Community Collection 1: CHOICES with Margarita Engle

Welcome to Poetry Month 2018 at No Water River!
A couple of months ago I was reflecting on all the various and important movements happening in the world right now — people working together to effect change — and it came to me that it would be so nice to work together with you to build a single work of art. And that’s how the idea of Community Collections was born — from the desire to build with you something singular and beautiful … every single day for 31 days.
I am so grateful for the generous poets who didn’t hesitate for a moment to join the project, offering their poems and prompts to get us started each day. I am continually astounded by the big-heartedness of the poetry community.
I’m excited to begin, so let’s stop yakking and get writing! Here’s the lay of the land: each day you will find a simple post that consists of…
THE POET’S SMILING FACE (to welcome us to the day)
THE POEM (to use as a model if you wish)
THE PROMPT (the day’s theme)
THE COMMUNITY COLLECTION BULLETIN BOARD (where you will add your work!)
THE POET (bio)
THE BOOKS (books by the poet that we should all read!)
Please take a moment to peruse the how-to below, and then let’s dive in! Happy writing — and thank you for helping to build our collection(s)!

 

Today’s Guest

MARGARITA ENGLE

Young People’s Poet Laureate

 

THE POEM

 

THE PROMPT

Write a poem about making a choice. It can be a simple decision, or a difficult one.
 

COMMUNITY COLLECTION 1: CHOICES

WANT TO ADD YOUR POEM?

1. Paste it into the comment section below. I will gather the poems and add them to this post. OR
2. Email it to me at renee@reneelatulippe.com and I will add it to this post (graphics welcome)!

*****
LIGHT A PATH
Beat your own drum
no matter who hears it,
Follow your passion
   no matter who defies it,
Pick yourself up again
   no matter if it’s the 100th time.
Now… move a small mountain–
   Stand with your friend
     no matter if you’re the only one,
Be the beacon that lights a path!
© 2018 Michelle Kogan
EASTER CHOICES
The cross
The empty tomb
Real symbols
What is this about?
A sacrifice
A miracle
A reminder…
All the immense love
A God
A Man
A Spirit
What a mystery!
HAPPY EASTER!
Maritza M. Mejia@2018
#LuzDelMes
SUMMER DILEMMA
Chocolate Chip
………………………Butter Pecan
Rocky Road
………………………Cookies ‘n Cream
Tutti Frutti
………………………Raspberry Ripple
Lemon Ice
………………………Peppermint Dream
Take your pick.
Make up your mind.
What do you want?
………………………A little more time.
© 2018 Doraine Bennett
THE POWER OF CHOICE
You can choose to stand and fight.
You can choose to walk away.
You can choose to be the single voice that lifts above the fray.
You can choose to join the crowd.
You can choose to walk alone.
You can choose to build a bridge of peace across the battle zone.
But not to choose at all
is to silence your own voice –
to surrender all your power that is brought about by choice.
So no matter where you go
and no matter what you do,
remember that we need your choice, that’s chosen just by you.
© 2018 Kate Talbot
CHOICES
a skinny poem, 
My teacher says
make good choices
be healthy, safe and strong
eat a good breakfast
come to school
make good choices
be kind instead of cruel
polite, not rude
She smiles when I
make good choices
and I smile back.
Linda Mitchell 3/30/18
THE GLASS LIFT
Squeezed together
Going up
Should I comment?
What to say?
Number Seven,
Anyone else?
What a beautiful view!
Look at the sunrise
Reflecting on the tower
So Beautiful.
They say the rains coming,
And Spring.
(c) Wendy Bokovoy
IT’S MY CHOICE
Drive-through service:
luxury for me,
hot coffee,
juicy burger,
……….minimum wage
……….for the face
……….in the window.
I search for the connection
that will spark a smile.
          Can you enjoy this sun soon?
          Only you can be this sweet!
          Maybe you get off soon?
          Perfect voice.
          Lovely smile.
          I look forward to seeing you!
          Maybe you could use this.
          Eyes that sparkle
          Nice to see you again!
          Thank you so much!
(c) Sherry Howard
FACEBOOK DILEMMA
Like or Love ?
Should I like it? Should I love it?
Which is the better form?
The gamut of my options
is luke or very warm.
But hey! The right emoji
might add required finesse
and supplement my comments
without the need to stress
about the subtle meanings
that lurk in actual words –
puns and hidden meanings –
that stuff’s for the nerds.
But what about my own posts?
Should I then conclude
that a ‘liking’ friend is lesser
than a love-heart-happy dude?
Have they weighed this in the balance?
Have they really thought it through?
Is this a matter of the heart?
Or an idle passing-through?
© Kate O’Neil
ACROSTIC MOMENT
Could you take a moment now,
Hasten to own a world of wishes
Overlook the list–laundry, dusting, working late–
Install ‘be kind’ and ‘listen well’?
Could you look beyond and fasten
Everyone’s lives as part of yours?
Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved
CHOICES ARE VOICES
Conscious choices
…..are open voices.
Voices risking all its brilliance;
…..lifting us up,
…..letting us down,
…..trial and error resilience.
Subconscious choices
…..are hidden voices.
Voices trusting all its brilliance;
…..whirling inside,
…..bursting outside,
…..trial and error resilience.
©2018 Claudia Noriega
THE STILTS
Two long legs
standing stiff and ready
to take me places
striding.
If only
I could get up onto those platforms
(a trapeze artist
the instant
before launching)
one foot
boost
now two feet
OOF !
Choose to cry?
Or choose to try—
to get up and go
like my own legs have grown
into two steady poles?
And if I fall
(and when I fall!)
I learn to do it
with control.
On Off On Off On Off 
ON!
And go!
Falling was the thing
that finally
let me
skyward
stride.
I’m glad I tried.
© 2018 Heather Kinser
CHOICES
We make choices every day.
To live, laugh, run, play.
Choices good. Choices bad.
Choices happy. Choices sad.
Choices affect us through the years.
Choices from love, choices from fears.
Our grandchildren. Rebirth.
Our planet. Mother Earth.
Choose whom we serve. Choose how we live.
Choose what we take. Choose what we give.
Choose hate or love for one another.
Choose to serve, to help your brother.
I made the choice to follow you.
Amazing love – you’ve brought me through
(c) Yvona Fast
CHOICES
Choices,
some,
impossible,
insane,
idyllic.
Choices
made
speak,
scold,
sooth.
Choices,
made
crave,
creep,
cause.
Choices,
made,
unending,
unbending,
untold.
(c) Joy Moore
 
