There is so much going on this April, and you can discover much of it if you also travel to this post by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup.
You can take another path to Laura Purdie Salas' blog, Writing The World for Kids, to see the very first line of Irene Latham's poetic idea, the Progressive Poem. I have also posted the entire list of writers on the lower right column of the blog.
I'll be out of town for some of April, so have decided not to write a poem everyday as I have in the past, but may join other invitations, or sneak in some of my own poetry when I can. Happy Poetry Month to everyone writing those magical words called poems!
------------------------------------I loved and could identify birds since I was a little girl, mostly because of grandparents' influence. One grandfather in particular and I would sit on his back porch and watch birds fly in for evening meetings as they grabbed last bites and settled in for the night. Their murmurs at that time of day still touch me. My first adult awakening came when I read about the passenger pigeon from John Muir's memoir, My Boyhood and Youth. I was shocked that people didn't realize that these millions of birds could disappear, in an earth's instant, from unchecked killing. Other experiences through the years, many with students, brought me to the realization that I love birds, am fascinated by their habits and their evolution into fabulous unique capabilities. To watch a small phalanx of brown pelicans fly low over the ocean and dive for a meal never fails to make me stop and watch in awe. I have seen the last dodo, stuffed and sad at the end of a hallway at the Harvard Natural Science Museum. I have seen and counted sandhill cranes, among which were six whooping cranes, perhaps the only time I'll ever see them. And I have seen and shouted when I spotted my first blue footed boobies in the Sea of Cortez. I love birds.
Here's a recent encounter I've tried to capture in my first poem for the month:
nest supplies on their way
crow fly by
Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved
Amy's new book that celebrates twenty everyday birds in poetry is perfect to help young children begin their journey to knowing and loving birds. Each page gives the bird's name, and its identifying characteristic behavior or sound becomes the memory of what they do. The illustrator Dylan Metrano's cut paper illustrations give a perfect bird's eye view of each bird's look. You can see from the cover how clear it would be to identify a bluebird from that picture, and inside, Amy writes: "Bluebird sleeps at meadow's edge." Each four line stanza in rhyme includes four birds, four pages, simply done, beautifully presented. And the poem is given at the end in its entirety.
There is a letter in the back from Amy, and additional information about each of the twenty birds. It is a book to savor, with young children or if you are a bird lover, like me!
During my writing, I took a break and took out some trash. There on a nearby column sat one of "my" robins. They show up every year, and they've been back a few weeks, even enduring our blizzard last week. He must have known I was writing about birds because he stayed there for a long time, while I grabbed my phone to take a picture, and remember Amy's robin words: "Robin puffs his chest." Indeed he does!