Poetry Friday: “October Daybreak”

(click to enlarge)

You may have seen this photo a week or so ago when I shared it on Instagram and Facebook…I took it around 6:30 one morning as the sun was just starting to break through the trees that line the field across the road from our house. I loved watching the ebb and flow of the dense fog, as if it was my own personal cloud. I knew at some point I’d have to write a poem about it.

Today, I did!

And by the way, I’m very excited to share the news that I’ll be one of the authors Boyds Mills & Kane is sponsoring for one of their tables at the NCTE Conference’s Children’s Book Awards Luncheon next month! This year is my first attending The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference, so I’m thrilled to not only be able to go, but to be able to represent Flashlight Night‘s publisher.

And the day before the luncheon, I’ll be presenting a poetry-focused workshop with authors and educators Laura Purdie Salas, Liz Steinglass, Heidi Mordhorst, and Mary Lee Hahn – so you can imagine how eager I am to hang out in my birth city of Baltimore with so many writer and teacher friends!

For today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, head over to Karen Edmisten’s blog , where she is also celebrating October with a poem by Helen Hunt Jackson.

Very proud to be a first-round judge in the CYBILS Poetry category, once again!


Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


You can purchase personalized signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018), and nearly ALL of the books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!


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30 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “October Daybreak”

  1. Matt, this image is inspiring. I can see why you wanted to create an image poem with it. I look forward to meeting you at #NCTE. What day and time are you presenting at #NCTE? I may be presenting at the same time but I would still like to meet up with you.


  2. Jane Heitman Healy

    Good morning, Matt. I am just now looking at a scene similar to the one above. Your poem captures the action just right. Congrats on your NCTE activities. Wish I could be at the poetry presentation. That is one powerful poetry panel!


  3. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    A lovely poem for such a captivating photo, Matt. Have fun at NCTE—it sounds like it’s going to be an amazing time!


  4. Oh Matt! What a beautiful, well breathed poem. Thank you so much for sharing. On our trip west, I took a photo that I know will show up in a poem. It was a flash was we drove by this amazing mist covered mountain. What a way to start my day! First with David Harrison’s Death of Summer, and now your beautiful poem!


    1. Thanks so much, Heidi! I wrestled with including that last line, as I wasn’t sure if it worked with the rest of the poem, but decided to keep it because I felt it gave the poem more depth. Can’t wait to meet my fellow presenters in person at NCTE!


  5. Kay Mcgriff

    Lovely photo and poem, Matt. I’ve enjoyed watching the fog and sunrise play on my commute the past few weeks. Enjoy NCTE. It sounds fabulous!


  6. Matt: I was lucky enough to attend a retreat at Boyd’s Mills Barn last weekend, led by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard. Fabulous! I know you will have a grand time at NCTE. Enjoy! And… yes, another lovely poem. The picture is so atmospheric… I like the idea of your own private cloud.


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