a dream” reverberates in my head
near Charlotte who is loudly spinning words into her web.
x
There are sounds around this building, there are sounds in books like these
it’s not quiet in the library and that’s okay by me.
x
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
X
The story behind the poem:
I was at the library, and as the librarian waved her wand over an audiobook, I heard it click…and began wondering how many sounds there were in a library…including the sounds a book’s story makes in one’s head.
X
It’s your turn. Take your notebook to a park or a restaurant or a school or the beach and write down the sounds.  It may help to close your eyes to hear them.  Select the most interesting; write a poem.

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PERSONIFICATION IN A POEM


April 18, 2011
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LOSING AND FORGETTING ARE SIBLINGS
by April Halprin Wayland
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As I sit on this
cold, stone bench,
Losing slinks up to my backpack,
puts her slim arm around its broad shoulder and whispers,
“Want to come over to my place, Handsome?”
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How could it resist?
x
But just then, Forgetting saunters up to my brain,
lifts it off, sends it off to camp.
x
And as the bus comes, as I stand up to board it,
Forgetting says, “Wow—those jeans are a tad tight.
Did you really need the pistachio frozen yogurt last night?”
x
while my backpack sits on the bench, alarmed.
x
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
x
I was brooding about a critique I’d gotten.  My mind was wandering, wondering: if my main character has these flaws, do I, too?  I was also tired—we were flying back to L.A, so I had to get up early, pack, and catch BART to get to the airport.
x
A half-hour into the BART trip, the station agent in Berkeley phoned my cell.  They had my backpack.  I hadn’t even noticed it was gone.  Where was my brain?
x
Riding back to retrieve my pack, I tried to find the lesson. The lesson for me is to stay present.   I hadn’t been present.  I took out my notebook.
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As I wrote, two abstract concepts developed personalities.  The poem became lighter and it was fun to write. And guess what? Nothing was missing from my backpack!
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It’s your turn.  In her book, Poem-Making, Ways to Begin Writing Poetry, Myra Cohn Livingston writes that personification “assigns human qualities to something that does not, in reality, have these characterisitics.”  Think of an inanimate object.  Or think of a vague concept, as I did.  Write a poem using personification.

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ENVELOPE POEMS


April 17, 2011
X
THINK NOTHING OF IT
by April Halprin Wayland
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There’s gotta be a word for this.
x
For that thing that happens
when I need new tennis shoes
x
and then–wow!–look at all the tennis shoe commercials on TV!
and suddenly everyone is wearing tennis shoes.
x
Or when I’m walking home, it’s kinda late,
a mom yells, “Dinner time!” out a window,
x
and suddenly I smell sautéed onions
coming from the house I’m passing,
x
and I smell bacon floating out of the next,
and chicken and rice out of the next.
x
Or like today, a college girl, buttoning her green and pink
striped sweater,
nearly tripped on the striped floor of the mall,
x
and suddenly I noticed the guy in the candy place
was wearing a striped rugby shirt
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and selling huge red, white and blue
striped candy suckers.
x
So I tried thinking about circles.
About donkeys.  About ice cubes.
x
But a curly-haired kid in a stroller let go of
his purple and yellow striped balloon,
x
which got stuck
in the striped wood of the rafters.
x
ACK!
x
I tore out of the mall and into the sunshine
which fell in stripes over the striped crosswalk
x
just as an orange-striped cat was running across the street
and a car with black racing stripes was rounding the corner.
x
There’s gotta be a word for this.
x
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
x
I was sitting on the grass at UC Berkeley with my notebook and pen, watching students, professors and parents pass by, wondering what to write about. Then I remembered how I distract myself if I’m nervous or don’t want to dwell on something.  I think of a color, like red, and then look for the things around me that are red.  It always works and it always astonishes me how many items I find, no matter what color I pick.
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With that in mind, I began to notice the checks and stripes people were wearing…and my mind was off and running.
x
I put it into an Envelope Poem, so named because the contents of the poem are sealed between the same line at the beginning and at the end.
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It’s your turn.  Pick a color or a shape or a pattern and look for it as you take a walk in a park, a school, a town. Now, write an envelope poem.

3 Responses to “ENVELOPE POEMS”

  1. Kate Coombs says:

    According to my mother, a wise woman, the name for that is perceptive set. Great poem! And thanks for the prompts–the other day you inspired me to write a villanelle that turned out really well.

