Poetry Friday: “Last Autumn”

This poem was first shared on Oct. 25, 2013 – about a week or so after I returned home from my very first Highlights Foundation workshop. If you have never attended one, I highly encourage you to do so; they are as inspiring as they are educational.

I’m re-posting this poem today not only because we are approaching fall (the first day of autumn is one week from today!), but because I just learned this week that I will be attending my SECOND workshop next month – with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard. I’m so excited to see them, my Flashlight Night editor Rebecca Davis, and so many others who will be attending!

This poem was one of many inspired by my time there in Honesdale, PA. I hope you like it….

IMG_9185
photo courtesy of Pat Cooley

“Last Autumn”

Do you remember
when we almost got lost
down by the creek
near that old stone wall?
It all started with an apple.

One of us (I don’t recall)
had twisted the season’s last McIntosh
from a withered branch.  Sharing
small bites, we ate
all the way around
save for a dark blemish where something wild
and hungry
had gnawed its flesh.

Tossing the core deep into woods
we ran across the field
for no reason
other than to run
and laughed
for no reason
other than to laugh.

When we finally reached the creek
(were you first, or me?)
remember how we spent our time
dodging briars
walking the rocks
and making sure neither fell onto the slick
smooth stones beneath
the glassy current?
Table Rock, we called it, flat and mossy
under a beech tree rose
up to meet yellowing leaves
wind chimes
dancing
to a silent song.

I helped you onto the stone
or perhaps you helped me
and we sat there
talking of fish
and books
and apples
while the call of a lone wood thrush
made melody with the water.
For a time, we simply listened
because our ears wanted to
watched
because our eyes needed to
and before we knew, color had disappeared
from leaves,
the warm October breeze had cooled,
and Venus was peeking out
from behind pale sunglow.

Not sure how we had gotten there
but knowing enough to follow the creek
I helped you
or you helped me
down from the rock
and we wandered back
retracing steps
under trees, over stones
only this time
as friends
confidantes

conspirators.

And it all started with an apple.

Do you remember?

– © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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For all of today’s Poetry Friday happenings, please visit The Poem Farm, where my friend Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting the roundup. I also hope you’ll check out my review of the local state fair, where I work each Labor Day Weekend…between death-defying motorcycles and poop-emoji plush hats, it’s always a learning experience!

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


  (coming Sept. 25, 2018!)

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!

=========================================================

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 once or twice a week – usually 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!

Poetry Friday: “York Beach, August 2018”

I want to thank all the folks who visited my blog last weekend; I wasn’t around much, as my wife and I were celebrating our 10th anniversary in York Beach, Maine!

“Finds a vessel, tightly moored…”

Earlier this year we had discussed where to go – perhaps Cape Cod or New York City – but I suggested going to the same place we stay for a week with the kids every June. When my wife looked at me quizzically and asked, “are you SURE??” I replied, yes – because it would be a treat being able to enjoy York Beach as adults!

Believe me, I love my kids dearly…but I also longed for the opportunity to lay on the beach without keeping one eye open and visit shops that contain potentially breakable items. So we left Friday morning Aug. 10 and returned Sunday afternoon – a short little excursion – but enjoyed having the time to ourselves, even though the weather was less than cooperative.

And by “less than cooperative,” I mean it rained the entire time. Disappointing, yes, especially for someone like me who loves sunshine and hot weather…but we didn’t let it get us down. Heck, no, as Pete the Cat would say. Because it’s alllll good.

York Beach, August 2018

The day had finally arrived.
Kids at your sisters,
dogs with the sitter,
we set off through rain-slick streets
cramped with traffic, first-shifters and weekenders
looking to get an early start.

Fridays never used to be this busy.

So we sped and slowed
according to the flow
until we reached the highway, where we could park
and watch
the entire lot; rows of toy cars on an asphalt floor, waiting
to be gathered up by an 8-year-old.

For some reason, the radio
never occurred to us,
busy engaging in adult, parent-pleasures
rarely enjoyed:
complete sentences, uninterrupted thoughts,
unshared beverages.
Inch by inch, exit by exit, the herd
ambled along; plotting our departure, we crept
to the off-ramp, scarcely any others following our lead.

At the inn, we unloaded and unpacked, sea-mist breezes
salting our backs
and cheeks, dampening
clothes, hair, luggage under darkening skies. Peering
through plantation shades, clouds
shot pellets at glass
and unfortunate sunbathers, scurrying
like squirrels beneath a hawk.

We ate in. Nearly every day
it rained and all we could do
aside from a short jaunt downtown and inside a shop
or two, was spend our time talking, looking,
gazing, most often
from a horizontal view. Surrounded
by no one but ourselves, nothing but arms and legs to hold us together,
communication turned silent,
and our weekend washed away
more quickly
than we had ever imagined.

