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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is Eli. Pronounced eeee-lye.

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

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

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

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


April 26

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

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

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

and here’s today’s rough draft:

CA ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

2010 May Eli

I’m on a short leash in my sobriety…

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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