  2. Hannah Ruth Wilde says:

    Ways to look at the world – through sounds, through patterns, through perceptions. Do we write poetry or does poetry write us?

  3. April says:

    Ah, Kate–the perceptive set! Thank you–and to your mom, as well! Years ago someone told me it was called a skatoma (sp?) but that doesn’t seem to be the right word when I look it up.

    And glad the poetry prompts are helpful. And that your villanelle turned out really well, (which could be a line in your villanelle)

    And Hannah…yes, and so beautifully put!

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ALCHEMY


April 16, 2011
x
WHAT CAN BLOSSOM
by April Halprin Wayland
x
Folded paper
nestled in this dish
x
pure water
pouring over
x
color uncurling
petal by petal:
x
a poem
blooming.
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
Do you remember “those tiny clam shells with a ‘water flower’ inside that floated up when you had soaked it in water, sealed with a band of paper with Chinese writing on it”?  I can’t find them anywhere on the internet, though the quote is from a listserv person who is also searching for them.  Something made me think of them today, in the middle of a meeting.  The metaphor emerged as I wrote the poem.
x
Now it’s your turn. What toy or party favor do you remember fondly from childhood?  Try finding an picture of it on Google images. Write a simple, short poem.  See where it takes you.
This 1:06 minute video shows how to make flowers that open in water…not exactly the clamshell tissue-paper flowers
I remember, but easy to make…and so pretty when you put several in one dish
!

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HOW DOES IT FEEL?


April 15, 2011

x
HIKING CALIFORNIA
by April Halprin Wayland
x
My body is singing an answer to this day—
as if the sun is strumming me,
as if this soft summer air is,
as if the whole world
is yearning to hum along.

(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
I went hiking today with four friends.  It was a warm spring day and there were wildflowers everywhere: blue-eyed grasses, bush sunflowers, lupines, mariposa flowers and more. The air against my bare arms felt so…so what?  My body after the hike felt so…so what?  It was vibrating from the exercise and from the green of the day.  This is what I tried to put down in a poem.
x
Now it’s your turn.  Think of a favorite physical exercise.  How do you feel afterwards?  Write your own poem.

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MASK POEM


April 14, 2011
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CAT AT MIDNIGHT
by April Halprin Wayland
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Night.
She pads out to the porch, I hide.
“Come sleep with me,” she says,
while turning off the light.
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I wait.
She goes to bed.
Then mastering my fright,
I slink inside.
x
I’m careful where I tread
I tiptoe past his plate
and cross a rope he’s shred,
then sneak around his crate,
x
peer in its door with hope:
perhaps he’s dead.
Nope.
The mutt is just asleep.
x
I leap onto her bed
It’s good I am so light.
But from my bedspread post,
I hear a muffled groan
x
and freeze.
Dog hasn’t raised his head—
he’s sleeping like a stone.
I breathe—then move again with ease.
x
Open, on the bed,
a book she’s left unread.
I curl up in her crook
encircled, I am safe
x
from Fleabag
one more time.
Another night of grace:
she’s mine.
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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I love Mask Poems.  In a mask poem, I slip inside an inanimate object or animal.  I studied for twelve years under the master children’s poet, Myra Cohn Livingston.  In
her book, POEM-MAKING: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry, Myra writes about this poetic voice :
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“When I teach…I ask students to use the mask…Some…think of themselves as whirlwinds, tornadoes, or…flowers. I will never forget one fifth grade boy who wrote of himself as a lonely root…to tell something about the way he felt.
x
Norma Farber has written poems in which she pretends to be a turtle… Harry Behn imagines himself as a river and Carl Sandburg becomes a pumpkin…poets never feel too old to pretend.”
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Now it’s your turn. Myra continues:”…find something inanimate: a chair…a piece of fruit…or a yo-yo.  Think of what you might say…a question you might ask… a secret you have never told… Like Lilian Moore’s caterpillar you may want to begin with a warning.  Or you might ask your reader to look at you before you vanish like Walter de la Mare’s snowflake.”

