Friday, April 20, 2018

ROOSTER and CHICK: Two Mask Poems




I seem to "default" to the mask poem whenever I begin writing a poetry collection. On Wednesday, I posted four mask poems about spring peepers from an unpublished seasonal collection titled VOICES ALL AROUND ME.
The following two mask poems are the first two verses from another unpublished collection titled FARM TALK, which contains poems written in the voices of farm animals, a few wild animals, and a farmer and his wife. Most of the poems are written in pairs--for example, a mare and her foal, cows and a bull, mother duck and her ducklings, rooster and chick.  

ROOSTER

Cock-a-doodle-doodle-do!
The sun is rising. You should too.
It’s time to wake and shake off night…
To welcome in the morning light.
It’s the dawn of a brand new day.
That’s something to crow about, I’d say!


CHICK

Listen!
Dad’s calling up the sun.
Wake up! Wake up, everyone!
Night is over. Day’s begun.

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My other postings from earlier this week:



Four Mask Poems about Spring Peepers

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Don't forget! I'm giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during April. All you have to do to qualify to have your named entered into next Sunday's drawing is to comment on one of the blogs that I posted during this third week of National Poetry Month (April 15-21). 

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Tabatha has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Four Mask Poems about Spring Peepers


I enjoy writing mask poems. It's especially fun taking on the personality of an animal that I have learned about and speaking in its voice.

 
One of my favorite books of animal mask poems is Marilyn Singer's TURTLE IN JULY, which was beautifully illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. In this book, Singer speaks in a different animal's voice each month--a deer in January, a barn owl in February, a bear in March, etc. She also speaks in the voice of a bullhead fish in each of the four seasons.


 
TURTLE IN JULY and Karla Kuskin's ANY ME I WANT TO BE are the two books that got me hooked on writing mask poems. Unfortunately, ANY ME I WANT TO BE is out of print. You might be able to find a used copy online.  I think TURTLE IN JULY is still  available in library binding. I highly recommend both books!

Last year, I worked on a collection of mask poems told in the voices of familiar animals and plants that takes readers through the cycle of a year. I wrote four poems about spring peepers--one for each season.
Listen to spring peepers at this link:


SPRING PEEPER IN SPRING

Awakened from my winter sleep
And ready to mate—I peep and peep
At night to woo a lady fair.
My heartfelt singing fills spring air.

Above this vernal pool I wait
And eagerly anticipate
That special someone who will be 
The perfect froggy gal for me!
 

SPRING PEEPERS IN SUMMER

The day we hatched from jellied eggs…
We looked like fish. We had no legs.
We breathed through gills. We had no lungs.
We didn’t have long sticky tongues.
We didn’t look like frogs…for sure.
But then we started to mature.
And day by day we changed and grew.
To tails and gills we bid adieu.
Now we have lungs and four fine limbs…
And we can croak
and jump
AND swim!
 

SPRING PEEPER IN FALL

Summer was fun—so full of flies,
Beetles, ants, and sunny skies,
Cricket song…warm, lazy nights,
Dew in the grass and other delights.

But…
Now it is time to find a space
Under a log—a snuggly place
Where I can hibernate till spring
When I will reawake and sing.

 
SPRING PEEPER IN WINTER

Quiet please.
Do not disturb.
Don’t jog this log
While I’m asleep.
I need to get a good long rest.
In spring, I must be at my best!

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Don't forget! I'm giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during April. All you have to do to qualify to have your named entered into next Sunday's drawing is to comment on one of the blogs that I posted during this third week of National Poetry Month (April 15-21). 

 

 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

THREE NIGHT POEMS FOR CHILDREN


I worked on a collection of night poems for weeks last year. I could never shape it into what I wanted it to be--even though I tried hard. Sometimes, when I try too hard, my poems seemed forced. I had to put the collection away. Maybe I will work on it again one day. Here are three poems from two different versions of my collection of bedtime poems:

END OF DAY

Sun slid down the western sky

as weary Day bid goodbye.

Then Dark crept in on velvet toes

after sleeping Night arose.



PICTURE WINDOW

My window frames a patch of sky
where I can watch stars passing by
and see the full moon’s beaming face
smile down on me from outer space.

 
CITY NIGHT
When sun has gone,
my city puts her jewels on--
a necklace of electric lights
that glitter and glow.
My city sparkles from head to toe!
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REMINDER: I am giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during National Poetry Month. I will collect the names of people who have commented on my blog posts each week in April and put them in a bag. Next Sunday, I will draw a name from the bag of someone who commented on a post that I published during the week of April 8-14.
Drawing dates: April 22, 29, 30.

 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Wild Rose Reader Looks Back: A Belated 80th Birthday Post for Lee Bennett Hopkins.


I had hoped to put together a special 80th birthday post for Lee Bennett Hopkins before I left for  Hattiesburg, Mississippi--but I got sick with a respiratory infection Easter weekend. I was keeping my fingers crossed that I'd get better by April 10th so I could accept my Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award at the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Literature Festival. Fortunately, I was fine by the day of my departure--but I never got around to whipping up a birthday post for Lee.

I decided today to post links to some of my previous blogs about Lee and his poetry books. I thought some of you might like to read them.



Here they are--in chronological order:

Party for a Poetry Man (2009)









Poetry for Little Ones: "Lullaby & Kisses Sweet" (2015)


HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, DEAR ONE!!!
 
 
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REMINDER: I am giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during National Poetry Month. I will collect the names of people who have commented on my blog posts each week in April and put them in a bag. Next Sunday, I will draw a name from the bag of someone who commented on a post that I published during the week of April 8-14.
Drawing dates: April 22, 29, 30.
 

 
 

And the Winner of THINGS TO DO for the Second Week of National Poetry Month Is...

 
The winner of a signed copy of my book THINGS TO DO is Robyn Hood Black. Congratulations, Robyn! Just email me your address and let me know how you would like me to inscribe the book.