– © 2018 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

For more poetry, please visit Christie at Wondering and Wandering for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup along with some ornithophilous poetry! (and yes, that’s a real word!)

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


  (coming Sept. 25, 2018!)

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?)

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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!

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 once or twice a week – usually 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!

Poetry Friday, from the archives: My first Pinterest poem

I admit, it seems like an odd subject for a blog post…but hear me out.

While I was contemplating what poem to share today, I realized I hadn’t updated my Pinterest page in a couple of months – and I had shared a lot of news & poetry! So I began combing through my blog posts, making sure everything since late April (did I mention I was a bit behind?) had been pinned to my Writing/Poetry Board.

Out of curiosity, I thought I’d scan through my board to see if I could find the first poem I had pinned…and when I found it, I realized I had picked the poem I should share.

Originally posted on my blog May 17, 2013, the poem just felt right for today:
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Summer Frost
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It was unexpected.

Deep, deep in July, all humid, torrid,

when blushing Brandywines, full and ripe

hang heavy, tearing from their vines

and dragonflies dart between empty rows…
.

(you can read the poem in its entirety HERE)

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If you’d like to connect on Pinterest, I promise to try to keep myself updated! And for more poetry, be sure to head on over to My Juicy Little Universe, where Heidi Mordhorst is hosting Poetry Friday today with a review of Chicago’s Summer Poetry Teachers’ Institute and a poem she wrote following one of the sessions!

And by the way, if you’re in the New Hampshire area tomorrow (Sat., July 21), I’ll be at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, NH for a special Author’s Open House with Vermont author Jessie Haas! Starting at 2pm, we’ll be discussing publishing and marketing children’s books, read a couple of our own, and then hopefully sign a few. For more details, check out their web page HERE.

=========================================================

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


  (coming Sept. 25, 2018!)

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!

=========================================================

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 once or twice a week – usually 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!

National Poetry Month: Only FOUR DAYS left to enter “Poetry Cubed #5” and “Dinosaur” Giveaway!

Before we get to today’s poems, I want to encourage you to check out this past Tuesday’s post, in which I shared some 5th grade student poetry from a middle school in Redditch, England! For kids who have been struggling with literacy learning, I was so happy to learn how much they dove into this writing project, following a Skype visit I had with them earlier this year.

They should be very proud of themselves – not only for the writing itself, but for being willing to share their work with all my readers!

I also need to remind you that you only have FOUR DAYS left to enter my Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books) giveaway!

To celebrate the release of my newest picture book, I wanted to offer several opportunities to win copies. One way to win a copy of DAAD, signed by both me and my co-author, Deborah Bruss, is to simply share the news!

  1. Comment on THIS POST
  2. Share THIS POST via Facebook or Twitter
  3. Share my interview with illustrator Louie Chin
  4. Share the book trailer and activity sheets featured at Kate Narita’s blog
  5. Do all four!

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Each one of these counts as an entry, which means you could have as many as four entries…and if you add in the other 2 contests, that’s SIX different opportunities to win THREE copies! Just be sure to tag me when you share these links, so I can count you. I’ll draw ONE NAME at the end of the month. Good luck, and thank you!

Today, I have more “Poetry Cubed!” poems to share – and each one of them is also an opportunity to win!

If you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network, you know that chefs try to outdo each other by creating dishes using specific and sometimes rather strange ingredients. So for this contest, I’ve taken the premise of the TV show and applied it to poetry! Here’s how it works:

  • 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. Most importantly, remember: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading! This is about having fun and being creative!
    .
  • Include a reference to all three images in the one poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract. (And since this is poetry we’re talking about, we play fast and loose with this rule!)
    .
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month. Out of all poems submitted, one writer will be chosen at random to receive a personally-signed copy of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!

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

Today we have two more poems to share:
.

untitled cherita

after the celebration

birthday gifts sorted
thank-you cards await

in a shadowy corner
he shines his new lampe de poche
Merci, Mémé!” he whispers

– © 2018 Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

.
haiku

dark birthday surprise
clawed hand steers my shoulder-
saved by a light beam

– © 2018 Joyce Ray, all rights reserve

.

This time, instead of very different imagery, we have two poems both playing with the contract of light and dark – and both make specific references to birthdays. (By the way, a ‘cherita’ is a poem consisting of 1 line, then 2 lines, then 3 lines, and is usually narrative. Find out more about the form HERE)

One final poem – not at all like these! – from another reader who preferred to remain anonymous:

untitled

Hold the light; hands
scaly
and ancient search
dry earth
one more day

– anonymous

I’ll continue taking entries until the end of the month – which is THIS MONDAY – so send in your poems to Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com! Good luck!