LIFE CHOICES
Come in different times,
Have diverse stages.
Only you will know
Inside of you.
Close to your heart,
Exhale, inhale…
Silence will talk

Maritza M. Mejia @2018
#LuzDelMes

 
DECISIONS, DECISIONS
To tell or not to tell?
I struggle to decide.
What seems a simple choice
has torn me up inside.
Nadine’s my closest friend;
I don’t want that to change,
but telling her the truth
just feels a little strange.
At last I tell myself:
as friends it is your place.
“Nadine,” I say to her,
“There’s ketchup on your face.”

Colleen Murphy
@Murphyrhymer

 

 
CHOICES
What to write
What to say
I muddle through this every day
Where to walk
Where to run
Where to find the perfect fun
When to stay
When to go
When to listen, say: “I know.” 
How to love
How to share
How to show I really care
Why to shine
Why to show
Why to let my spirit glow
© Kirstine Call 2018
 
MY CHOICE
My choice
is love
not war.
Not hate
just peace
and quiet.
No one to cross
swords with,
but compassion,
care and concern.
Passion and trust
and emotion.
Choose love!
© 2018 Robyn Campbell
 

 
PAUSE
Driving home last night
I chose to pause
to pull over on the berm
and sit and watch as
four slender deer
foraged in the misty fields
while cars whizzed by
buffeting me with their wake
Last night
I chose to linger
while the deer peacefully grazed
stepping through
tendrils of languid fog
that drifted and twined about them
concealing
revealing
as the world rushed by
and dusk descended.
© 2018 M. Hogan
 
 UNTITLED
The choice is
Love, the Sisyphus road
or
Hate, downhill and easy
Slipping into the flow
Of the other
Choices around you
Sliding into hate
Fighting into love.
It isn’t always easy to love
Let’s hear that again:
It isn’t always easy to love.
And again.

© 2018 K. Marcus

 
 SPRING
My sprout has declared
uprooting timid childhood
room for adventure
 
DIVORCE
Live with Mom?
Live with Dad?
Why do I have to choose?
Live with Mom?
Live with Dad?
Either way—
I lose.
@2018 Linda Kulp Trout
 

 

THE POET

Margarita Engle is the national Young People’s Poet Laureate, and the first Latino to receive that honor. She is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Lightning Dreamer, a PEN USA Award winner. Her verse memoir, Enchanted Air, received the Pura Belpré Award, Golden Kite Award, Walter Dean Myers Honor, and Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, among others. Drum Dream Girl received the Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book text.

Her newest verse novel about the island is Forest World, and her newest picture books are All the Way to Havana, and Miguel’s Brave Knight, Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote.

Books forthcoming in 2018 include The Flying Girl, How Aida de Acosta Learned to Soar, and Jazz Owls, a Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots.

Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives. She was trained as an agronomist and botanist as well as a poet and novelist. She lives in central California with her husband.

Learn more about Margarita and her books at www.MargaritaEngle.com.

 

THE BOOKS

(blurbs from the author’s website)

JAZZ OWLS
Thousands of young Navy sailors are pouring into Los Angeles on their way to the front lines of World War II. They are teenagers, scared, longing to feel alive before they have to face the horrors of battle. Hot jazz music spiced with cool salsa rhythms calls them to dance with the local Mexican American girls, who jitterbug all night before working all day in the canneries. Proud to do their part for the war effort, these Jazz Owl girls are happy to dance with the sailors—until the blazing summer night when racial violence leads to murder.

