Thursday, September 26, 2019

Poetry Play -- little ditties

Good Friday Poets,

I'm back from a quick visit to my daughters at their universities. Both are doing well in their studies and lives and I am as happy for them as I miss both being at home with me. My son was a great travel buddy...and is also considering where he will be studying as a freshman next year -- a win-win. Woot!

Carol at Beyond Literacy hosts our poetry round-up this week. Stop by for a full dose of poetry and her extra special touches of kindness, creativity and inspiration. 

One of my favorite places for poetry inspiration is animal pics on twitter. 

Come play!
Fennec Foxes

When stacking
fennec foxes
forget about
Foxes stack
aside and atop
each other.
First mama
next, sister
then brother.

Rune of sky wakens
wakens sky and rune

plays the spinneret
Sheeda’s spinneret play

(c) Linda Mitchell

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Out Gathering Rosebuds

Happy Poetry Friday!

Thanks for stopping by. I'm out gathering rosebuds at a college family weekend. See you next week!

Gathering Rosebuds by Linda Mitchell

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Luca's Bridge Paired with Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Happy Friday, Poets

This week, the author-poet-on-fire (with multiple books coming out this year) Laura Purdie Salas hosts our weekly round-up at Writing the World for Kids. When my writer-self grows up...I want to be Laura!

I have a different kind of Poetry Friday/book review for you today.

Not too long ago, debut author Mariana Llanos asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing her new book, Lucas's Bridge (Penny Candy 2019). I agreed and I received this beautiful English-Spanish bilingual book in the mail. See the book trailer for Luca's Bridge

Penny Candy Books, 2019

I read it. I liked it. I knew I could and would write a favorable review. And, there was something about it that was familiar. A kind of dream or trancelike recounting of an experience that begins with loss. It didn't take long before a poetic match...Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye came to mind.

This book and Nye's poem (words in plum and formatted special for this post ) pair beautifully.

  Luca and his family must leave The United States. Luca and his brother have the necessary documents to stay. However, Mami and Papi do not. If the family wants to stay together, they must drive to Abuela's house in Mexico to live.


Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever...

  Luca sits in the backseat on the long car ride holding his trumpet thinks of all the people and places and special things he is losing. He sees birds and trucks out the window. He imagines what they are doing and what it's like to be them instead of himself. He sobs quietly. 

...the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness

you must travel... 

  Luca's trumpet is his constant companion when his family arrives in Mexico where everything is different. His fingers tap on his trumpet. He longs to play music to connect him to a life he's familiar with.
     "No music now hijito. We've had a long day. It's time for bed," says Mami.

...Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then ...

  Luca goes to bed listening to music of the night in a new place. In his dreams his trumpet comes to life and builds a bridge to...? Well, my friend, you will need to read the beautiful places this bridge leads to in Luca's Bridge

Trust that it is a good place, a safe and happy place--and a place of kindness. You and your friends will want to go, especially if readers read in English and Spanish.  Seek out this book to find out where Luca's trumpet takes us all. I'm so glad that I did.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Box Poems

Happy September, Poets

It's the first Poetry Friday of the month -- which means our poet-author-publisher friends, Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, are hosting our round-up at Poetry for Children.

And...Sunday Night Swaggers are sharing responses to a poem challenge.

Our challenge this month comes from Catherine. She presented photos of a sampling of boxes and asked us to write from one or more of the photos.

I chose...
Box Top from Catherine

boxes inside boxes from Catherine

Box Poem 

I have a box

it has four sides

a top

a bottom

with stories inside.

If you lift the top 

It’s blank and dark 

cardboard walls

fold around
a hollow box-heart. 

Peer closer still
Can you see?
this box has 

to hold wishes
or candies
secret love notes
bottle caps, rocks
knock-knock jokes

I have a box
it has four sides
a top
a bottom
with stories inside.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Which do you like better-- haibun or the rhyming poem?

Take a peek at more Sunday Night Swagger Box Poems

-Catherine at Reading to the Core -Margaret at Reflections on the Teche -Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
-Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe