|Part of my travels included Rogersville|
Public Library, where I presented
FRESH DELICIOUS, and readers
made veggie art (using asparagus
paintbrushes and bell pepper stamps).
1. Earlier this spring I heard R.L. Stine talk about how he came to write the Goosebumps series, and all the spin-offs. He opened his talk with this poem:
by Shel Silverstein
I dare you all to go into
The Haunted House on Howlin’ Hill,
Where squiggly things with yellow eyes
Peek past the wormy window sill.
We’ll creep into the moonlit yard,
Where weeds reach out like fingers,
And through the rotted old front door
A-squeakin’ on it hinges,
Down the dark and whisperin’ hall,
Past the musty study,
Up the windin’ staircase--
Don’t step on the step that’s bloody--
Through the secret panel
To the bedroom where we’ll slide in
To the ragged cobweb dusty bed
Ten people must have died in.
And the bats will screech,
And the spirits will scream,
And the thunder will crash
Like a horrible dream,
And we’ll sing with the zombies
And dance with the dead.
And howl at the ghost
With the axe in his head,
And--come to think of it what do you say
We go get some ice cream instead?
Now isn't that exactly what you 'd expect from R.L. Stine?!
2. Also this spring I got to meet Watt Key, author of ALABAMA MOON and a number of other books. We got to talking, and I asked him what he would read at a "My Favorite Poem" event. Right away he cited this poem:
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
by Robert Frost
3. After I'd given a library presentation -- including poems from FRESH DELICIOUS, WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA and DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST, a little girl gave me this little stuffed giraffe:
Triptych for a Thirsty Giraffe
Must find water.
Water hole, at last.
Watch out for lions!
scan water's edge.
Must be safe.
Long legs contort,
widen into triangles.
Step by step by step
Tongue whirlpools water
Must not stop.
4. Another gift I received recently was from a friend Ann, who shared with me a handmade ornament with words we both consider to be a poem:
Ann shared that she'd spotted the words on a sign at a march she was participating in, and she knew she needed to share them.
5. Finally, I'd like to share a poem I clipped recently from THE THREEPENNY REVIEW:
The Capacity of Speech
by Austin Smith
To hang houses for the purple martins
To nest in. To bed down the horses under
The great white wing of the year's first snow.
To ensure the dog and cat are comfortable.
To set out suet for the backyard birds.
To put the poorly-shot, wounded deer down.
To nurse its orphaned fawn until its spots
Are gone. To sweep the spider into the glass
And tap it out into the grass. To blow out
The candle and save the moth from flame.
To trap the black bear and set it free.
To throw the thrashing brook trout back.
How easy it is to be decent
To things that lack the capacity of speech,
To feed and shelter whatever will never
Beg us or thank us or make us ashamed.
Poetry is everywhere, isn't it? Thanks for reading!