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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 19


DOG EXPLORER ~ rough draft
by April Halprin Wayland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eli and Elsie meet 5-10-10 027

Explorer Eli has found something new…

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

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved


  1. Irene Latham says:

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

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

  3. Catherine says:

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

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

  5. April says:

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

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

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

    What a fun project! Thanks!

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

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

  9. April says:

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

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