Friday, March 31, 2017

My Month of Wild Adventure and a Poem

Konnichiwa, Campers! Happy Poetry Friday and Happy nearly National Poetry Month! PF link and my own poem are below. have 'til the end of today to enter our giveaway! Details below.

We TeachingAuthors are excited that National Poetry Month begins on April 1st! (And I'm busily stretching my neck, preparing to turn my head a gazillion times an hour for the next 30 days, thinking someone is calling my name.)

Lately, as those of you who follow this blog may remember, I've been in a questioning mode about my writing life. So I set out on an adventure--to take a step back--without much Wi-Fi, social media, voice mail, phone calls or text. To be honest, most of that wasn't on purpose--most of it was because Wi-Fi was spotty at best and I was so busy doing outside stuff I had no time at the end of the day except to write my poem and fall into bed, happily exhausted.

I spent two weeks hiking in New Zealand:
So much many miles of trails ~
and then two weeks in Japan with my dear friends, author Bruce Balan and his wife, Alene. They live on their cherry red trimaran, Migration, which takes its name from Bruce's first picture book, The Cherry Migration. They've lived on her for 12 years, sailing around the world.

Bruce and I were invited to speak at two schools in Japan: Marist Brothers International School and Fukuoka International School.

In we go!

Fukuoka International School: Best. Library Door. Ever.

Lucky, lucky me!
My notes before meeting  Bruce and Alene's friends for dinner...
a new language and new names ~

Sugoi! (= wow!) I'm still glowing. I don't have any conclusions yet...but here's the poem I sent Bruce last night--and below it is the backstory. (We love the backstory of each other's poems).


"Can't," says Ant.

"Just try," says Fly.

"Why?" asked Trout.

"I'll cry," says Ant.

"Defy," says Fly.

"Won't die," says Trout.

"No," weeps Ant.

"Move slow," says Fly.

"Have a go," says Trout.

"Freak out!" screams Ant.

"Don't doubt," says Fly.

"Find out," says Trout.

"Find out?" asks Ant.

So Fly 

helped Ant

just try.

And Trout

helped Ant

find out. 

And Ant?

Didn't die.

poem © 2017 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

Backstory: Today I heard an actor talk about roles that scare him. He says yes to them to find out if he can do them or not. He said, "What's the worst that can happen—I find out that I can't." Wow. I hope I can be less attached to the outcome when I write. For now, I am inspired by the words FIND OUT.

Maybe I can do find out if I can do it. That feels something easy, no big deal, as if I'm taking a little kid's hand and leading her to the playground so we can both try the slide, just to find out if it's scary.


Okay, Campers...what are you most afraid of doing? Write a poem about it (and share it with us if you're feeling brave) for National Poetry Month.

And if you're reading this on Friday, you still have time to enter our giveaway for a chance to win Matt Bird's The Secret of ends tonight, March 31, 2017.

Thank you, dear Amy LV of The Poem Farm, for hosting Poetry Friday!

posted guiltily (for including too many photos) by April Halprin Wayland, with help from her happy hiker's feet!

Ahhhhh....the half-way point of one of our longest hikes in New Zealand


jan godown annino said...

No guilt needed, April

Every photo speaks to me. I especially love that Best. Library. Door.
And seeing the peaceful ocean cat, Migration.

The encouragement of Ant , Fly, Trout (unlikely pals!) is fun.


Irene Latham said...

April, I love those happy hiking feet! And the wisdom and encouragement here... yes, the worst thing that can happen is we find out we can't...and what if we find out we CAN? And what a treasure, friends who can help you through the struggles. I look forward to learning more about your adventures... yay for cherry red! xo

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

April, I am so jealous! New Zealand and a shiny red boat. Happy school visit, wonderful encouraging poem, and Sugoi, yay!

Linda B said...

Wow, a month away, April. The trip sounds like one to fill you up for a long time. I think the poem needs printing out and pinning by my desk! It's nice to receive the encouragement from you. My daughter and son-ino-law know a couple who are also sailing around the world, have been for years. Like your friends, it's great to imagine what wonders they have seen. Thanks for sharing all!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

I love all the photos, April--especially seeing you in them! And your poem hits the spot. I've been thinking like Ant a lot lately. Maybe I need an adventure, too!

Amy LV said...

I am hugging every single word and image here. Thank you for your wise poem, friend. I could not be happier that you had this wondrous trip. Lucky students! Now, go do some neck exercises. APRIL! APRIL! APRIL! xxoo

author amok said...