The incredibly talented (and very busy!) Irene Latham is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Live Your Poem – where she also shares poetry and answers questions about her contributions to this year’s ARTSPEAK! project.

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The Dinosaur Tour blog tour continues all month and into May! My thanks to all these bloggers for their support:

April 6:       Michelle H. Barnes (Interview w/month-long writing prompt & GIVEAWAY!)
April 8:       Kate Narita (Book trailer & activity sheet spotlight)
April 11:     Deborah Kalb (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
April 13:     Yours Truly! (Interview w/illustrator Louie Chin)
April 16:     KidLit Exchange (Blog post re: process of illustration)
April 17:     Momma’s Bacon (DAAD review)
April 17:     Yours Truly(DAAD book birthday news AND GIVEAWAY!)
April 18:     Bonnie Ferrante (DAAD review)
April 19:     KidLit Exchange (DAAD review)

April 19:     Brenda Davis Harsham (DAAD micro review)
April 25:     Bonnie Ferrante (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
May 2:        Unleashing Readers (DAAD review)
May 30:      Bookseedstudio (DAAD review/interview) 

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DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR”
is now available everywhere!

This is going to be a busy weekend, with THREE APPEARANCES over two days – including a wild DOUBLE DINO DAY tomorrow, with author Sara Levine:

  • Sat., April 28, 10:30am: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sat., April 28, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sun., April 29, 2pm:  MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur, School People, and Flashlight Night reading/signing and discussion
  • Sat., May 5, 10am: Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 5, 1pm:  Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and Flashlight Night reading/signing
  • Sat., May 12, 11am:  Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Wed., May 15, 12pm: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People signing
  • Sat., May 19, 11:30am-3pm: Barnes & Noble, Salem, NH, National Storytime at 11am, followed by Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., June 2, 1-3pm: Books-A-Million, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing

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The 2018 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem!

A little seed is on an adventure…the 2018 Progressive Poem is underway! Here’s the list of all the writers/bloggers participating, so you can follow along:

April 1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

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Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!” 

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Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. 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?)

=========================================================

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!

Poetry Friday/National Poetry Month: A Dinosaur-sized interview/poetry prompt and “Poetry…Cubed!” First Entries

National Poetry Month is underway and there’s a lot going on here at the Triple-R Ranch: poetry, interviews, student writing, and a national book launch for my second picture book, among other things. First up, though: an interview with Michelle H. Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty!

At her blog today, Michelle is sharing the news about Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids), the picture book I’ve written with author Deborah Bruss. Deb and I had a lot of fun with her interview, and I encourage you to check it out HERE! (We also have a fun Ditty of the Month Challenge for you!)

Michelle’s blog post is also special in another way:  she is officially kicking off the “DINOSAUR TOUR” – a blog tour running throughout April and early May to celebrate this brand-new book! The complete list of blogs taking part in the DINOSAUR TOUR:

April 6:       Michelle H. Barnes (Interview w/month-long writing prompt)
April 8:       Kate Narita (Book trailer & activity sheet spotlight)
April 11:     Deborah Kalb (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
April 13:     Yours Truly! (Interview w/illustrator Louie Chin)
April 16:     KidLit Exchange (Blog post re: process of illustration)
April 17:     Momma’s Bacon (DAAD review)
April 17:     Yours Truly!  (I’ll be sharing a couple of spreads of the book right here – and gearing up for our National Book Launch that night in Cambridge, MA!)
April 18:     Bonnie Ferrante (DAAD review)
April 19:     Brenda Davis Harsham (DAAD micro review)
April 25:     Bonnie Ferrante (Interview w/Matt & Deb)
May 2:        Unleashing Readers (DAAD review)
TBD:           KidLit Exchange (DAAD review)
May 30:     Bookseedstudio (DAAD review/interview) 

I hope you’ll stop by these various blogs, as you’ll learn something new at each one, plus you’ll have multiple opportunities to win copies of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!

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“Poetry…Cubed! #5” entries are already pouring in!

Because a book launch does not make a person crazy-busy enough, I also thought National Poetry Month would be a good time to host another round of “Poetry…Cubed!” This time…with a little thematic element.

