Thursday, January 31, 2013

Poetry Friday, Tea with Monkey, and Seasons...

Howdy, Campers! Welcome to Poetry Friday at TeachingAuthors!

Please add your link to Mr. Linky below and then say a bit about your poetry post in our comments.
Thank you kindly.

Now, pull up a comfy chair and have a cuppa tea with me.

Monkey is having a cup of tea...

...and reading poetry.  Join him. 

We TeachingAuthors have been discussing our writing routines...or lack of them.  Carmela kicked it off, posting about being "writerly" even without a regular writing routine.   Mary Ann talks frankly about an untidy schedule while she's the caregiver of two family members (I can relate!); Jill wonders if routine can save the day (and shows us the quilt she made), and Jeanne Marie knows exactly what will fall by the wayside so that her writing gets done.  In between, both Jeanne Marie and Esther posted Wednesday Writing Workouts, a new TeachingAuthor feature.

For me, writing routines are seasonal--as in the seasons in one's life.  The routines I stick to in this season of my life (sans kid, with a husband who works many hours) are: 1) romp the dog twice a day, 2) exercise, and 3) write a poem a day.  I send my best friend Bruce Balan an original poem each day and he sends one of his back.  (Last night his poem informed me that as of December 26th I had written 1000 poems!)

I just finished working on a nine-month political campaign; it was wonderful having one purpose, one thing to strive for.  And when my husband was in the hospital in November, that, too, gave me a single purpose.  But right now, I am teaching, writing, critiquing, taking care of 92-year-old Uncle Davie.

Despite my routines, I'm in the hallway of unopened doors...
by April Halprin Wayland

In this hall of fear and doubt,
open a door and let me out.

Hear that eerie violin?
Unlock a door and bring me in!

Spirit, goddess, hear my prayer
any door will do, I swear!

What? A door at hallway's end
opens, through it sunlight bends?

I am running to escape
thank you for the door-sized gape!

Whoa! This place is way too squarish…
might I view a room less garish?

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

In which season of life are you?
What?  No more tea?  
No, Monkey, but luckily there's more Poetry below...
I'm visiting as many of our wonderful kidlitosphere poets as I possibly can (starting right below these three lines), but please also check the Mr. Linky links far, far below AND the comments to see who's posted what...
Renee Latulippe is the first one in with a catnap poem for two voices, reminding me of this form and encouraging, instructing and inspiring us to write more!

Charles Ghigna--aka Father Goose--is in with Valentine Poems, teaching us how to write his four-line If You Were poems.  Charles also links to a comic book, and his book of love poems for adults!

Jama of Alphabet Soup jumps in celebrating Langston Hughes' 111th birthday (happy birthday, LH--let the rain kiss you ~) with poems (including, appropriately enough for Jama, Hughes' poem titled, "Dinner Guest: Me") and foodie tidbits, of course!

Laura Shovan's post at Author Amok unveils the Academy of American Poets' 2013 postcard-themed National Poetry Month poster and shares a kitten-and-hot-pink-gloves poem based on a postcard--(I love her comment about Poetry Friday's icon: "Army green is so last year, but Poetry Friday is always in style.")
Catherine Johnson's in with her poem, "Anne of Green Gables meets Lady Shalott"...I love her line,
"hair spilling over like seaweed"
Laura Salas shares an elf poem translated from the Danish.  I wish I'd imagined this itty bitty man and his pockets packed with mice!  Laura also, as always, challenges us to write a 15 Words or Less poem, this one about her photo of a glass ceiling.
Diane Mayr, of Random Noodling joins in with a link to an article by author Anita Diamant, about Richard Blanco's poem for the inauguration and how our poetry and our times have and have not changed (note this quote about poetry by Anita Diamant);  Diane also offers us two short videos of a Richard Blanco interview--what riches!
Diane, in her other guise as Kurious Kitty, recently read an article on memorizing poetry, which reminded her of the poem she memorized long ago: Rudyard Kipling's "If".  I particularly love these lines: "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/And treat those two impostors just the same"...
Feeling a little lonely or the need to get away and BE alone?  Check out these snippets of poems on solitude at the Write Sisters' blog.
And...oh, my goodness...I completely forgot about Groundhog's Day!  Luckily, Amy, aka Mrs. Merrill, reminds us with this Groundhog's Day Poem ~
Violet Nesdoly's in with an original fog poem and photo...I love when she says fog finally "weakens under/distant globe/like consciousness/after a coma/colour seeps back/into earth-corpse..."
Dash over to Robyn Hood Black's blog for the metaphor of doors and books and see her glorious collage of a book-door! 
Tamera Will Wissinger, like Laura Shovan, loves the Academy of American Poet's poster for National Poetry Month and has an interesting interpretation of its design.
Joy Acey teaches us how to write a Minute Poem, and then shares her own, "Moon Minute" (try writing your own Minute Poem--I did)...

