Friday, April 5, 2024



Howdy, Campers ~ Happy Poetry Friday and Happy Poetry Month! (poet Joan Bransfield Graham kindly sent me that article)

Many of you may remember that our beloved 14-year-old dog, Eli died last October.  It hit Kitty hard. She wouldn't sleep in our bedroom. She didn't purr for two weeks.

Although Eli was a large dog, our empty house reminded me of a poem I wrote when my mom's dog died:  


Opening the front door,
there is no small sound of clicking nails
on the wooden floor
no bright eyes
no jumping, dancing dog.             

I have opened a pomegranate
and found no ruby seeds --
only this

published in Cricket Magazine November, 1999

Last week, we felt ready for a new dog. We knew exactly what we wanted: a cat-friendly, submissive dog, about a year old. NOT a puppy. 

we got two out of the three.  

Introducing four month-old Sadie, who fills our lives with laughter and whose puppiness creeps into most of my poems these days--hence, the title of today's post. 


I began writing a poem a day on April 1, 2010 and I've been writing one a day ever since. Today I'm offering you a few dog poems I wrote during Poetry Month 2013. (Keep in mind they're Ruff Drafts.)

You can read them all here:

Here are a four, just for you:

by April Halprin Wayland


Trust me. You don’t want your dog
spinning in circles
wondering who's calling his name.

And do NOT name your child after a month.
Trust me.
I have whiplash for thirty days every spring.

by April Halprin Wayland

I would take you
just you…

Well, you
and the usual zoo:

our tortoise and frog and our noodle-brain dog
and the cat that purrs if I can find her

and Mom’s grand piano, my scarf from Berlin
Dad’s old typewriter, my violin

and you.

by April Halprin Wayland

At this moment,
Tom is either
Mr. Cook, second grade teacher,
or God.

In the dust of the park,
five dogs sit tightly around Tom,
who is standing,
holding a dried chicken chip,
as if it were a gold medallion.

Pick me, pick me, pick me,
they seem to be saying,
like second graders,
waving their bare arms in the air.

If I sit up the straightest,
he will give it to me,
they seem to be saying,
noses held high,
backs straight,
tails up, wagging wildly.

Or perhaps they are worshipping,
praying with all their might
to the tall guy
who holds the answer to everything.


by April Halprin Wayland

Sniff, o, sniff—what glorious fumes
coats the world beyond these rooms?

You with your pens and their feathery plumes—
sit ’round the table in your conference rooms

but I have a calling beyond these doors
to the tang and the stink at the wild waves’ shores

while you’re puzzling over lines of ink,
I’ll be rolling in things that stink!

I’ll catch the tang of a porcupine’s trail,
decoding flavors that tell a tale.

You find words, I’ll follow vapors
I’ll bound through meadows, you plough your papers.

As your new poem begins to speak
I’ll uncover a treasure that reeks!


National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the American Academy of Poets.

Here are two events for your edification:

April 9, 2024 9am PST…I’m the guest speaker in Poetry Month at Rebecca Gold’s Yogic Writing Circle I’ll speak for 30 minutes with a Q & A at the end. Each session includes a daily writing circle, Tuesday and Thursday co-writing sessions, and monthly guest speakers. Sign up on her website. Rebecca is an amazing teacher; I HIGHLY recommend her newest book, From Your Mat to Your Memoir.

April 13, 2024 11:30am PST…FREE Adult Poetry Writing Workshop. How to Put WOW in Your Poetry (Don't you want to know what WOW stands for?!?) We'll play with words and have time for writing and sharing. Chances are, your writing will never be the same. Join us for the fun at the Hermosa Beach Library 550 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Thank you, Irene, for hosting Poetry Friday this week at Live Your Poem

posted by April Halprin Wayland with a hug she wishes weren't virtual

 A photo from long-ago when Monkey and Eli regularly read poetry to each other

poems (c) 2024 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.


Irene Latham said...

April, you are (whiplashed this month) joy! thank you for these delightful Ruff Drafts and your scarf from Berlin and that adorable dog Sadie. Congratulations on your new pup...and thank you for inspiring us with your devotion to poetry. Sending so much love! xo

JoAnn Early Macken said...

So happy to read your new pup news as well as the poems! Wishing you loads of puppy joy and not so much rolling in things that stink! xox

April Halprin Wayland said...

Talk about devotion to poetry, Irene, thank YOU for inspiring me with your incredible work ethic and never-ending curiosity of all poetic possibilities.

Linda B said...

I don't have a dog anymore, depend on a granddog to keep me happy with the love and petting on visits. I love that you have a new pup and he sounds very nice, April. Thanks for all the poems, too. And, have a great time at your workshops!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for introducing us to Sadie, April, and to your wonderful Ruff Drafts. I especially the voice of your Dog Explorer:

while you’re puzzling over lines of ink,
I’ll be rolling in things that stink!

I’ll catch the tang of a porcupine’s trail,
decoding flavors that tell a tale.

His enthusiasm for "things that stink" makes me smile!

Denise Krebs said...

April, what fun! I enjoyed reading your poems. The whiplash you experience in the month of April made me smile. What you would take with you in a fire too. I had to reread it out loud. Enjoy writing this month!

Denise Krebs said...

...and I forgot to mention, congratulations on that sweet new puppy! I hope the kitty is happy with him too.

jan godown annino said...