If you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network, you know that chefs try to outdo each other by creating dishes using specific and sometimes rather strange ingredients. So for this contest, I’ve taken the premise of the TV show and applied it to poetry – only without the bloody fingers and broken dreams. In case you’re new to this, here’s how it works:

  • 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. (Heck, I’ll accept a monoku, if you think you can do it!) But please remember: #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading! This is about having fun and being creative – unlike the “real” Chopped, which is all about skill, artistry, and a potential career-ending slip of the knife.
    .
  • Be sure to include a reference to all three images in the one poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract. (And since this is poetry we’re talking about, we play fast and loose with this rule!)
    .
  • Email your poem to me at Matt (at) MattForrest (dot) com and I’ll share them here throughout the month. Out of all poems submitted, one writer will be chosen at random to receive a personally-signed copy of Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!

Keep in mind, I can only format poems to a small degree – so please try to refrain from lots of unusual breaks and text placement. I’ll do my best to format your poem per your wishes, but WordPress will only allow me to do so much.

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

And yes…I’m indulging in a little shameless self-promotion with these – and the more you learn about Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), the more you’ll understand!

I’ve already had numerous entries come in since the contest began last Friday! Here are some of them:
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Poetry

An entry to the world of numbers and words
Praises that describe, adorn, paint the brain so faint with vivid imagination.
Songs and praises that take my mind to the edge of ecstacy
Like a drug

It is so easy to play with words like dies,
Cubic shapes with dots or numbers that determine a win or lose
In words of breath I relate
I sing
I recite
I rotate

In my right mind I write
My mind is poetry
The power of poetry is to free the mind to think as you like
The power of poetry is “Power- to the third Power”

Poetry is imagination
Poetry…

– © 2018 Sandile Dlamiini, all rights reserved
.

Best Cake Ever

It’s party day! So much to do.
Shopping, baking, cleaning, too.

Make “Best Cake Ever!”
(Take a nap?)
No! Don’t you have some gifts to wrap?

Almost ready.
Yikes! They’re here!
Socks away! Hallways clear!

Presents? Thank you!
Games and laughter.
Best Cake Ever?
Only after…

Candles… Wish…
A song for you.
Blow them out! Let’s feed this crew.

CRASH! STOMP! ROAR!
Flail about!
SCREAM! HIDE!
“Wait… and don’t come out.”

Grope in darkness. Find a light.
Friends afraid, “but we’re all right.”

Look for clues. The wall… the floor…
the hall… a TAIL beneath a door?!?!

Trembling fingers, breathless pause:

Caught!
In the act!
With frosting claws!!

Faint.

No, RUN AWAY!
No more party here today!!

Peace and quiet.
Kitchen free.

Must be time for cake and tea.

– © 2018 Savannah Rogers, all rights reserved

(NOTE: Savannah tells me her Mom was the culprit, wearing a realistic dino suit!)

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haiku

Frigid days clutch, claw
Snow clouds persist, block sun’s beams
Happy Midwest Spring!

– © 2018 Kimberly Hutmacher, all rights reserved

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Amazing how three simple images can conjure such different reactions, isn’t it?? That’s why I love this little contest I devised. Send me your response to this challenge, and I’ll enter you in the drawing, too!

For today’s complete poetry roundup, please visit my friend Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm, where she is hosting Poetry Friday with another sample of her Poetry Month Project: 1 Subject, 30 Ways!

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And in case you missed it…

I shared some 2nd-grader poetry earlier this week, written by students I visited at a local elementary school, and I also shared an interview an Australian ezine did with me, which they just published this week!

If you missed these posts, please check them out!

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The 2018 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem!

A little seed is about to go on an adventure! The 2018 Progressive Poem is underway, and here’s a list of all the writers/bloggers participating – so you can follow along:

April 1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

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SCHOOL PEOPLE are here…and the DINOSAURS are on their way!

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR hits bookshelves April 17!

New dates continue to be added to the Dinosaur Tour! Here’s the most up-to-date schedule:

  • Sat., April 14, 11am:  Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Sat., April 14, 2pm:  Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Tue., April 17, 7pm:  Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur Dual National Launch Party!! (with Holly Thompson, One Wave at a Time reading/signing/discussion)
  • Thur., April 26, 10:30am:  Pillsbury Free Library, Warner, NH, Dinosaur Storytime with Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People!
  • Sat., April 28, 10:30am: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., April 28, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sun., April 29, 2pm:  MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing and discussion
  • Sat., May 5, 10am: Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 5, 1pm:  Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 12, 11am:  Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Wed., May 16, 12pm: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People signing
  • Sat., May 19, 11:30am-3pm: Barnes & Noble, Salem, NH, National Storytime at 11am, followed by Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., June 2, 1-3pm: Books-A-Million, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing

=========================================================

Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!” 

=========================================================

Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. 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?)

=========================================================

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!

National Poetry Month 2018: 2nd-Graders discover poetry!