Eli sleeping. Photo by April Halprin Wayland

x

2 Responses to “MASK POEM”

  1. julie rose palmer says:

    Your poem was the 13th was truly amazing!
    Thank you for sharing it! love, julie

  2. April says:

    Thanks so much, Julie! xxx

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VILLANELLE


April 13, 2011

x
PLEASE BELIEVE ME–a villanelle

by April Halprin Wayland
x
Did I pretend? Perhaps a dream…or was it true?
Thirteen.  I was thirteen.  It was July.
I swear I didn’t make it up…that night I flew.
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The whole world slept, yes, all the birds, and even you.
I rose from bed, I raised the curtain, then I cried.
Did I pretend? Perhaps a dream…or was it true?
x
Something small, some fragrant flower the moon turned blue
pulled me that way—I don’t know why—I went outside.
I swear I didn’t make it up…that night I flew.
x
My nightgown filled, I lifted off, by then I knew.
I held it fast, I smelled it deep, I closed my eyes.
Did I pretend? Perhaps a dream…or was it true?
x
I thought of who would take my word—not even you.
That summer night my barefeet sailed the blackened sky.
I swear I didn’t make it up…that night I flew.
x
I promise everything I’ve written here is true.
By morning my whole life had changed—I can’t say why.
Did I pretend? Perhaps a dream…or was it true?
I swear I didn’t make it up…that night I flew.
X
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
I realize that this villanelle is crazy-corny, but hey, we’re all friends here, right? When I was about thirteen, I padded outside on a warm summer night wearing my Lanz flannel nightgown, picked a small cluster of white flowers from the bush by our gate, breathed in their sweet smell…and flew.  It was so real and so wonder-filled, I’ve never been able to get it out of my head.
x
I was walking Eli this morning and passed the same distinctive scent.  I spun back to that night.  I keep writing about it in different forms; today I thought I’d offer it up to the Poetry Gods in a villanelle.
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Now it’s your turn. Villanelles are like solving a puzzle–great for a rainy day or a long train trip. Look at any villanelle–for example, Dylan Thomas’  Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, written when his father died.  Map it out.  What lines repeat and where?  Can you imitate the structure?  Read it aloud as you go, to make sure the rhythm is right.x

Do you know the name of this bush?
These are the flowers that made me fly.

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HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE A SMELL?


April 12, 2011
X
PUPPY PERFUME
by April Halprin Wayland
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It’s powdery—
cotton candy and dust
from a carnival midway
x
It’s musky—
leaf litter
of an old oak grove
x
It’s all mixed up—
crackers and
couch pillows:
x
your own furry fragrance
your downy dogness
as I burrow into you each morning.
X
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
X
The story behind the poem:
x
I like to start my day by burrowing my nose into Eli’s neck, hugging his big dog-self.  It’s a soft way into the day.  This morning I noticed how nice he smelled.  Then I tried to put words around it.  As I wrote this poem, I kept going back to Eli and hugging him, inhaling and trying to “get” what the smell was like.  What did it remind me of?
x
As one of my dog park friends, James, said, “Humans are visual. We don’t have words for smells because we don’t use our nose as dominantly as we use our eyes.”
x
Now it’s your turn: find a smell you’d like to write about.  Take it in. Close your eyes.  What does it remind you of?  Write a poem.
Eli & Elsie…”How do you do?”
or maybe, “How do you smell?

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GENEROSITY


April 10, 2011
x
ALL I NEED
by April Halprin Wayland
x
I step onto this rickety bamboo bridge
high over wild water
as winds sways rope
as I totter
as my heart stops
as I lose hope.
x
You reach across
stretching out
to me
All is not lost.
Your hand is all
I need.
x
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
I went for a walk in a cold wind and decided to write a poem for my post at TeachingAuthors.com on April 15th.  Every Friday is Poetry Friday in the Kidlitosphere, and I usually include an original poem in my posts. I’ll be talking about whether poets should publish original poems online or not…and whether this jeopardizes the value of the poem for later resale.
x
What I’ve learned from asking this question of poets I admire, is that they come to the world with an open hand. For this Friday’s post, I needed a poem about generosity.
x
It’s your turn. Think of a big concept like generosity or peace or hatred or anger…you get the picture.  Now close your eyes and think about how this concept feels.  What image presents itself?  It’s the old “Show, Don’t Tell.” Write a poem showing us this concept in concrete terms, as I tried to do with generosity. On your mark, get set, go!
x

Both pictures are from a cool site with free photos

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TWO TURTLES



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TWO TURTLES
by April Halprin Wayland

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Two new turtles.
One old pond.

x
One girl, one guy.
One bold, one shy.
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One stretches, yawns.
One stays withdrawn.

x
One slips in,
swims.

x
One stays on rock.
(Has swimmer’s block.)

