Thursday, March 4, 2021

Poetry Friday - Coming Warmth

    Kat Apel, way down under, hosts our Poetry Friday today HERE at her blog. She's been doing a few cartwheels and high jumps because she has a new book out, The Bird in the Herd!  You can read her "release day post" HERE! Thank you, Kat! 


          I am so excited that spring is, at least officially, just a couple of weeks away. It's been in the fifties and sixties this week, after our big snow last week! I know, I know that in Colorado, March, then April, are traditionally our snowiest months, thus it may be spring, but winter weather will return. In fact, yesterday was 60 and this afternoon it started to rain and will fall into snow overnight. Back warm again tomorrow. Flip-flop it does! However, warm-weather seasons are coming!

hoya blooming, sure sign of spring!

I wrote my final poem in February with the group celebrating Laura Shovan's birthday to Michelle Kogan's prompt, to write about the back. Remember the theme for each day connected to the "body".  This time, Michelle gave us the freedom to use "back" in the various ways it is used in our language, like "backdrop" or "throwback", not exclusively to our bodies. I chose to connect to a memory of the "backdoor" at a grandparents' home.

Backdoor in My Mind


Out the back door lies

Grandma’s garden

giving us all those growing things

you imagine. They sleep together 

among the strange snarls of kohlrabi 

she calls her fruit of the loom.

(Because of those tangles, you know.)

Out the back door lies

Grandpa’s shed, all those tools

leaning together like men at the

downtown bar: diggers, cutters, rakers,

saws, each one with a story to tell

(which Grandpa relates).

Out the back door lies

my maple tree, the one grown enough

to hold me while I read, 

(like Mother did when I was tiny),

the one offering helicopters that really fly

and crimson leaves that predict ‘goodbye’.

Out the back door lies

the porch where warm rainy days

mean slow stories, 

and clear evenings are perfumed

with sundown and starlight

and being together.

          Linda Baie ©

Monday, March 1, 2021

Monday Reading - Love These Picture Books

          Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 

Today is my 10th blogiversary! My posts have taken varied turns throughout these years, writing with the Two Writing Teachers started this journey and I loved it for quite a long time. There, then a couple of other groups is where I first wrote with Ruth Ayres, someone I still connect with whenever I can who has hosted a couple of different ideas, now with SOS (sharing our stories) magic. Then I met Jen & Kellee, finally Ricki, and the Poetry Friday group, every single one making me feel welcome. I am happy that I started. This will be post number 2,128!  

I am halfway through this very complicated story woven within Greek mythology. I'm enjoying it but it took a while to begin to know the characters' names and to see the plot developing. The background research Laura Amy Schlitz is amazing!

Thanks to Candlewick Press for these next two books!

             In a rhyming story, Caryn Yacowitz tells a story full of love from Moses' mother who couldn't keep him hidden anymore from the Pharaohs who wanted to kill all the boy babies of the children of Israel. She crafted a little boat and hid him in the reeds by the bank of the river Nile. Yacowitz imagines a story of animals watching over him as he floats downstream, an Ibis, a Mama Hippo, and even a Mighty Crocodile. They keep him from being caught by some reeds, through fast currents, even a terrible storm. Finally, "plunging through the wild waters/toward the calm of sandy shore" he is found by the Pharaoh's daughter. It is an imagined story of nature's creatures taking care of a young one when no one else could be there made even more beautiful by Julie Downing's gorgeous watercolors. If it's time to tell a young reader the story from the Bible of Moses, this will be a sweet one to share.

           Gideon Storer's book begins on the endcovers where a group of animals stands hidden in the forest watching trailers and trucks roll up to set up a traveling fair. They don't stop watching until finally, the caretaker (manager?) flips the switch and the fair begins with all the fun you can imagine, booths for winning prizes like a ringtoss for a goldfish (remember those?), rides with giant swings and roller coasters and treats like cotton candy and ice cream. Watching from the shadows, more animals gather, the caretaker closes up, they wait. And it starts all over again when two raccoons flip that switch with every animal having the time of their lives, all night until the sky begins to lighten and they drift back into the woods, the bear carrying her very tired little one, the fox taking his goldfish prize to the lake. So many details in Mariachiara Di Giorgio's illustrations will delight you in this fabulous, wordless picture book. The animals do clean up a bit, but forget to empty the cash bowl of their payments of acorns, wildflowers, and mushrooms. The back end covers show an empty field with only a peek of the rear end of a trailer moving away. 
        Here are a couple of favorite pages, the title page and one other!

From the library!

          Matthew Burgess tells a beautiful story of this artist, Keith Haring, who sadly was not here on earth very long (he died at age thirty-one), but has made an impact all over the world. Who does not recognize his work when you see it? In his younger days, Keith drew with his dad. They took turns with what looked like scribbles but, as the story goes, might turn into an ice cream cone. "He drew all the time,  everywhere. 'But not on the walls!' his mother would call." He was the oldest of four, with three little sisters. Burgess shows again how he did art with those sisters, too.
          The book tells Haring's story of moving from place to place, from art school to art school, finally finding "his" world in New York City. He painted walls everywhere in the world, he painted with children, he painted on a church's wall in Pisa and a stretch of the Berlin Wall. Josh Cochran manages to find the spirit of Keith Haring in the illustrations that are splashed in bold colors and fun movement. Even in a book, they manage to be like walls! More information is added at the back: a biographical note with a picture of Keith Haring painting, an author's note, and an illustrator's note. For someone who loves art, who wants to know more, and be inspired by Keith Haring's work and life, this is a special book.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Poetry Friday - Birthday Special

   Karen Edmisten hosts our Poetry Friday today HERE at her blog, also sharing about birthdays!  Thank you, Karen! 


 At this time of year, those born under the sign of Pisces are reigning, celebrating birthdays, so many that it's hard to keep up! I won't list them, but I imagine as you read through the Poetry Friday posts today, you will find quite a few writing about or reflecting upon their special days.

                 Just adding a note! It is NOT my birthday. I'm only celebrating for so many who do have them during this month and into March - those Pisces!

           I've discovered many birthday poems in my Google search, chose one from Lucille Clifton for this celebration. With brief words, a little humor, and some serious thought, the poem is my wish for all the birthday people. I suspect this year those celebrating and all the rest of us are indeed "aching" to know what our future will bring. Happy Birthday to Each One of You!

This is my piece of 'tuxedo cake', wish I could share some with all of you!
I didn't make it, but have discovered it at my grocery! And I managed to
find one birthday candle!

birth-Day by Lucille Clifton

today we are possible.

the morning, green and laundry-sweet,

opens itself and we enter

blind and mewling.

everything waits for us:

the snow kingdom

sparkling and silent

in its glacial cap,

the rest is HERE.