National Poetry Month is underway! To celebrate, I have quite a bit planned: an interview with Amy Losak about her late mother’s new children’s book H is for Haiku (Penny Candy Books, April 10, 2018); an interview with Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids, April 17, 2018) illustrator Louie Chin; Irene Latham’s 2018 Progressive Poem; and details about the “Dinosaur Tour” blog tour!

Today, I wanted to share a few poems written by some of the students at a local elementary school I visited a few weeks ago. After I read some of my published poems and spoke a little bit about what poetry is and why I enjoy writing it, I had them do some brainstorming with three images (which you may recognize from past “Poetry…Cubed!” contests!).

We talked about “re-naming” the objects, and what else the images might be or might represent, and then I departed – to let them work on their poems on their own. Here are the three images we used:
.

The kids really got into the brainstorming session – identifying images like the eye as “earth,” “marble,” and “curtains” (because of the lashes – how cool is that??) and the headlight as “glass,” “sparkle,” and “projector!” Here’s a sample of what these kids came up with…The Earth you know it
by your planet, the Sun
gives light. Our world
is a projector of life.

– Liam

 


Clouds cover the sky like a blanket.
The sky becomes gloomy and the wind blows
almost like it’s a bunch
of leaves flowing.

– Linnea

Sunset sunset, in the night,
sometimes you shine so, so bright.
A starry sky will come so soon,
I can’t wait for me tomorrow
to come up and bloom.

– Tucker

I am asleep, the sunset
down quiet and still in my tomb.
I will wake up, I know, I know.
So Much Z’s, we, we, we.
So much to dream at bedtime
for us. Good night.

– Walker

.
Don’t you love the styles and voices these kids are displaying? We start out with a little prose poetry from Liam, move on to some pastoral free verse from Linnea, Tucker goes for the rhyming verse, and Walker wraps it up with some deep introspection, likening his bed to a tomb! (Come on, that’s brilliant!)

I love seeing young kids thinking like this, stretching their creative muscles, and having fun doing it! My thanks to the students’ teacher, Ms. Smith, and the second grade team for hosting me, and I look forward to visiting them again.

By the way, if you are interested in having me visit your school to chat with the students about writing, poetry, and getting them to use their brains (all while keeping my presentations  aligned with Common Core Anchor Standards for Writing 3, 4, or 5!), please let me know! Email me at matt (at) mattforrest (dot) com and we can discuss rates and dates and times, oh my.

As for the Progressive Poem I mentioned earlier, a seed has awoken! To follow along with the story, here’s a list of all the folks who are participating – including Yours Truly:

April 1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

Be sure to join me THIS FRIDAY as I share the first of this month’s Poetry…Cubed! entries, and I’ll also be sharing the link to the FIRST STOP on our DINOSAUR TOUR blog tour! (It’s going to be fun – and there’s a Challenge that goes along with it!)

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SCHOOL PEOPLE are here…and the DINOSAURS are on their way!

DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR hits bookshelves April 17!

New dates continue to be added to the Dinosaur Tour! Here’s the most up-to-date schedule:

  • Sat., April 14, 11am:  Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Sat., April 14, 2pm:  Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH, (Children’s Author Day with illustrator Ryan O’Rourke AND Local Book Launch for Don’t Ask a Dinosaur!)
  • Tue., April 17, 7pm:  Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur Dual National Launch Party!! (with Holly Thompson, One Wave at a Time reading/signing/discussion)
  • Thur., April 26, 10:30am:  Pillsbury Free Library, Warner, NH, Dinosaur Storytime with Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People!
  • Sat., April 28, 10:30am: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., April 28, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur reading/signing (with Sara Levine, Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones reading/signing)
  • Sun., April 29, 2pm:  MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing and discussion
  • Sat., May 5, 10am: Barnes & Noble, Burlington, MADon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 5, 1pm:  Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., May 12, 11am:  Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NHDon’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Wed., May 16, 12pm: Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People signing
  • Sat., May 19, 11:30am-3pm: Barnes & Noble, Salem, NH, National Storytime at 11am, followed by Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing
  • Sat., June 2, 1-3pm: Books-A-Million, Concord, NH, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and School People reading/signing

=========================================================

Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!” 

=========================================================

Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. 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?)

=========================================================

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!

Poetry Friday: Things to believe in

Earlier this week, as I contemplated what to share for today’s post, I wondered what I should write; something positive, something thoughtful, something funny? Then it occurred to me…I’d already written it!

Last Friday, at Jama’s Alphabet Soup, Jama Rattigan was celebrating her last blog post of the year by asking readers to share a few lines about what they believe in. Folks left a variety of comments, paragraphs, and in a few cases what I’d term prose poetry – listing (quite beautifully) everything from dogs, grass, and ocean waves to the power of words and the spirit of Christmas.

