Friday, February 28, 2020

A Red Poem from CAST AWAY by Naomi Shihab Nye

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Karen Edmisten for Roundup. If I was really on it (as I'm sure many of you are), I'd have a Leap Day poem to share... as it is, I am just trying to keep my head above water this week, so I will just shout out my greetings to any Leap Day babies out there: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Also, so many thanks to Shelby County, Vestavia Hills and Hoover educators and students for giving me and Charles Waters such a lovely welcome this week! THANK YOU!!

Lucky me, I did have a chance to read CAST AWAY: Poems for our Time (from HarperCollins), the newest collection of poems from Naomi Shihab Nye. We learn in this collection that Naomi is a trash walker -- she collects bits of trash wherever she is in the world, and this collection is drawn from those adventures. You're going to love it! And... Naomi kindly gave me permission to share a (red) poem that caught my eye. I hope you enjoy this treasure... and I hope you pick up the book.

Red Ribbon on the Walk

After the bulldozers,
graders, noisy asphalt mixers,
lumber away for the tenth time,
trying to repave Sheridan Street,
poor old Sheridan
keeps cracking again
the minute it's new
due to the weight of buses
and ancient irrigation ditches
supposedly running beneath it,
I find you, long satiny red ribbon,
lying in the street.
Bulldozers dropping a red satin ribbon?
Seems unlikely.
Construction workers in helmets, orange vests...
leave a red ribbon?
Like the world we're in now.
Things that don't go together
confounding at every turn.
Sometimes we just have to close our eyes.
Think of something better.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

And now for my next ArtSpeak: RED poem! I decided to go with my main gal Mary Cassatt to the theater! Be sure and find the nosy fellow in the distance with the binoculars turned toward... YOU!

Show Time

Heavy red curtain
soon to rise –
so many faces,
         so many eyes!

The play's the thing --
yes, those words are wise,
but they don't explain

why this moment
someone's watching you
watching me
watch the red curtain rise.

- Irene Latham

Friday, February 21, 2020

If thirst has a color (poem)

Me with some fabulous
future teachers at Troy University-Dothan.
Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Cheriee at Library Matters for Roundup.

It's been a busy week for me with travels to Troy, AL and Dothan, AL... and next up Auburn, AL! Then next week Charles Waters comes to Alabama, and we have quite a few groups we'll be working with in addition to dashing down to Mobile, AL, for some research on our work-in-progress.

I'm taking it one day at a time, focusing on gratitude. It's an honor to be asked to share my life and stories with others... so far on this busy spring stretch, I've taken good care of myself. Looking forward, it helps to know that on several ventures I will have friends/loved ones joining me. Yay!

I offer you my latest ArtSpeak: RED poem below!

if thirst has a color

its color is red

its sound,
a lion's roar

thirst is gritty
as sand between my toes

its scent
is burnt almonds

it tastes

the moment
before water

onto my lips

- Irene Latham
Readers, have you ever been thirsty, so thirsty? What does it taste like to YOU? (That was the hardest sense for me to find in this poem!)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Warm Hearts, Cold Day (love poem for Valentine's Day)

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit lovely Linda B. at TeacherDance for Roundup.

Happy Valentine's Day to all you Lovelies! I know some complain about commercialized Valentine's Day, but I feel like any excuse to show people you love them is a good day... so bring on the hearts and chocolates and flowers and poems!

And on the theme of love...

driving along Oak Creek Canyon
at sunset
Last week Paul and I visited Arizona, where we stayed in Sedona surrounded by red rocks... and rode around in a rented red car! We also took a peek at the Grand Canyon (south rim), which is indeed, grand. Beautiful and inspiring!

As part of latest Adventures in Ink e-newsletter giveaway, I received so many wonderful word suggestions for DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD! Thank you!! Giveaway winners are:

Cathy Hall
Denise Panter
Barbara Schneider

And here are the words readers want to add to our DICTIONARY:

And yes, I wrote another ArtSpeak! RED poem this week. I decided to stick with the Valentine's theme, which led me to my Valentine among artists: Vincent van Gogh. Enjoy!

Bedtime Love Song

I love you
like red blanket
loves bed

like walls
love the color

like chair
loves a body's
weight –

no room
can hold
the love I feel
             for you.

- Irene Latham

... and here is a link to another Valentine's Day set of poems: one by Aileen Fisher, one by me. :)

Friday, February 7, 2020

When Red Pours Down the Mountain

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Laura Purdie Salas for Roundup.

Thanks to everyone for helping celebrate the release of DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD! What a fun time. :)
This has been a travel-week for me, so filled with wonderful new adventures... and also a new "red" poem. Yay! This one kind of went in a direction I wasn't expecting... and I am still not sure what it means! You can read more about the beautiful art on Google Arts & Culture.

When Red Pours Down the Mountain

Dreams seethe,

slosh –

Red tumbles us high
into tomorrow.

With a gush,
rush –

whether we're ready
or not –

Red floods the sky.

- Irene Latham