Poetry Friday: Rhyme Revolution interview & more #PoetryCubed responses!

Ah, yes…#PoetryCubed has returned, and lots of folks are getting into the action! If you’d like to try win a signed copy of Flashlight Night, I hope you’ll consider joining us on this little writing challenge.

#PoetryCubed is based on the TV show “Chopped!” on The Food Network, where chefs compete by creating dishes using specific – and sometimes outlandish – ingredients. (Feel free to check out this previous post for details) For #PoetryCubed, I’ve applied the premise of the TV show…to writing:

  • Use the 3 images below as inspiration to write a poem. (1 poem, to the 3rd power – “cubed!”)
  • The poem can be any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. And most importantly…it also doesn’t have to be very good! This is about having fun, so no pressure allowed! Remember my mantra: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading.
  • Make sure you include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month of November. Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky writer will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press), just in time for holiday gift-giving!

Here are the three images (click on any to enlarge):


The first week, I started the ball rolling with a senryu; last week, author Deb Bruss responded with a haiku. This week, we kick things off with another haiku – this time, from author/illustrator Michelle Kogan:

artificial light
illuminates empty isles
powdery palate.

– © 2017 Michelle Kogan, all rights reserved


Next up is a poem by Patty Richardson, who has never entered #PoetryCubed  before, but responded to the challenge mightily with 8 – count ’em, 8! – stanzas! Way to go, Patty!

My secret….

As I approached the lighthouse
To avoid being heard or seen,
I dimmed my headlights, turned off the engine
Then reached for a Krispy Kreme.
My wife was waiting patiently,
Dinner had been prepared
The last thing she would appreciate
Would be my interest in this eclair.
I savored every morsel ,
Licked my fingers to the bone
There’s nothing like powdered sugar
Atop a fresh baked,  chocolate scone.
Brocolli awaits me,
Along with brussel sprouts and kale
I won’t let on that I’ve faltered
I’ll avoid getting up on the scale.
Chocolate is my weakness,
Forget the collard greens,
Give me a brownie a l mode
And a scoop of ….that fresh whipped cream.
What she doesn’t know,  won’t hurt her
I’ll keep this secret to myself
I’ll finish my veggies and smoothie
Then ask for a  serving of kelp.
She certainly does mean well
And I know I need to control
This sugar habit I’ve developed
And the lies that I have blatantly told.
Gotta kick the habit,
Go cold turkey,  just like that….
Give up my sugary addiction
Give up those sugary snacks!

– © 2017 Patty Richardson, all rights reserved


Last but not least, we have a poem from the Haiku Queen herself, Diane Mayr, who shares this engaging little scene from her youth:


Submarine Race Watching
Parked at the marina
headlights out
we barely noted
the revolving lighthouse
beam in the bay.
The race’s end
signaled by a light
wielded by an officer
sporting a kiss
of powdered sugar.
– © 2017 Diane Mayr, all rights reserved
I love how so many different poems have come from so many different aspects of these images! I hope you’ll consider entering #PoetryCubed – and please remember, it’s not about how awesome or polished it is, the important thing is that it gets written, period. So send me your poem and I’ll share it here throughout the month!

By the way, Jane Whittingham (better known as The Rain City Librarian) is hosting Poetry Friday today for the very first time – so head on over to her blog for all of the day’s poetry links and hi-jinks!


“FLASHLIGHT NIGHT” makes a Top 10 list!

I was so happy to learn that Flashlight Night is now one of only 10 books now in consideration for the 2017 Best in Rhyme Award, handed out by Angie Karcher and the folks involved with Rhyme Revolution!

One of the judges, Deborah Williams, recently interviewed me about the book, my career path so far, and what’s on the horizon…and if you are so inclined, you can read the complete interview HERE!

Although it’s not possible to be everywhere at once, I certainly can’t be accused of not making the effort! If you’re wondering where to find me on this crazy journey, here’s my latest schedule:

  • Nov. 18, 3pm: Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH (“Local Authors Open House”)
  • Dec. 2, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA
  • Dec. 3, 11am: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed: Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH



Thank you so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The verse is incantatory…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed” – School Library Journal

An old fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure” – The Horn Book

“[Esenwine and Koehler] don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – Booklist

“Favorably recalls Where the Wild Things Are” – Shelf Awareness

“Readers, you must share ‘Flashlight Night’…as often as you can” – Margie Myers-Culver, Librarian’s Quest

“Begs to be read over and over” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

“A poetic and engaging journey” – Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian In Cute Shoes

“Illuminates the power of imagination” – Kellee Moye, Unleashing Readers

“Readers will be inspired to…create their own journey” – Alyson Beecher, Kidlit Frenzy

“Beautiful words and stunning illustrations” – Jason Lewis, 5th grade teacher at Tyngsboro Elementary School, Tyngsboro, MA


Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)
Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

22 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Rhyme Revolution interview & more #PoetryCubed responses!

  1. Wonderful collection of poems created from your pics Matt. And I agree, what fun that they are all from different perspectives. I like Diane’s
    “sporting a kiss
    of powdered sugar.”
    And the sugary story that evolved from Patty’s poem.


  2. lindabaie

    I’m working on it, Matt! What marvelous perspectives your pictures have brought, from Michelle’s new look on light to Patty’s list of delightful ‘no-nos’ and then Diane’s ocean scene of a race I didn’t know existed! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  3. Hey, Matt! Stopped by the Boyds Mills booth here at NCTE and found your Flashlight Night front and center! Here’s my Poetry Cubed response:

    beacons in the darkness:
    mariner’s lighthouse
    traveler’s headlights
    hangover’s cure


  4. I like the way the poems accumulate, like the Christmas cookies do, baking more and more until the eating starts. My mind combined your three images with your book reviews, inevitably, because they are all together here. That led me to a this idea:

    Flashlight Finds

    Some use their lights to find truth,
    reading under blankets, riding word kites,
    or they escape pain along dark shores,
    down dark roads, disappearing in the night,
    but I search for something else, magic and mighty.
    Peanut blossoms, snickerdoodles, tea cakes,
    sugar cookies, gingerbread girls, lemon curls:
    the Christmas baking was finished tonight.
    I know they are hidden, but I follow my nose.
    Round, frosted, powdery, they are my
    truth, my escape, my forbidden treat.
    Who wants to stray far from home
    when Christmas smells so sweet?


  5. Pingback: Poetry Friday: More #PoetryCubed entries AND we have a winner! – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.