As I thought about it, it seemed to me that sometimes the smallest things in the world can be the most important. So as I wrote down my thoughts, I realized they were – unsurprisingly – written in the form of a poem. I shared my thoughts on her blog, but I felt I should share them here, as well.

Keep in mind, this is not polished – it’s a mere 15-20 minutes of thought and words, so it’s not perfect, but I still felt like it was worth posting:

Little Things

I believe in the power and majesty
of little things;
a grain of sand, spiderweb strand,
one solitary snowflake
alighting on my coat.
I believe in the triumph
of good over evil,
love over heartbreak,
time over wounds.
And I believe all the world
owes its existence to a God
who deemed it necessary
that the living place of humankind
should be more beautiful than ugly,
more loving that hate-filled,
and smaller
than we think it is.

– © 2017, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

I welcome your thoughts! What do YOU believe in? How does that help you deal with life’s frustrations? And on this “almost-eve” of the world’s most important birthday celebration, how do you find peace in your own little part of the Earth?

My friend, writer/blogger Buffy Silverman, is hosting Poetry Friday today at Buffy’s Blog, with a poem about enjoying Christmas day with eggrolls and movies – stop by her blog and you’ll see why!

=========================================================

Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

I’ve teamed up with the good folks MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH to present an option for people who would love to have a signed copy of one of my books but don’t live anywhere near me. MainStreet BookEnds has ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personalized!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. 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 so much to all who have enjoyed “Flashlight Night” enough to write about it:

========================================================

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!

Poetry Friday: “The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2016” AND a new way to purchase my children’s books!

You know how sometimes you get caught up doing one thing, and your focus prevents you from paying attention to everything else going on around you? Well, that happened to me a few weeks ago.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, friend and fellow children’s writer/blogger Michelle H. Barnes officially released her new poetry anthology, The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2016! And even though I helped select some of the poems (and even had two poems of my own included), I completely neglected to tell anyone! How much of a  schmuck does that make me, huh?

You see, I was in the middle of our #PoetryCubed challenge which we wrapped up last week, and it was only after I had announced our winner, Patty Richardson, that I realized my oversight. So let’s make amends right now, shall we?

Congratulations, Michelle!

Michelle’s latest collection features 75 “Ditty of the Month Challenge” poems – that is, poems which were written in response to various prompts by such highly regarded children’s poets as Jane Yolen, David Harrison, Kenn Nesbitt, and many others, all of whom had been guests on her blog.

Her first anthology of blog-inspired poems, The Best of Today’s Little Ditty 2014-2015, came out last year, so the fact that she had enough quality poems in just one year for another full-length book shows the level (as well as volume!) of writing one can find on her blog.

So the two poems I’m going to share today are one of mine that you can find in the book, and the other is one of my favorites from the book, written by Michelle herself. First, my response to the challenge of writing about something “small.” While some folks opted to write about insects, sand, and that sort of thing, I went…smaller:
.

Little(r) Things

Atoms, photons, bosons, quarks
have baffled many a scholar;
the more we see, the more we learn
there’s always something smaller.

– © 2017, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

.
The other poem I wanted to spotlight today is this, which was Michelle’s response to a challenge to write about unlikely heroes – and a pigeon named Cher Ami definitely fit that description:

Cher Ami

If you were exchanged
for an ordinary pigeon
who fattens on white bread
and small bits of French fry,
if your iridescence was hidden
in the shade of an easy life,
then no one would know
your name, Cher Ami.

And somewhere in the world,
soldiers’ lives would be lost
because you were not there
to carry their hopes—
the weight dangling
on a bullet-shattered leg.

No one would know
your name, Cher Ami,
the burden you carried,
the pain that you bore,
as you rose like a Phoenix
though this wasn’t your war,
because you, like them,
just wanted to go home.

– © 2017, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, all rights reserved

.
Congratulations to Michelle and everyone who had poems included! If you’re a fan of poetry – and not just children’s poetry, but poetry in general – I encourage you to pick up a copy. It’s truly amazing to see the vastly different reactions and responses writers had to each of these challenges.

I also encourage you to visit Steps & Staircases, where you’ll find today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, which includes a touching, powerful poem about grief which was inspired, in part, by…a Monopoly game piece. And of course, you’ll also find all of today’s poetry links, so please stop in!

 (ALSO: Please make a note to remind yourself to stop by here on Friday, Dec. 15, as I’ll be hosting a little online holiday party for everyone who loves children’s poetry!