(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
I decided to get two new red-eared sliders for our pond.  Our old guy recently died.  I miss his turtle-ness.  Back home, Eli and I watched the two turtles adjust. One immediately dove into the water.  ”Oh joy!” she seemed to say, swimming off. The other tucked his head into his shell and sat on a rock.
x
When Eli and I walked away–for just a few seconds!–the turtle slipped into the water.  And I began writing this poem.  I’ve rewritten this on and off all day.  In one version, the shy turtle has writer’s block and dives in to find a fountain pen (ha ha). What was a simple poem became too complicated, too ungapatchka -ed.
x
What about your poem?  Try this: go outside.  Sit still. Observe one thing in nature.  Begin a poem. Keep it simple.
x
P.S: Do you have any suggestions regarding turtle names?  All I can come up with right now is Click and Clack.

Eli checks out one of the new turtles

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LONG WALK


April 9, 2011

x
LONG WALK
by April Halprin Wayland
X
Wearing sturdy shoes and wide-brimmed straw hats,
my big sister and I trudge across our farm’s sandy soil,
through Johnson grass, to the river.
x
Lyra shoulders our soft-covered aluminum canteen,
I carry the brown paper bag
of peanut butter-and-honey sandwiches.
X
A cold wind shivers us.
We wear long pants against star thistles
that scratch as we pass.
X
Our swimsuits are under the long pants.
Just ahead, through the Johnson grass and star thistles,
is summer.
x
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
Looking for a structure or ideas for a poem, I came across the Poetry Resource Page’s listing of exercises. Today I liked this one:
x
Body Exercise
x
Make a list of fifteen physical experiences that you’ve had, such as falling out of a tree, riding a roller coaster, or jumping on a trampoline. Choose one from your list and use images to create a lyric poem about the experience.
(by Jay Klokker, from The Practice of Poetry, Robin Behn and Chase Twichell, eds.)
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So I did! My 10th idea triggered a flood of images and words. How about you?  What fifteen “physical experiences” would you list?  Which inspires a poem?

x

Star Thistle

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IN THE BEAUTY PARLOR


April 7, 2011
x
IN THE BEAUTY PARLOR
by April Halprin Wayland
x
I play on the floor
with my lavender horse
while Mama’s hair
is cut and combed.
x
Clouds scowl outside.
Then dark skies break—
I dash to the window—
a storm pours down!
x
Rumbling!  Thundering!
Lightning crashing!
I jump—
oak tree cracking!
xx
Everyone
and Mama and me
presses against glass
to see the tree.
x
Rain pours,
patters,
drips…
stops.
x
Clouds pull apart
like dinner rolls.
Crumbs float off,
blue pokes through.
x
I  sit back on the floor
near the hair-cutter’s chair.
Horse grazes in a field
of Mama’s hair.
x
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
I was in the beauty parlor listening to news of another earthquake in Japan.  I began to think about how easily we settle back into our normal lives…even after incredible tragedy strikes nearby.
x
I’ve written a poem before about a child whose horse grazes on the floor of a beauty parlor while the mother is having her hair cut, as my son used to play when he was small.
x
Confession: 30 poems in 30 days will produce some pretty raw poetry.  This one doesn’t hang together yet.  It’s too long and just not right yet.  So, I guess today’s poem is a good example of the fact that most poems need more than a day to cook—at least most of my poems do!

2 Responses to “IN THE BEAUTY PARLOR”

  1. Hannah Ruth Wilde says:

    April, I enjoyed the images – the clouds as rolls breaking apart, the idea of the horse grazing in the hair is so wonderful, the suddenness of things cracking and breaking when all seems normal. If you are able to post the finished poem sometime, I would enjoy that very much. Thank you for sharing, Hannah

  2. April says:

    Thank you, Hannah!

