Thursday, March 28, 2024

we weather it

How-dee, how-do?  Cardinal and I are back with the promised pantoum (and not much else), to play along with the Poetry Sisters.  Thanks to them for inviting all of us to join in their hijinks, and thanks to a certain someone for making sure I didn't post the first misguided version of this challenging challenge!

The revision help I got has me thinking once again--especially with the news about the Lee Bennett Hopkins award for THE WONDER HOUSE going to the duo of Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard--about how we poets ought to be outright collab'ing like the pop musicians out there, riffing and mixing and remixing our poems. In fact there are some places that specialize in that: and one other I saw that I can't find now.

Your thoughts on poems/collections by more than one person?

Thanks to Tricia for hosting us today at The Miss Rumphius Effect.  Can't wait to enjoy the pantoumery!

Friday, March 22, 2024

color like sound - an animal pantoum

Greetings from the land of cherry blossoms! No, I'm not in Japan, but here in the DC area, this time of year is cherry blossom time, and in many neighborhoods nearer than the Jefferson Memorial Boat Basin downtown, swathes of ornamental cherries are doing their thing.

Twenty-five years ago we took our brand new little April Fool, baby Daisy, on her first outing--to the Kenwood neighborhood in Bethesda, MD, where the very grand houses stand on streets lined with some very "ancient" cherry trees. I've checked, and as I remember the weather was pleasantly warm that Easter week, rising to 85* on April 8.  (I note also with great surprise that the clocks changed on April 4 that year, and not 3 weeks earlier on March 9 as this year.  Who decided that, and when?!)  The photo of this event that I carry in my mind is not easily available, but an annual family outing to Kenwood became tradition.  

Yesterday evening Fiona and I squeezed in this year's outing, just the two empty-nexters of us, in unsuitably dark clothing, because after a gorgeous, too-early week of warm spring last week, the temps yesterday were in the blustery 40's, although sunny.  Yes, the cherry blossoms peaked a full 3 weeks earlier this year than 25 years ago. It seems my children's lifespans coincide with the peak of the  Anthropocene, and this is the evidence.

What does any of this have to do with the Poetry Sisters' pantoum challenge for today? [uploads Tanita's graphic]






Friends, if ever there was evidence that I'm now fully into a new era of life, this is it.  I am AHEAD of a schedule, instead of coming right up against a deadline in a planfully last-minute kind of way, which is how I have organized my time and many activities for the last approximately 40 years.

Please raise a glass with me, because change is good. You will have to wait for my cardinal pantoum until next week (bad news for you; good news for me bc I don't feel like it was quite ready!), and settle today for these: the Kenwood cherry blossom poem and video from PUMPKIN BUTTERFLY.

Thanking Rose for hosting us today at Imagine the Possibilities, and hoping she and her birds will return next week for the cardinal poem!

Friday, March 15, 2024

reintroducing *WHISPERshout Poetry Magazine*

Greetings, poetry people! This week my climate post is swerving slightly to highlight new poems by kids published at WHISPERshout Poetry Magazine.  I started this online journal about a year ago and I believe it's the only magazine in the US publishing work by the youngest kids ages 4-12. Often I can include accompanying artwork or photos of the kids.

I really thought it was a vast untapped opportunity for teachers, librarians, homeschoolers and freelancers like me to guide their young poets towards--kids love to see their work "published" in some form, just like we do!  But I've been surprised that it has been so hard to get submissions; I thought the word would spread more easily.  Still, I've been able to publish at least one issue per month, since there's no shortage of interesting poetry coming out of my own workshops with kids. (Thanks here to Margaret Simon, who has frequently shared poems written by her students.) Maybe I don't know how to use social media well enough to make it work!

In Jan/Feb, I ran two "Weather Words" workshops in which we mixed drama and poetry, acting out BARTHOLOMEW AND THE OOBLECK and writing weather poetry (although of course You Are the Boss of Your Poem and I would never insist that you write only weather poems!). March's first issue of WHISPERshout Poetry Magazine features seven of the poems written during these workshops.

With thanks to our host Tanita (fellow March bday celebrator) and a request to all of you to share the magazine far and wide, below I introduce you to a sample of the next generation of poets and their storm of weather poems. Go read! Comment! Help a young poet submit!

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