This is a little shindig that David L. Harrison, Joy Acey, and I started at David’s blog a few years ago, and we decided that perhaps it might be fun to move the party around from venue to venue…so this year, it’s moving from David’s place to my little home on the web right here. We’ll have lots of food and conversation, possibly a game or two, and hopefully plenty of poetry! I look forward to welcoming you. That’s Dec. 15 – all day long! – right here at the ol’ Triple-R.)

=========================================================

Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

In other news:  there’s a new way to purchase personalized signed copies of not only Flashlight Night, but ANY of my books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

My good friends at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH, a local, well-loved independent book store, have teamed up to present a very cool option for folks who don’t live anywhere near me, but still would like to have a signed copy of one of my books. They have ALL but one of my books available for ordering…and the best part is, you can get them personally signed!

Just log onto my website HERE and click the cover of whichever book you want, and they will get it to me to sign and send it off to you. 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?)

=========================================================

WHAT ARE FOLKS SAYING ABOUT “FLASHLIGHT NIGHT”?

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!

Poetry Friday: More #PoetryCubed entries AND we have a winner!

I’m so excited I have more #PoetryCubed! entries to share today! We have a winner to announce, book signing news, and a special Flashlight Night review from Jan at Bookseed Studio!

First up: #PoetryCubed! On The Food Network show “Chopped!“, chefs battle each other by creating dishes using specific, and sometimes odd, ingredients. For example, contestants might have to create appetizers using radicchio, bologna, and kumquats, and then turn around and come up with entrees using prawns, pork belly, and Cheez Wiz.

For #PoetryCubed!, I’ve taken the premise of the TV show and applied it to poetry – but without the 20-minute time limit and broken dreams:

  • Using the 3 images below as inspiratio, readers were asked to write a poem. (1 poem, to the 3rd power – “cubed!”)
    .
  • The poem could be any form, any genre, any number of lines, rhyming or not. And most importantly…it didn’t have to be very good! This was about having fun and stimulating a few brain cells; remember, #WriteLikeNoOneIsReading.
    .
  • The only hitch is that a reference to all three images in the poem needed to be included – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.
    .
  • Out of all the poems submitted, one lucky writer would 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):

    

.

Today we have two poems to round out the challenge. First up is Kay McGriff, whose title alone begs a person to read…

The Ghosts of Art

Headlights slash
flickering shadows
through the trees
to glitter against
the metal skeletons
whirling in the wind.
Whimsical sculptures
sprinkle light
with twirling blades
to shine a beacon
for unwary drivers
rounding the fateful curve
where no one really died.
But still the screams
echo from the backseat
as we chase a ghost
who only lived in legend.

– © 2017, Kay Jernigan McGriff, all rights reserved

.

And finally, we have something from my former Highlights Foundation workshop attendee, Lind Baie, who used the lighthouse image as a springboard to draw in the other images:

Lighthouse Home

Headlights show the final stop–
Miss Matilda’s Pastry Shop
where powdered sugar in the air
leaves tastes of home before we’re there.
Load gifts and sweets on a skiff that waits
for Mom and Pop, our Christmas date.

– © 2017, Linda Baie, all rights reserved

.

I have to say, these three images have been quite inspiring for a lot of people! I started things off with a senryu, but we’ve also had haikus & rhyming poems, poems about vegetables, chocolate, and submarines, and even poems about hangovers, Christmas cookies, and the souls of the dead. I encourage you to click these links and read all the different perspectives and angles that our blog followers have embraced – all based on these three simple photos.

But out of all these poems, only one name could be chosen at random, and that name is…

PATTY RICHARDSON!!

Congratulations, Patty! (Patty told me she’s never entered this sort of challenge before, so I’m glad her leap of faith paid off!) A signed copy of Flashlight Night will be in the mail and headed her way very soon…and thank you to everyone who took part!

=========================================================

Speaking of Flashlight Night, Jan Godown Annino is sharing a review of my book at her Bookseed Studio blog today – and it appears she enjoyed it! She asked illustrator Fred Koehler and me to share a little childhood background; where we grew up, what we did, how our young experiences helped create this little adventure we call Flashlight Night. I do hope you check out her post!

I also encourage you to visit Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup.

Will there be cookies? Oh, yes!!

(ALSO: Please make a note to remind yourself to stop by here on Friday, Dec. 15, as I’ll be hosting a little online holiday party for everyone who loves children’s poetry!

This is a little shindig that David L. Harrison, Joy Acey, and I started at David’s blog a few years ago, and we decided that perhaps it might be fun to move the party around from venue to venue…so this year, it’s moving from David’s place to my little home on the web right here. We’ll have lots of food and conversation, possibly a game or two, and hopefully plenty of poetry! I look forward to welcoming you. That’s Dec. 15 – all day long! – right here at the ol’ Triple-R.)

