Friday, April 29, 2016

Final Poem in Your Pocket for Poetry Month 2016

Howdy Campers! was your Poetry Month?  We TeachingAuthors celebrated our 7th (!) Blogiversary (with a book giveaway--details in that link).

Mine was a blur of activity because my new Passover picture book came out, I'm teaching this quarter, and there were a gazillion other things I was going to tell you but that I can't actually remember right now. But they were important. And they were right here a minute ago...

Photo of me from
Poetry Month is ending for me this weekend in a cheerful house by a dreamy creek with a bit of yoga. That, right there, is a poem, don't you think?

Although Poem in Your Pocket Day was officially April 21st this year, I'm offering one more to close out this delicious month.

I was looking through bird poems I've written, and this one made me want to tap dance. And I am not a tap dancer.

So here's my tap dancing thank you to every bird in the Kidlitosphere-and-beyond who've splashed into this poetry pond intending to stay only a minute or two...and who have now built cheerful homes here.

A Kidlitosphere Poetry Friday selfie

by April Halprin Wayland

There's a sound crows make when they gather in a crowd.
It's a woody kind of note and it's not very loud

like knuckles that are rapping on the front porch door
or a tap dancer tapping on the cracked dance floor.

When one crow makes it, the whole crowd stops.
I wonder what it means, this woodland knock?

There's a hawk in the clouds? There's a hunter on the ground?
I watch them and I practice, teach my tongue to make that sound.

Listen—I can do it! Now my mouth knows how to knock.I'm a smooth feathered bird-- I can talk crow talk.

poem (c) 2016 by April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

This is actually true: I know one word in crow.      

And another thing that's true: you still have time to enter TeachingAuthor's 7th Blogiversary Giveaway to win the newest edition of  Carmela Martino's new edition of  Rosa, Sola (which got a starred review in BookList)! Read all about it and enter our giveaway here.

Thank you for hosting PF today, Buffy!

posted by April Halprin Wayland, tick-tock-clocking with her tongue


Carmela Martino said...

Love your poem, April. Maybe you can teach me to Crow Talk, too. :-)

Jane Heitman Healy said...

I love this poem and think you have captured at least one dialect of crow talk, April. I often try to imitate the birds I hear on my walks, with not good results!

Linda B said...

I have seen crows protect smaller birds when a hawk was circling, so your line about those hawks spoke "crow truth", April. I love watching crows. They seem clever, like your tap-dancing poem! What a great month for you with your book coming out!

Brenda Harsham said...

Crows are mighty clever birds. What do they do when you knock?

Buffy Silverman said...

I love your crow talk--And that you are busy with new book stuff and teaching!

Susan J Berger said...

Wonderful poem. Love the rhythm of it. And very apt for me as I just finished re-reading Tricksters Choice by Tamora Pierce which has a lot about crow language. I am going to walk around with your rhythm in my head today.

jama said...

You're right -- your poem is definitely a toe tapper! I do love crows, such intelligent birds. Thanks for a fun post :).

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

Crow Talk is delightful!
Congrats on the release of More Than Enough!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, all, for posting comments! I took a long break after Poetry Month--in the woods by a creek. Ahhh!

To those who want to learn my word of crow: it's in the poem. It's that tick-tock sound you can make with your tongue against the roof of your mouth. It sound like you're knocking on wood. Try it when you walk under a tree with a crow cawing above you. They stop. They listen. They wonder where the danger is I have warned them of.

Crows are my very favorite animal of all. I was about eleven, and a family that ran a gas station by a highway had a pet crow. When we stopped for gas, they introduced this beautiful, intelligent, playful bird to us. If I could have married that crow, I would have. It was very similar to young girls going horse crazy, I think. I was imprinted.