...and Matt Forrest shares an original mud pies poem (yum!)

At Supratentorial (look up the definition--I did), Alice and her kids are reading and memorizing poems about colors from the classic, Hailstones and Halibut Bones
At Fuse #8, Elizabeth Bird reviews Jack Prelutsky's Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems.  Jack once again smashes two words together to come up with new animals; illustrator Carin Berger's shadow box pictures are out of this world (stay for the 2:09 minute video tour of Carin's studio). 
Tara, at a Teaching Life also writes about memorizing poems, sharing a 2:59 NPR story about "Poetry by Heart" in the U.K, a poem she memorized in fourth grade, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson himself saying his poem.
Our dear Linda at TeacherDance helps us say good-bye to January with Wallace Stevens' "The Snow Man".

Margaret, of Reflections on the Teche opens pages of the new edition of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and the ensuing discussion triggers students' idiom poems.
Fats Suela from Gathering Books shares one of the amazing reverso poems from Marilyn Singer's Cybil-award winning book, Mirror, Mirror.  Have you ever tried to write a reverso?  SO HARD!!! 
Amy at The Poem Farm has written a wonderful poem about meeting someone who you feel so connected to it's as if you've known them for years.  And she has great news regarding Mr. J. Patrick Lewis and her soon-to-be-published book, FOREST HAS A SONG--woo-woo! 
Greg Pincus of GottaBook is in, of course.  He's always concise and always he ties us in knots!
And M.M. Socks (aka Alvaro Salinas Jr.) has the hiccups in his post's poem.
Tabatha Yeatts on her perch at The Opposite of Indifference shares five short Richard Brautigan poems; some are mind-blowing...
Mary Lee, at A Year of Reading, shares a wonderfully concise poem about getting into a writing rut or losing one's focus.
Doraine Bennet, at Dori Reads shares an incredibly personal original poem about a stillborn child.  Sharing grief--or any difficult emotion--is an act of generosity.
Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat. shares Robert Service's "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" which she recites around the fire on camping trips.  I'd heard of it but never read it all the way through. Thanks, Katya!
Bridget Magee at wee words for wee ones posts an original poem a day.  For Poetry Friday she writes about that song that will not stop singing in your head.  Yes, that one.
Liz Steinglass, who also writes a poem a day, shares two original silly poems, "The Sparrow at the Store" and "The Secret of the Cat."
Andromeda Jazmon Sibley, of wrung sponge, reviews Joyce Carol Thomas' new book, The Land of Milk and Honey
Steve Peterson at inside the dog considers, in his original poem, the testing his 8 and 9-year old students are facing and isn't sure whether to accept it or not...
Bright light in our poetry universe, Sylvia Vardell always has good news at Poetry for Children ...
...while Sylvia teams with author/poet Janet Wong in their Poetry Friday Anthology blog--a poem a week is all they ask!
Little Willow offers a poem from The Australian Girl ...
...while Ed DeCaria at Think, Kid, Think! is calling all classrooms to pick words with which to torture the participating poets in March Madness.  (The application deadline for poets has passed.)
Lorie Ann Grover gives us a brother and sister haiku.  Why not try writing your own?
MsMac at Check it Out writes a tender poem about when to say good-bye to her old dog, inspired by a William Stafford poem.
Janet Squires' posts at All About the Books are short and to the point.  Wish I had that skill!
Kort's family at One Deep Drawer has good news: baby #3!  She posts (HOW CAN SHE POST?!?! SHE JUST HAD A BABY!!!) a poem by Christina Rossetti and photos of her three chicks...congrats, Kort!