What a great post, April. You've had quite an adventure. That library door is a poem in itself.

I always remember William Stafford's words from an interview with poet Robert Bly. Stafford famously wrote every day and Bly asked him (I'm paraphrasing!) "What if you're not so great that day?" Stafford replied, "Then I lower my standards." That makes me smile.

Linda said...

I enjoyed reading about your adventure, April! I think we all occasionally need to give ourselves some space so we can figure out how to move forward. I am taking on a huge (for me) challenge for the NPM. I'm more like Ant, but I'm trying to stretch a little more lately. Thanks for this inspiring post!

jama said...

What a grand adventure! Sailing around the world on a shiny red boat sounds like the stuff of movies -- glad you got to spend time with your dear friends. Looks like a fun time in Japan too. Thanks for the uplifting poem and Happy Birthday Month! (I'd send you an avalanche of raisins if I could . . .) :)

Bridget Magee said...

So glad we got to 'find out' about your adventures and that fun poem, April! Thank you for sharing. =)

BJ Lee said...

Sounds like such a marvelous adventure,April! That sailboat reminds me that sometimes we are in the dreaded doldrums or sometimes cruising along with our keel in the deep waters.

Kay said...

Thank you for sharing from your adventures. They sound amazing--and I love that library door. I think your poem has wise advice--just try. I love the attitude of doing something to see if you can and what's the worst that can happen. So much of your post echoes what I'm reading in Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic right now.

Leigh Anne Eck said...

Sometimes I think days without social media/wifi would be a wonderful thing! Time with nature, paper, and pen sure could put things in perspective. What fun adventures you have had. Looking forward to keeping my eye on poetry this month.

Linda Mitchell said...

Fabulous! every word, every photo is full of positive energy. Thank you for sharing such a rich experience and what an poem! It's fun and instructive all at the same time. I'm going to have to use it as a mentor text. Love it!

Anonymous said...

What an incredible adventure! That hiking trail looks so inviting, and I'm copying that library door! Thank you for your wise poem and advice. Taking risks and FINDING OUT isn't always easy for me, so I appreciate the nudge. Happy Poetry Month!

Carol Varsalona said...

April, your adventures amaze me. You are finding out the secrets of life with your awesome travels. the last photo would make a great addition to my next gallery (springtime). When I post the announcement, I hope you consider sending it along with a poem.

Ruth said...

There's so much to love in this post! Thank you for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

"Can't" is a truly fun poem, and I'm glad Fly and Trout helped Ant out too! Sounds like you've been on a wonderful journey, I've a couple very close friends who live in Japan, and I hope to make it there one day.

Mary Lee said...

Love that poem! I think I have all three of those characters shouting in my brain!!

Bobbi Miller said...

What an amazing, inspirational discussion. Thank YOU, April!

Alice Nine said...

April, love reading about your adventures... but really love "Can't" It is a keeper that I will definitely share with the young students I work with. When I was in second grade, my teacher would have the whole class heave "Can't" out our school room window if she heard anyone say his name. The school was a old building with high ceilings and windows that went to the ceiling. We were on the first floor but it felt like the second floor because of the partial daylight basement. I vividly remember being in so impressed with all of us standing by those windows and throwing the imaginary "Can't" out of our room. Miss Rice was an incredible woman and teacher.

Carmela Martino said...

April, thanks for this glimpse into your amazing adventure! Hugs to you, my friend.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Jan! Irene! Brenda! Linda B! JoAnn! Amy LV! Laura Shovan! Linda! Jama! Bridget! BJ Lee! Kay! Leigh Ann! Mitchell Linda! ReadingToTheCore! Carol! Ruth! MoreArtForAll! Mary Lee! Bobbi! Alice! Carmela! A thousand apologies for not responding to your marvelous comments until now.

Laura, thanks for writing, "I always remember William Stafford's words from an interview with poet Robert Bly. Stafford famously wrote every day and Bly asked him (I'm paraphrasing!) "What if you're not so great that day?" Stafford replied, 'Then I lower my standards.'" ...that makes me smile, too.

Mary Lee ~ Me, too...all three of them--Ant, Fly and Trout are in my brain talking all at the same time...!

Alice Nine...THAT is a picture book! Please write it! What a terrific teacher ~

All: I'm glad that that library door will be copied far and wide...