Hello new pup Mama April,
Maybe some place in time & space the gals who are May & June can meet up with those who are April. [Wonder if the men who are named August have a similar experience?] Although not a pup or grown dog person, due to some dogs who had lousy-behaved owners who didn't train them up I am taken with your poems as pubbed & also the d r a f t s. There should be only pet owners who are like you & your family.
Appreciations for your dedication to poetry month, your canine care themes & to #PoetryFriday.

Buffy Silverman said...

Sadie is beautiful. Love all those puppy poems--here's to more doggy inspiration.

Tracey Kiff-Judson said...

I am so sorry about Eli. He looks so kind and gentle. I am sure he was a treasure.

SADIE! She is adorable ... and that ear! You found a gem.

Ruff drafts! I LOVE it. Your post brought me great joy today!

Linda Mitchell said...

Hooray for Sadie! I'm still missing my one and only best dog, Dinah. I'm not sure I'm ready for another dog. My life just cannot center around a pup right now. But, my cat died in December and I grieved by welcoming two 9 month old kitten brothers into our home. I still miss my old cat...but these two rascals are bringing my family smiles and love. What a wonderful collection of pup poems. Even if they are ruff drafts, I find warmth and comfort in them.

Rose Cappelli said...

A big welcome to Sadie! Thanks for all your Ruff Drafts and inspiration.

Mary Lee said...

You ask, "Who put the pup in poetry?" but my question is, "Why would you ever leave her out?"

These are so much fun!

Lucky you, and lucky Sadie!

Patricia Franz said...

April, as a dog fanatic, I LOVE:

but I have a calling beyond these doors
to the tang and the stink at the wild waves’ shores

Thank you!

laurasalas said...

Your post is a pocket full of treats, April! Congratulations on the new pup, and all your dog poems are so wonderful--and so different. Something about If Our House Were on Fire...that one really touches me deeply.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Welcome to Sadie - she won the doggie home lottery. And she's a beauty! I was absolutely reeling after losing our wee Rita a year ago, but we got a four-month-old pup in October, when you were experiencing such a horrible loss. Though our now none-month-old Rookie is chewing on my nice antique bookcase as I type this (NO!), he's brought such joy to our lives. Here's to a Happy Poetry Month to you and many years of love and laughter with your new family member! Woof! xo

Robyn Hood Black said...

(Oops - nine-month-old, not none-month-old - see how he distracts me?!)

April Halprin Wayland said...

JoAnn ~ I don't think it's possible to have loads of puppy joy without stink! I think of you often, holding down the fort in Wisconsin! Namaste

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Linda. Glad that you have a granddaughter to keep you satiated 💕

April Halprin Wayland said...

Stink seems to be universally puppy, Carmela🐕

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks, Denise... Puppies are in every sentence!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Kitty & Sadie adore each other!! (Though Kitty has made it clear who's boss)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Jan ~ in college I lived in a co-op. My roommate was Robin and another woman in the co-op was Spring! Not long after, I met male hippie/folk singer named Summer! Happy poetry month to you, too!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Buffy ~ Sadie thanks you. She told me she thinks you're beautiful, too. It was actually our former dog, Eli, who inspired the poems that year... but they perfectly match our adventures these days with Sadie.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Tracey ~ Sadie's a-bit-too-long tail & yes, that ear, totally won me over.
Your comments brought me great joy.
(How does anyone ever comment on all the posts they read? And how do they read so many posts?!?!?)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Oh, Linda... I empathize. And hooray for two brother kittens! It's so true...there's so much hilarity with puppies and kittens scrambling all over the house!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rose!

April Halprin Wayland said...

I love your comment, Mary Lee! You made me laugh 🤣

April Halprin Wayland said...

A fellow dog fanatic 🐕🐕‍🦺🦴🐾🐶! Thanks for coming by, Patricia!

April Halprin Wayland said...

It's funny that you commented on that one, Laura. When I reread those poems, that one also touched me.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Rita! Sadie said she wants to meet ya (which almost rhymes) lots of love to you, Robyn... I want to see our gang in person soon! Will that ever be possible?!?!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Ha! At first I thought you were saying that after one year you weren't counting any more months..

April Halprin Wayland said...

Denise ~ Sadie & Kitty adore each other...but Kitty has made it very clear that she's the boss.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Jan, when I was in college I lived in a co-op with 12 people. My roommate's name was Robin, and there was another woman in the co-op whose name was Spring. Not long after that, I went to a folk music campout and met a man named Summer!
Put us all in one room and swirl us around!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Linda... I'm glad you find warmth and comfort in the poems. And hurray for not one but two kitties! Can only imagine the laughter that follows them.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rose🌹(I'll bet you get this emoji all the time!)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks for your comment, Patricia,. And it's good to meet a fellow dog fanatic🐶🐾🦴🐕‍🦺🐕

April Halprin Wayland said...

It's interesting that you were moved by that particular poem, Laura. Since I hadn't read them for 10 years, it was like reading someone else's work. I was also touched by that one...

April Halprin Wayland said...

When you wrote that, I thought you meant that once they turn 1 years old, we don't count months anymore!
And Rita ~ Sadie says she wants to meet ya (which almost rhymes)!
Lots of love to you, Robyn... I want to see our gang in person soon! Will that ever be possible?!?!