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THIS IS JUST TO SAY, CAT


April 6, 2011

X
THIS IS JUST TO SAY, CAT

I have brought home
a dog
that was in
the shelter
X
while
you were probably
hoping
for sardines
x
Forgive me
he was wide-eyed
so waggy
and so thin
x
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
Over at MsMac’s Check It Out blog, (posting poems by students all month long), Jenna, a 5th grader, has written a beautiful musical apology based on William Carlos Williams‘ famous plums poem…his poem titled This Is Just To Say, which starts, “I have eaten/the plums/that were in/ the icebox”
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After a day chasing my tail, looking for poems in all the wrong places, Jenna’s poem inspired me to create my own THIS IS JUST TO SAY poem after Williams’.
x
What about you?  What would your THIS IS JUST TO SAY poem say?

Eli and Elsie

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3 Responses to “THIS IS JUST TO SAY, CAT”

  1. Kate Coombs says:

    Oh, wonderful: “so waggy/and so thin”! I’m going to share your poem with my American Lit student who recently read “This Is Just to Say.”

  2. Ann Wagner says:

    Love this, April! And it brings back memories, both of the lovely Williams poem that I first learned many years ago, and of the day I brought a rescue dog home and my cat gave me that look of total disbelief.

  3. April says:

    I’m happy that you’re sharing this with that student, Kate! And thanks, Ann. And the truth is that we adopted Eli nearly a year ago and the cats still don’t like or trust him…

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BOY


April 5, 2011

x
BOY
by April Halprin Wayland

I was born underwater
and they thought I’d be a daughter.
Surprise!  A boy!

I wagged my tail, I sniffed, I barked
and scared an old man in the park.

A dog?  A boy.

To swim for hours?  My greatest wish!
So perhaps I am a fish?

No, I’m a boy.

Neither dog, daughter nor sturgeon,
someday I’ll be a surgeon.

Now?  I’m a boy.

(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
I’m a mother so I can write a birthday poem for my boy if I want, right? Yes, he was born underwater and yes, a psychic and a fortune teller told us he’d be a girl. When he was small, he liked being a dog.  One day he nearly gave an old woman a heart attack when he barked a friendly hello.  His record in a hotel swimming pool was something like six hours–he just didn’t want to get out.  And yes, he is thinking of becoming a surgeon.
x
Thanks to Bruce Balan for the first line of the last stanza!
x
A mom beaming with pride can brag, right?  These days he’s a young man. Happy Birthday to an amazing, funny, generous and wonderful young man.

3 Responses to “BOY”

  1. Caren Stiffel says:

    What a boy! What a mom!

  2. April says:

    : ^ )

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RIDDLE



x
RIDDLE
by April Halprin Wayland

It’s an airplane without wings
or a thin pink submarine.
x
It’s a new drumstick for Ringo
or a one-legged flamingo.
x
No it’s not.  Don’t be a dork.
It’s a tower in New York.
x
A small sausage made of pork
or a one note tuning fork.
x
It’s the weapon in a thriller.
A vocabulary spiller.
x
It’s this page’s closest friend.
I’m a poet–it’s my pen.
x
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:

I was in a waiting room.  Waiting.  So I pulled out my favorite pen. The barrel is pink but the ink is not. I adore this pen beyond reason.  I found it abandoned a few month ago, and ever since I adopted it, my heart goes all pitter-pattery when I zip open my backpack and see it.
x
I was looking around for a poem…and there it was. So I began looking at the pen from all angles, trying to see what else it could be. Later I used my favorite online rhyming dictionary.  At the last moment, I saw it for what it was: a riddle!
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Try it–take out your favorite whatever…and stand on your head. What else could it be?

2 Responses to “RIDDLE”

  1. Patricia Moore says:

    Good poem! Much better than anything I’ve written today!

  2. April says:

    Thanks Patricia…and thanks for stopping by ~

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RINGS


April 4, 2011

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RINGS

by April Halprin Wayland

I finger Mama’s golden ring,
remembering when I ruled as king

a world wrapped round by icy bands.
One boy who ruled a luminous land.

I loved being part of a galaxy,
my planet swirling in its sea.

Some say mine was a wandering star
which lost its way, which sailed too far.

That was a long, long time ago.
Shhh…no one but my mama knows.

