Poetry Friday: “Baking Day”

Boy, this remote-schooling business just sucks every brain cell outta you.

All week long, I’ve been trying to find time to put together today’s post – but keep getting sidetracked with Chromebook issues, missing links, and a variety of other problems only a stay-at-home parent with two remote-schooled kids would have the privilege of dealing with. So I no sooner get my poem completed and start organizing my post, when I realize…it’s September 11.

I feel I should recognize the importance of the day with something other than a tanka about baking cookies with my mom.

But honestly, I think given the current political climate, all of us in the U.S. recognize the importance of how we want our government to operate and our officials to behave – and while I’d never want to experience 9/11 again (I was on the radio at the time, and that entire week was an emotional and physical blur, between all the news feeds, interviews, and updates we were providing on-air), I do wish we could return to our nation’s overall collective civility in the days immediately following.

Pipe dreams, alas.

So for today, I am offering a tanka about my childhood. Ultimately, I suppose both 9/11 and baking with mom highlight the important things in our lives:  love, family, security. I never learned a great deal about cooking from my mother – who is nearly 90 and in hospice care – but she certainly instilled in me a love for it. And for that, I’m grateful.

(click to enlarge)

Since I celebrated my father’s birthday a few weeks ago with a poem for him, I felt I should probably do the same for mom. I hope she likes it when I show her next week.

In other news, I was surprised – and grateful – that Eerdmans Books for Young Readers is using a video I recorded to promote the upcoming Lee Bennett Hopkins anthology, Night Wishes, across their social media!

We’ll have a proper book birthday celebration right here next week, when I host Poetry Friday! For now, if you’re looking for more poetry, Kiesha Shepard is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Whispers from the Ridge with a spotlight on poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. If you don’t think you’ve ever heard of him, you are at least likely familiar with the famous line from his poem, “Sympathy: “I know why the caged bird sings.” (Now you’re thinking, “Wait, isn’t that a Maya Angelou poem?” And you would be wrong.)

Did you know that Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme is one of the TOP 20 children’s poetry blogs, according to FEEDSPOT? That’s right – I’m scratching my head, too! FEEDSPOT is an app that allows you to combine all your favorite news feeds, podcasts, YouTube channels, etc. into ONE newsletter. Be sure to check it out!


I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.


Coming Sept. 15, 2020!

Coming Spring 2021! Pre-orders are available:.


What is Talkabook? Details coming soon!


I’ve teamed up with several other children’s authors to promote our upcoming books this year – and there are a LOT of them! Here’s what you can look forward to seeing this month:


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, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!


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!

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10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Baking Day”

  1. Love the video — looking forward to your Night Wishes celebration next week. Of course I love “Baking Day,” and like you, wistfully wish for more civil, secure times. Your mom will love the poem :).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lindabaie

    It is a day like no other in our lives and perhaps just right to celebrate the little things for which we are so grateful, baking day & new poetry! It’s also a dear grandmother’s birthday, so remembering her, too. I love “wide molasses smile”, Matt.


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