Renee LaTulippe said...

Hi, April, thanks for hosting! I love the "door-sized gape" and would like to see a few of them myself. :)

Today I have an original poem for two voices called "The Catnap," a video of same, and a bit of gabbing about writing for vocab-controlled readers.

jama said...

I love Monkey and am delighted to join him (and you) for tea :).

I'm celebrating the 111th birthday of Langston Hughes at Alphabet Soup with a couple of poems and foodie tidbits (my link goes live at 6 a.m. EST).

Your poem reminds me a little of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Here's to the gradual opening of more doors :). Thanks so much for hosting this week.

Charles Ghigna said...

Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday! We’re offering a trio of Valentine treats today, two for kids and one for grownups.

Valentine poems for kids at the FATHER GOOSE Blog

A comic book for healthy young lungs at the GOAL MIND blog

Valentine love poems for adults at the BALD EGO blog

Author Amok said...

Hi, April. The hallway of unopened doors evoked a dream-state for me. Great poem, especially the twist at the end. Isn't it funny how we sometimes want change and then feel overwhelmed when it comes?

The National Poetry Month Poster was unveiled this week and it has postcards! Since postcards are in fashion, I'm sharing a fashion-themed vintage postcard (#21) and accompanying poem. said...

Cute monkey! Thanks for hosting today, April. That poem is therapeutic, thanks for sharing it. Can't wait to read all these.

I have one I wrote during Month of Poetry with Kat Apel.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Love the tension you build, with a bit of a light-hearted ending! Nice contrast.

laurasalas said...

Thanks for hosting, April--I love that sunlight bending and your whimsical ending!

I'm in with "The Elf," from Little Bitty Man, which is Danish poems translated by Marilyn Nelson and Pamela Espeland. I'm kind of in awe that they translated these and came out with such good rhyme and meter. What a puzzle that must be to do!

I'm the season of almost being an empty-nester, with our youngest a senior in high school. We do a lot of family caretaking, though, know how that goes. Will be interesting to see how life and my writing and our routines change next year when both our kids have flown the coop! Every new season is an exciting one. It's why we moved from Fla. to Minn. 23 years ago. Who wants the same old weather (or life) endlessly?

laurasalas said...

Oops, sorry: here's the link:

And 15 Words or Less poems are at


Diane Mayr said...

April, good luck in finding the right door!

All my posts will be up after midnight. I forgot to put a little description for my Random Noodling post--it's a link to an Anita Diamant article, and, two short videos of a Richard Blanco interview.

Mrs. Merrill said...

Hello! Thank you for hosting today's round-up! Today at Mrs. Merrill's Book Break, I am sharing an old, favorite Groundhog's Day poem.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Thank you for hosting, April! Delighted to share that my post is all about doors today, too! (With an Irish brogue, so I'll be raisin' a cuppa Irish tea to Monkey.)

Same life point as Laura [the Purdie Salas one ;0)] - our youngest is a senior and it will soon be a new season for us.

Robyn Hood Black said...

And, also like Laura, I forgot the link:
(But it looks happily snug up there in Mr. Linky.)

Tamera Will Wissinger said...

Hi April,

Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday! I love seeing your poetry monkey, and your poem reminds me of a recurring dream I used to have when I was in college. Wishing you an open door to a pleasant locale. At The Writer’s Whimsy I’m gushing about the Academy of American Poets’ recently released National Poetry Month poster designed by Jessica Helfand. It’s very cool and retro.

Thanks again, and happy Poetry Friday -


Joy said...

April, Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday. How exciting to join you and Monkey for a cup of tea and a read on this first day of February.

I'm writing a minute poem for today about the awesome full moon I saw earlier this week at

This poem MOON MINUTE, will be up at midnight PST, and you can also check the abecedarians and the nonsense poem from earlier this week, if you aren't a regular reader.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting.

I wrote about Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’Neill.

Linda B said...

Your poem seems to "speak" to everyone, April. Love the poem; it's all jittery, which is the way I feel, waiting to see what else goes on the never-ending list among selling my old house, making the new house home, work, and play (what's that-not sure). I need to run out a door, & the one with sunlight sounds wonderful. Thanks much for hosting!