(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved

The story behind the poem:
x
I’ve fallen in love with the brand-new, first ever eBook of children’s poetry which sells for 99 cents. 99 CENTS!  Titled PoetryTAGTime and compiled by luminaries in the world of children’s poetry, Sylvia Vardell and  Janet Wong, the premise of this book is simple…and simply addictive. Each poet was invited to contribute one poem inspired in some way by the poem which comes before it.  Tag, you’re it! (Full disclosure: one of my poems—”World Wide Wag”—is included in this collection.)
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Note: you don’t need a Kindle or anything like that…you can read an eBook on a regular PC or Mac computer and many types of phones. You just need to download this free software.
x
Today’s poem was inspired by the poem Amy Ludwig VanDerwater contributed to this collection called “My Hand,” which begins:
x
“Whenever I look / at my hand / I remember. / I once was a starfish / in love with the sea.”
x
Isn’t that beautiful?  I wanted to imitate Amy’s idea of looking at one thing and remembering a whole other life.
x
My first attempt began:
x
I look at my mother’s gold ring
and remember that I used to have nine rings.
x
I did a little research about Saturn because of the rings. Worked some of the facts into the poem.  Wrote some more. Rhymed some more.  Discarded and started over.  Realized the child had not been a planet but a Little Prince who ruled a planet.
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So–what life did you once live?  Tag–you’re it!
x

2 Responses to “RINGS”

  1. April, I began my day sighing over your enchanting sky poem at GottaBook. And now, before bed, I read this magical ring poem. To think that my little poem inspired this one is a true surprise and a great honor. I admire your work greatly and thank you so much.
    A.
    ps – I am going to have dessert over at jama’s alphabet soup. ‘Hear you’re serving!

  2. April says:

    And I am sighing over your poetry at The Poetry Farm, Amy ~ Mutual admiration society!

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THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO POEMS


April 3, 2011
x
THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO POEMS
by April Halprin Wayland
x
Out beyond this small grey screen
is a field.
x
I’ll meet you there.
x
With two dogs,
no leashes,
x
just to watch them race
in tiger-buttery circles,
x
just to chase,
in the pasture.
x
They find phrases hidden in this grass.
They find verses, songs—all delicious.
x
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
This morning my friend Adell texted me part of a poem by Rumi. What a beautiful way to wake up! When I was casting around for poem ideas, what I really wanted to do was take Eli to the dog park, to watch him gallop with other dogs in those fabulous circles which remind me of my favorite part of the controversial children’s book Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman:
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And the Tigers were very, very angry, but still they would not let go of each other’s tails. And they were so angry, that they ran round the tree, trying to eat each other up, and they ran faster and faster, till they were whirling round so fast that you couldn’t see their legs at all. And they still ran faster and faster and faster, till they all just melted away, and there was nothing left but a great big pool of melted butter (or “ghi,” as it is called in India) round the foot of the tree.”
x
I told myself that we could go to the dog park as soon as I’d finished this post.  Here’s Rumi‘s poem, which I used as a jumping off point.  I also referred to an online thesaurus to find as many words as I could with grassy “s” sounds.
x

Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
x
I’ll meet you there.
x
When the soul lies down
in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
x
Ideas, language
- even the phrase “each other” -
do not make any sense.
x
From The Essential Rumi, page 16. Translated by Coleman Barks.
© Copyright, 2004, HarperSanFrancisco
x
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the dog park with Eli.

2 Responses to “THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO POEMS”

  1. Ann Wagner says:

    Oh, April, I love the tiger-buttery circles! Thank you for your poems and your thoughts. I had such a challenging, soul-smothering winter, and reading your blog I feel my heart opening back up…

  2. April says:

    Dear Ann, I’m so moved by your comment. Thank you! And the tigers chasing around the tree idea I think about each time I go to the dog park…

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HOW EASY IT IS TO FLY ON PAPER WINGS


April 2, 2011

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HOW EASY IT IS TO FLY ON PAPER WINGS

by April Halprin Wayland

I am reading Charlotte’s Web for the ten thousandth time.
I have read this book over and over,
x
so the words are worn and pressed—
I can scarcely make them out.
x
It’s as if I were talking on a cell phone
while walking under a bridge,
x
when static devours words whole—
or so I imagine.
x
Never mind, though—
I have read Charlotte’s Web ten thousand times.
x
I can say every word of this book to myself,
sitting on the grass, leaning against the great elm tree.
x
I have opened the book again because
it pleases my fingers to caress each word.
x
(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
As I drive around Southern California, I have been listening to the audiobook, The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, written when she was just 22 years old.  It’s thrilling that a woman who couldn’t see or hear created and lived such a rich life. (When I looked her up in Wikipedia to read about her later years, I was floored at how much she gave back to the world. Amazing.)
x
At one point she talks about the first books she read as a child, running her fingers over the raised letters: “I read them over and over, until the words were so worn and pressed I could scarcely make them out.”