Suddenly the young white sailors are attacking these girls’ brothers and boyfriends. The cool, loose zoot suits they wear are supposedly the reason for the violence—when in reality these boys are viciously beaten and arrested simply because of the color of their skin.

 

 

FOREST WORLD
Story of a Cuban-American boy who visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time—and meets a sister he didn’t know he had.

Edver isn’t happy about being shipped off to Cuba to visit the father he barely knows. The island is a place that no one in Miami ever mentions without a sigh, but travel laws have suddenly changed, and now it’s a lot easier for divided families to be reunited. Technology in Cuba hasn’t caught up with the times, though, and Edver is expecting a long, boring summer.

He was NOT expecting to meet a sister he didn’t know he had. Luza is a year older and excited to see her little brother, until she realizes what a spoiled American he is. Looking for something—anything—they might have in common, the siblings sneak onto the Internet, despite it being forbidden in Cuba, and make up a fake butterfly. Maybe now their cryptozoologist mother will come to visit. But their message is intercepted by a dangerous poacher, and suddenly much more than their family is at stake. Edver and Luza have to find a way to overcome their differences to save the Cuban jungle that they both have grown to love.

BRAVO! Poems about Amazing Hispanics
Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot—the Latinos featured in this collection come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today!

Biographical poems include: Aida de Acosta, Arnold Rojas, Baruj Benacerraf, César Chávez, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Félix Varela, George Meléndez, José Martí, Juan de Miralles, Juana Briones, Julia de Burgos, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Paulina Pedroso, Pura Belpré, Roberto Clemente, Tito Puente, Ynes Mexia, Tomás Rivera.

Available in Spanish and English

 

 

 
Don’t miss a prompt! Save this calendar to your desktop.

CALENDAR OF POETS ~ APRIL 2018

Check out the poetry video library!
Copyright on poems held by authors indicated. All rights reserved.
Other post content © 2018 Renée M. LaTulippe. All rights reserved.

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44 Comments

  1. This sounds like so much fun. I’ve subscribed and am looking forward to following… just hanging out and reading, I doubt I will have time to write. Thank you for hosting this. I love Margarita Engle’s poem… its message, carried by words and shape.

  2. Dear Renee, what a rich month this will be! I love that pic of Magarita with her dogs. 🙂 Thank you for all your behind-the-scenes work… you are a gift to this community! xo

  3. What a superb start to Poetry Month. Magarita Engle is one of my favorites and simply the best because she makes poetry accessible to all. Her poems always make me want to write too. I’m delighted to join in this movement of art making. Truly, art is one of the things that keeps me sane these days. Thank you, Renee for being a mentor, friend and bridge to poetry for so many of us.

  4. I am going to be here watching and writing when I can. It is a wonderful treasure to bring so many together for this community opportunity. Just like you, Renee! Thank you for your verve!

  5. Now on to Margarita! We all should be bridges in every way we can. Building hope, lifelines, community, friendship. Bridging the gaps in our lives, connecting loneliness and aloneness. Finding how we can go from you to me and back and be richer for our travels and experience. So much to think about. I am proud to call Margarita a friend here in the poetry world online and in real life when I hold her books in my hand and pass that treasure along. Wonderful.

  6. Starting Poetry Month off with Margarita is brilliant! I’ve been a fan since I first read one of her tanka many years ago. I’m excited to take part in this project and hope to keep up with the daily prompts. Thank you to Renee and all the poets for what’s to come this month!

  7. Whoa! I did not see this coming–this is going to be a very fun, very deep project. I hope to join in regularly. My own project I dreamed up while actually IN my conversation with Irene about the Progressive Poem: my class will be invited to write a community poem word-by-word over the 30 days of April. (And thanks for providing the space to actually write this idea down for the first time.) Go Renee!

  8. This is such a fabulous idea and I’m looking forward to reading and learning and connecting. Thank you Margarita Engle for this beautiful and intimately inspiring beginning to this amazing event.

  9. I’m so looking forward to meeting all these poets and reading all the poems (or as many as I can manage) that are inspired by your spotlights! I’ll be sharing each day with my students to enrich their knowledge of poets and hopefully to jumpstart their own poetry writing!

  10. Thank you, Renee, for creating this project and to the poets who are sharing poems and prompts. I can’t think of a better way to spend poetry month! And Margarita, thank you for kicking this off with your inspiring poem. I’ve also been inspired by your novel in verse, The Wild Book–“Let the words sprout/like seedlings”! I look forward to reading more of your books.

  11. Just really getting around to your poetry month, Renée. I read a few of the posts here and there but haven’t had a chance to really dive in. 🙂 🙂 I’m guessing it’ll take all summer to read and do, so thanks in advance for a summer of inspiration.

    1. It’s here forever, Rebekah, so you can dive in at your leisure! If you want to add a poem to the collection in the post, just email it to me or leave it here in the comments and I’ll add it right away. Happy writing!

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