Margaret Simon said...

Thanks for hosting today. I am joining in with a lesson on idioms using The Chronicles of Harris Burdick and a student's poem.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Thanks for hosting today, April. I wish I could take the class you are teaching! I loved the way your poem began so gravely and then closed so lightheartedly.

Fats Suela from Gathering Books said...

Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday this week, April. Love Monkey. Tea and poetry seem like a perfect pair, indeed. I enjoyed your poem very much. I like the first two lines, and that part where it said:

"Spirit, goddess, hear my prayer
any door will do, I swear!"

My Poetry Friday offering is called "Longing for Beauty" - a poem taken from Marilyn Singer's classic poetry collection, Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verses.

Thanks again for hosting and sharing your lovely poem. =)

Amy LV said...

Dear April, Your hallway is full of love, and I send you perfect-door-opening-thoughts as you keep reaching and wondering. I'll be returning to this metaphor again in my head, to be sure.

Today at The Poem Farm I have a little free verse poem about that feeling you get when you meet someone new...who doesn't feel new at all.

Thank you for hosting! xo, a.

Amy LV said...

Dear April, Your hallway is full of love, and I send you perfect-door-opening-thoughts as you keep reaching and wondering. I'll be returning to this metaphor again in my head, to be sure.

Today at The Poem Farm I have a little free verse poem about that feeling you get when you meet someone new...who doesn't feel new at all.

Thank you for hosting! xo, a.

Violet N. said...

Thanks so much for hosting, April! I love this place with its multitude of doors, its tea monkey and the delicious spread of poetry links. My poem is about fog, called "fog" and I left it with Mr. Linky at the back door.

Violet N.

Greg Pincus said...

Thanks for hosting (and having the Patience to do so!).

I'm in today with an original ditty about the method I used to tie my shoes.... Cuz, like, I can!

Tabatha said...

Hi April! Thank you for hosting! You're doing great :-) Like the others, I enjoyed your poem and all its moods. "Squarish" is a fun word!

Today I share poems by Richard Brautigan:

Doraine said...

Thanks for hosting, April. Love that hallway of unopened doors. I am walking down an old hallway as I recount an old loss, but the process is opening new doors already.

Bridget Magee said...

Hi April, Thank you for hosting PF this week! We love tea, monkeys, and poetry in our house - the perfect combination. And your poem "Patience" is just what I needed to read this morning. Thank you! =)

Liz Steinglass said...

I've been feeling so gray, I decided I needed to find my inner silliness. I've posted two silly animal poems.
Thanks for hosting, and happy Poetry Friday!

Steve Peterson said...

Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday. I'm in this week with a poem about acceptance, plus a little chatter about standardized testing and young children. 'Tis the season in our school, which has gotten me thinking about the things I accept and don't accept (as well as a bit out of sorts.)

I can't tell if Mr. Linky is working or not, so here's a link:

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, dear April! Thanks for hosting and for your always-wonderful poems. I've posted at my blog (about the recent awards) and at the PFA blog about Eileen Spinelli's poem about bullying. Take care! Sylvia

Little Willow said...

Thanks for hosting! I posted a poem from a land down under today at Bildungsroman.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you for hosting! We appreciate it. Happy Poetry Friday!

Karen Edmisten said...

Hi, April.
I seem to be in a season of constantly changing seasons. :)

I have some Mary Oliver today, as well as a little John Updike, and also the beauty that is a murmuration of starlings.

Thanks for hosting!

Anonymous said... writing season, that's a great question. I think it's a bridging season: finishing my teaching carreer (five more years and establishing a writing career as well).It inspires me that you write a poem a day. Thanks for hosting.

Janet S. said...

Thanks for hosting.
My selection is "Ring of Earth" by Jane Yolen with illustrations by John Wallner.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you all for coming, for sharing your links, for commenting!

Life has gotten in the way and I haven't visited every link...but I look forward to touching down and enjoying your riches soon!


April Halprin Wayland said...

P.S: A day after I first posted this, I retitled the poem. It was originally called "Patience" but I think a better title is "Between"...

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you all for coming to Monkey's poetry tea!