Welcome to Poetry Month 2018 at No Water River!
Please take a moment to peruse the how-to below, and then dive in! Happy writing — and thank you for helping to build our collection(s)!
Remember: The Community Collections are open indefinitely, so you can visit each post at your leisure to add your poem!
is a poet and librarian known for her moving poetry and prose on historical nonfiction topics. Please welcome …
- Recall an encounter you have had with an animal—any animal except a pet or someone else’s pet that you know well. It could be a stray cat, like the one I encountered in the woods. It could be a fly buzzing along a windowsill. An animal at the zoo. Anything.
- Next—think about a problem or change in your life that you don’t understand and are having trouble adjusting to. I chose to think about my mother before we moved her into a long-term care hospital. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a condition where people, mostly older people, have trouble with their memory, and they sometimes start doing strange things. My mother had been buying batteries.
- Now – find a way to connect the two– your animal encounter to your problem.
COMMUNITY COLLECTION 9: MAKING CONNECTIONS
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In My Classroom
Bear With Me
from the tumbling,
I sense an urge
to scale this
monster once more.
And there she is
our eyes lock,
I make hustle,
the leaves rustle,
my mind travels back
to the fall.
Bear in mind,
I’m a bear of very
clings to her shoulder—
his human pedicab.
He depends on her,
by sharp nails that sting.
Curious, he is safe
to learn about the world
from his lofty perch.
My daughter can’t explain,
but I know—
she is a dragon too—
safe to explore her world
but from a dependent cling
that may sting.
© Sherry Howard
the pale pink of cherry blossoms.
© 2018 Gabi Snyder
CHANGES IN NATURE
My mother let me out to play
by myself at the edge
of the friendly woods
across from our home,
the church. I know
I encountered blueberries,
bushes popping with
sweetness at 3-year-old
eye level. Did I also meet
a snake, thickly coiled or
slithering, hissing with
alarm at 3-year-old
danger? I carry a coil of
WORKING THE CRISIS HOTLINE
It was a perfect sunny day. The kind to draw a small child outside.
The cat we loved was the neighbors’ across the street, and there he was,
in his own front yard, weaving oddly.
He was a fellow who owned the world, a friend to everyone, and often
he would run across to us
and we would “borrow” him,
bringing out the bag of toys,
the ones saved from our own cat who had died.
Catnip sacks. Dancing wires that bobbed like flies. Fur mice
which he would take
and run away with
crossing the street
to drop them on his doormat.
But today he was weaving oddly.
We noticed the minute we stepped out the door,
although he was far away.
Crossing the street to investigate, we saw that he was bleeding
by a car, obviously.
In our quiet neighborhood, cars are the only predators.
And you, the child in this story, said, “Why is his nose red?”
Years later you would remember only that “His nose was red.”
The neighbors were not home,
so we left them a message on the phone
and rushed him—our friend, our vicarious cat—to the vet
promising to pay the bill ourselves if necessary.
But nothing could be done.
You were quite small. Thank goodness all you noticed
was his red nose. His injury, his mortal wound
nothing more than a color to you.
© 2018 Heather Kinser
Cynthia Grady writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for children. After fourteen years as the middle school librarian at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, she relocated to New Mexico, where she lives with her partner and two house rabbits. When not reading and writing, you might find Cynthia gardening, sewing, and making music.
Her most recent book, WRITE TO ME: LETTERS FROM JAPANESE AMERICAN CHILDREN TO THE LIBRARIAN THEY LEFT BEHIND, is now available in all the usual places.
Discover more about the author and her books at www.CynthiaGrady.com.
(adapted from the author’s website)
WRITE TO ME: LETTERS FROM JAPANESE AMERICAN CHILDREN TO THE LIBRARIAN THEY LEFT BEHIND
A touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with their beloved librarian while they were imprisoned in World War II internment camps.
When Executive Order 9066 is enacted after the attack at Pearl Harbor, children’s librarian Clara Breed’s young Japanese American patrons are to be sent to prison camp. Before they are moved, Breed asks the children to write her letters and gives them books to take with them. Through the three years of their internment, the children correspond with Miss Breed, sharing their stories, providing feedback on books, and creating a record of their experiences.
Using excerpts from children’s letters held at the Japanese American National Museum, author Cynthia Grady presents a difficult subject with honesty and hope.(from the Amazon.com)
LIKE A BIRD: THE ART OF THE AMERICAN SLAVE SONG
Enslaved African Americans longed for freedom, and that longing took many forms—including music. Drawing on biblical imagery, slave songs both expressed the sorrow of life in bondage and offered a rallying cry for the spirit. (from Amazon.com)
This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of American slaves. Drawn together through imagery drawn from quilting and fiber arts, each poem is spoken from a different perspective: a house slave, a mother losing her daughter to the auction block, a blacksmith, a slave fleeing on the Underground Railroad. Each poem is supplemented by a historical note. (from Amazon.com)
Don’t miss a prompt! Save this calendar to your desktop.
CALENDAR OF POETS ~ APRIL 2018
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“These Woods” and prompts copyright © by Cynthia Grady
Copyright on community collection poems held by authors indicated. All rights reserved.
Other post content © 2018 Renée M. LaTulippe or as indicated. All rights reserved.
Cabin photo from Pixabay via Pexels (no attribution required)