I was struck by the image of wearing down words. Later she exclaims, “How easy it is to fly on paper wings!”

Read /listen to this part of her book here.

Imagine living without vision and hearing.  What would that be like?

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I HEARD MY CAT CRY


April 1, 2011

I HEARD MY CAT CRY
by April Halprin Wayland
I heard my cat cry
on far-away fences
“This dog you adopted—
have you come to your senses​?”

“If you give him away
I’ll forgive your offenses,”
I heard my cat cry
on far-away fences

(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
x
The story behind the poem:
x
Last night I turned in another novel-in-poems.  Not to an editor this time, but to the eight students and my professor in my Master Class in Writing the Novel.
Deadlines are great and powerful…and I’m exhausted!

Of course my brain is mush.  I couldn’t come up with a topic for today’s first poem.

So I pulled out my old copy of The Scott, Foresman Anthology of Children’s Literature by Zena Sutherland and my long-time teacher and mentor, Myra Cohn Livingston looking for a poem for inspiration.  I wanted something short which I could imitate. I found the haunting, “I Heard a Bird” by Oliver Herford.
~
As I was starting to play with it, I heard our cat, Snot, crying out my window.  She is still wary of our new lanky, licky, too-tall teen-aged dog, Eli.
~
And the poem took shape. In a perfect world, I would not want the word “offenses” so close to the word “fences” at the end…they sound too much alike…but welcome to Poetry Month, where poems are raw and far from perfect!
~
Can you write your own poem based on the structure and rhyme scheme of Herford’s poem? Share it with us! (Pop over to my post on TeachingAuthors to learn how to “write” a book spine book!)

10 Responses to “I HEARD MY CAT CRY”

  1. As soon as I began reading, I heard those lovely familiar rhythms…and I love it! What a fun direction to take with this poem. It does take a while for pets to figure it out. Just today I found two (former enemy) cats sleeping in the same bed. Congratulations on finishing your novel-in-poems! A.

  2. April says:

    Oh, Amy–the cat has been stunned and angry that we had the audacity to get a young dog after our old pooch died! We’re working on it, though…

  3. LInda says:

    I love the poem and the story behind it. I’m looking forward to reading your poems each day.

  4. Ann Wagner says:

    Your cat’s name is Snot? What a hoot. Your lovely poem brought to mind the day I brought home a rescue dog, and our cat was–well let’s just say she was less than pleased.

    Thanks in advance for a poem a day. I look forward to each one.

    Ann Wagner

  5. Caren Stiffel says:

    I saw the sun rise
    On a morning in April
    A gift for my eyes
    And a spiritual thrill.

    The rest of the day
    Passed in lovely surprises
    I saw the sun rise
    On a morning in April.

  6. Caren Stiffel says:

    Need some help with this one April – don’t quite have the pattern there!

  7. Hannah Ruth Wilde says:

    “…cry on far-away fences…” seems like we all cry from far away, from some kind of fence that keeps us out…a place from which our hearts yearn…Ah well, melancholy loves company.

  8. Hannah Ruth Wilde says:

    Foghorn
    By Hannah Ruth Wilde

    I heard an alarm
    In the silence of morning
    A hideous sound
    But a true warning

    A ship hit ashore
    Wailed a sailor, foghorning
    I heard an alarm
    In the silence of morning

    I think there’s a better word than hideous. But, there’s a 10 minute poem. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Mary Lee says:

    If I need an idea for my poem-a-day this month, it looks like I’ll be able to come here to find it! Thanks! (off to work on an “I heard…” poem…

  10. April says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Linda, Ann, Caren and Hannah–and for sharing your own poems, Caren (!) and Hannah ~

    Ah, the pattern, Caren–always a challenge for me. Sometimes I’ll write out the pattern like this (small letter = rhyme):

    LINE ONE a
    LINE TWO b
    a
    b

    a
    b
    LINE ONE a
    LINE TWO b

    and then it’s a matter of slipping in my lines and counting the poetic beats…not easy, but fun!

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