=========================================================

The “Flashlight Night” road tour continues!

Here’s my latest schedule – and yes, this weekend is going to be a BUSY one:

  • Dec. 2, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA (Children’s Author Book Panel)
  • Dec. 3, 1pm: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH (Signing & Book Fair)
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed): Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH
  • (early 2018): Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH

I’ll continue revising this as dates are added or times are changed…so please check my FB page for any last-minute updates!

=========================================================

WHAT ARE FOLKS SAYING ABOUT “FLASHLIGHT NIGHT”?

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!

Poetry Friday: New York Public Library news AND #PoetryCubed challenge continues with FIVE new poems!

Jane Yolen. Margarita Engle. Laura Purdie Salas. Nikki Grimes.

Me.

What do all these folks have in common? They all have books selected by the NY Public Library as one of the Best Books of 2017!

No one is more shocked than Yours Truly that my name is on a list that includes the names of those first four amazing folks. But I’m so happy that the NY Public Library loved Flashlight Night enough to include it – it’s quite an honor! If you want to see the complete list, click HERE.

I’m also pretty excited that Flashlight Night is now #3 on Amazon’s list of Best Selling children’s books about Libraries & Reading:

Thomas the Train, Llama Llama, and a little ol’ book called Flashlight Night…pretty cool, I have to say! So thank you, if you have purchased a copy!

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In other news, #PoetryCubed has returned! This is an opportunity to have some fun writing – and possibly win a signed copy of Flashlight Night! And if you’ve ever seen “Chopped!” on The Food Network, then you already know how this works…

#PoetryCubed is based on the TV show, where chefs compete by creating dishes using specific – and sometimes outlandish – ingredients. (Feel free to check out this post for a more detailed explanation)

For #PoetryCubed!, I’ve applied the premise of the TV show to poetry! Here’s how it works:

  • 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):

    

This week we’ll start off with something from Heidi Mordhorst, who somehow managed to fit all three images into a 4-line list poem – while attending the NCTE CONFERENCE this weekend in Missouri:
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beacons in the darkness:
mariner’s lighthouse
traveler’s headlights
hangover’s cure

– © 2017 Heidi Mordhorst, all rights reserved

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Thank you, Heidi! Now get back to those workshops!

Our second entry comes from Brenda Davis Harsham, who gets extra credit (but, alas, no extra contest entries) for including Flashlight Night in her poem:

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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?

– © 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham, all rights reserved

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Next up is Kathy Mazurowski…with another haiku! It’s so great to see folks getting so much imagery into just 3 lines:
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Quaint island cottage
sparkles in clear sunshine, but
spotlight on pastries.
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– © 2017 Kathleen Mazurowski, all rights reserved

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Longtime blog follower and fellow Highlights workshop alum Karen Eastlund shared the following thoughtful scene…

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Afternoon on Rainy Lake

The haze brought a sense of the surreal
The world in shades of gray
Yet infused by light
The sun glazed
The surface of the water
Warping and distorting with each new wave

Far away
On a small rocky outcrop
A social gathering
Gulls, pelicans, geese
I could hear their raucous calls
Inviting me

I floated out
Entranced by the birds
Their colorless bodies
Just above water’s surface
Winging to and fro
Like souls of the dead

Such a sense of calm
Wonderful and eerie
The great flapping birds
The sun
The rocky shore
The lake itself, huge and lapping
All mysteriously bathed
In silvery light
A confection of nature
Delicious
Tranquil
Beauty

– © 2017 Karen Eastlund, all rights reserved
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And last but not least, our friend from Down Under, children’s author Sally Murphy, shares her response to the challenge:
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Late night quest
To slay sugar cravings.
Headlights search for an open store
Stop!
Bakery sign
Like a beacon
On a stormy sea.

– © 2017 Sally Murphy, all rights reserved

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A bakery is like a beacon on a stormy sea…truer words never spoken, Sally!

The Poetry Friday roundup can be found at Carol’s Corner today, so try to shake off that Thanksgiving turkey coma and enjoy all the poetry links and fun!

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The “Flashlight Night” road tour continues!

If you’re wondering where I’ll be and when I’ll be there, here’s my updated schedule – and yes, next weekend is going to be BUSY:

  • Dec. 2, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, Peabody, MA
  • Dec. 3, 11am: Barnes & Noble, Newington, NH
  • (soon-to-be-confirmed): Concord Hospital Gift Shop, Concord, NH
  • (early 2018): Barnes & Noble, Nashua, NH

I’ll continue revising this as dates are added or times are changed…so please check my FB page for any last-minute updates!

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WHAT ARE FOLKS SAYING ABOUT “FLASHLIGHT NIGHT”?

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

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